FORMULA 1


2014 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX – QUALIFYING

Nico Rosberg took pole position for tomorrow’s United States Grand Prix with Lewis Hamilton completing a MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS front row lock out at the Circuit of the Americas.

– The team scored its 16th pole position and 10th front-row lock-out in 17 races this afternoon at the Circuit of the Americas
– Nico’s pole lap was 0.271s faster than the 2013 pole time set by Sebastian Vettel 12 months ago
– This further reinforces the positive step that has been made with the 2014 Hybrid Power Units, delivering better performance with a 35% improvement in fuel efficiency over the previous engine format
– This was Nico’s 9th pole position of the season, leaving him one pole away from securing the 2014 pole position trophy
– Both drivers used the medium and soft tyre in Q1, the soft only in Q2 and Q3

Weather – Clear, dry, cool, breezy,
Temperatures – Air: 11 – 18°C, Track: 20 – 35°C

Nico Rosberg

That was really a great team effort today. Starting from pole here in the US is obviously good – but it’s tomorrow that counts so there is still some way to go. Together with my engineers we found a great setup which made me feel very comfortable in the car at the end of Qualifying. At the beginning of Q1 I had a lot of understeer but we had different opportunities to explore in terms of changing that. We decided to change the front wing flap angle which worked out perfectly, so I was really able to push a lot through the corners. Now I look forward to tomorrow as I had some good long runs on Friday which allowed me to focus a bit more on the race with my setup.

Lewis Hamilton

It wasn’t the easiest of qualifying sessions for me today but I’m still starting from second place and we can have a good fight from there tomorrow. The problem was with the left front brake which was down on temperature and kept locking. Once you lose that confidence and rhythm under braking, it’s very difficult. It is a potential issue for the race but I’ll talk to our guys now and we can have a good look at it. Hopefully we can try and sand down the disc a little and then tomorrow should be better. The vibration that I had was just a minor flat spot so I’m not worried about that. Nico did a great job this afternoon and at the end I couldn’t get close to him so I’ll have to try and make it up tomorrow in the race.

Toto Wolff

That was a great qualifying result – especially after we had some problems with Nico’s car during practice this morning and with Lewis’ car yesterday afternoon. Nico put in a perfect lap while Lewis was struggling with relatively large amounts of front locking during the session. Since we secured the Constructors’ Championship at the last race in Sochi, we haven’t been taking anything for granted and have kept pushing. There has been a lot of talk about the momentum between the drivers in recent weeks but the reality is that we’re watching an equal fight at the very highest level – and this is a great thing for Formula One.

FORMULA 1


2014 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX – PRACTICE

MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS kicked off the United States Grand Prix weekend at the top of the timesheets, with Lewis Hamilton leading Nico Rosberg by the narrowest of margins at the Circuit of the Americas.

– Lewis finished the first session in P1 with Nico two-tenths further back in P2
– That result was echoed in the second session but with the drivers separated by just three-thousandths
– The medium compound Pirelli tyre was used in the morning session, the medium and soft in the afternoon
– Lewis has his afternoon cut short by a hydraulic problem

Weather – Clear, dry, mild
Temperatures – Air: 18 – 24°C, Track: 21 – 39°C

Lewis Hamilton
The car felt good today and we were able to improve consistently over the two sessions. I only got a couple of laps of my long run which was unfortunate as we lost a bit of track time but Nico got the data for the team so we should be ok. I’m not sure exactly what the problem was and we had to stop as a precaution but I’m sure they will identify and fix it overnight. These small glitches happen and I’m confident that we won’t have problems moving forward. It’s better that it happened today rather than later in the weekend, of course. It looks very close with Nico out there and I’m expecting a very tough battle this weekend. I love being here and it’s great to see so many fans around the circuit already, so I’m excited for the rest of the weekend and feeling ready to put on a show for them.

Nico Rosberg
Our Silver Arrow feels very quick around this circuit which is very impressive to see. Between Lewis and myself, the times were very tight as usual. But it was worrying to see that Lewis had a problem with his car as it shows that our car is still not 100% robust at the moment. We need to work on that but overall I’m really looking forward to the weekend. It looks like it will be a close battle between my teammate and I, so let’s hope we can put on a great show for the fans here in Texas.

