Tag Archives: Rossi

F1Weekly podcast # 722

NASIR BRINGS BACK MORE INTERVIEWS FROM THE INDYCAR SERIES OPENER IN ST. PETERBURG FLORIDA AND THE 12 HOURS OF SEBRING. ON THIS EPISODE WE FEATURE AN INTERVEW WITH INDYCAR OWNER DALE COYNE AND…HERE ARE SOME WORDS FROM PADDY LOWE ON THE F1 SEASON OPENER DOWN UNDER.

Paddy Lowe:
It is an exciting time of year for everyone in Formula One including the huge number of fans around the world, as we head to Australia for the first race of the season. This year is particularly exciting as the regulations have changed substantially concerning the bodywork of the cars and the dimensions of the tyres, so we expect to see quicker cars and far more challenging racing for the drivers.

Coming back to the paddock has that feeling of being “back to school” after our winter away: everybody energised for the new season ahead, meeting friends again and welcoming new faces. I always feel that the first qualifying session of the year is the most intense and interesting hour in the entire Formula One calendar, as that is the point when all the smoke and mirrors of winter testing must stop and the real pace is finally put on the table. It is only then that we will see how the cars and drivers perform and get our first true indication of the season which will unfold.

The race itself is always eventful with more than the usual degree of incident and car failure as the cars and drivers engage in their first competition of the year. And the spectators bring extra enthusiasm to Albert Park, many of them having come from all over the world to see this first race of the F1 season. From a technical point of view, the tyres for this year’s race are not only wider but also softer – having the ultrasoft in play at Melbourne for the first time – so we will without doubt see some record breaking lap times this weekend and perhaps more evidence of driver fatigue in the race than we have seen in recent years.

For me personally, I’m very happy to be back at Williams, the team where I started my Formula One career. We have a very talented group of people here and two great drivers with whom I haven’t worked before, so I’m looking forward to stepping into the paddock with them in Melbourne to start the 2017 season.

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DTM

THE TECHNOLOGY OF THE 2017 DTM CARS: MORE POWER AND LESS DOWNFORCE REPRESENT A BIGGER CHALLENGE FOR THE DRIVING SKILLS THAN EVER

To let the skills of the drivers gain even more importance, the technical regulations for the 2017 season were revised in crucial areas. So, the horsepower output of the new cars was increased while the aerodynamics were restricted at the same time. This means that driving this year’s cars is a bigger challenge and the drivers have to work even harder.

The technology of the 2017 DTM cars differs from the one of its predecessors in several significant areas:

The engine
In 2017, the four-litre V8 engines of Audi, BMW and Mercedes-AMG will produce – for the first time – more than 500bhp. The increased horsepower output mainly was achieved by bigger intake-system air restrictors. The engines are equipped with one air restrictor per cylinder bench and their diameter has been increased from 28 to 29 millimetres. Furthermore, the new regulations allow for enhancement in special intake-system areas special areas to optimise the engine’s performance even more. Nonetheless, maximum longevity still represents a top priority of the DTM engines’ design. Blown engines are extremely rare in DTM and usually, the engines survive the entire season. During the course of the season, cost-intensive engine revisions aren’t allowed in DTM as the sealed engines only may be subjected to services in this period of time, according to the regulations.

Aerodynamics
The guidelines of the new regulations comprise a reduction of the aerodynamics. To achieve this goal, the geometry of the front splitter, underbody and rear diffuser was changed and the ride height was increased.

Meanwhile, the rear wing and the DRS (Drag Reduction System) make for a major and visible difference. The DRS allows the driver to reduce his vehicle’s drag for a short time, thus increasing its top speed. In the past this made for many battles and overtaking manoeuvres. Other than last year’s rear wing that could be hinged down completely, only the so-called Guerney Flap, the upper of two fins of the rear wing, is flapped down what even increases the DRS efficiency.

