Williams Martini Racing British Grand Prix Preview

‘The Home of British Motorsport’ is naturally a treasured place in Williams’ heart and not only because the team won both its first and 100th Grand Prix at the circuit. The track consists of long sweeping corners and fast straights, making it one of the quickest laps on the calendar. The race at Silverstone is the joint-oldest  consecutively staged Grand Prix along with Monza and a race Williams has won the British Grand Prix no less than 10 times (eight times at Silverstone and twice at Brands Hatch) including four consecutive years from 1991 to 1994. Williams were once again on the podium with Valtteri Bottas in 2014.
Silverstone should be another circuit, like the last two, that suits the characteristics of our car. We have a car that is very strong in a straight line, aided by the Mercedes power unit and the low drag configuration that we tend to run. In addition the car is strong through the high-speed corners. Last year it was an exceptional circuit for us with Valtteri coming from near the back of the grid to second position. Our target is to replicate the result from last year and get our third consecutive podium of the season. One thing we must consider is the weather, as it can be changeable throughout the weekend and will be key in our operations. It’s always great to have a home grand prix and the team get a great reception from the passionate crowd which resonates well with all the guys. We hope we can put on a good performance for them.
I always enjoy the race at Silverstone. This is normally the only chance some of the team from the factory get to see the car on track which is important. We do expect to be strong here, as the overall downforce has improved with the updates we took to Austria. After a podium for me last year and two podiums for the team in the last two races, I think we should be looking, once again, to take the fight to the cars around us in the Championship.
Silverstone is a great circuit, with long high-speed corners which will suit the car’s characteristics. Heading to the team’s home race, we are looking to make it a hat trick of podiums, and spirits within the team are high right now. I hope we can give the home fans another positive result and we can continue the positive momentum from the last few weeks.



Two Seventh-place finishes in the last two races have buoyed Pastor Maldonado who is excited for what he views as a home race in Silverstone.

Points again; tell us about your Austrian Grand Prix:

It was a good weekend. In the race we made a poor start due to a small issue, but after that I was able to drive a good race. I stayed on the pace of the cars ahead for my first stint, even though I was on the harder tyres, then when I changed to the super softs I was able to push, even though we did a very long stint on those tyres. It was a satisfying race and I was very happy to take seventh position near the end.

How much of a boost does it give you to get two good finishes in from the past two races?

It’s good for me and it’s good for all of the team. It was frustrating for everyone to be pushing so hard with no reward until Canada, so to score in Canada and Austria has been great. Scoring is what we’re all here for so we’ll keep pushing for points at every race.

Where do your tyre management skills come from?

I think there are two factors. Firstly, you soon learn as a racing driver that you have to manage your tyres and if you use up all the performance early on you’ll suffer later. The other thing I think that helps me is listening to my engineers and doing what they tell me. They have far more data than me so are in a better position to make any decisions either before or during a race.

What did you think of that shimmy in the race?

I’ve seen it on TV now and it looked pretty good! It was a great battle but I’m glad I was able to finish ahead of Max Verstappen and take seventh place. We were both pushing hard, though it’s sometimes a little funny when you read the headlines afterwards and then compare it to what you said. I had no real issue with Max’s driving; he was maybe a little over the limit in his defence of position at times but we all do that as racing drivers. If the Stewards watching think the driving was fine then that’s fine by me.

What are your thoughts of the British Grand Prix?

I’ve won at Silverstone in the GP2 Series and I’ve always really liked the circuit. I’ve spent so much time in England that it’s like a second home to me, especially as I have family who live very close to the circuit in Oxfordshire. It’s a great event coming mid-season and it always provides an interesting race. It’s always a very special event for the teams based nearby and the support all drivers get there is amazing with some of the most knowledgeable fans in the world. I’m looking forward to racing just down the road from the Lotus F1 Team factory and seeing many familiar faces over the weekend.

What do you think of Silverstone as a circuit?

