FORMULA 1

Fernando Alonso Pulls out of Australian Grand Prix.

Having performed an exhaustive series of tests and scans – some of them as recently as yesterday evening – McLaren-Honda driver Fernando Alonso’s doctors have informed him that they find him asymptomatic of any medical issue; that they see no evidence whatsoever of any injury; and that they therefore describe him as entirely healthy from neurological and cardiac perspectives alike.

However, Fernando’s doctors have recommended to him that, following the concussion he sustained in a testing accident at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on February 22nd, for the time being he should seek to limit as far as is possible any environmental risk factors that could potentially result in his sustaining another concussion so soon after his previous one, so as to minimise the chances of second impact syndrome, as is normal medical procedure when treating athletes after concussions.

In order to limit those environmental risk factors, specifically, his doctors have advised that he should not compete in the imminent Australian Grand Prix meeting, which will take place on March 13th, 14th and 15th.

Fernando has understood and accepted that advice, and the two McLaren-Honda cars will therefore be driven in Australia by Fernando’s team-mate Jenson Button and the team’s test and reserve driver Kevin Magnussen.

Fernando’s doctors acknowledge that he feels fit and well, and that he regards himself as ready to race, and, that being the case, they are comfortable with the fact that he has already recommenced physical training, with a view to preparing for a return to the cockpit of his McLaren-Honda car for the Malaysian Grand Prix meeting on March 27th, 28th and 29th. Indeed, his doctors are supportive of that ambition, satisfied as they are that he sustained no damage whatsoever during his testing accident on February 22nd.

All at McLaren-Honda fully support Fernando’s decision in respect of his doctors’ advice

FIA MIDDLE EAST RALLY

SHEIKH ABDULLAH WINS SHARJAH RALLY AS SULAYEM TURNS BACK THE CLOCK

Al Qassimi hails 14-times FIA Middle East champion for great comeback; now both aim to attract new generation of drivers into rallying

Dubai, UAE, 1 March, 2015: Sheikh Abdullah Al Qassimi won the Sharjah Rally after a great battle with Mohammed Ben Sulayem, and then paid tribute to the 14-times FIA Middle East Champion for a stirring comeback 12 years after retiring from competitive motor sport.

“Mohammed was much faster on the technical sections, and it was as if he had never been away,” said Al Qassimi, who was partnered by Ghaby Khoury in a Mitsubishi Evo 9 for the second round of the UAE Rally Championship.

They had a winning margin of 45 seconds over Sulayem and his long time Irish co-driver Ronan Morgan, who were back together in the Ford Escort WRC which they took to victory in the 1999 Jordan International Rally before the car was retired.

A time penalty accounted for 30 of those seconds, and but for mechanical problems in the 20-year old Escort it might have been a different story at the finish on Saturday.

Oman’s Khalid Al Manji and Saif Al Aisiri in a Subaru Impreza took third place, and the top six was completed by two more Omanis, Faisal Al Rashidi and Walid Al Rashidi in another Subaru, Emiratis Ali Mater Al Ketbi and Rabab Al Tajir in a Nissan Patrol, and Saudi Arabia’s Ibrahim Al Mohana with the UAE’s Rashid Al Ketbi in another Nissan Patrol.

Sheikh Abdullah was full of praise for Sulayem at the finish, and both men are determined to work together to bring about a revival of rallying in the UAE where it has fallen behind other motor sport disciplines in recent years.

“Mohammed’s car had been parked for the last 15 years and it gave him problems,” said Al Qassimi, founder and President of the Emirates Motorsport Club, organisers of the UAE National Rally Championship. “But he was back up to speed. Really, he was the winner.

“We are trying our best to revive rallying, and it seems to be coming back better than I had expected, but now I hope it will go better and better. We are working together as friends to rebuild the spirit of rallying. We want to bring a new generation of drivers into this sport, and I think in the next rally we will see many more.”

Sulayem said: “Getting in a rally car for the first time in 12 years, the memories came flooding back and it was fun. But this is not about me. It’s about encouraging youth to come into rallying.

“Abdullah is doing a great job to bring more drivers into the sport. He is working hard and I’m very grateful to him. This was a very well organised rally, supported by the Government of Sharjah, and we will work together now to attract the next generation of drivers.”

Sulayem had not competed since scoring his 15th victory in the Dubai International Rally in December 2002, but he won the first special stage, beating Al Qassimi by one second, despite a broken rear drive shaft.

