FORMULA 1

KIMI ON POLE FOR MONACO!

LCH realized his chances in Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix were all but gone as he limped out of qualifying in 13th.

The three-time world champion had been struggling with the set-up of his Mercedes throughout practice but could hardly have expected this abject performance, especially as team-mate Valtteri Bottas finished just 45 thousandths behind pole-sitter Kimi Raikkonen.

LCH had already come within inches of crashing his oddly unresponsive car, almost hitting the barriers at Massanet, repeatedly shouting “there’s something wrong” over team radio. Any hopes of reaching the third phase of qualifying were sunk when McLaren’s Stoffel Vandoorne crashed, bringing out yellow flags that forced him to abort his final flying lap.

In a race where grid position is all-important, Hamilton faces an almost impossible task in chasing his third victory in Monte Carlo from the seventh row. He faces falling further behind Sebastian Vettel, who leads the championship race by six points, after the German qualified second fastest to secure a Ferrari front-row lock-out.

BRITISH F3

F1Weekly on the wings of British F3! Round 3 takes place this weekend at Snetterton. Our flying thanks to Championship leader and our amigo, Enaam Ahmed.

Enaam started the season in grand style winning the opening four races. Competition is fierce in this hotly contested series and many past champions saw mega success in Formula 1. Jackie Stewart, Emerson Fittipaldi and Ayrton Senna to name a few.

Enaam Ahmed and Adidas recently became partners on the road to success.

FORMULA 2

LECLERC TOPS HOME FREE PRACTICE

Monegasque leads the way in the Principality…
Charles Leclerc belied his lack of experience racing around his home circuit in Monaco by claiming the top spot in this afternoon’s free practice session, biding his time as he came to terms with the fabled circuit before grabbing P1 late in the session by a tenth from Sergio Canamasas and Oliver Rowland.
The Monegasque driver has lived just off the circuit for his entire life but has never sat in a racing car on it, until today: he spent the session slowing easing up to speed before putting in a lap of 1:19.722 ten minutes before the close, setting a target that his rivals were unable to overturn.
The session got underway with overcast but warm conditions, with no one wasting any time to get on circuit: Jordan King was the first driver on track, with all of his rivals following him out within the first minute. Rowland was the first to set a competitive time, at the ten minute mark, with Canamasas, Alexander Albon, Gustav Malja and Norman Nato alternating on top of the timesheets before Leclerc annexed it for himself.
With so little time before qualifying the entire field was anxious not to put a wheel wrong at the famously tight and twisty circuit: apart from a small collision between Nabil Jeffri and Sergio Sette Camara, and a moment where Artem Markelov lost a piece of his car, there was little to concern the race marshals.
A late VSC test delayed the field briefly before the track went green again, with Rowland moving back up into the top 3 in the last minute of the session, ahead of Nato, Albon, Luca Ghiotto, Nyck De Vries, Markelov, Nicholas Latifi and Johnny Cecotto, most of whom lost quicker laps to traffic.
This afternoon’s session will be split into 2 parts to avoid that traffic, with the odd numbered cars running first and the even numbered cars in the second session: pole will go to the fastest driver overall, with the fastest in the other session given P2 and the rest of the field lining up directly behind them in session order. With traffic out of the way, the laptimes will tumble as the fight for pole intensifies.

