Charles Leclerc wins and closes up in the drivers’ standings

Season race: 6 of 33
Track: Hockenheim Grand Prix circuit
Winner: Charles Leclerc (Van Amersfoort Racing)
Pole position: Felix Rosenqvist (Prema Powerteam)
Weather: rain, then slightly drying

Victory in the rainy sixth season race of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship went to rookie driver Charles Leclerc (Van Amersfoort Racing). At the 4.574 kilometres long Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg, the 17-year-old Monegasque scored his second win of the season. The two Formula 3 stalwarts Felix Rosenqvist (Prema Powerteam) and Antonio Giovinazzi (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin) completed the trio of drivers on the podium. In the drivers’ standings, Giovinazzi defended his lead. The best-placed rookie, Leclerc is in second place, five points down.

Felix Rosenqvist was the first driver to take the lead in a race that got underway behind the safety car on the rain-soaked track. In the opening stages already, Charles Leclerc put the Swede under massive pressure. Until lap 14, Rosenqvist managed to defend his lead. Then, Leclerc overtook the Prema driver coming out of the hairpin, immediately extended his lead and finally drove an undisputed victory home. The safety car phase that followed after a collision by Pietro Fittipaldi (Fortec Motorsport) and Zhi Cong Li (Fortec Motorsport) just before the end of the race, didn’t affect Leclerc’s victory.

Behind Rosenqvist and Leclerc, Maximilian Günther (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport) had his eyes firmly set on his maiden podium finish in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship. Then, however, the German spun from third place and Antonio Giovinazzi went past. Thus, the Italian scored his sixth podium finish from as many races in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship. Günther eventually was classified fifth behind his team-mate Mikkel Jensen (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport). Lance Stroll, (Prema Powerteam), Markus Pommer (Motopark), Jake Dennis (Prema Powerteam), Alexander Albon (Signature) and Callum Ilott (Carlin) completed the top ten.

Charles Leclerc (Van Amersfoort Racing): “Finishing the weekend with a victory is great. My first attack on Felix wasn’t successful, but the second one worked out. After that, I could pull away immediately. My car ran very well.”

Felix Rosenqvist (Prema Powerteam): “Initially, things were going well, but after two laps already, my rear tyres started overheating. I reckon that we got the tyre pressure slightly wrong. Nevertheless, the race was fun, although I didn’t have a chance against Charles in the end. He and his team simply did a better job in this race.”

Antonio Giovinazzi (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin): “It was a difficult race, because I only started from sixth place. My plan was to make up as many places as possible during the opening lap. Eventually, I was lucky that Maximilian spun. Having scored six podium finishes from the first six races is great.”


Lights-to-flag win for Jamie Green in an action-packed race

Wehrlein and Di Resta complete the podium

With strong nerves and really fast: Jamie Green (Audi) dominated proceedings in the first race at the Nürburgring and drove a lights-to-flag victory home in an impressive way. In an action-packed race, victory for the Audi driver was never in doubt. Mercedes-Benz driver Pascal Wehrlein, who started from second place on the grid, held on to this position following a thrilling battle with his fellow Mercedes-Benz driver Paul Di Resta, who finished third.

The first 40 minutes’ race of the 2015 DTM season provided pure racing action. Eight drivers had to succumb to the hard driving antics on track and retired. From the opening lap onwards, there were fierce battles for every position. Only one driver was unfazed by it all: race winner Jamie Green. “I am not at all surprised that things were going so well today. My team is the same as last season,” Green said. “Back then, I was quick, too, but I had a lot of bad luck. Today that wasn’t the case.” The pole sitter had a great start and already had a considerable gap from the rest of the field after the first corner. Two safety car interventions around the halfway point of the race didn’t have any effect on the Brit either. Just after the restarts, the Brit had restored his original margin and went on to cross the finish line after 26 laps as the dominant winner. “Everything is good. I love driving races. The new regulations are giving me the chance to do so.”

While first place was undisputed, the battle for second place was a close and fierce one. At the start, Paul Di Resta charged from fifth place on the grid to third. On lap three, he also worked his way past Pascal Wehrlein, who started from second place. “That really was a great start. I was close to Pascal straight away and then I was able to overtake him. Unfortunately, my brakes degraded in the closing stages,” said Di Resta, who eventually failed to defend his position from the attacks by the German. With three laps remaining, Wehrlein countered in the hairpin, overtook his fellow Mercedes-Benz driver and held on to this position until the chequered flag was out. “Towards the end of the race, my tyres were still good. I knew that I was quick and I used this advantage,” Wehrlein said. All in all, the two Mercedes-Benz drivers were more than happy with their results. Di Resta: “During the winter break, we have been working hard and optimised quit a lot, but you never know where you are exactly. It is a real relief to see what we are able to achieve again with our cars.”

