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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.”
Jean-Pierre-Jabouille-RS01-Silverstone532X800

RENAULT CLASSICS



 Turbos to make return to Silverstone for first time in 25 years this summer on anniversary of 50th British GP.

Renault recreates F1 turbo history at Silverstone with display of some of the most significant turbocharged cars to be raced in the sport ; the RS01, RE40 and Lotus 98T.

The pioneering Renault RS01 was the first-ever turbocharged car to be raced in F1. The distinctive yellow car, powered by a 1.5l V6 turbo engine, made its debut at the British GP in 1977, driven by Jean-Pierre Jabouille
Lotus F1 Team driver Romain Grosjean, who is powered by the Renault V6 turbo in the 2014 championship, drove the RE40 during filming activities, Alain Prost’s British GP-winning chassis from the 1983 championship.

In 1977 Renault created F1 history when it became the first-ever manufacturer to race a turbocharged car in the championship. Nobody had dared to pursue the turbocharged route until Renault debuted the highly experimental RS01 at the British GP on 17 July 1977. Powered by a 1.5l V6 turbo engine, Frenchman Jean-Pierre Jabouille became the first driver to ever compete in a championship race with a turbo-powered car.

Renault paid homage to this history today with a demonstration of some of the most significant turbo powered cars to have raced in the championship. Of course this year a new generation of turbos will return to the circuit where history was written.

The RS01 was on display alongside the Renault RE40, the British GP-winning car driven in 1983 by Alain Prost, and the Lotus 98T, one of the fastest-ever turbocharged cars built, driven by Ayrton Senna in 1986.

Following its appearance in 1977 the RS01 ushered in a new engine formula. The RS01 scored its first win on home ground in the 1979 French GP at Dijon, signalling that the turbocharged route was the way to go. One-by-one other teams developed the turbo, in effect acknowledging that Renault had got its sums right. A move to twin turbos, improvements in cooling and reductions in vibrations and friction allowed power and speeds to reach unprecedented levels, with more than 1,000bhp seen on race day and 1,300bhp in qualifying by the mid-80s – just seven years after the turbo made its first appearance.

Romain Grosjean, who is powered by the Renault Energy F1-2014 in this year’s F1 championship, completed a demonstration run of Silverstone in the car Renault ambassador and four-times world champion Alain Prost raced to second in the 1983 championship. The car is powered by a twin-turbo evolution V6 engine that produced around 880bhp at the time. Prost claimed victories in France, Belgium, Silverstone and Austria with podium positions at San Marino, Monaco and Brands Hatch. He was in the running for the championship title but unfortunately just missed out at the last race of the year in South Africa when, ironically, the turbo failed. Nelson Piquet clinched the title by two points. The 1983 season was Renault’s best in the turbo period, with second place in the constructors’ ranking.

After the run Romain, who is one of the few drivers to have direct experience of both turbo periods, said : ‘It felt the same as driving an F1 today at some points, but very different in others. The main difference is the driving position and the fact you feel you are sitting on the front wheel axle. The driveability of the engine is of course very different – you feel there is no power and then all of a sudden it kicks in and the emotions and feelings go crazy. Then the gearbox is very different and takes some time to get used to. You can feel the braking, the downforce, the car sliding, and the car is going where it wants to go. It was very nice to drive though and I wish I could have done more laps !

“You can really feel the difference in the turbos from this year. In these old cars, you need to get to 2.2bars of pressure and then it kicks in. It would have been tough in the race. Rob White [Renault Sport F1 deputy managing director] came to see me afterwards and said ‘now you won’t complain about the response this year any more !” and I said no, I definitely won’t ! The technology we have this year makes the turbo seem very easy in comparison to drive.

“The RE40 won in 1983 with Alain and I hope my car can do again this year.”

Alongside the RS01 and RE40 was the Lotus 98T. The car was the last of the famous JPS cars. Driven by Ayrton Senna and Johnny Dumfries it achieved significant success, particularly in qualifying. The last of the unrestricted turbos, the car was powered by the trailblazing Renault V6 engine in its final EF15 configuration. With race power rated at just above 1,000bhp and qualifying power estimated to exceed 1,300bhp the engine proved nevertheless to be remarkably drivable. The car features several novel systems including driver adjustable ride height and water injection. To this day the car remains the fastest Lotus of the period to have been built, having clocked 215mph at the Mexican Grand Prix of 1986.

