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Auto blogSun, 21 Jul 2013 19:31:00 EST
Whoops. That's a word nobody wants to hear in racing, and that's especially true in Formula 1, where the cars cost untold millions to design, develop, build and operate. In other words, just about any 'whoops' is an expensive 'whoops.'
Kamui Kobayashi, who made his F1 debut in 2009 driving for Toyota, has always been known as a bit of a wild card in the sport. He is notoriously difficult to pass, driving as he does with seemingly reckless abandon, and he's not afraid to get tangled up with the world's best drivers in the world's fastest race cars.
That brash attitude sometimes serves him well. Other times... well, not so much. See what happens with Kobayashi tries to show off in a Ferrari F1 car for fans on a wet track in Moscow in the twin videos below.
In the late 1970s, performance cars suffered a huge blow when the necessity for better economy and lower emissions crippled their power. It took nearly a decade for the horsepower to return. Today, we're in the middle of another push for greater vehicle efficiency, but don't expect another era of malaise this time. Instead, lightweight materials, turbos and hybrids mean that everyone can be happy. However, the pressure to clean up isn't just for the mass market, supercars must improve too, but Ferrari at least seems to be taking on the challenge in stride.
Ferrari Powertrain Director Vittorio Dini recently told Automotive News Europe that the Prancing Horse will improve its current average C02 emissions of 270 grams per kilometer by 20 percent by 2021, to reach about 216 grams of C02 per kilometer. To achieve these lofty ambitions, the company will exploit a relatively simple path. "In the future, all of our V8s will use turbos," said Dini said to ANE. Also, its V12s will use hybridization because it'll be a better choice for them compared to the heat of multiple turbos, he claimed.
The first steps of this strategy are already in front of us. The new California T ditches its naturally aspirated V8 in favor of a smaller displacement, more powerful turbocharged unit, and the LaFerrari is already using the hybrid V12. Dini's quote certainly lends some credence to the rumor that the 2015 refresh for the 458 Italia may use an even more powerful version of the California's turbo V8. With a new Ferrari model planned for each year between now and 2018, the Prancing Horse seems unperturbed by any threats posed by emissions.
Ferrari is facing a court battle in Switzerland due to alleged copyright infringement over taking over a Facebook fan site. If the suit is successful, it could cost the company millions and harm its reputation on social media.
Sammy Wassem started the Facebook fan page for Ferrari when he was 15 and eventually grew it to over 500,000 followers. In 2009, the company congratulated the him on the site's success, but said that "legal issues" forced it to take over the administration, according to Automotive News Europe. Wassem could still use the site, but managers had oversight.
Wassem asked Ferrari for financial compensation to keep working on the page but continued creating content on it for the next four years. Eventually, the company terminated his administration rights, and In 2013, the he and his father Olivier filed the lawsuit against the business alleging it owes payment over 5,500 hours of work and copyright infringement for taking over the page. They are asking for 10 million Swiss francs ($11.3 million).