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GP2

GASLY TAKES HIS MAIDEN WIN AT SILVERSTONE

Frenchman on top in Silverstone Feature Race
Pierre Gasly demolished any doubts remaining about his pace and racecraft with a dominant win in this afternoon’s Feature Race in Silverstone, picking the right strategy and pulling out a crushing performance to win by almost ten seconds from teammate Antonio Giovinazzi and Oliver Rowland.

The PREMA Racing teammates and Rowland were the only three drivers in the Top ten to start on soft tyres, but the gamble paid hugely. Poleman Norman Nato made a tremendous start to easily hold the lead when the lights went out, while fellow front row starter Gasly had to defend hard from Nicholas Latifi and Jordan King, who eased by the Canadian on the first lap, while Rowland and Giovinazzi hung on for a few laps before their tyres degraded, leaving the pair desperately waiting for lap six when the pitlane was to open.

The extra lap Gasly was able to eke out of his tyres was crucial, allowing him to re-emerge comfortably ahead of Rowland and giving him a direct line to the backmarkers on the harder compound: the Red Bull Tester sliced through the grid as though it wasn’t there, shrinking the gap to race leader Nato as he worked to put himself into a virtual P1. With an average stop of 30 seconds in Silverstone, by lap 12 Gasly’s engineer was satisfied that he was already there with a gap of just 23 seconds to the front of the race.

By this stage it appeared to be two races in one, depending on the compound being used, as it was clear that the soft starters had made the right call: Gasly was in a class of his own but Rowland had his mirrors filled by Luca Ghiotto, Giovinazzi and Nobuharu Matsushita, while on the hard compound Nato and King were in a teammate squabble while behind them Raffaele Marciello, Artem Markelov and Mitch Evans were fighting over what was left.

When the hard starters finally pitted Gasly sailed on serenely into a strong actual lead that was never to be troubled, while Giovinazzi mugged his countryman on lap 23 before rounding out his team’s 1-2 on the penultimate lap. Evans emerged behind Nato before setting the fastest lap and slicing by the Frenchman on lap 24 to claim best of the rest status, ten seconds behind Rowland in P3.

Ghiotto, who started last on the grid after a mechanical gremlin on the first lap of qualifying, rounded out an incredible drive to bring home an impressive fifth place, ahead of a train consisting of Matsushita, Nato and King, with RUSSIAN TIME teammates Marciello and Markelov filling the final points paying positions.

The win also handed the lead in the drivers’ standings to Gasly, leading another 1-2 over Giovinazzi by 72 points to 70, with Evans joint second with the Italian one point ahead of Rowland, Marciello on 68 and Nato on 65 points ahead of tomorrow morning’s Sprint Race.

F1Weekly podcast # 707

CLARK AND NASIR DISAGREE ON WHO WAS AT FAULT ON THAT LAST LAP TANGLE IN AUSTRIA, WE BRING PART 2 OF THE JOHN SURTEES INTERVIEW FROM HIS OFFICE IN THE U.K. AND THE REALLY BIG MIND BOGGLING NEWS…

FERRARI RESIGNS KIMI RAIKKONEN!

The 2007 world champion committed his future to Ferrari and ended the speculation surrounding his career. Raikkonen will go on his collaboration with Ferrari for the 2016 Formula 1 season. Many drivers have been linked with the position over past few months, such as Valteri Bottas, Nico Hulkenberg and Daniel Ricciardo. But the company decided to resign Raikkonen for next season who will again partner Sebastian Vettel. “What can I say. For me, to be able to stay another year at Ferrari means that the dream goes on. The Scuderia is my family, as I always said, it’s here I want to end my career,” said Raikkonen.