BMW will probably be anything but happy with the first race day at the Hockenheimring. In a closed team performance, the drivers for the brand from Munich locked out seventh to eleventh place. Maxime Martin was the best-placed BMW driver. The Belgian progressed from eleventh on the grid to finish seventh. Martin Tomczyk caused uproar and anger. The German spun his BMW M4 DTM in the hairpin and thus not only eliminated himself, but also Mercedes-Benz drivers Lucas Auer and Gary Paffett from the race. The latter made no secret of his frustrations after his retirement: “That was an absolutely unnecessary move by Martin.”

Augusto Farfus had plenty of bad luck: after the Brazilian had claimed an excellent third place in qualifying, he eventually found himself at the back of the starting grid for the season opener. At the end of qualifying, the amount of fuel left in the tank of his car was less than the required minimum of 500 grams, which was the reason for his relegation. In the race, Farfus showed his competitive spirit and worked his way up through the ranks to finish tenth.

Audi driver Mattias Ekström, who had high hopes starting into the race, had to turn into the pits for an unplanned tyre change following a collision with his fellow Audi driver Adrien Tambay and finished the race in twelfth place, unable to score any points. After a spin by António Félix da Costa on the opening lap, the race was over for Robert Wickens and Timo Scheider at an early stage already. Scheider complained about a painful wrist, went to see the doctor for a check and then gave the all-clear: “It hurts a lot, but it seems that nothing is broken. It should be okay for the race tomorrow.”

All in all, the first race of the 2015 DTM season delivered what the fans and organisers had expected from the new regulations. Sunday will show whether Jamie Green’s dominance will continue. From 13.43 hrs onwards, the drivers are again competing for points in the second race of the weekend.


Lights to flag victory for Felix Rosenqvist

Season race: 5 of 33
Track: Hockenheim Grand Prix circuit
Winner: Felix Rosenqvist (Prema Powerteam)
Pole position: Felix Rosenqvist (Prema Powerteam)
Weather: sunny

Swede Felix Rosenqvist (Prema Powerteam) scored his second victory of the season in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship. At the 4.574 kilometres long Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg, the 23-year-old stalwart had a comfortable margin of nine seconds from second-placed Charles Leclerc (Van Amersfoort Racing). In third place, points’ leader Antonio Giovinazzi (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin) continued his consistent performance with five podium places from as many races in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship. His margin in the drivers’ standings from second-placed Leclerc was reduced by three points to 15 points. Rosenqvist, in turn, is two points down on Leclerc in third place of the drivers’ standings.

In sunny conditions, Felix Rosenqvist benefited from pole position to lead the field into the first corner. Charles Leclerc slotted into second place from Maximilian Günther (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport). Just behind the front runners, Santino Ferrucci (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport) tapped Lance Stroll (Prema Powerteam) into a spin when the field drove through the hairpin for the first time. The Canadian dropped back while Ferrucci incurred a warning.

In the opening stages, third-placed Günther was mainly busy with defending his position, because Giovinazzi put him under considerable pressure. Only a slight error by the Italian enabled Günther to pull a slight gap. That changed again on lap 18 when Giovinazzi successfully attacked the German in the hairpin and took third place.

Out in front, Felix Rosenqvist and Charles Leclerc were long gone by this time. For the Swede, it was his second win of the season while Leclerc, the best-placed rookie, scored his fourth podium finish of the year. Behind Giovinazzi and Maximilian Günther as the best-placed German, Callum Ilott (Carlin), Santino Ferrucci, Gustavo Menezes (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin), Alexander Albon (Signature), George Russell (Carlin) and Brandon Maïsano (Prema Powerteam) finished the race in fifth to tenth place respectively.

Felix Rosenqvist (Prema Powerteam): “For me, it was a perfect race. My start was good, my car was great and I also was able to manage the tyre degradation.”

Charles Leclerc (Van Amersfoort): “For me, it was a tough race. I couldn’t keep up with Felix, although I tried everything. On top of that, I always had to keep one eye on my rear-view mirror, because Antonio and Maximilian were quick. Generally, finishing second after a start from second on the grid is okay.”

Antonio Giovinazzi (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin): “Of course, I am very happy with my fifth podium finish in the fifth race, because I only started from fifth place on the grid. I managed to overtake Callum Ilott at an early stage already, but it took me a little bit longer before I finally could make a move to pass Maximilian.”

