F1 drivers are great talents, but they have pretty eclectic taste in music

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Circuit of the Americas has borrowed a page from Bristol Motor Speedway’s playbook, where it asks drivers to pick their favorite songs to be played during pre-race introductions.

Based in one of the best music towns in the U.S., COTA is doing a similar thing for the upcoming Formula One United States Grand Prix (Oct. 21-23), asking F1 drivers to choose two or three of their favorite driving songs they’d like to play while hitting the road.

Given how many drivers are not from the United States, the list is rather surprising given how many picks are from American bands.

Tied for most popular singers/bands were The Eagles and Michael Jackson, with three picks each.

The most popular song was The Eagles’ “Hotel California” with three picks, while Jackson’s hits were split between “Billie Jean” (two picks) and “Thriller” (one pick).

Musicians who were picked twice were Bruce Springsteen, The Beach Boys, Ty Dolla $ign, U2, Kings of Leon, Mark Ronson/Bruno Mars, MadeInTYO and Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Songs that were picked twice included: Springsteen’s “Born In The USA,” The Beach Boys’ “Surfin’ USA,” and Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama,”

And earning one pick each were: Prince, America, Steppenwolf, PMMP, Uncle Lucius, The Lumineers, Mr. Wives, The Offspring, Pharrell, The Killers, Rascal Flatts, Justin Timberlake, Coldplay, Enrique Iglesias, The Rolling Stones, Metallica, Motorhead, Frank Sinatra, ZZ Top, Pearl Jam, The Doors, AC/DC, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Fleetwood Mac.

Without question, the driver with the widest variety of taste in music had to be Danill Kvyat, who chose Metallica’s “Whiskey in the Jar,” Motorhead’s “Ace of Spades” and … wait for it … Frank Sinatra’s “Strangers in the Night.”

A close second for variety had to be Kimi Raikkonen, who went way back for Steppenwolf’s “Born to Be Wild,” America’s “A Horse with No Name,” and PMMP’s “Pikkuveli.”

Here’s the complete list of drivers and their song picks:

Lewis Hamilton:

Wavy – Ty Dolla $ign

Campaign – Ty Dolla $ign

I Want – MadeinTYO

Nico Rosberg:

Beautiful Day – U2

Surfin’ U.S.A. – The Beach Boys

Sex On Fire – Kings of Leon

Sebastian Vettel:

Born in the USA – Bruce Springsteen

Little Red Corvette – Prince

Kimi Raikkonen:

A Horse with No Name – America

Born to Be Wild – Steppenwolf

Pikkuveli – PMMP

Daniel Ricciardo:

Keep The Wolves Away – Uncle Lucius

Stubborn Love –  The Lumineers

The Western – Mr. Wives

Max Verstappen:

Billy Jean – Michael Jackson

Thriller –  Michael Jackson

Valtteri Bottas:

Born in the USA – Bruce Springsteen

Sweet Home Alabama – Lynyrd Skynyrd

Pretty Fly (For a White Guy) – The Offspring

Felipe Massa:

Happy – Pharrell

Uptown Funk – Mark Ronson/Bruno Mars

Hotel California – The Eagles

Esteban Gutierrez:

All These Things That I’ve Done – The Killers

Use Somebody – Kings of Leon

Life is a Highway – Rascal Flatts

Romain Grosjean:

Can’t Stop the Feeling – Justin Timberlake

Uptown Funk – Mark Ronson/Bruno Mars

Billie Jean – Michael Jackson

Sergio Perez:

Vertigo – U2

Viva la Vida – Coldplay

Bailando – Enrique Iglesias

Nico Hülkenberg:

Hotel California – The Eagles

Surfin’ U.S.A. – The Beach Boys

(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction – The Rolling Stones

Daniil Kvyat:

Whisky in the Jar – Metallica

Ace of Spades – Motörhead

Strangers in the Night – Frank Sinatra

Felipe Nasr:

Sharp Dressed Man – ZZ Top

L.A. Woman – The Doors

Even Flow – Pearl Jam

Marcus Ericsson:

Simple Man – Lynyrd Skynyrd

Hotel California – The Eagles

Back In Black – AC/DC

Jolyon Palmer:

Californication – Red Hot Chili Peppers

The Chain – Fleetwood Mac

Kevin Magnussen:

Born in the USA – Bruce Springsteen

Fans are encouraged to share their favorite songs on social media, using the hashtag #COTASoundtrack via:

Twitter: @circuitamericas

Facebook: facebook.com/circuitoftheamericas

Instagram: @cota_official

Also, check out the Spotify Playlist link: 

https://open.spotify.com/user/circuitoftheamericas/playlist/3ywA9TrsoI8TREwSYWGFaH

COTA Blog:

http://www.circuitoftheamericas.com/blog/2016/10/4/the-american-soundtrack-a-formula-1-drivers-playlist

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NEOM McLaren Racing Formula E and Ian James set to race ahead of electric motorsports’ curve

James McLaren Formula E
McLaren Racing
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As Formula E enters their ninth season and McLaren Racing is set to compete in last year’s championship winning car, Ian James is passionate about pushing electric motorsports forward at a critical stage as race technology begins surpassing that of the street cars.

Midseason, McLaren acquired the assets of the Mercedes-EQ team as they were already on their way to winning a second consecutive championship. With those assets in place and coming off a successful debut in the Extreme E series, James is set to usher in a new era in electric car racing.

