Motorsports Mondial


Photo: circo_motor

Sebastian Vettel youngest double Formula 1 World Champion!

Vettel: “It is difficult to know where to start Obviously it is such a long year and we had a fantastic year, and the best thing is it is not over yet.

A strong result again today to win the championship here, it’s fantastic. There are so many things you want to say in this moment but it’s hard to remember all of them, so I am just so thankful to everyone in the team.

We have so many people here at the track and at Milton Keynes, day in and day out, not only Friday, but also Saturday and Sunday and Monday to Friday, every day pushing hard, fighting hard for points and fighting for the championship.

We find ourselves in a very strong position and it is great to achieve the goal we set ourselves already now.”

There are so many people. It is hard to name them all, but one person that really stands out this year is the person I spend most of my time with, he is my trainer Tommy Parmakoski, and regards to his family in Finland. They have a great son with a great heart. He was the first one who stopped me from thinking about things not in our control.

We won the championship, it was so close and we were so excited, even knowing how to do it doesn’t allow you to forget all these steps. I could not have done this all alone. It is as confusing as the first one I must say. It is hard to find the right words.

Today’s race was not so easy. We were not that quick on soft tyres as we hoped to be. It was difficult as we lost two positions, and it was difficult to get past Fernando. I got my move of the year in Monza and obviously he is not letting me through this way twice.”

Motorsports Mondial

Sebastian Vettel simply unstoppable.

Jenson Button misses pole by .009 of a second.

Massa outqualifies his team mate lines up along side Hamilton.

Button: “It has been a pretty good weekend. As always I love driving around here, Suzuka is a phenomenal circuit, and when the car working around here it is ideal.

I was building up to Q3 and thought that last lap would be enough – but it was nine thousandths, so not good enough.

I felt like I got everything out of the car. I had a bit of oversteer on the last run but maybe I was pushing too hard. It’s great from team to be close to Red Bull on a circuit where they have been dominant in the past.”

Vettel: “What a qualifying. Yesterday I went off in free practice and damaged the wing, so it wasn’t ideal in the afternoon to prepare the car for today.

We suffered a bit this morning in particular where we were kind of coming back regarding car balance but we were too slow.

We sat down after the practice session this morning and fortunately got everything together and were able to get every single bit out of the car in qualifying.

It was crucial, there’s not much between Jenson Button and myself. It was a tough qualifying but I enjoyed it a lot. It is a long lap, you have a mega first sector, every time it is a challenge, it’s hard to get it right. I had a bit of a wobble in the first sector but got it right in the second sector.

Regarding the point or no point, I am not really focusing on that.

I had a lesson yesterday where I didn’t do a big mistake, but for a little moment I was not 100 per cent focused and lost the car.

Tomorrow is a long race and a very challenging race. We start from pole position and it will be very special tomorrow. Lot of things can happen and DRS can open a couple of chances so we’ll see where we are.

We had a good racecar yesterday in preparation so it should be alright. I am looking forward to the race, not the point.”

Senna: “It was a bit of a squeeze getting my car together in time for qualifying but the team did a fantastic job to mend it after my mishap in practice this morning. I haven’t been able to get as much track time as I would have liked yet this weekend, however the car performed flawlessly throughout qualifying, and the strategy we deployed helped put us in a strong position for the race tomorrow.

I am really looking forward to lining up on the grid, as it should be an exciting race. As I’ve said several times this weekend, I love this track and I am very well supported here so I hope to be able to give the supporters in the stands something to shout about.”

Petrov: “I’m pleased with lining up ninth on the grid. We are looking much stronger here than in Singapore, and we’re demonstrating the potential of the R31 at high speed corner tracks once again. The car has felt progressively better each time I’ve taken to the wheel this weekend.

It felt good in FP1 and FP2, and then FP3 this morning confirmed my sense that there will be a good opportunity for us to perform well here. The stability of the car improved around the high speed corners and the traction was better too, so I’m feeling confident going into tomorrow. A lot of different strategies will be played out during the race but I’m glad we are back in the hunt again.”