F1Weekly podcast # 676

Clark and Nasir go over the previous two Grand Prix’s and what could happen in Barcelona next weekend. We have another great episode of Tech Talk with Tim! Also want to share some news on the European F3 Championship…

Felix Rosenqvist claims the next pole positions

Season race: 5 and 6 of 33
Track: Hockenheim Grand Prix circuit
Pole position race 2: Felix Rosenqvist (Prema Powerteam)
Pole position race 3: Felix Rosenqvist (Prema Powerteam)
Weather: rain

Also in second qualifying of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship at the 4.574 kilometres long Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg, nobody was faster than Felix Rosenqvist (Prema Powerteam). Both in the ranking of the fastest and the second-fastest lap times, the Swede claimed the top position and will thus start from pole position into the fifth and sixth race of the season. Charles Leclerc (Van Amersfoort Racing) and Maximilian Günther (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport) were second and third respectively in both rankings, with Callum Ilott (Carlin) and Lance Stroll (Prema Powerteam) each taking one fourth place.

Starting grid race 2
Felix Rosenqvist (1:49.630 minutes) already moved up to the top of the time sheets at the start of the session and hold on to this position until the end of qualifying. At times, the stalwart had an advantage of almost one second. Only just before the end, rookie driver Charles Leclerc (1:49.869 minutes) came within 0.239 seconds from the pace-setter. Maximilian Günther (1:50.423 minutes) reduced his gap to Rosenqvist in the closing stages and ended up as the best-placed German in third. On his final lap, Callum Ilott (1:50.510 minutes) moved up into fourth place and toppled Antonio Giovinazzi (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin, 1:50.773 minutes), who came to Hockenheim as the FIA Formula 3 European Championship points’ leader, to fifth place. Lance Stroll (1:50.847 minutes), Jake Dennis (Prema Powerteam, 1:51.144 minutes) and Alexander Albon (Signature, 1:51.171 minutes) followed in sixth to eighth place from Markus Pommer (Motopark, 1:51.362 minutes) and Santino Ferrucci (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport, 1:51.408 minutes).

Qualifying was briefly interrupted with five minutes remaining following a collision involving George Russell (Carlin, 1:52.540 minutes) and Matt Solomon (Double R Racing, 1:55.122 minutes). The Brit ended up 18th, his rival from Hong Kong was classified 30th.

Starting grid race 3
In the ranking of the second-fastest laps, the order in front also saw Felix Rosenqvist (1:50.396 minutes) ahead of Charles Leclerc (1:50.594 minutes) and Maximilian Günther (1:50.941 minutes). Lance Stroll (1:51.574 minutes) and Callum Ilott (1:51.637 minutes) ensured that four rookie drivers made it into the first five positions. Antonio Giovinazzi (1:51.712 minutes) ended up sixth from Mücke duo Mikkel Jensen (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport, 1:51.895 minutes) and Santino Ferrucci (1:51.936 minutes). Markus Pommer (1:52.180 minutes) and Gustavo Menezes (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin, 1:52.189 minutes) rounded out the top ten.

Felix Rosenqvist (Prema Powerteam): “At the beginning of the session, I was able to drive a few clear laps and I was quite confident. Then, unfortunately, the red flag got in our way. After that, we waited for a while, which turned out to be not ideal. Like that, I was unable to improve my fastest time, while my rival Charles Leclerc was quite quick in the end. Fortunately, my fastest lap time before the interruption was still good enough for pole position.

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  • The Citroën Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team claimed a one-two finish in Carlos Paz! This was Citroën Racing’s tenth win at Rally Argentina.
  • It was the team’s 29th one-two finish in the World Rally Championship and the first such result achieved by current driver line-up, Kris Meeke/Paul Nagle and Mads Østberg/Jonas Andersson.
  • Leaders from the second stage until the end, Kris Meeke and Paul Nagle celebrate their maiden WRC win. Mads Østberg and Jonas Andersson now lie second in the World Championship standings.


Citroën Racing really does love Rally Argentina. The French team has now won ten of its last eleven appearances in Carlos Paz. This victory, built from the outset by Kris Meeke, has been the perfect way to launch the DS brand in South America.

Having already set the joint fastest time in Wednesday’s shakedown, Kris Meeke and Paul Nagle only missed out on winning the first stage by 0.2 seconds. Having grabbed the lead after the treacherous SS2, the DS 3 WRC crew then controlled perfectly from the front on what is an incredibly difficult event.

Kris Meeke maintained his lead to the end to take his first ever win in the World Championship. In doing so, he claimed the first win by a British driver since Colin McRae prevailed at the 2002 Safari Rally. Kris becomes the 74th driver to win a World Championship race and the fourth most successful Briton, after the late Colin McRae (25 wins), Richard Burns (10) and Roger Clarke (1). Paul Nagle is only the second Irish co-driver to win a WRC round after Ronan McNamee in 1989. For Citroën Racing, this is their 94th WRC win and their 29th one-two finish, both of which are new records!