This year, almost 37 years to the day of the first turbo debut, the turbos will make their return to Silverstone. Again, Renault is one of the pioneers of the new generation of F1 engines with its Energy F1-2014. This year, the cars are powered by a turbocharged internal combustion engine coupled to sophisticated energy recovery systems. The internal combustion engine produces approx. 600bhp through consumption of traditional carbon-based fuel, while a further 160bhp is produced from electrical energy harvested from exhaust and braking through two motor generator units. The two systems work in harmony, with teams and drivers balancing the use of the two types of energy throughout the race.

Renault Sport F1 technical director Rob White compared the old and new turbo engines : “The turbos of the 70s are obviously where it all started for Renault in F1. At the time the 1.5 litre engines were unlike anything we had seen before. I can remember seeing them at the British GP and being seriously impressed with how quick and powerful they seemed. I’m no less impressed today, seeing them back on track. They may look brutal but the technology under the bodywork was seriously cutting edge.”

“This year we have a very different challenge with the turbos, which are fitted to extremely sophisticated energy recovery systems. Nevertheless it’s evident that there are powerful similarities between the eras : avant-garde technology, constant innovation and flat out racing.”

The turbos were also on display with two British GP race winning cars, the Williams FW14B from 1992 driven by Nigel Mansell and Williams FW18, driven by Damon Hill in 1996.

NORMAN NATO INVINCIBLE IN THE PRINCIPALITY

FORMULA RENAULT 3.5



NORMAN NATO INVINCIBLE IN THE PRINCIPALITY

Norman Nato (DAMS) has won the Formula Renault 3.5 Series race in the streets of Monaco. Following his domination in practice and qualifying, the French driver led from start to finish taking the chequered flag ahead of Marco Sørensen (Tech 1 Racing) and Jazeman Jaafar (ISR), to receive the winner’s trophy from Carlos Ghosn, President and CEO of Renault. Championship leader, Carlos Sainz (DAMS) finished just off the podium, but increased his lead in the general classification.

[Norman Nato started from pole on the starting grid with Jazeman Jaafar alongside. Marco Sørensen and Carlos Sainz shared row two, and where followed by the the Fortec Motorsports entries of Oliver Rowland and Sergey Sirotkin.

When the lights went out, Norman Nato maintained the lead while Marco Sørensen got past Jazeman Jaafar before Sainte Dévote. Carlos Sainz was momentarily overtaken by Oliver Rowland, but the Red Bull Junior Team driver was quick to regain his position. Behind them, Sergey Sirotkin (Fortec Motorsports) was stuck and dropped down the order. The Russian managed to get going, but his race was over on lap seven when he spun at the Anthony Noghes corner.

While Norman Nato and Marco Sørensen battled hard for the lead, the fight for the third spot on the podium saw Carlos Sainz pour the pressure on Jazeman Jaafar. There were many others battles, for point paying positions between Roberto Merhi (Zeta Corse), Meindert van Buuren (Pons Racing) and Pietro Fantin (International Draco Racing), as well as spots outside the top ten, with a pack composed of de William Buller (Arden Motorsport), Marlon Stockinger (Lotus), Oliver Webb (Pons Racing), Beitske Visser (AVF) and Luca Ghiotto (International Draco Racing).

In the lead, Norman Nato had no trouble holding off Marco Sørensen to get his maiden win in Formula Renault 3.5 Series. Jazeman Jaafar finished third, fending off the attacks from Carlos Sainz and Oliver Rowland, the top rookie finisher at Monaco. Zoël Amberg (AVF) conserved sixth place all the way to the chequered flag despite the efforts of Pierre Gasly (Arden Motorsport), while Will Stevens (Strakka Racing), Roberto Merhi and Meindert van Buuren completed the list of those in the points.

Quotes

Norman Nato: ”A win is always great, but Monaco remains special! It is emotional, madness…There are no words to describe it. We dominated all weekend long, both the team and I. I had to keep cool at the start and not make a mistake, because it is easy to make a mistake at Monaco! I now have to remain focused to continue this form.”

Marco Sørensen: ”I finished second here last year. When you’ve done that you then want to win. Nevertheless, I am happy for the team, because we started the season very poorly. I hope this represents a turnaround and that we will be up front more often. We will see what happens at Spa!”

Jazeman Jaafar: ”My reaction time at the start could have been better. I got a good start, but Marco was very fast off the line. The pace was good, but the other drivers really pushed me hard. I was able to build a gap to finish third for the second year in a row at Monaco.”