FORMULA 1

WILLIAMS MARTINI RACING GRAND PRIX DE MONACO PREVIEW

The jewel in Formula One’s crown. Winning the Monaco Grand Prix earns a driver respect like no other. At little over two miles, the shortest lap on the calendar is also one of the most challenging. To drive on the absolute limit for two hours, persisting with lines not more than inches from the barriers without conceding a single mistake, is a task former Williams driver Nelson Piquet once compared to trying to race a bicycle around your living room. It’s not by chance that some of the sport’s greatest names, such as Graham Hill, Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher were masters of the principality.
For Monaco, Pirelli has made available the ultrasoft, supersoft and soft tyres.
Paddy Lowe: Monaco is the most incredible circuit and one of the highlights of the Formula One calendar. As a race track it is technically very demanding. It is twisty in places and yet surprisingly quick in others, so the car needs to have excellent mechanical qualities whilst also requiring strong aerodynamic performance.
The barriers run very close at every point around the track, so there is no room for error and no time for the drivers to rest. There is no such thing as a straight in Monaco! Just a short curve to St. Devote (Turn One) and a long curve through the tunnel. With modern F1 cars, which require a high degree of interaction for configuration of electronic settings on top of the busy workload of this circuit, it presents a real test to the driver. This is particularly challenging in racing conditions when you overlay the demands of strategy and potentially changeable weather conditions.
To win the Monaco Grand Prix is therefore a feat of incredible skill and competence, and is rarely achieved without a lot of experience. So, we go to Monaco with Felipe and Lance who are at opposite ends of that experience level. Lance at the age of only 18 faces the unique challenge of taking an F1 car to the streets of Monte Carlo for the first time and Felipe for the fifteenth time. We look forward to an exciting weekend and the best possible results for the team.
Felipe Massa: It will be the first time we go to Monaco with wider cars. So we will need to adapt to the new size for the extremely tight track. It will be challenging, for sure, but it always is in Monaco. It’s going to be an interesting race. It’s a race where anything can happen. Qualifying can be more important than the race, as the position where you start often decides where you will finish, so it’s important to have a good Saturday. Monaco is also like my second home Grand Prix, so I’m really looking forward to it!
Lance Stroll: It goes without saying that I am looking forward to my first Monaco race. It is going to be a special weekend on and off track, as I have some friends coming to see me race there. I have seen the race a couple of times and know the track from video games. I always go on the simulator a few days before leaving for the race so it is fresh in my mind, and then a track walk with my engineers is where I can pick up on the little things. Without doubt it’s going to be tricky. However, this is always the case with street circuits, especially for your first race, but I am going to enjoy the challenge. With the barriers so close there is less room for error, so it is important to build up to quick laps and then really push when it matters.

FORMULA RENAULT

ALEX PERONI TAKES HIS FIRST VICTORY IN THE FORMULA RENAULT EUROCUP

Alex Peroni (Fortec Motorsports) brought R-ace GP’s 2017 invincibility to an end. After obtaining his first pole position this morning, the Australian scored his maiden victory in the Formula Renault Eurocup on the streets of Pau ahead of Sacha Fenestraz (Josef Kaufmann Racing) and Robert Shwartzman (R-ace GP), who now leads in the general classification. Renault Sport Academy driver Max Fewtrell (Tech 1 Racing) took his fourth success in the rookie category this season.

Alex Peroni (Fortec Motorsports): “It is a very physical circuit and Sacha pushed me to the limit. I chose the centre of the track for the start, but I locked up the wheels at turn one. Sacha got alongside me and it was a drag race for the lead before the yellow line ahead of Pont Oscar. It was tight, but I managed to keep the lead. I then had to maintain the pace to win the race. It is a special feeling. We know now that we can win. This will give us additional confidence heading to Monaco next week.”

Sacha Fenestraz (Josef Kaufmann Racing): “Finally back on the podium! I didn’t get a very good start. I had a lot of wheel spin, but Alex locked up his wheels and went a little wide at turn one. I dove to the inside to get alongside. We were so close to each other that I went on the sidewalk, but I didn’t find an opening before the yellow line. It was still a good race. Thanks to the traffic, I could close the gap and apply pressure, but there were no overtaking possibilities. Last year, I had a great race in Monaco. We have to keep working to get the first win of the season and catch up to the leaders!”
Robert Shwartzman (R-ace GP):

I got a good start to protect third place from Will Palmer. I was sliding a lot early in the race and the two leaders pulled away from me. Overall, the race was somewhat monotone and straightforward, but this podium brings a lot of points for the championship. I am thrilled to now be leading the general classification before heading to Monaco. The goal will be the same as it was at Pau; get the best result possible in qualifying before getting a good start. I am full of confidence and hope to be able to battle for the win.”

