Event: 05 Norisring
Session: Race 1
Track: Norisring, Germany
Pole position: Lance Stroll (Prema Powerteam)
Race winner: Lance Stroll (Prema Powerteam)
Weather: sunny, 25.4 °C

For Lance Stroll (Prema Powerteam), everything went according to plan in the first of three FIA Formula 3 European Championship races at the 2.3 kilometres long Norisring. The 17-year-old Williams Formula 1 junior driver won an action-packed race from Niko Kari (Motopark) as the best-placed rookie, George Russell (HitechGP), Ralf Aron (Prema Powerteam), Ben Barnicoat (HitechGP), and Nick Cassidy (Prema Powerteam). Callum Ilott (Van Amersfoort Racing), runner-up in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship standings behind Stroll, retired following a collision with Joel Eriksson (Motopark), who was leading the race at the time. Another driver to retire was Maximilian Günther (Prema Powerteam), third in the drivers’ standings. Thus, Stroll was able to extend his points’ lead in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship to a margin of 63 points, securing him the unofficial half-time title with two races to spare.

At the start, Lance Stroll took the lead, but he was under pressure from Joel Eriksson from the very beginning. On lap four, the Swede, who was announced as a new BMW Motorsport junior driver yesterday, mounted an attack on the Canadian and moved up into the lead. Meanwhile, Callum Ilott, who had to start the race from twelfth place following an engine change, moved up further and further through the ranks and had closed the gap to Eriksson and Stroll on lap 17. On lap 20, the Brit braked too late for the Grundig hairpin and collided with Eriksson, causing both drivers to retire. Stroll inherited the lead and the safety car neutralised the race for a few laps.

Soon after racing resumed, Sérgio Sette Câmara (Motopark) and Guanyu Zhou (Motopark) collided while battling for third place and retired as well. After this incident, the safety car was deployed for the second time. After the second restart, things didn’t go entirely as planned either. While Lance Stroll held on to his first place, Pedro Piquet (Van Amersfoort Racing) and Harrison Newey (Van Amersfoort Racing) collided while battling for tenth place. Thus, Newey’s race came to an early end.

Out in front, Lance Stroll drove an undisputed victory home. Finnish driver Niko Kari ended up as the best-placed rookie in second place overall from New Zealand’s Nick Cassidy. After the finish, the New Zealander was given a five seconds’ penalty for a safety car infringement. Thus, George Russell, Ralf Aron and Ben Barnicoat were classified ahead of Cassidy, Mikkel Jensen (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport), Anthoine Hubert (Van Amersfoort Racing), Pedro Piquet, and David Beckmann (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport) rounded out the top ten.

Lance Stroll (Prema Powerteam): “My start was good, but after a few laps already, Joel Eriksson managed to overtake me. I have to admit that it really was a good move by him. Later, Callum Ilott closed up to the two of us, but he missed his braking point and collided with Joel. Like that, I inherited the lead, but I also felt sorry for Joel as there was nothing he could do about the incident. For me, this victory and the 25 points are great, of course.”

Niko Kari (Motopark): “Initially, I lost a few positions, but then my pace improved and I concentrated to getting further up to the front. This weekend, I am racing at the Norisring for the first time, but I found my way quickly. Perhaps, that is also thanks to the fact that we have race tracks like this in Finland as well.”


The excitement builds at the 2016 Goodwood Festival of Speed

  • Two show cars previewing the all-new Alpine sports car due to be unveiled at the end of this year
  • Strong presence at the exclusive Cartier Style & Luxe display
  • Three Alpines running up the hill, including the currently competing Signatech-Alpine A460 LM P2 competition car that won the 24H of Le Mans last week-end
  • Attended by Michael van der Sande (CEO, Alpine) and Antony Villain (Alpine Design Director)

Excitement will continue to build around the legendary French sports car brand Alpine at the 2016 Goodwood Festival of Speed, with no less than two show cars previewing its imminent new road-going sports car.

The Alpine Vision and Alpine Celebration will showcase Alpine’s thinking for this exciting new sports car, the Celebration two-seater regularly running up the Goodwood hill.

Also performing some high speed climbs will be the very Alpine that won the 1978 Le Mans 24 hour race, the victorious Alpine A442 B to run with its 2016 contemporary, the Alpine A460 LM P2, winner of the prestigious race of the 24H of Le Mans last week-end.

