Renault e.dams win the Paris ePrix Earlier this morning, in cold temperatures, Seb Buemi topped the timesheets for Free Practice 1 with a fastest laptime of 1:01.998s. The Swiss driver was drawn in the first qualifying group and for the second consecutive time, he grabbed pole position. His pole lap was six thousands faster than his rival Jean-Eric Vergne. Nico Prost took his spot in the second qualifying group and qualified ninth on the grid after Oliver Turvey’s penalty.

When the lights went out, both drivers machines survived intact after a tight first corner. After a few laps, Séb Buemi managed to build a margin back to Vergne. Antonio Felix Da Costa and Lucas Di Grassi were involved in a close battle for P14 until the Portuguese driver hit the ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport driver from behind which caused a full course yellow, which saw most drivers seize the opportunity to do their mandatory car swap.

Séb Buemi remained calm and managed to maintain his lead ahead of Vergne and José Maria Lopez. On lap 34, a mistake from the Frenchman saw him in the wall which brought out a safety car. At the restart and with twelve laps to go, Séb Buemi put his foot down and Lopez was unable to catch him. There was a second and final safety car period as Di Grassi pushed a bit too hard which resulted in his car ending up in the wall at Turn 8. In the final stages, the race finished under the safety car and saw Séb Buemi triumph for the fifth time from six races. Nico Prost crossed the line in sixth position. Subsequently, Robin Frijns got a five second penalty because he was found to have been speeding under the full course yellow, this promoted Nico Prost to fifth.

Renault e.dams leaves their home round remaining on top in the Teams’ championship with 190 points after another dominant race weekend, while Séb Buemi leads the Drivers’ championship on 132 points with Nico Prost holding onto third with 58 points.

Séb Buemi – n°9: To be honest, I was never expecting to be competitive here. Well, certainly not what I achieved today. So to be able to grab pole position and a win, is amazing. At the start of today, I knew if I took pole, I could do a good race. During the race, I had Jean-Eric under control even though he was pushing really hard. After the car swap, I knew I had to keep pushing and then he crashed. I thought I had a nine second advantage over José but then the safety car came out. I would really like to thank my team because they’ve done an amazing job: both engineers and mechanics. They all worked very hard. Everything worked out perfectly so they deserve this win more than me.

Nico Prost – n°8: It was a solid race, I made no mistakes. I overtook the cars I could due to our good strategy. We scored big points in both championships so that’s good for personally and for the team. I just need to work a bit more on my qualifying because I think we can still improve. If we qualify higher, I think we could do a lot better than what we have managed since the start of the season. But I am happy with the result today. It’s also great for our fans.

Alain Prost – co-owner of Renault e.dams: Today for us, is a double victory and it’s more than symbolic. We are very happy to have won the ePrix in front of our fans. All of our partners were here, in particular Renault who has supported us since the start of the championship. We have also built a gap in both the teams and drivers championships which was one of our goals. We are really satisfied with today and we will enjoy this victory. After taking victory in Monaco, to win in Paris was one of our targets which we have achieved in some style.

F1Weekly podcast # 727


HERE IS FERNANDO COMMENTING ON HIS THIRD DAY OF INDY PRACTICE…”I was (running) behind a car just a couple of seconds in front, but we (tried some laps) without any car in front. We tested a couple of different trims and different setup options. The car felt quite OK from the very beginning of the morning, but then I think we did improve it during the day, so I’m quite happy. We worked still a lot on the race situation, keeping other guys out there and running in traffic. I think we found a good balance for traffic. I think tomorrow we will concentrate a little bit more alone on qualifying, but the priority is the race.”

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The Rally de Portugal shakedown was held this morning close to Baltar, around fifty kilometres from Porto. Kris Meeke and Paul Nagle were the Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT’s best performers, setting the fourth fastest time.

– Made up of a succession of crossroads, a wide section and finishing on the large corners of a gravel circuit, the Rally de Portugal shakedown was varied… without particularly reflecting the characteristics of the event itself.

– After completing their three mandatory runs, Kris Meeke and Paul Nagle headed back to the Matosinhos service park to alter the set-up of their C3 WRC. They headed out for another two runs and finished with the fourth fastest time, 3/10ths off the lead pace.

– Stéphane Lefebvre and Gabin Moreau completed two series of two passes on the 4.6km-long stage. On their final run, they were on course to set a top-ten time when they stalled on a hairpin. In the end, the French crew set the twelfth fastest time.

– Craig Breen and Scott Martin completed five passes. On their third attempt, they set the thirteenth fastest time, a tenth of a second behind their team-mates.

– On their first competitive outing in the C3 WRC, Sheikh Khalid Al Qassimi and Chris Patterson also completed five runs. They progressed on each pass, ending up with the sixteenth fastest time.

– Later on this afternoon, the crews will drive onto the Guimarães podium for the ceremonial start of the rally. The first stage will be contested this evening on the Lousada rallycross circuit from 7.03pm (GMT+1). The cars will then enter parc ferme for the night.



Fernando Alonso, the two-time Formula One champion making his Verizon IndyCar Series and oval track debut at this year’s Indianapolis 500, completed his rookie orientation in a private test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 3. The 35-year-old Spaniard, a teammate to Marco Andretti in one of six Andretti Autosport entries, began the methodical process of getting up to speed by completing 55 laps in the No. 29 McLaren-Honda-Andretti Honda with a best circuit of 223.025 mph.

