F1weekly podcast # 515

F1weekly podcast number 515

Motorsports Mondial with Nasir Hameed and…

Special interview with Alexander Rossi.

Please enjoy our exclusive feature interview with Alexander Rossi, the next American in Formula 1. The California driver won the season opener in Spain and is currently 4th in the 2011 World Series by Renault Championship.

Rossi has a very impressive track record. He dominated the 2008 Formula BMW US championship and won the prestigious Formula BMW World Finals in Mexico City later on the year.

The winning tradition has continued across the pond since 2009 when he won races in Formula Master and last year finished 4th in the inaugural season of GP3.

He was recently signed on in the young driver development program of Team Air Asia.

Rossi competes in World Series by Renault with Fortec Motorsport, team based in Daventry, England, is headed by Richard Dutton who, at one time, was driver in British Formula 3 against the likes of Eddie Jordan and Nigel Mansell.

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Motorsports Mondial


The second VOLANT is to be held by the EUROFORMULA School, based in La Châtre, south of Châteauroux. At the initiative of its director, Laurent Fradon, the driving school founded in the 70s under the name “AVIA School La Châtre” trains not just avid sportsmen year after year, but also young talent from the kart racing world aspiring to make a career in motorsport.

Last year, for its first “EUROFORMULA VOLANT”, the school welcomed forty students, and the finals, presided over by the 24 Hour Le Mans former champion, Jean Pierre Jaussaud, revealed the first winner to be: Paul Loup Chatin.

Just a few weeks before the first selections, the EUROFORMULA school invited a few journalists and young kart racing drivers to experience the typical day of a “EUROFORMULA VOLANT” contestant, alongside Nelson Panciatici, the first student of the Training and Competition Department , and Paul Loup Chatin, the winner of the “EUROFORMULA VOLANT” 2010.

The day started with the traditional briefing by Joel de Miguel, former driver, who raced in Formula Renault Europe with a certain Alain Prost!

Then onto the track for the ten lap sessions to master the very specific breaking of a single-seater first. This was followed by the study of trajectories on the lower circuit where the students kept going, lap after lap, until each one had met the expectations of the instructor.

After lunch, the students got back behind the wheel to study the upper circuit and once they had a good feel for the trajectories, they were let loose on the whole circuit.

The drivers then paced through the laps at speed and their mistakes were corrected live, before the ultimate series in race mode. At the end of the day, Joel de Miguel debriefed each driver to explain what they still need to improve, particularly those who intend to take part in the EUROFORMULA VOLANT.

The “EUROFORMULA VOLANT” 2011 selections take place from July to September in four two-day sessions, in groups of 8 to 12 drivers, with intensive training on the Formula Renault. In total, 8 to 12 drivers will take part this year in the semi-finals set for October 14 2011 on the La Châtre circuit.

The five qualifying contestants will then take part in the final which will be held on October 15 2011. The students will all have the same single-seater, fuel levels identical. This year, each contestant will have his own set of tyres to use as he sees fit. The winner will pocket € 60,000, including taxes, which he can put toward the discipline of his choice in agreement with EUROFORMULA.

Motorsports Mondial

Renault reports on the British Grand Prix.

Nick Heidfeld:

“We saw on Saturday that this would be a tough weekend but as usual I said ‘never give up.’ I had a good start, but the first few corners were incredibly tight and I was happy to get through them without any damage to the car. The big question for the race was when to change from the intermediates to the slicks and we were one of the first to do this. It was a good call, however we didn’t get as much of an advantage as you can sometimes get from timing your stop well. After that it was an interesting race for me as I had to look after my tyres and at the same time I had to attack and also defend at different times, particularly with Michael and Adrian. Finding the balance between attacking, fighting and not killing the tyres was not only very satisfying, but it also worked out well for us with four valuable points.”

Vitaly Petrov:

“It was not a difficult drive today, however I found it tough running with the intermediate tyres. I lost some positions and was unable to protect myself because the traction was very poor and other cars were able to pass me like I was not there. The DRS section was not helpful at all; they should change its position on the track because it just wasn’t possible for me to overtake here at Silverstone. I was very close to Adrian (Sutil) but just could not get past, so that was a big frustration. Even on the back straight, there was not enough KERS to overtake so it would be better to put DRS there. My speed was not too bad, I was quite quick but I felt helpless out there.”

