FORMULA 1

Williams Appoints Alex Lynn as Development Driver

WILLIAMS MARTINI RACING is pleased to announce that British racing driver Alex Lynn will be joining the team as Development Driver for the 2015 Formula One World Championship season.
In this role Alex will become fully immersed in the race team and gain a full understanding of its various functions. As Development Driver his primary role will be using the team’s simulation tools to help with the ongoing development of the Williams Mercedes FW37 and assisting the race engineers in setting up the car for each Grand Prix. Alex will also get behind the wheel of the FW37 for one day’s testing in Barcelona following this season’s Spanish Grand Prix in May.
Aged 21 and born in Essex, Alex began his single-seater career in Formula Renault UK, dominating the 2011 championship with a record 12 wins from 20 race starts. He was subsequently named British Club Driver of the Year at the 2011 Autosport Awards. Alex moved up to British F3 the following year and finished fourth before progressing to the prestigious FIA European F3 Championship in 2013 where he claimed third in the standings as the highest placed rookie. Alex ended the season with a dominant victory in the coveted Macau F3 Grand Prix. In 2014, Alex wrapped up the GP3 title with a record points margin, also becoming the first Englishman to claim this title. As well as his Development Driver duties for WILLIAMS MARTINI RACING in 2015, Alex will also be competing in GP2 for the Championship winning DAMS racing team.
Claire Williams, Deputy Team Principal and Commercial Director of Williams, said; “Williams has a strong track record in bringing young talent though the ranks and our Development Driver position is designed to fully immerse new recruits into the inner workings of a Formula One team. As a British team we are always on the lookout for emerging home-grown talent and Alex has caught our eye with his impressive performances in GP3. He has been chosen on merit and we are confident that alongside Felipe, Valtteri and Susie, Alex will help play an important role in making sure that the FW37 shows continuous improvement over the course of the 2015 season.”
Speaking about his appointment, Alex Lynn, added: “I am extremely excited to be joining Williams, a team with such incredible history and amazing potential. Over the past year the team has made huge strides forward and it’s clear to see their determination to fight for more success in the future. I hope that with a strong year in GP2, while also helping to develop the F1 car throughout this season, I can follow in the footsteps of Valtteri Bottas who joined the Williams team in exactly the same Development Driver role. Through hard work and determination, he has gone from winning the GP3 title to earning his place as a Williams F1 race driver. Working with people like Sir Frank Williams and Pat Symonds is an incredible opportunity for me. There is so much experience here at Williams and I hope to be able to use the knowledge gained from these people to further develop my skills as a racing driver and respected member of this team. Everyone has been incredibly welcoming from the outset, we have hit the ground running and I am very excited about the challenges this role offers – particularly my on track activities driving the FW37 in a few months time.”

FORMULA 1

Lotus F1 Team is proud to present its 2015 challenger; the E23 Hybrid.

Matthew Carter, Lotus F1 Team CEO:
“The E23 Hybrid represents a new era for Lotus F1 Team, not only in the change to a Mercedes Benz Power Unit, but also it is the fruition of a busy winter behind the scenes. Improvements within our Design, Aero and Simulation departments have all contributed to the development of a car which is a huge step forward. As a team we are confident that the new car coupled with additions to the Race team will enable a huge leap forward and we are full of optimism going into the new season. It is time to put the disappointment of last season behind us and benefit from 12 months of hard work; we are ready to return to our rightful place at the pinnacle of the sport.”

Lotus E23 Side
Nick Chester, Lotus F1 Team Technical Director:
“The E23 Hybrid represents a massive step forward for us. It’s no secret that we struggled with last year’s car so we’ve targeted every area that caused us an issue. We’ve made strong progress in the wind tunnel as well as in areas such as packaging and cooling. We expect the E23 to perform far, far better than its predecessor. In terms of what’s new, obviously a massive change for us is a new Power Unit supplier. We made this change as it looked and looks to be the one area of the car which could bring us the greatest performance gain. It’s not just performance, but reliability and driveability as well as packaging and cooling too. The E22 did deliver good figures in the wind tunnel, even if it was difficult to unlock its potential, so we’ve paid more attention to making the characteristics of the car more adaptable. In terms of the suspension, we were delivered something of a blow last year when the front-rear interconnected suspension was outlawed mid-season. The E23’s suspension design is specific to the updated regulations so we’re not trying to update a system originally intended to work a different way. We learnt a lot in many areas of the car over the course of 2014 so there are many lessons which have been applied. We know we’ve made a big step. We won’t know how our car will fare in relative terms until we’re out in action at a Grand Prix, but we certainly expect to be much more competitive than last year.”

Lotus E23 Right Side

MONTE-CARLO

LOEB CONTINUES TO LIVEN UP MONTE-CARLO

  • After winning their third stage since the start of the 83rd Rallye Monte-Carlo, their 903rd in the World Championship, Sébastien Loeb and Daniel Elena hit a rock on the final test of the day. They will rejoin tomorrow under Rally 2 rules.
  • Kris Meeke and Paul Nagle also had to retire on SS8, whilst running fourth. Mads Østberg and Jonas Andersson moved up the overall standings to fifth place.

