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GP3

Goschung sets the pace on day two in Estoril

Jenzer Motorsport’s Ralph Boschung quickest in Portugal
Swiss rookie Ralph Boschung topped the timesheet on the second and final day of pre-season testing at Estoril. The Jenzer Motorsport driver posted a best laptime of 1: 27.789 in the morning session. Carlin’s Mitchell Gilbert was quickest in the afternoon.
Dry but breezy conditions greeted the GP3 paddock for the final day of testing in Portugal. ART Grand Prix’s Alfonso Celis Jr set the early pace before Gilbert claimed P1. It was a busy start to the morning test with the drivers making the most of the good weather.
Birthday boy Marvin Kirchhöfer (ART Grand Prix) was first to lap in the 1m27’s with a 1:27.969 and he sat pretty at the top of the timesheet until Boschung pipped the German by a tenth. Arden Motorsport’s Emil Bernstorff and Koiranen GP’s Jimmy Eriksson were third and fourth as the session approached the final hour. There was a short stoppage when Kevin Ceccon’s Arden Motorsport car stopped at turn one.
However, nobody was able to improve on Boschung’s best efforts and at the chequered flag the Jenzer Motorsport driver held on ahead of Kirchhöfer, Bernstorff, Eriksson, Antonio Fuoco, Gilbert, Luca Ghiotto, Jann Mardenborough, Esteban Ocon and Sandy Stuvik.
As the temperature increased and the sun shone down, the afternoon session commenced with the Carlin trio of Gilbert, Mardenborough and Fuoco leading the way, until Koiranen GP’s Matthew Parry rose to P3. Alex Fontana (Status Grand Prix) shot to second quickest at the midway point, six tenths off Gilbert’s best.
In the latter stages Ghiotto jumped up the order to P2 ahead of Ceccon, two tenths adrift of the Australian. Matheo Tuscher, Pal Varhaug and Boschung made their way into the top five in the final ten minutes with Ghiotto holding P3.  Try as they may but the pack was unable to deny Gilbert of top spot in the afternoon session. Behind Gilbert at the chequered flag were Tuscher, Bernstorff, Ghiotto, Varhaug, Boschung, Ceccon, Fontana, Artur Janosz and Mardenborough.
The second pre-season test will run in Valencia, Spain on 09-10 April.
Estoril: Day 2
Morning Results
Driver
Team
Laptime
Laps
1.
Ralph Boschung
Jenzer Motorsport
1:27.789
36
2.
Marvin Kirchhöfer
ART Grand Prix
1:27.967
36
3.
Emil Bernstorff
Arden International
1:28.049
39
4.
Jimmy Eriksson
Koiranen GP
1:28.050
25
5.
Antonio Fuoco
Carlin
1:28.268
36
6.
Mitchell Gilbert
Carlin
1:28.312
35
7.
Luca Ghiotto
Trident
1:28.366
38
8.
Jann Mardenborough
Carlin
1:28.520
37
9.
Esteban Ocon
ART Grand Prix
1:28.546
33
10.
Sandy Stuvik
Status Grand Prix
1:28.594
37
11.
Matheo Tuscher
Jenzer Motorsport
1:28.601
39
12.
Alex Palou
Campos Racing
1:28.749
37
13.
Matthew Parry
Koiranen GP
1:28.772
33
14.
Pal Varhaug
Jenzer Motorsport
1:28.848
30
15.
Seb Morris
Status Grand Prix
1:28.941
31
16.
Alex Fontana
Status Grand Prix
1:29.015
19
17.
Alfonso Celis. Jr
ART Grand Prix
1:29.031
35
18.
Adderly Fong
Koiranen GP
1:29.052
33
19.
Oscar Tunjo
Trident
1:29.091
29
20.
Kevin Ceccon
Arden International
1:29.239
34
21.
Artur Janosz
Trident
1:29.866
29
22.
Aleksander Bosak
Arden International
1:29.932
24
23
Zaid Ashkanani
Campos Racing
1:30.846
27

