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FIA Formula 3 European Championship, round 4, race 1, Hungaroring (HUN)

F3 EURO CHAMPIONSHIP



Tom Blomqvist wins, thus reducing Ocon’s lead

Race No: 10 von 33
Venue: Hungaroring
Winner: Tom Blomqvist (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin)
Pole position: Esteban Ocon (Prema Powerteam)
Weather: overcast

Briton Tom Blomqvist (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin) secured the winner’s trophy in the first of the three FIA Formula 3 European championship races contested this weekend at the 4.381-kilometre Hungaroring. At the Formula 1 circuit located not far from Budapest, he passed pole-sitter Esteban Ocon (Prema Powerteam) for the lead right at the start and afterwards, he controlled the race to clinch a never jeopardised win. Esteban Ocon and Felix Rosenqvist (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport) joined the Briton on the podium. In the championship standings, Lotus F1 Junior Econ defended his lead but second-placed Blomqvist succeeded in reducing the gap to 50 points.

FIA Formula 3 European Championship, round 4, race 1, Hungaroring (HUN)

Pole-sitter Esteban Ocon lost his lead to Blomqvist as early as on the way to turn one and Max Verstappen (Van Amersfoort Racing) also passed the 17-year-old Frenchman early. A short time later, however, the Dutchman was re-passed by Ocon and on lap six; he pitted due to a clutch problem and was forced into retirement. So, Felix Rosenqvist inherited third position.

In the opening stages, Ocon was able to match the pace of race leader Blomqvist but then, the 20-year-old succeeded in opening a gap on the championship leader and increasing it lap by lap. Afterwards, Ocon drove a lonely race as Rosenqvist in third position wasn’t able to pressurise him. Behind the Swede, Lucas Auer (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport) and Jordan King (Carlin) followed in fourth and fifth positions.

While the battle for the positions at the front end of the field ended early, quite a number of drivers in the midfield were ‘rewarded’ with drive-through-penalties. The first driver to receive a drive-through was seventh-placed Gustavo Menezes (Van Amersfoort Racing) for having ignored the track boundaries. The penalty cost the US-American his best FIA Formula 3 European Championship position to date and in the end, he had to settle for finishing 17th. Antonio Fuoco (Prema Powerteam) even received two drive-through-penalties: the first for having ignored the track boundaries and the second for having crossed the white line at the pit lane exit. Consequently, the Ferrari Driver Academy protégé finished 19th. Meanwhile, 18-year-old Dutch rookie Jules Szymkowiak (Van Amersfoort Racing) celebrated his best FIA Formula 3 European Championship result to date by coming sixth. Félix Serrallés (Team West-Tec F3), Dennis van de Laar (Prema Powerteam), Mitch Gilbert (Fortec Motorsports) and Sean Gelael (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin) completed the top 10.

Tom Blomqvist (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin): “I made a good start and also prevailed in the battle for the lead against Max Verstappen. My car was really good and proved to be particularly fast in the second third of the race. So, I was able to increase my lead lap by lap. I knew that I would have a good chance of winning the race – as long as I wouldn’t make any mistake, that is.”

Esteban Ocon (Prema Powerteam): “I had too much wheel spin at the start and therefore, I wasn’t able to take the lead from my pole position. On the first four or five laps I was able to go the pace of Blomqvist but then, the performance of my tyres slowly began to decrease and I had to back down to go easy on them, thus offering Tom the opportunity to open the gap.”

Felix Rosenqvist (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport): “Having secured my second podium of the season is nice although this isn’t the result I had expected. Our car is quick but unfortunately not too consistent and therefore, driving it can be difficult, every now and then. But I was able to gain three positions in this race and this increases my confidence regarding the other two races of the weekend.”

PIC 1

DKM



ENAAM MASTERS GERMANY 

Deutsche Kart Meisterschaft

Fresh from his win at the Super Masters Cup at La Conca last weekend, Enaam was invited to race in Germany, in Ampfing.  This was part of the National German Series known as DKM (Deutsche Kart Meisterschaft).  This series is noted for its varying tracks across Germany and Belgium. Although an unscheduled event in Enaam’s  racing calendar, it would provide new challenges which would only help develop a more comprehensive driver.  Racing on unknown tracks and against local more experienced drivers meant he had a lot to gain this weekend win or lose.

