Carlos Sainz returned to his winning ways



Carlos Sainz (DAMS) returned to his winning ways on the return of the Formula Renault 3.5 Series to the Nürburgring. Starting from pole, his sixth of the season, the Red Bull Junior Team driver led from start to finish for the victory ahead of Roberto Merhi (Zeta Corse) and Sergey Sirotkin (Fortec Motorsports). With Pierre Gasly (Arden Motorsport) finishing outside the points, the leader in the general classification now has a 58 point lead from his French rival.

Earlier in the day, Carlos Sainz took his sixth pole of the year, setting fastest lap in the waning minutes of qualifying. The Spaniard lined up on the grid ahead of the Fortec Motorsports entries of Oliver Rowland and Sergey Sirotkin. Roberto Merhi and Marlon Stockinger (Lotus) completed the top five.

When the lights went out, Carlos Sainz held on to the lead. Despite a slow launch, Oliver Rowland maintained second position ahead of Roberto Merhi, who managed to get past Sergey Sirotkin. Straight away, the leading trio pulled away from the field, while Sergey Sirotkin did his best to stay in contact while driving away from Marlon Stockinger.

There were battles throughout the field and on lap 12 Pierre Gasly and Roman Mavlanov made contact, forcing the Frenchman to return to the pits. Meanwhile, Sergey Sirotkin closed the gap to Roberto Merhi and began to pressure the Spaniard.

Rain played a role on the final lap. While Carlos Sainz had little worries as he went on to win his fifth race of the season, Roberto Merhi and Sergey Sirotkin overtook Oliver Rowland to finish on the podium. Lotus F1 Junior Team driver, Marlon Stockinger came home fifth, ahead of Matias Laine (Strakka Racing), Pietro Fantin (International Draco Racing) and Oscar Tunjo (Pons Racing). Zoel Amberg (AVF) and Marco Sørensen (Tech 1 Racing) completed the list of point scorers.


Carlos Sainz: “To be honest, the pole this morning was a bit unexpected. We were on pace but not enough to get the pole! The race is another story, but I was happy with our pace. It was hard to build a lead in the opening laps with the yellow flags, and then the rain began to make things complicated. I had to bring the car home because I wanted to avoid making a mistake at all costs.”

Roberto Merhi: “I tried to pass Oliver at the first corner, but He did a better job exiting the corner. Then, I tried to pour on the pressure but I wasn’t able to make a passing move due to the yellow flags. Later, Sergey pushed me real hard. The way the last lap played out was unexpected, but I had to finish to solidify second place.”

Sergey Sirotkin: “I am happy to finish third. It is very important to catch up the championship. The race pace was good, but it was hard to pass and I couldn’t find an opening on Roberto and he didn’t make a single mistake. My team mate had a problem late in the race, he should have finished in my position, but that’s racing!”



Esteban Ocon unbeatable in Moscow qualifying

Esteban Ocon (Prema Powerteam, 1:26.530 minutes) showed the best performance in first qualifying upon the debut of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship at the 3.931 kilometres long Moscow Raceway. The French Lotus F1 junior driver was 0.619 seconds faster than British driver Jordan King (Carlin, 1:27.149 minutes), who ended up third. King’s compatriot Tom Blomqvist (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin, 1:27.341 minutes) and Dutchman Max Verstappen (Van Amersfoort Racing, 1:27.361 minutes) claimed third and fourth place respectively.

In first qualifying, Esteban Ocon waited for a long time before starting his first flying lap. With eight minutes remaining, the 17-year old was still down in 20th place, but then moved straight up onto the top of the leaderboard with his first flying lap. After that, he improved his own fastest time twice and concluded the session with a margin of more than half a second from second-placed Jordan King. For rookie driver Ocon, this is his ninth pole position of the current FIA Formula 3 European Championship season.

Tomorrow (Saturday), Jordan King, Tom Blomqvist and Max Verstappen will be lining up on the starting grid behind the leader in the drivers’ standing. 16-year-old Dutch driver Verstappen, currently second in the championship, came to Russia after a winning streak of six FIA Formula 3 European Championship race wins and intends to continue this performance in the region near the Russian capital.

