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Electronic Arts officially confirms Codemasters acquisition
by Pulasthi Ariyasinghe
Codemasters, the British video games company known for its wide range of racing titles, is now a part of Electronic Arts. The acquisition has been in the works for some time now, and today, EA officially confirmed the move on a blog post that welcomed the racing giant into the fold.
The acquisition has been an interesting journey to keep an eye on. Take-Two Interactive was originally in talks to purchase Codemasters with a deal that involved almost a billion dollars. However, EA threw a wrench into the takeover talks by making a "knockout bid" worth $1.2 billion, which Codemasters went on to accept in December.
"This is the beginning of an exciting new era for racing games and content as we bring together the talented teams at Electronic Arts and Codemasters," said Electronic Arts CEO Andrew Wilson in a statement. "Racing fandom continues to grow worldwide, and the franchises in our combined portfolio will enable us to create innovative new experiences and bring more players into the excitement of cars and motorsport. Our teams will be a global powerhouse in racing entertainment, with amazing games for players on every platform, and we can’t wait to get started."
EA's racing portfolio already includes popular franchises like Need for Speed and Burnout. Now with Codemasters on its side, that list is increasing to include Dirt, GRID, Formula 1, and Project CARS, among other series that expand the publisher's scope beyond just arcade racers while also enabling it to have multiple racing game launches a year.
By Ather Fawaz
AWS and Formula 1 announce six new racing performance stats
by Ather Fawaz
Image via Formula 1 With less than two weeks to go for the resumption of the 2020 season, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Formula 1 have announced six new performance statistics that will help fans analyze the flood of real-time data during races. This will help them gauge the performance of the cars on track and predict race outcomes. These statistics will use a variety of AWS offerings, including Amazon Kinesis, AWS Lambda, and Amazon SageMaker.
To start off, on July 3-5, at the RedBull Ring in Austria, the debutant 'Car Performance Scores' will display an individual car’s performance using four metrics: Low-Speed Cornering, High-Speed Cornering, Straight Line, and Car Handling. These are vital indicators of a car's race performance and will allow fans to compare different F1 cars on the track.
The Car Performance Score stats are in addition to the five other metrics that will debut this season. Complete details on those are as follows:
Vis-à-vis the initiative, Rob Smedley, the Chief Engineer of Formula 1, stated that “We’re excited to be expanding this successful relationship to bring even more insights to life, allowing fans to go deeper into the many ways that drivers and racing teams work together to affect success.” While Mike Clayville, Vice President of Worldwide Commercial Sales at AWS remarked that “This year, we’re thrilled to extend the power of F1 data in the cloud and unlock new insights that help fans understand more of F1’s rich complexity.”
By Timi Cantisano
Pocophone breaks down its global release for its $300 powerhouse smartphone
by Timi Cantisano
Since last week, there has been a lot of talk about the Pocophone F1. The handset comes from a new brand, which is an offshoot of juggernaut Xiaomi, and offers top-tier specifications, at a very low price. While the device will be made available in India for a starting price of $300 on August 29, the company today revealed the other regions where the phone will be available.
Although a global release was previously mentioned, the firm didn't reveal details of where it could be purchased. As you can see from the picture at the top of the article, the release of the phone will be made available to many areas. If you live in the United States or Canada and were hoping for a release, you'll be disappointed, as the Pocophone F1 at this time will not be made available to those two regions.
While the handset might not be the most elegant looking, the Pocophone F1 does have quite a set of specifications, making use of Qualcomm's Snapdragon 845 processor which will be paired with either 6GB or 8GB RAM. The phone has a large 6.18-inch 1080p IPS LCD display and dual camera sensors on the rear, comprised of one 12MP and a 5MP sensor, while the front-facing camera is a 20MP unit. The smartphone will have a USB Type-C port for charging and data and will be powered by a 4,000mAh battery.
Despite it being available in more regions, the price of the device will not be the same as in India, where it starts at around $300 USD. If interested, you can check your local retailer to confirm availability and pricing.
Update: Xiaomi reached out to provide an updated image of the slide which has now been added.
Source: Tech Updates (Twitter) via GSMArena
The 2018 FIA Formula One World Championship is a planned motor racing championship for Formula One cars which would be recognised by the governing body of international motorsport, the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA), as the highest class of competition for open-wheel racing cars. Starting in March and ending in November, the championship is due to be contested over twenty-one Grands Prix held in different countries throughout the world. Drivers and teams are scheduled to compete for the titles of World Drivers' Champion and World Constructors' Champion respectively.