Last week’s announcement that Jake Hughes will join Rene Rast behind the wheel of the NEOM McLaren Formula E team was the last piece of the puzzle.

McLaren’s electric portfolio is building with the Formula E team coming one year after they entered the Extreme E rally series in 2022 with Tanner Foust and Emma Gilmour. There were a lot of lessons to learn in that series with growing pains during the first three of five rounds. Rounds 4 and 5 were a completely different matter with the team crossing the finish line first in Chile before being assessed a time penalty.

In the final round in Uruguay, they scored an elusive podium.

“McLaren kicked off the season in Extreme E at the beginning of this year, so our first [electric] race took place Neom, actually out in Saudi,” NEOM McLaren Racing Team Principal James told NBC Sports. “At the time, we were in very early discussions about opportunities with the Formula E team. I actually went out there to meet with Zak [Brown, CEO McLaren Racing] and that was my first taste of Extreme E.

“Since the transition, I joined them in Chile in Atacama Desert, and then Uruguay last weekend. [The second-place finish was] a lovely way to round out the season. The fact that they got that podium. It was very well deserved. It’s a great team and a great series actually. It’s just so very different from anything else. The team’s done a great job in getting set up, and it’s nice now to, we’re trying to use that momentum that we’ve got from Uruguay to get us into next season when it kicks off next year, which will be great. I think we’re mid-March is looking like the first race, so a little bit of time to get things prepped for that.”

 

James McLaren Formula E
The NEOM Mclaren Racing Formula E team was created through the acquisition of last year’s championship car from Mercedes-EQ. – McLaren Racing

Synergies exist between the single seater and rally series. Lessons learned about battery power and sustainability in the electric SUV carry over so long as one is mindful of keeping focus on the individual needs and nuances of each series.

Especially now that electric racing technology has caught up, and is ready to surpass, the existing technology that has gone into building street cars.

When internal combustion engines gained the upper hand soon after automobiles were invented, racing paced alongside. The pressure of competition pushed the development of their commercial equivalents. The same has not necessarily been true of electric cars. Street cars were not designed to undergo the same stress as racecars – and that vulnerability showed up on the racetrack.

“Formula E has come along a long way,” James said. “I think one of the most notable developments is in the battery technology. In Gen 1, you had the drivers jumping from one car to another car midrace because the battery technology and capacity simply wasn’t where it needed to be to do the full distance. That obviously changed in Gen 2 and we saw a power increase as well to the 250 kilowatts.

“Now going to Gen 3, we have 350 kilowatts in a smaller battery. But that means that we’re relying on the regeneration of energy and for that reason, we’ve got also the opportunity to regenerate on the front axle as well as the rear axle now. So, there’s all sorts of things that are developing in the right direction.

“In terms of throttle response, actually, we’re now in a situation with electric racing and the motors that it’s instantaneous. And one of the advantages of electric over combustion engine is that the torque is instantaneous as well, so that gives you a lot more room to play with.”

No matter the power source, racing has always been about resource management. Drivers and teams select tire strategies they believe produce the fastest elapsed time and fuel conservation comes into play.

On one hand, electric racing is the same, but there is a critical difference. With the battery as both the power source and an integral part of the engine, there are multiple reasons to manage it.

In electric racing, the brain of the car is the software – and that is where James sees the greatest room for advancement.

“As we are working with our drivers and engineers – and start to look at functionality to improve our efficiency and our performance, that’s something we’ll continue to push because that development is open throughout the season,” James said. “That’s going to be our focus going forward and provides enough of a challenge for us to get our teeth into.

“What’s going to be fascinating is as Formula E continues, is to really look at which areas of development on the car are going to be the most relevant and ensuring that we can focus on those together with the manufacturers so we continue and use the series as a platform for technical development that can then feed back into the road car side of things as well.

“At the end of the day, that’s what motorsports always been, a very powerful tool for, and I see Formula E as no exception.”

James McLaren Formula E
Jake Hughes and Rene Rast were chosen for their ability to drive fast and execute the necessary strategy for energy management. – McLaren Racing

Selecting Rast and Hughes as McLaren’s Formula E drivers was not simply because they know how to drive fast. James believes both drivers have the mental aptitude to execute energy management strategies throughout the race and squeeze maximum performance.

“As with many other motorsports, you’ve got a certain amount of energy that you’re able to deploy during the race and the management of that energy is absolutely crucial,” James said. “What we’re seeing typically in electric motorsports now is the hardware side of things. The efficiencies that we’re seeing in the powertrain as a whole, they’re getting up to the sort of 96%, 97%, 98% efficiency, so the gains that you get through that further and further become more marginal.”

With much more room for improvement, software is a different matter. To make the best decisions, the drivers need data, and that is where James believes McLaren Formula E will make their greatest impact.

“And then you really switch that focus to the software and that’s where you’re going to see the most the most improvement and the most gains,” James continued. “It’s then using that software to ensure that you’re deploying the energy in the most efficient manner during race, and thereby giving the driver the most performance. And that’s something which is incredibly complicated, but I find it a fascinating area to work in.

“The benefit of being involved in racing is you can really push the envelope in a way that you can’t do on road cars. And I think that that’s where that value comes in. It means that you accelerate the development a lot quicker. We will get ahead of the curve – and we are getting ahead of the curve now – and that will mean that the electric motorsports remain part of the overall development process.

“The key to that is also making sure that the racing’s exciting and fun for the fans. If we can, we can tick both of those boxes, then it’s got a very bright future ahead of it.”