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F3 European Championship

FIA Formula 3 European Championship, round 7, race 1, Nuerburgring (D)

WILL RAFFAELE MARCIELLO SEAL THE DEAL, IN HIS HOME EVENT?

This weekend, the up-and-coming single-seater aces competing in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship travel to Italy for the second time this year. At the 4.085 kilometre circuit of Vallelunga, located not far from Rome, Raffaele Marciello (Prema Powerteam) will have his first match point. The Ferrari Driver Academy protégé who holds a 9.5-point lead over second-placed Felix Rosenqvist (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport) could secure the FIA Formula 3 Championship title early, at the Autodromo Piero Taruffi.

The penultimate race meeting of the season is held at a circuit local hero Marciello knows very well. For Rosenqvist and the major part of the field, however, it represents virgin soil. On Friday, the official day of testing, the young talents will have six hours for familiarising themselves with the circuit, its layout and its characteristics. Meanwhile, the battle for the title has turned into a duel between Raffaele Marciello and Felix Rosenqvist. The Swede gained a lot of ground at Zandvoort, thus closing in on championship leader Marciello.

At the same time, the battle for the third position in the championship is just as thrilling. In the past weeks, the main actors in this battle – Alex Lynn (Prema Powerteam) and Lucas Auer (Prema Powerteam) – alternated as third in the championship. Currently, Briton Lynn has a slight lead over Austria’s Auer, the nephew of former Formula 1 Gerhard Berger. 

The FIA Formula 3 European Championship entry list features three Italian talents: title contender Raffaele Marciello, Eddie Cheever (Prema Powerteam) and Antonio Giovinazzi (Double R Racing). In addition to Marciello and Cheever, Lucas Auer and Alex Lynn also represent the colours of Prema Powerteam that is one of the three Italian squads on the FIA Formula 3 European Championship grid. 

Furthermore, John Bryant-Meisner (Fortec Motorsports) is making his FIA Formula 3 European Championship debut, at Vallelunga. The Swede advances from the German ATS Formula 3 Cup to the European Championship. 

Eddie Cheever (Prema Powerteam): “Vallelunga is a great racetrack, featuring several fast and challenging corners. The final corner is my favourite corner. I live in Rome and the circuit is located just half an hour away. So, it’s a true home event for me and I want to use this opportunity to work my way up in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship standings. I have to admit that I used to have bad luck at Vallelunga, in my career to date, but I hope that I will be able to make and end to this streak of bad luck, now.”

Formula 1

2012 Japanese Grand Prix - Saturday

LOTUS F1 DRIVERS ON THE JAPANESE GRAND PRIX—

Kimi Räikkönen: “Suzuka is one of the top three tracks in the world” 

After a fight up the order to second place in Korea, our Finn is at the top of his game heading to one of his

very favourite circuits, Suzuka 

Suzuka is up next; what are your thoughts on the circuit?

Normally it doesn’t make too much difference to me where we race – as long as we have a good result

then I’ll enjoy it – but Suzuka is a track I look forward to every season. It’s a proper circuit that’s been

around for a many years, and you can understand why as it’s a challenge for the drivers and usually makes

for some good racing too. It’s fast, technical and there are some good places to overtake, which to me is

what racing should be about. 

You describe it as a challenge; what is it that really pushes you in the cockpit here?

It’s a bit of everything really. There are some corners where you are flat out – or very nearly flat out – but

then there are others where you really have to balance the braking and throttle carefully to maintain the

best speed. If you push too hard then you can easily be punished, as I found out in qualifying last year

when I was on my best lap in the final session. Hopefully this time we’ll get everything right and be fighting

at the front; that’s where you can have the most fun at a circuit like Suzuka. 

Would you say this is quite a special venue for you as a driver?

As a racing circuit it has unique characteristics and belongs in the top three in the world with Spa and

Monaco. I enjoy winning races the most at the places like these. For me coming to Suzuka was never that

enjoyable because of the long journey, but driving a Formula 1 car on the track has felt great every time. I

had a good race at Fuji too. It was that wet race back in 2007 when I came from pretty far back to a podium

finish, but Suzuka 2005 is my best memory from Japan. It’s very difficult to say which is your best race –

especially if you have won many – but coming from the last row of the grid to take victory at a place like this

is one I remember very, very well. 

What do you like about Japan as a country?

