Spa pole 2014

FORMULA 1



Nico Rosberg took pole position for the 2014 Belgian Grand Prix this afternoon, with Lewis Hamilton completing a Silver Arrows front row lockout in wet conditions at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps.


- Today’s result represents the team’s fifth front-row lockout of the 2014 season in 12 races
- Nico’s 11th career pole position (and fourth in a row) is also the team’s 11th pole in 12 races this year
- Lewis secured his eighth front row starting slot of the 2014 season with second place
- Both drivers ran intermediate tyres throughout qualifying in consistent wet conditions

Weather – Wet, sunny spells and showers
Temperatures – Air: 10 – 13°C, Track: 17 – 22°C

Nico Rosberg

It’s fantastic to start from pole here at Spa. It’s never easy here in these conditions, which make the track even more challenging. But today was very stable with intermediate conditions throughout, so not as tough as in previous years. It was a great qualifying performance today and I have to thank the team for their great work. My engineers helped me to find the right setup with all the opportunities to change something during a session. The car went better and better at the end, so I’m very happy and also a bit surprised that the gap was so big to the other teams. Having said that, I hope to have a good start and a clear race tomorrow because, like we have seen in Budapest, Sunday is the day that counts. But I’m quite confident as we have a fantastic car. I’m looking forward to the race.

Lewis Hamilton

I was a bit nervous going into qualifying – wondering if everything would come together after the troubles I’ve had during recent weekends. But it’s great to see that all the hard work the team has put in is paying off. This circuit is a big challenge in the wet. It’s probably more fun in the dry, when you’re right on the edge of performance, but the conditions were pretty stable so it wasn’t too bad. This is a circuit where you need confidence on the brakes but unfortunately, on my Q3 run, I had a glazed front left brake which made the car pull to the side. When it does that, it’s really hard to recover and get the temperature into the brake, so it meant I kept losing a bit of braking power on my final laps. I’m not too disappointed, though. Last year I was on pole, then Seb came flying past me down the Kemmel Straight, so I think P2 could be the best place to be. It may just be a blessing in disguise with the grid slot.

Trident’s Luca Ghiotto storms to first pole position in debut GP3 weekend

GP3



Ghiotto reigns supreme in Spa qualifying

That’s how to make a first impression! Debutant Luca Ghiotto from Trident impressed the field in a wet session to claim a maiden pole position in his first race weekend by three tenths of a second. Carlin’s Emil Bernstorff will join the Italian on the front row, with Koiranen GP’s Jimmy Eriksson in third.

Rain had fallen overnight and again prior to the thirty minute qualifying session. The 26 drivers fed onto the Spa-Francorchamps circuit on wet Pirelli tyres for Round 6 of the 2014 GP3 Series. Carmen Jorda was an early victim to the conditions; the Spaniard ran wide at Turn 14 and was beached in the gravel, a premature end to her session.

