GP3

Goschung sets the pace on day two in Estoril

Jenzer Motorsport’s Ralph Boschung quickest in Portugal
Swiss rookie Ralph Boschung topped the timesheet on the second and final day of pre-season testing at Estoril. The Jenzer Motorsport driver posted a best laptime of 1: 27.789 in the morning session. Carlin’s Mitchell Gilbert was quickest in the afternoon.
Dry but breezy conditions greeted the GP3 paddock for the final day of testing in Portugal. ART Grand Prix’s Alfonso Celis Jr set the early pace before Gilbert claimed P1. It was a busy start to the morning test with the drivers making the most of the good weather.
Birthday boy Marvin Kirchhöfer (ART Grand Prix) was first to lap in the 1m27’s with a 1:27.969 and he sat pretty at the top of the timesheet until Boschung pipped the German by a tenth. Arden Motorsport’s Emil Bernstorff and Koiranen GP’s Jimmy Eriksson were third and fourth as the session approached the final hour. There was a short stoppage when Kevin Ceccon’s Arden Motorsport car stopped at turn one.
However, nobody was able to improve on Boschung’s best efforts and at the chequered flag the Jenzer Motorsport driver held on ahead of Kirchhöfer, Bernstorff, Eriksson, Antonio Fuoco, Gilbert, Luca Ghiotto, Jann Mardenborough, Esteban Ocon and Sandy Stuvik.
As the temperature increased and the sun shone down, the afternoon session commenced with the Carlin trio of Gilbert, Mardenborough and Fuoco leading the way, until Koiranen GP’s Matthew Parry rose to P3. Alex Fontana (Status Grand Prix) shot to second quickest at the midway point, six tenths off Gilbert’s best.
In the latter stages Ghiotto jumped up the order to P2 ahead of Ceccon, two tenths adrift of the Australian. Matheo Tuscher, Pal Varhaug and Boschung made their way into the top five in the final ten minutes with Ghiotto holding P3.  Try as they may but the pack was unable to deny Gilbert of top spot in the afternoon session. Behind Gilbert at the chequered flag were Tuscher, Bernstorff, Ghiotto, Varhaug, Boschung, Ceccon, Fontana, Artur Janosz and Mardenborough.
The second pre-season test will run in Valencia, Spain on 09-10 April.
Estoril: Day 2
Morning Results
Driver
Team
Laptime
Laps
1.
Ralph Boschung
Jenzer Motorsport
1:27.789
36
2.
Marvin Kirchhöfer
ART Grand Prix
1:27.967
36
3.
Emil Bernstorff
Arden International
1:28.049
39
4.
Jimmy Eriksson
Koiranen GP
1:28.050
25
5.
Antonio Fuoco
Carlin
1:28.268
36
6.
Mitchell Gilbert
Carlin
1:28.312
35
7.
Luca Ghiotto
Trident
1:28.366
38
8.
Jann Mardenborough
Carlin
1:28.520
37
9.
Esteban Ocon
ART Grand Prix
1:28.546
33
10.
Sandy Stuvik
Status Grand Prix
1:28.594
37
11.
Matheo Tuscher
Jenzer Motorsport
1:28.601
39
12.
Alex Palou
Campos Racing
1:28.749
37
13.
Matthew Parry
Koiranen GP
1:28.772
33
14.
Pal Varhaug
Jenzer Motorsport
1:28.848
30
15.
Seb Morris
Status Grand Prix
1:28.941
31
16.
Alex Fontana
Status Grand Prix
1:29.015
19
17.
Alfonso Celis. Jr
ART Grand Prix
1:29.031
35
18.
Adderly Fong
Koiranen GP
1:29.052
33
19.
Oscar Tunjo
Trident
1:29.091
29
20.
Kevin Ceccon
Arden International
1:29.239
34
21.
Artur Janosz
Trident
1:29.866
29
22.
Aleksander Bosak
Arden International
1:29.932
24
23
Zaid Ashkanani
Campos Racing
1:30.846
27

