F1Weekly podcast # 681

Clark and Nasir cover the Canadian Grand Prix we have another fantastic Motorsports Mondial and here is Pastor Maldonado’s take on the Austrian Grand Prix.

Pastor Maldonado finally opened his 2015 championship points account at the Canadian Grand Prix and is looking to build on his Montréal seventh-place with a strong drive at the Red Bull Ring.

Do you like the Red Bull Ring?

It is an interesting circuit and one I enjoyed visiting last year, even if it was a weekend where we didn’t have the best of results. I think we have much better potential this year with the car and we’ve been looking quite strong recently. It’s great to be able to visit a different type of location for a Grand Prix and the event was really impressive last year; I’m looking forward to returning.

How does it feel to finally open your points account for 2015?

Of course it’s good and there’s a lot of potential yet to come. There are twelve races left in the season so still a lot of opportunity to do well. It’s been frustrating waiting for a points finishing race to come, but now it’s happened it’s like the monkey is off my back and we can push forward for a good season. Certainly, it was a positive weekend for the team in Canada and there’s still lots of potential in the season ahead

How was the Canadian Grand Prix for you in the car?

It was quite an uneventful one and one where I had to do a reasonable amount of managing behind the wheel especially as we went so long on one set of tyres. We weren’t sure how we would be with the tyre degradation, but actually the car felt fine. Of course, I couldn’t push flat out as we wanted to keep to a one-stop strategy as that offered the best opportunity for a good result, but everything worked as we wanted it to. It was good to have an uneventful race and finish in the points.

What was the team’s reaction to you getting those points on the board?

There was a fantastic reaction from everyone in the team and it was great to be part of the team at that moment when I walked back to the garage seeing how everyone was happy for me. Everyone has worked so hard this year and last year too, so it’s really great when you finish a race in the points. This is what we want to do at every Grand Prix and what we want in Austria next

Do you feel that yourself and the E23 Hybrid are a good combination this season?

I think we are a good combination. We do have a good car this year and it’s one which we seem to be able to get working well at different tracks. We know it’s not the fastest car as the Mercedes performs exceptionally well, but it’s one which we can push hard and put up a fight. The other positive is that we seem to be getting on top of all the small reliability issues we had earlier in the year so there’s potential for us to score good points in the races ahead.

What will you be focusing on in Austria?

Just like any Grand Prix we’ll be looking to get the maximum from the car. You need good power in Austria especially with the decent hill there. There are a couple of straights and we’ve been looking good through the speed traps so hopefully we’ll keep that pace. If we can qualify well we should have a great race.


Do you know how to yodel?

This is not something which comes up in our simulation programme but I’m happy to give it a go! Last year’s race in Austria was a great event and left me wanting to see more of the area so why not try some of the local customs!

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

24 Heures du Mans

Ford Returning to Le Mans in 2016 with All-New Ford GT, Marking 50th Anniversary of 1966 Victory