I think that Silverstone is an amazing track. It has a great history, it’s fast and the change to the most recent layout hasn’t really changed the nature of the track too much. It’s always a special place to visit and you know that you’re always there for the racing as it’s not on the doorstep of a big city. I have always enjoyed racing at Silverstone since my first visit back in 2007. I also have good memories of it as I have had some great races there, including winning in both 2009 and 2010 in the GP2 Series.

Which parts of the circuit do you like in particular?

My favourite corner is Becketts as it is really quick through there. I think the track will suit our car because it’s similar to Barcelona and it’s also very fun to drive with sections like Maggots and Becketts which really test you as a driver.

What about the feeling of racing somewhere which so many teams call home?

Certainly, it’s home for many, many people who work in the paddock and you do get a special feeling there. The support you get from the fans is amazing; let’s hope the weather is too!

F1Weekly podcast # 683

Clark and Nasir suffer through another Mercedes win in Austria we have Motorsports Mondial with the King of K-town and 50 words from the F1W familia and…Our friends at Citroen continue to dominate the WTCC



– As well as proving a great success with the public, the French round of the FIA WTCC at the Paul Ricard Circuit has ended in glory for Citroën!

– In Race 1, Sébastien Loeb, Yvan Muller, José María López and Ma Qing Hua claimed the top four places for the Citroën Total team.

– In Race 2, Pechito López produced a spectacular performance to work his way up the field and return to winning ways. He was joined on the podium by Ma Qing Hua, who finished third.

– The results mean José María López once again has a little breathing space at the top of the World Championship, with Citroën also extending its advantage in the Manufacturer standings.

Summer has well and truly arrived in Provence, and the sun was shining for the crowds who came along to witness the FIA WTCC races at the Paul Ricard Circuit. The Race 1 starting grid augured well for the Citroën clan, with Sébastien Loeb, Yvan Muller, José María López and Ma Qing Hua occupying the first two rows.

Starting from pole, Sébastien Loeb kept his advantage when the lights went out. José María López tried to get into his slipstream, but Yvan Muller closed the door. So Loeb came out of the first bend in front, with Muller, López and Ma in pursuit.

Keen to put himself out of his teammates’ reach, Sébastien Loeb quickly opened up a lead of a few lengths. Behind him, there was a fierce battle raging between Muller and López. Ma was monitoring the situation closely, on the lookout for the slightest opportunity. Despite a few valiant efforts from Pechito, the four-time World Champion held on to second spot until the chequered flag, and the official Citroën C-Elysée WTCCs thus picked up the first four places in exactly the same order as in qualifying.

As always, Race 2 promised to be a much livelier affair! Starting from pole position after clocking the tenth-fastest time in qualifying, Mehdi Bennani pulled off a fraction too early, giving the Moroccan driver a handsome but illusory lead over Michelisz, Monteiro, López, Ma and Loeb! The three Citroën drivers had succeeded in working their way through the pack, but Yvan Muller was not able to emulate them, finishing lap 1 in tenth position.

Mehdi Bennani was then duly handed a drive-through for his false start, which resulted in all the other drivers moving up one place. There were a number of tussles going on, with Monteiro and López fighting over second spot, Ma and Loeb locking horns for fourth, and Valente and Muller battling it out for ninth!

On lap 4, Sébastien Loeb ran into one of the tyre stacks on the outside of a corner, causing serious damage to the front of his Citroën C-Elysée WTCC which forced him to withdraw from the race.

Three laps later, López tried to sneak past Tiago Monteiro at the end of the straight. Taking an outside line on the first bend, Pechito was hit by his rival, who was sent into a spin! Ma Qing Hua took advantage to slip into second place.

The incident only made José María López more determined. He snatched second place back from Ma Qing Hua on lap 11, before taking the lead with three laps to go. Pechito thus scored his fifth race win of the season, while Ma Qing Hua made his first podium appearance since Marrakech. Yvan Muller ended up fourth after an impressive recovery which saw him get the better of Valente and Van Lagen.

