GP3

PARRY LEADS THE WAY IN BUDAPEST FREE PRACTICE

Koiranen GP’s Matthew Parry fastest at the Hungaroring
Brit Matthew Parry recorded the best time in Free Practice for Round 4 of the GP3 Series season. The Koiranen GP driver’s quickest laptime was 0.027s quicker than ART Grand Prix’s Nirei Fukuzumi. Fresh from his Haas F1 Team FP1 duties this morning; Charles Leclerc was third.
The forty-five minute session was run in hot conditions as the 23 drivers ventured onto the Hungaroring eager to be back in business. Arden International’s Jake Dennis set the early pace and bettered his personal best to increase his advantage at the front to four tenths.
New GP3 winner Antonio Fuoco from Trident found some extra pace to go P1, albeit only briefly as DAMS’ rookie Jake Hughes shot to the top spot by half a second. Artur Janosz displaced his teammate to go second, before Jenzer Motorsport’s Arjun Maini lapped three tenths off Hughes to move into P2.
Hughes increased his margin over his rivals with his DAMS teammate Santino Ferrucci rising to second. However, Parry was the next man on the move as he clocked a laptime of 1:33.484 to take control of the timesheet. Fukuzumi responded and went quickest with Leclerc hot on his tails. Meanwhile Ferrari Driver Academy’s Fuoco was up to third until Leclerc demoted the Italian to fourth in the final moments.
Parry still had more in his pocket as he brought his Koiranen GP machine over the line to head back into P1 and top the session at the chequered flag. Fukuzumi, Leclerc, Fuoco, Matevos Isaakyan, Alex Albon, Hughes, Nyck de Vries, Dennis and Maini completed the top ten.
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Qualifying takes place tomorrow at 09.45 local time (GMT+2).

GP2

GASLY BURNS TO POLE IN BUDAPEST

Frenchman dominates Qualifying session
Pierre Gasly crushed his rivals’ hopes with a stunning performance in this afternoon’s Qualifying session at the Hungaroring, keeping cool in scorching conditions to run out of sequence and grab pole position ahead of Sergey Sirotkin and teammate Antonio Giovinazzi.

The Red Bull tester’s best time of 1:25.612 was more than half a second faster than anyone, with the Frenchman setting the two fastest laps of the session as his rivals floundered while they tried to find any improvement. The session opened with a cooler track but higher air temperatures than this morning’s Free Practice, and everyone except the PREMA Racing pairing were immediately out to take advantage of the F1 rubber.

The times were tumbling almost every time someone crossed the line, with Oliver Rowland then Alex Lynn then Nobuharu Matsushita and finally Sirotkin grabbing the top spot, leaving most of the field on their in-laps just as Gasly and Giovinazzi emerged on-track, handing the pair a largely clean circuit with which to work: they put it to good use, lining up P1 and P3 respectively, just as the DAMS teammates re-emerged to see what they could do with it.

Lynn looked like he had a good lap in the bag but ran wide at Turn 11, with Nicholas Latifi similarly wayward: the rest of the field came out and their gamble hadn’t paid out. ART Grand Prix were leading the way, with Sirotkin improving his time a little but still unable to challenge Gasly, who also returned to the circuit and beat his own time, rubbing salt into his rivals’ wounds: an even better lap was missed when the Frenchman ran a slightly wide at Turn 12 on his final tour, with the chequered flag bringing an end to their torture.

Behind the top three Matsushita leads Norman Nato, Luca Ghiotto, Arthur Pic, Raffaele Marciello, Jordan King and Marvin Kirchhöfer, all of whom will be burning the midnight oil to make sure that their race pace is better than their qualifying, so that they can look towards a podium in tomorrow’s Feature Race.

