F1weekly podcast # 476

Photo: LAT

Podcast number 476

Will the real Lotus please stand up!

Alain Prost bummed for France to loose Renault F1



Focusing on a proud tradition as an engine manufacturer

Renault announces the creation of Renault Sport F1, the sporting division that will be responsible for Renault’s involvement in Formula 1™ racing as a supplier of engines and

technology for the 2011 season and beyond. Renault Sport F1 will supply three teams in 2011, which equates to 25% of the grid.

As well as supplying engines, Renault Sport F1 will conduct advanced research studies with its partners, as well as engineering programmes in areas such as transmissions and kinetic energy recovery systems (KERS).

The new division will put forward Renault’s technological response to the challenge raised by the new F1™ regulations on engines. It will be a laboratory for developing technologies

that better respect the environment, applicable to combustion and electric powertrains as well as to production models.

Renault Sport F1 will operate from Viry-Châtillon, Renault’s traditional F1™ racing base.

Its Chairman will be Bernard Rey, a member of Renault’s Management Committee.

The creation of Renault Sport F1 follows Renault’s decision to sell its minority stake in Renault F1 Team to Genii Capital. Renault will continue to provide strong support for the Enstone team as a supplier of engines, as well as technological and engineering expertise.

Renault has taken part in 29 F1™ racing seasons, winning nine Constructors’ world champion titles, most recently with Red Bull Racing in 2010. Renault engines secured 23

podium finishes in 2010, including a historic 1-2-3 at the Formula 1 Grand Prix de Monaco 2010. Renault engines have won three of the last six world championships.


Renault will be supplying engines to three of the teams on the grid in 2011:

Lotus Renault GP: Renault will be supplying engines and technological support to Lotus Renault GP,

the team that previously competed under the name of Renault F1 Team and with which it won two

world championships in 2005 and 2006.

Red Bull Racing Renault: the 2010 world champion has been using Renault engines for four

seasons. Demonstrating its confidence in Renault, it has extended the partnership for a further two years.

1 Malaysia Racing Team (UK) Ltd: a new customer for Renault in 2011. This team made its F1

debut in 2010. It has a sound technological base with the Renault engine and Red Bull Technology transmission.

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Motorsports Mondial



The Lion of Nuevo León

Like the lion roars in the jungle, this young Mexican driver has been rip roaring through the competition. Marking his territory, from Salt Lake City to Spa-Francorchamps.

In three years of racing in the cut-throat world of European jungle, Esteban Gutierrez has claimed two dominant championships. And in 2011 he will enter the final frontier before Formula 1, GP2 with Lotus-ART team.

Esteban triumphed this year in the inaugural season of GP3 Series, created by the same people who are behind the highly successful GP2 Series, Bruno Michel & Company.

GP3 turbo machine.

The Dallara-built car is powered by a Renault-turbo engine while Pirelli supplies the rubber. The car made its track debut in June 2009 at Paul Ricard in the south of France in the capable hands of Romain Grosjean.

The Geneva-born and based banker and F1 aspirant was impressed by the new race car.

“This is a great car! Compared to Formula 3 car, the acceleration is better and speeds in fast corners are similar. The paddle shift on the steering is also a great addition to a car that will definitely prepare GP3 drivers to step into the next category, GP2,” Grosjean commented after the initial shakedown.

Mark Webber, who co-owns MW Arden team in GP3 with Christian Horner, also tested the car in November last year at the same track and was equally enthusiastic.

“I can honestly say it is like driving a small F1 car,” assured the Australian.

Season of domination.

Gutierrez was on the go as soon as the pre-season testing commenced, posting some of the fastest times both at Paul Ricard and Circuit de Catalunya.

The birth of the new series in Barcelona, as a support race to Spanish Grand Prix, saw a difficult wet-dry conditions in qualifying which saw Dutch driver Nigel Melker grab pole position and a surprised Pal Varhaug of Norway sharing the front row with him. Varhaug led the race from start to finish to become the first ever race winner in GP3 Series.

