Clark and Nasir share their thoughts on F1W family member Jules Bianchi. We have Tech Talk with Tim and special interview with up and coming race car driver Jehan Daruvala. We also have some updates on Max Verstappen.
Max Verstappen (Van Amersfoort Racing) claimed his ninth victory in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship in an action-packed 30th race of the season. At the 4.909 kilometres long Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, the 17-year-old Dutchman won from Italian Antonio Fuoco (Prema Powerteam) and Esteban Ocon (Prema Powerteam). For 18-year-old Frenchman Ocon, who is backed by the Lotus Formula 1 team, third place was enough to win an early title in the 2014 FIA Formula 3 European Championship. As a reward, he will do a test with a Ferrari Formula 1 car at the Fiorano circuit on October 29.
Antonio Fuoco already took the lead from Max Verstappen and Esteban Ocon before the first corner. With a very good start, he thus managed to move up from third on the grid to first place. Later on the opening lap, Edward Jones (Carlin) ploughed through the gravel trap and hit Antonio Giovinazzi’s (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin) car as he swerved back onto the track. The Italian spun and retired and so did Jones. The race director sent the safety car out after the incident.
Only a few laps later, an off-track excursion by Sandro Zeller (Jo Zeller Racing) prompted the second safety car intervention. At the restart on lap nine, Verstappen overtook race leader Fuoco and claimed back first place. On lap eleven, the safety car was deployed again after Felix Rosenqvist (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport) had collided with Jordan King (Carlin) and couldn’t avoid an impact into the barriers.
Max Verstappen also held on to his first place after the third restart of the race. He then safely brought this position home after the remaining laps and celebrated his first win of the weekend. Antonio Fuoco took the flag in second place and his many fans hailed him as the best-placed Italian in the race. Esteban Ocon was buoyant as well as his third place was enough to wrap up the 2014 FIA Formula 3 European Championship title early. Nicholas Latifi (Prema Powerteam) finished fourth in the final race of the Imola round, followed by Tom Blomqvist (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin) and William Buller (Signature). Thus, Buller scored not only his first points of the season, but also the first points for the Signature team that contested its first race weekend of the 2014 season at Imola. Jake Dennis (Carlin), Lucas Auer (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport), Félix Serrallés (Team West-Tec F3) and Gustavo Menezes (Van Amersfoort Racing) rounded out the top ten.
Max Verstappen (Van Amersfoort Racing): “I lost a position after the start, but I knew that my car was fast and that the race was long. Therefore, I kept cool and I waited for an opportunity. My car was already fast on the two days of testing and that was the case today as well.”
Antonio Fuoco (Prema Powerteam): “I am happy with second place and I am not disappointed for having missed out on victory. It was clear to me that Max was quicker and that I wouldn’t have had a chance against him. I wasn’t happy with my first two races, but now, I am glad by my podium finish in my home round. I would like to dedicate this second place to my friend Jules Bianchi.”
Esteban Ocon (Prema Powerteam): “I am really happy that I am the new FIA Formula 3 European Champion. It is unbelievable, I simply don’t know what to say. I will celebrate the title in style with my team tonight. My race wasn’t too bad. I didn’t want to take too many risks in the first corner and I slotted into third place. Later on, I simply followed my team-mate Antonio, who was in second place. I knew that third place would be enough for me, too.”
- The Citroën C-Elysée WTCCs recorded a magnificent one-two-three-four in Shanghai, as José María López won race one ahead of Ma Qing Hua, Yvan Muller and Sébastien Loeb. This unprecedented clean sweep ensured Citroën became Manufacturers’ World Champion.
- This is the first international championship that Citroën has won on the track, after five Cross Country Rally World Cups and eight WRC titles.
- In the Drivers’ World Championship, José María López moved another step closer to the title, which he will have the chance of winning at the next round in Suzuka (24-26 October).
After taking four of the front five positions in qualifying, Citroën Total had already made a very strong impression at the Shanghai International Circuit. Race one got underway in front of packed stands, the fans all cheering on local hero Ma Qing Hua, who started on the front row.
When the lights went out, José María López leapt into the lead ahead of his Chinese team-mate and Yvan Muller. Fifth on the grid, Sébastien Loeb mistimed his started and ended the first lap down in seventh place. Ma Qing Hua, who has looked sharp, badgered Pechito López on his home track, putting him under pressure. Despite locking up his brakes a few times, the leader remained in front but was unable to open up any sort of lead.