FORMULA 1

WILLIAMS MARTINI RACING HUNGARIAN AND GERMAN GRAND PRIX PREVIEW

Hungary
21 – 24 JULY
HUNGARORING
ROUND 11 OF 21
When making a mid-summer trip to the Hungaroring you can expect to endure temperatures in the mid-30s. For a driver in the cockpit of a Formula One car, this can be in excess of 60 degrees. Combining these conditions with the demanding barrage of corner after corner with very few straights for rest and you have the kind of situation Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa will have to endure during the Hungarian Grand Prix. Although moderately slow in Formula One terms with an average speed over one lap of 120mph, the slippery track conditions result in the circuit being a challenge the drivers relish.
For Budapest, Pirelli have made available the medium, soft and supersoft tyres.
Pat Symonds
Although the Hungaroring is a lower speed circuit than we have visited recently, it is a still a circuit where our car can perform well, and indeed Valtteri was running fifth last year before a collision dropped him out of the points. We are bringing a new floor to this race as part of our continued development, but the real focus will be on the expected high temperatures and the completely resurfaced track which will be very demanding on the tyres. We’d expect to see a mixture of two and three stop strategies in the race, with final decisions resting on the exact nature of the new asphalt.
Valtteri Bottas
The Hungaroring is probably the most intense track compared to the other events it falls around during in the season. It’s much tighter with many slow speed corners and a very technical track to drive, so definitely not the easiest. Budapest falls in the summertime and normally it’s very hot. It’s nicknamed the Finnish Grand Prix because there can be tens of thousands of Finns at the race. I always really appreciate seeing the Finnish flag and feeling that support.
Felipe Massa
Hungary is a track where I personally have a lot of history with the accident I had. As a consequence, I have the most amazing fans there who support me a lot. They follow me everywhere I go and always have gifts for me. It’s an amazing place to go back to and spend time with them. As a track, it’s somewhere you need to have very good downforce with the short straights and number of corners. It’s quite difficult on the tyres as well, so if you have good downforce, that will really work well for you at this track. All in all, it’s a fantastic race in a nice town that I enjoy.
Germany
28 – 31 JULY
HOCKENHEIMRING
ROUND 12 OF 21
After a one-year hiatus, the German Grand Prix returns to the calendar for 2016. The character of Hockenheim was irreversibly changed when the track was redesigned in 2002. Gone are the flat-out blasts through the forest that characterised the old track, replaced by a tamer and more benign track that is two kilometres shorter. However, the new Hermann Tilke-designed circuit at least produces some good racing, with turns six and eight producing the best of the action. The most interesting section of the lap is in the Stadium towards the end of the lap. The corners are cambered, making them deceptively fast, and the atmosphere is electric on race day when the grandstands are full. After all, the Germans love their patriotic flags and air horns! The end of the Grand Prix also marks the long awaited and greatly deserved summer break for drivers and team personnel alike.
For Hockenheim, Pirelli have made available the medium, soft and supersoft tyres.
Pat Symonds
It’s good to be going back to Germany after a brief absence as it’s definitely a country we should be racing in, as well as being the home of our partner Mercedes-Benz. Two years ago we had mixed fortunes with Felipe eliminated in a spectacular first corner incident whilst Valtteri went on to claim second place. Our intention this year, as always, is to get a strong points finish from both cars and we are confident of doing so.
Valtteri Bottas
Last time we were in Germany was in 2014 and I was second place in the race, one of my best F1 results. It’s a track I’ve driven a lot when I was in the junior categories like Formula Renault and Formula 3, so I know the place really well. It’s nice to go back to Germany after a bit of a break, and hopefully we’ll have another warm welcome.
Felipe Massa
It will be nice to return to the German Grand Prix after we didn’t have it last year. We’re heading to Hockenheim, a track I really enjoy driving. I hope we have a good race because the Hockenheimring could be a great track for our car. We’ll see at the weekend.

DTM

GREEN WINS RACE ONE SUNDAY – BAD LUCK FOR WICKENS

The DTM had a fulminant start of its second season half. With his Audi RS 5 DTM, Jamie Green emerged as the buoyant winner from the race at Zandvoort in The Netherlands that remained thrilling and dramatic until the end. In a dominant way, the Brit, who started from pole position, drove to his first win of the season and the 13th of his DTM career. “I am overjoyed that I finally have won here at Zandvoort,” Green said at the finish. “I had to wait many years for this victory. Today, everything worked out. After the fast pit stop, the second set of tyres was very good and I was able to pull clear from Robert and Gary.” After 39 laps, he crossed the finish line with a margin of 9.731 seconds from Mercedes-AMG driver Gary Paffett. For Paffett, this was the first podium finish of the season. Audi driver Edoardo Mortara crossed the finish line in third place. In total, 38,000 spectators witnessed the DTM weekend in the Dutch seaside resort in bright sunshine.

Until the 34th lap of the race, Robert Wickens, Gary Paffett, and Christian Vietoris were following behind Green. Especially for Wickens, second place would have been important in the battle for the DTM title as it would have enabled him to significantly reduce the gap to Wittmann. After a puncture on the left front tyre, the Canadian had to come in for an unscheduled pit stop and crossed the finish line in 16th place. Likewise, Christian Vietoris lost the third place he had inherited after Wickens’s problem due to a puncture.

Especially Marco Wittmann benefited from the bad luck of the two Mercedes-AMG drivers. The BMW driver finished fourth and defended his lead in the drivers’ standings, in which he now has 105 points. With his victory, Jamie Green moved up to second in the championship (98 points). Edoardo Mortara is third with 88 points. Meanwhile, Robert Wickens dropped from second to fourth and has 83 points to his tally after ten races.

After a five weeks’ summer break, the DTM will be racing at Moscow Raceway in Russia, August 19-21. Close to the Russian capital, the eleventh and twelfth race of the season will be held.

F3 EURO CHAMPIONSHIP

PREMA DUO AHEAD OF CARLIN DRIVER ALESSIO LORANDI

Event: 06 Zandvoort
Session: Race 1
Track: Zandvoort, The Netherlands
Pole position: Nick Cassidy (Prema Powerteam)
Race winner: Lance Stroll (Prema Powerteam)
Weather: overcast, 18.7 °C

At the 4.307 kilometres long Circuit Park Zandvoort, Lance Stroll (Prema Powerteam) extended his FIA Formula 3 European Championship points’ lead with his sixth victory of the season. He has now 99 points more than his nearest rival, Maximilian Günther (Prema Powerteam). At the start of the race, the junior driver of the Williams Formula 1 team took the lead and drove an undisputed victory home. Nick Cassidy (Prema Powerteam) and Alessio Lorandi (Carlin) followed suit. For Italian driver Lorandi, it was his second podium in this year’s FIA Formula 3 European Championship after his victory in the prestigious Grand Prix de Pau in May.