The tyres
Combined with the new Hankook tyres that provide more grip for a short period of time but force the drivers to cope with a higher performance decrease over the distance, these changes make for a handling of the new DTM cars that is clearly more demanding for the drivers than it was in the past.

New control components
The body design of this year’s DTM touring cars of Audi, BMW and Mercedes-AMG complies with the latest generation of their production brethren. To restrict the cost-intensive high-tech developments, the new regulations feature clearly more areas for jointly developed control components. The development of these components is controlled by the umbrella organisation ITR in close cooperation with the manufacturers’ engineers. For 2017, the range of control parts was extended – inter alia – by components for the suspension area. Furthermore, the DTM control wheel also will make its debut. From this year, all the 18 cars will race on ATS wheels while every manufacturer could opt for the wheel it preferred, in the past.

Drivers feel pleasant anticipation
After the first tests for the 2017 season, the drivers proved to be really happy with their new cars. “The changes made on the car are clearly noticeable – particularly the combination of less aero, more power and the new tyres,” said Mattias Ekström, the senior driver on the DTM grid, representative of all the DTM drivers. “As I see it we are heading in the right direction and I think we are going to have a lot of fun, this year.”

The testing was continued this week at Vallelunga, Italy from 14th to 16th March, and many of the components were subjected to acid tests for the coming season.

In addition to the alterations on the technical regulations, those responsible also intensely work on the sporting regulations. Next week ITR is going to inform on the planned changes for the coming season that will be kicked off at Hockenheim from 05th to 07th May.

INDYCAR SERIES

FLORIDA FRESH. FIRESTONE GRAND PRIX OF ST. PETERSBURG.

BOURDAIS AND COYNE RACING ARE HOT ON A COOL BREEZY DAY.

The 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series got off to a great start with the opening round won by Sébastien Bourdais over French countryman and 2016 IndyCar champion Simon Pagenaud. Scott Dixon was third, the Kiwi still not successful here after 13 attempts.

Penske-star Will Power started from his seventh St. Pete pole position, next to him was Dixon, the Ganassi team now powered by Honda. Josef Newgarden, the man from Tennessee, qualified on the second row in his first drive for Penske. Sato-san was fifth, having jumped from Foyt’s stable to Andretti Autosports.

Setback & Comeback

Sébastien Bourdais crashed his Coyne operated car in qualifying and was relegated to the back of the grid. Compadre Pagenaud also did not fare well, qualifying only 14th.

Power led the first few laps before the Mayor, James Hinchcliffe, laid down the law and took the lead. This was just the beginning of Power’s problems; a puncture, running over air hose and fuel-feed issues led to his retirement.

Bourdais avoided tangle with other competitors and on lap 37 passed Pagenaud for the lead. The Penske driver started his charge in the closing stages of the race but the ex-Toro Rosso F1 racer kept his cool and gave Coyne racing team a well deserved win, a very happy reunion not only for the two and but also for the driver and crew chief Craig Hampson – the last time they worked together was in their glory days at Newman-Haas.

Behind Dixon in third, Florida native Ryan Hunter-Reay and Takuma Sato completed the top five.

Victory for Le Mans-native & St. Pete-based Bourdais was 36th of his stellar career on this side of the pond and elevates him to 6th on the all time wins list.

Look back

Paul Tracy was the winner of the inaugural St. Petersburg event in 2003, then held under the CART umbrella. Helio Castro Neves is the only three-time winner of the event, 2006/7 & ‘12. And, surprisingly, Graham Rahal is the only American winner.

Penske has been the dominant team here with eight wins, but their winner from the past two years, Juan Pablo Montoya, was missing in action but will be activated by the Captain and self ‘percolated’ during the merry month of May.

American heavy weights in Indy Lights

The future of IndyCar racing is bright as two young Americans won their first race in the series in dominating fashion. The season opening race was led from start to finish from pole position by Wisconsin native Aaron Telitz. Last season he won the Pro Mazda (formerly Star Mazda) championship.

F1Weekly will feature an exclusive interview with this young talent in an upcoming podcast.

