F1Weekly podcast # 655

Clark and Nasir go over the results of the Spanish Grand Prix, we have another outstanding Motorsports Mondial and…Here is an interview with Pastor Maldonado and his Monaco Grand Prix preview.

After setting the pace at the Barcelona post-race test, Pastor Maldonado is primed for the Monaco Grand Prix…

Was the Barcelona test as good as it looked?

Pastor Maldonado: Yes. I would say it was our first ‘normal’ test without any problems and we were able to complete our entire schedule. It was really important and a very positive test because we learnt so much more about the car. Everything is getting better and better in my opinion. Of course I’m happy with the result as well.

Can you feel the progress when you are driving the car?

The car has made a big step forward from where we were. The focus of the test was to continue to develop settings and try new ideas. It was a busy programme to be honest, but hopefully the rest of the season will be much better for us. We got a lot of data which our engineers took back to the factory to analyse in detail.

What’s the significance of such a positive test for the team?

I think it’s a great boost for everyone at Enstone and of course as a driver it gives me more confidence in the car so I can aim to achieve better results. If you think about where we were and where we are now it is an incredible step forward – particularly when the other teams are moving forward with their development too. It’s a true testament to the team’s capabilities and I hope we can start to get the results on track that we so deserve.

Looking ahead to Monaco, what makes it so special for you?

First of all it’s such an historic Grand Prix and an iconic race for Formula 1. I really love it. I’ve been very quick in the past and I think it is one of the most special weekends of the year. The atmosphere is unique. The track is really challenging and changes a lot over the sessions, which you need to anticipate. It’s difficult to be quick close to the walls and overall it’s a very tough race, demanding in terms of concentration and stressful physically and mentally. The only negative thing is that it is quite difficult to overtake, but it is not impossible.

What are your favourite parts of the circuit?

I really like the Casino and Swimming Pool sections. Every corner in Monaco has its own challenge, and own individual approach needed – that is probably the beauty of the circuit there. It’s where I live now so I might be biased, but it’s a very special place.

What are your early memories of Monaco?

Monaco was always my favourite track when I was watching Formula 1 on TV as a kid. Then the first time I went to a Grand Prix was also Monaco, in 2003, which was my first year in Formula Renault. Juan Pablo Montoya won and it was amazing to see how close they were to the wall and how quick the cars were, because they had V10 engines then. Another good Monaco memory for me is winning in GP2 in 2007 and 2009.

How difficult do you think it will be to drive the new F1 cars at Monaco, with all the new switches and settings?

We will be very busy in the cockpit with all the switches and changes to be made. We’re also going to face a big challenge as the tyres are harder than those we’ve used in Monaco in the past. In Barcelona we ran with the super-soft and were able to finish the lap without causing problems for the tyres, which was not the case in the past. So that’ll be a big question mark. For sure Mercedes is the strongest team at the moment but we are focused and pushing hard to catch them.

There has been a lot of talk about changes to improve Formula One, what would you like to see?

It’s difficult because ultimately the rules are the same for everyone. But I would like the performance of the cars to be closer. That is the main thing. Whatever the cars, whatever the teams, we need better competition. That’s certainly what we’re pushing for as a team; to be closer to the front.

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Formula E: Teams receive the first batch of single-seater electric cars

The FIA Formula E Championship is gradually building up to the new competition’s first race in Beijing, China, on September 13. An initial series of development tests, which went perfectly at a variety of circuits in January, allowed the car’s architecture and systems to be checked, and the first batch of electric Spark-Renault SRT_01E racing cars have now been delivered to the championship’s 10 registered teams at Donington, England, on May 15, in keeping with the timeframe set for Spark Racing and Renault!
Said Patrice Ratti (General Manager, Renault Sport Technologies): “We are delighted to have worked alongside Spark ahead of the delivery of the first 10 Spark-Renaults to the Formula E teams. It was no mean feat because this is the world’s first small-scale production-produced single-seater electric racing car to deliver such a high level of performance. To have succeeded is another illustration of the passion that fires the teams of experts who work at Renault Sport, as well as of their grasp of advanced electric vehicle technologies.”
Frédéric Vasseur (President, Spark Racing Technologies): “The development, fine-tuning and production of such an innovative racing car as the Spark-Renault SRT_01E in such a short lapse of time was a challenge that we are particularly proud to have risen to. The cooperation we enjoyed with our various partners was remarkable and the input from the teams at Renault Sport was especially decisive in enabling us to develop a car that is reliable, safe and competitive. We are delighted to have reaped the fruit of our collaboration with Renault.”
Alain Prost, co-director of the French team E-Dams, and also an ambassador for Renault, was at Donington for this landmark delivery.

