GP3

Ghiotto quickest on final day in Yas Marina
Luca Ghiotto and Antonio Fuoco set the pace on third day of post-season testing

 
Trident’s Luca Ghiotto posted the fastest time on the third and final day of post-season testing at the Yas Marina circuit with a 1:55.134. Ferrari Academy driver Antonio Fuoco led the way in the morning session.
The test got underway in hazy and humid conditions. Riccardo Agostini returned to the paddock with his team Hilmer Motorsport and was first to lap in the 1m56’s. Ralph Boschung for Jenzer Motorsport lapped quicker to take the top spot before Mitch Gilbert (ART Grand Prix) dipped into the 1m55’s to go P1.
Agostini stopped on track early on which caused a brief halt to proceedings and when the action resumed, Boschung returned to the top of the standing. At the midway point of the session Fuoco put in a flier to end the session heading the timesheet with Spaniard Alex Palou a few tenths off in P2. There was a second red flag when Kourosh Khani stopped at turn 13 in the Hilmer Motorsport car.
At the chequered flag the session belonged to Fuoco. Palou, Boschung, Matt Parry, Gilbert, Alfonso Celis. Jr, Jimmy Eriksson, Seb Morris, Luca Ghiotto, Edward Jones and Jack Aitken completed the top ten.
After GP2 had run their first session of the day, GP3 returned to the track for their final track time of 2014. Fuoco again was an early pace-setter; before Matheo Tuscher led the way, but it was Fuoco who was first to dip into the 1m55’s in the afternoon. Eriksson and Jones also shot to P1 as the clock ticked down, with the merest of gaps separating their laptimes: 0.001s – with the Carlin driver having the edge.
Ghiotto lit up the timing screen to head to the top of the timings with Fuoco a tenth off and Tuscher two tenths off respectively. The chequered flag was waved marking the end of the test. Ghiotto led Fuoco, Tuscher, Jones, Eriksson and Boschung. Aitken, Palou and Gilbert rounded out the top ten.
The test session has brought the curtain down on the 2014 GP3 Series Season, dates for pre-season testing and the calendar will be unveiled in due course.

Formula 1

Susie Wolff Appointed Official Test Driver for the 2015 Season

Williams is pleased to announce that Susie Wolff will be stepping up to the position of Official Test Driver for WILLIAMS MARTINI RACING for the 2015 Formula One season.
In this role Susie will be driving the Williams Mercedes FW37 in two FP1 sessions and two test days during the 2015 Formula One season. She will also be conducting extensive simulator testing to help in the ongoing development of the FW37 and FW38. This new role builds on Susie’s three seasons as Development Driver for Williams which culminated in driving the FW36 during FP1 at the 2014 British and German Grands Prix. This saw her become the first female driver to drive in a Grand Prix weekend for two decades. The team is currently evaluating a number of drivers to replace Susie as Development Driver.
Speaking about her new role Susie Wolff said; “This is another step in the right direction for me. I am delighted Williams are recognising my progression, hard work and that it is performance that counts. Williams is at a very exciting stage in its history and we are moving into 2015 with fantastic momentum, I’m proud to be part of the team. I’ll be using my position to work closely with Felipe and Valtteri to make sure that the FW37 builds on the strong performance shown by the FW36.”
Claire Williams, Deputy Team Principal of WILLIAMS MARTINI RACING added; “We are delighted to have Susie continuing with the team next season in this new role. She continues to impress us with her strong technical knowledge, the feedback she delivers and the performance when she drives the car both on the track and in the simulator. She has steadily increased her time behind the wheel since she joined us in April 2012 and her appointment as Official Test Driver was a natural progression. We have a very strong and stable driver line-up for 2015 and this will be a key asset as we look to build on a positive 2014 season.”