Austrian Lucas Auer (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport, 1:27.422 minutes), Brit Jake Dennis (Carlin, 1:27.496 minutes), Antonio Fuoco (Prema Powerteam, 1:27.516 minutes) from Italy, Dutchman Jules Szymkowiak (Van Amersfoort Racing, 1:27.643 minutes), Nicholas Latifi (Prema Powerteam, 1:27.676 minutes) from Canada and Félix Serrallés (Team West-Tec F3, 1:27.684 minutes) from Puerto Rico ended up in fifth to tenth position.

Esteban Ocon (Prema Powerteam): “Qualifying went really well. I did three good laps and I was quick right away. At a track like this, starting from pole position is particularly important and therefore, I am really happy. Still, I had never expected a margin of over half a second. Quite the opposite: I thought that it would be rather close.”



Sebastian Vettel took over at the wheel of the RB10 for the second and final day of testing at Silverstone, as Infiniti Red Bull Racing set about tyre testing duties for Pirelli. The team managed to get through the manufacturer’s entire programme despite a mid-session delay that saw the team change the power unit on Seb’s car.
“We did all the work we could for Pirelli,” said Sebastian. “It was a shame we had to change the engine but the boys did a great job and we got in a solid two hours of track time at the end. We tried a lot of tyres for next year, which was interesting.”
Race Engineering Co-ordinator Andy Damerum added that the test had been of value to the team as it approaches the second half of the season.
“We got out on time this morning, got the car balanced and then worked through Pirelli’s schedule, which involved testing tyres for 2015,” he said. “We had an issue with the car about halfway through, which resulted in a change of power unit, but thankfully we’re able to do that a lot quicker than at the beginning of the season, so in the end we lost only three hours. Even with that delay we were still able to complete Pirelli’s plan for the day. In terms of the value of this test I would say that yesterday was good. We banked a lot of information that will help us close the loop on our work in the simulator and that will certainly help as we head towards the second half of the season.”
Caterham Test silverstone 2014

Formula 1

Caterham F1 Team Launches Development Driver Program With Nathanaël Berthon

GP2 race winner Nathanaël Berthon has today been confirmed as one of the drivers in Caterham F1 Team’s new Development Driver Program. The Development Driver Program will give up-and-coming racing drivers the opportunity to embed themselves in Caterham F1 Team’s on and off-track operations, helping to prepare them fully for the step up to Formula One.

Nathanaël already has F1 experience, having driven in the 2011 young driver test at Abu Dhabi for HRT. Since 2012 he has been competing in GP2, winning the GP2 sprint race in Hungary in 2013 when he was with Trident Racing, and now competing in the 2014 season with Venezuela GP Lazarus.

Christijan Albers, CEO, Caterham F1 Team: “We are very pleased to welcome Nathanaël into our Development Driver Program. He is an exciting young talent with a proven track record in the feeder series for F1 and as he already has F1 experience he fits very neatly into our team. We will work closely with him to help him reach his full potential and are all excited about seeing him continue to grow as a driver, in and out of the cockpit.