FERNANDO ALONSO (No. 29 McLaren-Honda-Andretti Honda):  “I was a little bit concerned (heading in) about the conditions, about the temperature, as it was much hotter today than at the test we did here on May 3rd. But no, the car felt as good as it did at the test, and I was able to make some setup changes without losing the confidence in the car. Everything went very smooth. The last half an hour maybe we had some issues with the rear suspension, and we could not complete the program that we had planned to run a little bit in traffic at the end of the day, so we missed that part, but overall it was an amazing day. I’m happier than the first day with the car because I was able to feel some of the setup changes that we were planning in the morning.  We did not do much running in traffic, so that’s still the thing that I need to go through in the next couple of days. But I did two or three laps behind some cars that were going out of pit lane, and it was good fun.”



DANIEL RICCIARDO, Finish Position: 3rd, Start Position: 6th
“I’m happy to be back on the podium today, it’s the first one of the season for me which is nice but actually the race was quite a lonely one. I didn’t have any real battles and my race was more about trying to keep a rhythm and maintain concentration. I got a bit fortunate with Valtteri’s problem towards the end of the race which bumped me up to third, but of course I’m still happy to be up there again and see all the smiles from the team. Today we will enjoy the podium but tomorrow we need to understand how to further close the gap to Ferrari and Mercedes. I want to take the positives from this weekend, we will keep working hard and chipping away. I don’t think it’s impossible to catch the leaders at some point, maybe it will take a little longer than we had hoped but we will get there. I think I got the maximum out of the car today and moving on to Monaco we will have a few more updates, which will hopefully give us another step, and at that track it’s fair to say anything can happen.”

MAX VERSTAPPEN, Finish Position: DNF, Start Position: 5th
“An unfortunate start to the race which ultimately finished it also. I tried to go around the outside as there was plenty of room there. If Valtteri had not touched Kimi, we all would have had enough room to get through that corner. Due to the contact it meant Kimi lost control and slammed into me, but it wasn’t his fault. Sometimes you have a bit of luck, like last year, sometimes you don’t as we can see this year. It was shame to not be able to take part in the race after the incident as I think with this weekend’s upgrades it could have been fun and we could have got a good result. After an unfortunate race for me it’s important to focus and look ahead to Monaco, I’m hoping we can continue to improve and have a good fight there.”

CHRISTIAN HORNER, Team Principal: “Daniel drove a good race today, quite a lonely race for him and unfortunately we didn’t have the pace to go with the leaders but we obviously benefitted from Bottas’ retirement for him to record his first podium of the year which was great to see. Max made a good start and after committing to the outside of turn one he was the unfortunate victim of Valtteri hitting Kimi who in turn went into him and broke his front suspension causing his retirement, a great shame for him. Looking at the weekend as a whole, we’ve definitely put some performance on the car, as we have done after every race this season but we are well aware we’ve still got a lot to do. Now we look ahead to the most prestigious race on the calendar in Monaco and hope we can continue the performance trend and put in a positive show there.”



Nobuharu Matsushita put himself in the driver’s seat to collect victory in this morning’s Sprint Race at the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona with a solid, mature drive to P2 in the opening stages before a mistake by race leader Nicholas Latifi gave the McLaren development driver a clean run through for his first win since last year’s sprint race in Monaco, ahead of DAMS teammates Oliver Rowland and Latifi.

The race opened under clear and warm conditions, and when the lights went out polesitter Artem Markelov bogged down, with P3 starter Latifi making an incredible start to easily lead front row starter Gustav Malja, Matsushita, Luca Ghiotto, Alexander Albon, Rowland, Jordan King and Charles Leclerc past the fuming Russian and into turn one. A few corners later Nyck De Vries and Antonio Fuoco came together and spun in unison, prompting the safety car to make an appearance.

Latifi easily controlled the lap 2 restart before setting off down the road, putting himself safely out of DRS range in the process, while Leclerc started his move up the timesheets with a clean run through King at turn one, with Markelov following in his wake. The Monegasque driver was soon recommencing battle with former GP3 rival Albon, forcing both men forward: Ghiotto was quickly dispatched by the pair, while ahead of them Matsushita and Rowland claimed Malja’s scalp on lap 14 as they put themselves on the podium.

With 6 laps to go Leclerc’s constant pressure finally paid off: Albon’s tyres were shot and he was simply unable to defend anymore when the Ferrari Academy man blasted past at turn one and into the distance, passing Malja a lap later. Out in front Latifi had built a 3.5 second lead, but a moment’s distraction when his mirror detached saw the Canadian run wide, with Matsushita needing no further invitation to blast past and teammate Rowland carefully ensuring the pair didn’t come together as he followed the Japanese driver.

Matsushita flew away, building a 3.3 second lead over Rowland by the time the chequered flag dropped for him, with a gutted Latifi at least bringing home another podium for the team behind the Briton. Leclerc brought home more points for his title fight in P4 ahead of King, who had saved his tyres and sliced through his rivals on the closing laps for 5th ahead of Malja, who just denied Ghiotto on the line, with Albon limping home with the final point for P8.

Leclerc leads the way in the Drivers’ Championship after Round 2 on 73 points, ahead of Rowland on 47, Ghiotto on 38, Markelov on 34, Matsushita on 31 and Latifi on 28 points, while PREMA Racing and DAMS share the honours at the top of the Teams’ Championship on 75 points ahead of RUSSIAN TIME on 72, ART Grand Prix on 52 and MP Motorsport on 26 points as the grid turns its attention to the next round of the championship, in Monaco on 25-27 May.

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