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F3 EURO CHAMPIONSHIP



FELIX ROSENQVIST CLAIMS POLE POSITION FOR MACAU QUALIFYING RACE

Felix Rosenqvist (Kashbet.com by Mücke Motorsport, 2:11.506 minutes) will be starting from pole position for tomorrow’s ten lap qualifying race for the 61st running of the Macau Grand Prix. In second qualifying, in which 17 of the first 20 drivers managed to set faster lap times than in yesterday’s first qualifying session, Rosenqvist moved up from his ninth place after yesterday’s session to the top of the time sheets and thus claimed pole position for the Macau qualifying race. “Early in the session, I did two laps, then came in to have four new tyres on the car, and I did my fast lap all on my own,” Rosenqvist reported. “In fact, I was quite surprised that the gap was so big. Indeed, the Swede was no less than 0,236 seconds faster than Esteban Ocon (SJM Theodore Racing by Prema, 2:11.742 minutes), the reigning FIA Formula 3 European Champion. Just with Max Verstappen (Van Amersfoort Racing, 2:11.747 minutes), who was classified third after qualifying, Ocon will be dropped two places on the grid for tomorrow’s qualifying race for having failed to come in to have his car weighed in free practice yesterday. As a result, Ocon and Verstappen will be starting from fourth and fifth place respectively. That promoted Lucas Auer (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport, 2:11.838 minutes) to second on the grid alongside Rosenqvist to lock out the front row for the Mücke Motorsport team. Tom Blomqvist (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin, 2:11.922 minutes), who was fastest in yesterday’s first qualifying and failed to post a faster time today, will be starting from third place.

Competing in the prestigious event in Macau for the fifth time, Rosenqvist clearly was the fastest driver at the 6.12 kilometres long Guia circuit on Friday. In the morning, he was first in free practice with 2:11.743 minutes, making him the only driver to post a sub-2:12 lap time. In second qualifying, the Swede doubled up by claiming pole position. The only blot on his copybook was a crash at Maternity in free practice in the lap after the one in which he set his fastest time. “That was quite stupid, also because I lost two tyres there, which is not very good for the weekend,” Rosenqvist admitted. “But being on pole position makes me quite confident for tomorrow and Sunday. We know that the speed is there.”

Second-fastest qualifyer Esteban Ocon commented: “Today, things were going much better than yesterday. We finally found the speed. Of course, it is a pity that I will be dropped two places, but I am still starting from the second row and we all know that you can overtake in Macau.” Ocon, who made an impressive Formula 3 debut with a top ten finish at Macau last year, is well aware of the significance of the event. “This is the one everybody wants to win, and the race so many great drivers have won in the past. It is the best race in the world.”

Third in qualifying and fifth on the grid, Max Verstappen is the best-placed Macau rookie. “The circuit is really cool,” the Dutchman commented. “Yesterday, I had some problems as the tyres started overheating, but today, I was a able to run faster and faster and I am quite pleased with the result.” Austrian Lucas Auer wasn’t too happy with his fourth fastest time: “I could have gone faster, but starting from the front row obviously is a good position and the performance of Felix and myself shows how strong we are as a team. Now, hopefully, we can convert that into good race results tomorrow and Sunday.” The qualifying race starts tomorrow at 13.45 hrs local time (6.45 hrs CET) and will determine the starting grid positions for the Sunday’s main race, the Suncity Group Formula 3 Macau Grand Prix.

FORMULA 1



2014 BRAZILIAN GRAND PRIX

Nico Rosberg took victory at the Brazilian Grand Prix after a race-long battle with team-mate Lewis Hamilton, who completed a record-breaking one-two finish for the Silver Arrows at Interlagos.

– Nico took his fifth victory of the season, Lewis his 15th podium finish from eighteen races
– A 15th win of 2014 for the Silver Arrows equals the highest number of victories scored in a single season set by McLaren in 1988
– The 11th one-two finish of 2014 for the team is a new all-time record, surpassing the previous best set in that same year
– The team now has 651 Constructors’ Championship points – the most ever scored in a single season – surpassing the total set by Red Bull in 2011 with one race remaining
– Lewis and Nico head into the final round of the season in Abu Dhabi with just 17 points separating them in the Drivers’ Championship
– Both drivers started on the soft compound Pirelli tyre, stopping three times for mediums throughout the race

Nico Rosberg

That was a fantastic weekend and I felt very comfortable over the whole three days. I had to learn from Austin, which was a big disappointment, and I think I achieved that. I was able to control the pace a bit better and didn’t let Lewis come too close. He drove really well and was always right there pushing me. When he spun I had a bit of time to relax and was able to save some life in the tyres for the end of the stint. That worked out perfectly and it was a great day with another one-two for the team. I was also happy for Felipe to be on the podium with us at his home race. The Brazilian people have been so great to us throughout this the whole weekend so it was also a good day for them. Now we have a great finale to look forward to in Abu Dhabi. I’m still believing 100 per cent that I can make it but, of course, I will need some help from Felipe or Valtteri or Lewis himself.

