Sam Bird (RUSSIAN TIME) Singapore R2

F1Weekly podcast # 643

Sam Bird (RUSSIAN TIME) Singapore R2

Clark and Nasir talk about the Brazilian Grand Prix and the 2013 F1 season. Also special interview with Sam Bird.

Bird made his name in single seater racing in the Formula BMW category, coming fourteenth overall in his debut season and second in the rookie cup. He came runner up in 2005, which was only his second season in the category and also came fourth in the Formula BMW world final, the race itself was won by German Marco Holzer.

Formula Renault

For 2006, Bird entered the British Formula Renault series, where he won four races and came fourth in the championship, 111 points behind series champion Sebastian Hohenthal.

Formula Three

Bird on the Formula 3 Euro Series at the Hockenheimring (2009)

In 2007, Bird raced in the British Formula Three Championship with Carlin Motorsport, racing in a Mercedes powered Dallara. In March 2007, Bird secured sponsorship from BP, “The brand is already prominent in the World Rally Championship” Mark Reader, BP’s UK Fuels Marketing Manager, commented, “Sam’s an incredible prospect and we’re excited to be getting into a relationship at this stage of his career” he added. Bird was elected to the Motor Sports Association Race Elite Scheme in April 2007, along with 5 other drivers in various British series and also participated in a series of aerodynamic tests with the AT&T Williams F1 Team.

Bird moved to the Manor Motorsport and the Formula 3 Euro Series in 2008 and had a testing year, finishing eleventh in the championship with 23 points – 16 of which came from second places during Saturday races at Catalunya and Le Mans and only picked up points from three other races. For 2009, he joined McLaren Autosport BRDC Award winner Alexander Sims, 2008 Mücke driver Christian Vietoris and 2008 Formula BMW Europe runner-up Marco Wittmann at Mücke Motorsport. He earned his first pole position and fastest laps, but failed to win a race en route to eighth in the championship.

GP2 Series

Bird missed the final round of the F3 Euroseries season to join up with the ART Grand Prix team for a GP2 Asia Series test at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi. He raced in the 2009–10 season for the team, where he finished seventh in the series, with a second place in the final round.

Bird contested the 2010 GP2 Series with ART, having long coveted a drive with the French team. He was fast but frequently unlucky, losing several potential results due to technical issues, engine failures and collisions for which he was not at fault. However, he managed to claim his maiden series win at the first race at Monza, as well as claiming his third fastest lap of the season.

For 2011, Bird moved to the iSport International team alongside Marcus Ericsson. His GP2 Asia campaign resulted in three retirements from four races, but after a strong start to the main series season, he was second in the Drivers’ Championship after four rounds, with the same number of points as leader Romain Grosjean. After this point, however, he gradually slipped back in the standings and finished sixth overall at the end of the season.

Formula One

On 16 November 2010 he took part in the young drivers test in Abu Dhabi driving for Mercedes GP.

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UAE’s Sheikh Khalid Al Qassimi powering his Abu Dhabi Citroën Total DS3 on the final day of Dubai International Rally.

Dubai International Rally

UAE’s Sheikh Khalid Al Qassimi powering his Abu Dhabi Citroën Total DS3 on the final day of Dubai International Rally.
UAE’s Sheikh Khalid Al Qassimi powering his Abu Dhabi Citroën Total DS3 on the final day of Dubai International Rally.


Dubai, UAE, 30 November, 2013:  Sheikh Khalid Al Qassimi’s brave bid to give the UAE victory in the 35th Dubai International Rally was frustrated today as Qatar’s Nasser Al Attiyah survived a powerful second leg charge by the Emirati driver to win the final round of the FIA Middle East Championship. 

Trailing Al Attiyah by 29.7 seconds overnight, Al Qassimi produced a brilliant surge to win the first four of the day’s six special stages in his Abu Dhabi Citroën Total DS3 and pile the pressure on the nine-times Middle East champion. 

But with his advantage reduced to 15.4 seconds, Al Attiyah fought back to take the next two stages, and Al Qassimi suffered a frustrating anti-climax when he was forced out of the event by a double puncture shortly after completing the final stage. 

