image-driver-vettel

Formula 1


image-driver-vettel

RED BULL DRIVERS AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX PREVIEW—

DANIEL RICCIARDO: I’m very, very excited about the new season. It’s always good fun going to Melbourne, it’s a great city and I like racing on street circuits. The Albert Park track is very bumpy and you have to contend with all the road markings – when it’s wet those are very slippery! It also has some really good changes of direction with right-left, right-left turns in rapid succession. Full-time racing circuits tend to be very smooth and have plenty of grip. You don’t get that with a street circuit: at the start of the weekend they’re pretty dirty and gradually they clean up as cars sweep the racing line and put down rubber in the braking zones. It’s nice to feel the track evolve underneath your car and know that it’s going to get quicker throughout each session. Albert Park always tends to be a pretty exciting race. It’s great that Australia has a grand prix and a source of pride that it’s everybody’s choice to kick-start the season. If we went to Malaysia or Bahrain for the first race then I’d be able to ease into my career with Infiniti Red Bull Racing but in Oz, I assume the weekend will be right up there in my face! I’ll enjoy it and hopefully use the positive energy of the crowd to give me a good result.

SEBASTIAN VETTEL: It’s great to be starting the season next week. We didn’t do as much running as we would have liked in testing this year, so we have work to do in Melbourne, but it will be good to get to the first race. It’s hard to know where we are; it’s fair to say that we’re not the favourites to win and we have to catch up with others that have completed more mileage, but we’ll do our best with the great people that we have working for the team. We have achieved a lot together and I know everyone is working flat out as normal. It’s a good event to start the season and there’s always a great atmosphere. We often have unpredictable weather in Melbourne and on Sunday we have a later race start than at other events. Looking to the track, Turn 12 is important and fast and I like the start into the Jones chicane, where the track is very narrow. Formula One racing is something that I love and I can’t wait to get going.

Motor Racing - Formula One Testing - Bahrain Test Two - Day 3 - Sakhir, Bahrain

Formula 1


Motor Racing - Formula One Testing - Bahrain Test Two - Day 3 - Sakhir, Bahrain
2014 FORMULA ONE ROLEX AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX PREVIEW-
 
Vijay’s Vision
Team Principal, Dr Vijay Mallya, looks ahead to the start of the 2014 season with anticipation.
 
Dr Mallya, it’s been a very busy winter – how have things gone for Sahara Force India?
It’s been a massive challenge, especially for a smaller team like ours. That was why we put so many plans in place early last year to be ready for what has become a very different Formula One. All the hard work has paid off, but it has been a very steep learning curve and a huge undertaking to get where we are today.
 
As you say it’s a different Formula One. A new direction for the sport…
It’s the first time for many years that Formula One has been properly aligned with the automotive industry. The prospect of Formula One driving forward technical advances for road cars is a very exciting one.
 
You attended the final test in Bahrain. Were you encouraged by what you saw?
It was certainly a good week in terms of mileage because we completed the second highest number of laps of all the teams. So we can be satisfied with the amount and quality of the work we were able to carry out. We’ve learned a lot of things – by no means everything – and I think we can feel quietly confident.
 
What can we expect in Melbourne?
It’s never easy to make predictions and this year there are so many more unknowns than usual. I think we can arrive in Melbourne feeling happy about the work we’ve done over the winter. How that will translate to a race weekend is hard to say, but I think it’s important that an element of unpredictability has returned. There is plenty of interest around Formula One at the moment and that’s a good thing.
 
 
Driver’s View: Nico Hulkenberg
Nico Hulkenberg reflects on a busy pre-season and looks forward to Melbourne.
 
Nico, how satisfied are you with the work completed over the winter?
I think we’re pretty satisfied. In the final week in Bahrain we averaged 100 laps per day and made good progress. You would always like more time to test, but we’ve done as much as we could.
 
2014 brings new procedures and a new way of driving – do you feel comfortable already?
I feel comfortable, but I think this feeling will grow stronger during the season. The cars are different compared to last year: the corner speeds are lower because there is less downforce and the engine behaviour is quite different. So it’s a new challenge and it’s difficult to tell just from testing how it will feel during a race weekend.
 
How much has the car improved since the first test in Jerez?
The car has come a long way since Jerez. We made steps at each test and I think we made very good use of the time we had available. We signed off a lot of things during testing and I don’t think we’re in bad shape. There is always more you can do, but we’re pretty well prepared.
 
Have you set any expectations for this weekend?
It’s not easy to say. Testing only tells you so much, but I think we still have some performance in our pocket. I just hope we are competitive and can race for good points.
 
