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Formula 1

FIA Formula 3 European Championship, round 9, race 2, Vallelunga (I)


Red Bull junior driver Daniil Kvyat will be racing for the Toro Rosso Formula 1 team next season. The 19-year-old Russian, who is based in Rome, has been competing in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship this season. He was very successful in his first Formula 3 year with the British squad Carlin, even though he was not able to score points while being a guest starter: In the third weekend of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship at the Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg at the beginning of May, Kvyat already scored his first podium finish. Moreover, the young Russian was on the podium after finishing second in all three races at the Red Bull Ring in Austria. For the frontrunner, the undisputed season highlight was the weekend at Zandvoort in September with one victory, one second and one fourth place. Due to test drives with his new Formula 1 car, the Red Bull junior driver had to miss the final event of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship season at Hockenheim.

After his maiden victory in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship, Kvyat commented: “Winning a race in such a high-level championship represents a lot in my opinion and even more for the people following my career. I have to thank the Carlin team as I’ve learned a lot with them. Formula 3 is a branch of the sport in which we absorb very important information in the technical area, so it’s great to be racing with such a team. Now I’ve become a member of the very select club of Red Bull drivers who’ve won a race in Formula 3 with Carlin, in particular Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne. If I can follow in their footsteps one day that’ll suit me down to the ground!”

Next season, Kvyat will now be racing alongside Jean-Eric Vergne for the Scuderia Toro Rosso; so that 2014 Scuderia Toro Rosso will feature a 100 percent Formula 3 driver line-up in Formula 1. The Russian was thus given the nod over Antonio Félix da Costa, who had tested for both Red Bull and Toro Rosso in July. So far, Kvyat kept a rather low profile, but is now all the more exited about this incredible step in his career: “This is fantastic news, a dream come true and I want to thank Red Bull and Toro Rosso for giving me this priceless opportunity. Ever since I began karting, I wanted to get to Formula 1 and now that wish will become reality next season. I had a brief taste of working with the Toro Rosso team, when I drove for them at the Silverstone test and I enjoyed the experience very much. The fact I am based in Italy and speak Italian will, I am sure, help me to become part of the team very quickly.”

For decades, Formula 3 has been the ideal stepping stone into motorsport’s premier category, Formula 1. Not less than 17 drivers of the 2013 line-up of the F1 honed their skills in Formula 3. Formula 1 World Champions Sebastian Vettel, Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton, Michael Schumacher, Mika Häkkinen, Jacques Villeneuve, Damon Hill, Alain Prost, Nigel Mansell, Nelson Piquet and Ayrton Senna, to name but a few examples from the last three decades, all moved up through the ranks of Formula 3 into the sport’s top class. In the years to come, Kvyat’s name could also be added to this list

Formula 1



Tell us about the Indian GP circuit?

It is not an easy track, because of a few complicated rhythmbreakers  that are in there. The most difficult part is the uphill entry to Turn Three, because seeing the apex is practically impossible. So to drive a perfect lap around the Buddh circuit, you need a good driving instinct.

Do you like going to the Indian GP?

So far everything has always gone perfectly for us in India. There is also a very nice trophy at the end of the race – so it would be great to hold one again this year! It’s a circuit that I like, in a country that is very, very  impressive every time we go there.


What do you enjoy most about India?

It’s an extremely unique country for lots of different reasons, culturally there’s lots going on and you’ve got some pretty spectacular cities, busy cities. I’ve tried some of the local food and it’s really tasty, and obviously spicy, but I don’t mind that!

And what is the track like to drive?

The track is good. I think they’ve done a good job with the circuit, it’s a place where you can really put a Formula One car on the limit and it’s quick. It’s a very demanding track for the car and driver. It’s probably very similar to the old Turkey circuit, but the middle sector is very similar to Silverstone it’s very, very fast, but has some undulations as well. The undulations are quite good and quite cute; they’ve put them in some challenging areas for us.