Meanwhile, Renault took advantage of the opportunity to present the keys of a Renault ZOE to Alejandro Agag, Chairman and General Manager of Formula E Holdings. His use of this vehicle as his personal car will allow him to see the benefits of zero-emission* motoring (i.e. no noise, crisp acceleration from low speeds and driving enjoyment) for himself and consequently join the 98 percent of Renault Z.E. owners who are satisfied with their car.



2014 Barcelona Test, Day Two

Pastor Maldonado ended the second day of the test at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya fastest by almost a second after 102 trouble-free and extremely productive laps. Pastor set a time of 1min 24.871secs using super soft tyres late in the afternoon after completing numerous aero and set-up evaluations under glorious blue skies.

Fast Facts:
Track: Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Spain, 4.7km
Chassis: E22-03
Weather: Dry, blue skies and sunshine, air 12-22°C, track 18-35°C
Programme: Assessment of aero, set-up, mapping and tyres.
Laps Completed: 102
Classification: P1, 1:24.871
Interruptions: Occasional red flags.

What’s Next?
The team is next in action at the Monaco Grand Prix on May 22-25.

Pastor Maldonado:
“That was a complete day for us and my first normal day of testing this season. We didn’t have any problems and we gained a lot of good running with good track conditions compared to yesterday’s. We ran to plan and completed everything we wanted to do. We learnt a lot more about the car, the set-up and performance is improving all the time so I’m feeling more comfortable to push too. It’s been a big step forward today which hopefully means we’ll be much better for the rest of the season.”

Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director:
“We completed everything we set out to do today including aero assessments, mapping work, energy recovery scenarios, evaluations of set-up and ride height, tyre usage programmes and so on and I’m pleased to say the E22 didn’t miss a beat. We completed over 100 laps today so it’s been very good to see what is possible when we have good reliability. With the data we have collected over the last two days and the progress we’ve made, we’re in much better shape heading to the next races. There is plenty of potential in the E22.”


WILLIAMS F1 Barcelona Test Day One

Driver: Felipe Massa
Chassis/Engine: FW36-03 / PU106 Hybrid
Locations: Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain
Objectives: Aero evaluation and mechanical work
Weather: Wet in the morning, cool and dry in the afternoon
Maximum air & track temps: 16°C / 19°C

Rod Nelson, Chief Test and Support Engineer: As expected we had rain this morning so we had a wet test plan in place, which was successful. This was designed to help us in any wet races or qualifying situations in future so we gathered some useful data. This afternoon it dried up so we could complete our aero tests and some longer runs. As usual during testing, we have plenty of data to analyse now as the day has been very productive.

Felipe Massa: Every time we get in the car we are learning. We didn’t get in as many laps as we had planned as it rained in the morning, but we still used this time to improve our wet performance. The car has shown over the weekend and today that it is very competitive. We tested set-up and aerodynamics changes today but there were no new parts so we could focus on the finer details. It’s great to leave Barcelona knowing we have made a step forward.



The ninth Grand Prix Historique de Monaco saw Renault ambassador Alain Prost get behind the wheel of the Renault F1 Turbo (RE40) he raced in the Formula 1 World Championship in 1983 when he claimed four victories and second place in the end-of-year Drivers’ standings.

Last weekend, Alain Prost completed a series of parade laps in the Renault Classic-prepared car in which he came close to securing his first F1 world crown in 1983. That season, he started the Monaco GP in his Renault single-seater from pole position. This time, with four supreme titles to his name, the Frenchman entertained the crowds that lined the streets of the Principality with the bark of his car’s 750hp Renault V6 Turbo engine.

Also present was another key player in Renault’s F1 history, namely Jean-Pierre Jabouille who was the first driver of the marque’s famous Turbo era in 1977. He was also the man behind Renault’s first F1 success in 1979. His car for the Grand Prix Historique de Monaco was the Renault F1 Turbo RS 01 which he drove in 1977 and 1978.

The two French aces breathed life into two of Renault’s landmark single-seater racing cars which revolutionised modern Formula 1 history thanks to their turbo technology which has now returned as a feature of motor racing’s premier competition.

The breeding that went into the turbocharging technology developed by Renault for F1 in the 1970s and 1980s can be found today in the DNA of the Renault Energy range of engines which benefit from the brand’s unique expertise in the realms of downsizing, reliability and energy efficiency. The new 2014 Renault Energy F1 Power Unit serves as a valuable means to test and fine-tune technologies of the future which, in a few years’ time, will enhance the performance, fuel consumption and CO2 emissions of the brand’s forthcoming production powerplants.