Meanwhile, Sébastien Loeb began to make a spectacular comeback. First Tiago Monteiro, then Gabriele Tarquini and finally Norbert Michelisz were all unable to withstand the pressure applied by the former rally driver. Just before the halfway stage, Citroën were therefore on course to record a one-two-three-four!
The four Citroën C-Elysées regrouped just before the chequered flag, capturing a historic moment for the Brand. José María López, Ma Qing Hua, Yvan Muller and Sébastien Loeb thus secured the title of Manufacturers’ World Champion for their team.
The time for celebrations was limited, however, as the race two started just a few minutes later. Thanks to the inverted grid, Sébastien Loeb was the best placed Citroën driver, starting from the third row. In the first few corners, Yvan Muller closed on his team-mate. Loeb then tried to overtake Hugo Valente, but Muller took advantage to get past!
As he attempted to regain the place lost, Sébastien Loeb accidentally hit Yvan, who was forced to retire with a broken rear wheel. As usual, José María López moved quickly and smoothly through the field, managing to climb up to P3! He crossed the finishing line in third place, scoring precious points for the Drivers’ World Championship. Sébastien Loeb finished fourth but was handed a 30-second penalty after he was adjudged to have caused the collision with Muller, meaning he dropped out the top 10. Ma Qing Hua finished fifth, after a good fight with Norbert Michelisz and Tom Coronel.
WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY
Julien Montarnal, Marketing, Communications and Motorsport Director at Citroën: “Citroën is extremely proud of these victories and this world title. The professionalism, energy and passion of Citroën Racing have enabled us to obtain results that have gone way beyond our wildest dreams. We gave ourselves a year to learn about the category and, in the end, it has taken us a year to win! I would like to thank the entire team, all those who have helped put the Citroën brand in the place it deserves: first. Winning the title in Shanghai in front of all these fans, at such an extremely popular event, has been the perfect scenario. China is our biggest market, as one in every four Citroën cars is sold here. All our guests, dealers and customers alike, have been able to appreciate Citroën’s technological expertise.”
Yves Matton, Citroën Racing Team Principal: “The season isn’t quite over yet, but I think we can safely say it has been a great year. A year that began, in fact, eighteen months ago, when we started working on this project. Whether it was in the technical centre in Versailles or on the ground, the entire team spent a lot energy making sure we were ready for the start of the championship. With a well-deigned car and a set of fantastic drivers, we have obtained some truly exceptional results. I would especially like to thank Yvan Muller, for his involvement with us. It was very emotional to record a 1-2-3-4 in China, and to see Ma Qing Hua finish on the podium.”
José María López: “This was a very important weekend for me and I must say I was more nervous than usual. It’s fantastic to secure the Manufacturers’ title with Citroën Racing. I want to congratulate and thank them all. I believe more than ever that motor racing is a team sport, even if the drivers tend to get most of the glory. It wasn’t easy to win this seventh race, because Ma Qing Hua was always behind me, pushing. That just goes to show that his win in Moscow wasn‘t down to luck!”
Ma Qing Hua: “First of all, I’d like to say thank you and well done to Citroën Total. Like this weekend, the team has had a very successful season. The guys have done everything they could to make up for my lack of track time and it’s motivating to feel so supported. Finishing second in race 1, so close to the winner, was a good result. I think that it’s worth even more than my win in Moscow.”
Yvan Muller: “Personally speaking, it hasn’t been my best weekend. Nor has it been my best season! But I’m pleased with the team result. We began working together fifteen months ago and it’s a great achievement to win the title. I’m pleased for the mechanics, the engineers and everybody involved.”
Sébastien Loeb: “The first race was exciting. I mistimed my start, but I managed to fight with the others and get past them to climb back up to fourth place. I think we’ll all remember this one-two-three-four finish as a great moment! In the second race, I was little bit too optimistic on braking and I accidentally ran into Yvan. I’m really sorry for him and it’s fair enough that I was given a penalty for that. But the big story of the day is the title for the team!”
Blomqvist wins from Verstappen – battle for title remains open
20-year-old British driver Tom Blomqvist (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin) claimed victory in the 29th season race of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship. He dominated the race at the 4.909 kilometres long Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari in Imola and scored a lights-to-flag victory. In bright sunshine, the three years younger Max Verstappen (Van Amersfoort Racing) crossed the finish line in second place, having overtaken Italian Antonio Giovinazzi (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin) on the final metres. Esteban Ocon (Prema Powerteam) finished fourth and is now 84 points ahead of Blomqvist in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship drivers’ standings with four races remaining. Verstappen, who already signed a contract to race in Formula 1 with the Toro Rosso team for 2015, is 96 points down on Lotus Formula 1 junior driver Ocon.