I particularly like Tokyo and always have a good time when I visit there. It’s a fun place, there is a lot going

on, and I do enjoy sushi… 

What do the Japanese fans mean to you?

Since my first ever visit to Japan back in 2001 with Sauber, I’ve always enjoyed the almost fanatic loyalty of

the local fans. They really support you, no matter what position you are racing for. Maybe that Suzuka

victory was the best memory for them too. Even last year – after being out of Formula 1 for two seasons – I

still had a lot of Japanese fans all over the world. For sure, that feels nice! Whenever I race or go rallying,

there are always some Japanese supporters around and I appreciate the support.

 

It was another strong race result from you in Korea, with some close racing between you and

Romain…

It was quite close I guess but we both came out of it okay. He basically gave me second place with a small

mistake at the end of the lap after the restart and I already knew there were yellow flags into Turn 3, so I

knew if I overtook him into Turn 1 he wouldn’t be able to pass me back. It wasn’t too difficult; he defended

pretty hard but I managed to get through.

Was more possible had you qualified better?

Qualifying was pretty awful for me in Korea, but it’s difficult to say whether a better grid position would have

made the difference. Sebastian [Vettel] was faster than us at the end; not massively, but a little bit for sure

and his tyres were fresher too so I think it would have been tough to catch him in any case. We were closer

to the Red Bull in Korea than we have been in some races, but not close enough… 

Do you think there’s the potential to add to your win tally before the end of the season?

If we can improve our performance on Saturdays then there’s always a chance, so we’ll keep trying for sure

and see what we can do.

Romain Grosjean: “There’s just something about this place” 

After a highly positive Korean Grand Prix it’s straight to Japan and Suzuka, where Romain Grosjean is in a

highly positive state of mind. Bring it on…

What are your thoughts on Suzuka?

I know I won’t be the first one to say this, but Suzuka is definitely my favourite circuit of the year. Every

driver has races that are special to them for one reason or another – a home Grand Prix, or the venue for

their first win maybe – but I think if you ask most racers they will tell you there’s just something about this

place that’s a little bit different. This will be only my third time driving the track, but I’ve been looking forward

to it ever since the flag dropped in Korea; it’s simply fantastic. 

Why do you think it is that everyone raves about this circuit?

It’s a track that really allows a driver to demonstrate their feel for the car. Not only is combination of corners

pretty relentless – so you never really get a rest – but the way the layout flows together means that the

smallest mistake can make a big difference to your time. Get it right, and the feeling is amazing. Get it

wrong, and you just want to keep trying again and again until you have it nailed. Each sequence is

challenging in its own way, and you have to find the perfect balance to put a good lap together. Every track

has its challenges, but Suzuka is a continuous test of a drivers skills and I think that’s what makes it so

beautiful to drive. 

And Japan itself?

Suzuka itself it pretty far out from the busier parts of the country, but the people, the culture, and of course

the food all really appeal to me, so it’s somewhere I’d definitely like to explore a little more one day. You

can’t help but mention the Japanese fans as well; they really are in a league of their own! Everywhere you

look there are people with shirts, flags, crazy hats, and so many other things they have made at home just

to show their support for the drivers on one weekend of the year. I don’t think any of us will forget the noise

last year when [Kamui] Kobayashi got his first Formula 1 podium in front of his home crowd… my ears

were ringing all the way to Korea; it was unbelievable! 

Your Race Engineer Ayao Komatsu is Japanese; do you think some extra home knowledge could

help you at Suzuka?

I will have to ask Ayao for some special tricks! Certainly I really like Suzuka, the car is looking very good at

the moment and maybe Ayao has some local knowledge too. He certainly gets home support so maybe

that will help me out on track too.

 

The Korean Grand Prix was a pretty good showing for the team; you must be pretty happy with

your performance?

It was a fantastic result. Of course, one step higher on the podium for me would have been better and two

steps up would have been superb. Our battle with Lewis [Hamilton] was good, our pace was great but the

safety cars stopped us in our fight for the win. After the restart I should have been in front of Kimi on the

road, but it was my mistake which let him past so it was third place on the podium instead of second.

 

How was it dicing with your team-mate on track, and do you expect more of the same for the rest of

the year?

If we’re fighting for the same piece of track and the same position then it means we’re both getting the

maximum out of the car, which is a positive thing whichever way you look at it. Obviously we’re both

competitive, but our racing has always been fair. I made a mistake in Korea which is why he got past, but

this is not something I want to happen again. The team’s philosophy is always to let us race unless we’re

on very different strategies where one driver could hold up the other, and this is the right approach. Let’s

hope we have some more battles for podium places and I’ll be pushing to be the one ahead.

