Category Archives: Automotive

Here’s Why I Love Formula One

Posted By :

f1 1

I love Formula 1. Everything about this sport is fascinating and I hate it when I hear people telling me “It’s just driving around in circles”. Formula 1 is considered by many to be the greatest sport ever because it simply is. You have the best automotive engineers and teams using state-of-the-art technologies to build the fastest, lightest and most advanced cars for the world’s most talented drivers to drive around the most beautiful and demanding tracks in the world.

Even though I’ve been watching F1 for almost 20 years now, I’ve only been to one Grand Prix at Monza back in 2011 and the whole experience was simply amazing and out of this world, so you can imagine my excitement when I heard Red Bull are organizing an F1 showrun in Beirut!

drift

I am sure Formula 1 fans are as excited as I am about this event, but I want non-F1 fans to realize how awesome this sport is and what they are missing out on. I want them to know how hard it is to make an F1 car, how much time it takes, how demanding it is, the different stages involved from Design and R&D, Composites, Manufacturing and Assembly and other fascinating details.

I’ve teamed up with Red Bull to come up with this post 1) because I love Red Bull, 2) because Red Bull Racing won four successive Constructors’ Championship titles in the past 6 years with my favorite driver Sebastian Vettel and 3) because they are organizing the F1 showrun on Sunday.

f1

So here we go: How to make a Red Bull Racing F1 car?

What does it take to make one of the world’s fastest racing cars? How are they so powerful? How much time does it take to build one? How is the perfect design chosen? How many tests before a car is good to go? How many parts does an F1 car need? And how many machines are needed for the whole process?
Questions, so many questions! Here are the answers.

There are basically four stages in the making of an F1 car:
I- Design and R&D
II- Composites
III- Manufacturing
IV- Assembly

rb

Here are a few insights on what happens at the Red Bull Racing factory. The first two parts were already covered by Red Bull so I will elaborate on the last two which are Manufacturing and Assembly.

III- Manufacturing:
rbcars

Did you know a Formula 1 car typically takes only five months to design and develop? It takes over 300 designers, aerodynamicists and machinists to create one RB model. Yes, three-hundred, THREE-hundred! Every model created has a specific purpose.

The RB car is made from over 6,500 unique parts which include 100,000 components, 70% of which are machined in house. There are 20 programmable machines capable of manufacturing all parts of the car and the engineers running the machine shop have to constantly improve to reduce the manufacturing time while preserving the quality needed and making sure the parts are 100% reliable. Weight is the biggest challenge for any F1 team as they are constantly trying to make the car lighter and lighter. Quoting Christian Horner, the team principal at Red Bull Racing, the parts produced are pieces of art and the work being done is phenomenal.

paint Even the Painting Process is a hassle

The RB car is painted in-house. The painting process is very critical as it’s not about aesthetics. It’s a performance element as the finishing needs to be smooth and building up paint on the car might increase its weight and slow it down or even affect the aerodynamics. An F1 car’s paint job may seem silly but it’s a very technical process that is often overlooked.

IV- Assembly:
ind

Assembling a Formula one car is similar to a 5,000-piece jigsaw puzzle that needs to be completed in a record time with zero margin for error. The first build tends to take about a week and the planning process is even more painful than the assembly itself.

The cars are assembled in the “Race Bays”. Five chassis are prepared, one for each driver, two test cards and one kept in disassembly mode. Every manufactured or purchased component goes through a thorough inspection process and there are several state-of-the-art tools that are used to inspect the car and its different components without touching it. The tiniest mistake, we are talking microns, could cost the team disqualification or drastically affect the car’s performance.

All in all, Formula 1 has the best of everything: The technology, the cars, the tracks, the crashes, the drivers, the glamour, the rivalries. It’s probably the best sport you are not watching!

See you all on Sunday and let’s hope that one day we will have a Beirut F1 GP.

It’s Been 1 Year Since the New Traffic Law Was Implemented

Posted By :

isf2 via ISF

The ISF set up checkpoints yesterday and were distributing fliers to remind the Lebanese about the new traffic law and driving responsibly. They also shared the below video as part of their awareness campaign.

This is all good but the problem is that the new traffic law is not working. In fact, it stopped working since October if not before and the ISF is to blame for many reasons that I’ve stated on several occasions:

– Policemen are still breaking the law and should be punished more severely when they do so as they are role models for others to follow.
– People are using wasta to remove the fines.
– The idea from the new traffic law should be to help people become aware of the traffic law and care about their own safety, not just fine them and send the money elsewhere.
– Lebanese should know that the fines they are paying are going somewhere to improve the infrastructure.
– The law is being applied in specific areas.

In fact, if you look at the pictures above that were tweeted by the ISF, both cars are breaking the law yet the policeman is handing them flyers instead of fining or reprimanding them. Moreover, the violations shown in the video below happen on a daily basis in front of policemen yet barely any action is taken.