LE MANS, France – Ford announced today it is returning to one of the most prestigious automobile races in the world with its new Ford GT race car, based on the all-new ultra-high-performance supercar that goes on sale next year.
The Ford GT race car will compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans – referred to by many as the Grand Prix of Endurance and Efficiency – starting next year. Revealed today at the famous circuit in Le Mans, France, Ford GT will compete in the Le Mans GT Endurance class for professional teams and drivers (LM GTE Pro).
The new race car – a further proof point of Ford innovation – is based on the all-new Ford GT supercar unveiled in January. Both the production car and race car will arrive in 2016 to mark the 50th anniversary of Ford GT race cars placing 1-2-3 at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans. Ford went on to repeat its victory at Le Mans in 1967, 1968 and 1969.
“When the GT40 competed at Le Mans in the 1960s, Henry Ford II sought to prove Ford could beat endurance racing’s most legendary manufacturers,” said Bill Ford, executive chairman, Ford Motor Company. “We are still extremely proud of having won this iconic race four times in a row, and that same spirit that drove the innovation behind the first Ford GT still drives us today.”
The new Ford GT race car will run the full 2016 schedules of the FIA World Endurance Championship and TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, making its competition debut in January 2016 in the Rolex 24 At Daytona, Florida. The two Ford teams will be operated by Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS). Both series teams intend to compete with a four-car effort at Le Mans. Drivers will be announced later.
The all-new Ford GT serves as the pinnacle product of the new Ford Performance group, a division dedicated to providing innovation through performance.
Set to deliver more than 12 new performance vehicles by 2020, Ford Performance will leverage its racing efforts and expertise to speed innovations on dedicated performance models and performance parts in order to more quickly iterate the latest technologies that can ultimately be applied to the full Ford vehicle line-up.
The performance segment is a growing business for Ford, as the company recognises its customers’ desire for vehicles that offer excellent fuel economy, leading technology and a great driving experience. The Ford Performance line-up includes Ford GT, Focus RS, F-150 Raptor, Shelby GT350 and Shelby GT350R, Focus ST and Fiesta ST.
“Ford remains focused on three priorities globally – accelerating our One Ford plan, delivering product excellence with passion and driving innovation in every part of our business,” said Mark Fields, Ford Motor Company president and CEO. “All three came together to create the new Ford GT. We also know from our rich history in motorsports that world-class competition is a great incubator for even further product innovation.”
The Ford GT race car features a number of innovations Ford believes will not only make it competitive in LM GTE Pro, but ultimately positioned to provide benefits to each vehicle in the Ford line-up. These include state-of-the-art aerodynamics to deliver outstanding levels of downforce for improved stability with minimal drag, advanced lightweight composites featuring carbon fibre for an exceptionally rigid but light chassis, and the power and efficiency of EcoBoost technology.
“As we developed the Ford GT, from the outset, we wanted to ensure we had a car that has what it takes to return Ford to the world of GT racing,” said Raj Nair, Ford Motor Company group vice president, Global Product Development and chief technical officer. “We believe the Ford GT’s advances in aerodynamics, light-weighting and EcoBoost power will make for a compelling race car that can once again compete on a global stage.”
Joining Ford in this project are Multimatic Motorsports, Roush Yates Engines, Castrol, Michelin, Forza Motorsport, Sparco, Brembo and CGRFS. The race car has undergone extensive design and testing within Ford and Multimatic, with CGRFS providing input into the development. Roush Yates is supporting development of the 3.5-litre EcoBoost V6 – the most powerful EcoBoost production engine ever.
The 3.5-litre EcoBoost V6 engine debuted in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship in 2014. Since then, Ford, with CGRFS, has captured significant overall wins at the 12 Hours of Sebring and Rolex 24 At Daytona. Besides great success in sports cars, Ganassi race teams achieved major victories in the Daytona 500, Brickyard 400 and Indianapolis 500.
“We’ve won races and championships, but we’ve never run Le Mans,” said team owner Chip Ganassi. “When presented the opportunity to compete with the all-new Ford GT on the world’s biggest sports car stage, and on the 50th anniversary of one of the most storied victories in racing history, how could any race team not want to be part of that? Will it be a challenge? Absolutely, but we couldn’t be with a better partner than Ford.”

24 Heures du Mans

The 2015 24 Heures du Mans race promises much.

Four major automotive manufacturers are challenging for the elite category LM P1, and in all likelihood the overall win of the race; an achievement that secures the winning drivers a place in sporting history along with a specially engraved Rolex Oyster Cosmograph Daytona, the iconic chronograph created for racing drivers in 1963. The 24 Hours of Le Mans, founded in 1923, is organized by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO), and Rolex has been Official Timepiece since 2001 – a partnership which is driven by a shared passion for excellence and the pursuit of perfection.

Porsche, the most successful manufacturer in the history of the race with 16 wins spread over 28 years, made an almost perfect return to the prototype class last year after a 14-year absence. Its challenge to the hegemony of Audi, the second most successful constructor with 13 wins spanning a compact 14-year period, faltered only in the latter stages of the race. Porsche will be aiming for greater things this time. Its hybrid car is undeniably quick. One of its driver line-ups – Brendon Hartley, Mark Webber and Timo Bernhard – has secured pole position at this season’s two previous FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) races. It was quickest too on a rain affected test day. Yet the key to winning any endurance race lies beyond pure speed.

Defending champions and three-time winners, Marcel Fässler, André Lotterer and Benoît Tréluyer, know full well that it takes a combination of factors to beat the 24 hours. They may have only been fifth fastest in testing, but with two wins from two in the WEC series the threesome must head into the race proper with real confidence.

On the surface, the 24 Hours of Le Mans may be all about cutting edge engineering, breakthrough technology and futuristic design. The ACO, though, has huge respect for the traditions of the race, its long history and the car marques and characters that have helped shape its reputation and status.

William Clay Ford Jr., the Executive Chairman of the Ford Motor Company, has been named the honorary starter for the race. The great-grandson of Henry Ford will wave the French ‘Tricolore’ to get the race underway just as his uncle, Henry Ford II, did in 1966 the year the American manufacturer’s GT40 broke the dominance of Ferrari, setting in train a four-year winning streak.

Tom Kristensen, the most successful driver in the 90 plus years of the race with 9 wins from 18 starts, including six consecutive wins from 2000-05, is also being recognized by the organisers following his retirement at the end of the 2014 season. For his extraordinary contribution over the years, Kristensen, a Rolex Testimonee, has been named the Grand Marshal and will drive the pace car during the formation lap.