GP3

Fuoco fastest on day one in Estoril

Carlin’s Antonio Fuoco quickest in Portuguese pre-season testing
Ferrari Academy Driver Antonio Fuoco recorded the best laptime on day one of pre-season testing in Estoril. The Italian’s fastest lap was 1:28.410 around the Portuguese track. ART Grand Prix’s Marvin Kirchhöfer and Arden International’s Emil Bernstorff completed the top three times and were covered by just 0.023s in a closely fought afternoon session. Colombian debutant Oscar Tunjo set the pace in the morning test for Trident.
After heavy rain had fallen overnight, the track was very damp meaning a quiet start to proceedings. Once the drivers set their installation laps it was a case of waiting for the circuit to dry. With one hour left on the clock, Sandy Stuvik from Status Grand Prix was the first driver to brave running on the slick Pirelli tyre and he jumped to P1. Jenzer Motorsport’s rookie Ralph Boschung was next to head the timesheet as the teams faced the tricky dilemma of whether to run on track with dark clouds looming. Pirelli supplied the teams with five sets of Medium compounds for this test.
As the clock ticked down, the track became busier as the drivers began their slick tyre runs and the times tumbled. Alex Fontana (Status Grand Prix) was the first driver to break into the 1m29’s, lapping four tenths faster than newly signed Carlin driver Jann Mardenborough. There was a short stoppage when Seb Morris spun at Turn 4 but the Brit was able to continue in the session.
With ten minutes remaining, Tunjo posted a laptime of 1:29.061 to go top with his teammate Luca Ghiotto up to third. There was a red flag in the final moments when Zaid Ashkanani (Campos Racing) spun into the gravel at Turn 13.
That marked the end of the morning test as the teams and drivers had a two hour break before the afternoon session commenced. Tunjo topped the times ahead of Fontana, Ghiotto, Mardenborough, Jimmy Eriksson, Esteban Ocon, Mitchell Gilbert, Bernstorff, Ralph Boschung and Kirchhöfer.
Fuoco was first to lap in the 1m29’s in the afternoon session before Mardenborough broke into the 1m28s bracket, closely followed by Kirchhöfer. The German brought out the third red flag of the day after stopping at Turn 5. There was another brief stop when Artur Janosz spun his Trident machine.
Fuoco reclaimed his place at the head of the timings at the midway point with Bernstorff rising to second before Kirchhöfer displaced the Brit. Matheo Tuscher stopped on track at turn 4 leaving a five minute shootout for the drivers to do their best to improve.
At the chequered flag Fuoco had claimed P1 ahead of Kirchhöfer, Bernstorff, Ghiotto, Mardenborough, Ocon, Boschung, Eriksson, Tunjo and Tuscher.
The second and final day of the Estoril pre-season test will commence at 09.00 local time and finish at 12.00. There will be a 1 hour break with the afternoon session running from 13.00 – 16.00.

F3 EURO CHAMPIONSHIP

Experienced F3 driver Antonio Giovinazzi the quickest, rookie George Russel second on the time sheets

On the first day of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship pre-season tests at Valencia, the 34 young drivers involved in the tests provided a foretaste of what you may expect to witness in the coming European Championship season. The fastest lap time on the first day of testing at the 4.005-kilometre Circuit Ricardo Tormo was set by Italy’s Antonio Giovinazzi (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin, 1:24.755 minutes), followed by the fastest rookie, George Russell (Carlin, 1:25.005 minutes). With Charles Leclerc (Van Amersfoort Racing, 1:25.141 minutes), Maximilian Günther (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport, 1:25.236) and Alexander Albon (Signature, 1:25.245) another three newcomers completed the top five.

In dry conditions, the young guns used the seven hours of track time to optimally prepare for the things to come. And the quickest, Antonio Giovinazzi, who once again is going to contest the season for Team Jagonya Ayam with Carlin, kept his cool: “You shouldn’t overestimate this result,” he said. “The first joint day of testing mainly is used to increase your self-confidence and to familiarise yourself with the car. It’s the season kick-off at Silverstone where it counts. Nonetheless, I’m happy to have achieved this fine result.”

Close behind the Italian, Englishman George Russell finished his first official appearance at the wheel of an FIA Formula 3 European Championship vehicle in second position. “On used tyres I even was the quickest,” he revealed, “But other than Antonio, I wasn’t able to make maximum uses of the fresh set of tyres. But I also am delighted with having finished second. I couldn’t have expected far more.” Charles Leclerc, another rookie, also was happy with his achievements. “Having secured third position on the time sheets represents a good start in my maiden Formula 3 season,” the Monegasque said. “I already knew that the team was happy with my performances displayed in our independent tests. But I didn’t know where I would be standing compared to the competition. Nonetheless, we have to keep on working on our performance and mustn’t rest on this result.”