José María López now has a 39-point lead over Yvan Muller in the World Championship, while Sébastien Loeb is now 74 points in arrears. The battle for fourth place couldn’t be tighter, with Monteiro on 114 points, Ma on 113, Michelisz on 112 and Tarquini on 110! Citroën is now 193 points clear at the top of the Manufacturers World Championship.


Yves Matton, Team Principal, Citroën Racing: “After picking up the top four places in qualifying, our drivers finished the job by repeating the feat in Race 1. It’s very satisfying to see Seb win in front of his home crowd, particularly as this was his first win in a race that, more than anything, rewards pure performance. In Race 2, Pechito went out there like a man possessed in search of a win. After two meetings without a victory, he was determined to get back on the top step of the podium! I must also pay tribute to the consistency of Ma Qing Hua, who produced one of his most solid weekends since he joined our team. Yvan would have done better had it not been for two average starts. Our drivers are at such a similar standard that the slightest error can have a huge influence on the outcome. It has been a great weekend for Citroën Racing, for the FIA WTCC and for French motorsport!”

Sébastien Loeb: “First of all, I was really pleased to be starting from pole position for the first time in the FIA WTCC. I didn’t get a great start. I didn’t handle the clutch well and I found myself battling to hold on to my position in the first lap. After pulling a few lengths clear thanks to the scrap between Yvan and Pechito, I was able to drive with greater peace of mind, keeping to my racing line. “I got a good start in Race 2 and found myself on the tail of Ma Qing Ha. I made a stupid mistake on Turn 4 and hit the tyre stack on the outside. There was just too much damage and I had to give up. Despite notching up my third win of the season, it’s not been a positive meeting for me overall, as I’ve fallen further behind in the Championship.”

José María López: “I didn’t think I would be able to win on a circuit where it is so difficult to overtake! I took the wrong option at the start of Race 2, and the gap I wanted to move into closed up. But I reacted well and I didn’t lose any places. After passing Ma Qing Hua, I went after Tiago. He ran into me and I don’t feel any responsibility for him spinning off. Qing Hua took advantage to move past us, but I managed to come back at him, despite the car pulling to the left slightly. I moved back into second, got into a good rhythm, and went after Norbert Michelisz. He was very sporting and didn’t try and resist for the sake of it. It’s incredible to have won here. I’m delighted.”

Yvan Muller: “Race 1 was decided on the first lap. As I couldn’t find a way past Seb, I concentrated on holding on to my second place until the finish. I didn’t get off to the best start in Race 2. I managed to come back, but it was too late to do any better than fourth. This weekend hasn’t been quite so good as the previous two, but that’s racing!”

Ma Qing Hua: “It’s really satisfying to be back on the podium. I want to thank the team, who gave 100% to make it happen! Finishing fourth in the first race behind three World Champions was a gratifying result. I couldn’t have hoped for better, as it’s almost impossible to overtake someone in the same car as you here. I took a risk at the start of Race 2 by trying to sneak past on the outside on the first bend, but it paid off. After that, Pechito was just terrific. I didn’t think he would overtake me so quickly! It’s been a good weekend for me. I hope I can maintain this standard over the next few meetings.”

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.



History in the making! This Saturday, 27 June 2015, the e.dams-Renault team won the first ever FIA Formula E Championship title after establishing an unassailable lead with one round of the season still to go. Sébastien Buemi converted his pole position into a race win and Nicolas Prost finished seventh, ensuring the team led by Renault Ambassador Alain Prost and Jean-Paul Driot secured the title whilst the Swiss driver remains in contention for the Drivers’ Championship tomorrow.

The venue for the final round of the FIA Formula E Championship’s inaugural season, London’s Battersea Park saw the e.dams-Renault team crowned as champions.