We all want the new traffic law to work and our roads to be safer but policemen shall at all times respect and obey the law and set good examples, otherwise things will never work out. This morning, I spotted at least 3 violations by cops and army men on my way to work.

Someone is Suing MTV Over Their Road Safety Campaign

Posted By :

A Lebanese lawyer apparently got offended by MTV’s brilliant road safety campaign and is planning to sue them. Sandrellah Merhej, the lawyer in question, wants to stop the ad because it is disrespectful to religious symbols (mainly Christian Saints in that case). She even stated that a protest was being planned against MTV but they decided to legally sue MTV instead.

Now isn’t that the most ironic thing ever? someone suing MTV for disrespecting Christianity while MTV keeps bragging about standing for Christian rights in Lebanon? What would be even more ironic and funny is for the lawyer in question to fall into a pothole and ruin her tires on her way to the hearing session.

I personally loved the ad and thought it brilliantly tackled road safety in Lebanon.

[YouTube]

sandrellah

#Sawwet16: Uber Offering Free Rides on Elections Day All Across Lebanon

Posted By :

Beirut_Municipal-Elections_blog_960x480_r2

Uber Beirut keeps coming up with the coolest campaigns. Only yesterday I was telling my friends how I ordered #UberJanerik and delivered them to my wife. The driver delivered 2 nicely packed boxes of Janerik with a bag of salt for just 4$ to her office. Today, Uber launched a new campaign aiming to encourage voters in Beirut and across Lebanon to cast their vote.

#Sawwet16: Uber wants you to go vote:
Leb_Elections_English

Municipal elections begin this Sunday in Beirut, Bekaa, Baalbeck and Hermel and for that occasion, Uber is offering free rides to and from the polls to help everyone get out and vote.

How does it work?
– Open or download the Uber app.
– Enter promo code ‘Sawwet16’.
– On Election day, request a ride to and from your polling location.

The offer is only valid for 2 rides during polling hours (7am – 7pm). Maximum value per ride is $15.

Sunday Morning Escape

Posted By :

Bike1

You might have visited every city in the country, but if you have not experienced Lebanon by bike then you have definitely been missing out. Three years ago, my friends got me a bike, they were certain that it was going to end up in the garage with layers of dust covering it. To everyone’s surprise, from that day, I have been biking every single weekend.

Screen-Shot-2016-04-30-at-14.21.26

Sunday for me, has drastically changed from a lazy day (±200 calories) to the most active day of the week (+2000 calories). On an average, we cover around 60-70 Km per ride, taking anywhere between 3-5 hours, depending on the number of stops we do. Our rides are not competitive, we are not in it to win a championship, but rather escape, be active, enjoy the outdoors and Live Love Lebanon.

When is the best time to go biking?
Bike0

My journey starts every Sunday at 6am. I wake up, grab a light breakfast (usually a small sandwich), pack my bike and gear and head out for my ritual ride. The ride usually starts at 8am and ends by 1pm, just in time for Sunday lunch. Before you start, find yourself a biking partner, it’s always more fun and a lot safer when you have someone with you. Every week we set out to discover a new location in the country.

What’s beautiful about bike rides, is that you get to see the places you usually miss out on by car. You can go into the narrow streets, stop and admire anything you find interesting along the way, enjoy the scenery, discover new places and take lots of amazing pictures.

What type of biker are you?

There are plenty of locations to enjoy different types of rides. City rides, sea side rides, mountain rides, uphill rides, and my personal favorites are the offroad rides.

Beginner:
bike4

If you are a beginner, haven’t been on a bike for a long time or panic around cars, I would advise you to stick to relatively closed circuits, where cars aren’t swarming around you, like the Dbayeh Marina, Raouche, Beirut Waterfront or Amchit seaside boulevards.

Average:
Bike2

If you are an ok biker like most people, then you can venture a bit and hit the streets, the best place to ride is the on the old sea side road Jbeil – Amchit – Batroun – Anfeh. It’s relatively a straight path with few slopes, not many cars use that road on a Sunday morning, the scenery is breathtaking, and there are many places where you can stop and relax along the way. You can stop at the beach and have a swim, fuel up with a lemonade in the old Batroun souks or even get a glass of beer and chill at Colonel Beer.

Advanced:
Screen-Shot-2016-04-30-at-14.25.04

If you are an advanced biker, you can burn few more more calories by riding uphill in the Metn area, starting in Baabdat and moving up to Ain El Sefsaf or even shoot for longer rides in the Bekaa valey from Taanayel to Qaraoun.

Thrill Seeker:

Thrill seekers can go into remote rocky areas in Wata El Joz, Keserwan and enjoy an offroad experience. Of course you need a mountain bike and some extra protection gear to endure the ride.

