FIA WORLD TOURING CAR CHAMPIONSHIP 2014 - SLOVAKIANine-time World Rally Champions and seven-time winners of the Rallye Monte-Carlo, Sébast ien Loeb and Daniel Elena are to return to competive action in a DS 3 WRC at the Rallye Monte-Carlo, the opening round of the 2015 World Rally Championship. This one-off appearance, at the most prestigious rally on the WRC calendar, will support the launch of the DS Brand.

From Sweden to Australia, and taking in the likes of Argentina, the WRC is undoubtedly the greatest challenge in contemporary motorsport due to the variety of road surfaces and weather conditions encountered. With two world titles and 23 wins under its belt, DS 3 WRC has one of the best competitive records of the cars currently racing in the WRC. The legendary Rallye Monte-Carlo (19-25 January) will once again kick off the season in the south-east of France.

The two DS 3 WRCs nominated to score points in the Manufacturers’ championship will be driven by Kris Meeke/Paul Nagle – already confirmed as a works crew for the full season – and a couple of familiar faces! Leading specialists at a rally that they have won no fewer than seven times, Sébastien Loeb and Daniel Elena will take on the challenge once again as they return to road racing more than a year after the end of their shared career.

Often unpredictable due to the weather conditions, Rallye Monte-Carlo will provide the Franco-Monegasque pair with the perfect opportunity to use their immense experience. Both modest and excited when talking about the challenge ahead, Seb and Daniel’s one-off return will undoubtedly thrill the many fans who had been hoping to see them compete together again at a rally!


Yves Bonnefont, CEO of the DS brand: “When I told them today that Sébastien Loeb and Daniel Elena would be driving at Rallye Monte-Carlo in a DS 3 WRC, the news was greeted with great enthusiasm! It is a great opportunity to support the launch of DS as a premium brand.”

Yves Matton, Citroën Racing Team Principal: “With seven wins here, Seb and Daniel are undeniably the event’s greatest specialists and I’m sure that they will be extremely competitive in a DS 3 WRC, which will have some significant technical upgrades.” Like our partners Total and Abu Dhabi, our teams are proud to be racing with them again at Monte-Carlo.”

Sébastien Loeb: “I didn’t hesitate for a second when I was offered the chance to compete at the opening round of the 2015 World Rally Championship in the DS 3 WRC. I think Daniel and I would agree that Monte-Carlo is one of our favourite events. The beautiful roads, the fact of having to gamble when it comes to tyre choice and the party atmosphere that you get on the stages: we can’t wait to experience it all again! With the DS 3 WRC – “the little racer” as I nicknamed it when it was first released – I have a lot of good memories; I hope that the 2015 Rallye Monte-Carlo will provide yet another. Obviously, it’s going to be a personal challenge for me, as I haven’t competed in a rally for over a year. A few days from now, I’m going to take part in the Rallye du Var and that will give me the chance to reacquaint myself with the car. We have also ma naged to find a few available slots in my schedule so I can take part in testing. I’m absolutely delighted about this opportunity to meet up with the big rallying family during the FIA WTCC off-season!”





Race Notes:
·         Felipe Massa finished second and Valtteri Bottas third in the final Grand Prix of the season in Abu Dhabi.
·         After a difficult start for Valtteri he fought his way back through the field whilst Felipe maintained position in third.
·         Felipe managed his tyres well in every stint and after overtaking Nico Rosberg began closing the gap to leader Hamilton.
·         The team’s first double podium finish since 2005 secured third in the Constructors’ Championship with Valtteri fourth and Felipe seventh in the Drivers’ Championship.
Claire Williams, Deputy Team Principal: I am exceptionally proud of the team today, to go from P9 last year to P3 in 2014 is amazing. The work to turn the team around has been hard, but I am so happy to see the smiles back on the faces of the people that work here. This is just the first step in a great future for Williams. We must congratulate Mercedes on winning both Championships and thank Mercedes HPP for all their effort throughout the season.
Rob Smedley, Head of Performance Engineering: It was a fitting end to the season. The team has come on over the year in an incredible fashion. To get our best result of the season in the final race is a fitting tribute to all the work we have done. It’s been over ten years since Williams was last P3 in the Constructors’ and that is testament to the effort that the guys have made, many of whom have been here through the tough times are now reaping the benefit of their commitment.
Felipe Massa: It was a close race, I didn’t think the victory was there, but it was so close at the end. It was good to be racing and pushing the Mercedes. I hope this is a strong building block to go on for next year. The team progressed so much throughout the year, which is why we were able to get podiums in the second half of the season; we will continue this forward movement into next year.
Valtteri Bottas: We were very competitive today. I got a bad start and the race was compromised after I was stuck behind a few cars, so to walk away with a podium is incredible. It was a good race; I could really push and fight. The team has grown and developed throughout the season, from our first race in Melbourne to our best result here. It’s a great start to build on for next year and to continue the team’s great history.



Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton secured an eighth consecutive Silver Arrows front row lockout during qualifying for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at the Yas Marina Circuit.

– Nico took his 11th pole position of the season, Lewis his 15th front row start
– The result means that the Silver Arrows have taken 18 poles from 19 races in 2014, with 12 front row lockouts
– Mercedes-Benz today became the first engine supplier to claim every pole position of a Formula One season since Ford in 1969

Weather – Clear, dry, hot, sunset
Temperatures – Air: 26 – 28°C, Track: 31 – 46°C

Nico Rosberg

Thanks to the engineers, the setup of my car was very much to my liking at the end. We did an amazing job together. I had two great laps in Q3 – but qualifying is only one step to having a good weekend. I hope that I can continue my form from the last race and win but, as we all know, I need some help to take the title. It will be tough but these things happen a lot in sport. I will push flat out and keep the pressure high on Lewis to try to force him into a mistake like in Brazil and also hope that the Williams have a chance to be in between us. I already offered to pay for Valtteri to have a great wellness programme tonight so that he is fully relaxed and will put on a great performance tomorrow… let’s see what happens! I’m highly motivated and very happy about how today went for me. Finally I want to say thank you for all the support I’ve received out there. That’s new to me and a great feeling as I’ve never been in the situation of a Championship fight before.

Lewis Hamilton

I didn´t have the best of laps today. Q1 and Q2 were very good and I didn’t make any mistakes in Q3, it just wasn’t a good lap. I really enjoyed it though and ‎the car was fantastic. Tomorrow is when it counts; my approach will be the same as always. I had very good pace throughout practice, particularly on the long runs which gives me confidence for tomorrow. It’s not my style to settle for second place but we’ll need to decide how to play it.

Toto Wolff

This evening, we achieved the first part of our mission this weekend with another front row lockout for the team. Nico did a fantastic job, like we have come to expect from him in qualifying this season. It has been a great run for him to get 11 poles this year and become the ‘pole champion’. Lewis didn’t put the perfect lap together but second place is still very much okay as a starting position for him. He’s totally professional and knows that tomorrow is what counts. A lot of people have been asking what we will be saying to the drivers before tomorrow’s race and the answer is: nothing, it’s too late. They are in the zone now and we will leave them in peace to prepare for tomorrow evening. I know they will put on a great race for us and all the Formula One fans around the world.

Paddy Lowe

What a great final qualifying session of 2014! Congratulations to the team and the drivers on the overall performance this year: it is an incredible achievement to deliver a car that can score 12 front rows and 18 out of 19 pole positions. Looking specifically at this evening, we were very happy to secure the front row after an exciting session. It generally ran trouble-free: Lewis didn’t get the best out of the car on each of his Q3 runs but that shouldn’t take anything away from the amazing laps Nico put together – effectively taking pole twice in the final session. Overall, the stage is perfectly set for a fantastic Championship showdown tomorrow.


Stoneman sears to Yas Marina victory

Koiranen GP’s Dean Stoneman records fifth win of the season
Brit Dean Stoneman continued his excellent run of form with a superb win in race one at the Yas Marina Circuit. The Koiranen GP ace got the better of pole-man Marvin Kirchhöfer (ART Grand Prix) and held on to secure victory despite pressure from the German. Dino Zamparelli joined the pair on the rostrum in third.
Kirchhöfer blitzed the opposition in qualifying yesterday to set his second pole of the season, but Stoneman was quicker away at the start and led before the first turn. Zamparelli was also on the move, making a brilliant start from fifth on the grid up to third. Newly crowned GP3 Champion Alex Lynn from Carlin lost a place at the start after running wide, with his teammate Emil Bernstorff one place ahead in fourth.
The safety car was deployed early on after Trident’s Patrick Kujala made contact with the rear of Angola born Luis Sa Silva, both drivers forced to retire with damage. The cars were towed off the circuit at Turn 12 and once the race resumed, Stoneman pulled a nice gap to Kirchhöfer to retain his lead.
Lynn was forced to stare at the back of his teammate Bernstorff’s machine after attacking his fellow compatriot early on, whilst Kirchhöfer fell into the clutches of Zamparelli after the re-start. The German found some extra pace though and lit up the timing screen to post the fastest lap of the race and pocket two extra points.
There was a titanic battle for the final point on offer with Jimmy Eriksson trying everything to pass his Koiranen GP teammate Santiago Urrutia. The Swede ran wide over the chicane on his first attempt, losing time, but made the move stick on the Uruguayan a lap later. As the laps ticked down, Kirchhöfer began to slowly reel in Stoneman and on the penultimate lap, there was just 0.8s between the leading duo.
Kirchhöfer made a very small mistake on the final lap, losing him a few tenths to the race-leader, thus at the chequered flag it was Stoneman who punched the air with delight after a fantastic win. Kirchhöfer and Zamparelli completed the podium, ahead of Bernstorff, Lynn, Alex Fontana, Patric Niederhauser, Nick Yelloly, Kevin Ceccon and Eriksson.
The GP3 crown may have gone to Lynn but there is a huge fight in the battle for runner-up. Stoneman lies in second on 163 points with Kirchhofer just two adrift. ART Grand Prix have sunk their claws into Carlin’s lead in the Teams Standings after an impressive 47 points haul in race one. The French squad who have won the teams’ trophy for four consecutive years are now just five points behind the British team with one race remaining – an epic encounter awaits…
The final race of the 2014 GP3 Series season will commence at 13.00pm local time tomorrow (GMT+4) with Nick Yelloly on reverse pole.


