Tag Archives: Monza

WSR 3.5


Following his successes at the Moscow Raceway and the Nürburgring before the summer break, Roberto Merhi (Zeta Corse) continued his strong form in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series. With a fantastic start from seventh place on the grid, the Spaniard soon took control of the race to score his third triumph of the season. Second place, Pierre Gasly (Arden Motorsport) overtook pole man Oliver Rowland (Fortec Motorsports) in the final corner of the race. Eight days after his maiden Formula 1 test with the Caterham F1 Team, Roberto Merhi is now just 26 points adrift of his compatriot Carlos Sainz (DAMS), who finished fourth on Saturday.

This morning, Oliver Rowland took his second pole position of the year with a lap of 1:30.203 ahead of the French trio of Pierre Gasly, Norman Nato (DAMS) and Matthieu Vaxiviere (Lotus). Will Stevens (Strakka Racing) completed the top five, while championship leader, Carlos Sainz had to settle for 14th position.

A shower before the start of the race soaked the track surface. When the lights went out, Oliver Rowland held on to the lead ahead of Roberto Merhi who put in a splendid start from seventh place on the grid. Pierre Gasly, Will Stevens and Matthieu Vaxiviere followed at the end of the opening lap while Carlos Sainz was already up to sixth place.

Oliver Rowland and Roberto Merhi quickly pulled away from the rest of the field. Meanwhile, Carlos Sainz continued his march forward, passing Matthieu Vaxiviere and Will Stevens. After several unsuccessful attempts, Roberto Merhi moved into the lead on lap seven when Oliver Rowland went a bit wide at the first corner.

Now in lead, the Zeta Corse driver pulled away and went on for the win with a 29-second margin of victory from Pierre Gasly, who passed Oliver Rowland in the last corner of the final lap. Carlos Sainz finished fourth ahead of Matthieu Vaxiviere, Will Stevens, Marco Sørensen (Tech 1 Racing) and Norman Nato. FIA F3 European Championship leader, Esteban Ocon (Comtec Racing) claimed ninth place in his first race in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series while Jazeman Jaafar (ISR) was the final driver in the points.


Roberto Merhi: “We were not able to run to our potential in qualifying due to a red flag. Happily, we made up for that at the start. There was a lot of water spray behind Oliver and I wasn’t able to see. He then made a small mistake that allowed me to get by. Afterwards, I was able to pull away while taking care of my tyres because this track is very demanding when it comes to tyre wear, especially in drying conditions. “

Pierre Gasly: “The opening laps were very tough. I just tried to stay on the track because the grip was really low. We all had different strategies in terms of tyre pressure today. When Carlos caught me, I had to defend my position, and then the car became better in the drying conditions. I was able to pick up the pace and I saw Oliver in the final laps and I gave it everything I had!”

Oliver Rowland: “Right from the opening laps of the race we struggled with the traction. Roberto caught up to me very quickly and I could only defend my position for a few laps. We must remember the positive things today: a pole position in the dry, which is a good step forward. I hope the conditions tomorrow will allow us be in front of them.”

WSR 3.5


Carlos Sainz (DAMS) set fastest time in the two collective tests in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series. The Red Bull Junior Team driver dominated the morning session in the rain before doing it again on a nearly dry track in the afternoon. With a time of 1:33.273, the championship leader led from Oliver Rowland (Fortec Motorsports) and Oscar Tunjo (Pons Racing), both of whom finished second to the Spaniard during the first day of action at the Hungaroring.

The Formula Renault 3.5 Series field returned to action in rainy conditions at the Hungaroring. After only 40 minutes, Sergey Sirotkin (Fortec Motorsports) caused the first red flag. Once the track was cleared, Carlos Sainz went quickest before becoming the first driver to break the two-minute barrier.