GP3

Fuoco fastest on day one in Estoril

Carlin’s Antonio Fuoco quickest in Portuguese pre-season testing
Ferrari Academy Driver Antonio Fuoco recorded the best laptime on day one of pre-season testing in Estoril. The Italian’s fastest lap was 1:28.410 around the Portuguese track. ART Grand Prix’s Marvin Kirchhöfer and Arden International’s Emil Bernstorff completed the top three times and were covered by just 0.023s in a closely fought afternoon session. Colombian debutant Oscar Tunjo set the pace in the morning test for Trident.
After heavy rain had fallen overnight, the track was very damp meaning a quiet start to proceedings. Once the drivers set their installation laps it was a case of waiting for the circuit to dry. With one hour left on the clock, Sandy Stuvik from Status Grand Prix was the first driver to brave running on the slick Pirelli tyre and he jumped to P1. Jenzer Motorsport’s rookie Ralph Boschung was next to head the timesheet as the teams faced the tricky dilemma of whether to run on track with dark clouds looming. Pirelli supplied the teams with five sets of Medium compounds for this test.
As the clock ticked down, the track became busier as the drivers began their slick tyre runs and the times tumbled. Alex Fontana (Status Grand Prix) was the first driver to break into the 1m29’s, lapping four tenths faster than newly signed Carlin driver Jann Mardenborough. There was a short stoppage when Seb Morris spun at Turn 4 but the Brit was able to continue in the session.
With ten minutes remaining, Tunjo posted a laptime of 1:29.061 to go top with his teammate Luca Ghiotto up to third. There was a red flag in the final moments when Zaid Ashkanani (Campos Racing) spun into the gravel at Turn 13.
That marked the end of the morning test as the teams and drivers had a two hour break before the afternoon session commenced. Tunjo topped the times ahead of Fontana, Ghiotto, Mardenborough, Jimmy Eriksson, Esteban Ocon, Mitchell Gilbert, Bernstorff, Ralph Boschung and Kirchhöfer.
Fuoco was first to lap in the 1m29’s in the afternoon session before Mardenborough broke into the 1m28s bracket, closely followed by Kirchhöfer. The German brought out the third red flag of the day after stopping at Turn 5. There was another brief stop when Artur Janosz spun his Trident machine.
Fuoco reclaimed his place at the head of the timings at the midway point with Bernstorff rising to second before Kirchhöfer displaced the Brit. Matheo Tuscher stopped on track at turn 4 leaving a five minute shootout for the drivers to do their best to improve.
At the chequered flag Fuoco had claimed P1 ahead of Kirchhöfer, Bernstorff, Ghiotto, Mardenborough, Ocon, Boschung, Eriksson, Tunjo and Tuscher.
The second and final day of the Estoril pre-season test will commence at 09.00 local time and finish at 12.00. There will be a 1 hour break with the afternoon session running from 13.00 – 16.00.

GP3

2015 pre-season testing commences in Estoril…Two day test session in Portugal

The opening 2015 GP3 pre-season test session gets underway at the Circuito Estoril on the 18-19 March for a two day test. This is the first of three pre-season tests before Barcelona hosts round one of the year in early May.
As ever with a new season, we welcome new rookies into the fold along with a blend of more experienced drivers with the common goal the same – to claim the title.
Reigning Team Champions’ Carlin have a brand new line-up starting with Ferrari Academy Driver Antonio Fuoco, the Italian finished fifth in the European F3 Championship in 2014. Australian Mitch Gilbert who raced in four GP3 events last season has also signed with Carlin, whilst GP3 race winner Jann Mardenborough will test for the British squad this week.
ART Grand Prix retain German Marvin Kirchhöfer who finished an impressive third overall in his debut season in the category. He will be joined by Alfonso Celis Jr and the highly rated rookie, Esteban Ocon. The French star won the European F3 Championship last year as well as combining his duties as Lotus F1 Team Test Driver.
There are all new faces at Status Grand Prix – the experienced Alex Fontana has joined the green and black squad. Welshman Seb Morris who finished third in Formula Renault 2.0 NEC and Thai debutant Sandy Stuvik (Euro Formula Open) completes the team.
Multiple race winner Jimmy Eriksson has stayed with Finnish outfit Koiranen GP with Adderly Fong making the move from Jenzer Motorsport to join the Swede. Rookie Matthew Parry from Formula Renault 2.0 Euro Cup joins the experienced duo.
Kevin Ceccon has switched to Arden International with 2014 race winner Emil Bernstorff partnering the Italian. Polish rookie Aleksander Bosak from FR 2.0 ALSP finalises the squad.
Jenzer Motorsport have retained two of their 2014 drivers with Matheo Tuscher and Pal Varhaug, with Swiss rookie Ralph Boschung (ADAC Formula Masters) joining the team. The car has an exciting new livery so keep your eyes peeled!
Newcomers to the GP3 field are Spanish squad, Campos Racing. The Valencia based outfit have experience in our sister series GP2 and will be keen to add success in this category too. They have signed two drivers to date with Spaniard Alex Palou (Euro Formula Open) and Kuwaiti Zaid Ashkanani (Porsche GT3 Cup – Middle East).
Italian Luca Ghiotto has remained with Trident alongside two rookies: Artur Janosz from Poland who has raced in Euro Formula Open and Oscar Tunjo from Colombia from the 3.5 Series.
There will be eight teams participating in the 2015 GP3 Series season.
GP3 Series CEO Bruno Michel commented: “In spite of the numerous requests from teams to join the GP3 field and from drivers who wish to race in our Series, we were unable to give a new entry for this season in order to replace Marussia Manor Racing as their cars remain in administration.
“I could not ask for a new team to buy three brand new GP3/13 cars when we will introduce a new machine next year. Therefore, there will only be eight teams competing in the 2015 GP3 Series season. However, we will of course give an entry to nine squads for the next three-year cycle which will start in 2016 in order to meet the demand of both teams and drivers.
“Looking at this season’s line up, I am very impressed by its level. It is one of the strongest we have had in GP3 and I cannot wait to see who will come out on top.”
Entry List: Estoril GP3 pre-season test
CAR
DRIVER
LICENSE
TEAM
1
Antonio Fuoco
ITA
Carlin
2
Jann Mardenborough
GBR
Carlin
3
Mitch Gilbert
AUS
Carlin
4
Alfonso Celis. Jr
MEX
ART Grand Prix
5
Marvin Kirchhöfer
GER
ART Grand Prix
6
Esteban Ocon
FRA
ART Grand Prix
7
Seb Morris
GBR
Status Grand Prix
8
Alex Fontana
SUI
Status Grand Prix
9
Sandy Stuvik
THA
Status Grand Prix
10
Adderly Fong
HKG
Koiranen GP
11
Jimmy Eriksson
SWE
Koiranen GP
12
Matthew Parry
GBR
Koiranen GP
14
Kevin Ceccon
ITA
Arden International
15
Emil Bernstorff
GBR
Arden International
16
Aleksander Bosak
POL
Arden International
20
Pal Varhaug
NOR
Jenzer Motorsport
21
Matheo Tuscher
SUI
Jenzer Motorsport
22
Ralph Boschung
SUI
Jenzer Motorsport
23
Zaid Ashkanani
KUW
Campos Racing
24
Alex Palou
ESP
Campos Racing
25
Campos Racing
26
Artur Janosz
POL
Trident
27
Luca Ghiotto
ITA
Trident
28
Oscar Tunjo
COL
Trident