  • Valtteri Bottas finished third and Felipe Massa sixth in today’s Canadian Grand Prix.
  • Valtteri capitalised on a mistake by Räikkönen to move into third after his first and only pitstop, subsequently showing strong pace to keep clear of the Ferrari to secure the team’s first podium of the season.
  • Starting out of position in P15 after problems in qualifying, Felipe drove a brilliant race to pick his way through the field and secure valuable points for the team.
  • The team has extended its hold on third position in the Constructors’ Championship with a total of 108 points for the season so far.
Rob Smedley, Head of Performance Engineering: The message I gave to the team this morning was that we have to go into this race believing in ourselves and be on the top of our game. If we did that I believed we could get on the podium with Valtteri and get a lot of points with Felipe, and that’s exactly what we’ve done. The two drivers were absolutely fantastic all race. The team has worked well as a unit and the strategies were spot on. The rewards are there when you get it right and we need to use this as a good boost to keep moving forwards. We now have races ahead of us where we should be aiming for more podiums.
Valtteri Bottas: We really maximised everything today and I’m really happy for us as a team. We had an opportunity to get third and we took it. We had the chance to change the strategy in the middle of the race and go for one stop instead of two. We knew it could be a risk but the team knew what to do and we were right. There was not much threat from behind so we could take a bit of a risk, and I’m really proud that we did. We were racing hard today and we earned the podium. It’s great to be back in the top three and we know there are better Grands Prix to come because of the updates we are bringing so I can’t wait for the next few races.
Felipe Massa: After a challenging qualifying for me yesterday I’m happy with how the race has gone and I’ve picked up some good points. Starting P15 was always going to lead to a busy race and there was a lot of great overtaking and the car had good consistent pace. We managed to have a one stop race and still keep the pace with the option tyre at the end which was fantastic. With the car I had today I could have been fighting for podiums, but all in all this has been a very positive weekend for the team and we should be very competitive in the next few races, especially with some upgrades planned for the car.



Pastor Maldonado, E23-03. Q: P6, 1:15.329  FP3: P10, 1:17.573
“That was not too bad! We were expecting this kind of result after yesterday’s practice. The performance of the car here seems to be slightly better than at the other tracks. It may be due to a characteristic of our car for this kind of track with the slow corners and very long, fast straights. It’s positive for the team to have both cars on the third row. It’s a long race, we have good pace but the others are competitive too. Normally, we have better pace in the races than in qualifying which is encouraging. We’ll do our race, push hard as always and hopefully get a good result.”

Formula 1

Hamilton, Rosberg Dominate in Canadian Grand Prix Betting

Lewis Hamilton will be looking to extend his narrow lead atop the Formula One standings when he hits the track in Montreal on Sunday for this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix as a heavy 2/3 favorite in motor sports betting at the online sportsbooks.

Hamilton, a three-time winner in Montreal, enters the weekend with 126 points in the standings, just 10 points ahead of Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg, who is coming off back-to-back wins in May, at the Spanish Grand Prix and Monaco Grand Prix.

The German’s recent success places him close on Hamilton’s tail in Canadian Grand Prix online betting, at 3/2.

The dynamic duo of Hamilton and Rosberg has dominated the F1 circuit this season, combining to take the checkered flag at five of the six races run so far this year.

Rosberg’s current win streak was preceded by a pair of Hamilton victories in the Bahrain Grand Prix and Chinese Grand Prix, after opening the season with a win in Australia.

Accordingly, the pair have also risen to the top of the Formula One futures betting odds at the online sportsbooks, with Hamilton perched as a 2/9 favorite, followed by Rosberg at 2/9. As one of the most exciting events upon which to place a bet, Betting Sports are recommending that anyone watching Formula One should have their eye on this scintillating pair this season.

The only blemish on the Mercedes record this year came in Malaysia, where Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel claimed victory, while Hamilton finished over eight seconds back in second place and Rosberg in third.

Vettel represents the greatest threat to Hamilton and Rosberg, both in the race for the 2015 Drivers Championship and Canadian Grand Prix betting odds.

The four-time World Champion has amassed 98 points so far on the season, and rounds out the list of betting favorites at Sunday’s race, with strong 8/1 odds.

Vettel most recently picked up a win in Montreal in 2013 while driving for Renault-Red Bull, but finished a disappointing third last year, behind then teammate, Daniel Ricciardo, who claimed his first career win on the track at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

After wrapping up last season with three wins and a third-place finish in the Drivers Championship, Ricciardo has struggled this year, finishing no higher than fifth. However, the 25-year-old Australian showed signs of breaking through in Monaco last month, where he was credited with the fastest lap of the race.

Ricciardo’s success at Monaco has not moved his Formula One betting odds ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix, which remain stalled at a distant 150/1.

Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen leads the middle of the pack in motor sports online betting on this week’s race, with 22/1 odds. The winner of the 2005 Canadian Grand Prix also sits fourth in F1 standings with 66 points, but has failed to earn a victory since capturing the checkered flag at the season-opening Australian Open in 2013, and has won just five races in total since winning the Drivers Championship in 2007.

The Premiere Motorsport Podcast