As in Mexico, Mads Østberg and Jonas Andersson collected a large haul of points as runners-up. After four rounds of the 2015 season, they now lie second in the World Championship standings, having also secured a bonus point in the Power Stage.

Thanks to the maximum points scored in this one-two finish, the Citroën Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team now lies second in the Manufacturers’ standings.

Next up is Rally de Portugal on 21-24 May. This year, the base for the event – still held on gravel – moves to Matosinhos, to the north of Porto.


Yves Matton (Citroën Racing Team Principal): “This tenth win in Argentina goes way beyond the goals we had set. We haven’t had a one-two finish in the WRC since 2012 and our last win goes back to a little over a year ago. Argentina has been a happy hunting ground for Citroën Racing for years, in rallying and in track racing. Our strength has been the reliability of the DS 3 WRCs. This year’s Rally Argentina was exceptionally difficult and our drivers managed the race with a lot of intelligence.”

Kris Meeke: “Everything was fine until we got the end of the last stage. Once we had crossed the line, I was overcome with emotions. It’ll take time for it to really sink in. I didn’t start the rally aiming to fight for the win. I just wanted to have an error-free rally. The seven-week break really helped me. From the shakedown onwards, I felt full of confidence. It was a really difficult race but the DS 3 WRC is a solid and reliable car. All the other guys had problems and we secured a one-two finish. Mads had a fantastic rally as well. I have to thank Yves Matton, who believed in me. He gave me a great opportunity and he has been supportive throughout. This is just the first step in me thanking him for that support. I hope there will be others. This one is for Colin McRae.”




FIA WORLD TOURING CAR CHAMPIONSHIP 2015 - MOROCCO - MARRAKECH WTCC-17/04/2015 TO 19/04/2015 - PHOTO : @tWorld <pJust a few days after their triumphant weekend in Marrakech, the Citroën C-Elysée WTCCs are returning to action in an entirely different setting!
– On Tuesday, the drivers will be hard at work on the Nürburgring Nordschleife track, in a test day to prepare them for the German round of the FIA WTCC on 14-16 May.
– The Citroën Total team will then head to the Hungaroring to contest the third meeting of the season.
– The four official Citroën drivers are currently sitting atop the World Drivers’ Championship, with José María López leading the way, ahead of Sébastien Loeb, Yvan Muller and Ma Qing Hua.

After a long interlude to give them time to transport all their gear across the Atlantic from Argentina to Morocco, the FIA World Touring Car Championship teams are about to embark upon a three-month tour of Europe, with trips to Hungary, Germany, Russia, Slovakia, France and Portugal following in quick succession, offering the competitors little respite until mid-July.

On their way from Versailles to Budapest, the Citroën Racing team will make a quick detour to the Eifel mountains to take part in a day of collective testing at the Nürburgring. Next Tuesday, all the WTCC drivers will be doing their best to get to grips with the ‘Gesamstrecke’, a circuit that includes all but a few chicanes of F1’s legendary Nordschleife. They will negotiate 170 ‘official’ turns on a 25.947 km track… all in a little under 9 minutes.

For Citroën Racing’s engineers, it will be a particularly important day. “More than anything, it’s a meeting that has required a lot of preparation from the drivers,” explains Xavier Mestelan, Citroën Racing’s Technical Director. “A few months ago, they went and did a few laps of the Nordschleife in mass-produced cars. They then carried on the process of memorising the track on our simulator. Now, we’re going to be able to put all that into practice. It’s hard to sum up a circuit like that in just a few words, but we already know that we’ll have to have our cars sitting rather higher than usual because of the bumpy surface. It’s not a rally, but we’ll have to complet ely review our setup in terms of suspension and aerodynamics. The circuit also poses a major challenge for the engine, with one long straight which requires the cars to maintain top speed for almost 40 seconds.”

Unlike at traditional test sessions, where each day a new driver takes his turn in a car dedicated to development, Sébastien Loeb, José María López, Ma Qing Hua and Yvan Muller will be using the same Citroën C-Elysée WTCCs they race in. The technical team will therefore be able to compare the data acquired to work towards the best possible setup. “The length of the circuit will force us to change our approach,” Xavier Mestelan continues. “On a 26 km track, we obviously won’t be able to work bend-by-bend as we normally do. We’ll have to divide the circuit into sections and find the best compromises we can. The cars will have to be easy to drive, but also precise in their hand ling due to the various hidden turns.

The Premiere Motorsport Podcast