Pos Driver Team Time Gap 
 1.  Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault     1m30.466s
 2.  Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes     1m30.475s   + 0.009
 3.  Lewis Hamilton        McLaren-Mercedes     1m30.617s   + 0.151
 4.  Felipe Massa          Ferrari              1m30.804s   + 0.338
 5.  Fernando Alonso       Ferrari              1m30.886s   + 0.420
 6.  Mark Webber           Red Bull-Renault     1m31.156s   + 0.690
 7.  Michael Schumacher    Mercedes             No time
 8.  Bruno Senna           Renault              No time
 9.  Vitaly Petrov         Renault              No time
10.  Kamui Kobayashi       Sauber-Ferrari       No time
Q2 cut-off time: 1m32.380s Gap **
11.  Michael Schumacher    Mercedes             1m37.035s   + 1.466
12.  Sebastien Buemi       Toro Rosso-Ferrari   1m37.160s   + 1.591
13.  Jaime Alguersuari     Toro Rosso-Ferrari   1m37.347s   + 1.778
14.  Paul di Resta         Force India-Mercedes 1m37.370s   + 1.801
15.  Rubens Barrichello    Williams-Cosworth    1m37.496s   + 1.927
16.  Sergio Perez          Sauber-Ferrari       1m37.528s   + 1.959
17.  Adrian Sutil          Force India-Mercedes 1m37.593s   + 2.024
Q1 cut-off time: 1m35.111s Gap *
18.  Heikki Kovalainen     Lotus-Renault        1m35.454s   + 2.828
19.  Jarno Trulli          Lotus-Renault        1m35.514s   + 2.888
20.  Jerome D'Ambrosio     Virgin-Cosworth      1m36.439s   + 3.813
21.  Timo Glock            Virgin-Cosworth      1m36.507s   + 3.881
22.  Daniel Ricciardo      HRT-Cosworth         1m37.846s   + 5.220
23.  Nico Rosberg          Mercedes             No time
24.  Tonio Liuzzi          HRT-Cosworth         No time

F1weekly podcast # 530

F1weekly podcast number 530

Clark and Steve discuss the Japanee Grand Prix

Motorsports Mondial with Nasir Hameed and…

Special interviews… more from Argentina!

Eric Boullier says: Suzuka is one of the drivers’ favourite tracks – would it mean something special to perform well there?

Suzuka is one of the big names in F1. It is up there with Monaco, Silverstone, Spa and Monza. We’ve seen so many amazing races there. I still remember, as a teenager, waking up early to watch the battling between Prost and Senna on TV at the end of the 80’s. The fans in Suzuka are quite incredible, too. Bruno is very popular there, so he will have quite a lot of autographs to sign!

If your in San Francisco this weekend:

Join us for the GP of Japan this Saturday night at Zeke’s in San Francisco – we’ll have a full house on hand and all screens covering the action live from Suzuka. All are welcome to RSVP on Facebook and join us for a fantastic evening of racing and a world championship in the making!

For a quick update on the progress at Circuit of the Americas and a visit to the track as well as Austin, visit ‘F1 in America’ for photos and a behind the scenes look at the new circuit.

Look forward to seeing everyone at the races!

What: The Grand Prix of Japan LIVE at Zeke’s in San Francisco (RSVP on Facebook)

When: Saturday October 8th, 10:30 pm pre-race, the flag drops at 11pm (food and drink served)

Where: Zeke’s (yelp!) 600 3rd Street, San Francisco, CA 94107 (map) (415) 392-5311


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Motorsports Mondial



Turkish Delight in Karting

Kaan Önder is a 14-year karting talent from Istanbul. He finished seventh in the 2011 Rotax Euro Challenge and is now aiming to clinch the championship next year. With backing from BMW’s Turkish importer, Borusan Otomotiv, Önder is on his way to becoming a successful WTCC driver.

F1Weekly would like to thank Kaan Önder for taking the time to answer our        questions. We wish him continued success.

Q. What got you interested in motorsports?

A. I started to get interested in motorsports back in 2006 when I went to the Turkish F1 Grand Prix at Istanbul Park. I was very impressed by the atmosphere of the meeting and I really enjoyed watching the race. After that weekend I decided to go to a small indoor kart track and I absolutely loved it. Since then my passion for motorsports has been getting bigger and bigger.

Q. How old were you at the time of your first kart race, and what was your impression?

A. I was 9 years old when I started driving professional karts and I really enjoyed the action and adrenaline of racing. From the first moment I got into a kart I knew that motorsports was the sport for me.