FORMULA 1

Hamilton has cruised to victory at the Australian Grand Prix, lapping Daniel Ricciardo in the final stages of the race in a strong warning of Mercedes superiority.

Hamilton was never headed after starting on poll as Mercedes made it another one-two finish.

Nico Rosberg finished about 1.3 seconds behind his teammate, but the gap back to Seb Vettel (Ferrari) in third was a whopping 34.5 seconds.

Ricciardo was passed by Felipe Nasr on the first lap and spent the rest of the day in a fruitless chase of the Sauber driver before finishing sixth.

It wasn’t the worst result given the trouble Red Bull had in the lead-up to the race — and the number of drivers who failed to finish.

“We got away with some points but other than that there’s not much more (to be positive about),” Ricciardo said.

“We got lapped so obviously we’ve got some pace to find.”

Ricciardo described the frustration of being unable to launch an attack on Nasr before apologising to fans for the lack of action.

“It was a little bit of a boring race,” he said. “I feel sorry for the fans.”

FORMULA 1

WHAT THE DRIVERS SAID AFTER FRIDAY PRACTICE IN AUSTRALIA…

Valtteri Bottas: It was a very productive Friday; whilst Felipe was unlucky with a technical problem and lost some running, we managed to complete our run programme and get as prepared as we can for qualifying and the race. Straight out of the box the car felt good; it was particularly good in the long runs and the tyres felt consistent with not much drop off in performance. We can still find improvements in the short run pace and do more to unlock the tyre performance over one lap, so that will be a focus in tomorrow’s third practice session.
Felipe Massa: It’s a bit disappointing to have only run in one session today; a water leak in the power unit required a repair. The more you run the more you understand the best direction to take with the set-up and what the track conditions are like, but at least I managed to get some valuable laps under my belt in the morning and the overall feeling from the car is positive. It’s also good to identify any problems early on rather than experiencing them in qualifying or the race.
Romain: “It feels great to get out on track and get some laps at Albert Park, especially with such a lovely day here. I was happy not just for the weather as the car feels pretty good and the whole team is very positive at the potential we have. Certainly missing much of the first session was not to plan, but we know the issue and I’ve every confidence we’ll have it sorted for tomorrow. It’s the kind of thing you encounter in the early season. The big plus is the car feels good and I think we should be able to go well this weekend.”