 

You were looking good against Sebastian [Vettel]; do you think you were in the fight for the win?

Before the safety car we certainly had a strategy to push Sebastian, however we don’t know how much he

had in reserve. Maybe the potential of getting my first win was quite close in Korea, but you can’t set a time

frame on these things; you never know when the win might come…

Formula 1

F1 Grand Prix of Singapore - Qualifying

KOREAN GP – QUALIFYING—
 
Car 1 SEBASTIAN VETTEL, Position: POLE POSITION, (3rd Practice – P1, 1:37.881)—
“It was close today. I had a very good lap in Q3 on my first attempt and thought I would find it hard to do better. On my second attempt I caught Kimi on the warm up lap and didn’t have time to drop back, but fortunately the first lap was good enough. Mercedes were strong and seem to be comfortable in the middle sector. We’re good in Sector one this year which a surprise as that’s mostly straights. We improved the car from yesterday as I wasn’t entirely happy with it after the second practice. In terms of conditions, we should be okay if it’s dry or wet tomorrow; it’s not clear if we get some rain from the typhoon, but let’s see what happens.”
CHRISTIAN HORNER: “An exciting qualifying today and a great first run in Q3 for Sebastian, which proved to be the lap that achieved the pole position. It was a very strong performance from Mark and it’s a shame that he now has to take a ten-place penalty, but we’ve set the car up with that in mind and hopefully he can make good progress tomorrow. Congratulations to Renault on achieving their 208th pole position, which matches the all-time record of Ferrari.” 
(Renault) THIERRY SALVI: “The car has been working very well all weekend and in the end all it took was one great lap by Sebastian in the start of the session to secure his third consecutive pole. Mark pushed hard and this position limits the damage his ten-place penalty will inflict tomorrow. We know our rivals will try to reset the pole advantage in the race so we need to stay on top to get the maximum from the car, which is again the quickest package of the paddock. On another note the pole is a great feeling for Renault as it takes our tally of pole positions in F1 to 208, equaling Ferrari’s record. We’re very proud to have achieved this with Red Bull Racing.”
Pos Driver                Team                 Time            Gap   
 1. Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault     1m37.202s
 2. Lewis Hamilton        Mercedes             1m37.420s  +0.218s
 3. Mark Webber           Red Bull-Renault     1m37.464s  +0.262s
 4. Romain Grosjean       Lotus-Renault        1m37.531s  +0.329s
 5. Nico Rosberg          Mercedes             1m37.679s  +0.477s
 6. Fernando Alonso       Ferrari              1m38.038s  +0.836s
 7. Felipe Massa          Ferrari              1m38.223s  +1.021s
 8. Nico Hulkenberg       Sauber-Ferrari       1m38.237s  +1.035s
 9. Esteban Gutierrez     Sauber-Ferrari       1m38.405s  +1.203s
10. Kimi Raikkonen        Lotus-Renault        1m38.822s  +1.620s
Q2 cut-off time: 1m38.327s                                   Gap **
11. Sergio Perez          McLaren-Mercedes     1m38.362s  +0.793s
12. Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes     1m38.365s  +0.796s
13. Daniel Ricciardo      Toro Rosso-Ferrari   1m38.417s  +0.848s
14. Adrian Sutil          Force India-Mercedes 1m38.431s  +0.862s
15. Paul di Resta         Force India-Mercedes 1m38.718s  +1.149s
16. Jean-Eric Vergne      Toro Rosso-Ferrari   1m38.781s  +1.212s
Q1 cut-off time: 1m39.175s                                    Gap *
17. Valtteri Bottas       Williams-Renault     1m39.470s  +1.129s
18. Pastor Maldonado      Williams-Renault     1m39.987s  +1.646s
19. Charles Pic           Caterham-Renault     1m40.864s  +2.523s
20. Giedo van der Garde   Caterham-Renault     1m40.871s  +2.530s
21. Jules Bianchi         Marussia-Cosworth    1m41.169s  +2.828s
22. Max Chilton           Marussia-Cosworth    1m41.322s  +2.981s

WRC

WRC France 2013

RALLYE DE FRANCE – DAYS 1 & 2
CITROËN TOP DRIVER: GILBERT LAYS THE GROUNDWORK

francejour1The first two days of the Rallye de France more than lived up to expectations. And although the popularity of the Alsatian event is undeniable, the same might be said of its unpredictable weather and changing grip. However, this didn’t prevent Quentin Gilbert from impressing on the seven stages contested, leaving Sébastien Chardonnet forty seconds adrift in second, with Keith Cronin completing the provisional podium in third place.