Friday morning, and the very tight and twisting track was proving to be a tough test for Enaam.  The pressure was further increased as the Team learnt that Sebastian Vettel, the current Formula One World Champion, was competing at the event. Enaam would have to be outstanding to impress this crowd.  During testing Enaam showed some consistency in clocking the top 5 fastest times.   Enaam persevered with his team analysing data and making mechanical tweeks to the kart but he kept falling short against the local drivers.  He finished a poor 11th in qualifying.  Disappointed but not defeated he worked through the night to hopefully improve in the heats on Saturday.

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The rain on Saturday further dampened the RFM Team’s mood and Enaam knew he would have to race out of his skin to win in Ampfing.  And that is exactly what he did!  He drove two fantastic heats with perfectly executed starts, whilst making the relevant adjustments on course enabling him to win with a very wide margin. The pole position for the Pre Final on Sunday.

The sun was out on Finals day to greet the racers.  With an 18 Degrees temperature, it meant Enaam would have to revert back to a dry weather style of driving.  If he could master the two corners he would be a threat in the finals.  The Pre Final begun well and Enaam managed to maintain the lead for the majority of the race.  However, on the 19th lap a crafty manoeuvre by the 16 year old local driver Thomas Preining, knocked Enaam back into 2nd  position, and this is how the race finished.   Enaam felt disappointed and patronised by Preining’s manoeuvre and wanted to settle the score in the final.

PIC 3

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The Final started with Preining leading and continuously trying to play a “cat and mouse” style of game with Enaam. He would slow down to allow Enaam to get close, and then suddenly speed off again trying to deflate the fight out of Enaam.  Karma prevailed as Preining’s cockiness eventually put him out of the race.  As he was attempting to slow down his kart oiled up, and Enaam smartly adjusted his carburettor and overtook him.  Preining was parked on the side whilst Enaam cruised to victory. Who had the last laugh?  Enaams 17 point lead meant he was well on his way to winning the championship formally won by drivers such as Micheal Schumacher (1987), Nico Hulkenberg (2003), Sebastian Vettel (2001) and Robert Kubica (1999).

  “I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen” – Ernest Hemingway

www.enaamahmed.co.uk

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(Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images)

Formula 1


RED BULL CANADIAN GRAND PRIX PREVIEW

Sebastian Vettel: “Canada is a very demanding high-speed racing track, which is surrounded by rails and concrete walls. There is definitely a high risk potential, especially in Turn 15, where you will soon get to know the notorious “Wall of Fame” should you be driving a few centimetres too far to the right. The first danger zone is already at the start. In the very narrow right-left passage, it’s all about avoiding contact with the other cars, otherwise there will be a crash. It is not uncommon for the safety car to make an appearance at the Canadian Grand Prix. Before the Grand Prix, I’m travelling to Toronto to spend a day with Infiniti and their guests on Wednesday for an Infiniti driving day, which will be fun. I’ll be performing a few Hot Laps with David Coulthard and some Infiniti guests.”

Daniel Ricciardo: “I doubt anyone on the grid lacks motivation, but there’s definitely a little extra edge to it at some circuits. They tend to be the ones that demand the most from you and hold real consequences from getting it wrong. Montreal definitely falls into that category. Each of the chicanes (the hairpin too) is an opportunity to make up, or lose, time but the crucial corner is probably the last one: you arrive at top speed so there’s a lot to be gained in braking if you get that just right, and then the way you go over the kerbs is worth more time. The flip side is that it’s very easy to get wrong and if you do then there’s that big wall waiting. It’s a clear choice: some guys will play it safe and sacrifice half a tenth to get through there cleanly; others who will take a risk and go flat out trying to find a little bit. The nearer you are, the faster you’ll go. Give the wall a kiss and you feel pretty good: Kiss it too hard and that’s it!”

