Formula One News: Ferrari & Mercedes 2008 cars, Hamilton resigns with McLaren

It has been a busy week in Formula One news. The teams are beginning to show off their cars for the 2008 season, and just about all the drivers have been signed. To help celebrate Lewis Hamilton's 23rd birthday and contract signing with McLaren. Mercedes Benz has given Hamilton his 2008 ride. Behold the MP4-23. The Mercedes - McLaren racer will continue to carry Vodafone as their sponsor for 2008, along with that uber cool paint job.

Mercedes unveiled the MP4-23 at the new Mercedes Benz museum in Stuttgart Germany to over 1000 invited guests. Seven hundred of which were from the nearby Stuttgart-Untert├╝rkheim manufacturing facility.

"The Vodafone McLaren Mercedes MP4-23 is the coolest birthday present you can get, well it is for me anyway! To see the car for the first time at such a great place as the Mercedes-Benz museum makes it an even more memorable day." Said Hamilton about his new toy.

The MP4-23 is now on it's way from Germany to the Circuito de Jerez in Southern Spain , where Hamilton and his new teammate, Heikki Kovalainen, will be giving the car proper testing. 14,000 man hours went into the engineering of the MP4-23 so far. With another 3,000 hours of wind tunnel testing. Development began in 2006, and development for the 2009 season car is already underway.

MP4-23 TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION

ENGINE
Type: Mercedes-Benz FO 108V
Capacity: 2.4 litre
No. of cylinders: 8
Max. rpm: 19,000 (FIA regulatory limit since 2007)
Bank angle: 90O
Piston bore maximum: 98 mm (FIA regulation)
Bore spacing: 106.5 mm
Number of valves: 32
Fuel: Mobil 1 Unleaded (5.75% bio fuel)
Lubricants: Mobil 1, newly developed 2008 formula for lower friction and better wear resistance
Engine: 95kg (minimum FIA regulation weight) TRANSMISSION
Gearbox
Speeds: Seven forward and one reverse
Semi-auto: Yes
Driveshafts: McLaren
Clutch: Hand-operated

Chassis: McLaren moulded carbon fibre/aluminium honeycomb composite incorporating front and side impact structures. Contains integral safety fuel cell
Front Suspension: Inboard torsion bar/damper system operated by pushrod and bell crank with a double wishbone arrangement
Rear Suspension: Inboard torsion bar/damper system operated by pushrod and bell crank with a double wishbone arrangement
Suspension Dampers: Koni
Electronics: McLaren Electronic Systems control units incorporating electronics for chassis, engine and data acquisition. McLaren Electronic Systems also supplies the electronic dash board, alternator voltage control, sensors, data analysis and telemetry systems
Bodywork Construction: One-piece engine cover; separate sidepod covers; separate floor section, structural nose with integral front wing.
Tyres: Bridgestone Potenza
Radios: Kenwood
Race Wheels: Enkei
Batteries: GS Yuasa Corporation
Steering: McLaren power-assisted
Instruments: McLaren Electronic Systems

Ferrari F2008:
Ferrari has also launched their F2008 Formula One car. Ferrari's contender this year has been designed with all of the changes to the 2008 Formula One season. This includes the standard electronic control unit from McLaren, upgraded gearbox and safety changes to better protect the drivers head on the sides. The body for the F2008 has also be redesigned to allow for maximum safety, with updated aerodynamics.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS
Chassis
Carbon-fibre and honeycombcomposite structure
Ferrari longitudinal gearboxLimited-slip differential
Semiautomatic sequentialelectronically controlled gearbox quick-shift
Number of gears: 7 + Reverse
Ventiled carbon-fibredisc brakes

Independent suspension, push-rod activated torsion springs front and rear
Weight (with water, lubricant and driver): 605 kg
BBS Wheels (front and rear): 13''
Engine
Type: 056
Number of cylinders: 8
Cylinder block in castaluminium: V 90°
Number of valves: 32
Pneumatic distribution
Total displacement: 2398 cm3
Piston bore: 98 mm
Weight: <95>


Lewis Hamilton:

All of this brings us back to Lewis Hamilton. He has renewed his contract with Mercedes-McLaren for a reported $138 million dollars. This is for a 5 year contract, earning the 23 year old Driver's Champion $27 million per year.
Things are shaping up for an exciting season in Formula One this year. Sadly of course there will be no U.S. venues this year. But we will still follow each race and report all the news this season.
Source: Ferrari, Mercedes Benz, Motor Authority.

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