With 11 minutes remaining, Beitske Visser (AVF) provoked a new stoppage of the session. When the action re-started, Carlos Sainz improved his best time to 1:57.309 before the session came to a premature end caused by Zoel Amberg (AVF). The Spaniard completed the morning session more than two seconds faster than Oscar Tunjo. Oliver Rowland was third ahead of Luca Ghiotto (International Draco Racing) and Marco Sorensen (Tech 1 Racing).

The conditions were more favorable in the afternoon. Carlos Sainz quickly improved his reference time of the morning. After a red flag provoked by Beitske Visser, his team-mate Norman Nato (DAMS) took over the top spot before he was dislodged by Pierre Gasly (Arden Caterham). Norman Nato answered back before another interruption following the stoppage on track of the cars of Roman Mavlanov (Zeta Corse) and Meindert van Buuren (Pons Racing).

The switch to fresh tyres accelerated the pace in the final 20 minutes. Oliver Rowland, then Carlos Sainz moved to the sharp end of the order. Luca Ghiotto took over before the Spaniard answered. In the waning seconds, Oliver Rowland posted a best time of 1:33.273, but it was not counted as he did not slow down enough with the yellow flags being shown. Carlos Sainz re-took the top spot ahead of the Englishman. Oscar Tunjo, Norman Nato and Matthieu Vaxiviere (Lotus) completed the top five.


Carlos Sainz: ” With the conditions we had two very different practice sessions. In the wet, I quickly felt comfortable and capable of pushing right from the start. For the second session, we hoped to run on a dry track, but the surface wasn’t totally dry. We did though switch to slicks. Now, we have to see what the weather has in store for us tomorrow. ”

Oliver Rowland: ”In the rain this morning, we managed to set the third best time. In the afternoon, the track was still a little wet, but we posted the best time. It was disallowed even though I think I slowed enough under the yellow flag. It was a good day and we can run for the pole tomorrow, no matter the conditions. ”

Oscar Tunjo: ”The conditions were difficult, but the day went very well! We were not able to collect a lot of information for the rest of the weekend because the forecasts call for a lot of rain. I am feeling more and more comfortable in the Formula Renault 3.5 and the team has helped me a lot to progress throughout the races and sessions. ”


Lewis Hamilton won the 2014 Italian Grand Prix with Nico Rosberg second, achieving the team’s seventh 1-2 finish.

• Lewis took his sixth win of the season, driving a great race to recover from a slow start that saw him drop to P4
• Nico took the lead on lap one and held it before a mistake into turn one allowed Lewis to regain the lead on lap 29
• Both drivers ran the same strategy, starting on the medium tyres and pitting one lap apart on lap 24 (Nico) and lap 25 (Lewis) to change to the hard tyres and race to the end
• The 1-2 finish represents the seventh this season; only three seasons in Formula One history have seen seven or more 1-2 finishes from a team
• The team now have a lead of 182 points in the Constructors’ Championship (454 points in total) with both drivers 50 points or more ahead of third place in the Drivers’ Championship
• All of the top four and seven of the top ten today are powered by Mercedes-Benz Hybrid Power

Lewis Hamilton
Firstly it was amazing to see the straight completely filled with fans from the podium today. You make this race and thank you so much for your support! Big congratulations to the team for our performance this weekend. We said we wanted a one-two and we got it today‎; this result is important for everyone.‎ It was a difficult race for me though. The launch sequence didn´t engage properly for the formation lap and then again for the start‎. I tried to pull away as fast as possible, basically I just floored it and hoped for the best! Fortunately I didn´t lose too many places‎ and was able to get past Kevin, then have a good battle with Felipe. When I closed up to Nico, I didn´t want to hold back as the car felt good and I knew from experience that the only chance would be at the start of the stint when the tyres were fresh so I went for it. ‎I´m really pleased with the win, it´s feels like I have some momentum back as we go into the final races‎.