OLE SCHACK

NUMBER TWO MECHANIC

You’re the front-end mechanic for Seb? Explain how that works, what are your responsibilities? 
The front end mechanic’s main responsibilities are to ensure that the front end of the car is assembled correctly. This includes all the suspension components on the front of the chassis. Additionally we’re responsible for driver comfort in the cockpit. This includes the driver seat, steering controls brake and throttle pedal.
What’s Seb like to work with when you are setting up the car?
Pretty much the same now as when he started in 2009. He has not changed much and is very precise in his feedback. It’s the engineers’ job to coordinate what’s being changed on the car, but if there’s anything Seb wants to change then that is very simple and easy.
What are the general requirements for set-up at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve?
It is obviously very different from the last race in Monaco, because Montreal is a very high-speed track with very long straights. It’s a very good atmosphere at the circuit. It’s always full of people: it’s the only race in Canada and, as the track is very old, you can get very close to the grandstands and the fans. It’s enjoyable to see the fans so close. I like it a lot.
What’s your best memory of the Canadian Grand Prix?
We have won it before and therefore it will always be a good one. I always remember standing on the grid for two hours in 2011. I was freezing cold and it was raining so much, but yes: winning the race was always a good memory.
How tough was the 2011 race for you – it was a four hour race! The toughest bit was the weather. It was so cold and we only had a fire-proof suit on which was definitely not warm when wet and you get heavy standing there for that long without moving around; waiting for the race to progress and for the weather to get better, that was obviously a tough one.

To lose the race in the final lap was a shame, I think we won plenty of races that year and we covered it anyway because we won the Championship.
In two sentences, describe the Montreal experience, on-track and off-track?
We see more of the on-track side as we spend more time in the garage, but it’s a fantastic and vibrant city. There are different parts of the city. If you want to go to the French quarter and have great food, you can and if you want to go downtown and have a pizza, then you can do that. It’s a great place. We always say that the three M races are very good: Montreal, Monaco and Melbourne and all of them are races in the city, so it just gives a different atmosphere.

Davide Rigon

LE MANS


Davide Rigon: “Waiting for Le Mans”

In a little more than two weeks, the spotlight will turn on the most prestigious competition in the Endurance landscape, the 24 Hours of Le Mans: among the 168 pilots, there will be also Davide Rigon, in pair with Calado and Olivier Beretta, at the wheel of the Ferrari 458 AF Corse. The talented driver from Veneto (Italy) arrives to the appointment which is worth a season, on the strength of the podium at Spa-Francorchamps and of fifth place obtained in the opening race at Silverstone, which launched the crew #71 at fifth place in classification. “The evaluation so far is certainly positive. At Silverstone we collected less than deserved, while at Spa everything went great. The maximum would be the second place”, Davide Rigon comments. “Now we have several kilometres behind and begin to be very familiar with the car and the team, with whom there’s a great feeling”.

Along with Bruni and Vilander, you have made Ferrari and AF Corse the leaders in their respective classifications. What are your goals?

The main objective is to bring Ferrari to success among the Constructors and then, in succession, to achieve the titles for teams and drivers, thus trying to repeat the three of last year. We’ll try to win the Drivers’ Championship, even though we are rookies. For James this is the first experience in GT, while for me it’s their first season as official driver. Last year, thanks to 8Star Team, I had the chance to get to know the championship, but now I feel much the weight of responsibility. Thanks to AF Corse and Ferrari we have everything on hand to make it right. We are professionals and we have to give the 100%.

What about your relationship with the other Ferrari drivers?

There is a great team spirit and we work very well together, also sharing the data. Gimmi and Vilander are two champions with an extensive experience: I can learn a lot from them. We have a great engineer with whom we feel very well: we build the car in order to suit our needs.

After Silverstone and Spa, now it’s time for the 24H of Le Mans.

It’s the most important race of the year and one of the finest in history. All drivers wish to run the 24H of Le Mans at least once, for its charm and importance. Perhaps it is worth more than a win in Monte Carlo. For me it will be the first time and I cannot wait.

What are your goals?

The objectives are clear. We have to run for the podium, if not for the victory. We know that it will be very tough – especially for us, considering that we are at the debut – although on our side we can count on Olivier Beretta, who can already claim a victory. We are ready to challenge ourselves: we have already analyzed and studied different strategies and we’ll have an important reference with our fellows Fisichella-Bruni-Vilander, who know this race very well. We’ll try to keep their pace in the race.

Have you already had the chance to get to know the track?