Toto Wolff
While it is positive to see strong pace from our car, the main focus must be on ensuring bulletproof reliability. Of course, it is better to have these problems on a Friday than on a Sunday and we will be working hard overnight to ensure that this is not the case. It is great to be back in Austin and to see Formula One growing in stature here in the United States. It is a key market for the sport, so to see the reception we have had already this week is a big positive.

MINARDI ON F1



Gian Carlo Minardi “Sainz Jr, Ocon, Marciello, Evans for third car!

If third car must be, it has at least to be entrusted to young people, to keep growing in the future”. With these words,Gian Carlo Minardi analyzed the difficult economic situation that Formula 1 is going through, with Caterham and Marussia sales and the spectre of third car.

Since the beginning of his career, the DNA of the constructor from Faenza has been characterized by working with young drivers. Therefore, we could not shirk from asking him which names he would see working on third car. “Right now, promising young people are many and Made in Italy is second to none. Keeping within our bounds, Ferrari is asked to point to one of its young people, between Antonio Fuoco and Raffaele Marciello, without forgetting Antonio Giovinazzi”, Minardi says. “Coming out of our zone, I would certainly give an opportunity to the winner of FIA F.3, Esteban Ocon, who got behind the brand-new Toro Rosso driver, Max Verstappen. Moreover, it’s also said that he did very well in Valencia with Lotus and he will soon test the Ferrari at Fiorano, as a reward for winning the title. As I’ve underlined many times, I would see working the winner of WSR 3.5, Carlos Sainz Jr, paired with Verstappen in TR. The team is growing also structurally. So, I’d rely on a very young pair, aiming for continuing developing together, reaping the benefits within 2-3 years. With Ricciardo and Kvyat, Red Bull Racing’s doors seem to be locked in the short term”.

Going on the pyramid, we arrive to GP2, which consecrated Jolyon Palmer. “Personally, I like Mitch Evans and Felipe Nasrvery much. In view of third car, also Stoffel Vandoorne have to be included, being part of McLaren’s young drivers program”.

The question marks around the use of third car are still numerous. “It’s necessary to understand how it will be used for television rights and for scoring”, the manager from Faenza says. “Since we arrived at the third to last appointment, I hope that third car will be subject of meetings, facing with seriousness and coldness the topic”.

WTCC



ECHITO FOLLOWS IN FANGIO’S FOOTSTEPS TO CLINCH WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP CROWN!

pechito012- Two weeks after winning the World Manufacturers’ Championship*, Citroën has added the Drivers’ title to its trophy cabinet than ks to José María López.

- The Suzuka meeting saw Pechito notch up his ninth race win of the season. Sébastien Loeb also made it onto the podium in race 1.

- José María López is the first Argentinian to win a motorsport World Championship since Juan Manuel Fangio fifty-seven years ago.

En s’attribuant la pole position sur le circuit de Suzuka, José María López avait fait un pas supplémentaire vers la consécration. Même si une quatrième place devenait suffisante pour s’assurer du titre de Champion du Monde FIA WTCC, le pilote de la Citroën C-Elysée WTCC n°37 décidait de faire preuve de panache !

À l’extinction des feux, il réussissait son meilleur départ de la saison pour virer en tête devant Yvan Muller. Troisième sur la grille, Sébastien Loeb manquait son envol et il bouclait le premier tour en cinquième position, derrière Tom Chilton et Hugo Valente.

Pare-chocs contre pare-chocs, les deux Citroën de tête décrochaient rapidement leurs poursuivants. Mais après quelques tours, Yvan Muller ressentait une possible crevaison à l’arrière. Le mal se confirmait et le quadruple Champion du Monde abandonnait à mi-distance. Cet événement était décisif sur l’attribution du titre Pilotes, mais l’équipe restait totalement concentrée sur la course. Dans un fauteuil, José María López filait vers la victoire, tandis que Sébastien Loeb continuait sa bagarre au sein du peloton. L’explication entre Chilton et Valente tournait à l’avantage de Seb, qui décrochait la troisième marche du podium dans l’avant-de rnière boucle !