Eric Boullier:

“Firstly, it was good for Nick to recover from 16th on the grid to 8th position when he crossed the line, so the general feeling with his drive was quite positive because we had the right strategy with him. There is, however, a general sense of disappointment from this weekend because we did not have a good qualifying; we had our worst qualifying of the season here. This weekend we have not been able to reverse a poor period we are currently going through and we will continue to work hard to rectify this. We have some good developments coming, which unfortunately were not available for Silverstone but will be ready when we reach Nürburgring. These will take our performance forward, of that I am convinced.”

James Allison:

We’ll accept eighth place having started from 16th, however, it’s not where we want to finish. Nick drove a strong race to get this result with a car that is clearly off the pace at the moment. It was also a good drive from Vitaly to finish 12th. We were in trouble on the intermediate tyres and everyone could see it. Once we were on slicks we made inroads into the other cars and although the pace was poor, it was better relative to the opposition than it had been in qualifying. We scored four points after what has been a disappointing weekend. We can now put this performance behind us, having not lost too much ground to the teams around us. Our focus is now on the succession of upgrades that will be implemented to the car from Nürburgring onwards. This should bring us back up where we ought to be.

F1weekly podcast # 514

Bianchi and Vietoris do the Dijon Dance

Photo: gpupdate

Jules Bianchi, young French talent in the Ferrari Driver Academy, took his first victory in GP2 Series on Saturday. The race started behind the safety car due to wet conditions. Bianchi, starting from pole position, built a comfortable lead after the safety car pulled in after three laps.

A late pit stop by Bianchi allowed Christian Vietoris to close the gap. Bianchi had to fend-off a strong challenge from the German driver, who was able to take the lead only to be out-braked by Bianchi. The duo continued the duel with side-by-side racing, in the style reminiscent of the epic battle in France in 1979 between Gilles Villeneuve and Rene Arnoux.

The French driver prevailed on Saturday at Silverstone.

Marcus Ericsson of Sweden was third, Romain Grosjean fourth and Sam Bird fifth.

Sunday’s sprint race was won by Grosjean over Dani Clos of Spain. Dutchman Giedo van der Garde was third.

Grosjean leads the championship with 47 points. Van der Garde is second on 38 points and Bird third further six points behind. Feature race winner, Bianchi, now moves to 7th with 22 points.

— Nasir Hameed


Greetings and maiden win regards.

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Motorsports Mondial

Jumpin Jack Fernando

Photo: gpupdate

Ferrari’s Lucky 13thSixty years ago Spanish speaking driver, Jose Froilan Gonzalez from the Argentine, gave Enzo Ferrari his first Formula 1 World Championship victory in the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.

“That day I felt like stabbing my own mother,” Ferrari would recall later, as victory was achieved by beating his previous employer, Alfa-Romeo.

On Sunday at the same venue, another Spanish speaking driver would give Scuderia Ferrari their 13th victory in the British Grand Prix.

Fernando Alonso’s first victory of the season is his 27th F1 triumph, equaling the number of wins by the three times world champion from Scotland, Jackie Stewart. Only Schumacher, Prost, Senna and Mansell have more wins. An amazing feat for a kid from a small town, Oviedo, in Spain who made his F1 debut driving a Minardi in 2001.

The 2011 season has been all about Red Bull and their German wunderkind, Sebastian Vettel. He grabbed the lead from second on the grid when the lights went out from pole-sitter and teammate Mark Webber. The Aussie, “not bad for a number two” and winner of the race last year would later receive team orders confirming the pecking order at the Austrian-owned UK-based team.

A rare slow pit-stop on lap 26 for Vettel gave Alonso the opportunity to take the lead and drive for his first victory since Korea last year; ironically, that also came at the expense of Vettel’s late race engine failure while in the lead.

