Kirchhöfer flies to pole as Lynn becomes GP3 Champion

Success! A memorable qualifying session saw Marvin Kirchhofer blaze to pole, whilst Carlin and Red Bull Junior Team rookie Alex Lynn became the fifth driver to take the elusive GP3 crown. The Brit had one hand on the coveted trophy prior to the season finale at Yas Marina Circuit, after his nearest challenger in the standing’s Dean Stoneman failed to pocket pole and the four points on offer – Lynn can not be beaten on points and thus celebrates a fantastic season. Kirchhöfer, Stoneman and Emil Bernstorff completed the top three in an intense qualifying session.
A change in schedule saw qualifying take place on the same day as Free Practice. The thirty minute session got underway with a pleasant breeze for the most decisive session of the season. ART Grand Prix’s Kirchhöfer was first into the 1m56’s with Alex Fontana hot on his tails, but it was Stoneman: the man on a mission to secure pole and keep his title hopes alive who shot to P1.
The German continued his impressive pace to reclaim provisional pole by 0.067s, as the drivers returned to the pits – the calm before the storm…Lynn posted the fastest time of the session with five minutes left on the clock until his teammate Bernstorff bettered his laptime. Kirchhöfer was not to be denied though and blitzed to a laptime over half a second faster than the Carlin duo. Stoneman knew what he had to do and clocked the fastest first sector but was unable to improve on the remainder of the lap due to yellow flags and traffic.
At the chequered flag, the session belonged to Kirchhöfer, the second pole position for the rookie, with Stoneman, Bernstorff and Lynn completing the front two rows. Dino Zamparelli, Jimmy Eriksson, Alex Fontana, Patric Niederhauser, Nick Yelloly and Richie Stanaway rounded out the top ten.
One title may have been decided but the teams’ trophy is still up for grabs: Race 1 will commence at 12.05 tomorrow (GMT+4) – don’t miss the penultimate race of the 2014 season.

F1Weekly podcast # 668

Clark and Nasir talk about Brazil and share their thoughts on the F1 finally in Abu Dhabi.


Following our announcement earlier this week that Kamui will be driving for the team again at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the Caterham F1 Team is pleased to announce that Will Stevens will race alongside the Japanese driver this weekend in Abu Dhabi. Stevens was previously part of the Caterham Racing Academy and tested for the Team in both the 2013 and 2014 official Formula 1 tests following the British Grand Prix at Silverstone each year, clocking up over 1,100km and gaining his FIA Super license in the process. The Briton, 23, has raced in the World Series by Renault 3.5 championship in 2014 with two wins to his credit.

Will Stevens: “I’m absolutely thrilled to be getting this opportunity and am very grateful to everyone involved at Caterham F1 Team for giving it to me. I feel ready for the challenge of my F1 debut and look forward to working as part of the Team in a race environment after all the work we’ve done together previously in the tests I’ve completed and back at Leafield in the sim. Hopefully this will be something we will be able to carry through to the 2015 season together”.

Gianluca Pisanello, Caterham F1 Team Head of Engineering Operations: “We know Will very well through his involvement in the Caterham Racing Academy and more importantly he has done a vast amount of time in our simulator, completing around 10,000km, which has built his experience both of this year’s car and with the engineering team that are going to Abu Dhabi. In addition, his 2014 test at Silverstone in our current car, where he completed over 500kms, was very successful and his race pace was very good. As a result, he was one of our best candidates for this race weekend and we are delighted to have secured his services for our return to the F1 grid. We in fact signed Will last week but have had to wait for confirmation of his Super licence before making our announcement”.

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Jolyon Palmer and Spike Goddard to test for Sahara Force India in Abu Dhabi

Sahara Force India is pleased to announce GP2 Series Champion Jolyon Palmer and 22-year-old Australian Spike Goddard as the team’s line-up for next week’s test in Abu Dhabi.
Jolyon’s opportunity at the wheel of the VJM07 comes after a triumphant campaign in GP2, in which he won four races ahead of the season finale en route to becoming the first Briton since Lewis Hamilton to win the title. The son of former Formula One driver Jonathan, the 23-year-old racer will be looking to impress the team when he spends a full day in the car next Tuesday.
Spike is a single-seater racer who has competed in the FIA European F3 Championship for the past two years. Having initially raced in Australian Formula Ford, he moved to Europe to pursue his racing ambitions and in 2012 won the rookie class of the British Formula Three Championship in his debut season. He will drive the VJM07 on the final day of testing on Wednesday 26th November.
With this choice of line-up, including the winner of F1’s main feeder series and a promising Formula Three youngster, Sahara Force India reinforces its commitment to offering young, talented drivers an opportunity on the biggest stage in motorsport, a philosophy that complements the team’s successful reserve driver programme.
Dr Vijay Mallya, Team Principal & Managing Director: “I’m pleased that we can conclude our season by giving two promising youngsters their first taste of Formula One. As a team we have a strong track record of identifying up-and-coming prospects and giving them valuable mileage and experience in our cars. I have been following Jolyon’s progress this season in GP2 and he is clearly a big talent that deserves a chance in Formula One. Spike has also worked hard to get this chance and it’s the perfect opportunity to showcase his skills. I wish Jolyon and Spike all the best for a successful couple of days in Abu Dhabi.”
Jolyon Palmer: “Sahara Force India has shown their faith in me by offering this opportunity and I am looking forward to repaying their trust in Abu Dhabi. I have worked very hard for a chance like this and I want to help the team get the most from this test session. This is a team that has always promoted talent and I hope this opportunity can lead to bigger things in the future.”
Spike Goddard: “I would like to thank Sahara Force India for this incredible opportunity. Every young racing driver dreams to be at the wheel of a Formula One car and I am very excited to be one of the very few who gets to fulfil this dream. The test is an important stage in the preparations for 2015 and I hope my contribution will be useful for the team to get a head start for next season.”