LONG POND, Pa. (Sunday, July 6, 2014) – Juan Pablo Montoya earned his first Indy car victory in nearly 14 years by prevailing in the Pocono INDYCAR 500 fueled by Sunoco at Pocono Raceway.
The race was the fastest 500-mile Indy car race in history as Montoya’s average speed of 202.402 mph surpassed the previous 500-mile record set by Jimmy Vasser (197.995 mph) at Auto Club Speedway in 2002.
The win marked Montoya’s first Indy car victory since Sept. 17, 2000 at Gateway International Raceway.
Montoya, who a day earlier became the eighth different Verizon P1 Award winner this season, became the eighth different race winner through 11 rounds of the Verizon IndyCar Series season. He’s the first to win from the pole this season.
“That’s great for Juan; what a great race he ran,” said team owner Roger Penske, who welcomed Montoya as the third driver at Team Penske this season after a 13-year absence in which he competed in Formula One and the NASCAR Cup Series.
Montoya, driving the No. 2 PPG Team Penske car, led teammate Helio Castroneves across the finish line of the 2.5-mile tri-oval by 2.3403 seconds. Rookie Carlos Munoz finished third for the third time this season and Ryan Briscoe finished a season-high fourth. Scott Dixon, the winner last year at Pocono Raceway, placed fifth.
“I want to thank Roger for believing in me after so many years out of an Indy car,” said Montoya, who claimed his third Indy car 500-mile race victory.
Only two other drivers in Indy car history since 1909 have gone more than 10 years between wins – John Paul Jr., who went more than 15 years between winning at Michigan and Texas Motor Speedway from 1983-98 and Babe Stapp did not win for nearly 12 years between Charlotte and Milwaukee from 1927-39.
The middle round of the Triple Crown series, which also includes the Indianapolis 500 and the season finale at Auto Club Speedway, carried double points. Castroneves was able to tie teammate Will Power, who led 69 laps but incurred a drive-through penalty on Lap 176 for blocking Castroneves, in the championship standings.
“Congrats to Montoya. Are you kidding me? This guy is unbelievable,” Castroneves said. “Coming back after all those years and winning a race? As soon as they signed him I knew he would be an asset, and a headache, for us. It’s good (to have a) 1-2 finish – and we’re tied in the championship. It’s unbelievable.”
Both Castroneves and Power are seeking their first series championship. Power, who had to pit for fuel on Lap 189, finished 10th.
Montoya inherited the lead on Lap 197 when Tony Kanaan, who led a field-high 78 laps, also had to pit for fuel. Kanaan, driving the No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing car, led laps for the second race this season and for the 100th race in his Indy car career.
Kanaan led for the second time in 2014. He led one lap at the Indianapolis 500. It is his 100th race led in his Indy car career.
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA (No. 2 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet):  First of all, I want to thank Verizon, IndyCar, PPG and everyone who supports this car and Team Penske. I want thank Roger for believing in me after how many years out of open-wheel, coming back and believing I could do it. Here we are. It’s awesome that we could do it. I want to thank the fans for coming out… Verizon, IndyCar, PPG, Hawk Performance and everyone who believes in Team Penske and myself. It’s huge. I was overly excited coming to the line, I can tell you that.”

Silverstone Sunday Lewis Hamilton Podium Celebrations


Lewis Hamilton took victory in his home race at this afternoon´s British Grand Prix, while Nico Rosberg was forced to retire. Another podium for Valtteri Bottas and Ricciardo takes third.

Lewis Hamilton: Winning in front of your home crowd is just the best feeling. We really do have the greatest fans here and thank you so much to everyone for your patience after yesterday. To see the support all around the track is just amazing. I said before that I´d never give up but it was a tough qualifying and I really needed to dig deep and come back positive this morning. A huge thank you to my family and all of the fans for pushing me on – I couldn´t have done it without them. Nico had a pretty big gap at the beginning of the race but I kept pushing and was happy with my pace. After extending my first stint, we switched to the prime tyres and I honestly couldn´t believe the pace that I had and was closing up to Nico. Of course, he then had a problem and I saw him pull over. It´s a shame for the team and I never want to see a team-mate fall behind – I always want to battle it out – but I´m sure we will get to do it again in the future. It´s been a rollercoaster weekend and to come away with the win after a day like yesterday is fantastic, so thank you to everyone in the team for all their hard work. I´m proud to have done it for them here – so close to our factories in Brackley and Brixworth. 

Valtteri Bottas: We knew that this race would be good fun. We knew we had a quick car and maybe it surprised us it was so quick. The first stint we went through the field fast and that needed a bit of risk. I am so happy for the team, they have worked on race pace and it shows. 
We were thinking about points today not the podium, and the strategy guys did a great job. I really felt for Felipe today in his 200th race, and it was so nice of him to come to the podium with the team; I really appreciated that. We are a stronger team than we were in the first few races and it won’t be easy to stay near the top but we are doing a great job of it at the moment.

DANIEL RICCIARDO: “I feel good! This is the best third place I’ve ever got. I’m not normally ecstatic with a third but I really am today, obviously to redeem myself from yesterday and also the fact that I don’t think we had an awesome race car today, but we made it work. We used the cards that we had and played the game well, so I was really happy to make a one stop work. For the last two laps, I saw Jenson coming and thought I was probably going to be a bit vulnerable but we held on. The one stop wasn’t planned. We pitted quite early on the Prime because we were quite slow and it wasn’t working, so we came in for the Option and, at one point, my engineer pretty much said alright four laps to go on this tyre then let’s box. I said the pace seems OK, the tyres aren’t getting any worse and let’s try and stay out or at least think about keeping me out there and he said OK we’ll look at our options. Then, a few laps later he said do you think you can go to the end, there’s 15 or 20 laps to go, and I said, at the moment I think we can give it a crack. And so, yeah, we did and it paid off!”

The Premiere Motorsport Podcast