Thursday began with the shakedown in the morning and ended with the day’s only stage, held in the centre of Strasbourg. Sébastien Chardonnet, Quentin Gilbert and Stéphane Consani were the first to feature, forming the provisional top three in the WRC3 category. Behind them was Keith Cronin, who was held up by a car setting off ahead of him, and then Christian Riedemann, who damaged his rear suspension after a minor impact.

Hard or soft compound tyres? That was the real question of the day on Friday, with the weather playing havoc with the nerves of the drivers. Conditions would indeed prove to be a key factor when it came to managing the leg’s 116 kilometres of timed stages.

Showing an impressive level of control and maturity, Quentin Gilbert was the revelation of the day. The man from the Vosges won four stages, adapting his pace to the difficulties posed by the course.

“I really enjoyed it today and the DS3 R3 was perfect,” commented Quentin at the end of Pays d’Ormont. “We pushed when the conditions were suitable, but we had to take it easier in the trickier sections. All of which means we end the day in the lead, which we’re really pleased about. We also know there is still a long way to go in the rally and that the rain can make a big difference. It is up to us now to play our cards right to hang onto the lead.”

Second in the Top Driver standings, Sébastien Chardonnet wasn’t entirely satisfied with his day. He bemoaned a poor tyre choice and admitted that his team-mate had dominated proceedings today.

Keith Cronin holds the final spot on the podium despite making several minor errors this morning. A more consistent performance on the second loop enabled him to consolidate his position.

Christian Riedemann and Enrique Garcia Ojeda round off the top five. Although the young German’s DS3 R3 was hit by rear suspension problems following a minor impact on SSS1, “Kike” gradually learned how to handle the French roads and didn’t take any unnecessary risks.

CITROEN TOP DRIVER STANDINGS AFTER DAYS 1 & 2

1

 

Gilbert / Jamoul

 

Citroën DS3 R3

 

  1:16:37.9

2

 

Chardonnet / de la Haye

 

Citroën DS3 R3

 

      +40.4

 

3

 

Cronin / Clarke

 

Citroën DS3 R3

 

    +1:16.3

 

4 Riedemann / Vanneste Citroën DS3 R3       +2:11.2
5 Ojeda / Odriozola Citroën DS3 R3       +2:51.8

 

 

FASTEST TIMES

Day 1 – SS1: Chardonnet

Day 2 – SS2: Chardonnet – SS3, SS4 and SS5: Gilbert – SS6: Cronin – SS7: Gilbert

BEST PERFORMERS

Gilbert, 4 fastest times – Chardonnet, 2 – Cronin, 1.

LEADERS

SS1 to SS3: Chardonnet – SS4 to SS7: Gilbert

RETIREMENTS

Stéphane Consani: personal decision

Formula 1

Korean Circuit

HAMILTON ON TOP IN FRIDAY PRACTICE—

Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg completed today´s free practice sessions for the 2013 Formula One Korean Grand Prix in first and third positions after a strong day of running. 

• The drivers completed a total of 103 laps in today´s three hours of running time, seven laps short of two race distances. 

• Nico conducted a single evaluation run of the team´s passive drag reduction device this morning in first practice. 

• Tyre evaluations and set-up fine-tuning were the order of the day, with both cars in the top four in both sessions. 

Nico Rosberg 
The track is really great and the small changes that have been made this year are good improvements, especially the pit exit which is now much better. Generally it seems that we had a good day but Red Bull is always very hard to beat. We were quite close to them today and I hope this will continue the whole weekend. My only concern after the long runs was graining on the front tyres, which is something we need to work on tonight and watch out for. We have brought also some new bits and pieces to Korea which are working well and leaves me optimistic for a strong result this weekend. 