Nico Rosberg
Lewis was quicker this weekend, so he deserved the win. That for sure is very disappointing for me. I had a lock up in Turn One and I decided to go straight to avoid a flat spotted tyre. That cost me the lead. But he was very quick behind me, so I had to push all the time. But I need to see the positive things from today. Second place is still good and I lost only seven points to Lewis, so this could have been much worse. It’s also a great result for the team, the first 1-2 since Austria. So I’m happy for everybody in our team and I have to thank everyone again for this great Silver Arrow. We were the strongest team at this unique circuit. The Tifosi created a great atmosphere for us on the podium; it was all red all the way down the straight. That was great to see. Now I look forward to Singapore, I like the track and I have great memories from last year.

Felipe Massa: It was a fantastic race for me so I am really happy. I had a good start and passed Magnussen at just the right time. I had to work hard to establish that position, sadly the Mercedes were still a bit quick, so we did the best we could. Monza is a special podium, and to hear the fans sing my name was amazing.


Eriksson flies to Monza pole

Koiranen GP’s Jimmy Eriksson fastest in GP3 qualifying in Italy
An exciting qualifying session in Monza for Round 7 of the 2014 GP3 Series saw Koiranen GP’s Jimmy Eriksson secure his second pole position of the season. The Swede was three tenths faster than ART Grand Prix’s Dino Zamparelli with Nick Yelloly for Status Grand Prix in third.
The thirty minute session was run in dry and sunny conditions with home favourite Riccardo Agostini first to lap in the 1m39’s. Fellow compatriot Kevin Ceccon was next to top the times before Series leader Alex Lynn took control of the timesheet by six tenths.
Lynn was first into the 1m38’s with Zamparelli rising to P2. The Carlin and Red Bull Junior ace lit sectors two and three in purple as the drivers returned to the pits at the midway point of the session for a second set of Pirelli rubber.
Eriksson jumped up to second quickest with Ceccon third before Yelloly posted the fastest time of the session with a 1:38.536 to take provisional pole by one tenth. He was joined by his teammate Richie Stanaway with the green and black squad locking out the front row, but as ever with Monza, the times tumbled furiously in the final minutes. Eriksson shot to pole with Zamparelli up to second whist the three time GP3 winner Lynn was on a hot lap in his pursuit to take the coveted pole.
Unfortunately for the Brit, there were yellow flags at Turn 11 after Alex Fontana had spun into the gravel, therefore Lynn had to back off and settle for sixth position, just behind his closest title rival Stanaway. At the chequered flag, Eriksson celebrated pole position as he hopes to reignite his title hopes, with Zamparelli enjoying his best qualifying with second. Yelloly, Emil Bernstorff, Stanaway, Lynn, Robert Visoiu, Marvin Kirchhöfer, Patrick Kujala and Dean Stoneman completed the top ten.
Race 1 takes place later today at 16:20 local time as the quest for supremacy continues.


Vandoorne storms to second pole

ART Grand Prix man leads the charge in Monza
Stoffel Vandoorne has claimed his second consecutive pole position with a spectacular late run with no reply from his rivals in this afternoon’s qualifying session in Monza: traffic and a yellow flag put the McLaren test driver on the top spot with a time of 1:31.707, ahead of this morning’s fastest driver Arthur Pic and Mitch Evans.
With heavy clouds hanging low over the dry circuit as the pitlane went green, the entire grid was immediately on track to take advantage of the conditions while they could. Pic set the first competitive time ahead of DAMS teammates Stéphane Richelmi and Jolyon Palmer at the five minute mark, with first Evans and then Vandoorne soon slipping past to sit just behind the Frenchman on the timesheets.
Palmer fought back to P2 before the drivers returned to the pits for fresh rubber, but it was clear that the fight was not over: on his return Evans came within 0.008 of Pic’s top spot before Vandoorne set a spectacular lap two tenths quicker than Pic and returned to the pits, confident that pole was his. Pic found traffic on his hot lap, and Palmer took to the inside kerb running into Parabolica in a desperate attempt to get by his rivals and improve his time, but when the yellow came out for stationary cars with a minute remaining the session was effectively over.
Vandoorne took the top spot by two tenths from a very disappointed Pic and Evans, who in turn led Palmer, Raffaele Marciello, Simon Trummer, Richelmi, Felipe Nasr, Julian Leal and André Negrao, all of whom will fancy their chances in tomorrow’s feature race.