Partners of Renault Sport, which supervised the architecture and optimisation of the 40 Spark-Renault SRT_01E race cars throughout the year in complete and transparent equity, the French outfit won its title thanks to Sébastien Buemi’s win.

After arriving in London leading the teams’ standings, e.dams-Renault was the only outfit with both its drivers still in contention for the Drivers’ title. In free practice, both featured in the top ten, before moving up into the top six ahead of qualifying, which was dominated by Sébastien Buemi. The race started behind the safety car, but once the real action got underway at the end of the first lap, the Swiss held onto his lead. He then increased his advantage as the race progressed, whilst also managing to save his energy better that his championship rivals.

Sébastien Buemi stopped for his mandatory car change half-way through the race and came back out of the pits in first position. Despite a second safety car period, the e.dams-Renault driver held onto the lead – and his nerve – to take the chequered flag first, ahead of Jérôme d’Ambrosio (Dragon Racing) and Jean-Eric Vergne (Andretti). His third race win, combined with the seventh place secured by Nicolas Prost, meant e.dams-Renault claimed the first ever FIA Formula E Championship title.

Tomorrow, the final ePrix of the first FIA Formula E Championship season will be held in London. On the same track as today, Nelson Piquet, Lucas di Grassi and Sébastien Buemi will fight it out for the drivers’ title.

“We have enjoyed a number of successes since the start of the championship and this title is yet another,” commented Patrice Ratti, Managing Director of Renault Sport Technologies. “It caps the hard work put in throughout the season by the members of Alain Prost and Jean-Paul Driot’s team, in what has been an extremely competitive category where all the teams and drivers have had the same car. We would also like to congratulate the other teams for their fighting spirit, which has made for so many great races throughout the season! The work done with Spark has enabled us to achieve a remarkable level of fairness, performance and reliability. Our thoughts will now turn towards the future of the series. After a year in which we have made all-electric racing a reality, we can’t wait to demonstrate our expertise in an open formula.”


1. Sébastien Buemi (e.dams-Renault) 29 laps

2. Jérôme d’Ambrosio (Dragon Racing) +0.939

3. Jean-Eric Vergne (Andretti) +1.667

4. Lucas di Grassi (Audi Sport Abt) +2.409

5. Nelson Piquet (Nextev TCR) +7.370

6. Sam Bird (Virgin Racing) +7.762

7. Nicolas Prost (e.dams-Renault) +8.553

8. Loïc Duval (Dragon Racing) +9.507

9. Oliver Turvey (Nextev TCR) +10.032

10. Stéphane Sarrazin (Venturi) +12.077

Fastest lap: Lucas di Grassi (Audi Sport Abt) +1:28.229



1. Nelson Piquet (Nextev TCR), 138 points

2. Sébastien Buemi (e.dams-Renault), 133

3. Lucas di Grassi (Audi Sport Abt), 125

4. Jérôme d’Ambrosio (Dragon Racing), 95

5. Nicolas Prost (e.dams-Renault), 88

6. Sam Bird (Virgin Racing), 76

7. Jean-Eric Vergne (Andretti), 70

8. Antonio Felix da Costa (Amlin Aguri), 51

9. Daniel Abt (Audi Sport Abt), 32

10. Nick Heidfeld (Venturi), 31


A triple premiere for Albon at the Norisring

Season race: 17 and 18 of 33
Track: Norisring
Pole position race 2: Alexander Albon (Signature)
Pole position race 3: Alexander Albon (Signature)
Weather: sunny and warm

Lotus Formula 1 junior driver Alexander Albon (Signature) dominated second qualifying of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship at the 2.300 kilometres long Norisring. For the junior driver from Thailand, who is racing at the Norisring in Nuremberg for the first time, it is a premiere: never before did he claim a pole position in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship. Moreover, he became the first driver from Thailand to do so. Behind Albon, George Russell (Carlin), Charles Leclerc (Van Amersfoort Racing), Jake Dennis (Prema Powerteam), Antonio Giovinazzi (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin) and Dorian Boccolacci (Signature) followed in qualifying for the 17th race of the season. The 18th race of the season will have Albon, Russell, Giovinazzi, Dennis, Leclerc and Boccolacci at the front of the grid in that order.

