McLaren test driver Stoffel Vandoorne has claimed his third pole position


Vandoorne denies Pic of Sochi pole

Identical laptimes for both drivers, but Belgian ace claims top spot

McLaren test driver Stoffel Vandoorne has claimed his third pole position in a row in today’s exciting qualifying session at Sochi Autodrom. With an identical laptime of 1:45.002, Arthur Pic takes P2 ahead of Vandoorne’s teammate Takuya Izawa.

Vandoorne set the pace early on until Mitch Evans went top only to be bettered by the Belgian a few minutes later. Pic was up next for the top spot, but Izawa was on fine form as well: the Japanese was the first man to dip under 1m46s. Series leader Jolyon Palmer found some clean air however to sit pretty at the top of the timesheet halfway through the session and before the end of the field’s first stints.

The final minutes saw an intense battle for pole position. Pic looked determined to claim a second pole this season when he clocked a laptime of 1:45.552. The chequered flag dropped but the Frenchman had one last chance to improve on his laptime and secure P1. Izawa was also on his final attempt. He did improve on his personal best, but Pic’s time remained better so the Japanese was then second.

Vandoorne was the last man to be able to challenge Pic. The ART man put his head down and was able to go top as he crossed the finish line hoping he had done the job and that Pic would not be able to go faster. The Frenchman lit all his sectors in green, but when his lap was done his identical laptime with Vandoorne meant the Belgian would take pole today.

Behind the top 3, Palmer finished fourth and is in a good position to fight for the win tomorrow. Raffaele Marciello finished fifth ahead of Evans, Kimiya Sato, Stefano Coletti, André Negrao and Felipe Nasr, the latter will need to have a strong result tomorrow in order to keep his title hopes alive.



Max Verstappen on top after second day of testing at Imola

Although Max Verstappen (Van Amersfoort Racing, 1:36.553 minutes) has already signed his Formula 1 contract and also has taken part in his first free practice session in the category, he keeps on pushing in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship. On the second day of the official mid-season-test at the 4.909 kilometres long circuit of Imola, he came out on top. Jake Dennis (Carlin, 1:36.836 minutes) followed behind the Dutchman while Sean Gelael (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin, 1:37.049 minutes) was classified third at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari ahead of his team-mate Antonio Giovinazzi (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin, 1:37.055 minutes).

With his fourth place, Giovinazzi was the fastest of the three Italian drivers competing in this year’s FIA Formula 3 European Championship. “We have tested and sorted out many things. I am quite happy with the progress we have made on these two days and I am now looking forward to the race weekend,” he commented afterwards. Giovinazzi ranked just ahead of Antonio Fuoco (Prema Powerteam, 1:37.071 minutes), the second Italian in the ranking. Gustavo Menezes (Van Amersfoort Racing, 1:37.108 minutes) followed in sixth place and also drew a positive verdict: “It was important and also necessary to have these two days of testing after the long summer break. Now, we are all back in the right rhythm for this weekend, when we are racing for points. My team-mates and I had a good speed, our car was running well and we are ready for the three races at this circuit.”

Nick Cassidy (ThreeBond with T-Sport, 1:37.116 minutes), Jordan King (Carlin, 1:37.144 minutes), Lucas Auer (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport, 1:37.162 minutes) and Felix Rosenqvist (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport, 1:37.273 minutes) rounded out the top ten.“ This track really is great fun to drive,” Rosenqvist said. “But on a really fast lap, you are also on the verge of crashing all the time. Getting close to the limit, but not over it is a huge challenge.” The Swede was happy with his test day: “I think that we made the car faster.”

Félix Serrallés (Team West-Tec F3, 1:37.341 minutes) was classified eleventh. “I reckon that we have the speed to finish on the podium,” the young driver from Puerto Rico said. “During the season so far, my car has never been this good. In the summer break and with this test, we have made a step forward and we are working into the right direction.” Esteban Ocon (Prema Powerteam, 1:37.342 minutes) had to make do with twelfth place, but the FIA Formula 3 European Championship points’ leader remained totally unfazed: “We just concentrated on completing our test programme and we didn’t go for any fast lap times. We will leave that for the weekend, when we are competing for points and positions again,” the 18-year-old Lotus Formula 1 junior driver said calmly.