Lewis Hamilton 
I was very happy with how the sessions went today and it´s the first time I can remember that second practice has really gone well for me. We haven´t changed anything but the day just went smoothly and all the processes with the team worked well. I love this track: it was clean from the start, it provides good racing on Sunday afternoon and it just gets harder and harder through the lap. You have the first sector which is good for overtaking, then you get more and more corners coming at you and those final two sectors are all about precision. You need a good downforce package, too, and the car is feeling good. We can still make improvements overnight, and I have some things I want to do with the set-up, but it´s been a good start for us. 

Ross Brawn 
We made a good start to the weekend with both cars today. We ran through the planned programme, evaluated our test items and got good long runs on both types of tyre in the afternoon session to give us plenty of data to pore through this evening. In terms of competitiveness, all the usual Friday caveats apply: we know only what fuel loads we ran, not those of our competitors, so tomorrow will show us where we actually stand. As always, we will work hard overnight to further improve the cars and build on this good start to the weekend. 

Pos Driver                Team                   Time        Gap    Laps
 1. Lewis Hamilton        Mercedes               1m38.673s           31
 2. Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault       1m38.781s  +0.108s  30
 3. Nico Rosberg          Mercedes               1m38.797s  +0.124s  32
 4. Mark Webber           Red Bull-Renault       1m38.844s  +0.171s  35
 5. Felipe Massa          Ferrari                1m39.114s  +0.441s  30
 6. Romain Grosjean       Lotus-Renault          1m39.226s  +0.553s  34
 7. Fernando Alonso       Ferrari                1m39.444s  +0.771s  31
 8. Kimi Raikkonen        Lotus-Renault          1m39.757s  +1.084s  33
 9. Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes       1m39.774s  +1.101s  29
10. Adrian Sutil          Force India-Mercedes   1m40.006s  +1.333s  34
11. Paul di Resta         Force India-Mercedes   1m40.007s  +1.334s  34
12. Sergio Perez          McLaren-Mercedes       1m40.152s  +1.479s  31
13. Esteban Gutierrez     Sauber-Ferrari         1m40.186s  +1.513s  33
14. Nico Hulkenberg       Sauber-Ferrari         1m40.210s  +1.537s  34
15. Jean-Eric Vergne      Toro Rosso-Ferrari     1m40.446s  +1.773s  30
16. Daniel Ricciardo      Toro Rosso-Ferrari     1m40.552s  +1.879s  26
17. Pastor Maldonado      Williams-Renault       1m41.117s  +2.444s  35
18. Valtteri Bottas       Williams-Renault       1m41.289s  +2.616s  34
19. Giedo van der Garde   Caterham-Renault       1m42.461s  +3.788s  36
20. Charles Pic           Caterham-Renault       1m42.798s  +4.125s  35
21. Jules Bianchi         Marussia-Cosworth      1m43.108s  +4.435s  31
22. Max Chilton           Marussia-Cosworth      1m43.441s  +4.768s  29

F1Weekly podcast # 638

Facundo-Regalia-Triunfo-GP3-Nurburgring

Clark and Nasir talk about the Singapore Grand prix, the effect of Kimi on Fernando Alonso and we have a special interview with GP3 driver Facu Regalia and 50 words from the Forum—

Facundo “Facu” Regalia (born 23 November 1991 in Buenos Aires) is an Argentine racing driver. He competed in his first two Formula BMW seasons under a Spanish racing licence.

Karting:

Regalia began karting in 2006 and raced primarily in Spain for the majority of his career.

Formula BMW:

Regalia began his formula racing career in 2008 in the newly-created Formula BMW Europe with EuroInternational. He finished sixteenth overall in the championship, with nine point-scoring finishes and 60 points.

Regalia remained in the series for the following season but switched to Josef Kaufmann Racing. He improved to eighth in standings, taking thirteen points-scoring positions in sixteen races. In 2010, Regalia completed his third season, joining Eifelland Racing. He finished eighth in the championship for the second successive season, achieving his first podium at Zandvoort.[3]

Formula Three:

2011 saw Regalia move to the Italian Formula Three Championship, competing for Arco Motorsport.[4] He finished tenth in the championship with two podiums at Imola and Vallelunga.

In 2012 Regalia switched to the European F3 Open Championship, joining Campos Racing.

Auto GP World Series:

As well as his European F3 Open commitments, Regalia also participates in the Auto GP World Series with Campos Racing.

GP3 Series:

Regalia made his GP3 Series debut, in the fourth round of the 2012 season at Silverstone. He replaced Jakub Klášterka at Jenzer Motorsport.[7] In 2013, Regalia will be competing with ART Grand Prix.

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