His departure meant that Al Attiyah, partnered by Giovanni Bernacchini in a Ford Fiesta RRC, won by 5 mins 33.6 secs from Qatar’s 2010 Middle East champion, Misfer Almarri. “I had a good strategy,” said Al Attiyah. “I was careful because I didn’t want to get any punctures. Khalid took the risks and I’m happy to win. It was a good fight and this is what we need for the championship to improve.” 

Finishing third in another Ford Fiesta was the UAE’s Sheikh Abdullah Al Qassimi, brother of Sheikh Khalid and runner-up in Dubai last year. 

After a ten-second time penalty on Friday’s first leg had presented him with a mountain to climb, Sheikh Khalid produced the perfect response over the second leg’s first loop of three stages, winning them all alongside Scott Martin in his Abu Dhabi Citroën to move within 19.8 seconds of the lead. 

He reached the service halt to say: “I knew I had to go flat out, but I also had to be neat in places to avoid overshooting corners. There was a very fine balance. At very high speed you can maybe gain a second here or lose a second here on the corners. We still have a lot of hard work to do.” 

He was looking to complete one of the biggest fightbacks in recent Middle East Championship history and become the first UAE winner of the Dubai International Rally since his own second successive victory in 2006. 

The fightback continued as he clawed back another 4.4 seconds on the next stages, but Al Attiyah was not to be denied his seventh successive win in Dubai. 

The consolation for Al Qassimi was in seeing the four young Abu Dhabi Racing drivers he has guided into this year’s Middle East Championship all finishing in the top ten in Dubai’s traditional final round of the series. 

With Jordanian driver Alaa Rasheed finishing fourth, Majed Al Shamsi produced a mature drive to take fifth place overall and win the Group N production class in partnership with John Higgins. The UAE’s Rashid Al Ketbi completed the top six. 

It was a good day also for Al Shamsi’s three other Abu Dhabi Racing team-mates. Finishing seventh overall alongside Nicolas Klinger, Bader Al Jabri was runner-up in Group N and also finished third in the category in the Middle East Championship. 

Mohammed Al Sahlawi, driving an Abu Dhabi Citroën DS3 R3 2WD to 9th place overall alongside Allan Harryman, captured the Middle East 2WD and Junior titles ahead of team-mate Mohamed Al Mutawaa, who finished 10th overall and runner up in both classes with Stephen McAuley. Finishing 11th overall, Kuwait’s Meshari Al Thefiri won the Middle East Group N title. 

The biggest casualty of the day was Saudi Arabia’s Yazeed Al Rajhi, a WRC2 rally winner on this year’s World Championship stage, whose Ford Fiesta RRC went out at the end of the day’s first of six special stages after multiple punctures. 

Provisional results: 

1. Nasser Al-Attiyah / Giovanni Bernacchini (QAT / ITA) / Ford Fiesta RRC         2:01:11.9

2. Misfer Almarri / Nicola Arena (QAT / ITA) / Ford Fiesta RRC                            2:06:45.5

3. Abdulla Al Qassimi / Steve Lancaster (UAE / UK) / Ford Fiesta RRC                2:07.40.3

4. Alaa Rasheed / Joseph Matar (JOR / LBN) / Ford Fiesta RRC                             2:15:57.9

5. Majed Al Shamsi / John Higgins (UAE / IRL) / Suburu Impreza N15                  2:16:09.5

6. Rashid Al Ketbi / Khalid Al Kendi (ARE / ARE) / Ford Fiesta RRC                  2:16:29.6

7. Bader Al Jabri / Nicolas Klinger (UAE / France) / Suburu Impreza N15               2:18:04.7

8. Abdulla Al Kuwari / Khalid Al Kendi (Qatar/ UAE) Mitsubishi Evo 9                2:25:44.2

9. Mohammed Al Sahlawi / Allan Harryman (UAE / UK) / Citroen DS3 R3           2:26:29.2

10. Mohammed Al Mutawaa / Stephen McAuley (UAE / UK) / Citroen DS3 R3    2:29:14.7


Formula 1



Lotus F1 Team is pleased to announce that Venezuelan driver Pastor Maldonado [28] will join the Enstone squad alongside Frenchman Romain Grosjean [27] for the 2014 Formula 1 season.

Pastor – a veteran of 58 Grand Prix starts, including pole position and victory at the 2012 Spanish Grand Prix – has driven for Williams F1 Team since entering the sport at the start of the 2011 season.