Pastor: “I was happy with my time in the car today and the E23 feels pretty strong. For sure, we missed some of the second session, but the issue was easy to diagnose so the team is working on a solution. As always for the first day of running here, the track was improving all the time, but we were able to run good evaluations between us so we have plenty of info for building on today’s work. Our post-session debriefs have been very promising so it’s great to start the season with a real positive vibe.”

Nico Hülkenberg: “It was a fairly normal Friday with everything running smoothly. The long run performance was pretty good, especially the feeling and confidence I had with the car. So the balance is okay; it’s just that we need to find some more performance, especially over a single lap. With almost 50 laps today I think we are quite well prepared going into the weekend.”
Sergio Perez: “It was a day when we were able to achieve the objectives and hit our targets in terms of mileage – so that’s positive. We did a lot of work with both the soft and medium tyre compounds, and I think we’ve already got a good understanding of how they perform. In terms of my feeling with the car, there is still a lot to improve, but it’s the first day of the season and the first chance I’ve had to do proper performance work. There is a lot we need to learn from the data and a lot of decisions to be taken tonight.”
DANIIL KVYAT: “Everything went quite well and according to plan today – everything felt good. We will do what we can tonight to prepare for tomorrow. It’s too early to see where we are compared to the others as yet – but we’ll see where we can improve overnight. Tomorrow we will know more.”
FDANIEL RICCIARDO: “In FP1 it took us a while to get going and we didn’t get out straight away. A problem with the ICE meant we couldn’t run in FP2, but it’s a problem that we can fix for tomorrow. There’s a lot of time to do what we need, so there’s no concerns – it wasn’t worth rushing it to get five laps this afternoon. We don’t believe it will affect one of the four engines, so it’s not a massive shot in the foot. I will look at what Daniil learnt in FP2 to get a direction for tomorrow – the circuit felt pretty rubbered in already in the morning so I should be able to get up to speed tomorrow. I’ve got to get these ants out of my pants now – I’m hanging out to drive! It’s been a bit of a tease all week, talking about driving, and now I just want to get out there.”

F1Weekly podcast # 673

Clark and Nasir prepare themselves for the start of the 2015 Formula 1 season, they try to understand Fernando Alonso’s trip to 1995. We have Motorsports Mondial with the king and…We bring you the latest news on this weeks GP2 Testing at Yas Marina…

Richie Stanaway quickest at Yas Marina …Status Grand Prix driver sets fastest laptime on Day 3

The final day of the pre-season testing at Yas Marina opened once again in windy conditions. Alexander Rossi was the first driver to feed onto the track, closely followed by teammate Jordan King, but it was Stoffel Vandoorne who was the early pace setter. The proceedings were halted within the first forty minutes after Artem Markelov stopped on track at Turn 7. When the pitlane went green again, some drivers switched to super soft Pirelli tyres and put their visor down. Raffaele Marciello was the first man to dip under 1m50s, but Mitch Evans bettered the Italian’s laptime to break the 1m49s barrier. Vandoorne went even quicker and set a laptime of 1:48.921 just as a second red flag period occurred courtesy of Evans who stopped at Turn 9.
The session restarted and on the one hour mark, Marciello improved again, enough to edge Vandoorne out of the top spot. Evans went back on track and was able to go even faster in a 1:48.850 and took control of the timesheet. At the halfway mark, Richie Stanaway went top with a laptime four tenths quicker and sat pretty at the head of the standings until the chequered flag dropped. Pierre Gasly surged to second in the closing stages ahead of Evans, Marciello, Rossi, Vandoorne, Alex Lynn, Rio Haryanto, Sergey Sirotkin and Arthur Pic.
After a one hour break, the pitlane reopened for the afternoon session and Haryanto was the early pace setter. At the halfway point, Lynn went top, one tenth quicker than the Indonesian driver. The proceedings were halted after Rossi went off track and lightly hit the barrier at Turn 8. The session restarted with one hour remaining but there was another short interruption after Zoel Amberg stopped at Turn 14. The session resumed and Sirotkin found some extra pace to clock in a laptime of 1:49.158 and moved up to P1.
A final red flag stalled proceedings, courtesy of Markelov who stopped on the straight/finish line. At the restart, there were ten minutes left on the clock for a final shoot out and for the drivers to put their last set of super soft tyres to good use, which is exactly what Pic did moving up to P2. A double yellow flag in sector 2 in the dying minutes however ruined any last attempt to shine as Sirotkin stopped at Turn 19.
The Russian thus remained unchallenged until the chequered flag, but thanks to his morning laptime, Stanaway finished the first pre-season test on top. The next test session will take place on April 01-02-03 at Sakhir International Circuit.

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