Alpine will also enjoy an impressive presence at the Cartier Style & Luxe display on the lawns close to Goodwood House. Not only will the very first Alpine, known as ‘Le Marquis’, be present for inspection, but also the very latest in the alluring shape of the 2016 Alpine Vision show car.

There will be five more fascinating Alpines besides, including a Willys Interlagos, this the Brazilian-built version of the A108 that was the forerunner to the famous A110, as well as a rare A110 cabriolet and the 1977 Meyrignac concept car produced by a budding car designer as the ultimate Curriculum Vitae.

The legendary A110 will also be represented, with a 1964 example that was once the star of a French TV series, and the very last A110 ever made.

The presence of all these cars will underline Alpine’s fascinating and illustrious past in glamorously entertaining style, besides heightening the already considerable anticipation of the marque’s soon-to-be-revealed production sports car.



Nico Rosberg led from start to finish and won Sunday’s European Grand Prix on the Baku street circuit, extending his lead in the Formula One championship from nine points to 24.

Despite expectations of crashes and safety-car periods on the narrow circuit, there was little on-track action and the safety car remained in the pits throughout as Rosberg won by 16.6 seconds from Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.

Force India’s Sergio Perez passed Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen on the penultimate lap and took third.

Reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton made up several places early after starting tenth, but a problem with the Mercedes hybrid power system – and his team’s inability to tell him how to fix it due to new rules restricting instructions between the pit and driver – saw him finish a frustrated fifth.

After winning the first four races of the season, Rosberg had watched with alarm as Hamilton won the past two to cut his lead to single figures, but the win gives him some breathing room coming into the European heart of the season.

“Everything went to plan for me so it was really awesome,” Rosberg said.




Italian wins again to lead PREMA Racing 1-2
Antonio Giovinazzi has stunned his rivals with an incredible fightback drive in today’s sprint race in Baku to win despite dropping to P22 at the start, claiming the first double win weekend since Davide Valsecchi at Bahrain in 2012 to lead a PREMA Racing 1-2 from Pierre Gasly and Sergey Sirotkin.
At the start poleman Daniël de Jong led his rivals away as the lights went out, but with Sean Gelael making a poor getaway Nobuharu Matsushita swarmed up the inside to claim the lead from the Dutchman, who held off Mitch Evans and Oliver Rowland, but behind them yesterday’s winner almost stalled and fell to the back of the field.
Sirotkin was soon on the move, claiming P5 on lap 3 as Evans and Rowland squabbled over their positions: the Russian mugged the New Zealander three laps later before Jordan King launched himself up the inside of Jimmy Eriksson at turn 1: the pair came together as Sergio Canamasas jumped on the anchors to avoid them, but with the Swede left by the side of the road the first safety car period was upon us.
At the restart Matsushita went early and almost caught the safety car: he had to brake, bunching up the field with Rowland and de Jong running wide at the first turn, handing the lead back to the Japanese driver as Sirotkin slid up to P2, but further back Philo Paz Armand found the wall and the safety car was back out again.
This time Matsushita delayed his getaway but the field was bunched up again: Gustav Malja ran into the back of Evans at the restart line before moving to the inside and spinning Rowland round at Turn 1, with the Swede taking Gelael with him to the barriers and prompting another SC period as the Briton limped away and the New Zealander forced into the pits and retirement.
Matsushita went for a fast restart but Raffaele Marciello, now in second, went with him: the Italian ran too deep on the inside and collided with the Japanese driver, who was pushed into the escape road and retirement. Remarkably Gasly, who started in P18, was now leading the race after an astonishing recovery drive ahead of teammate Giovinazzi, who was now dreaming of a historic result and pushing with everything he had.
The Italian was all over the Frenchman in the closing laps, but without DRS he was going to have to do it the old fashioned way: on the final lap Giovinazzi ran outside on the front straight before cutting back inside at Turn 1, and when Gasly ran slightly wide the Italian was through. With pole, two wins and the fastest lap today Giovinazzi only missed yesterday’s FL for a perfect weekend, claiming PREMA’s first two wins and leading a 1-2 from Gasly, who was disappointed but proved a point with a tremendous recovery drive today. Sirotkin claimed another podium to remind everyone of his quality, ahead of Jordan King in P4. Artem Markelov survived a collision with Nabil Jeffri which saw him lose his right front wing end plate for fifth, with the Malaysian losing P6 to Canamasas on the penultimate lap but claiming Arthur Pic’s scalp last time round.
A dramatic weekend in Baku has certainly shaken up the title fights: Markelov now leads Norman Nato by 54 points to 49 in the drivers’ fight ahead of Giovinazzi on 46, Gasly on 45, Marciello on 43, Alex Lynn on 41 and Rowland on 34, while in the teams’ title RUSSIAN TIME lead PREMA Racing by 97 points to 91, ahead of Racing Engineering on 73, ART Grand Prix on 64 and DAMS on 61 as they all turn their attention to the next round in Spielberg, Austria just two weeks hence.