Q. Apart from Istanbul, what are other major karting centers in Turkey?

A. Sadly, currently there aren’t any karting tracks in Turkey which comply with international rules. This is one of the biggest problems Turkish motorsports face because karting is like the kindergarten of motorsports, and without good karting centers young kids can’t start karting which then makes it almost impossible to have successful Turkish drivers. 

Q. In 2008, at the ripe old age of 11, you were Turkish ICA Junior Champion. Please tell us about this championship; how many races and how many entries?

A. 2008 was an important year for me because we knew that there was a lack of competition, race tracks and amount of drivers in Turkey so at the beginning of the year my dad and I decided that I had to start racing outside of Turkey to improve myself. After this decision my dad contacted a British and European championship winning team Protrain Racing and I started to race with them in the UK. I decided to race in the UK because I knew that the level of competition level there was very high and I instantly started improving by racing there. At the same time I continued racing in Turkey and I won the Turkish ICA Junior championship. There were 7 races in the championship and I managed to win 5 of them. Winning the championship was very important for me because this was my first title and was a milestone for my racing career.

Q. In 2009, you won the Turkish KF3 Championship. Was this more challenging to win in terms of depth of competition compared to ICA Junior?

A. In 2009, we started using new generation 125cc KF engines so I started racing in the KF3 championship. I managed to win the Turkish championship again and I added another important title to my CV. I also started racing in the CIK event SEEKZ (South East European Karting Championship) KF3 championship and I managed to finish 3rd overall which was another very important result because the competition in this international championship was a lot tougher than the Turkish Championship. I also continued racing in the UK with Protrain Racing and I continued improving myself. 

Q. The 2010 season saw third championship for you in as many years, this time in the South East European KF3. What was your impression of international competition as compared to local Turkish scene?

A. At the beginning of 2010 after winning the Turkish Championship two years in a row we decided to stop racing in Turkey and only concentrate on international events. I kept on racing in the South East European Championship and I managed to win it after finishing every race on the podium. This was a really important step for me because it was a tough championship with many good drivers and because it was my first international title.

At the same time I started racing in one of the world’s toughest and most prestigious championships, the Rotax Euro Challenge. This championship is the European Championship and it has over 260 of the best drivers all over the world. Racing in this championship really helped me learn a lot and made me improve. I also continued racing in the UK which taught me a lot.

Q. Is there any financial sponsorship available to young talented Turkish kids from Turkish Motorsports Federation or Petrol Ofisi?

A. Currently there isn’t any support or financial sponsorship from the Turkish Motorsports Federation or Petrol Ofisi. Actually, back in 2007 Petrol Ofisi was organizing a special championship for young Turkish kids and this championship was how I started karting. They were also sponsoring the Turkish F1 Grand Prix and they had a GP2 team but since 2008 they have completely stopped supporting motorsports which is a great shame.

Even though there are very few supporters of Turkish motorsports, I have a very important sponsor “Borusan Otomotiv Motorsports”. Borusan Otomotiv is the official BMW importer of Turkey and their motorsports team is a touring car team which races in WTCC, ETCC and TPS (Turkish Touring Car Championship). They are the biggest motorsports team in Turkey and they have had a lot of success in the past couple of years.

They have been supporting and sponsoring me since the beginning of this year as their official karting driver. Having such a big team sponsoring me is a very important and exciting thing for me but it also requires a lot of responsibility and hard work.

Q. Who is guiding and managing your career?

A. Until the beginning of this year my dad had been managing my career and he had been doing a great job. But since the beginning of 2011 my sponsor Borusan Otomotiv Motorsports has been managing and guiding my career which is a very big positive for me since they are very knowledgeable.

Q. Do you have any racing heroes? 

A. My racing heroes are Ayrton Senna, Jenson Button and Andy Priaulx. I look up to them because they are all great drivers and also great characters.

Q. Karting started from California. Have you ever raced in the United States?

A. I haven’t raced in the United States but I would love to race there in the future. I know that there are very prestigious championships organized there and I know a lot of very good drivers from there too.

Q. You have five impressive years in karting so far. What is your plan for single-seater racing?

A. I haven’t really decided about what I’m going to do when I move up from karting. I am planning to do a touring car test with my team before the end of this year. I want to become a touring car driver more than an F1 driver because I think that touring car championships such as WTCC (World Touring Car Championship) are much more competitive than F1.

I guess having a touring car team as my sponsor is one of the reasons why I prefer touring cars but I also think that the importance of the driver is much more important in touring cars than F1. I hope that I can win WTCC in the future. 

