FORMULA 1

SAHARA FORCE INDIA’S AUSTRIAN GRAND PRIX PREVIEW

Sergio: “I’m still feeling disappointed about the lost opportunity in Baku, but at the same time I’m feeling positive about the performance level we showed. We were fighting at the front and the car was working well. It’s just a shame my race ended early because there was a great chance of finishing on the podium. I think we can be just as competitive in Austria and pick up some good points this weekend.

“The circuit in Austria is in a really beautiful place. You feel like you are racing with nature. When you look at a map of the track it looks like a simple lap, but it’s not as easy as you think. There are lots of elevation changes and some difficult sections. It’s really important to carry the speed through the corners so you don’t lose time down the long straights. The final corner is off-camber so it’s easy to run wide and lose time there.”

Esteban: “Austria is a track I know much better than the previous ones on which we have raced so far this season. I drove there a lot in the junior categories and I tested for Sahara Force India there in 2015. It’s a great place and the altitude makes it a challenge for the engine and the brakes.

“The circuit doesn’t have many corners, but it’s still difficult to get a perfect lap: in particular, the last two corners are the most enjoyable in the track because they’re quite tricky and even a small mistake can ruin a good lap right at the end. There is no real secret to finding time around the lap; you just have to get the details right and make it stick all weekend.

“The town of Spielberg is very quiet and it’s nice to go there at this busy moment in the season. In general, it’s a very relaxing place to be and there are a lot of opportunities to do sports, enjoy the fresh air and all the country can offer.”

FORMULA RENAULT

GABRIEL AUBRY DOUBLES UP AT THE HUNGARORING

After claiming his first victory in Formula Renault last week at Monza during the NEC season-opening round, Gabriel Aubry (Tech 1 Racing) kept the momentum going in the Formula Renault Eurocup in winning the two races on Sunday at the Hungaroring. In the morning, the French driver took top honours ahead of Will Palmer (R-ace GP) and Sacha Fenestraz (Josef Kaufmann Racing), before doing it again in the afternoon ahead of Robert Shwartzman (R-ace GP) and Max Defourny (R-ace GP). Yifei Ye (Josef Kaufmann Racing) and Renault Sport Academy driver Max Fewtrell (Tech 1 Racing), each won in the rookie category. Will Palmer still leads the general classification.

The starting grids were determined in the second qualifying session on Saturday. The best lap time set the race 2 order, while the second best time established the grid for weekend finale.

MAIDEN WIN FOR AUBRY

In the morning, Sacha Fenestraz lined-up on pole ahead of Gabriel Aubry and Will Palmer. The two got great starts and overtook the pole sitter on lap one. Gabriel Aubry pulled away, while those behind him saw Max Defourny and sixth on the grid Robert Shwartzman close the gap.
Gabriel Aubry went on to take his first win in the category with a more than four second margin of victory from Will Palmer and Sacha Fenestraz. Max Defourny and Robert Shwartzman finished just off the podium. In surprising Yifei Ye on lap eight to take sixth place, Max Fewtrell took the rookie honours for the fifth time. Alexander Vartanyan (JD Motorsport), Daniel Ticktum (Arden Motorsport) and Alexey Korneev (Fortec Motorsports) completed the list of point scorers.

After claiming his first victory in Formula Renault last week at Monza during the NEC season-opening round, Gabriel Aubry (Tech 1 Racing) kept the momentum going in the Formula Renault Eurocup in winning the two races on Sunday at the Hungaroring. In the morning, the French driver took top honours ahead of Will Palmer (R-ace GP) and Sacha Fenestraz (Josef Kaufmann Racing), before doing it again in the afternoon ahead of Robert Shwartzman (R-ace GP) and Max Defourny (R-ace GP). Yifei Ye (Josef Kaufmann Racing) and Renault Sport Academy driver Max Fewtrell (Tech 1 Racing), each won in the rookie category. Will Palmer still leads the general classification.
The starting grids were determined in the second qualifying session on Saturday. The best lap time set the race 2 order, while the second best time established the grid for weekend finale.