Gutierrez started his charge from the fourth row and was in third place by the end of the opening lap. The remaining laps saw a great battle between Gutierrez and Robert Wickens for second place. The Canadian was able to hold off Gutierrez.

The reverse grid for second race of top eight finishers from Saturday’s event saw Gutierrez start sixth, and he was on the podium again, this time returning the favor and holding off Wickens for third place. The race was won by Gutierrez’s ART teammate from northern California, Alexander Rossi, who started from pole courtesy of his eighth place finish in race one of the weekend.

The Gutierrez gun got blazing in round two. He started the opening race of round two in Istanbul from front row and put in a Pasha performance of complete and utter domination. He led from start to finish and was over 10-seconds ahead of runner-up James Jakes.

Victory also gave Gutierrez the championship lead.

Second race of the weekend saw maiden win for Indonesian driver Rio Haryanto. Gutierrez kept his championship lead despite placing seventh.

The streets of Valencia gave Gutierrez his first pole position of the season, and he made the most of it by leading the race from start to finish. His fastest lap on the final lap gave him a bonus point which helped him to extend his championship lead over Wickens, who finished second.

The opening lap of race two on Sunday saw Gutierrez and Wickens collide, spinning the Mexican driver to the bottom of the field and sending the Canadian to the pit lane for a drive-through penalty. Gutierrez raced hard but finished out of the points in seventh but with championship lead still intact.

The race was won by the Swiss driver Nico Müller.

The Silverstone show placed Gutierrez on pole from which he scored his third successive feature win of the season, setting the fastest lap on the final tour of the circuit. Indonesian star Rio Haryanto chased hard all the way to second place finish.

Starting Sunday’s race two in eighth place Gutierrez charged through the field to fight for second place with Italian Mirko Bortolotti, the duel intensified resulting in Gutierrez squeezed out on the grass on the final lap. This allowed his teammate Rossi to fight for the final podium finish which both fought with fierce determination, the Californian claiming third place finish by a mere 0.08s.

The race was won by Canadian Daniel Morad, his first win of the season.

There was more Canadian success in the opening race of the following round at Hockenheimring. Robert Wickens, who, like Morad, hails from Toronto, scored his first win of the season. Gutierrez finished fourth.

The second German race gave Gutierrez win number four of the season. This put him 30 points ahead of second place Wickens and 38 points ahead of third man, teammate Rossi.

The Hungarian round saw front row finish in the same position, pole-sitter Nico Müller taking the win from Gutierrez, the Mexican had matched his lap time in qualifying but the Swiss driver’s time was set first and was, thus, awarded pole position.

Sunday’s round two in Budapest almost ended in an American one-two. Alexander Rossi led the race from start from to finish over pole-sitter Josef Newgarden, who hails from Tennessee, but his car stopped only three laps from the end.

Gutierrez came in fifth. Wickens, despite finishing second, was now 35 points behind Gutierrez with only two rounds remaining.

The fabled Spa-Francorchamps witnessed a bizarre rain sodden race where Robert Wickens crashed while leading, managed to get going again and then wisely ran the clock out after the safety car came in with only 30 seconds remaining in the race.

Gutierrez failed to score any points and was unable to fire up the championship celebrations in the Ardennes forest.

Both title contenders, Gutierrez and Wickens, failed to score in race two, which saw an impressive win by Adrien Tambay. The son of ex-Ferrari Grand Prix driver Patrick was not a regular in the series. At Spa on Sunday he stayed on slick tires in the closing stages only to face rain falling again. He put on a great display of defensive driving to win ahead of Alexander Rossi.

The magical Monza was going to stage the season finale. But with an 18-point lead from maximum 20 points available, the wind and win was going Gutierrez’s way.

The Monza moment came before the race even started. Gutierrez took pole and bonus point made him GP3’s first ever champion. But he saved the best for last. Having lost the lead at the start, Gutierrez was third with three laps remaining. His relentless pursuit resulted in fifth win of the season

Sunday’s final race of the season at the Temple of Speed saw Wickens forced his way for an impressive win after starting seventh. After winning the race on Saturday Gutierrez started next to Wickens, but an off-course excursion while attempting a pass on Roberti Merhi going into Parabolica resulted in his only dnf of the season.