Lewis Hamilton kept close company with his ex-McLaren teammate, but Alonso inched ahead lap by lap and at the end of the 52-lap race was 16.51s ahead of second placed man, Vettel, who came ahead of Hamilton after his pit stop.

Alonso was quoted on www.gpupdate.net “My championship hopes are very difficult because Sebastian keeps finishing all of the races first or second, so the only thing we can do is try to win every race we go to.”

Hamilton’s hope for a podium finish evaporated when the team instructed him to conserve fuel to finish the race. Webber seized the opportunity and passed him and began a fruitless pursuit of his teammate, which was tainted by team’s instructions to maintain position.

The 2008 World Champion, Hamilton, did finish the race but only after a dramatic and physical tussle with Felipe Massa’s Ferrari on the last corner of the last lap.

Vettel leads the championship with 204 points. In the nine races so far this season he has six wins and three second place finishes.

Webber is second with 124 points but still winless this season.

Alonso is third in the title chase on 112, three points ahead of McLaren duo of Hamilton and Button.

The Grand Prix circus moves to Germany in two weeks. Alonso won the race last year and by now there is no doubt Massa not only understands the message but also knows the script very well.

— Nasir Hameed


Greetings. Abbey and Vale regards.

Motorsports Mondial

Fernando Alonso takes a fantastic victory at Silverstone.

On the final lap Red Bull tell Mark Webber to hold position.

Lewis Hamilton collides with Massa and keeps fourth place.

A missing wheel nut takes Button out of the Grand Prix.

Podcast 514 will have Clark and Steve’s race recap.

Fernando Alonso: Obviously it is a huge boost for us,” said Alonso. “We were confident of being quick here at Silverstone.

No doubts it was a race that had one red cross because it was not an easy grand prix for us; the characteristics of the corners, and the layout were never our strongest points.

We knew that Silverstone, like Barcelona, was difficult for us, so winning here is a good motivation for everyone and gives us confidence approaching the next few races.

We will try to enjoy the moment, the win and work hard. We will have the same approach as we had in Malaysia and we had in Canada and here as well. It is a weekend to try to go for the victory, to try to go for the race.

There are not championship thoughts at the moment because the gap is massive to Seb. We need to enjoy every weekend, and there is no time to think about anything.”

Mark Webber: “I am not fine with it, no. That is the answer to that.

If Fernando retires on the last lap, we are fighting for the win.

Of course I ignored the team because I wanted to try and get a place. Seb was doing his best, I was doing my best. I wasn’t going to crash with anyone.

I try to do my best with the amount of one way conversation I was having – I was trying to do my best to pass the guy in front.”

I just want to race until the end. Four or five laps to go, they started to chat to me about holding my position. I wanted the points but I also wanted to get some more points as well.”


Pos  Driver        Team                       Time
 1.  Alonso        Ferrari                    1h28:41.194
 2.  Vettel        Red Bull-Renault           +    16.511
 3.  Webber        Red Bull-Renault           +    16.947
 4.  Hamilton      McLaren-Mercedes           +    28.986
 5.  Massa         Ferrari                    +    29.010
 6.  Rosberg       Mercedes                   +  1:00.665
 7.  Perez         Sauber-Ferrari             +  1:05.590
 8.  Heidfeld      Renault                    +  1:15.542
 9.  Schumacher    Mercedes                   +  1:17.912
10.  Alguersuari   Toro Rosso-Ferrari         +  1:19.108
11.  Sutil         Force India-Mercedes       +  1:19.712
12.  Petrov        Renault                    +  1:20.600
13.  Barrichello   Williams-Cosworth          +  1 lap
14.  Maldonado     Williams-Cosworth          +  1 lap
15.  Di Resta      Force India-Mercedes       +  1 lap
16.  Glock         Virgin-Cosworth            +  2 laps
17.  D'Ambrosio    Virgin-Cosworth            +  2 laps
18.  Liuzzi        HRT-Cosworth               +  2 laps
19.  Ricciardo     HRT-Cosworth               +  3 laps        



Grosjean sprints to Silverstone victory

Romain Grosjean has solidified his lead in the title race after fighting his way to victory in this morning’s sprint race in Silverstone, muscling his way past Dani Clos and Giedo van der Garde before easing away from his rivals for his third win of the season.