FIA Formula 3 European Championship, round 9, Nürburgring (GER)


Mid-season tests at Imola to conclude the summer break.

Since mid-August, the FIA Formula 3 European Championship has been taking its summer break but this Tuesday, the series is back in action: with the official mid-season tests at Imola. The teams and drivers of the planet’s most competitive young-gun series will meet at the 4.009-kilometre circuit located not far from Bologna for the first time – to prepare for the race meeting held at the same venue, this weekend. In addition to the established FIA Formula 3 European Championship drivers, the Imola grid also will feature returnees and new names.

A total of six new drivers will make the trip to Imola to battle it out with their far more experienced opponents who have been contesting the entire 2014 FIA Formula 3 European Championship season: Hongwei Cao (Fortec Motorsports), Nicolas Pohler (Team West-Tec F3) Sérgio Sette Câmara (Eurointernational) and Marvin Kirchhöfer (Motopark Academy) make their first FIA Formula 3 European Championship appearances while William Buller (Signature) and Nick Cassidy (ThreeBond with T-Sport) already contested selected FIA Formula 3 European Championship events of the 2013 season. China’s Hongwei Cao won the British Formula 3 Championship, this year – to now make the next step. Germany’s Marvin Kirchhöfer won the 2013 title in the German ATS Formula 3 Cup and is a GP3 regular, this year. Brazilian Sérgio Sette Câmara can hark back to F3 experience gathered at home in the national Formula 3 series and German Nicolas Pohler currently contests the 2014 Euroformula Open season.

Furthermore, the German Team Motopark Academy is going to contests its first official FIA Formula 3 European Championship tests. And the French squad Signature that opted for withdrawing from the series, after the pre-season tests, also will be back.

But the newcomers and returnees will have to cope with a strong competition, at Imola, such as the two fast rookies Esteban Ocon (Prema Powerteam) and Max Verstappen (Van Amersfoort Racing) The two young talents have been dominating the season to date and hold first and second drivers’-championship positions, with six more races to be contested. The Dutchman will travel to Imola right from Suzuka, Japan, where he contested his first Friday practice session in the cockpit of a Formula 1 car. Altogether, 29 drivers from 21 nations and twelve teams will be involved in the two days of FIA Formula 3 European Championship testing at Imola.

Hamilton Rosberg japan 2014




Lewis Hamilton won the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix with Nico Rosberg second, scoring the team´s eighth 1-2 finish of the year.

• The race began behind the Safety Car in wet conditions, then was suspended at the end of lap two.
• The race resumed at 15:25, once again behind the Safety Car, which then pitted at the end of lap 9.
• From this point, the race ran uninterrupted on a wet track in mixed weather conditions.
• Both drivers made two pit-stops (HAM: L14, L35; ROS: L13, L33) and ran wet/intermediate/intermediate tyres.
• The race was brought to a premature end by a red flag on lap 44 after an accident for Jules Bianchi at Turn 7.
• The thoughts and prayers of the entire team are with Jules and our colleagues at the Marussia F1 Team at this time.

Lewis Hamilton
Our first thoughts go to Jules – it overshadows everything else when one of our colleagues is injured and we are praying for him. Next to this, the race result doesn’t seem significant at all. Nico and I had a tough battle‎, we were pushing really hard. I had a big moment at Turn One when I was too late getting off the DRS as I was just pushing so hard but fortunately I was able to get back on track. The conditions were difficult throughout but I had more pace than Nico today and could follow him quite comfortably in the early stages. This is not an easy circuit for following another car or for overtaking, but he made a mistake out of the last corner and I was able to pass. The whole approach then needed to change to look after the tyres and make sure I stayed in the lead until the end of the race. But like I said, that’s not what matters today; our thoughts are with Jules.

Nico Rosberg
My thoughts are with our colleague Jules and his family and team-mates, and we are hoping for some positive news. Today was a really tough race with the wet conditions. I struggled a lot with the balance of my car on the intermediate tyres, so I had to push hard to keep Lewis behind me. I had a lot of oversteering which is why the rear end of my car was very nervous. That was really strange and I didn’t have the necessary confidence in the corners; we need to look into that in the next few days. It meant that Lewis was quicker today and deserved the win. It was damage limitation with losing only seven points to him. For the team it was a good result with another1-2.