You’ve always been unlucky on race day in Melbourne. Surely you are due a change of luck…
It’s been three races in Melbourne and I’ve still not completed a racing lap! They say bad luck comes in groups of three so hopefully attempt number four will work out better!
 
 
Driver’s View: Sergio Perez
Sergio Perez gears up for the start of the season.
 
Sergio, the start of the season is here. Are you looking forward to racing in Melbourne?
It’s the first race of the year so I’ve been looking forward to this moment for a long time. I hope we can have a great start of the season.
 
How have you found the new generation of Formula One cars to drive?
The new rules are interesting and the cars are quite challenging. There is less downforce now, but there is a lot of torque from the engine so it’s quite a different feeling. You also have to think about managing the fuel load and we know that Melbourne is a circuit with high fuel consumption.
 
Do you feel busier in the car this year?
Yes, there are more things to do in terms of managing the systems on the car so it’s more complicated than last year. The pre-season testing has given us enough time to get to know the new systems so I don’t foresee any issue come the first race.
 
How would you sum up the pre-season so far?
I think we are feeling well prepared going into Melbourne. Testing has had its ups and downs, as always, but we ended the second Bahrain test in a good position. There are still areas we need to improve, but I think we have made a good start and we can build on that.
 
How are you feeling about your first race weekend with Sahara Force India?
It’s always a good feeling to start with a new team. I had a full winter to get to know everyone and I’m feeling ready now. The team is very hungry and I hope we can achieve some great things this year.
Martini Wllams 1

Formula 1


Martini Wllams 1

WILLIAMS MARTINI RACING PUTS THE STRIPES BACK ON THE GRID-

Iconic MARTINI® Brand Returns to Formula One Racing as Title Partner of the Legendary Williams™ Team

LONDON, March 6, 2014— MARTINI®, the world’s leading vermouth and best-selling Italian sparkling wine, in partnership with Williams, today announced a multi-year agreement that unites two of the most iconic brands in Formula One racing, creating WILLIAMS MARTINI RACING. The announcement was made during an event held here, as part of the 2014 team launch.

“We are thrilled to welcome MARTINI to the Williams family and officially launch WILLIAMS MARTINI RACING,” said Sir Frank Williams, Founder and Team Principal, Williams. “Williams and MARTINI share a rich history in the world of motorsport, and the values of our two brands and our shared passion for racing make this partnership a natural fit. It will be great to see the distinctive stripes of MARTINI Racing™ return to Formula One™ once again in unison with Williams.”

“The decision to partner with Williams was a natural one for us as it provides an unparalleled opportunity for the MARTINI brand to connect with consumers through one of their lifestyle passions, Formula One racing,” said Andy Gibson, Chief Marketing Officer of Bacardi and President of Bacardi Global Brands, who oversees marketing for MARTINI other premium brands in the Bacardi portfolio. “MARTINI will give consumers a taste of life in the fast lane, bringing a renewed sense of Italian style and glamour to the track and beyond. WILLIAMS MARTINI RACING provides a powerful, integrated marketing platform and delivers dynamic opportunities that will strengthen the MARTINI brand.”

Lukas_Walfridson

World Rallycross Championship


Lukas_Walfridson

WALFRIDSON CONFIRMS SIX-ROUND WORLD RX CAMPAIGN-

Lukas Walfridson – a multiple Crosskart champion – will contest six rounds of this year’s FIA World Rallycross Championship presented by Monster Energy at the wheel of a Helmia Motorsport Renault Clio Supercar.  Of Walfridson’s six events, five will be the FIA European Rallycross Championship (Euro RX) and the sixth will be World RX of Sweden in July.

Walfridson joins World RX following three successful seasons competing in Crosskart, where the 20-year-old Swede racked up 22 race wins and 35 podium spots.  Walfridson, who is the nephew of well-known rallycross driver Stig-Olov and former European Rallycross Champion Per-Inge, has clinched a total of nine Crosskart titles since 2009 and will be a strong championship contender in this year’s Euro RX.

“When this opportunity arose, I immediately wanted to go for it. Moving from Crosskart to a Supercar is something I really wanted to do – it will be a big challenge but I’m keen to make progress,” enthused Walfridson.

Walfridson will embark on his World RX campaign at Lydden Hill in Great Britain at the end of May, and will also compete in Hell, Norway (14-15 June), Höljes, Sweden (5-6 July), Mettet, Belgium (12-13 July), Buxtehude, Germany (20-21 September) and finally at Franciacorta in Italy (27-28 September).

“Our goal is to finish in the top three of Euro RX at the end of the year. That is my only aim and together with my team, I will strive to make it happen,” concluded a defiant Walfridson.