GP3

Ceccon fastest on day one of post-season testing

Jenzer Motorsport’s Kevin Ceccon and ART Grand Prix’s Andrea Pizzitola lead the way
Italian ace Kevin Ceccon posted the quickest laptime of the day: a 1:55.501 set in the morning. French rookie Andrea Pizzitola topped the times in the afternoon session with a 1:55.832, narrowly beating Mitch Gilbert in the Arden International car.
The morning test session opened up in glorious conditions at the Yas Marina Circuit for day one of post-season testing. There were plenty of new faces and many drivers testing a GP3 car for the very first time as the pitlane was frenetic with activity with everyone keen to get on track.
Frenchman Pizzitola was fast out the doors for ART Grand Prix with Carlin’s Ed Jones in second and Ferrari Academy driver Antonio Fuoco in third. Jenzer Motorsport’s Kevin Ceccon went P1, but Pizzitola lapped a tenth quicker to re-take his place at the head of the timings.
The Italian found more pace to shoot back up to the top of the timesheet, 0.060s his advantage over Pizzitola. At the midway point, Jones and Arden International’s George Russell demoted Pizzitola to fourth as the positions below them remained fairly static with the best times being set early on in the session.
There was one red flag near the close of the morning test when Jenzer Motorsport’s Raoul Hyman stopped at Turn 7; however the action resumed with three minutes remaining.
At the chequered flag, Ceccon led Jones, Russell, Pizzitola, Trident’s Luca Ghiotto, Patrick Kujala (Arden International), Christopher Mies (Hilmer Motorsport), Ralph Boschung (Jenzer Motorsport), Mitch Gilbert (Arden International) and Matt Parry (Status Grand Prix).
Following GP2’s turn on track, GP3 returned for their afternoon session. The test was briefly halted when Trident’s Alex Palou spun, the Spaniard was able to continue and action resumed. Pizzitola set the early pace, first to lap in the 1m55’s in the afternoon session, with Gilbert hot on his tail.
Fuoco’s Koiranen GP car stopped on track causing a short interruption to proceedings but once the track was green Palou set the fastest first sector to go P3, with Mathéo Tuscher (replacing Ceccon for the afternoon test) in fourth.
With half an hour left on the clock, the session was red flagged when Carlin’s Matt Rao made contact with the barrier at turns 3-4. The track became live again with just five minutes remaining and at the chequered flag Pizzitola edged out Gilbert by a mere 0.053s. Palou, Tuscher, Russell, Artur Janosz (ART Grand Prix), Parry, Alfonso Celis. Jr (Status Grand Prix), Ryan Cullen (Koiranen GP) and Boschung completed the top ten.
Day two of testing will run at the same local times: 09.00 – 11.30 and 15.00 – 17.30 (GMT+4).
Yas Marina – Day 1: Morning

ABU DHABI TEST REPORT

Jolyon Palmer enjoyed his first opportunity in a Formula One car today as he worked with Sahara Force India at Yas Marina for the first day of testing.

Day One Statistics:
Chassis: VJM07-04
Laps: 37 laps
Mileage: 205 km
Fastest lap: 1:44.516
Classification: P4
 
Jolyon Palmer: “I really enjoyed my first experience at the wheel of a Formula One car. I always had the ambition to drive a Formula One car: it was surreal when I first got out of the pits, but after the first moment I was just focusing on getting the job done for the team and doing my best. Despite a few technical issues early on, in the end we managed to get back on track and have a solid hour of running, getting up to speed fairly quickly. What really stood out for me is the power delivery of a Formula One car, compared to what I am used to in GP2: I heard lots about it all year, but to actually experience it first hand, feeling it as I drove was impressive. Knowing the track in advance helps only a little as you get to the various corners and drive through them at completely different speeds to what you are used to; but not having to get to know the layout made it possible to just concentrate on our testing programme. I have learnt a lot working with the team, seeing how everyone operates, and I am really happy about today’s experience. Sahara Force India is a team that gives young drivers good chances and I would love to get a role with them. They developed Paul Di Resta into a good racer, created a meaningful FP1 programme for Jules Bianchi and generally do a really good work with their reserve drivers.”
 

WRC

SÉBASTIEN LOEB TO COMPETE AT 2015 RALLYE MONTE-CARLO IN A DS 3 WRC!

FIA WORLD TOURING CAR CHAMPIONSHIP 2014 - SLOVAKIANine-time World Rally Champions and seven-time winners of the Rallye Monte-Carlo, Sébast ien Loeb and Daniel Elena are to return to competive action in a DS 3 WRC at the Rallye Monte-Carlo, the opening round of the 2015 World Rally Championship. This one-off appearance, at the most prestigious rally on the WRC calendar, will support the launch of the DS Brand.

From Sweden to Australia, and taking in the likes of Argentina, the WRC is undoubtedly the greatest challenge in contemporary motorsport due to the variety of road surfaces and weather conditions encountered. With two world titles and 23 wins under its belt, DS 3 WRC has one of the best competitive records of the cars currently racing in the WRC. The legendary Rallye Monte-Carlo (19-25 January) will once again kick off the season in the south-east of France.