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FORMULA 1

WILLIAMS MARTINI RACING BRITISH GRAND PRIX PREVIEW

The home of British motorsport’ is naturally a treasured place in Williams’ heart, and not only because the team won both its first and 100th grands prix at the circuit. The track consists of long, sweeping corners and fast straights, making it one of the quickest laps on the calendar. The race at Silverstone is the joint oldest consecutively staged grand prix along with Monza, and is a race Williams has won 10 times, including four consecutive years from 1991-94. Williams was once again on the podium with Valtteri Bottas in 2014.
For Silverstone, Pirelli has made available the soft, medium and hard compound tyres.
Pat Symonds
Silverstone is another strong circuit for us and even though Austria did not deliver what it promised, there is no reason to think that our home race won’t give us a strong result. The weather in Britain has been quite unpredictable over the last month and may well play a role in the outcome of the weekend ahead. We’re confident that we have overcome the problem that forced Felipe to start from the pitlane and expect both cars to be running the latest front wing, which showed a positive result during testing in Austria. We always look forward to racing at our home circuit, particularly as it gives our factory-based workforce, who contribute so much to the overall performance of the car, the opportunity to see the product of their work race in anger. We’ve enjoyed good performances here over the last couple of years, which also adds to the enjoyment of this challenging track.
Valtteri Bottas
Silverstone is a special event. It’s a home race for Williams and it’s one of the good tracks for our car. It’s also one of the most enjoyable tracks to drive a Formula One car because of the high-speed nature of the circuit. My favourite part of the track is Becketts, which is a lot of fun because it has a really nice flow to it. The crowd at Silverstone is amazing as well. I’m always impressed by how much support the motorsport fans in the UK give to us.
Felipe Massa
Silverstone is the home grand prix for the team, which is really special, and it’s truly an amazing track to drive. It’s a circuit with a lot of high-speed corners, so you need to have a very good car in that respect. Typically British, it’s a circuit where the weather changes very quickly! It can be wet, dry, or completely mixed – anything can happen, which we’ve seen many times over the last few years. As Williams’ home grand prix, it’s an important place for the team to get a good result, especially as we have so much history there. Plus, it’s one of the oldest races on the calendar, so I’m really looking forward to what will be a special race.

FORMULA 1

HAMILTON BOOED IN SPIELBERG AS HE WINS DRAMATIC AUSTRIAN GP ON FINAL LAP

Mercedes have slammed the “brainless” last-lap crash in the Austrian Grand Prix which has left Nico Rosberg under investigation by the stewards after he collided with Lewis Hamilton.

Hamilton won the race, passing his team-mate on the final lap, but Rosberg broke his front wing and toured round to finish fourth. The gap in the drivers’ championship is down to 11 points.

The stewards announced they were putting Rosberg under investigation both for causing a collision and for driving a car for almost an entire lap with serious damage.

But Toto Wolff, the Mercedes boss, said the crash was “brainless”, and that Rosberg had a brake problem. Hamilton was booed on the podium by the Austrian fans but Rosberg appeared to be at fault for the crash.

A furious Wolff said: “Cars colliding seems a  déjà vu. It’s absolutely not what we want. We are looking like a bunch of idiots and it’s disrespectful to 1,500 people who work their nuts off to prepare the cars and this is why it needs to end. We were marginal on brakes, if not to say completely over the brakes.

“We couldn’t tell the drivers so Nico had a brake by wire failure on to the last straight and defended very hard, then seeing both cars nearly colliding is upsetting.

“At the moment I don’t now what I will say to them. It could easily have been a double DNF.”

The accident comes just two months after the Mercedes pair collided in Spain on the first lap, taking each other out of the race.

Rosberg immediately blamed Hamilton, despite images showing he drove well wide and into his team-mate.

“I am absolutely gutted, it’s unbelievable,” Rosberg said. “I was sure to win the race and lost it on the last lap, that’s pretty intense.

Lewis Hamilton was booed on the podium after a last-lap collision with Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg handed the triple Formula One world champion a dramatic first Austrian Grand Prix victory on Sunday.

Championship leader Rosberg, who had been in front with Hamilton in his slipstream, nursed his damaged car over the line for fourth place with his advantage cut to 11 points after nine of 21 rounds.