 Formula Renault 3.5 Champion Carlos Sainz Jr will line-up alongside Daniel Ricciardo for Infiniti Red Bull Racing’s final test of the 2014 season at Yas Marina Circuit on November 25 and 26 following the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
In October, Carlos became the youngest ever Formula Renault 3.5 series Champion and, as part of his title win, the 20-year-old has been awarded a day’s testing in the team’s current Formula One car. The reward is handed to the series winner, on the condition that he or she is not affiliated to any other young driver programme linked to a top team.
This will be Carlos’ second test outing for Infiniti Red Bull Racing. The Spaniard took part in the Young Driver Test at Silverstone in July 2013, completing 35 laps at the wheel of the RB9.
He also recently completed a demonstration run for the team in the RB8 at the World Series by Renault round at the Nürburgring. The drive was earned through leading the 3.5 series standings at the mid-point of the Championship’s season.
Carlos will drive the RB10 on day one of the Abu Dhabi test, with Daniel Ricciardo taking over on day two.
After three wins and five other podium finishes this season, Daniel will undertake the test as the third-place finisher in the 2014 Formula One Drivers’ World Championship.



His year in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship may not have brought entirely what he had hoped for, but Felix Rosenqvist ( by Mücke Motorsport) still concluded the season in style by winning the 61th running of the prestigious Suncity Group Formula 3 Macau Grand Prix. In a 15-lap race that was interrupted following a pile-up on the opening lap, Rosenqvist made most of his pole position, steered clear of any problems and led all the way from lights to flag. With victory in his fifth attempt in Macau, he became only the second Swede to win the classic race on the challenging Guia street circuit after Rickard Rydell in 1992. After a thrilling battle in the closing stages of the race, Rosenqvist’s Austrian team-mate Lucas Auer (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport) managed to overtake New Zealand’s Nick Cassidy (ThreeBond with T-Sport) and thus completed the 1-2 for Mücke Motorsport. Cassidy came home third from Spanish F3 returnee Roberto Merhi ( Double R Racing) and Canadian Nicholas Latifi (SJM Theodore Racing by Prema).

Only one week after his 23rd birthday, November 7, Felix Rosenqvist gave himself probably the best present with an excellent performance in the Macau Grand Prix. His weekend of racing on the streets in the former Portuguese colony was almost perfect: he topped the time sheets in second free practice and in the combined qualifying result, he won the qualifying race on Saturday and finally took the spoils in the main event on Sunday. For the Swede, it was his second win of the year in a Formula 3 classic after his success in the Pau Grand Prix last May. “This is the most important one of them, the Formula 3 race with the longest history and the most international recognition,” the buoyant winner commented. “I have been on the podium here, I have led the race here, but I had never won so far. Now, I finally managed and that is a great feeling! To be honest, for the first time in my life, I am lost for words. For me, this season was the most difficult since I started in motor racing, but I have managed to end it on a high!” Rosenqvist’s victory also marked the maiden success in Macau for his team Mücke Motorsport and the sixth win for the Mercedes-Benz Formula 3 engine in the classic Formula 3 race.