Lewis Hamilton is scheduled to defend his World Drivers' Championship, after winning his fourth at the 2017 Mexican Grand Prix. His team, Mercedes, are scheduled to defend their fourth consecutive Constructors' Championship after securing their win at the 2017 United States Grand Prix.
An addition to the sport's technical regulations means that a new cockpit protection device referred to as the "halo", will be introduced for the 2018 championship.
Signed Teams and Drivers
2018 Car Launches
February 15th: Williams
February 19th: Red Bull
February 20th: Sauber
February 22nd: Ferrari, Mercedes
February 23rd: McLaren
February 25th: Force India
February 26th: Toro Rosso
2018 Winter Test Schedule
February 26th - March 1st: Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona
March 6th - March 9th: Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona
McLaren terminated their engine partnership with Honda and instead signed a three-year deal for power units supplied by Renault. The team cited Honda's repeated failure to supply a reliable and competitive power unit as being behind the decision to end the partnership. Toro Rosso parted ways with Renault–allowing McLaren to finalise their agreement with Renault–and came to an agreement to use Honda power units in 2018.As part of the deal, Red Bull Racing agreed to loan Toro Rosso driver Carlos Sainz Jr. to Renault's works team. Sauber renewed their partnership with Ferrari, upgrading to current-specification power units after having used older-model power units in 2017.
Toro Rosso signed 2016 GP2 Series champion Pierre Gasly and two-time World Endurance Champion Brendon Hartley as their full-time drivers for 2018. Both Gasly and Hartley made their Formula One débuts with the team in the latter stages of the 2017 championship. Daniil Kvyat left the team and the Red Bull driver programme, securing a development role with Ferrari. Charles Leclerc, the reigning Formula 2 champion, is scheduled to make his competitive début in 2018 with Sauber. Leclerc, who had previously driven in Friday practice sessions in 2016 and 2017, was hired by the team to replace Pascal Wehrlein. Wehrlein was ultimately unable to secure a seat but was nevertheless retained by Mercedes' driver development programme. Williams driver Felipe Massa retired from Formula One at the end of the 2017 championship. He was replaced by former Renault test driver, GP2 Series regular and SMP Racing driver Sergey Sirotkin, who will make his competitive début with the team.
The French Grand Prix is scheduled to return to the calendar for the first time since 2008. The race is due to return to the Circuit Paul Ricard, which last hosted the French Grand Prix in 1990 before the event moved to the Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours. The race is scheduled to be run in June, with the Azerbaijan Grand Prix brought forward to April to accommodate the change. The German Grand Prix is set to return to the championship as well after a one-year absence, with the Hockenheimring scheduled to host the race. The Malaysian Grand Prix–which was part of the championship from 1999 to 2017–was discontinued. The Russian Grand Prix was moved from April to September in order to replace the race.
Following widespread criticism of the grid penalty system in 2017, the FIA introduced a revised set of regulations for 2018. In the event that a driver changes a power unit component, they will still be subject to a five- or ten-place grid penalty depending on the component being changed; however, should they then replace a second component, they will be moved to the back of the starting grid. If multiple drivers are moved to the back of the grid, their starting positions will be determined by the order that components were changed based on the most recent change made by each driver. The rules governing starting procedures will be changed for 2018, granting race stewards the power to issue penalties for improper race starts even if a driver's start does not trigger the automated detection system. The changes were introduced following two incidents during 2017; at the Chinese Grand Prix, Sebastian Vettel positioned his car too far across his grid slot to be registered by the detection system; while at the Austrian Grand Prix, Valtteri Bottas's start was called into question for his reaction time despite the detection system recognising it as legal. The FIA introduced tighter restrictions on racing licences issued to drivers taking part in free practice sessions. Candidate drivers will be required to complete a minimum number of Formula 2 races or earn twenty-five superlicense points over a three-year period. The changes were introduced to address concerns about drivers who would not be able to meet the standards required to compete in Formula One having access to Formula One cars. Finally, the number of pre-season test days was reduced to seven, while the mid-season test held in Bahrain in 2017 will be moved to Barcelona.
The quantity of power unit components a driver may use during the season was reduced from four complete power units during the entire season in 2017 to a new system where each of the power unit components is considered separately. Therefore, in 2018, each driver will be permitted to use up to three each of internal combustion engines (ICE), heat motor generator units (MGU-H), and turbochargers (TC); and two each of the kinetic motor generator units (MGU-K), energy stores (ES), and control electronics (CE). Further restrictions against the practice of oil burning, where engine oils are burned as fuel to boost performance, were also introduced. The practice, which was first used in 2017 saw teams burning as much as 1.2 litres per one hundred kilometres. For the 2018 championship, this figure was revised down to a maximum of 0.6 litres per one hundred kilometres. The FIA banned the use of "shark fins", a carbon fibre extension to the engine cowling aimed at directing airflow over the rear wing. The use of "T-wings", a horizontal secondary wing mounted forward of and above the rear wing, was also banned.