Kirchhöfer flies to pole as Lynn becomes GP3 Champion

Success! A memorable qualifying session saw Marvin Kirchhofer blaze to pole, whilst Carlin and Red Bull Junior Team rookie Alex Lynn became the fifth driver to take the elusive GP3 crown. The Brit had one hand on the coveted trophy prior to the season finale at Yas Marina Circuit, after his nearest challenger in the standing’s Dean Stoneman failed to pocket pole and the four points on offer – Lynn can not be beaten on points and thus celebrates a fantastic season. Kirchhöfer, Stoneman and Emil Bernstorff completed the top three in an intense qualifying session.
A change in schedule saw qualifying take place on the same day as Free Practice. The thirty minute session got underway with a pleasant breeze for the most decisive session of the season. ART Grand Prix’s Kirchhöfer was first into the 1m56’s with Alex Fontana hot on his tails, but it was Stoneman: the man on a mission to secure pole and keep his title hopes alive who shot to P1.
The German continued his impressive pace to reclaim provisional pole by 0.067s, as the drivers returned to the pits – the calm before the storm…Lynn posted the fastest time of the session with five minutes left on the clock until his teammate Bernstorff bettered his laptime. Kirchhöfer was not to be denied though and blitzed to a laptime over half a second faster than the Carlin duo. Stoneman knew what he had to do and clocked the fastest first sector but was unable to improve on the remainder of the lap due to yellow flags and traffic.
At the chequered flag, the session belonged to Kirchhöfer, the second pole position for the rookie, with Stoneman, Bernstorff and Lynn completing the front two rows. Dino Zamparelli, Jimmy Eriksson, Alex Fontana, Patric Niederhauser, Nick Yelloly and Richie Stanaway rounded out the top ten.
One title may have been decided but the teams’ trophy is still up for grabs: Race 1 will commence at 12.05 tomorrow (GMT+4) – don’t miss the penultimate race of the 2014 season.

F1Weekly podcast # 668

Clark and Nasir talk about Brazil and share their thoughts on the F1 finally in Abu Dhabi.


Following our announcement earlier this week that Kamui will be driving for the team again at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the Caterham F1 Team is pleased to announce that Will Stevens will race alongside the Japanese driver this weekend in Abu Dhabi. Stevens was previously part of the Caterham Racing Academy and tested for the Team in both the 2013 and 2014 official Formula 1 tests following the British Grand Prix at Silverstone each year, clocking up over 1,100km and gaining his FIA Super license in the process. The Briton, 23, has raced in the World Series by Renault 3.5 championship in 2014 with two wins to his credit.

Will Stevens: “I’m absolutely thrilled to be getting this opportunity and am very grateful to everyone involved at Caterham F1 Team for giving it to me. I feel ready for the challenge of my F1 debut and look forward to working as part of the Team in a race environment after all the work we’ve done together previously in the tests I’ve completed and back at Leafield in the sim. Hopefully this will be something we will be able to carry through to the 2015 season together”.

Gianluca Pisanello, Caterham F1 Team Head of Engineering Operations: “We know Will very well through his involvement in the Caterham Racing Academy and more importantly he has done a vast amount of time in our simulator, completing around 10,000km, which has built his experience both of this year’s car and with the engineering team that are going to Abu Dhabi. In addition, his 2014 test at Silverstone in our current car, where he completed over 500kms, was very successful and his race pace was very good. As a result, he was one of our best candidates for this race weekend and we are delighted to have secured his services for our return to the F1 grid. We in fact signed Will last week but have had to wait for confirmation of his Super licence before making our announcement”.

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The Premiere Motorsport Podcast