Q. Please tell us about Kaan Önder, your interest in music, food and what other sports you enjoy watching apart from motorsports?

A. I really enjoy playing guitar. I play all sorts of music from metal to blues. I like to listen to music too because I think that listening to different types of music has a big impression on my guitar playing.

My favorite food is a Turkish dish called durum which is a kind of meat wrap. Other than motorsports I enjoy watching snooker and cycling. I also enjoy windsurfing in the summer. 

For more information please visit


— Nasir Hameed 

Motorsports Mondial

F1weekly and Renault Sport F1 preview to the Japanese GP

The FIA Formula One World Championship remains in the Far East for round 15 of the 19 race calendar; the Japanese Grand Prix.

The race is held at the famed Suzuka Circuit, a high-speed figure of eight track that features every possible corner, from high speed kinks to flowing linked turns and profiled curved bends and chicanes and hairpins. As such, it’s a tough challenge for the Renault RS27 engine that needs to deliver across the entire power spectrum without sacrificing driveability and responsiveness.

Japanese Grand Prix facts and figures

– This is one of the toughest circuits of the year for the RS27 engine, after Spa and Monza. The engine needs to be strong throughout the rev range, plus give good driveability and responsiveness to handle the numerous corners.

– Suzuka is a circuit of two halves. The first part of the circuit, from the First Curve to Spoon Curve, is flowing and contains 75% of the circuit’s corners. The engine needs to be driveable and smooth throughout the power curve in this part. The second half of the track, from the exit of Spoon to the end of the pit straight, is all about outright power as 90% of this section is spent at full throttle.

– The awesome 130R corner, a curved straight, is taken at nearly 310kph with high lateral G-forces. This long straight is a huge 1250m from the exit of turn 14 and is only interrupted by the chicane leading onto the pit straight. Drivers will brake down from 320kph to under 100kph for this chicane, but will accelerate back up to 320kph down the 900m pit straight.

– The rapid changes of direction through the Esses – the series of interlinking corners from turns 3 to 7 – require ultimate driveability and responsiveness. The driver will enter turn 3 at approximately 245kph and carry the speed through until exiting the complex. Gear selection here is crucial as the driver will spend approximately 15secs in fourth or fifth gear through this section.

– The weather in Japan can be very changeable. In 2010 sunshine gave way to heavy rain on Saturday, which led to the qualifying being delayed until Sunday morning. To allow flexibility, the engine maps may need to be compromised between wet and dry settings, particularly with the ban on changing settings between qualifying and the race.

Heikki Kovalainen, Team Lotus

Japan is a circuit I really look forward to. I’ve had some memorable results there, including second in 2007 with the Renault F1 Team, but every time we go there it’s a pleasure to drive the circuit and the atmosphere is incredible. Every driver loves the track as you need to be 100% committed through the lap to attack every one of the corners. This means you have to have confidence in your set-up and a good engine is crucial. It’s not easy to get the right maps as we need good top end power to negotiate the faster corners, such as the 130R, where we’ll be going at nearly 300kph on the apex and over 320kph by the entrance to the chicane. However we also need traction through the flowing corners in the first sector, including the Esses where we’ll be carrying about 250kph through the whole complex. From what we’ve seen on similar circuits, such as Canada and Australia, the RS27 delivers on the levels we need it to, and I’ll be working with my engine engineer to optimise settings for max driveability here.

Head of Renault Sport F1 track operations Rémi Taffin gives his thoughts on Japan:

Japan is a particularly demanding track on engines and one of the hardest to prepare. Only Spa and Monza beat it on the percentage of outright engine power required through the lap. Like Spa, the RS27 needs to deliver good top end power, particularly through the second part of the circuit from Spoon through the 130R to the chicane, but also traction, driveability and responsiveness through the medium to low speed turns in the first section. As such, it’s one of the tracks that we will use to check reliability on the dyno as the engine gets such a thorough workout!

The high speed corners such as the Esses also subject the internals of the engine and lubricant systems to high lateral G-forces so we monitor reliability very carefully and may introduce new units this weekend to give optimal reliability and power.