Lewis Hamilton

Naturally, you’ll always be disappointed when you make a mistake and I did that today. But honestly, I felt great out there. The car was strong, my pace was good, I didn’t give up, kept pushing and made up the time so that’s what’s most important to me. Generally, when I’m told to push it means the team is bringing me in that lap so that’s what I did. In the end, they left me out for another lap which caught me by surprise. By the time I came round to do the second lap my rear tyres were gone from where I’d been pushing so hard. Even so, it was my mistake locking up the rears and ultimately that cost me the win. Nico drove a great race – defending well and not making any mistakes. But it’s clear I had the pace. It’s not a big deal, though. That’s motor racing. Obviously, I lost some points which is disappointing. But it’s a great team result with a record-breaking one-two finish and I really enjoyed the race. The car is just fantastic – the best I’ve ever driven – so a big thank you to the team for all their hard work. I’ll be pushing just as hard in Abu Dhabi and hopefully we’ll get to have another great race like we saw today.

Felipe Massa

It was not an easy race but what a fantastic result for me, for my family, and for the team to finish on the podium in front of my home fans. The energy from the crowd was amazing and really pushed me forward. The car had strong and consistent pace today and this allowed me to stay in third despite issues in my two pitstops. In the first stop I incurred a stop-and-go penalty after speeding in the pit lane after I hit the limiter twice by mistake, and in the second I stopped in the wrong box. We’re not normally next to McLaren and in the light their overalls looked the same colour as ours so this caught me out. In the end these issues were not enough to take away my podium because we had a good aggressive strategy and a really good car.

Toto Wolff

I’m so proud of the team and what we have achieved today. What you see at the track on a race weekend is just the tip of the iceberg and there are so many hard working, intelligent, good people who contributed to the success of the car and of this season. If I could, I would want to mention the names of everybody. Although you see a couple of public faces, the results are only possible because the team is strong and sticks together. Numbers like 11 one-two finishes, 15 wins and 30 podiums in a season make me incredibly proud of my colleagues and humble at what we have achieved together. Today’s race was a pure battle between Nico and Lewis, with no quarter asked or given. The deciding moment probably came when Lewis spun on lap 28. That gave Nico some breathing room and, although Lewis seemed to have the better speed today, Nico was able to absorb the pressure from then all the way to the flag. It was a fantastic performance from both of them and sets up the prospect of a thrilling finale in Abu Dhabi. No matter which way that race goes, either driver would be a very worthy World Champion at the end of a fantastic season.

FORMULA 1


2014 BRAZILIAN GRAND PRIX – QUALIFYING

Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton secured a seventh consecutive Silver Arrows front row lockout during qualifying for the Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos.

– Nico’s 10th pole position of the season secures him the inaugural pole position trophy
– The result marks the 17th pole of the season for the Silver Arrows, with P2 for Lewis completing the 11th front row lockout
– Just 33 thousandths of a second separated the pair – equivalent to two metres around a 4.3 km circuit (0.4%)
– Today saw the fastest pole position lap ever set at Interlagos, surpassing the 1:10.646 set by Rubens Barrichello in 2004

Weather – Overcast, mild, humid, dry
Temperatures – Air: 23 – 26°C, Track: 31 – 40°C

Nico Rosberg

I’m very happy with the weekend so far. The last run in qualifying was not my best but it was good enough to start from pole. And I’m pleased to start from the clean side of the grid, which should be a good thing for me. With the team I’ve reviewed why Austin didn’t work out perfectly for me and we’ve done a race simulation already this morning with high fuel levels in the car, so I learned a few things that I can improve and am quite confident I can do a better job in this race. Of course, I need a bit of help from my team-mate to make the World Championship happen. But I’m still highly motivated and will continue to push as hard as I can all the way.