Max Fewtrell (Tech 1 Racing): “At the start, I was able to pull even with Will Palmer and stayed there for the first two corners. After that, I was positioned behind him at Pont Oscar and stayed there for the rest of the race. Max Defourny was pressuring me, but I wasn’t too worried, because it is so hard to pass at Pau. This weekend, I think the pace was good considering my amount of experience, but we must continue to make progress to get out first podium at Monaco. I’m really looking forward to it!”

FORMULA E

RENAULT E.DAMS WIN THE PARIS E PRIX

Renault e.dams win the Paris ePrix Earlier this morning, in cold temperatures, Seb Buemi topped the timesheets for Free Practice 1 with a fastest laptime of 1:01.998s. The Swiss driver was drawn in the first qualifying group and for the second consecutive time, he grabbed pole position. His pole lap was six thousands faster than his rival Jean-Eric Vergne. Nico Prost took his spot in the second qualifying group and qualified ninth on the grid after Oliver Turvey’s penalty.

When the lights went out, both drivers machines survived intact after a tight first corner. After a few laps, Séb Buemi managed to build a margin back to Vergne. Antonio Felix Da Costa and Lucas Di Grassi were involved in a close battle for P14 until the Portuguese driver hit the ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport driver from behind which caused a full course yellow, which saw most drivers seize the opportunity to do their mandatory car swap.

Séb Buemi remained calm and managed to maintain his lead ahead of Vergne and José Maria Lopez. On lap 34, a mistake from the Frenchman saw him in the wall which brought out a safety car. At the restart and with twelve laps to go, Séb Buemi put his foot down and Lopez was unable to catch him. There was a second and final safety car period as Di Grassi pushed a bit too hard which resulted in his car ending up in the wall at Turn 8. In the final stages, the race finished under the safety car and saw Séb Buemi triumph for the fifth time from six races. Nico Prost crossed the line in sixth position. Subsequently, Robin Frijns got a five second penalty because he was found to have been speeding under the full course yellow, this promoted Nico Prost to fifth.

Renault e.dams leaves their home round remaining on top in the Teams’ championship with 190 points after another dominant race weekend, while Séb Buemi leads the Drivers’ championship on 132 points with Nico Prost holding onto third with 58 points.

Séb Buemi – n°9: To be honest, I was never expecting to be competitive here. Well, certainly not what I achieved today. So to be able to grab pole position and a win, is amazing. At the start of today, I knew if I took pole, I could do a good race. During the race, I had Jean-Eric under control even though he was pushing really hard. After the car swap, I knew I had to keep pushing and then he crashed. I thought I had a nine second advantage over José but then the safety car came out. I would really like to thank my team because they’ve done an amazing job: both engineers and mechanics. They all worked very hard. Everything worked out perfectly so they deserve this win more than me.

Nico Prost – n°8: It was a solid race, I made no mistakes. I overtook the cars I could due to our good strategy. We scored big points in both championships so that’s good for personally and for the team. I just need to work a bit more on my qualifying because I think we can still improve. If we qualify higher, I think we could do a lot better than what we have managed since the start of the season. But I am happy with the result today. It’s also great for our fans.

Alain Prost – co-owner of Renault e.dams: Today for us, is a double victory and it’s more than symbolic. We are very happy to have won the ePrix in front of our fans. All of our partners were here, in particular Renault who has supported us since the start of the championship. We have also built a gap in both the teams and drivers championships which was one of our goals. We are really satisfied with today and we will enjoy this victory. After taking victory in Monaco, to win in Paris was one of our targets which we have achieved in some style.

The Premiere Motorsport Podcast