That meant he was reduced to 2WD power on the next stage which Al Qassimi won by 43 seconds. Sulayem took the next three stages to close the gap to 15 seconds, but his challenge faded when he lost fuel pressure and punctured on the last stage.

Sharjah Rally results:

  1. Shk Abdulla Al Qassimi, Gaby Khoury (UAE) Mitsubishi Evo 9             43:59.659
  2. Mohammed Ben Sulayem , Ronan Morgan (UAE)/ Ford Escort               44:45.721
  3. Khalid Al Manji / Saif Al Aisiri (Oman) Subaru Impreza                          50:32.708
  4. Faisal Al Rashidi / Walid Al Rashidi (Oman) Subaru Impreza                  50:45.231
  5. Ali Mattar Alketbi / Rabab Al Tajir (UAE) Nissan Patrol                         51:20.222
  6. Ibrahim N.Al Mohana / Rashed R. Al Katbi (KSA/UAE) Nissan Patrol 52:40.710
  7. Ian Barker / Sheila Hutton (UAE) / Nissan Patrol                                      53:04.456
  8. Ali Al Shawi / Ali Obaid (UAE) Chevy Blazer                                           53:57.978
  9. Nooh Buhmaid / Suhail Al Ali (UAE) / Nissan Patrol                                54:44.210
  10. Mansoor Parol / Srinivasa Thota (UAE) / Ford Fiesta                             56:18.558

FORMULA 1

Carmen Jordá announced as Lotus F1 Team Development Driver for 2015

Carmen Jordá today joined Lotus F1 Team as a Development Driver for the 2015 season. Carmen will attend Grands Prix and Formula 1 tests throughout 2015 for Lotus F1 Team as well as undergoing a significant simulator programme at the team’s base in Enstone. Carmen will drive the E23 Hybrid on track during the course of 2015.

Carmen, daughter of former racer José Miguel Jordá, has a distinguished racing career having participated in the European Open Formula 3 Championship – where she achieved three podiums – the American Indy Lights Championship and most recently the GP3 Series.

Matthew Carter, CEO, Lotus F1 Team:
“We are happy to announce Carmen Jordá as a Development Driver for Lotus F1 Team and we are looking forward to working with her over the course of the season and ultimately seeing her behind the wheel of the car. Carmen will bring a fresh perspective to the team. We have a strong programme for her attending Grands Prix as well as extensive time in our sophisticated simulation facility at Enstone. She is a unique addition to the team and we are looking forward to helping her progress her goals as well as receiving the benefit of her insights and contributions to the development of the E23 Hybrid.”

Carmen Jordá:
“It feels like a dream come true to join Lotus F1 Team. I’ve been racing since I was ten years old so it was my dream to drive a Formula 1 car since I was very young. Joining Lotus F1 Team is a big step towards my goal. I will be working to improve myself as a driver as well as helping the team to develop the car by testing new developments in the simulator; it’s such a fantastic opportunity. I know this is just the beginning and the biggest challenge is yet to come but already being part of a team with such a history is a real honour. This is a great achievement, but an even greater opportunity which will lead to bigger and better things

MSA FORMULA

KARTING STAR TICKTUM CONFIRMED FOR MSA FORMULA

  • 15-year-old Daniel Ticktum joins his karting rival Josh Smith at Fortec Motorsports for his first car-racing experience
  • Team says there’s ‘no question’ about his talent at the wheel
24 February, 2015 – Another superstar driver from the world of karting is to step up to car racing with MSA Formula. The crack Fortec Motorsports team today announces that 15-year-old Daniel Ticktum is to join its squad this season to race one of its Ford EcoBoost-powered chassis.Sussex-based Ticktum rose to prominence in cadet karting in 2011, when he won the ‘grand slam’ of four national titles, including Formula Kart Stars and the British Open Championship. Two seasons later he finished second in the CIK FIA European championship and British Super One. Last year he contested the WSK Champions Cup with Zanardi Strakka Racing.He’s excited to be taking on the challenge of the FIA-certified MSA Formula championship: “It’s amazing to make the step up from karting and I’m really happy to have signed with Fortec to race in the new MSA Formula. It’s the perfect place to kick-start my single-seater career. I’ve already done a bit of pre-season testing and the car feels great.”

Fortec team manager Daniel Mitchell said of his new charge: “It’s a great signing for Fortec: there’s absolutely no question of his talent so it is down to us now to provide him with the equipment. Pre-season testing so far has been positive but we feel as a team there is still a lot more to come.” Fortec is one of the largest and most successful teams contesting MSA Formula, with a long history of victories in Renault World Series, Formula 3, Formula Renault and GT racing.