Because of the large number of competitors in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship and the only 2.300 kilometres short track, qualifying was held in two groups. The outright fastest driver from the two qualifying groups will be allowed to start from pole position while the fastest driver of the other group will start from second place. The other drivers then line up behind the first-placed of their respective groups in the order of their positions in qualifying, so that the group of the fastest driver will be on the right side of the starting grid and the other group will be on the left side.

Starting grid race 2

Group B opened the action and had several drivers alternating in the lead. Sam MacLeod (Motopark, 0:48.919 minutes), Maximilian Günther (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport, 0:48.518 minutes) and Jake Dennis (0:48.372 minutes) all took turns in the lead, before George Russell (0:48.353 minutes) joined the party with seven minutes remaining. In the closing stages, Dennis toppled the British rookie, but the latter countered successfully and claimed back first place. Dennis ended up second from Dorian Boccolacci (0:48.384 minutes), Gustavo Menezes (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin, 0:48.491 minutes), Brandon Maïsano (Prema Powerteam, 0:48.515 minutes) and Maximilian Günther.

After a five minutes’ break, qualifying for Group A got underway. Charles Leclerc (0:48.295 minutes), who had already been fastest in first qualifying in the early afternoon, again showed up in first place halfway through the session. After that, however, Antonio Giovinazzi (0:48.302 minutes) and Alexander Albon (0:48.099 minutes) set faster lap times. Leclerc then managed to beat Giovinazzi’s time, but Albon remained beyond reach for him. Santino Ferrucci (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport, 0:48.353 minutes), Mikkel Jensen (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport, 0:48.412 minutes) and Felix Rosenqvist (Prema Powerteam, 0:48.424 minutes) rounded out the top six in the group.

Because Albon’s fastest time was faster than the time set by his rival Russell, the Signature driver will be starting from pole position for the 17th race of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship season.

Starting grid race 3

According to the regulations, the second-fastest lap time of each driver in second qualifying is used to determine the starting grid positions for the first race. Here, the two groups again were combined in such a way that one group will be on the right and the other group on the left side of the starting grid. Alexander Albon (0:48.227 minutes) claimed pole position from George Russell (0:48.408 minutes), Antonio Giovinazzi (0:48.305 minutes), Jake Dennis (0:48.493 minutes), Charles Leclerc (0:48.336 minutes), Dorian Boccolacci (0:48.521 minutes), Santino Ferrucci (0:48.368 minutes), Brandon Maïsano (0:48.536 minutes), Felix Rosenqvist (0:48.478 minutes) and Maximilian Günther (0:48.543 minutes).

Alexander Albon (Signature): “It was a fantastic qualifying and I am also happy for my team that we were able to claim both pole positions. After first qualifying, we already knew that we are quick, but I just didn’t get it right. The car was not the problem, it performs very well this weekend. Since the start of the season, we have steadily been improving and now we are able to challenge for positions up front. That is a great feeling.


Renault – motorsport feeds the breed: over 115 years of innovation and success in motorsport at Goodwood Festival of Speed

Renault – motorsport feeds the breed: over 115 years of innovation and success in motorsport at Goodwood Festival of Speed

In brief:

  • From 1902 Renault Type K, to 2015 Clio Renaultsport 220 Trophy EDC
  • UK debut for the most focused version to date of Clio Renaultsport
  • Attended by Renault senior executives including:
    – Michael Van der Sande (Senior Vice President, Global Marketing)
    – Anthony Lo (Vice President, Exterior Design)
    – Patrice Ratti (Managing Director, Renault Sport Technologies)
    – Cyril Abiteboul (Managing Director, Renault Sport F1)
  • Renault extend their participation at Goodwood Festival of Speed for three years

Renault will showcase over 115 years of motorsport history at the 2015 Goodwood Festival of Speed, this glittering history of innovation and success demonstrated by cars ranging from the 1902 Renault Type K to the 2005 Formula 1 Renault R25.