It’s a special weekend for Renault Sport F1 as we could see Sebastian Vettel secure the drivers’ title. Eight drivers have previously won the title with a Renault engine and each has been warmly welcomed back at Viry. A lot of hard work goes into providing the most competitive engine for our teams and everyone takes the same amount of pride in the title as our partners at Red Bull. To win the title in Japan in front of our colleagues in the Renault-Nissan alliance would also be a great boost after the challenges of the earthquake and tsunami disaster earlier this year.

Sebastian Vettel needs just one more point to win the drivers’ championship in Japan. If he does so, the title will be the ninth time a Renault engine has powered a driver to the crown. The first came in 1992 with Nigel Mansell (Williams-Renault), followed in 1993 with Alain Prost (Williams-Renault). Michael Schumacher won with Benetton-Renault in 1995, with Williams-Renault taking the title in 1996 and 1997 with Damon Hill and Jacques Villeneuve respectively. Fernando Alonso took the title in 2005 and 2006 with the Renault F1 Team before Vettel again sealed the win last season.



Motorsports Mondial

Photo: dtmmedia

Martin Tomczyk celebrates as the new DTM champion

The most popular international touring car series has a new champion: Martin Tomczyk (D) wrapped up the 2011 DTM title by finishing third at Valencia in Spain behind race winner Mattias Ekström (S) and second-placed Portuguese Filipe Albuquerque. With 64 points in the drivers’ standings prior to the season finale at Hockenheim, Audi driver Tomczyk is beyond reach ahead of his opponent Bruno Spengler (Mercedes-Benz, 51 points). “This is just unbelieveable. At the beginning of the season, nobody had me on the radar, and now, I am champion”, the 29-year old from the Bavarian city of Rosenheim said and told his team over the radio: “This title is for you.” With his 2008-spec Audi A4 DTM, Tomczyk became the 12th champion of the ’new’ DTM at the Circuit de la Comunitat Valenciana Ricardo Tormo.

Tomczyk started the race from twelfth place on the grid and steadily made his way up through the ranks in the ninth DTM season round. When he crossed the finish line in third place, he pulled up his arms, cheered and shed a few tears for sheer joy: “The last few laps seemed incredibly long to me. I was really longing for the chequered flag for my dream to come true.” His fiancée, presenter Christina Surer, celebrated together with Tomczyk’s brother and manager Tobias in the pit box of his Audi Sport Team Phoenix. His opponent Bruno Spengler wasn’t allowed such a joy, as the Canadian once again failed to win the title after a close finale in 2010. As the best-placed Mercedes-Benz driver in Valencia in seventh place, his hopes of winning the title were blown: “We didn’t lose the title today, we already lost too many points in the previous races. We have been fighting hard, but we simply couldn’t do more today.”

Fellow Audi driver Ekström, who scored his third race win of the season at Valencia, was honestly happy to see Tomczyk winning the title: “I have known Martin for eleven years and he has had a lot of bad luck in the past. Now, I am very happy for him.” In front of 16,000 spectators during the weekend, Tomczyk managed to continue his run of success: he is the only driver to have scored points in the nine races held so far. This season, he has won three races (Spielberg, Lausitzring, Brands Hatch) and scored four more podium finishes (Zandvoort, Norisring, Oschersleben, Valencia).

Tomczyk will receive the crystal champion’s trophy after the season finale in his native Germany. The tenth and final DTM race weekend of the 2011 season will take place at Hockenheim from October 21st till 23rd.

Due to a pending appeal, the result of the ninth round remains provisional from fifth place onward. The decision in the appeal has no effect on Tomczyk’s DTM title.

Dr. Martin Mühlmeier, head of technology Audi Sport: “In the last few races, there has been a lot of tension. Of course, we had hoped that we get everything sorted today already. This is a great day for Audi, because we can celebrate with Martin and, of course, also with Mattias, Filipe and all the other drivers. Martin has been very focussed throughout the season and eventually has won the title by his own means. I really congratulate him.”

Norbert Haug, head of motorsport Mercedes-Benz: “First of all, congratulations to Martin and the Audi team. At the end of the day, I am a sportsman, one should be able to lose as well. Today, I am one hundred percent behind my team. They have all been working very hard. Unfortunately, we have lost 20 points to Martin in the last races. I want to take the opportunity to say thank you to all those who have contributed to make the DTM survive in the past years: Audi, Mercedes-Benz, the DMSB and the ITR. Now, I am looking forward to the final round at Hockenheim and BMW’s arrival next year.”

The Premiere Motorsport Podcast