Martin Anayi, Managing Director of World RX for IMG Motorsport ­– a division of IMG, the global sport, fashion and media company – spoke of the growing appeal of World RX to drivers of all ages.

“We’re seeing a huge variety of drivers signing up to World RX and Euro RX this year which is fantastic for creating diversity in our Championship,” explained Anayi.  “To have young racing drivers such as Lukas bursting onto the rallycross scene combined with experienced drivers such as Petter Solberg is hugely exciting for both the fans and our young drivers who will be pitting themselves against some of the most experienced guys in the sport. Lukas has already proved his talent in Crosskart and with a strong family history in rallycross, it will be very interesting to watch Lukas’ transition to a Supercar this season.”

Kamui Kobayashi Bahrain

Formula 1


Kamui Kobayashi Bahrain

DRIVER COMMENTS FROM BAHRAIN—

SEBASTIAN VETTEL: “We did a lot of laps today so that was useful,  We tried to do a race distance today; for one reason or another that didn’t work out, but in two week’s time things should look a little bit different. Obviously it’s difficult to know where the car is. It’s not just the number of laps you do, but also the type. There are so many different running options, not just with tyres and high or low fuel, there are engine options as well – full power, low power etc, so it’s impossible to say where we are. We know we have to catch up in a lot of areas, but that said, I’m happy today, we did a lot of laps, we learned a lot and it was a positive end to a tough week here.”

Romain Grosjean: “We’re not in an ideal situation. There is a lot of new technology for everyone to understand, but even though we have stopped many times and spent a lot of time in the garage, each time we run the car we are learning something new. We’re all working as hard as we can in Enstone and I’m sure that Renault Sport F1 is doing the same. We now have two weeks to find a lot more performance and reliability.”

VALTERI BOTTAS: I think our final day of testing was very good, right up to a very unlucky failure just one run before the end. Overall, it was a still a good day as we had no other issues throughout and made a lot of progress with the car set-up. I think with this amount of testing we are as prepared for Melbourne as we can be. The team has done a great job and thank you also to Mercedes-Benz. We still need to work very hard in these next two weeks but I overall I’m happy with how testing has gone for us. As I didn’t have the chance to do a quick time on the supersoft tyre today, I am looking forward to picking up where we left off when we get to Melbourne.

NICO HULKENBERG: “The final day of testing went pretty well. In the end we didn’t do the race simulation, but we did some long runs and signed off a lot of other things on the job list. We didn’t do as many laps as yesterday, but we still made progress and learned some new things. So it’s been two good days for me and I’m feeling pretty satisfied. You always want more time to prepare, but I think we’re in good shape. The car has come a long way since the first Jerez test and we have made progress every day.”
KAMUI KOBAYASHI: “106 laps is a good way for us to finish the tests, even though the clutch problem we had in the last hour meant we didn’t have a chance to do any of the performance runs we’d planned for today. However, I’m very happy we were able to have two such good final days in Bahrain as it’s showed that our reliability is good and that could be very important in Australia and for the whole season, especially when you look at how quite a few of the other teams have struggled both here and in Jerez.

“Today we had a very long program, starting in the morning with a number of short runs to work through setup changes and we’ve made good progress in that area. In the afternoon we went onto longer runs, looking at fuel and energy management strategy and tyre wear and we have a lot of data to work with on that – again, that will be critical in the races so to have had the chance to start to understand how the car behaves with different modes is very important.

“Next week I have a couple more days in the simulator at the factory and then it’ll be time to go to Australia. I’m obviously excited about getting back to racing and with what we’ve achieved in testing I think it could be a very interesting start to the 2014 season.”

Williams FW36

Formula 1


Williams FW36

BAHRAIN TEST DAY THREE WILLIAMS ON TOP—

Rod Nelson, Chief Test & Support Engineer:  Having covered most of the bases in terms of reliability, we concentrated more on performance today as we had planned to do. As we don’t get the opportunity to test very much on a race weekend, we really look to do some significant tests when we have the tyres available to do so and we did some pretty positive tests today to continue learning about the car. This afternoon we did a full qualifying simulation with Felipe and we are pleased with how that turned out, so it’s been a good day for us.

Felipe Massa: We had a very good day today doing almost 100 laps. We did a lot more performance work in the car which is something that we haven’t done so much of so far. I’m really happy with the car and feel we found a good balance. We did so much work on the set-up but it is very important that we go to Australia prepared. Of course you are always happy when you see your name at the top in first place, but as well as performance, today was good for the mileage and reliability of the car which we know is needed for Australia. You can never be sure that you are 100% ready for the first race, but I feel that what we have done in these days testing has been important for making sure that we have a car that can not only get to the end of the race, but that will have good performance as well.

The Premiere Motorsport Podcast