Maximilian Günther also refused to be to euphoric following his fourth place in his first official day of FIA Formula 3 European Championship testing. “Yes, it was a good day. But first of all we had the opportunity to try and test a lot and did a really good job. We learned a lot and I feel more and more comfortable in the car. We are making progress step by step and while we are doing so, we mainly focus ourselves,” said the German.

Alexander Albon, fifth on the time sheets, was happy with his achievements. “I didn’t expect to secure such a good result,” the Lotus Junior from Thailand admitted. “We tested at Valencia in late 2014 and in those tests we encountered several problems. Afterwards, we kept on working and now, we suddenly are among the front runners, on this track. Both the team and the driver have made a major step in the right direction.”

F3 old hand Felix Rosenqvist (Prema Powerteam, 1:25.267 minutes), followed in sixth place, just fractions ahead of rookie Callum Ilott (Carlin, 1:25.295). Arjun Maini (Van Amersfoort Racing, 1:25.296 minutes), Mikkel Jensen (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport, 1:25.301) and Sérgio Sette Câmara (Motopark, 1:25.474) completed the top 10.

GP3

2015 pre-season testing commences in Estoril…Two day test session in Portugal

The opening 2015 GP3 pre-season test session gets underway at the Circuito Estoril on the 18-19 March for a two day test. This is the first of three pre-season tests before Barcelona hosts round one of the year in early May.
As ever with a new season, we welcome new rookies into the fold along with a blend of more experienced drivers with the common goal the same – to claim the title.
Reigning Team Champions’ Carlin have a brand new line-up starting with Ferrari Academy Driver Antonio Fuoco, the Italian finished fifth in the European F3 Championship in 2014. Australian Mitch Gilbert who raced in four GP3 events last season has also signed with Carlin, whilst GP3 race winner Jann Mardenborough will test for the British squad this week.
ART Grand Prix retain German Marvin Kirchhöfer who finished an impressive third overall in his debut season in the category. He will be joined by Alfonso Celis Jr and the highly rated rookie, Esteban Ocon. The French star won the European F3 Championship last year as well as combining his duties as Lotus F1 Team Test Driver.
There are all new faces at Status Grand Prix – the experienced Alex Fontana has joined the green and black squad. Welshman Seb Morris who finished third in Formula Renault 2.0 NEC and Thai debutant Sandy Stuvik (Euro Formula Open) completes the team.
Multiple race winner Jimmy Eriksson has stayed with Finnish outfit Koiranen GP with Adderly Fong making the move from Jenzer Motorsport to join the Swede. Rookie Matthew Parry from Formula Renault 2.0 Euro Cup joins the experienced duo.
Kevin Ceccon has switched to Arden International with 2014 race winner Emil Bernstorff partnering the Italian. Polish rookie Aleksander Bosak from FR 2.0 ALSP finalises the squad.
Jenzer Motorsport have retained two of their 2014 drivers with Matheo Tuscher and Pal Varhaug, with Swiss rookie Ralph Boschung (ADAC Formula Masters) joining the team. The car has an exciting new livery so keep your eyes peeled!
Newcomers to the GP3 field are Spanish squad, Campos Racing. The Valencia based outfit have experience in our sister series GP2 and will be keen to add success in this category too. They have signed two drivers to date with Spaniard Alex Palou (Euro Formula Open) and Kuwaiti Zaid Ashkanani (Porsche GT3 Cup – Middle East).
Italian Luca Ghiotto has remained with Trident alongside two rookies: Artur Janosz from Poland who has raced in Euro Formula Open and Oscar Tunjo from Colombia from the 3.5 Series.
There will be eight teams participating in the 2015 GP3 Series season.
GP3 Series CEO Bruno Michel commented: “In spite of the numerous requests from teams to join the GP3 field and from drivers who wish to race in our Series, we were unable to give a new entry for this season in order to replace Marussia Manor Racing as their cars remain in administration.
“I could not ask for a new team to buy three brand new GP3/13 cars when we will introduce a new machine next year. Therefore, there will only be eight teams competing in the 2015 GP3 Series season. However, we will of course give an entry to nine squads for the next three-year cycle which will start in 2016 in order to meet the demand of both teams and drivers.
“Looking at this season’s line up, I am very impressed by its level. It is one of the strongest we have had in GP3 and I cannot wait to see who will come out on top.”
Entry List: Estoril GP3 pre-season test
CAR
DRIVER
LICENSE
TEAM
1
Antonio Fuoco
ITA
Carlin
2
Jann Mardenborough
GBR
Carlin
3
Mitch Gilbert
AUS
Carlin
4
Alfonso Celis. Jr
MEX
ART Grand Prix
5
Marvin Kirchhöfer
GER
ART Grand Prix
6
Esteban Ocon
FRA
ART Grand Prix
7
Seb Morris
GBR
Status Grand Prix
8
Alex Fontana
SUI
Status Grand Prix
9
Sandy Stuvik
THA
Status Grand Prix
10
Adderly Fong
HKG
Koiranen GP
11
Jimmy Eriksson
SWE
Koiranen GP
12
Matthew Parry
GBR
Koiranen GP
14
Kevin Ceccon
ITA
Arden International
15
Emil Bernstorff
GBR
Arden International
16
Aleksander Bosak
POL
Arden International
20
Pal Varhaug
NOR
Jenzer Motorsport
21
Matheo Tuscher
SUI
Jenzer Motorsport
22
Ralph Boschung
SUI
Jenzer Motorsport
23
Zaid Ashkanani
KUW
Campos Racing
24
Alex Palou
ESP
Campos Racing
25
-
Campos Racing
26
Artur Janosz
POL
Trident
27
Luca Ghiotto
ITA
Trident
28
Oscar Tunjo
COL
Trident