Series leader Alex Lynn headed the timesheet early on lapping in the 2m23’s before Eriksson improved on the Carlin driver’s time to snatch P1. ART Grand Prix’s Marvin Kirchhöfer and Dino Zamparelli were third and fourth. At the midway point, Eriksson held a 0.463s margin over Lynn as the sun decided to make an appearance.
After twenty minutes, the drivers returned to the pitlane, ready for new rubber. Zamparelli gambled with slick tyres which didn’t pay off but the track became alive when Ghiotto began to light the timing screen and produced the best lap of the session with a 2:22.251. Despite the sunshine, there was no drying line appearing, with drivers struggling to make a big impact on their laptimes.
Bernstorff moved into second, whilst Lynn was on his best lap on his final attempt but was slightly hindered by traffic and remained in P5. At the chequered flag, it was jubilation for Trident, their first pole in the category. The top ten will line-up as Ghiotto, Bernstorff, Eriksson, Richie Stanaway, Lynn, Patrick Kujala, Kirchhöfer, Patric Niederhauser, Mathéo Tuscher and Zamparelli.
Race 1 takes place later today at 16:20 local time as the quest for supremacy continues.
Qualifying – Spa-Francorchamps
Driver
Team
Laptime
Laps
1.
Luca Ghiotto
Trident
2:22.251
11
2.
Emil Bernstorff
Carlin
2:22.584
10
3.
Jimmy Eriksson
Koiranen GP
2:22.678
9
4.
Richie Stanaway
Status Grand Prix
2:22.862
11
5.
Alex Lynn
Carlin
2:23.081
11
6.
Patrick Kujala
Marussia Manor Racing
2:23.303
11
7.
Marvin Kirchhöfer
ART Grand Prix
2:23.413
9
8.
Patric Niederhauser
Arden International
2:23.438
10
9.
Mathéo Tuscher
Jenzer Motorsport
2:23.481
11
10.
Dino Zamparelli
ART Grand Prix
2:23.565
11
11.
Dean Stoneman
Marussia Manor Racing
2:23.586
11
12.
Jann Mardenborough
Arden International
2:23.794
11
13.
Nick Yelloly
Status Grand Prix
2:23.920
11
14.
Robert Visoiu
Arden International
2:23.996
10
15.
Kevin Ceccon
Jenzer Motorsport
2:24.057
12
16.
Alex Fontana
ART Grand Prix
2:24.248
9
17.
Sebastian Balthasar
Hilmer Motorsport
2:24.464
12
18.
Santiago Urrutia
Koiranen GP
2:24.687
11
19
Nelson Mason
Hilmer Motorsport
2:24.846
12
20.
Luis Sa Silva
Carlin
2:24.862
10
21.
Pal Varhaug
Jenzer Motorsport
2:25.301
11
22.
Alfonso Celis. Jr
Status Grand Prix
2:25.553
11
23.
Riccardo Agostini
Hilmer Motorsport
2:25.965
11
24.
John Bryant-Meisner
Trident
2:25.969
12
25.
Ryan Cullen
Marussia Manor Racing
2:26.537
11
26
Carmen Jorda
Koiranen GP
-
0
Stoffel Vandoorne (ART Grand Prix)

GP2



Stoffel Vandoorne claims maiden pole at home

McLaren test driver Stoffel Vandoorne has snatched his first GP2 pole position on home soil in today’s qualifying session at Spa-Francorchamps. The Belgian ace denied Series leader Jolyon Palmer from the top spot at the chequered flag. Mitch Evans took third spot.
The weather conditions were still fresh when the pitlane opened and the drivers fed onto the track on Pirelli Medium tyres. Already fast in this morning’s practice session, Johnny Cecotto quickly topped the standings, dipping under 1m58s, but Palmer was able to find a clear lap to break the 1m57s barrier. The Briton clocked in a laptime of 1:56.857 – five tenths quicker than Vandoorne then in P2.
Another rookie looked hungry for glory in the name of Raffaele Marciello: the mighty Italian improved on his first set of tyres to move up to second with a laptime of 1:57.237. Halfway through the session, the drivers returned to the pits for a fresh pair of tyres. They rejoined the track with ten minutes left on the clock. This morning’s fastest man Julian Leal was on a mission and improved on the first two sectors, but he hit traffic in the final sector thus reducing his efforts to naught.
In the dying minutes, Palmer seemed to have done enough to claim another pole position this season, but Vandoorne put his head down and found some extra pace to edge the Briton out of the top spot by 0.018s. At the chequered flag, Evans took third spot ahead of Marciello, Cecotto, Leal, Nathanaël Berthon, Simon Trummer, Marco Sorensen and Stéphane Richelmi.
With the weather forecast being uncertain and the demands of the Belgian track leaving no room for driver error, tomorrow’s feature race promises to be a cracker.
Spa-Francorchamps – Qualifying Session
Driver
Team
Laptime
Laps
1.
Stoffel Vandoorne
ART Grand Prix
1:56.839
10
2.
Jolyon Palmer
DAMS
1:56.857
8
3.
Mitch Evans
RT RUSSIAN TIME
1:57.057
11
4.
Raffaele Marciello
Racing Engineering
1:57.237
13
5.
Johnny Cecotto
Trident
1:57.244
12
6.
Julian Leal
Carlin
1:57.271
13
7.
Nathanaël Berthon
Venezuela GP Lazarus
1:57.272
12
8.
Simon Trummer
Rapax
1:57.284
10
9.
Marco Sorensen
MP Motorsport
1:57.389
11
10.
Stéphane Richelmi
DAMS
1:57.448
10
11.
Felipe Nasr
Carlin
1:57.475
11
12.
Arthur Pic
Campos Racing
1:57.516
10
13.
Daniel De Jong
MP Motorsport
1:57.706
11
14.
Tom Dillmann
EQQ8 Caterham Racing
1:57.770
11
15.
Conor Daly
Venezuela GP Lazarus
1:57.788
12
16.
Stefano Coletti
Racing Engineering
1:57.844
11
17.
Rene Binder
Arden International
1:57.851
12
18.
Daniel Abt
Hilmer Motorsport
1:57.875
13
19
Rio Haryanto
EQ8 Caterham Racing
1:57.974
12
20.
André Negrao*
Arden International
1:58.002
12
21.
Adrian Quaife-Hobbs
Rapax
1:58.005
12
22.
Kimiya Sato
Campos Racing
1:58.185
10
23.
Jon Lancaster
Hilmer Motorsport
1:58.218
13
24.
Sergio Canamasas
Trident
1:58.295
12
25.
Artem Markelov
RT RUSSIAN TIME
1:58.470
10
Takuya Izawa
ART Grand Prix
2:40.364
2
*André Negrao will lose five grid places following a penalty picked up after Budapest Sprint Race.
zamparelli

