Tag Archives: Monza


Sebastian Vettel wins the Hungarian Grand Prix!

That’s his 41st career win, the same number as Ayrton Senna. Kyvat brings the Red Bull home in second place, whilst the brilliant Ricciardo has finished in third. Verstappen and Alonso finish 4th and 5th, respectively. And Hamilton comes home in 6th, and increases his Championship lead over Nico Rosberg.

Ferrari took the advantage at the start as both Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen took first and second from the two Mercedes on the front row of the grid. Hamilton then nearly collided with Rosberg at the chicane and ran wide, dropping him down to tenth place by the end of the first lap. Hamilton fought back to fourth ahead of a safety car period, but clashed with Daniel Ricciardo while defending position at the restart and fell down the order again with a drive-through penalty to eventually finish sixth.

Rosberg should have capitalised on his team-mate’s mistakes and was in a position to worry Vettel for the lead following the safety car, but instead came under attack from Ricciardo in third who was on the quicker soft compound tyres. After several laps of closing in, Ricciardo made a lunge for second on lap 64, but ran deep and then made contact with Rosberg on the exit of the corner. The incident punctured Rosberg’s left rear tyre and dropped him to eighth at the end while Ricciardo’s front wing damage saw him cede second place to team-mate Daniil Kvyat soon after. Nonetheless, a double podium for Red Bull is by far the team’s best result of the year.


Matsushita dominates for sprint win

Nobuharu Matsushita crushed the competition for his first GP2 victory this morning at the Hungaroring, easily claiming the win in a sprint race where everyone else struggled with their tyres in the cooler conditions to lead the first ART 1-2 since Sam Bird and Jules Bianchi in Monza 2010, ahead of teammate Stoffel Vandoorne and Sergey Sirotkin.
The Japanese driver took advantage of pole position to easily lead his rivals away when the lights went out with a good start, while McLaren tester Vandoorne and Sirotkin made sparkling getaways to run inside into turn one: the Belgian eased his way into P2 while the Russian was briefly held by Raffaele Marciello but got past the Italian around the outside with a lovely pass out of turn two.
With the rest of their rivals shaking out their positions behind them, including an impressive run from last on the grid to tenth by Sergio Canamasas in one lap, the leaders were swapping fastest laps as they looked to lay down a marker, but it wasn’t without a price: by lap nine the Belgian was already complaining of graining and was unable to run at his teammate’s pace.
It was clear that tyre management was the order of the day, but that didn’t stop Rio Haryanto pushing Marciello almost all race long: the Indonesian clearly had a better car but the Italian was hanging on around the tight, technical circuit. The Racing Engineering teammates were soon struggling too: Alexander Rossi had to come in for fresh tyres on lap 20 after losing a number of places, while Jordan King lost what looked to be a solid P7 around the same time.
And when the flag dropped it was Matsushita who had eased his way to victory, two seconds to the good over Vandoorne, who had to fight off a last lap challenge by Sirotkin for second. Marciello came out on top of Haryanto for the battle for fourth, while Pierre Gasly dropped from fifth to eighth with two laps remaining, losing out to Norman Nato and Robert Visoiu.
If Vandoorne was disappointed at missing the win to his teammate, he can take solace in an expanded lead in the drivers’ championship: the Belgian now leads Haryanto by 194 points to 109, while Rossi’s non-scoring weekend sees him stranded on 105 points, just ahead of Sirotkin on 103, with Alex Lynn on 85 points to Gasly’s 61, Marciello on 58 and Matsushita on 48. In the teams’ title ART Grand Prix have eased away from DAMS by 242 points to 146, with Racing Engineering on 131, Campos Racing on 130 and Rapax on 121 as the grid escapes for the summer break ahead of the next round at the fabled Spa Francorchamps circuit next month.