The new champion explained his season campaign to Autosport: “From the beginning our main focus was not only to win races and to win the championship, but to be consistent through the whole season. And in the end we have been able to keep a high level of consistency, and we have been working to improve ourselves and not think too much about the other guys. We’ve just tried to do our best and focus on the job. Every mechanic, every engineer did his job and we had a really good synergy and a really good attitude. Everyone was really positive all the time, even in the hard times.”

Esteban Gutierrez was born in Monterrey in the Mexican state of Nuevo León on August 5, 1991. His racing career started in Utah at the Miller Motorsports Park, near Salt Lake City. He grabbed pole positions for the first two races of his career in the 2007 Formula BMW US Championship. He was Rookie of the Year at season’s end. The following year he captured the European version of the same series, winning seven races, six of them in a row.

In 2009, he competed in the F3 Euro Series and finished in the top ten in the championship. His success this year has marked him as a star of the future. He is now signed as third driver for Sauber F1 team and posted very impressive times in recent GP2 testing in Abu Dhabi.

If Esteban can pull-off a Hamilton or Hulkenberg and win the GP2 Championship in his rookie season against experienced hands, from Bianchi and Bird to Turvey and Filippi, the roar of Mexican Hat Dance will be heard around the world.

– Nasir Hameed.

Buenos Dias from California.

All photos courtesy of www.estebangtz.com and Marks Granados.

Motorsports Mondial


After earning Dacia’s maiden win in the Trophée Andros at Val Thorens in 2009, Alain
Prost finished on top once again at the same venue to give the make its first victory of
the 2010/2011 campaign and also take an early lead in the championship’s provisional
standings. The four-time F1 world champion and two-time Trophée Andros winner
champ was in outstanding form from the qualifying heats to Sunday’s finale at the wheel
of his Dacia Duster Glace.

Given the potential revealed by the car during the first day of competitive action at Val Thorens
which saw Alain Prost claim third place, the team clearly had hopes of kicking off the new
season with a win. The morning’s warm-up session gave the Frenchman a chance to fine-tune
the settings of his Dacia Duster Glace and, more especially, its suspension set-up.
The car went on to dominate the first qualifying heat as Prost, who was the last driver out, made
the most of its potential to post a string of quick laps with clockwork-like consistency (46.810s,
46.610s, 46.681s and 47.071s). That put the Dacia Duster at the top of the time-sheets with an
aggregate time of 3m 7.172s.

“I didn’t feel completely relaxed,” admitted Alain Prost. “The handling of my Dacia Duster was
perfect, though, thanks to the adjustments we made. I can now go into the second qualifying
heat in a totally different frame of mind compared with yesterday evening when I couldn’t afford
to make a mistake.”

The second qualifying heat passed off just as well, with Alain Prost producing another quick run
as he modified his cornering lines as a function of the evolving track conditions. The four-time
world champion was second overall in the second heat, a result which particularly pleased him
inasmuch as nobody managed to repeat their times of the morning. “I was first in the first heat,
second in the second and I’ve got the best total time for the two, so that’s a positive. I made a
point of looking after my tyres in the second heat to ensure they stay competitive for the final…”
Although 80 percent of the points up for grabs had already been awarded, the finale was still to
come. Prost started from pole and successfully defended his position for eight laps to take an
assertive win, the first of the 2010/2011 series for Dacia and the 31st Trophée Andros success
of the French driver’s career.