How much does it cost?
Biking_20140202_0017-2

If you don’t have a bike, you can always purchase one, you don’t need an expensive bike. You can get a mountain bike that works both for city rides and offroad for $500-700. If you don’t want to invest in a bike just yet, there are plenty of bike rentals in Beirut, Gemmayze, Jbeil, Amchit and Batroun. You can rent a bike for as low as 7,000 L.L.

All in All:
Screen-Shot-2016-04-30-at-14.20.46

In Lebanon, we have the perfect landscape and weather for outdoor activities. Unfortunately, our roads are in terrible conditions, there are no bike lanes and car drivers have no respect for bikers on the streets. This is the main reason why I bike very early on Sundays, to minimize as much as possible the risks of getting hit by a car and avoid heavy traffic.

With the upcoming municipal elections, electoral programs should focus more on making the cities open and fit for healthier outdoor life, encourage people to go out, be active and use less and less their cars. Of course we can always dream of having a bicycle highway, like the one Germany just opened. It’s a 62 miles bicycle road that connects 10 western cities including Duisburg, Bochum, and Hamm, as well as four universities.

GoPro Camera Records Amchit Motorcycle Crash

Posted By :

crash2

A motorist caught on his GoPro a bike running into someone crossing the Amchit highway. Luckily no one was hurt in the accident and the biker explained in a comment that he wasn’t driving at a very high speed and was surprised by the person crossing the road.

To be honest, they did look like they were going a bit fast but the blame is on the guy crossing the road and the authorities for not installing pedestrian bridges on the way. Nevertheless, even if there are no pedestrian crossings on the highway, you have to be crazy to cross that highway.

Beirut Meets F1 on May 22!

Posted By :

redbull f1

Earlier yesterday, LiveLoveBeirut shared a picture of a Red Bull F1 car spotted spinning in Beirut. The picture was actually taken from a Red Bull Showrun in Lima, Peru and it was just a teaser for the live F1 Showrun that is taking place in Beirut on Sunday May 22nd.

You heard me right! Beirut’s F1 Showrun is happening soon and it’s gonna be awesome! I’m a huge F1 fan so this is very exciting news for myself and all F1 and motorsports fanatics in Lebanon. F1 driver Carlos Sainz Jr, son of rally legend Carlos Sainz, will take Red Bull Racing’s RB12 F1 car on a “tour”, starting from the Wafiq Senno Street, through the Meer Majid Arslan Street, all the way to Ahmed Daouk Street.

If I’m not mistaken, this road was actually part of the Beirut F1 Grand Prix that was suggested back in 1999 (I’m still trying to get my hands on the Beirut F1 track design). Back then, we lost the bid mainly due to political reasons but I’m still hopeful that we will get a city track one day in Beirut.

F1 Beirut

Everyone will be invited to see the F1 car doing speed stretches, burnouts, donuts, and of course hear the awesome engine sounds (even though the old F1 engine sounds were much better) along the one-kilometer track.

Check out the [promotion] and stay tuned for further info.

The CityMall Parking Rage Video Is Fake

Posted By :

rage

For those asking me about what happened at CityMall yesterday, the parking rage video that Yasa shared is fake and did not even take place in Lebanon (probably in Brazil). The parking lot doesn’t look like CityMall, the car plates don’t look Lebanese and the video is at least 2 years old.

Yasa should remove that video or at least clarify that it’s not in Lebanon. On another note, why is the guy filming the whole thing holding his camera the wrong way? Unacceptable 😛

City Mall Parking Space Ragewww.yasa.org

Posted by YASA For Road Safety on Wednesday, March 23, 2016


[YouTube]

Video: Porsche Crashes Into a Wall on Ramlet el Baida Road

Posted By :

porsche via Lebanonfiles

The driver is lucky to be alive after this horrible crash. The cars were apparently shooting an ad for Beirut Grand Prix and they got a special permit from the authorities. (Thanks @Ghazayel!)

crash2

سباق لسيارات بورش على طريق الرملة البيضاء ينتهي بحادث مروع و نجاة السائق باعجوبة

Posted by ‎الشعب اللبناني‎ on Monday, March 21, 2016

Traffic Highway LED Display Board Installed in Dbayeh

Posted By :

traffic led

I spotted a highway led display board installed at the exit of Nahr el Kalb tunnel towards Beirut. The board said “Lebanese Traffic Management at your service”. There’s another LED board being installed on the Dora highway at the Forum de Beyrouth.

There’s always traffic at this point so I’m not sure they will be of any help. If anything they should get a bigger screen and show a couple of Friends or Seinfeld episodes every morning to entertain us while stuck in traffic lol!

Nevertheless, it’s still a good idea. Let’s just hope they are properly powered and installed.

PS: Nahr el Kalb – Dbayyeh road desperately needs a pedestrian bridge.