Toto Wolff
At this stage, the only important thing is that Jules Bianchi is okay and recovers; the sport is not as important as that now.

Japan quali podium2014



Nico Rosberg claimed pole position for tomorrow’s Japanese Grand Prix with Lewis Hamilton second, to complete a front-row lockout for the team. Williams F1 on row two.

• The team secured a fourth consecutive front-row lockout this afternoon in Suzuka
• Nico Rosberg’s 12th career F1 pole position puts him level with David Coulthard and Gerhard Berger on the all-time list
• Lewis Hamilton’s 2nd place is his 68th career front-row start and his 11th in 2014
• This marks the team’s 14th pole position of 2014 and the eighth front-row lockout of the year so far
• Tyre usage during qualifying was as follows for both drivers: Q1, Prime; Q2, Option; Q3, Option/OptionNico Rosberg
That was one of the best qualifying sessions we did this year. The team did an incredible job to give me a brilliant car. It was so enjoyable to drive this wonderful track with that Silver Arrow. The balance was perfect, so I was able to push a lot and go to the limits in the corners. It’s always a great battle against Lewis; we push each other very much through the sessions. Sometime he finds a tenth there, then I find a tenth here. That’s why I enjoy the situation so much. For tomorrow I think we are well prepared. Even in the wet our car is very quick as we have seen in Spa this year. So I definitely look forward to the race here in Japan. Again I need to thank the incredible fans here. They wait for hours to see us drivers and give us little gifts. That gives us a very special feeling.

Lewis Hamilton
It wasn’t the best of sessions today but it was a decent recovery considering the crash in FP3. I just overcooked it this morning and the team did a fantastic job to put the car back together. Our mechanics are the best, they work so hard to get everything perfect. I feel good but I just wasn’t quick enough today. Nico did a great job, he looked very quick, particularly in Turn Eight, but I don’t feel like I’ve quite had the pace all weekend. I’m still second and we’ve seen races where we’ve come back from further than that, so I’m excited for tomorrow. I’ve heard there’s some rain coming, it’s going to make it very hard but it makes it more of a lottery.

Valtteri Bottas

The goal was to be third and fourth behind the Mercedes so it’s good to have accomplished that. The gap to the top two was actually closer than we had expected so it’s positive to have closed that. Suzuka isn’t an easy circuit, and the chance of a typhoon tomorrow makes it even harder. I think we still have a chance to get a podium position regardless of the weather.

Toto Wolff
That was a fantastic battle between two drivers competing at the very highest level. Every day, somebody asks us whether the momentum is shifting one way or the other, but the reality is that they are both working so hard to find every little advantage, and trying to get the maximum out of every session. They were watching video replays of their laps during qualifying, analysing telemetry overlays as well, and it’s just fantastic to see this level of pure, intense competition between them. Nico did a perfect job today and improved with every single run, finishing it off with a very strong pole position. Lewis was compromised by his accident this morning and something like this will always be sitting at the back of your mind. But he still will start from the front row, so it was a good recovery from him. Looking to tomorrow, we are expecting rain coming in and that will give a very different picture to today. I guess we can expect one of those typical Japan races with lots of Safety Cars and exciting moment. We’d rather keep it quiet like today – but we don’t get to choose!

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Japanese Grand Prix - Practice Day - Suzuka, Japan


Sebastian Vettel has advised us that he will be leaving Infiniti Red Bull Racing at the end of the 2014 season.

We want to warmly thank Sebastian for the incredible role he has played at Infiniti Red Bull Racing for the last six years.
Since joining the team in 2009, Sebastian, together with Infiniti Red Bull Racing, has scored 38 wins, 44 poles and eight World Championships, including four Drivers’ titles and four Constructors’.  If you include Sebastian’s success at Red Bull’s second team, Scuderia Toro Rosso, the Red Bull total increases to 39 wins and 45 poles.
As we wish Sebastian well in the next stage of his career, we also look to the future with excitement, as the vacancy makes way for the next generation of Red Bull racers.
The Red Bull Junior Programme has developed some proven talents in recent times, including Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo, who has excelled in the RB10 and become a three-time Formula One race winner in his first season with the team.
We’re pleased to announce that Daniel will be joined in the team for 2015 by another rising star from the Junior Programme, Daniil Kvyat.

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