I will experiment the track for the first time in the official tests before the race. As far as now, I’ve had the opportunity to study the circuit through the simulator and some videos. It’s a very long track: I’ve never driven on a circuit where a complete lap takes nearly 4 minutes.

It will be the first time at Le Mans for you, but the fourth in a 24H race, with the 2008 success in FIA ​​GT.

I have already run three times a 24H, although all of them on the track of Spa-Francorchamps. In 2008 I won at the debut in the FIA World GT with the Ferrari of Scuderia Italia, while in Blancpain Endurance Series I had to retire both times, including last year in the last hour of the race, due to an engine failure. I know what it means not sleeping at night. It’s a really tough race where we should not leave anything to the rivals.

What kind of physical preparation is required for this kind of race?

This year, with my trainer Emiliano Maraldi of the Driver Program Center of Forlì, we are working primarily on floor exercises with aerobic workouts and on reflexes, continuing with the program of last year. In terms of physical strength, endurance races are less demanding than Formula ones, while they require a greater resistance to heat and to extended “suffering”. Especially in the 24H I’ll have to stay several hours in the car, with stints of even three hours. For this reason, I don’t want to arrive unprepared to this important appointment.

FIA Formula 3 European Championship Test Hungaroring (H)

F3 EURO CHAMPIONSHIP


FIA Formula 3 European Championship debut appearance in Hungary

Venue: Budapest
Track length: 4.381 kilometres
Lap record FIA F3: track for the first time on the calendar
Distance: 21 laps

Nine races of the 2014 FIA Formula 3 European Championship season already have been contested and Frenchman Esteban Ocon (Prema Powerteam) left his mark on them. The Lotus F1 Junior won three of these races and is the championship leader with a 57-point lead over the best of the rest. The toughest rival of the 17-year-old rookie is the clearly more experienced Briton Tom Blomqvist (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin). The son of former World Rally Champion Stig Blomqvist currently holds second position in the championship. And the 20-year-old set himself the goal to reduce the gap to Ocon, in the fourth meeting of the season, held at the 4.381-kilometre Hungaroring, located not far from Hungary’s capital Budapest.

Blomqvist is the only driver apart from Ocon who succeeded in winning more than one race, in the season to date. He prevailed in one of the season kick-off races at Silverstone and at the street circuit of Pau, Southern France, he added another race win to his tally. Furthermore, Italy’s 18-year-old rookie Antonio Fuoco (Prema Powerteam), 19-year-old Austrian Lucas Auer (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport), the Netherland’s 16-year-old rookie Max Verstappen (Van Amersfoort Racing) and the experienced 22-year-old Swede Felix Rosenqvist (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport) also have got a race win each under their belts.

For the FIA Formula 3 European Championship, it will be the debut appearance at the circuit that was the venue of the first Formula 1 GP in the Eastern Block, back in 1986. The two days of pre-season testing in early April, however, offered the young drivers the chance of familiarising themselves with the characteristics of the track. The fastest lap times in the four sessions were set by Jordan King (Carlin), Max Verstappen, Felix Rosenqvist and Tom Blomqvist, with Ocon’s best positions on the time sheets having been a second place.

Tom Blomqvist (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin): “I’m looking forward to racing at the Hungaroring. The track layout is really interesting and suits the characteristics of a Formula 3 car well. Together with the possibly high temperatures, the Hungaroring will represent a new challenge for us. On the other hand, overtaking will be anything but easy and so, a good grid positions once again will be a key factor for a successful race. I’m travelling to Hungary in a confident mood as I was very competitive at any venue we race at, so far. Silverstone, Hockenheim and Pau are circuits that differ a lot but my car proved to be fast everywhere.”

Please find the time schedule and the entry list for the race weekend at the Hungaroring at the official website www.fiaf3europe.com.

Romain Grosjean Monaco race 2014

Formula 1


MONACO GRAND PRIX DRIVER QUOTES

Romain Grosjean: “It’s good to finish the race here for the first time in my career and it’s good to get some points too. It started as a pretty bad Sunday for us with a puncture for me on the first lap after Adrian [Sutil] drove into me. We swapped to the soft tyres but it was impossible to overtake on these so we came back in for the super softs. The safety car timing didn’t help us as we’d just gone out on the new tyres, but that’s Monaco. You can have thousands of misfortunes in the race, but still be in the points at the end!”