The Frenchman had some work to do from fifth on the grid, but his job was made easier as the lights went out when front row starter Stefano Coletti stalled, giving poleman van der Garde a clean run to the first turn ahead of Clos, Sam Bird, Grosjean, Christian Vietoris and Marcus Ericsson: the lead pair were soon banging wheels until the Spaniard took the top spot at turn 4, with Grosjean dispatching Bird behind them.

With the order shaken out everyone looked to protect their tyres for the first dry period of the weekend, running well under the lap times of Coletti a lap behind them: it wasn’t until the halfway point that Grosjean started to look for a way past his title rival. It was clear that he had a much better handling car than his rivals, and he easily dispatched van der Garde on lap 14 in the new loop corner, while Ericsson finally overtook Vietoris after a long battle behind them.

Two laps later Grosjean blew past Clos for the lead at Copse and disappeared into the distance, with Jules Bianchi disposing of the Spaniard’s teammate for sixth position a few seconds later at the same corner. Ericsson was on a charge too, quickly clearing his teammate and heading off after van der Garde, who was catching Clos at a great rate himself.

And when the chequered flag dropped it was Grosjean who claimed the victory by seven seconds from Clos, who had van der Garde and Ericsson all over his rear wing. Bianchi slipped past Bird for fifth when the Englishman had a huge lock up with two laps remaining: the local driver was a disappointed sixth after hoping for so much more from his local race.

Grosjean’s strong weekend has allowed him to also ease away from van der Garde in the title race: the Frenchman now leads by 47 points to 38, with Bird a further six points back on 32. Addax also retain the lead in the teams’ title with 62 points, with iSport on 49 points and DAMS two points behind their English rivals ahead of the next round at the Nurburgring, in two weeks time.

Williamson wins home race

MW Arden’s Lewis Williamson won his first GP3 Series race today in front of his home crowd at Silverstone Circuit. The Scot finished ahead of Addax team’s Dean Smith and Status Grand Prix’s Alexander Sims to lead an all British podium, and was the eighth different winner this season.

The dry conditions for race two this morning were a far cry from yesterday’s pre-race downpour. Poleman Smith held onto his lead when the light went off, whilst Williamson made a bad start off the line dropping to fifth allowing James Calado up into second and Nick Yelloly into third. Adrian Quaife-Hobbs’ weekend went from bad to worse when a mechanical problem prevented him from pulling away from fifth on the formation lap and starting from the pitlane.

Williamson recovered from his slow getaway brilliantly, and after a three-way battle and a couple of good overtaking maneuvers to pass Calado and Smith, the Scotsman was back into the lead by the end of lap one. Yelloly and Alexander Sims were running in fourth and fifth respectively, but it was Rio Haryanto who was on a mission – the Marussia Manor Racing driver started the race from tenth, and by the end of lap two had passed yesterday’s race winner Nico Müller to take sixth spot.

A fight then ensued between Sims, Haryanto and Muller, with the Brit and the Indonesian both finding a way passed Muller on lap 6. Sims then set his sights on Calado and the final podium position, whilst still defending hard from a charging Haryanto. Williamson meanwhile was 3.5 seconds ahead of the pack.

As the race came to a close, Calado was doing everything in his power to hold back Sims, but the Status driver was unstoppable finding a way past the Lotus ART driver with two laps remaining. Calado then went wide loosing another spot to Hayanto. Williamson drove a faultless race to claim his first victory ahead of Smith and Sims. Haryanto, Calado and Yelloly took the remaining available. Third place man in the standings Nigel Melker had a great race moving up from twenty-seventh to eighth, but leaves Silverstone point-less. Series leader Mitch Evans’ weekend went from bad to worse after a first lap retirement meant the Kiwi also leaves Silverstone with no points.

Sims has now moved into the lead of the Series by three points. MW Arden continues to lead the teams’ standing with forty-five points after becoming the first team this season to win more than one race.

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