GP3



Zamparelli fastest in rain-affected Free Practice

Brit Dino Zamparelli set the pace during the forty-five minute Free Practice ahead of his fellow ART Grand Prix teammates Marvin Kirchhöfer and Alex Fontana. The session was red flagged twice with very tricky conditions due to rain.
27 drivers lined up for opening session of the weekend for Round 6 of the 2014 GP3 Series from Spa-Francorchamps. There were four changes to the driver line-up, GP3 returnee Kevin Ceccon was in the number 22 machine at Jenzer Motorsport, whilst Trident fielded three new rookie drivers: Konstantin Tereshchenko from Russia, John Bryant-Meisner from Sweden and Luca Ghiotto from Italy.
Temperatures were cool with impending rain clouds above as free practice commenced. Series leader Alex Lynn from Carlin was first to set the pace in the 2m08’s before Zamparelli demoted him to P2. But the Red Bull Junior driver found extra pace to rise to the top and break into the 2m07’s. Zamparelli too found some extra speed, to displace Lynn again.
Kirchhöfer and Fontana soon jumped on the tail of their teammate to hold second and third fastest, with Lynn in fourth ahead of his teammate Emil Bernstorff. The drivers returned to the pits as light rain began to fall. It was challenging for drivers as early on the rain was falling only over the pitlane, La Source and Eau Rouge, with many drivers opting to remain in the pits to see what the weather would do.
Trident debutant Tereshchenko lost control under braking at the final corner and his car was launched into the air as he ran over the kerb and made contact with the barrier. The Russian driver climbed out of his car whilst the session was red flagged for his car to be removed.
When the session resumed, light drizzle continued to fall, this time more over the circuit with drivers unable to improve on their lap times. In the final minutes, Marussia Manor Racing’s Ryan Cullen also suffered an excursion, making light contact with the wall. With the rain coming down heavier and only a few minutes remaining on the clock – it was decided the session would not re-start.
At the chequered flag it was the ART Grand Prix trio of Zamparelli, Kirchhöfer and Fontana, followed by Lynn, Bernstorff, Mathéo Tuscher, Nick Yelloly, Jimmy Eriksson, Richie Stanaway and Patrick Kujala.
Qualifying takes place at 09.45 am local time tomorrow morning with rain expected – with four points up for grabs as the rounds tick down, it’s imperative in the fight for the title.
Free Practice – Spa-Francorchamps
Driver
Team
Laptime
Laps
1.
Dino Zamparelli
ART Grand Prix
2:07.021
10
2.
Marvin Kirchhöfer
ART Grand Prix
2:07.372
7
3.
Alex Fontana
ART Grand Prix
2.07.392
8
4.
Alex Lynn
Carlin
2:07.437
12
5.
Emil Bernstorff
Carlin
2:07.696
10
6.
Mathéo Tuscher
Jenzer Motorsport
2:08.035
10
7.
Nick Yelloly
Status Grand Prix
2:08.232
9
8.
Jimmy Eriksson
Koiranen GP
2:08.271
9
9.
Richie Stanaway
Status Grand Prix
2:08.341
10
10.
Patrick Kujala
Marussia Manor Racing
2:08.374
10
11.
Pal Varhaug
Jenzer Motorsport
2:08.495
10
12.
Riccardo Agostini
Hilmer Motorsport
2:08.648
8
13.
Luca Ghiotto
Trident
2:08.674
11
14.
Luis Sa Silva
Carlin
2:08.791
9
15.
Santiago Urrutia
Koiranen GP
2:08.826
8
16.
Nelson Mason
Hilmer Motorsport
2:08.861
7
17.
Jann Mardenborough
Arden International
2:08.918
10
18.
Patric Niederhauser
Arden International
2:09.627
8
19.
Ryan Cullen
Marussia Manor Racing
2:09.843
10
20.
Kevin Ceccon
Jenzer Motorsport
2:10.228
11
21.
John Bryant-Meisner
Trident
2:11.488
10
22.
Konstantin Tereshchenko
Trident
2:12.027
11
23.
Alfonso Celis. Jr
Status Grand Prix
2:12.213
8
24.
Robert Visoiu
Arden International
2:12.241
8
25.
Sebastian Balthasar
Hilmer Motorsport
2:12.754
11
26.
Carmen Jorda
Koiranen GP
2:14. 456
9
27.
Dean Stoneman
Marussia Manor Racing
2:18. 487
9