Lewis Hamilton

I’m probably happier with second than I’ve ever been and I’m really pleased with the way we qualified as a team. It was so, so close out there and my lap wasn’t perfect, so I know there’s more time to find and where I can find it. I love being right on the limit, racing close and having a good battle – that’s what Formula One is all about. Nico has been quick all weekend and I’ve been chasing and chasing – but what’s important in my mind is that I’ve been improving with every session and I’ve found a good balance. Tomorrow is where the points are awarded and anything can happen at Interlagos as we’ve seen in the past. I’m looking forward to a good race and hopefully another strong result for the team.

Toto Wolff

That was a classic Formula One qualifying session where everything came down to the final lap of the final session. Nico’s pace is just incredible at the moment – like we saw on Saturday in Austin, too. Lewis has had the advantage recently in terms of race craft but there is nothing to choose between them on speed and it’s a great achievement for Nico to claim the pole position trophy this year. They were both absolutely flat out this afternoon – they can take nothing for granted in each session and we were pushed hard by Williams, too. Both guys have a chance for the win tomorrow and I hope we will see another great battle between them on this fantastic circuit.

FORMULA 1


2014 BRAZILIAN GRAND PRIX – PRACTICE

MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS set the pace on the opening day at Interlagos, with Nico Rosberg narrowly leading team-mate Lewis Hamilton in the opening practice sessions for the Brazilian Grand Prix.

– Nico finished both the morning and afternoon sessions just two tenths clear of Lewis at the top of the time sheets
– Both drivers ran the medium compound Pirelli tyres only in the morning session, the medium and soft in the afternoon
– Multiple red flag stoppages during the afternoon session lead to reduced running time
– Both cars ran trouble-free throughout each session

Weather – Cool, dry, overcast (AM) Hot, dry, clear (PM)
Temperatures – Air: 19 – 31°C, Track: 28 – 54°C

Nico Rosberg

That was a good day and we are very quick again at this circuit. The track has a new surface which made it quite tricky. It’s smooth and not quite so bumpy as it has been in the past – but the tyres were blistering because of the high temperatures and the new asphalt. That was a bit worrying, but we are expecting it to be a bit cooler over the weekend. I’m looking forward to tomorrow – it should be a great battle.

Lewis Hamilton

The car felt good today. There are a few improvements we can make but I just didn’t manage to put a lap together out there. That’s not a big issue, though. It’s just practice so that’s what we’re out there trying to do. I’m not sure how many laps we’ll get out of the tyres as there were quite a few red flags at the end so we didn’t get the best opportunity for long runs but that’s the same for everyone. It’s hard to tell where the tyres are compared to 2013 with the different compounds as we didn’t have any dry running until the race last year. Otherwise the circuit felt good. It’s nice and smooth and the grip is good. It’s different every time we come here and you never know what the weather is going to do. But that’s what makes this such an exciting race.

Toto Wolff

It looked like a pretty normal day in terms of performance, with Nico and Lewis trading fastest times during the two sessions, but the temperatures were much higher than we are expecting for the rest of the weekend. So we will have to anticipate how to develop the set-up in the right way. It was also an interrupted day, with several red flags, which made it a challenge for the boys to get into their rhythm. I would like to compliment the promoters on the job they have done with the new track surface. We have heard good feedback, likewise on the safer pit entry, and the higher grip level has also cut lap times to levels we have not seen for a number of years, which is great for the fans here in Brazil.

FORMULA 1



2014 Formula 1 Grande Premio Petrobras Do Brasil Preview.

Driver’s View: Nico Hülkenberg
 
Nico: “Brazil is always a highlight of my season and it’s one of the events I enjoy the most. If you look at my record at Interlagos it’s a circuit where I have always performed well. I enjoy the country, the atmosphere, the Brazilian lifestyle and all that surrounds the event seems to have given me a special boost in the past and hopefully it will happen again. Obviously this is a new year and we will need to prepare for this event well: Interlagos can always throw a surprise with the conditions and this could be a challenge for which we need to be ready.
“The track itself is a proper old-school circuit: you don’t have the vast expanses of more modern tracks, everything is bunched up together – it feels almost like a karting track. It’s a very cool layout with some iconic corners, and it has a lot of Formula One history.”
Sergio Perez: “Interlagos is a great track and makes for a very enjoyable weekend. The circuit is very rewarding to drive in an F1 car – you can attack in almost every corner and it requires absolute commitment. There are quite a few overtaking points and I have had some special battles there in the past. You have some very fast corners and a very complex middle sector: there are changes of elevation, cambers and it’s very twisty, it’s very difficult but it gives you such a great feeling when you get it right.
 