Romain has raced for Lotus F1 Team since the start of the 2012 season, having previously driven for the Enstone outfit in its former guise of Renault F1 Team during the final seven races of the 2009 season, in addition to serving as third driver for the team in 2011.

Eric Boullier, Team Principal
“It is with great pleasure that we can formally confirm that Romain Grosjean will continue with Lotus F1 Team next season. He has really made the most of his tremendous talent over the latter part of the 2013 season and will be a fantastic asset to our 2014 challenge. Romain will be joined by Pastor Maldonado; a driver I have known since he drove for me at DAMS in the 2005 World Series by Renault season. It is clear that Pastor has pace and potential – demonstrated by his 2010 GP2 Series title success and then through strong races throughout his career at Williams F1 Team – and we are convinced that we will be able to provide the correct environment to enable him to flourish regularly on track. We have been working on our new car in alignment with the new regulations for over two years and we are confident that we have a very good solution to all the challenges ahead. With Romain and Pastor I believe Lotus F1 Team will be able to cause quite a few surprises next year.”

Romain Grosjean, Lotus F1 Team Driver
“I am very happy to have official confirmation that I will be continuing to drive for Lotus F1 Team next season. This past year has been tremendously satisfying for me. We have worked well together, and I know everyone at Enstone is motivated to continue the fight for every last point available. I am very excited about next year’s car and I cannot wait to get out on track for pre-season testing before heading to Australia for the first race of the season.”

Pastor Maldonado, 2014 Lotus F1 Team Driver
“It is a fantastic opportunity for me to join Lotus F1 Team for 2014. It’s no secret that I have wanted a change of scene to help push on with my Formula 1 career and Lotus F1 Team offered the very best opportunity for me to be competitive next season. The regulations and cars will change significantly so it is a very good time for a fresh start. I can’t wait to be racing in black and gold.”

Sheikh Khalid Al Qassimi powering his Abu Dhabi Citroen DS3 in Cyprus today.

Dubai International Rally

Sheikh Khalid Al Qassimi powering his Abu Dhabi Citroen DS3 in Cyprus today.
Sheikh Khalid Al Qassimi powering his Abu Dhabi Citroen DS3 in Cyprus


BWdaBRjCAAEJcFS.jpg-largeThe FIA Middle East Rally Championship concludes this weekend in the United Arab Emirates at the Dubai International Rally. This will therefore practically be a home event for Khalid Al Qassimi, who will be competing alongside Scott Martin in his Citroën DS3 RRC. The Abu Dhabi driver makes no secret of his hopes of completing his first season at Citroën Racing with a win.

Reputed around the world as growing tourist, sporting and cultural hot spot, Dubai is one of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates. Created in the middle of the 1980s, the Dubai International Rally joined the FIA Middle East Rally Championship in 1997.

Used to travelling around the planet to take part in WRC rallies, Khalid Al Qassimi feels at home at this event since Abu Dhabi and Dubai are only separated by around a hundred kilometres. The Emirati has won the rally on two previous occasions, in 2005 and 2006.

This year, his aim is to rack up another win in the Arabian gulf: “I’ve not had much success on this rally in recent years, but I hope it will be different this year! As with each round of the championship, this event has its own distinctive features. The vast majority of the stages place greater emphasis on out-and-out speed in the desert. But there are also many changes in pace, with some very technical sections. I am very determined to fight for first place. Winning this rally for a third time would mean a lot to me and especially to my country. It would also be a great way to conclude the first season of Abu Dhabi Racing’s and Citroën Racing’s partnership.”

Competing in their Citroën DS3 R3s, the young drivers selected by Abu Dhabi Racing will also be looking to finish their first season – which they have spent learning about rallying at this level – on a high. With two wins and two runner-up spots in the 2WD category, Mohamed Al Sahlawi is almost certain to beat Mohamed Al Mutawaa to the title, the latter having only won once and finished as runner-up once.

The rally is set to begin with the ceremonial start on Thursday evening near to Burj Khalifa which, at some 828 metres tall, is the largest tower in the world. The race will be contested over two legs on Friday, 29 November and Saturday, 30 November. The event features twelve timed stages, with a total distance of 264km.

Abu Dhabi Racing and Citroën Racing will be holding further selection sessions aimed at identifying promising young Emirati drivers. Candidates will be assessed at the Yas Marina circuit on 2-3 December.