At the start, Tom Blomqvist made the best use of his pole position and took the lead. Antonio Giovinazzi overtook Esteban Ocon for second in the first corner already. On lap three, Antonio Fuoco also managed to find a way past Ocon and thus blew the young championship leader’s hopes of a possible podium finish. At that time, Max Verstappen had already worked his way up to sixth position after having had to start from eleventh place in accordance with the regulations following an engine change. His progress was briefly interrupted on lap seven as a spin by Alexander Toril (ThreeBond with T-Sport) prompted the race director to send the safety car out.
After the restart, Blomqvist remained in front from Giovinazzi and Fuoco. Soon after the field was released again, Verstappen overtook Nicholas Latifi (Prema Powerteam) and then was right behind Esteban Ocon. Two laps later, the Dutchman also overtook the Frenchman. As Fuoco had to pit from third place due to a technical issue, Verstappen even moved up into the top three. However, third place was not enough for the Dutchman: he was so quick that he managed to close up to second-placed Giovinazzi just before the finish. Coming onto the main straight on the final lap, he managed to work his way past the Italian to finish second. Unfazed by the action behind him, Tom Blomqvist drove victory home.
Behind the three drivers on the podium, Esteban Ocon took the flag in fourth place. After 20 laps, Lucas Auer (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport) finished fifth from Nicholas Latifi, Jake Dennis (Carlin), Félix Serrallés (Team West-Tec F3), Felix Rosenqvist (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport) and Gustavo Menezes (Van Amersfoort Racing)
Tom Blomqvist (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin): “I am very happy with this victory. I reckon that I showed a pretty strong race. My start was good and I succeeded in pulling a gap straight away. After the safety car intervention, I made a good restart and I managed to pull a gap once again. However, my car was also running perfectly throughout the race.”
Max Verstappen (Van Amersfoort Racing): “After having made a stupid mistake in yesterday’s race because of not being patient enough, I was determined to do better today and I think I managed to do so. The speed of my car was great and I am very happy to have made it all the way from eleventh on the grid to second at the flag.”
Antonio Giovinazzi (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin): “All in all, it was a good race for me. After the start, I managed to overtake Esteban Ocon and I was up in second place. I never was close enough behind Tom to mount an attack. Unfortunately, Max Verstappen still caught me on the final metres, but I am also happy with third place in my home race.
Jolyon Palmer crowned 2014 GP2 Champion
2014 RUSSIAN GRAND PRIX – QUALIFYING
• The team scored a fifth consecutive front-row lockout – and its ninth in all in 2014 – this afternoon in Sochi
• Lewis’ 38th career pole position marks the team’s 15th pole from 16 races during the 2014 season
• Both drivers completed just three runs in qualifying, using one set of option tyres in each part of the session
• This marks the fifth time in 2014 that Mercedes-powered cars have secured the top four qualifying positions
It’s an amazing feeling to come to this beautiful place and to race on this track. It’s fun to drive. Today, the laps in practice felt more special. In qualifying it seemed a bit harder to get that special lap but I’m grateful that I was able to improve. I crossed the line and I was just hoping I got it; when they tell you, it’s the biggest relief – a great feeling. The corners are mostly medium and high speed where you need a lot of downforce, so tomorrow should be a challenge. It’s a long run down to Turn One and we need to be mindful there are opportunities to overtake here. It was great to see such a strong turnout for the first Saturday of running at this new track. Hopefully we can give them a good show tomorrow.
That was a very difficult qualifying today; we had to adapt a lot of things. The track is new and so unique: the tyres last very long as the surface is very smooth. Lewis was just quicker today so I need to have a good start tomorrow. Starting from the front-row is still a good position to begin the race. I guess this will be an exciting Grand Prix; there will be some opportunities to overtake on the straights and I am sure we will see plenty of action on track.
It was another big battle between our drivers with Lewis coming out just on top in the end. It was hard fought on every run, with Nico starting out stronger, then Lewis each time able to find a little bit extra on the second and third timed laps. The performance was ramping up as the runs went on and it looked like Valtteri (Bottas) in the Williams was going to spoil our party at the end – he had two purple sectors then made a mistake in the final corners and didn’t improve. But we have every reason to be happy with a Silver Arrows front row at the end of an unusual qualifying session. We expect the competition from Williams and McLaren to be tough tomorrow, like it should be in Formula 1, so we will need to be on the top of our game in terms of performance and strategy. A special word, too, for Daniil Kvyat: he did a great job to qualify fifth at his home race.