The two DS 3 WRCs nominated to score points in the Manufacturers’ championship will be driven by Kris Meeke/Paul Nagle – already confirmed as a works crew for the full season – and a couple of familiar faces! Leading specialists at a rally that they have won no fewer than seven times, Sébastien Loeb and Daniel Elena will take on the challenge once again as they return to road racing more than a year after the end of their shared career.

Often unpredictable due to the weather conditions, Rallye Monte-Carlo will provide the Franco-Monegasque pair with the perfect opportunity to use their immense experience. Both modest and excited when talking about the challenge ahead, Seb and Daniel’s one-off return will undoubtedly thrill the many fans who had been hoping to see them compete together again at a rally!

QUOTE, UNQUOTE

Yves Bonnefont, CEO of the DS brand: “When I told them today that Sébastien Loeb and Daniel Elena would be driving at Rallye Monte-Carlo in a DS 3 WRC, the news was greeted with great enthusiasm! It is a great opportunity to support the launch of DS as a premium brand.”

Yves Matton, Citroën Racing Team Principal: “With seven wins here, Seb and Daniel are undeniably the event’s greatest specialists and I’m sure that they will be extremely competitive in a DS 3 WRC, which will have some significant technical upgrades.” Like our partners Total and Abu Dhabi, our teams are proud to be racing with them again at Monte-Carlo.”

Sébastien Loeb: “I didn’t hesitate for a second when I was offered the chance to compete at the opening round of the 2015 World Rally Championship in the DS 3 WRC. I think Daniel and I would agree that Monte-Carlo is one of our favourite events. The beautiful roads, the fact of having to gamble when it comes to tyre choice and the party atmosphere that you get on the stages: we can’t wait to experience it all again! With the DS 3 WRC – “the little racer” as I nicknamed it when it was first released – I have a lot of good memories; I hope that the 2015 Rallye Monte-Carlo will provide yet another. Obviously, it’s going to be a personal challenge for me, as I haven’t competed in a rally for over a year. A few days from now, I’m going to take part in the Rallye du Var and that will give me the chance to reacquaint myself with the car. We have also ma naged to find a few available slots in my schedule so I can take part in testing. I’m absolutely delighted about this opportunity to meet up with the big rallying family during the FIA WTCC off-season!”

 

FORMULA 1

CONGRATULATIONS TO LEWIS HAMILTON!!

A GREAT FINISH FOR WILLIAMS F1  IN THE ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX

Race Notes:
·         Felipe Massa finished second and Valtteri Bottas third in the final Grand Prix of the season in Abu Dhabi.
·         After a difficult start for Valtteri he fought his way back through the field whilst Felipe maintained position in third.
·         Felipe managed his tyres well in every stint and after overtaking Nico Rosberg began closing the gap to leader Hamilton.
·         The team’s first double podium finish since 2005 secured third in the Constructors’ Championship with Valtteri fourth and Felipe seventh in the Drivers’ Championship.
Claire Williams, Deputy Team Principal: I am exceptionally proud of the team today, to go from P9 last year to P3 in 2014 is amazing. The work to turn the team around has been hard, but I am so happy to see the smiles back on the faces of the people that work here. This is just the first step in a great future for Williams. We must congratulate Mercedes on winning both Championships and thank Mercedes HPP for all their effort throughout the season.
 
Rob Smedley, Head of Performance Engineering: It was a fitting end to the season. The team has come on over the year in an incredible fashion. To get our best result of the season in the final race is a fitting tribute to all the work we have done. It’s been over ten years since Williams was last P3 in the Constructors’ and that is testament to the effort that the guys have made, many of whom have been here through the tough times are now reaping the benefit of their commitment.
Felipe Massa: It was a close race, I didn’t think the victory was there, but it was so close at the end. It was good to be racing and pushing the Mercedes. I hope this is a strong building block to go on for next year. The team progressed so much throughout the year, which is why we were able to get podiums in the second half of the season; we will continue this forward movement into next year.
Valtteri Bottas: We were very competitive today. I got a bad start and the race was compromised after I was stuck behind a few cars, so to walk away with a podium is incredible. It was a good race; I could really push and fight. The team has grown and developed throughout the season, from our first race in Melbourne to our best result here. It’s a great start to build on for next year and to continue the team’s great history.

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