Enfin, l’équipe Citroën Total pouvait exulter avec son champion et revêtir le célèbre maillot ciel et blanc et frappé du numéro 37 !

Les visages barrés de larges sourires, les mécaniciens attaquaient aussitôt la préparation des voitures pour la course 2. Sur la grille de départ, Loeb, Muller et López se plaçaient aux 8e, 9e et 10e positions. Dans le premier virage, Yvan Muller se montrait le plus inspiré en débordant ses adversaires par l’extérieur. Au premier passage sur la ligne de chronométrage, il était sixième devant Seb et Pechito.

Groupées dans un mouchoir, les trois Citroën butaient derrière Hugo Valente. Muller tentait sa chance au cinquième tour. Les deux voitures se touchaient et Valente abandonnait. Dans la foulée, López se glissait dans un trou de souris pour prendre le dessus sur Loeb. Cinquième, sixième et septième, les trois C-Elysée WTCC restaient dans cet ordre jusqu’au drapeau à damiers.

ILS ONT DIT

Yves Matton, Directeur de Citroën Racing : « José María López est un beau Champion du Monde, pour Citroën, pour l’Argentine et pour le FIA WTCC ! Nous sommes heureux et fiers de l’avoir conduit au titre, car c’est un garçon qui brille autant par ses performances que ses qualités humaines. Deux semaines après avoir remporté le Championnat ‘Constructeurs’, c’est également une nouvelle consécration pour notre équipe. Depuis un quart de siècle, Citroën Racing a développé un savoir-faire unique, qui lui a permis de triompher en rallye-raid, en WRC et maintenant en FIA WTCC. Cette stabilité a créé une cohésion qui est la clé de notre réussite dès cette première saison dans la discipline. »

José María López : « Ce qui m’arrive aujourd’hui me procure un sentiment incroyable. Comme toujours, ce sont les remerciements qui me viennent en premier à l’esprit. Merci à ma famille, à tous ceux qui m’ont permis d’avancer dans des moments plus difficiles, et à Citroën qui m’a choisi pour piloter une de ses C-Elysée. Merci à tous les ingénieurs et mécaniciens. Pas seulement ceux qui s’occupent de ma voiture, car nous travaillons tous ensemble. C’est très spécial de gagner sur un des circuits fétiches d’Ayrton Senna. Il a conquis deux titres ici et je suis fier de faire de même. C’est également un honneur de succéder à Juan Manuel Fangio au palmarès Champions du Monde argentins. C’est grâce à lui que notre pays est aussi passionné de sport automobile et je suis fier de faire briller nos couleurs en FIA WTCC.&nb sp;»

Sébastien Loeb : « J’ai pris un très mauvais envol dans la première manche, je me suis trompé en manipulant les boutons de la procédure de départ ! J’étais cinquième en début de course, mais c’est très difficile de trouver l’ouverture sur ce circuit. Je suis resté au contact, à l’affût de la moindre opportunité qui s’est finalement présentée peu avant l’arrivée. C’est bien de monter à nouveau sur le podium. »

Yvan Muller : « C’est un week-end à l’image de ma saison, avec un manque de réussite chronique. Dans la course 1, j’ai vite senti l’arrière qui glissait et la crevaison s’est confirmée après quelques tours. Dans la seconde manche, j’ai pris un bon départ avant de me retrouver derrière Hugo Valente. Ce n’était pas facile de le dépasser, j’ai tenté une attaque qui s’est conclue par une touchette involontaire. »

 

WTCC



POLE FOR LÓPEZ AS CITROËN SECURE 1-2-3!

Pechito- Separated by less than 0.15 of a second, the three Citroën C-Elysée WTCCs finished first, second and third in qualifying in Suzuka. Jos� �María López notched up his sixth pole position of the season, ahead of Yvan Muller and Sébastien Loeb.