 

Starting grid – Race 2
AUBRY DOUBLES UP IN RACE 3

In the afternoon, Gabriel Aubry held on to his pole position advantage to keep Sacha Fenestraz and Robert Shwartzman at bay. Further back, Max Defourny and Will Palmer got the better of Yifei Ye. After jumping the start, Sacha Fenestraz received a ten-second penalty. After a safety car period on lap two to retrieve the car of Najiy Ayyad bin Abd Razak (Fortec Motorsports), Sacha Fenestraz surprised Gabriel Aubry, but couldn’t pull away.
While Sacha Fenestraz was first to take the chequered flag, his penalty dropped him to eighth place. Gabriel Aubry took the win ahead of Robert Shwartzman, Max Defourny and Will Palmer. Fifth place Yifei Ye claimed his first win in the rookie category ahead of Alexander Vartanyan, Daniel Ticktum and Sacha Fenestraz. Max Fewtrell and Thomas Randle (AVF by Adrián Vallés) completed the top ten.

DTM

Spengler claims first BMW victory at Norisring since 1992

  • Spengler and Martin secure a 1-2 for BMW
  • Ekström takes DTM points’ lead with third place
  • Rast remains without points after mistake in race on Saturday

Bruno Spengler is the winner of the DTM race at the Norisring on Saturday. After 61 laps in the seventh race of the DTM season, the Canadian drove his BMW M4 DTM to a dominant win from his fellow BMW driver and team-mate Maxime Martin. For BMW and for Spengler, this achievement almost is a historic one: the brand from Munich hadn’t won a DTM race at the street circuit in Nuremberg for 25 years and Spengler’s last time on the top step of the podium to date was four years ago in the DTM race at Spielberg. For Spengler, it is the 15th win of his DTM career. Back in 2006, he also scored his maiden DTM race win at the Norisring, still with a Mercedes at the time. Third place in a race with a turbulent opening stage went to Swede Mattias Ekström with his Audi RS 5 DTM, who also moves up into the lead of the drivers’ standings.

“I fought hard and I never gave up,” Spengler commented after the race. “Of course, I am very happy, such a success is mega. The car was great, both in the rain and in dry conditions.” The Canadian already laid the foundation for his victory at the start. From third place on the grid, he overtook Martin, who had a poor getaway, and René Rast, moved up into the lead and consistently extended his lead with fast lap times.

Ekström, too, was happy with the result: “It seems that it was the right decision to compete in the DTM rather than the World Rallycross Championship. The battle with Maxime (Martin) was great fun, I like to race in DTM like that. At the end, I didn’t take maximum risk to safely bring the points for third place home.”

Ekström takes points’ lead from Rast

The 15 points for third place enable Ekström to take the lead in the DTM drivers’ standings. After seven of this season’s 18 DTM races, the Swede is in the lead with 77 points. His fellow Audi driver René Rast is second with 72 points. In spite of having started from second place on the grid, he failed to score points as he finished twelfth following a drive through penalty for crossing the line at the pit lane exit. Jamie Green is third in the standings with 71 points from Lucas Auer (69 points) and Timo Glock (59 points).

Edoardo Mortara was the best-placed Mercedes-AMG DTM driver on Saturday. The Italian finished eighth. Lucas Auer and Robert Wickens were the victims of the action in the opening stage of the race. Both retired early after collisions.

F1Weekly podcast # 730

CLARK CONVINCES NASIR THAT THE VETTEL ROAD RAGE IS A GOOD THING FOR F1 AND THIS HATE BETWEEN LCH AND SEB WILL INDEED PRODUCE AN EXCITING SEASON! MM IS JAM PACKED AND WE HAVE AN INTERVIEW WITH BRITISH F3 DRIVER CAMERON DAS.

US Formula 4 Champion Cameron Das has made his debut in European racing as the teenager competes in the BRDC British Formula 3 Autumn Trophy (October 29/30) at Snetterton with Carlin.

Das has enjoyed remarkable success in his short motorsport career thus far, with the 16-year-old only taking up racing in March 2015. After some karting outings, Das competed in the Bertil Roos Racing Series, winning one race, before tackling a number of other championships including F1600, F2000, Formula Lites and Formula Atlantic, gaining a wealth of single-seater experience in 2015.

For 2016, the Baltimore native mounted a full campaign in the inaugural F4 United States Championship Powered by Honda championship, where he took nine wins, 10 podiums and six pole positions en route to the title. Das’ performance was all the more impressive given that he won the final eight races of the year in a row to see off his competition. He also made selected outings in the Cooper Tires US F2000 Championship and will now join Carlin for the Autumn Trophy in Norfolk.

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FORMULA 1

RICCIARDO WINS IN BAKU STROLL PROVES HIS CRITICS WRONG!