“Brazil is a great country to race in – the public has a real passion for Formula One and this creates a great atmosphere. The country has created so many big names in our sport, none more so than Senna: he was fully devoted to racing and was a unique driver and man. You can see his spirit lives on at this track and this is reflected in all the fans in the grandstands. The other thing I always remember about Interlagos is the traffic – it can be a bit of an adventure to get from the hotel to the circuit but it’s all part of the experience!”
Valtteri Bottas: There are some changes to the track for this year, they have resurfaced it and also the pit entry and exit are going to be a bit different than before. It’s a great track with a big change in elevation. From the main straight to the second sector the track drops a lot, and then you have a big climb up hill in the last sector. Setting up the car is not easy because of the long corners. Good balance is important but also a good straight line speed, so I think we can be competitive here. The fans are really  passionate here and the atmosphere is great, so with it being Felipe’s home Grand Prix I’m sure there will be a lot of Williams supporters around.
Felipe Massa: The track is great, although it’s very small it’s also very technical. Corner one and two are very difficult especially as the gradient changes so there is a specific way to drive this sector. With two straights and a very slow section from corner seven to 11 it is important to have a well-balanced car and not focus on just one of those elements. To drive at my home Grand Prix is always special and to see the fans supporting me is a great motivation.

FORMULA 1


2014 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX

Lewis Hamilton took his third United States Grand Prix victory by less than five seconds from team-mate Nico Rosberg after a tense battle at the Circuit of the Americas.

– Lewis and Nico achieved the team’s tenth one-two finish of the season to equal the record set by McLaren in 1988
– The result now means that only a MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS driver can now win the 2014 World Drivers’ Championship
– In claiming his 10th victory of 2014, Lewis has now won more Formula One races than any other British driver (32)
– Both drivers employed a two-stop strategy, starting on the soft tyre and switching to mediums twice during the race

Lewis Hamilton

What an incredible place this is to go racing. We have such great support here and I have to say a massive thanks to the fans who have been awesome all weekend. I’m really grateful to have had the opportunity to be out front here. It’s a very special feeling to have such an amazing car, an amazing team and to be on this incredible run. It’s been an unbelievable job from the team all year so a big thanks to everyone here at the track and at the factories back home. We managed to correct the problems from qualifying today which was great and I pushed as hard as I could. For the overtake, I just stayed as close as possible to Nico and waited for the moment to be just close enough to throw it up the inside. This is a good circuit to be able to follow another car but it’s still not easy. You have to judge the risk‎ in these situations but I felt confident I could pull it off. Once I got past Nico, it was just about controlling the race. I’m very, very proud to now hold the record for the most Formula One wins for a British driver. I have to say, though, it’s all thanks to the team and the car we have this year that I’ve been able to reach that landmark so quickly. Ten wins in a season is just… well, wow!

Nico Rosberg

It was a tough day for me and it feels horrible to finish second after starting from pole. The conditions were very different compared to yesterday and it took me too long to find my rhythm at the beginning. In Formula One it is all about adapting quickly, but it just took me too long. Only 10 laps after Lewis passed me, I got it right and was able to push much more. Lewis just did a better job today, so congratulations to him. It’s getting tougher but there is still a chance for the title and everything can happen. I’m still going to be pushing flat out just as I always have. I never give up.

DANIEL RICCIARDO
“I’m happy with that. I could see the Mercedes for the first part of the race which was really cool, I don’t know if they were just chilling, but we seemed to have good pace. It was great to get ahead of the Williams and to get onto the podium. The start wasn’t very good, I have to put my hand up to that one, but the recovery was good so we didn’t really lose out. The pit stops were really good, Red Bull is known for being awesome in the pits and they showed it today.”
Toto Wolff
Today, we ensured that only a Mercedes-Benz driver can win the 2014 Drivers’ title, and that is an incredible achievement for the whole team – regardless of whether Lewis or Nico comes out on top in Abu Dhabi. It was a very strong race from both of them: each had the pace to win and the decisive laps came at the start of the second stint, when Nico was suffering of too much understeer on the prime tyre and Lewis was able to catch and then overtake him on lap 24. After that, both cars were very evenly matched and it was fantastic to see the tenth one-two finish for the team; that is record-equalling and shows the amazing job everybody in this team has done this year. Now we need to get our heads down and work to ensure two clean races on the sporting and reliability front in Brazil and Abu Dhabi.