The "halo" cockpit protection device – seen here on a Ferrari SF16-H during its testing phase in 2016 – was introduced for the 2018 championship. Following a series of serious incidents in open-wheel racing – including the fatal accidents of Henry Surtees and Justin Wilson – in which drivers were struck in the head by debris, the FIA announced plans to introduce additional mandatory cockpit protection with 2018 given as the first year for its introduction. Several solutions were tested, with the final design subject to feedback from teams and drivers. Each design was created to deflect debris away from a driver's head without compromising their visibility or the ability of safety marshals to access the cockpit and extract a driver and their seat in the event of a serious accident or medical emergency, with a series of serious accidents – such as the fatal accidents of Jules Bianchi and Dan Wheldon – recreated to simulate the ability of devices to withstand a serious impact. The FIA ultimately settled on the "halo", a wishbone-shaped frame mounted above and around the driver's head and anchored to the monocoque forward of the cockpit. Once introduced, the halo concept is scheduled to be applied to other open-wheel racing categories including Formula 2 and Formula 3. Following criticisms over the aesthetic value of the device, the FIA revealed plans to allow teams some design freedom in the final version of the halo, with the device being incorporated into the chassis design from its inception rather than attached once the design was completed. The mandatory crash tests that each chassis must pass were adjusted to include a new static load test. In order to simulate a serious accident, a tyre was mounted to a hydraulic ram and fired at the crash structure; to pass the test, the chassis and the mounting points for the halo had to remain intact. In order to prevent teams from exploiting the halo for aerodynamic gain and potentially compromising its purpose, the FIA banned teams from developing their own devices and instead required them to purchase pre-fabricated models from approved suppliers. Drivers will be required to wear gloves containing biometric sensors which record their vital signs in order to better assist marshals and recovery crews in assessing their condition in the event of an accident.
Tyre supplier Pirelli will provide teams with two new tyre compounds in 2018. Each of the 2017 compounds is scheduled to be made softer, with a new "hypersoft" tyre becoming the softest of the nine and a new "superhard" tyre to be the hardest. The hypersoft compound will be marked by a pink sidewall, while the superhard will be orange. The hard compound, which previously used orange markings, will now be changed to pale blue. The rules dictating which tyres are available were relaxed to allow Pirelli to supply a wider range of compounds. Previously, Pirelli had to provide sequential compounds; for example, ultrasoft, supersoft and soft. In 2018, Pirelli is able to supply compounds with two steps of difference between them, e.g., the ultrasoft, supersoft and medium tyres. Pirelli will also be required to manufacture an additional tyre compound that is not intended for competition. This tyre will be supplied to teams for use in demonstration events to prevent teams from using demonstration events as informal – and illegal – testing.
Formula 1 World Championship 2017 Season Discussion
The 2017 Formula One season is scheduled to be the 68th season of the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) Formula One World Championship, a motor racing championship for Formula One cars which is recognised by the sport's governing body, the FIA, as the highest class of competition for open-wheel racing cars. Teams and drivers are scheduled to compete in twenty Grands Prix—starting in Australia on 26 March and ending in Abu Dhabi on 26 November—for the World Drivers' and World Constructors' championships.
As the reigning Drivers' Champion Nico Rosberg announced his retirement from the sport in December 2016, the 2017 season is set to be the first since 1994 in which the reigning champion did not compete. Mercedes is set to start the season as the defending Constructors' Champion, having secured their third consecutive title at the 2016 Japanese Grand Prix.
Signed Teams and Drivers
2017 car launches
February 20: Sauber C36, Online
February 21: Renault RS17, London
February 22: Force India VJM10, Silverstone
February 23: Mercedes W08, Silverstone
February 24: Ferrari, Fiorano
February 24: McLaren MCL32, Woking
February 26: Red Bull RB13, Online
February 26: Toro Rosso STR12, Barcelona
2017 Winter Test Schedule
February 27-March 2: Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona
March 7-10: Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona
The parent company of MRT went into administration in January 2017. Sauber signed a deal to use one year-old Ferrari power units in 2017, mirroring the arrangement between Ferrari and Scuderia Toro Rosso in 2016. Toro Rosso agreed to return to using Renault power units in 2017, having used 2015-specification Ferrari power units in 2016. The team had previously used Renault power units in 2014 and 2015 before the relationship between Renault and sister team Red Bull Racing broke down, prompting Toro Rosso to seek out an alternative supplier.