DANIEL RICCIARDO, : “I have never really had a boring win and today was certainly not that. After all the chaos and the red flag I felt that a podium was in reach but then once Lewis had to pit and Seb had the penalty I knew the win was possible. I kind of said yesterday that after my qualifying mistake and starting in tenth place, today was going to be a race of no mistakes, capitalising on moments and opportunities and I felt like we did everything we could this afternoon. The odds of a podium or win got pushed even further back when we had to make an unscheduled pit stop early in the race and I think I was back in seventeenth place. Then things fell in to place quite nicely and on every re-start I was able to make up positions and make it happen. The last re-start was the most important and I think it was Stroll, Hulkenberg, Massa and me, all nearly four wide but I managed to get third and I think that was, in a way, the winning move. Once I saw the gap I was going to do everything I could to brake as late as possible and get that position. It was a real shame for Max today but it is great to get this victory for everyone in the team. I felt like this weekend was better for us overall and hopefully both of us can be on the podium together soon. What a day, it’s crazy and it’s slowly sinking in.”
Lance Stroll: I’m just lost for words right now. It was such a hectic race and so much happened, but the team kept me cool on the radio, the pace was good, we took it to the end and stayed out of trouble.  I can’t quite believe what’s just happened. We just lost out to Valtteri at the end there in one of the closest finishes of all time going side-by-side across the finish line. Coming into this weekend I never thought I would be standing on the podium. It’s an amazing feeling and, for me, a dream come true. However, what happened today was a team effort and I can’t thank everyone enough for making this happen. I am just so sorry that I could not celebrate with Felipe, as that would have been the icing on the cake. I am sure without his problems he would have been up there with me.

FORMULA 2

NATO RECLAIMS SPRINT WIN FROM LeCLERC

Leclerc takes the flag, Nato claims the victory

Norman Nato grabbed this afternoon’s FIA Formula 2 Championship Sprint Race victory at the Baku City Circuit despite following the championship leader Charles Leclerc across the line: the Monegasque driver had a 10 second penalty which sent the win back to the Frenchman, ahead of Leclerc and Nicholas Latifi.

The seeds of the victory came at the start, when a storming start by Nato from P4 saw him alongside front row starter Oliver Rowland when the pair were squeezed by poleman Ralph Boschung: the Briton slid inside and through into the lead at turn two while the Frenchman had to defend from a fast charging Latifi behind him, while further back Leclerc had shuffled back to 10th before starting his fightback on the very first lap.

Next time through Nato was desperate to dispatch Boschung, and the pair touched as the Frenchman dived down the inside into turn 2, losing part of his right front wing in the process before heading off after Rowland with Latifi in his wake. It was only 2 laps before fourth placed Nyck De Vries eased by Boschung, and then one more lap to move into the podium positions as he blasted past Latifi on the front straight.

It was all to change in short order though, when Rowland slowed from the lead and De Vries ran deep at turn 3 with the pair both out with mechanical gremlins, handing the lead to Nato from Latifi and Jordan King, with Leclerc already up to P4 and looking for more. The Monegasque was running a second faster than anyone as he strung a collection of qualifying laps together: he was past King on the front straight on lap 10, through Latifi there 2 laps later, and it was only a matter of time before he claimed the lead as he hunted down the first perfect weekend in championship history.

On lap 17 the bitter call came on the screens that Leclerc (and Sergio Canamasas) would receive 10 second time penalties for failing to slow sufficiently for yellow flags earlier in the race: Nato didn’t defend a lap later when the Monegasque grabbed the lead on the road, but as the laps rolled down there was insufficient time (or tyres) to build a big enough gap to hold the lead. Leclerc took the flag 1.3 seconds ahead of Nato, which because an 8.7 second win for Nato, with Latifi holding on for the podium ahead of a race long battle between King, Sergey Sirotkin, Artem Markelov and Nobuharu Matsushita, with Luca Ghiotto claiming the final point of the race.

Pole, two fastest laps, a win and a second means Leclerc leaves Baku with an extended lead in the drivers’ championship over Rowland, 122 points to 80, with Markelov on 76, Ghiotto on 57, Latifi on 53 and Matsushita on 50 points, while in the teams’ championship RUSSIAN TIME and DAMS lead the way on 133 points each ahead of PREMA Racing on 124, ART Grand Prix on 94 and Rapax on 61 points as the grid turns towards Spielberg for the 5th round of the 2017 championship.

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