In typical Macau style, the race had plenty of action. It already stared as FIA Formula 3 European Champion Esteban Ocon (SJM Theodore by Prema) and Tom Blomqvist (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin) tangled while battling for the lead in the first part of the opening lap, which eventually triggered a multi-car pile-up that also caught out Martin Cao (Fortec Motorsports), Yu Kanamaru (Carlin) and Richard Goddard (ThreeBond with T-Sport). The cars of some other drivers were also damaged, but could be repaired during the interruption that followed after the race was red-flagged immediately after the incident. At the re-start after one lap behind the safety car, Mücke Motorsport duo Felix Rosenqvist and Lucas Auer ran in first and second place respectively, but Auer missed his braking point into Lisboa and dropped back to third behind Cassidy. While Rosenqvist gradually built up a comfortable advantage of over four seconds, Auer and Cassidy were battling for second place. On lap 13, Cassidy clipped a wall with the left rear tyre of his car, which allowed Auer to get through. Two laps later, Rosenqvist took the chequered flag as the winner, with Auer completing the 1-2 for Mücke Motorsport. “I had noticed that Nick was going a bit slower and then he hit the wall, which allowed me to get past. Of course, I would have loved to win here, but at the end of the day, I am also happy with second place,” Auer commented.

On his Macau debut, Nick Cassidy was classified third as the best-placed rookie in the field. “Being on the podium here first time out is a pretty cool feeling,” the New Zealander said. “Of course, the aim always is to win, but a podium finish is quite good, too. I am also well pleased with the performance of our NBE-engine.” After a nice late-race battle, Roberto Merhi beat Nicholas Latifi to fourth place while another returnee, Stefano Coletti (Eurointernational) finished sixth. Seventh place went to Max Verstappen (Van Amersfoort Racing), who also managed to set the fastest lap time in the race. The Dutchman, who emerged as the best-placed driver to use a Volkswagen engine in his car, made good progress after starting from the back of the grid following his crash in yesterday’s qualifying race. American Santino Ferrucci (Fortec Motorsport), Japanese Kenta Yamashita (TOM’s) and American Gustavo Menezes (Van Amersfoort Racing) rounded out the top ten.



Felix Rosenqvist ( by Mücke Motorsport, 2:11.506 minutes) will be starting from pole position for tomorrow’s ten lap qualifying race for the 61st running of the Macau Grand Prix. In second qualifying, in which 17 of the first 20 drivers managed to set faster lap times than in yesterday’s first qualifying session, Rosenqvist moved up from his ninth place after yesterday’s session to the top of the time sheets and thus claimed pole position for the Macau qualifying race. “Early in the session, I did two laps, then came in to have four new tyres on the car, and I did my fast lap all on my own,” Rosenqvist reported. “In fact, I was quite surprised that the gap was so big. Indeed, the Swede was no less than 0,236 seconds faster than Esteban Ocon (SJM Theodore Racing by Prema, 2:11.742 minutes), the reigning FIA Formula 3 European Champion. Just with Max Verstappen (Van Amersfoort Racing, 2:11.747 minutes), who was classified third after qualifying, Ocon will be dropped two places on the grid for tomorrow’s qualifying race for having failed to come in to have his car weighed in free practice yesterday. As a result, Ocon and Verstappen will be starting from fourth and fifth place respectively. That promoted Lucas Auer (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport, 2:11.838 minutes) to second on the grid alongside Rosenqvist to lock out the front row for the Mücke Motorsport team. Tom Blomqvist (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin, 2:11.922 minutes), who was fastest in yesterday’s first qualifying and failed to post a faster time today, will be starting from third place.

Competing in the prestigious event in Macau for the fifth time, Rosenqvist clearly was the fastest driver at the 6.12 kilometres long Guia circuit on Friday. In the morning, he was first in free practice with 2:11.743 minutes, making him the only driver to post a sub-2:12 lap time. In second qualifying, the Swede doubled up by claiming pole position. The only blot on his copybook was a crash at Maternity in free practice in the lap after the one in which he set his fastest time. “That was quite stupid, also because I lost two tyres there, which is not very good for the weekend,” Rosenqvist admitted. “But being on pole position makes me quite confident for tomorrow and Sunday. We know that the speed is there.”

Second-fastest qualifyer Esteban Ocon commented: “Today, things were going much better than yesterday. We finally found the speed. Of course, it is a pity that I will be dropped two places, but I am still starting from the second row and we all know that you can overtake in Macau.” Ocon, who made an impressive Formula 3 debut with a top ten finish at Macau last year, is well aware of the significance of the event. “This is the one everybody wants to win, and the race so many great drivers have won in the past. It is the best race in the world.”

Third in qualifying and fifth on the grid, Max Verstappen is the best-placed Macau rookie. “The circuit is really cool,” the Dutchman commented. “Yesterday, I had some problems as the tyres started overheating, but today, I was a able to run faster and faster and I am quite pleased with the result.” Austrian Lucas Auer wasn’t too happy with his fourth fastest time: “I could have gone faster, but starting from the front row obviously is a good position and the performance of Felix and myself shows how strong we are as a team. Now, hopefully, we can convert that into good race results tomorrow and Sunday.” The qualifying race starts tomorrow at 13.45 hrs local time (6.45 hrs CET) and will determine the starting grid positions for the Sunday’s main race, the Suncity Group Formula 3 Macau Grand Prix.

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