Ticktum is the seventh teenage British karting frontrunner to opt for MSA Formula as the launchpad for their car-racing careers. Racing Steps Foundation-backed driver Josh Smith will be Daniel’s Fortec running mate, while the Carlin team has signed Lando Norris and TRS Arden have Sandy Mitchell and Enaam Ahmed on board. JTR will meanwhile field James Pull and Dan Baybutt.

Frontrunners for the inaugural MSA Formula crown will take part in the first collective test of the season on Thursday at Brands Hatch, gaining vital experience of the Kent circuit which will host the opening rounds of the live-televised championship 4/5 April.

MSA Formula – Certified by FIA, Powered by Ford EcoBoost is Britain’s official version of the FIA’s Formula 4 concept and will be the British Touring Car Championship’s single-seater support series, enjoying live TV coverage and bumper raceday spectator attendance. The championship will be decided over 30 races; three at each of the 10 BTCC meetings to be held between April and October.

The winning driver will hold the title FIA Formula 4 Champion of Great Britain, and will earn 10 Grand Prix Superlicence points to get his or her career off to a flying start, in addition to being awarded a career-enhancing test drive with a leading FIA Formula 3 team.

F1WEEKLY PODCAST # 672

Clark and Nasir on testing results from Jerez de la Frontera admit to being surprised with the pace of the 2015 Ferrari, the challenge facing McLaren Honda and they question why Susie Wolf is a test driver. We also have Motorsports Mondial and a fresh new episode of Tech Talk with Tim.

WILLIAMS MARTINI F1 BARCELONA TEST DAY ONE.

Susie Wolff: We learnt a lot today. Carrying out some longer runs in the morning gave me experience of tyre management and it was good to get time in the FW37. The car has a lot of potential and the number of laps we completed today gave the team a lot of data. It’s just a shame I didn’t get the chance to drive the faster tyre. I got a good feeling of the car and as a driver, have learnt a lot.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

FORMULA 1

Pascal Wehrlein to test with Sahara Force India in Barcelona

Sahara Force India is pleased to announce that Pascal Wehrlein will drive for the team at the upcoming testing session in Barcelona, Spain beginning on 19 February. The 20-year-old German, who is the official reserve driver of the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One Team and a works Mercedes AMG DTM driver, will spend two days behind the wheel of the team’s 2014 car, the VJM07.
Sahara Force India’s testing programme will focus primarily on evaluation of the 2015 Pirelli tyres. The test will also provide the opportunity for Pascal to continue his Formula One learning and build on the strong performance he showed with MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS at the season-ending test in Abu Dhabi last year.
The test in Barcelona marks the beginning of Pascal’s association with Sahara Force India with the Mercedes-Benz junior driver also scheduled to participate in two in-season tests.
Pascal will drive the VJM07 on Thursday and Saturday. Sergio Perez will drive on Friday and Nico Hulkenberg on Sunday. Given the team’s current build schedule, the VJM08 is now expected to make its debut at the second Barcelona test scheduled to begin on 26 February.
Pascal Wehrlein: “I am very happy that Sahara Force India has offered me the opportunity to drive their car for two days at the official test in Barcelona and that Mercedes-Benz has supported me to make this happen. As a young driver, any time youcan spend in the car is extremely important and you can learn a lot. I know the simulatoralready, but I don´t have much experience on the track. My first goal in Spain will be to do a great job together with the team, to learn as much as possible and to give good feedback to the engineers. I have already driven the world champion Mercedes-Benz F1 W05 Hybrid and the comparison with Sahara Force India will be very exciting for me: the way the team works, how they improve the car and handle problems - all this will help me to gain experience and to reach the next level in my development. Everybody knows that lap times only play a secondary role when you’re testing. But of course I want to be as competitive as possible. Sahara Force India performed very strongly last season and Ihope I will be able to make a small contribution to push the team forward and be ready for the opening race in Melbourne.”
Dr Vijay Mallya, Team Principal and Managing Director: “I’m pleased to give Pascal a chance to work with us in Barcelona. He’s an exciting young talent who has already proved he has what it takes to be successful at the highest level in motorsport. As a reserve driver for Mercedes-Benz, he’s clearly destined for a career in Formula One and I’m sure the test will be a positive experience on both sides. Being able to call upon Pascal for testing duties is also a clear demonstration of our strong working relationship with our engine partner, Mercedes-Benz, and I thank them for their collaboration.”

The Premiere Motorsport Podcast