The direct link between innovation on the track and innovation for the road will be evident in the exciting array of Renault’s latest models, from the brand new Clio Renaultsport 220 Trophy EDC – showing for the first time in the UK – to the keenly anticipated All-New Kadjar crossover and the charming electric Twizy.

Renault has committed to a further three-year agreement with Lord March to participate actively in the Festival of Speed at Goodwood.  Michael Van der Sande, Senior Vice President, Global Marketing, said: “Ever since our company was founded back in 1898, the people at Renault have been passionate about motorsport. This passion is passed on from one generation to the next, and it has given birth to some of the most iconic cars in Renault’s history: the Renault 8 Gordini, the Renault 5 Turbo, the Clio Williams, the Mégane Renaultsport, not to mention Renault’s Formula One and Formula E contributions.

“We are very proud to be partners of the Goodwood Festival of Speed for three more years. The Festival Of Speed is a very unique event in Europe: it is the perfect setting for us to share our passion for motorsport with equally passionate members of the public, and to showcase some of our most beautiful and exciting cars”.

Lord March said: “We are delighted that Renault chose to remain a sponsor of the Goodwood Festival of Speed for a further three years. With a racing history dating back over 115 years, an exceptional victory record and a unique take on motorsport, Renault is one of the key actors in our industry and its presence contributes to make the Festival Of Speed a genuinely world class event.

“Renault’s approach to the car in general, and to motorsport in particular, is often different, innovative and clever and forces its competitors to look at things from a new angle. It spurs innovation and competition, all things which we very much enjoy here at Goodwood.”

The direct link between Renault’s motorsport activities and its road cars is amply and excitingly illustrated by the brand’s Renaultsport models; these much admired and desired high performance cars attracting the admiration and affection of both customers and critics. Developed by a Renaultsport department that has a deep understanding of the ingredients needed for a great driver’s car, these models are not only the benchmarks for their class, but regularly topple cars costing several times the price in comparisons of drivers’ cars. The Mégane Renaultsport 275 Trophy is a fine example of this phenomenon, this car regularly shining in comparison tests, while the latest Clio Renaultsport 220 Trophy EDC promises the prospect of similar giant-killing feats.

That the wellspring of innovation flows through everything Renault does is evident in the All-New Kadjar crossover, big brother to the hugely successful Captur. It’s the latest in a long and honourable line of innovative family Renaults that includes ground-breaking legends such as the Renault 16 hatchback – celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, the Clio’s Renault 5 ancestor, the segment-defining Espace and the Scenic.

Visitors to Goodwood will be able witness – live – an early part of the creative process that produces cars such as these on the Renault stand. Renault’s design team, including head of exterior design Anthony Lo, will make regular presentations on the art and engineering of design, together with demonstrations of the clay-modelling that is such a vital part of the process.

Two New Model Debuts, Live Clay-Modelling Demonstrations, Renaultsport and Electric Models

Displays of the exciting new Clio Renaultsport 220 Trophy and the Renault Kadjar crossover are star features of the Renault stand, along with live clay-modelling demonstrations from the Renault design team, an example of the startlingly dramatic, 550hp mid-engined Renaultsport R.S.01 race car and a model of the zero-emission Formula E Spark-Renault SRT_01E racer.

The Kadjar is appearing here some months before it goes on sale in the last quarter of 2015. Also on show are examples of the Renault Mégane Renaultsport 275 Trophy, the successful Captur crossover, the innovative rear-engined Twingo city-car and the unique electric Twizy.

The Premiere Motorsport Podcast