 

Leal-Free-Practice

GP2


Julian Leal sets the pace at Spa

Julian Leal has returned to GP2 after the summer break in fine form: the Colombian driver set the fastest laptime of today’s free practice session at the legendary circuit of Spa-Francorchamps in a 1:57.877 ahead of Johnny Cecotto and Ferrari protégé Raffaele Marciello.
The eighth round of the 2014 season opened in Belgium in cool temperature, but on a dry track with all twenty-six drivers trying to warm up their Pirelli Hard compounds. It was Series leader Jolyon Palmer who set the early pace with a laptime one tenth of a second quicker than title rival Felipe Nasr. However, the Briton’s time was soon bettered by Sergio Canamasas who then lost the top spot to Nathanaël Berthon.
With ten minutes down into the session, Cecotto went top ahead of Leal who lapped the Belgian track one tenth of a second slower than the Venezuelan driver. But mid-session, the Carlin man was able to find some extra pace: he dipped under 1m58s and would remain top until the end.
The session was trouble free, but eleven minutes before the end, Stefano Coletti ran a bit too wide at Turn 14, spun and eventually stopped on track which ended his session prematurely. A red flag came out whilst the marshals retrieved his Racing Engineering car. At the restart, there were four minutes left on the clock which was just enough time for an outlap followed by a push lap, but Leal remained P1 at the chequered flag ahead of Cecotto and Marciello. Berthon finished fourth ahead of his teammate Conor Daly who moved up to fifth place on his last lap. Local star Stoffel Vandoorne, Canamasas, Coletti, Stéphane Richelmi and Mitch Evans completed the top ten.
Spa-Francorchamps – Free Practice
Driver
Team
Laptime
Laps
1.
Julian Leal
Carlin
1:57.877
12
2.
Johnny Cecotto
Trident
1:58.030
11
3.
Raffaele Marciello
Racing Engineering
1:58.265
14
4.
Nathanaël Berthon
Venezuela GP Lazarus
1:58.291
15
5.
Conor Daly
Venezuela GP Lazarus
1:58.302
14
6.
Stoffel Vandoorne
ART Grand Prix
1:58.339
13
7.
Sergio Canamasas
Trident
1:58.370
13
8.
Stefano Coletti
Racing Engineering
1:58.374
11
9.
Stéphane Richelmi
DAMS
1:58.399
14
10.
Mitch Evans
RT RUSSIAN TIME
1:58.439
14
11.
Adrian Quaife-Hobbs
Rapax
1:58.454
12
12.
Jolyon Palmer
DAMS
1:58.462
14
13.
Marco Sorensen
MP Motorsport
1:58.487
13
14.
Felipe Nasr
Carlin
1:58.658
10
15.
Simon Trummer
Rapax
1:58.787
13
16.
Rio Haryanto
EQ8 Caterham Racing
1:58.800
13
17.
Takuya Izawa
ART Grand Prix
1:58.889
12
18.
Tom Dillmann
EQ8 Caterham Racing
1:58.923
13
19
Daniel Abt
Hilmer Motorsport
1:58.943
14
20.
Arthur Pic
Campos Racing
1:59.020
12
21.
Rene Binder
Arden International
1:59.167
14
22.
Jon Lancaster
Hilmer Motorsport
1:59.179
14
23.
Daniel De Jong
MP Motorsport
1:59:311
13
24.
André Negrao
Arden International
1:59.463
12
25.
Artem Markelov
RT RUSSIAN TIME
1:59.531
12
26.
Kimiya Sato
Campos Racing
1:59.564
11
Caterham 2014