- The Argentine’s performance takes him one step closer to the world title. One fourth-place finish in tomorrow’s races will be enough to see him crowned champion.

The FIA WTCC drivers, who are using the “big” 5.807 km track for the first time, were clearly delighted to be plying their trade on one of the world’s leading circuits. José María López clocked an excellent lap time of 2’06’’987 in Friday’s half-hour practice session. Yvan Muller was a little off the pace on Friday, but showed what he could do the following morning by recording the fastest time in each of the other two free practice sessions.

Despite the red flag being brought out during Q1, all three Citroën drivers made it through to the second qualifying session with ease. Q2, too, went off without a hitch for Yvan Muller and José María López, who quickly rose to the top of the timing screens. Sébastien Loeb, however, had to change his tyres after crashing off. Nevertheless, he managed to snatch third place just before the chequered flag!

The nine-time World Rally Champion continued his good form in Q3, going faster than both Tom Chilton and Hugo Valente on his flying lap. A few moments later, José María López did better still. Last out was Yvan Muller, who looked set to eclipse his teammate, but ended up less than a tenth of a second short.

With this, his sixth pole position of the season, Pechito López has moved a little closer to the FIA WTCC title. One fourth-place finish tomorrow would be enough to see him secure the championship crown, regardless of how Yvan Muller does here and in Macao.

WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY

José María López: “It’s fantastic for Citroën to have achieved another treble in qualifying. It shows just how competitive our C-Elysée WTCC is. This pole position was hard-won. I thought that I would do a little better in Q1 and Q2. But just like in Spa, my teammates gave me some work to do. We made a few changes to the setup for Q3, but I made a few little mistakes in the first sector. I gained in confidence from corner to corner and it was in the third sector that I really made the difference. I’m one step closer to the title, but I’m going to continue to approach the weekend as normally as I can. There is still some uncertainty about tomorrow, particularly as far as the weather goes: it could rain.”

Yvan Muller: “I’m really happy with my second place. I was worried after free practice on Friday, as the car wasn’t working as I would have liked. Thanks to some hard work with my team, we managed to turn things round. In Q3, I tried to attack a little more on bend 15, the fastest on the circuit. It didn’t work and I ended up with exactly the same time as in Q2, give or take 2 thousandths of a second! The races are likely to be very competitive: we’ve got the same cars, we work together, and we know each other’s setups. I hope that we will be able to give Citroën a clean sweep, hopefully not in the same order as today, though!”

Sébastien Loeb: “I made it into Q3 by the skin of my teeth. I tried to get into Tiago Monteiro’s slipstream in Q2, but Mehdi Bennani managed to dart in between us before making a mistake. In trying to avoid him, I crashed off and wrecked my tyres. So I had to go to the pits and get them changed. My Q3 lap was pretty good, until my brakes failed at the last chicane. In qualifying, the slightest error can cost you dear, and the tenth of a second I lost probably cost me pole position.”

 

FORMULA 1



LOTUS F1 DRIVERS PREPARE FOR THE UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX

ROMAIN GROSJEAN

Is it true that you will ride to Austin on your Harley Davidson motorcycle?

No. I do have a Harley and I will be riding one in Austin before the Grand Prix, but riding a Harley all the way to Austin is not part of my training programme. Though it does sound like fun! At home I have a custom Harley which is one of my favourite vehicles. They’re obviously an iconic US machine so it’s great to be able to ride one in its home country which is what I’ll be doing ahead of the Grand Prix. Maybe all the drivers should ride one for the drivers parade!

What do you think of the Circuit of the Americas?

It looks great and the first time I walked around it in 2012 I thought wow! The gradient up to turn one is really something and it makes for a fun first corner when you’re in the car. It’s a really well presented facility with an interesting circuit layout.

What particular challenges does the Circuit of the Americas present?

It’s quite a balanced circuit in that you don’t need one particular thing over another for the car to perform well. In the first year the challenge was finding the level of grip we want and we did see the same to a certain extent last year too. This year, we should be helped a bit by the race being a couple of weeks earlier, but we’re always wanting more grip!