Lance Stroll already laid the foundation for his victory at the start when, from fourth place on the grid, he took the outside line through Tarzan corer to overtake all his rivals and take the lead. Nick Cassidy, who had started the race from pole position, just managed to save second place on the first few metres from Alessio Lorandi, who used Stroll’s slipstream to move up into third place. Maximilian Günther slotted into fourth place from Callum Ilott (Van Amersfoort Racing) and the best-placed rookie, Niko Kari (Motopark).

In the following minutes, Stroll pulled clear from his main rival Cassidy with fast lap times, so that he had a margin of five seconds over his team-mate from New Zealand after nine laps. At this time, fifth-placed Callum Ilott made a slight error: he briefly came off the track and lost contact to Maximilian Günther. The Brit, who is racing for Dutch team Van Amersfoort Racing, quickly caught up again and continued to bide his chance to challenge the German for fourth. Until the finish on lap 23, Ilott tried again and again to overtake Günther, but the Prema driver defended his fourth place until the end.

Up front, Stroll drove an undisputed victory home, followed by Cassidy and Lorandi. Günther just saved fourth place from Ilott. Niko Kari was next up as the best-placed rookie from George Russell (HitechGP), Ryan Tveter (Carlin), second-best rookie Anthoine Hubert (Van Amersfoort Racing), and David Beckmann (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport), who took third place in the rookie classification.

Lance Stroll (Prema Powerteam): „”I knew that this race would be the only one this weekend in which I could score points, so I used my chance. At the start, I saw the gap on the outside, because Nick pulled over to the inside. Then, I braked relatively late and coming out of the corner, I was in front. Some five laps before the end, I then had a critical moment when a seagull flew over me so closely that I even had to pull my head in. This victory was very important to me, after I was excluded after second qualifying yesterday and have to start the next two races from the back as a result. Yesterday, we were all frustrated that my car didn’t comply with the technical regulations, but mistakes do happen.”

Nick Cassidy (Prema Powerteam): “I am lacking experience at this track, something I noticed at the start. I wanted to close the inside line, but I didn’t pay attention to the outside. Lance then simply caught me by surprise with his move on the outside. After that, I wasn’t able to match his speed and I concentrated on bringing second place home.”

Alessio Lorandi (Carlin): “At the start, I did the same manoeuvre as Lance and I was also able to make up places on the outside. I had already thought of pulling off such a move prior to the start and I was able to execute it just like that. After two rather poor race weekends, I managed to do better in qualifying here and I am now happy to be back on the podium.”

F3 EURO CHAMPIONSHIP

NICK CASSIDY ON POLE FOR THE FIRST TIME

New Zealand’s Nick Cassidy (Prema Powerteam, 1:28.533 minutes) was unbeatable in first qualifying of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship at the 4.307 kilometres long Circuit Park Zandvoort and claimed his first pole position of the season. Maximilian Günther (Prema Powerteam, 1:28.757 minutes) ended up second, 0.224 seconds behind his team-mate, followed by George Russell (HitechGP, 1:28.789 minutes). Lance Stroll (Prema Powerteam, 1:28.842 minutes), who came to the Dutch North Sea coast as the points’ leader, had to make do with fourth place.

At the start of the 20 minutes’ qualifying session, there hardly was a car on track. Nikita Mazepin (HitechGP. 1:29.582 minutes), George Russell and Pedro Piquet (Van Amersfoort Racing, 1:29.755 minutes) were the only ones to drive their laps. Only in the second half of qualifying, the other competitors also showed up on the track in the dunes and an entertaining battle for the positions up front followed. With five minutes remaining, Stroll lost first place to Günther, but the Canadian junior driver of the Williams Formula 1 team countered successfully and claimed back first place. This time, again, his joy didn’t last long either, because Cassidy posted an even faster lap time soon afterwards. While the New Zealander managed to maintain this position until the end of qualifying, Stroll even dropped back to fourth place behind Günther and Russell.

Callum Ilott (Van Amersfoort Racing, 1:28.888 minutes) followed in fifth place as the best-placed representative of his Dutch team Van Amersfoort Racing. Alessio Lorandi (Carlin, 1:29.183 minutes), who won the Pau Grand Prix in mid-May, was classified in sixth place from the three best rookies, Niko Kari (Motopark, 1:29.203 minutes), David Beckmann (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport, 1:29.229 minutes) and Anthoine Hubert (Van Amersfoort Racing, 1:29.279 minutes), as well as stalwart Ryan Tveter (Carlin, 1:29.295 minutes).

Nick Cassidy (Prema Powerteam): “My maiden pole position, I am really happy! My car was great from the very beginning. Initially, I was slightly worried because of possible tyre degradation, but I was able to post fast lap times nevertheless. I reckon that I could have been even slightly faster, which is a particularly good feeling for second qualifying later today.

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