SERGIO: “That was a special qualifying session. In Q3 I did one of my best laps in Formula One – maximising every corner and kissing the walls. As a team it’s been a very strong performance. At the same time I’m still angry with myself because of what happened at the end of final practice and the grid penalty for the gearbox change. I should be starting from the front row of the grid, but I now have to drop back to seventh. Tonight I need to try and clear my mind, put that frustration behind me, and focus on moving forward in the race. I need to say a big ‘thank you’ to my team for the amazing job they did to fix my car in time for qualifying. I hope I can give them a special result to celebrate tomorrow. It’s not going to be an easy race because the track is so challenging and it’s easy to make mistakes, but at the same time this can open up opportunities to make up ground. I still have a good feeling about the race.”



Italian keeps cool in chaotic Azerbaijan opener
Antonio Giovinazzi claimed debut victories for himself and PREMA Racing in the first ever race at the new Baku circuit in today’s feature race, losing the lead when the lights went out before keeping calm and fighting back as so many of his rivals struggled to win ahead of Sergey Sirotkin, who claimed second on the line from Raffaele Marciello.
Giovinazzi made life hard for himself with a poor start from pole, gifting the lead to Nobuharu Matsushita from Marciello as the poleman dropped to P6 with Sirotkin caught out by his slow getaway and falling back to P8 as Norman Nato spun at the first corner, triggering chaos: Sergio Canamasas and Pierre Gasly hit the Frenchman (who eventually continued) and were out on the spot, as were Alex Lynn, Nicholas Latifi and Marvin Kirchhöfer, who all had nowhere to go but into the barriers to start the first safety car period.
At the restart Marciello made short work of his Japanese rival, claiming the lead into Turn 1, with the pair swapping the lead a few times before the Italian could solidify it, while Giovinazzi was starting his fightback by taking advantage of a mistake from countryman Luca Ghiotto to claim P4 behind Oliver Rowland before a second SC period to remove Philo Paz Armand’s car from the wall, handing everyone a free pitstop to remove their super softs.
Arthur Pic and Artem Markelov made tremendous stops to jump up the order at the restart, but the Frenchman locked up and the pair came together as he chopped across the Russian’s front wing: the contact put them both out of the race and prompted another safety car to deal with the debris. Nabil Jeffri’s alternate strategy of starting on the harder compound was paying off as he was in P3 at the restart and was looking for more: he and Rowland dove inside Matsushita at Turn 1, towing Giovinazzi through at the next corner before using his fresher rubber to jump the Malaysian for third on track. Jeffri’s good work was undone by tyrewear over the next few laps before retiring in an escape road on lap 14 with no rubber left.
Sirotkin was slowly carving his way through the field, determined to make up for the disappointments of the first two rounds, as was Giovinazzi: the Italian ran outside Marciello at turn one for the lead on lap 18, ahead of Rowland and Sirotkin. The Racing Engineering teammates came together further round the lap and Nato finished his race in the wall at the chicane, bringing out the safety car one more time. The race was now going to time limits, restarting for the last time on lap 24 with 12 drivers sprinting together to the flag in two laps time.
Giovinazzi ran deep at Turn 1 but just held position from Marciello, running four wide into Turn 2 with Sirotkin slipping past Rowland and Mitch Evans mugging Matsushita behind them for P5. Further back Jordan King and Jimmy Eriksson removed themselves from the race, leaving just ten cars left as Sirotkin pushed Marciello hard all round the final lap before outdragging the Italian across the line as the flag dropped for P2. Behind the top 6 Sean Gelael pushed up to 7th on the final lap ahead of Daniël de Jong, with Ghiotto’s tyres clearly spent as he dropped back to P9 ahead of Gustav Malja, the last man on track in 10th position.
Despite his dramas Nato hangs onto the lead of the drivers’ championship on 49 points from Markelov on 48, Marciello on 43, Lynn on 41 and Rowland on 34 points ahead of tomorrow’s sprint race: with the drama on display this morning, it promises to be unmissable. 

The Premiere Motorsport Podcast