Lynn scorches to Budapest victory

Alex Lynn put on a crushing display of speed and guile to claim his first feature race victory in scorching conditions this afternoon at the Hungaroring, leading for most of the race and picking the right tyre strategy to win ahead of DAMS teammate Pierre Gasly and Sergey Sirotkin.
The Williams test driver made great use of pole position, blasting away when the lights went out and taking an easy early lead as fellow front row starter Stoffel Vandoorne stuttered: Red Bull tester Gasly made a brilliant start from P5 to follow his teammate into turn one, while Arthur Pic and Raffaele Marciello went either side of the the McLaren man to follow the leaders through.
The Italian jumped the Frenchman next time by, just before a brief safety car period to recover Sergio Canamasas’ broken car, and the race was live for just two laps before the pitstops started for the soft compound drivers: Vandoorne was the first man in, followed by Julian Leal, but the series leader was judged to have been released unsafely and was handed a 5 second time penalty for his efforts, while out on track Lynn, Gasly, Marciello and Sirotkin were pulling away from their rivals.
With all eyes on the time gap between Lynn and Vandoorne the question was could they maintain a gap large enough to hold onto the lead? By the time the Briton came in on lap 23 it was clear that they hadn’t: Lynn emerged behind Pic in (effectively) P, but he had the advantage of fresh soft rubber and wasn’t going to hang around. Lynn slid past the battle between Pic and Alexander Rossi almost immediately, and easily claimed Haryanto a few laps later for what was effectively the lead, given Vandoorne’s penalty.
It wasn’t enough for the Briton: he blasted by Vandoorne with 5 laps remaining to lead on track, and with the other soft shod men coming the question was how would the Belgian hold them back? Haryanto wasn’t helping his cause – the Indonesian was looking for a way through all round the circuit – but Gasly sliced by them both on the penultimate lap for P2 behind his teammate, with Vandoorne third on track but dropped to P5 on the timesheets behind Sirotkin, who clattered his way past Haryanto at the second last corner, removing the Indonesian’s front wing in the process.
Jordan King had a solid race for P6, jumping Marciello on fresher rubber, with Nobuharu Matsushita, Robert Visiou and Daniel de Jong also taking advantage of stopping for softs late in the race. The result didn’t affect the top of the drivers’ championship substantially – Vandoorne now leads Rossi by 180 points to 105, with Haryanto on 103, Sirotkin on 93, Lynn on 85 and Gasly on 60 points – but there is plenty of scope for more to come in the sprint race tomorrow morning.


Trident’s Luca Ghiotto pockets fourth career pole in Hungaroring

Series leader Luca Ghiotto won the battle for pole position today in a sweltering and hotly contested qualifying session in Hungary. The Trident star clocked a best laptime of 1:34.030 which was just 0.036s faster than Arden International’s Emil Bernstorff who had topped the timesheets earlier on. Mercedes junior and ART Grand Prix rookie Esteban Ocon was third.
The thirty minute session saw track temperatures as high as forty-one degrees as the pack ventured onto the Hungaroring in their quest for pole. Italian Ghiotto was first to lap into the 1m35’s before Ocon dipped into the 1m34’s early on.
Ghiotto responded to the Frenchman by lapping two tenths quicker, whilst Campos Racing’s Alex Palou shot into second, just 0.010s shy off the Trident ace. Bernstorff found some more pace to head to the top of the timesheet, with the top three covered by just 0.022s showing how tough the competition is.
Ghiotto was back into P1 for a brief moment until ART Grand Prix’s Marvin Kirchhöfer bettered his time by 0.066s. This was to be short lived as Bernstorff improved yet again, lighting the first sector purple. But nothing was going to stop Ghiotto today: he posted the fastest time in the middle sector and reclaimed pole position taking his third pole of the season. Ocon also improved on his final attempt into third, demoting his teammate Kirchhöfer to fourth.
Behind the Italian at the chequered flag was Bernstorff, Ocon, Kirchhöfer, Jimmy Eriksson (Koiranen GP), Matthew Parry, Alex Palou, Antonio Fuoco (Carlin), Kevin Ceccon and Pal Varhaug (Jenzer Motorsport) completed the top ten.
Similar conditions are expected later for the forty-minute long race at 17.20pm local time.


Vandoorne on top in free practice

Series leader Stoffel Vandoorne was back on top this morning: the Belgian ace set the quickest laptime in today’s free practice session at Budapest in a 1:28.969, a clear four tenths from title rival Rio Haryanto. Alex Lynn completed the top 3.
The session opened in high temperatures with the cars feeding onto the short and twisty track on Medium Pirelli tyres. Pierre Gasly set the early pace ahead of his teammate Lynn in heavy traffic, but Vandoorne dipped under 1m30s on his first push lap moving up to the top of the standings, Alexander Rossi in tow. Lynn found some extra pace to better the Belgian’s laptime, with Haryanto also able to move up to P2. Vandoorne however was on a mission and went even quicker to break the 1m29s barrier and sit pretty at the top.
The remainder of the session was trouble-free and studious as the drivers and the teams mainly focused on race simulations. Haryanto pipped Lynn out of P2 whilst Arthur Pic took full advantage of a clear track with most of the cars back into the pits to set the fourth best laptime of the session.
At the chequered flag, Vandoorne looked mighty strong ahead of today’s qualifying session. He will once again be the man to beat in a session that promises to be hot with many drivers looking to break into the top 3 and challenge the ART man.