Felipe Massa: I am very happy with seventh after starting 16th on the grid. I took some risks when I changed strategy at the safety car and had to make my tyres last, which they did. I made the most of the opportunities I had with other cars making mistakes or retiring. Many things could have happened so I am pleased they worked out for the best. A tough weekend turned into a positive one.

Valtteri Bottas: We had an issue with the power unit which is frustrating. There are some investigations to do to find out exactly what happened. After the start I was quickly in the points so it could have been a good weekend. Felipe finished seventh so the team can walk away with something. We now look towards Canada where we hope to be strong due to the nature of the track.

DANIEL RICCIARDO: “The race really came to life towards the end. It started off not so well and it’s a really short run to Turn 1, so that was frustrating. Then we got Seb due to his reliability and Kimi had a puncture and we sort of got back to where we were hoping to be. After the re-start we were just saving the tyres to the point that we could get to the end and then, with 20 laps to go, I thought they would be okay so I pushed. It was the first time in the whole race that I felt like I was really driving the car and we caught Lewis. It was fun but I couldn’t get him, so I have to say the race finished better than it started.”
SEBASTIAN VETTEL: “It’s disappointing. I had a good start and then we lost boost pressure from the turbo, so I had no power and had to retire. The team did everything they could. I felt quite helpless in the car, so I was asking for an answer of what we could do, but there wasn’t anything at that stage. We fixed some problems yesterday with the ERS, but some more came today with the turbo, but we will move forwards and it will be good for us soon.”

Kamui Kobayashi: “Even though we finished in 13th I’m really not happy as I’m sure I’d have finished in the points if Bianchi hadn’t hit me when he forced his way past. The car was basically undriveable after that so just finishing is a good result, and the team did everything they could to help us finish as high as possible today – good strategy and great stops, but when you’re overtaken by being hit out of the way it’s obviously not good.

“I had a clean start, staying ahead of Bianchi and passing Chilton into turn one. Heading down towards the hairpin I avoided the debris from the Force India and was up to 15th under the safety car. With the retirements that was soon 13th and then 12th and the car felt pretty good at that stage. 

“We stopped for the first time on lap 25 under the second safety car and went onto softs and rejoined in 12th with Raikkonen and Bianchi behind me. Then, as we went into the chicane after the tunnel, Bianchi hit me on the side and I had to cut through the chicane to avoid more contact. I don’t really know why nothing was done about that as he basically just forced me out of the way by hitting me which meant both the Marussia and my teammate could pass and after that the car felt really bad. The impact had caused a lot of damage to the sidepod and the floor and I lost a lot of rear downforce so from that point I was losing time without being able to do anything about it.

“I managed to get the car home ahead of Chilton but with the way the race ended I think the whole team feel like we lost out through no fault of our own. We need to keep our spirits up and use this experience to make us even more determined to get ahead of our nearest rivals and we’ll just keep pushing.”

Nico Hulkenberg: “Ten points today is a great reward after such a difficult race. The last twenty laps were really tricky because my supersoft tyres were at the end of their life and it was hard to hold off the cars behind me and stay away from the barriers. There were a few close moments when I kissed the wall, but I survived and managed to hold on to fifth place. Fortunately my car was quick in the right places – going into the tunnel and also through the final corner. There were some enjoyable moments in the race, especially my move on Magnussen. He had to let the Toro Rosso back through and he lost a bit of momentum so I saw my opportunity to stick my nose down the inside of turn eight. On a track like Monaco it gives you a big smile to make the move stick.”
SergioPerez: “I was in a battle with Nico, who was ahead, and I went to take the apex normally. I was on the racing line and ahead of Jenson [Button] when he clipped my rear wheel and spun me around into the barriers. I did not expect him to be there as there wasn’t really any space for another car there. It was very unlucky. As a racing driver you have good and bad Sundays but this is definitely one I want to forget as soon as possible. It is disappointing that we lost a big chance to score a good amount of points, but the car felt much better here than in Spain, as shown by Nico’s result. This is a very positive signal looking ahead to Montreal.”