“It was important to win one of the weekend’s two races,” observed Prost. “Like last year, victory
came in the second one. The level of competition in this winter’s Trophée Andros is amazing. I
have never known it to be so competitive. Given the weight handicap system and the extremely
small gaps, it won’t be easy to take both wins over a single weekend. The Dacia Duster handles
really nicely and I think we will be competitive at every round, even when the conditions are as
bad as they were here at Val Thorens. In points terms, it’s been a good weekend. To win this
year’s Trophée Andros, we will above all need to be consistent because there are maybe 10
drivers capable of winning and some of them will perhaps try to target certain races in particular.
So we can’t afford to make any mistakes. It will be important to adapt our strategy as a function
of our results and, hopefully, we will benefit from a little good luck from time to time, too.”
Team Dacia will now head for the Principality of Andorra for next weekend’s encounter at Pas
de la Case, the second of the season.

Val Thorens, Race 2 – final positions: 1, Alain Prost (Dacia Duster). 2, Jean-Philippe
Dayraut (Series 1 BMW). 3, Evens Stievenard (Toyota Auris). 4, Jean-Baptiste Dubourg
(Renault Clio III). 5, Olivier Pernaut (Series 1 BMW). 6, Franck Lagorce (Skoda Fabia). 7,
Romain Grosjean (Renault Clio III). 8, Bertrand Balas (Toyota Auris). 9, Andrea Dubourg
(Renault Clio III). 10, Hervé Knapick (Series 1 BMW). Etc.
2010/2011 Trophée Andros – provisional positions: 1, Prost (154 points). 2, Dayraut (150
points). 3, Balas (146 points). 4, Stievenard (144 points). 5, Dubourg (142 points). 6, Panis (136
points). 7, Grosjean (135 points). 8, Pernaut (134 points). 9, Knapick (128 points). 10,
Villeneuve (119 points). Etc

Motorsports Mondial


FIA regional series ends with double Qatari success; UAE’s Al Qassimi finishes runner-up in home event: Kuwait’s Al Nejadi is fifth

Dubai, UAE: Nasser Saleh Al Attiyah cruised to a comfortable victory in the 32nd Dubai International Rally today but lost his FIA Middle East title to fellow-Qatari driver Misfer Al Marri.

Partnered by Italian Giovanni Bernacchini in a Super 2000 Ford Fiesta, Al Attiyah had a winning margin of six mins 16 secs from second-placed UAE driver Sheikh Abdullah Al Qassimi and his British co-driver Steve Lancaster in a Mitsubishi Evolution 9.

Needing only to finish in the top six to become the fourth Qatari to be crowned FIA Middle East rally champion, Al Marri took his Subaru Impreza to third place to complete a wonderful sporting weekend for his country following its successful FIFA 2022 World Cup bid.

Qatar’s Abdulaziz Al Kuwari claimed fourth position with a late burst on the final stage to drop  Kuwait’s Essam Al Nejadi to fifth. Another Qatari, Jaber Al Marri, completed the top six in the eighth and final round of this year’s FIA Middle East series, which was held under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Majid bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Arts and Culture Authority.

It was Al Attiyah’s 38th rally victory in the championship and his sixth in Dubai. While the six-times Middle East champion has become a prolific winner, Al Marri is only the second driver in the history of the regional series to capture the Middle East title without recording a victory in the series. Saudi Arabia’s Mamdouh Khayat was the first in 1992.

Consistency has been the key to Al Marri’s success. He finished runner-up in Qatar, Jordan, Saudi and Cyprus and third in Lebanon and Syria, as well as in Dubai.

Al Attiyah said : ‘It has been a perfect rally for me and I’m very happy with the result. Everything went well over the two days and I had no problems. I’m happy for Misfer as he is the new champion.’

Runner’s up spot in his home event saw Al Qassimi climb to third place in the final championship standings above Qatar’s Khaled Al Suwaidi who retired from the rally on the ninth of the event’s 12 stages today with a broken drive shaft.

While Leg 1 had seen a huge disappointment for Al Qassimi’s brother, Sheikh Khaled Al Qassimi who went out with a blown engine while leading, Leg 2 brought a spectacular premature end to the rally for another UAE driver, Rashid Al Ketbi.

He made a flying start to the day, winning the opening stage by 3.4 seconds from Al Attiyah, but then went out of the rally 6.32kms into the next stage when his Super 2000 Skoda Fabia Evo 2 rolled end over end after hitting a bump at high speed.