F1Weekly podcast # 686

Clark and Nasir talk about the passing of Jules Bianchi, we have Motorsports Mondial and, we are featuring our first Jules Bianchi interview which took place at Mugello in 2008.

In 2007, Bianchi left karting and raced in French Formula Renault 2.0 for SG Formula, where he finished as champion with five wins. He also competed in the Formula Renault Eurocup where he had one pole position and one fastest lap in three races.

In late 2007, Bianchi signed with ART Grand Prix to compete in the Formula 3 Euro Series.

In 2008 Bianchi won the Masters of Formula 3 at Zolder, and also finished third in the 2008 Formula 3 Euro Series season.

Bianchi continued in the F3 Euroseries in 2009, leading ART’s line-up along with rookie team-mates Valtteri Bottas, Esteban Gutiérrez and Adrien Tambay. With eight wins, Bianchi sealed the title with a round to spare, at Dijon-Prenois. He then added a ninth win at the final round at Hockenheim. He also drove in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series atMonaco, after SG Formula acquired the cars formerly run by Kurt Mollekens.

Bianchi drove for ART in the subsequent GP2 Asia season and the 2010 GP2 Series season. He competed in three of the four rounds of the GP2 Asia championship. In the main series, Bianchi took two pole positions and a number of points positions before he was injured in a first-lap crash at the Hungaroring. In the feature race, he spun into the path of the field exiting the first corner, and was struck head-on by Ho-Pin Tung, sustaining a fractured second lumbar vertebra in the process. Bianchi was fourth in the drivers’ championship at the time of his injury. Despite initial pessimistic assessments of the severity of his injury, he recovered to take part in the next round of the championship.

Bianchi remained with ART for 2011, and was partnered by 2010 GP3 Series champion Esteban Gutiérrez. He starred in the first two rounds of the 2011 GP2 Asia Series, holding off Romain Grosjean for victory in the feature race and gaining fourth in the sprint race, but he was later penalised. He finished runner-up to Grosjean in the drivers’ championship. In the main series, Bianchi finished third in the championship, behind Grosjean and Luca Filippi.

Bianchi opted to switch to the Formula Renault 3.5 Series for 2012, following his one-off appearance in the category in 2009. He signed for the Tech 1 Racing team, and was partnered with Kevin Korjus, and later with Daniel Abt.

In August 2009, Bianchi was linked by the BBC and various other media sources to the second Ferrari Formula One seat occupied by Luca Badoer during Felipe Massa’s absence. Bianchi tested for Ferrari at the young drivers test at Circuito de Jerez for two of the three days, over 1–2 December 2009. The other drivers tested on 3 December included Daniel Zampieri, Marco Zipoli and Pablo Sánchez López as the top three finishers in the 2009 Italian Formula Three Championship. Bianchi’s performance in this test led to him becoming the first recruit of the Ferrari Driver Academy and signing up to a long-term deal to remain at the team’s disposal.

On 11 November 2010 he was confirmed by Ferrari as the team’s test and reserve driver for the 2011 season, replacing Luca Badoer, Giancarlo Fisichella and Marc Gené, as well as confirming he would test for the team during the young driver test in Abu Dhabi over 16–17 November. Bianchi carried on his GP2 Series racing, as Formula 1 allows test and reserve drivers to race in parallel in other competitions. On 13 September 2011, Bianchi tested for Ferrari at Fiorano, as part of the Ferrari Driver Academy, with fellow academy member and Sauber F1 driver Sergio Pérez. Bianchi completed 70 laps and recorded a quickest lap time of 1:00.213. For the 2012 season, Ferrari loaned him to the Sahara Force India team, for whom he drove in nine Friday free practice sessions over the course of the year as the outfit’s test and reserve driver.

On 1 March 2013, Marussia announced that Bianchi was to replace Luiz Razia as a race driver after Razia’s contract was terminated, due to sponsorship issues. Bianchi qualified 19th for the Australian Grand Prix, out-qualifying team-mate Max Chilton by three-quarters of a second. Bianchi overtook Pastor Maldonado, and Daniel Ricciardo on the first lap and he eventually finished 15th on his debut. He was 19th on the grid again in Malaysia, 0.3 seconds away from Q2. Bianchi fell behind the Caterhams at the start of the race, but moved up the order after the pit stops, eventually going on to finish 13th, ahead of his teammate, and both Caterhams. As of the Hungarian Grand Prix, Bianchi had beaten his teammate in all qualifying sessions and all races that both of them had finished. In the Japanese Grand Prix he and Charles Pic of Caterham were given ten-place grid penalties for receiving three reprimands over the season, and at the race, his race ended early after a collision with Giedo van der Garde.

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