FORMULA 1



André Lotterer to replace Kamui Kobayashi at the Belgian Grand Prix

André Lotterer will drive for Caterham F1 Team at the Belgian Grand Prix. The team will benefit from having another experienced driver at the wheel of the car throughout the weekend and the German’s feedback will contribute to improve the performance of the car. The weather also plays a big role at Spa-Francorchamps and Lotterer is one of the most experienced drivers racing under mixed conditions.
 
Lotterer will replace Kamui Kobayashi for this round of the championship. The Japanese driver still remains part of the team.
 
Born in Duisburg in Germany, Lotterer moved to Belgium when he was only two years of age and grew up close to Nivelles, a city that’s only 150km from Spa-Francorchamps. Three-time Le Mans 24 Hours winner, Lotterer started racing in the early 90s, succeeding in both German and British Formula 3 championships before being named Jaguar Racing’s Formula One test driver in 2002. A year later he moved to Japan, doing very well in both Formula Nippon and the Japanese Super GT Championship, which he won in 2006 and 2009. He made his debut in endurance racing in 2009, taking part in the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the 24 Hours of Nurburgring. His impressive performance that year earned him a drive with the works Audi Sport team in the 2010 24 Hours of Le Mans, remaining with the team and winning the prestigious race three times (2011, 2012 and 2014). In 2011 he won the Formula Nippon championship. Since 2012, the German competes in the FIA World Endurance Championship.
 
Team Quotes
André Lotterer: “I am delighted to be given the opportunity to take part in a Formula One race weekend – I want to thank Caterham F1 Team for this chance. I’m ready for this challenge and I cannot wait to jump in the car and make the most out of the weekend ahead. I will need to get settled and used to the car quickly, as the team has worked on a number of updates and we will need to have as much time as possible out on track to optimise the car’s performance. I really enjoy racing at the legendary circuit of Spa-Francorchamps, it’s one of my favourite tracks and it’s very close to where I grew up, so this makes the weekend even more special and one to remember.”
 
Marcus Ericsson: “Spa is one of the races I’ve been most looking forward to since we first announced my F1 drive back in January. I love the track, it’s been a very good circuit for me, especially in the last couple of years in GP2 when I won in 2012 and was on the podium last year, so it’ll be good to be back, this time in an F1 car.
 
“We’re aiming to make real progress in Belgium, and that will make the whole weekend even better for the team and for me. We haven’t had new parts on the car for quite a while, so to be coming to a track like Spa with a package that gives us a chance to take a step forward, that’s a good feeling, but we’re taking nothing for granted. We have a lot of work ahead of us to get the most out of that parts but everyone is prepared for that and if we achieve what we’re setting out to, and have good reliability, it could be a really good weekend for us.”

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