Yesterday’s brief warm-up was today succeeded by a real leg, featuring six stages held on roads around Gap. With sub-zero temperatures in the morning, most of the WRC crews opted to go with studded tyres for the first loop. Different options were taken after the midday service. Mads Østberg and Sébastien Loeb took advantage of this to fit snow tyres, without studs, in the afternoon, unlike most of their rivals.

On La Salle en Beaumont – Corps (SS3 and SS6), Sébastien Loeb was simply unbeatable. First thing in the morning and at the start of the afternoon, the Citroën Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team driver was quickest on both runs on the stage.

However, on the next two tests, the mud dragged onto the road as the crews came through the stages left the surface too slippery for Loeb, who was fourteenth in the running order. And although he managed to hold off his rivals in the morning, Sébastien Loeb hit a rock on SS8 and was unable to finish the leg.

Despite becoming increasingly competitive throughout the leg, Kris Meeke didn’t make it to the end of SS8. He damaged his car’s rear left-hand suspension after sliding into a ditch, whilst running in fourth position.

Thanks to making a good call of tyres choice for the second loop, Mads Østberg ended the day with a third fastest time. He moved up to fifth place in the overall standings.

In the WRC 2 category, Stéphane Lefebvre held onto first position in a DS 3 R5. In the FIA Junior WRC, Quentin Gilbert remained in front, ahead of Ole Christian Veiby and Terry Folb in their DS 3 R3-MAXs.

Tomorrow’s leg will take the crews from Gap to Monaco. The actions starts at 8.10am with two stages, including the 51.70 kilometre monster of Lardier et Vaneca – Faye, with the midday service at 12.34pm. The crews then head towards Monaco, taking in Pruniers – Embrun and Sisteron – Thoard. The cars will be driven into Parc Ferme in the Principality from 6.58pm onwards

MONTE-CARLO

Team Renault Classic enters four cars for the 2015 Rallye Monte-Carlo Historique

• As part of the 50th anniversary celebrations of the famous Renault 16, Team Renault Classic has entered two R16 TSs for the 18th Rallye Monte-Carlo Historique, as well as two Renault 12 Gordinis.
• In total, four Team Renault Classic crews will line up to start the event in Reims, northeastern France, on January 30. The finish in Monaco is scheduled for the night of February 3-4.
Named Car of the Year in 1966, the Renault 16 was seen as Renault’s first true ‘Voiture à Vivre’ and made a durable mark on the French automobile scene.
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of one of Renault’s most innovative family cars, Team Renault Classic has entered a brace of Renault 16 TSs for this year’s Rallye Monte-Carlo Historique. The two cars will be in the hands of Michel Leclère and Thierry Emptas.
To contribute further to the spectator’s enjoyment, Team Renault Classic has also entered two Renault 12 Gordinis for the historic rally calendar’s opener. They will be driven by Jean Ragnotti, winner of the 1981 Rallye Monte Carlo in a Renault 5 Turbo, and former Alpine driver/test driver Alain Serpaggi.
The four Team Renault Classic crews are:

  •  N°1 (Renault 12 Gordini): Jean Ragnotti and his co-driver Michel Duvernay, winner of the 1981 French Renault Cross Elf Cup and 1986 Renault 5 GT Turbo Cup.
  • N°12 (Renault 12 Gordini): Alain Serpaggi, navigated by Jean-Pierre Prevost.
  • N°16 (Renault 16 TS): ex-Formula 1 driver Michel Leclère. The winner of the 1969 Premier Pas Dunlop Gordini Cup will be joined in the car by Laurent Lamat and Gilles Dubois, winners of a competition organised by FCRA (Fédération des Clubs Renault et Alpine).
  • N°18 (Renault 16 TS): Thierry Emptas and Rallye Monte-Carlo Historique regular François Forgeoux.

The Team Renault Classic crews will start the 2015 Rallye Monte-Carlo Historique in Reims, northeastern France, on January 30. The event will finish in the Principality on the night of February 3-4.

F1Weekly podcast # 671

Clark and Nasir both looking forward to the 2015 Formula 1 season and couldn’t wait to talk about NASCAR and the Assassin! We alo have a sneak peak at the 2015 Williams Martini FW37