GP2

KING REIGNS IN WET SPIELBERG SPRING RACE

Briton claims maiden win as countrymen fill podium 
Jordan King has converted pole position into his maiden win in this morning’s Sprint Race in Spielberg, but he had to work the whole way: denying the soaking conditions which saw the race start behind the safety car, the Manor test driver set a string of fastest laps to dominate the race to win by 6 seconds from Oliver Rowland and Alex Lynn.
The grid formed under heavy rain conditions which saw spins on the way out on track: inevitably the decision was made to start the race behind the safety car as the rain slowly lightened, going live on lap 3. King defended immediately after a slightly slow getaway, but teammate Norman Nato was unable to take advantage given the volume of water on track. Sean Gelael and Arthur Pic came together on the top of the circuit, and when yesterday’s podium man spun into retirement the safety car was brought back out to give marshals time to deal with his beached car.
Two laps later the race was live and King was not looking back: the Briton set a string of fast laps to break away from the pack and set up a lead that was not to be denied. Behind him Nato was falling back, with Rowland, Raffaele Marciello and Luca Ghiotto all finding a way past in the tricky conditions over the next few laps, while Lynn was also on a charge, sliding up into the points by disposing of Sergey Sirotkin, Mitch Evans and teammate Nicholas Latifi before bringing the two groups together by coming out on top of a huge battle with Ghiotto for P4 on lap 17.
With the rain stopped and the fast drying nature of the circuit in evidence the teams were all telling their drivers to cool their wet tyres wherever they could, but would anyone be brave enough to switch to slicks? Artem Markelov was the first man to gamble, just before another safety car period following Latifi’s spin at Turn one gave the others outside the points the chance for a punt, with the race going live again one lap later.
Lynn was on a charge and claimed Marciello’s scalp after running side by side across the top of the circuit, while behind them Sirotkin, Evans, Pierre Gasly and Antonio Giovinazzi were squabbling over the final points paying positions. King didn’t look back and recommenced his incredible pace over the closing laps (slower only than the drivers on slicks) to rebuild his lead: with Rowland unable to stay with him King won by 6 seconds, with Lynn unable to stop Rowland scoring his best result to date. Marciello stayed out of trouble late in the race for P4, but Giovinazzi was on fire in the closing laps to move up from P9 at the restart to P5 at the flag, ahead of Sirotkin, Gasly and Evans, all of whom picked up a position when Ghiotto spun on the final corner of the race, undoing all of his good work.
Marciello leaves Spielberg with the lead in the drivers’ title fight on 66 points, ahead of Evans on 56, Nato on 55, Markelov and Rowland on 54, Giovinazzi on 53 and Lynn on 51 points, while in the teams’ competition RUSSIAN TIME leads Racing Engineering by 120 points to 100, ahead of PREMA Racing on 99, Pertamina Campos Racing on 80 with DAMS and ART Grand Prix on 72 points as the grid heads to Silverstone.

GP3

LECLERC BLAZES TO MAIDEN POLE IN SPIELBERG

ART Grand Prix claim a one-two-three in qualifying in Austria
Series leader Charles Leclerc claimed his first pole in the category after posting a superb lap of 1:19.041 which was over half a second quicker than his ART Grand Prix teammate Alexander Albon. Nyck de Vries in third also from ART GP completed the trio.
The thirty minute qualifying session for Round 2 of the 2016 GP3 Series got underway in warm temperatures and under blue skies. Scuderia Ferrari Team development driver Leclerc was first to set the pace with Albon in second and Trident’s Antonio Fuoco in third.
Soon after De Vries grabbed P1 by 0.039s before Leclerc dipped into the 1m19’s to go top. Albon then found some extra pace to lap one tenth shy of the Monegasque driver. At the midway point, the drivers returned to the pitlane to switch to new Pirelli rubber; ready to attack again for the coveted pole and four points attached to it.  Leclerc led Albon, De Vries, Fuoco and Nirei Fukuzumi at the half way point, the top four covered by 0.365s.
Fukuzumi then jumped up to P2, a mere 0.003s off Leclerc’s fastest lap – with the ART GP squad holding the first four positions. The battle for pole wasn’t over as Leclerc and Albon fought intensely; the two swapping P1 several times in the final minutes.
However, Leclerc put his foot down and recorded a fantastic lap; seven tenths faster than his opposition. Albon did his best to retaliate yet again; but his best efforts were still half a second shy of the Series leader. In the final minutes, Koiranen GP’s Ralph Boschung shot up to P4; demoting Fukuzumi to fifth.
At the chequered flag, Leclerc was happy to achieve his debut pole; ahead of his teammates Albon and De Vries. Boschung, Fukuzumi, Matthew Parry, Oscar Tunjo, Jake Dennis, Jake Hughes and Santino Ferrucci completed the top ten.