Formula 1

Webber Pole Japan

“It’s a great track and we always enjoy driving here. The laps weren’t too bad today to be honest, but you always want a little bit more here and there. Sebastian had a problem in qualifying, so it’s a little bit of a hollow pole position if you like; he still did a phenomenal lap. But, I’m happy to be on pole; you have to grab the opportunities when you can and still get the laps in. It’s a very, very nice farewell for me to have pole position on my last attempt here at Suzuka. It’s a great circuit and I’ll never forget the first sector today, it’s what us guys strive for and it’s what our profession is all about; driving that is a real highlight for us.”
CHRISTIAN HORNER: “It’s great to have secured front row for tomorrow’s race. It was a very strong performance by Mark today to claim his first pole of the year and Sebastian, despite the failure of KERS on his car, produced a great lap also to get onto the front row for tomorrow’s race. We need to understand the issue with his car, as it’s the second session we had a KERS problem. Hopefully we can convert these very strong grid positions into a good points haul tomorrow.”
(Renault) THIERRY SALVI: “Seb had a KERS issue in qualifying, which he had to try and manage throughout the lap. I let you imagine the job he had to do during those timed laps, but at the end he did not have the benefit of any KERS boost. It was a brilliant effort by both drivers to lock out the front row. It takes the Renault total to 209 poles and a new record for engine manufacturers – something we can be very proud of. But equally important is the advantage it gives us for tomorrow.”
Pos Driver                Team                 Time            Gap    
 1. Mark Webber           Red Bull-Renault     1m30.915s                  
 2. Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault     1m31.089s  +0.174s         
 3. Lewis Hamilton        Mercedes             1m31.253s  +0.338s         
 4. Romain Grosjean       Lotus-Renault        1m31.365s  +0.450s         
 5. Felipe Massa          Ferrari              1m31.378s  +0.463s         
 6. Nico Rosberg          Mercedes             1m31.397s  +0.482s         
 7. Nico Hulkenberg       Sauber-Ferrari       1m31.644s  +0.729s         
 8. Fernando Alonso       Ferrari              1m31.665s  +0.750s         
 9. Kimi Raikkonen        Lotus-Renault        1m31.684s  +0.769s         
10. Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes     1m31.827s  +0.912s         
Q2 cut-off time: 1m31.848s                                   Gap **       
11. Sergio Perez          McLaren-Mercedes     1m31.989s  +0.699s         
12. Paul di Resta         Force India-Mercedes 1m31.992s  +0.702s         
13. Valtteri Bottas       Williams-Renault     1m32.013s  +0.723s         
14. Esteban Gutierrez     Sauber-Ferrari       1m32.063s  +0.773s         
15. Pastor Maldonado      Williams-Renault     1m32.093s  +0.803s         
16. Daniel Ricciardo      Toro Rosso-Ferrari   1m32.485s  +1.195s         
Q1 cut-off time: 1m32.875s                                    Gap *
17. Adrian Sutil          Force India-Mercedes 1m32.890s  +1.066s         
18. Jean-Eric Vergne      Toro Rosso-Ferrari   1m33.357s  +1.533s         
19. Max Chilton           Marussia-Cosworth    1m34.320s  +2.496s         
20. Charles Pic           Caterham-Renault     1m34.556s  +2.732s         
21. Giedo van der Garde   Caterham-Renault     1m34.879s  +3.055s         
22. Jules Bianchi         Marussia-Cosworth    1m34.958s  +3.134s

F1Weekly podcast # 639

Stefano Coletti

Clark and Nasir have the Korean Grand Prix post race round-table discussion, we have Motorsports Mondial and special interview with Stefano Coletti.

was born in the Principality of Monaco on 6 April 1989. He weighs 73 kg and is 1.80 m tall.

According to his parents Stefano was born under a special star; Armande (of Monegasque nationality) and Gianluigi (of Italian nationality), Stefano was conceived on board Keke Rosberg’s yacht during a summer vacation – was this perhaps a sign of his destiny?

He was quite an unruly and quite hyperactive child. In order to channel his high levels of energy he started playing soccer at a young age, then tennis and lastly skiing. However he did not reach his full potential as a sportsman.

Armande then had the idea to take Stefano to the Arma di Taggia go-kart circuit to see if he enjoyed the experience. There followed an opportune encounter with Guido Mandracci, a motorbike champion in the 70s and manager of the circuit. Guido took Stefano under his wing and discovered a talented driver with an exceptional ability to analyse the track. Despite a slow start in karting, Guido was very optimistic about Stefano’s talent and persisted with his training. He knew what he was doing and a special bond developed between them, leading over time to a huge improvement in his performance and skill level.

Stefano, like the majority of the best drivers in Formula 1, began his career in karting, where he shone during the 2003 and 2004 seasons, becoming the European Champion, before moving on to single seaters. However, despite his raw speed on the circuit, he lacked consistency. Talent must be combined with hard work and training – a difficult concept for a teenager. From late 2010 Stefano had a step change in his attitude to the sport, due to his increasing maturity and awareness of his goals and what he had to do to get to them. His training has become relentless, with a daily workout of a combination of cycling, jogging, gym work and canoeing in the sea off Monaco – all under the supervision of a dedicated coach.

A naturally very strong athlete, Stefano challenges now his GP2 rivals with a mixture of determination, concentration and composure. In 2011 he obtained three victories in his debut year and after gaining more experience in 2012 has begun the 2013 season in the best way with two wins and three podiums in the first eight races in Malaysia, Bahrain, Spain and Monaco.

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F3 European Championship

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


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


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


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…