What do you think of America?

The only times I have visited the US are for the Grands Prix. It’s such a big place which I would love to explore more. Austin is a great city to visit and my crew have told me all about the great bars and live music on offer!

There’s been some recent positive news from the team for 2015?

This is something we’ve known about internally for quite some time and I know the engineering department are very excited. For myself I can’t wait to get to testing next season as that’s when we’ll know if next year’s car is any good.

Why haven’t you announced where you’ll be driving in 2015 yet?

Maybe we think it’s fun to keep the media speculating! Honestly, we’re very close to having something to announce but there’s no pressure on when we say something.

How are you approaching the final races of 2014?

It’s amazing just how quickly this season has passed, even if it seemed a long, hard slog at times. We head to Austin, Brazil and Abu Dhabi determined to get the most we can from the race weekends and also using some of the practice time to evaluate different aspects of the car to gain more data for 2015.

Talking of which, there’s a different nose to be tested in Austin?

The E22Õs nose is pretty distinct so it will be unusual seeing it with something different on the front. This is part of the team’s evaluations for 2015, and the nose is designed to gather information for next year. I’m looking forward to seeing what it looks like, but my main focus is the race weekend.

We received the sad news about Christophe de Margerie this week Ð he was someone you were close to?

He was one of those men that you meet very rarely in a lifetime. I knew him for many years and he believed in me and helped me to achieve my motorsport dream. It was such a tragic accident and my thoughts are with his family, as well as the families of the other victims of the plane crash.

Pastor Maldonado

What are your thoughts of the Circuit of the Americas?

Austin is a good track, it’s a challenging layout which is good to drive and it’s an enjoyable event. The first turn is quite something with its very steep climb and the rest of the lap flows well. The atmosphere at the circuit is really special, even for the first time we visited. It’s great to see the RVs at the side of the track and people staying at the circuit to enjoy the full weekend. The circuit can be a difficult one for tyres and we had some unusual delays and interruptions on the Friday last year so it will be interesting to see what happens this time. Certainly, there can be a variety with the weather and in the past we’ve seen it be quite cold at the start of the day. The race is earlier this season so let’s see how that makes a difference.

How about Austin as a place?

It’s really a fantastic location with a lot to do. It’s certainly the type of city I’d like to visit even if there wasn’t a race there! It’s a really lively place with a lot going on. Great food, great music and great people are three things I think about when we go to Austin. The fans are superb too. It’s only the third time we will visit Austin, but already it’s one event on the calendar that we really look forward to visiting.

What’s your outlook for this race?

Obviously we want to perform better than we did in Sochi. That was a difficult weekend for many reasons. We think the Austin layout should suit our car a bit better so that’s a positive. Hopefully we won’t have any more technical issues. I know we’ll have good support from the fans so we’ll be pushing for a good result.

How was the Sochi debrief?

That was a tough weekend, for sure, but we are used to tough weekends in 2014! As always, there was a lot to learn, we gained a lot of information for how to approach Sochi next season. In Russia this year we lost too much time because of issues which stopped us running over the course of the weekend and that was especially bad for us when it was a new track. You don’t want to lose practice time at any track, but it really hurts at a new one. And no-one ever wants technical issues during qualifying.

How much are you thinking about 2015?

We still have three races left in 2014 so that is our priority, but it’s no secret that we are all looking to 2015 with a lot of excitement. It will be my second season with Lotus F1 Team and we have worked well together in 2014. There will be a lot of changes to the car and the team is very positive about the potential of next year’s chassis. At the end of the season I will get some quality time with my family then I’ll return in 2015 fresh for the next challenge

One back-to-back combo and Abu Dhabi then that’s this season done…

Nineteen races seem to fly by, even when you’re not having the season performance you want. There have been so many changes for this year. Though the year has gone quickly, it still seems like Albert Park was such a long time ago! We have three races left to try to get some more points on the board. We know that won’t be easy with the strength of the competition, but it’s something we still try for. The final three races of 2014 are all great events so we really want to finish as strongly as we can.

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