Motorsports Mondial

“Rule Britannia”



Introducing the 2014 Classic Formula One Calendar

In 1958, in the streets of Casablanca, Mike Hawthorn and Stirling Moss were the main players in the final race of the season to decide the new world champion. Moss won the race and Hawthorn took the title.

This was the beginning of the British Raj in Formula One motor racing.

Her Majesty’s motorsports island has produced more world champions than any other nation. Ten British drivers have taken the crown since the showdown in Casablanca. And they include some of the most legendary names in motor racing.

Graham Hill was the second British driver to become world champion in 1962, and again in 1968. He also won the Indy 500 in 1966 and the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1972.

Jim Clark was world champion in 1963, each and every race that season was won by a British driver. He repeated the feat two years later and also took victory at the Brickyard.

John Surtees is the only man to win world championships on two and four wheels.

Then came Jackie Stewart, James Hunt, Nigel Mansell, Damon Hill, Lewis Hamiton and Jenson Button.

“Rule Britannia” pays homage to grand prix greats from Great Britain. 

To order this piece of motor racing history, please visit our merchandise page.

Thank you for your support.

Jim Clark on his way to 1964 BTCC title success


Jim Clark
Legendary racer Jim Clark to be celebrated at Knockhill

Clark’s success to be celebrated at Knockhill—

50th anniversary of legendary Scottish racer Jim Clark’s BTCC title honoured—

The remarkable British Touring Car Championship victory in 1964 by one of the greatest racing drivers to ever have competed, Jim Clark from Duns, is to be celebrated when the BTCC returns to Knockhill next year. 2014 is the 50th anniversary of Jim winning the title as he became the first of only three Scots in history to win the prestigious championship, the second being fellow Borders racer John Cleland and the most recent being Gordon Shedden in 2012.

Knockhill Event Director Stuart Gray said: “We are thrilled and honoured that the Jim Clark Trust has chosen the 2014 BTCC event at Knockhill to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Clark’s BTCC title win. It’s a natural fit in many ways as Jim was born in Fife and we hope to have a huge crowd at our 2014 event as Knockhill is also celebrating it’s the 40th anniversary!

“We are delighted also that Homecoming Scotland has recognised these special landmarks and is backing the event with funding that will allow us to celebrate the four decades of motor sport at Knockhill, and the unique achievements of Jim Clark. A whole host of items are being planned to ensure it is a fitting event to celebrate the birthday of Scotland’s National Motor Sport Centre and Clark’s 1964 title, coming as it did when he was the reigning Formula One Champion.”

The newly-formed Jim Clark Trust has the endorsement of motor racing heroes Sir Jackie Stewart and Dario Franchitti who have joined forces behind plans to establish a new museum dedicated to the achievements of Scotland’s world-famous Formula One legend. The Jim Clark Room, which is currently set up in the Berwickshire town of Duns close to where Clark spent most of his life, houses a selection of memorabilia from the late driver’s career, but it is small and becoming overcrowded.
Now the Jim Clark Trust is putting together a bid to build a new, expanded museum to house more of the cars Clark drove, trophies he won and other memorabilia from his racing career under one roof. Scottish Borders Council is also playing its part by providing over £500,000 capital funding for the new museum with the ‘Room’ having attracted more than 300,000 visitors from across the world since it opened 40 years ago.

Stuart Gray added: “With such a large dedicated motor sport fan base coming to the Knockhill BTCC meeting in August and having the Jim Clark Trust here with a display of Jim’s cars, memorabilia and trophies, it is the perfect platform to both promote the legacy of Jim and the Trust’s plans for their new ‘Room’. We are also delighted that Homecoming Scotland are helping financially to make the event one of the biggest and most significant motor sport events in 2014, the year of the Homecoming.”

Caroline Packman, Homecoming Scotland 2014 said: “2014 promises to be a very exciting year for Scotland where we can celebrate all that’s great about our country and place the spotlight on our greatest assets. We are absolutely delighted to have the British Touring Car Championship at Knockhill as part of the ever-extending Homecoming Scotland 2014 programme. It also presents a fantastic opportunity for both visitors and locals to celebrate the unique achievements of Jim Clark.”

The Premiere Motorsport Podcast