FIA WORLD TOURING CAR CHAMPIONSHIP 2014 - SLOVAKIA- With rain falling throughout the day at the Slovakia Ring, the 7th and 8th races of the FIA WTCC were disrupted by the weather.

- The first race was stopped before the finish due to adverse track conditions. Sébastien Loeb, who had got the better of José-María López at the start, notched up his second race win of the season.

- As the showers intensified in the late afternoon, the second race was cancelled.

Unlike qualifying, which took place in blazing sunshine, the races at the Slovakia Ring always looked like being a particularly wet affair. Heavy showers soaked the track from mid-morning onwards. The Citroën Total mechanics adapted the setup of the C-Elysée WTCCs accordingly, in time for the first race at 1.15 p.m.

Starting from pole position, José-María López fluffed his start, whereas Sébastien Loeb got off to a flyer and was leading by the first corner. López was just about hanging on to second position, ahead of Norbert Michelisz. Yvan Muller also found himself in trouble when the red lights went out, dropping down to fourth. He then picked up a drive-through penalty for moving before the start.
With better visibility than his rivals, Sébastien Loeb was able to open up a lead over José-María López. After serving his penalty, Yvan Muller rejoined the race in 14th position. He provided some entertainment in the chasing pack by overtaking first Borkovic, then Bennani, Munnich and Valente.

This brilliant recovery was cut short, however, when the safety car was brought out. There was simply too much water on the track, and the officials decided to bring the race to a halt by raising the red flag after 9 of the planned 11 laps. As more than 75% of the full distance had been completed, full points were awarded.

After a brief period of respite, the showers returned with a vengeance in the late afternoon. Race 2, scheduled for 5.45 p.m., was cancelled just a few minutes before the start.


Yves Matton, Team Principal, Citroën Racing: “Seb got off to an exceptional start and that’s what earned him his second win of the season. Pechito didn’t take any risks, knowing that second place would still stand him in good stead in the championship. Yvan’s chances, however, evaporated at the start. The rain had become heavier and heavier and the race could not reasonably continue, so the race officials did the right thing. The decision to cancel race two was also understandable. We saw all afternoon how hard the track was to drive on, and a race contested in those conditions wouldn’t have been much of a sporting spectacle.”

Sébastien Loeb: “Pechito was very strong from the start of the weekend and I didn’t think I would be able to beat him! I got off to an excellent start and was leading by the first corner. As I had the best visibility, I was able to attack to open up a bit of a gap. Then the rain got heavier and it became very dangerous. The grip was changing hugely from one lap to the next and drivers were aquaplaning almost everywhere. It was a good decision to bring out the safety car – I was even struggling to keep up with it – and then to stop the race. This win gives me valuable points and a boost to my confidence after a difficult weekend at the Hungaroring.”

José-María López: “I didn’t get a good start. It’s really been a weakness for me all season, and I have to keep working hard to improve. But in those conditions, second place was a good result. I tried to attack to keep up the pressure on Seb, but I had trouble anticipating the aquaplaning because I couldn’t see where the big puddles were. I think the race had to be stopped. It was impossible to drive in those conditions.”

Yvan Muller: “I made a mistake at the start. My car moved forward a metre, then I stopped, before setting off again when the red lights went out. I knew I was going to get a drive-through, and I didn’t attack until I received the penalty. I rejoined the pack and managed to gain a few places and pick up a point. The officials made the right decision in stopping the first race and cancelling the second one.”


1. Sébastien Loeb (Citroën C-Elysée WTCC)
2. José-María López (Citroën C-Elysée WTCC) +1’’105

3. Norbert Michelisz (Honda Civic WTCC) +2’’435
4. Tom Coronel (Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1) +4’’081
5. Tom Chilton (Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1) +5’’205
6. Gianni Morbidelli (Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1) +6’’026
7. Tiago Monteiro (Honda Civic WTCC) +6’’960
8. Gabriele Tarquini (Honda Civic WTCC) +7’’410
9. Rob Huff (Lada Granta 1.6T) +8’’359
10. Yvan Muller (Citroën C-Elysée WTCC) +9’’457
Fastest lap: Sébastien Loeb (2’18’’193)


1. José-María López: 138 points
2. Sébastien Loeb: 113 pts
3. Yvan Muller: 109 pts

4. Tiago Monteiro: 71 pts
5. Gabriele Tarquini: 52 pts

1. Citroën Total: 323 points

2. Honda: 204 pts
3. Lada: 131 pts

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