Al Ketbi and co-driver Khalid Al Kendi were unhurt. The driver said shortly afterwards : “I used soft tyres yesterday and had two punctures. Today I used a hard compound and won the first stage. I was still 43 seconds behind Nasser but I was pushing and still trying to win. It was bad luck”

Motorsports Mondial

Image from the 2011 Calendar “Americana

Penske. Driven to success. Born in Shaker Heights, OH, Penske made it to the pinnacle of motor racing both as a driver and constructor.

Penske raced at Watkins Glen in the US Grand Prix in 1961 & ’62. His debut as a constructor came at Mosport in the 1974 Canadian Grand Prix with Mark Donohue driving. Three years earlier Donohue had made his F1 debut in style by finishing third at the same track in a Penske-entered McLaren.

Tragedy struck his F1 operation in 1975 when Donohue was fatally injured in Austria. The following season at the same circuit John Watson gave Penske his only victory in Grand Prix racing.

In 1965, Penske was managing a Chevrolet dealership Philadelphia today the Penske Automotive Group own and operate over 300 franchises worldwide.

Racing or selling cars “Captain” is always in total control.

Please visit our merchandise page to order this classic F1 calendar.

Motorsports Mondial

Saudi champion hits back to score GT3 Cup victory

Bahrain. Saudi Arabia’s Prince Adulaziz Al Faisal underlined his determination to clinch a second successive title triumph in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East by winning Round 4 at Bahrain International Circuit today.

Hindered by gearbox problems 24 hours earlier when he finished fifth in the previous round, the defending champion was in brilliant form today, starting from pole position and moving into a six seconds lead from Abu Dhabi’s Khaled Al Qubaisi at the half way mark.

Again highlighting the great progress he has made since last season, Al Qubaisi piled on the pressure in the closing laps but Al Faisal held on to win by 0.671 seconds.

Teenager Fahad Algosaibi took the other podium place, with Bahrain’s Round 3 winner Sheikh Salman Bin Rashid Al Khalifa having to settle for fourth position on this occasion. His consolation was that he still leads the 12-round championship by two points

The top six was completed by Saudi’s Bandar Alesayi and Al Qubaisi’s Abu Dhabi team-mate, Musaed Al Murar (UAE) who was the top rookie for the fourth race in a row.

Round 4 results

1. Abdulaziz Al Faisal (KSA) Al Faisal Racing Team              22:41.822

2. Khaled Al Qubaisi (UAE) tolimit Arabia                              22:42.492

3. Fahad Algosaibi (KSA) ClassicArabia Racing                    22:43.732

4. Salman Bin Rashid Al Khalifa (BAH)                                 22:47.873

5. Bandar Alesayi (KSA)                                                         22:49.669

6. Musaed Al Murar (UAE) tolimit arabia                               22:58.255

7. Ibrahim Salloum (UAE) Abu Dhabi Falcon Racing            23:24.728

8. Johannes Waimer (GER)                                                     23:37.478

9. Fawaz Algosaibi (KSA) ClassicArabia Racing                   23:38.440

10. Alain Muraour (F)                                                              22:49.001 1 lap

Championship positions after four rounds:

1. Salman Bin Rashid Al Khalifa (BAH)                                 72pts

2. Abdulaziz Al Faisal (KSA) Al Faisal Racing Team             70pts

3. Khaled Al Qubaisi (UAE) tolimit Arabia                              64pts

4. Fahad Algosaibi (KSA) ClassicArabia Racing                    57pts

5. Bandar Alesayi (KSA)                                                         54pts

6. Musaed Al Murar (UAE) tolimit arabia                               39pts

7. Ibrahim Salloum (UAE) Abu Dhabi Falcon Racing            34pts

8. Fawaz Algosaibi (KSA) ClassicArabia Racing                   27pts

9. Faisal Binladen (KSA) Saudi Falcon Racing                      22pts

10. Johannes Waimer (GER)                                                   15pts

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