Kevin Magnussen turned down an offer to stay with Renault and instead signed a deal with Haas to drive alongside Romain Grosjean. As a result of the agreement with Magnussen and the team's decision to take up an option on Grosjean, Esteban Gutiérrez's contract with the team was not renewed. Gutiérrez later moved to the Formula E championship. Williams driver Felipe Massa retired from Formula One at the end of the 2016 season after fourteen years in the sport. Massa's seat is due to be taken by 2016 European Formula 3 Championship winner Lance Stroll. Esteban Ocon reached an agreement to move from MRT to Force India and is scheduled to fill the seat left vacant by Nico Hülkenberg's departure to Renault. Reigning champion and Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg retired from the sport at the end of the 2016 season. 2015 GP2 Series champion Stoffel Vandoorne signed a contract with McLaren as a full-time driver. Vandoorne has previously competed in one race for the team, the 2016 Bahrain Grand Prix, in which he substituted for the injured Fernando Alonso while serving as the team's reserve driver. He is scheduled to replace Jenson Button, who is taking a sabbatical from racing in 2017 while staying on with the team as a reserve driver.
The Chinese and Bahrain Grands Prix swapped places in the schedule for the 2017 season. The Baku event was renamed, becoming the first Azerbaijan Grand Prix. The previous race at the Baku Street Circuit ran under the European Grand Prix title in 2016. The date of the Baku race was changed to avoid conflicting with the 24 Hours of Le Mans, which had been a source of controversy at the 2016 European Grand Prix. The German Grand Prix was removed from the calendar after the owners of the Hockenheimring and Nürburgring circuits were unable to agree to commercial terms with Formula One Management. The Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari—more commonly known as the Imola circuit—signed an agreement with Bernie Ecclestone to host a Grand Prix from 2017; however, the agreement had to be ratified by the Italian motorsport federation in order for the event to take place, and it was omitted from the calendar. The Imola circuit previously hosted the Italian Grand Prix in 1980 and the San Marino Grand Prix from 1981 to 2006.
In September 2016, Liberty Media purchased a minority stake in the sport from CVC Capital Partners ahead of a hoped-for full buyout in time for the 2017 season. As part of the deal, the sport adopted a model similar to that used by the US National Football League and Major League Baseball, with teams entitled to purchase a stake in the sport.
The technical regulations governing bodywork design were revised for 2017, with the objective of improving lap times by four to five seconds over the 2016 generation of cars. These changes include: An increase of the width of the front wing to 1,800 mm (70.9 in). Lowering the rear wing by 150 mm (5.9 in) and moving its position back by 200 mm (7.9 in). The leading edge of the barge boards being brought forward to allow teams more freedom in controlling airflow. An increase of the width of the front and rear tyres to allow cars to generate more mechanical grip. The minimum weight of the car including the driver being raised by 20 kg to 722 kg, with teams allowed to use 105 kg of fuel to account for the increase in minimum weight. The token system used to regulate power unit development—where the power unit was divided into individual areas, and each area assigned a points value with development of these areas deducting points from a manufacturer's overall points quota—will be abandoned. Restrictions are to be placed on the dimensions, weight and the materials used to build each individual component of the power unit. Teams are restricted to four power units per season regardless of the number of Grands Prix in the season. Previous seasons had included a provision for a fifth power unit if the number of Grands Prix in a season exceeded twenty; from 2017, this provision is to be abandoned. The cost of a power unit supply is reduced by €1 million in 2017 ahead of a further reduction in 2018. Cameras will no longer be permitted to be mounted on stalks, located on the nose of the car.
Under rules introduced in 2015, grid penalties for exceeding a driver's quota of power unit components carried over from one race to the next if the penalty could not be fully served when issued. When this carry-over system was abandoned, teams could build up a reserve of spare components by introducing several at once while only serving a single grid penalty. From 2017, teams will only be able to use one new component over their quota per race, with any additional components incurring further penalties. This change prevents teams from "stockpiling" spare power unit components. Power unit suppliers will have an "obligation to supply", mandating that they supply power units to any team, should a team end up without an agreement. The rule was introduced following the breakdown in the relationship between Renault and their customer teams Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso at the end of the 2015 season that left both teams in limbo until deals could be arranged. In the event that a race is declared wet and must start behind the safety car, the grid will follow normal starting procedures once conditions are declared satisfactory for racing. Drivers will line up on the grid for a standing start once the safety car pulls into pit lane, although any laps completed behind the safety car will count towards the total race distance.
Topic under construction...
You can find last season's discussion here