  • Stéphane Lefebvre and Thomas Dubois claimed a third Junior WRC win at Rallye Deutschland in their DS3 R3, adding to victories secured in Portugal and Poland.
  • The podium was completed by the German Christian Riedemann and the Frenchman Quentin Giordano.
  • Stéphane Lefebvre will have the chance to wrap up the title and secure a WRC2 programme for next year in a DS3 R5 on home soil, at the Rallye de France on 2-5 October.


Ten crews had been entered for this, the fourth round of the season. The rally saw the return of local hero Christian Riedemann, alongside co-driver Michael Wenzel, and the WRC debuts of Eric Camilli and Mohammed Al Mutawa, two drivers taken from Citroën Racing’s talent finding programmes.

At his home round, Christian Riedemann got off to the best start on Friday morning. Leader throughout the first loop, the German lost ground to the French pair of Stéphane Lefebvre and Eric Camilli after collecting a twenty-second penalty (for arriving late at the midday service exit time control).

On his first appearance in the World Championship, and having competed fewer than twenty rallies in his young career, Eric Camilli made a very strong impression as he took the lead after SS5. However, the following morning, the Frenchman went off the road during the first run on the 42 kilometre-long Panzerplatte Lang (SS10). Stéphane Lefebvre reclaimed first place, ahead of Christian Riedemann, Martin Koci, Quentin Giordano and Alastair Fisher.

The top two continued to extend their lead over the rest of the field, whilst Martin Koci also went off on Panzerplatte Lang 2 (SS14). Stéphane Lefebvre ended day two almost a minute clear of Christian Riedemann in second. Quentin Giordano and Alastair Fisher were over four minutes back after picking up punctures. Simone Tempestini, Kornel Lukacs, Mohammed Al Mutawaa and Federico Della Casa rounded off the overall standings.

The top of the leaderboard remained unchanged after Sunday’s final leg. Stéphane Lefebvre controlled from the front to secure a third win in four events. He finished ahead of Christian Riedemann. Quentin Giordano grabbed a third consecutive podium finish as held off Alastair Fisher, Simone Tempestini and Kornel Lukacs to take third place. Mohammed Al Mutawaa and Federico Della Casa retired with the finish in sight.

Thanks to this new win, Stéphane Lefebvre has strengthened his position at the top of FIA Junior WRC standings. He is now 29 points clear of Martin Koci. Quentin Giordano, Christian Riedemann and Alastair Fisher are bunched together, less than ten points behind Koci. In the Nations Trophy, France leads from Slovakia, Germany and Great Britain.

The next round is the Rallye de France Alsace, due to be held on 2-5 October.


Stéphane Lefebvre: “I’m very pleased to have taken my third win in four events. This was my first rally in the DS3 R3 on tarmac. We were among the frontrunners from the word go. And when we moved into the lead, we were able to control the gap. It was important to pick up some points after our mistake in Finland.”

Christian Riedemann: “I feel a little bit frustrated by this result. We were too cautious on Saturday on Panzerplatte by driving the stage without checking the splits. And it was difficult to make up the time lost after we were handed the twenty-second penalty for arriving at the time control late after changing the gearbox. However, we showed that we could compete with Stéphane Lefebvre. I hope I can take my revenge at the next round in France.”

Quentin Giordano: “This is our third podium running in the Junior WRC. We drove well to hold off our main rivals. I’m very pleased with this result, which enables us to consolidate our third position in the championship. I’m really looking forward to the next round, at home, at the Rallye de France.”