WILLIAMS MARTINI RACING has revealed the first images of its 2015 car, the Williams Mercedes FW37 on the front cover of Haymarket’s F1 Racing Magazine. Following on from a successful season in 2014 Williams hopes the FW37 can continue the positive momentum into another competitive season of racing.
 FW37 FRONT
‘The notion for the FW37 was to look closely at the FW36 and its performances,’ says WILLIAMS MARTINI RACING Chief Technical Officer Pat Symonds. ‘We then went about recognising what had worked well and identifying and resolving the areas that we felt needed to be improved. Although the aerodynamics of the car were impressive there is always room for improvement particularly as we handle the new 2015 nose regulations ’
The design of the FW37 has stemmed from the performance of the FW36 but the conceptual ideas came long before the 2014 successes.
‘The first conceptual stage of the FW37 came before the FW36 had turned a wheel. The main element to this is understanding the rule changes and how they will affect the design of the car, from here we can start see if our ideas will fit within the regulations.’
The performance of the FW36 in 2014 saw the team move forward from ninth in the Constructors’ Championship to third, obtaining nine podiums throughout the season and a front row lockout at the Austrian Grand Prix.
‘The desire to beat Ferrari to third place in the Constructors’ in 2014 meant we pushed our development through to late autumn, but the size of the team is now at a point where it was able to sustain this development whilst still working on the FW37.’
With the regulations relatively stable from 2014 the team went about developing the FW36 with the additional changes necessary to meet the 2015 rules.
‘We felt we came up against design barriers in the FW36 and so took the opportunity to remove those barriers for the benefit of the performance. The FW36 carried a reasonable amount of ballast, so we were able to make alterations to the design for added performance without the fear of adding excessive mass.’
The layout phase of the car was completed by the summer break in August, with work on the new front bulkhead a main priority for the designers and aerodynamicists as the changes to the regulations had their effects on the car.
‘The change in regulations offered us a slight headache. The new front bulkhead and nose geometry had much more of an impact than we had initially anticipated and the effect on the aero was profound. The team have worked hard on pulling back the deficit these regulations have made for us.’
After a strong 2014 the team has aims to continue improving in pursuit of podium finishes throughout the 2015 season.
‘The more rule stability there is, the closer the field gets. I hope as a team we are more capable of maintaining the forward momentum to catch Mercedes, than the teams behind us are of catching us. It’s not just about stable regulations but also about the team and every individual that works here moving forward and improving.’
Frank Williams, Team Principal concluded ‘The team had a fantastic season last year, we are aiming to replicate this development over the winter and to start the 2015 season in a strong position. We have an enormously talented group of people here at Williams who want nothing more than the team to do well. This passion produced a great turn around in fortunes for the team in 2014 and everybody has worked tirelessly to continue that climb up the grid.’
‘We have added a few more high profile names to accompany the incredibly supportive group of partners we have,’ Frank Williams added. ‘After a very strong first year with Mercedes we are looking to further develop the relationship as we look for more podiums in 2015. I feel this year will be equally as exciting as the last and look forward to seeing the car on the grid at the first race.’

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BARC

BARC launches new Formula Libre Championship

An all-new, 16-round Formula Libre Championship open to a minimum of three classes of single-seater cars – latest-specification 2.0 Formula Renault, pre-2012 Formula 3 and Formula BMW – has been announced by the British Automobile Racing Club.

The BARC Formula Libre Championship will run across six events – with up to three rounds per event – starting at Norfolk’s Snetterton circuit on the weekend of Sat 9/10 May.

Rockingham (Northants), Thruxton (Hants), Croft (North Yorks) and Oulton Park (Cheshire) will then follow before the final two rounds back at Rockingham in October.

The BARC’s General Manager Ian Watson commented: “We have identified a decent number of each of these three types of car currently without a championship to race in – our Formula Libre Championship offers the teams who own those cars a place to compete.

“Significantly the Formula Renault cars are to the same specification as those raced in championships in Europe. Our Libre Championship gives teams competing in those championships – whether based in the UK or overseas – a great opportunity to gain valuable added track time with their cars.

“Certainly Formula Renault has a very enviable and credible track record in the UK with the cars heavily influenced by Renault’s F1 expertise – they are technically advanced and provide a fantastic arena for drivers to hone set-up and racecraft skills prior to moving up the more senior motor sport ranks.

“After the demise of British F3, it’s also great to welcome these cars along with Formula BMW to our grid – both are well proven. In fact the vast majority of the current Formula 1 grid came through these three categories (FRenault, F3, FBMW) on the way to the top…

“In addition these three classes of car are the perfect combination for Libre competition as each complies with similar FIA crash test regulations. We predict they will provide a varied and competitive grid leading to some extremely exciting and unpredictable action on circuit.”

For more details about the BARC Formula Libre Championship, competitors should contact Championship Manager Will Fewkes wfewkes@barc.net / Tel. 01264 882208

Race Dates: 2015 BARC Formula Libre Championship

Rounds 1, 2 & 3             Sat 9/Sun 10 May                Snetterton, Norfolk
Rounds 4, 5 & 6             Sat 30/Sun 31 May              Rockingham, Northants
Rounds 7, 8 & 9             Sat 13/Sun 14 June             Thruxton, Hants
Rounds 10, 11 & 12       Sat 11/Sun 12 July               Croft, North Yorkshire
Rounds 13 & 14             Sat 15 August                       Oulton Park, Cheshire
Rounds 15 & 16             Sat 17 October                     Rockingham, Northants

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