FORMULA 1

Hamilton has cruised to victory at the Australian Grand Prix, lapping Daniel Ricciardo in the final stages of the race in a strong warning of Mercedes superiority.

Hamilton was never headed after starting on poll as Mercedes made it another one-two finish.

Nico Rosberg finished about 1.3 seconds behind his teammate, but the gap back to Seb Vettel (Ferrari) in third was a whopping 34.5 seconds.

Ricciardo was passed by Felipe Nasr on the first lap and spent the rest of the day in a fruitless chase of the Sauber driver before finishing sixth.

It wasn’t the worst result given the trouble Red Bull had in the lead-up to the race — and the number of drivers who failed to finish.

“We got away with some points but other than that there’s not much more (to be positive about),” Ricciardo said.

“We got lapped so obviously we’ve got some pace to find.”

Ricciardo described the frustration of being unable to launch an attack on Nasr before apologising to fans for the lack of action.

“It was a little bit of a boring race,” he said. “I feel sorry for the fans.”

FORMULA 1

Lewis Hamilton won pole position for Sunday’s Australian Grand Prix as he started the new season where he left the last.

The world champion, who is looking to repeat his win in Melbourne in 2008, won all three testing sessions on Saturday to give teammate Nico Rosberg a reminder that he still has much to do. Rosberg will be second on the grid on Sunday but was a little over half a second slower than Hamilton. It was the British driver’s 39thpole and his fourth at Albert Park. Hamilton won pole here last year, though the race went to Rosberg.

“It’s a great start to the weekend,” Hamilton said. “I don’t feel it’s been a long time since the last race.”

Rosberg shrugged: “Lewis has been on impressive form and did an awesome job. It’s not a great start for me but the team have given me a great car to work with.”

Behind the Mercedes on the grid will be Felipe Massa (Williams), Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen (both Ferrari) and Valtteri Bottas (Williams).

McLaren came here with modest expectations as they continued to bed in their new Honda engine. But this was still one of the blackest days in their Formula One history. They will start at the back of the grid, because Manor were unable to run and will take no part in the race. It was a brutal result for a team that has won more Australian Grands Prix (12) than any other team.

“I was always thinking long term when I re-signed,” Button said. “I really do think that in the end we can challenge the Mercedes at the front. This a new package, not just in terms of the engine but the philosophy behind it, the aerodynamics and airflow. I’d rather not be at the back of the grid but I am not sitting here downhearted. It is a tough time now and there will be tough times for many weeks, but it will make us stronger. We have not done a race distance. So if we finish the race tomorrow, it may not sound much, but it will help a lot.”

In view of the fact that Hamilton was on slower tyres, the real gap between him and Button was about 4.5 seconds.

The casualties in Q2 were the Force India’s of Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez, Felipe Nasr (Sauber), Max Verstappen (Toro Rosso) and Daniil Kvyat (Red Bull). Nasr, though, went within 0.076s of making it to Q3; some effort after the legal problems the team have had this week.

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