On Sunday, second generation and 16-year-old driver Colton Herta took victory after a race long duel with Santiago Urrutia, the Uruguayan driver is in his second year in the series. Colton made papa Bryan proud by becoming the youngest ever winner in Indy Lights history.

— Nasir Hameed

Photo: IndyCar.com

LAMBORGHINI STW SERIES

JEFFRIES AND BREUKERS WIN LAMBORGHINI SUPER TROFEO TITLE AT DUBAI AUTODROME

Dubai, UAE, 5 March 2017: Championship competition heated up on the 5.39 kilometre Grand Prix Circuit at Dubai Autodrome during the penultimate National Race Days (NRD) Power Weekend (3-4 March 2017), with the new Lamborghini series on showcase with UAE national racing.

Lamborghini Super Trofeo Winter Series Middle East

The Dubai Autodrome might be a relatively unfamiliar circuit for both Axcil Jeffries and Rik Breukers, but the GDL Racing drivers mastered the track in short time behind the wheel of the exotic Lamborghini Huracán GT3. For the second round in the row, the championship leaders were flawless on their way to winning the weekend and claiming the overall title in the first season of the series.

Dutchman Breukers put the team on pole position with a best lap time of 1:57.714 and in the next two races Breukers and Jeffries fought off early challengers to break free and take comfortable victories, winning by 41.57 seconds in Race One and 20.4 seconds in Race Two, wrapping up overall and Pro Class triumphs.

The wins also secured the Lamborghini Super Trofeo Winter Series Middle East Championship for Breukers and Jeffries, making them the first winners of the inaugural series.

After receiving their championship trophies Rik Breukers of GDL Racing said, “For us it was really a great season. We put in a lot of hard work, especially together with our engineers in the final, and of course the GDL Team, everyone was working very hard, so I’m really glad it paid off.”

Young German sensation Carrie Schreiner and Aussie ace Richard Goddard spent two races trying to chase down the GDL Racing outfit, but on both attempts they had to settle for second place silverware. The German duo of Paul Scheuschner and Hendrik Still of Konrad Motorsport claimed third place in Race One while Jack Bartholomew and Devon Modell of FFF Racing Team by ACM collected third in Race Two.

The third place finish in Race One gave Scheuschner and Still a first place trophy in Pro Am Class, while Nigel Farmer and Contstantino Bertuzzi of GDL Racing claimed the next one in Race Two. When the final points were tallied, it was Scheuschner and Still who claimed the Pro Am title.

Andrew Haryanto, of yet another GDL Racing car, racked up an AM Class win in Race One but failed to finish Race Two due to a puncture, leaving his rivals Marco Antonelli and Davide Roda of Antonelli Motorsport to earn a class victory in Race Two. Haryanto wasn’t too disappointed however, as he still did enough to take home the AM Class title.

FORMULA RENAULT EUROCUP

THIRTY DRIVERS AND NINE TEAMS ARE READY TO BATTLE IN THE FORMULA RENAULT EUROCUP

Two weeks before the first collective tests, the Formula Renault Eurocup is assured of having 30 young and talented drivers for the 2017 season. Defending their chances on Europe’s finest circuits, they also represent nine of the most respected teams in motorsport.

Spread among nine teams, the 30 title contenders will come together on March 15 at Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours for the tests which will kick off a campaign that will take them to 10 European tracks, including Pau and Monaco. With the presence of two F1 driver development programmes, the Red Bull Junior Team and Renault Sport Academy as well as those of SMP Racing and Escudería Telmex, the season promises to be outstanding!

Josef Kaufmann Racing
Sacha Fenestraz (FRA) – Luis Leeds (AUS) – Ye Yifei (CHN)

Eurocup Driver Titles (2011, 2012, 2016) and Teams (2012, 2015, 2016)
NEC Driver Titles (2015, 2016) and Teams (2014, 2015, 2016)

Lars Kaufmann, Team Manager: “We are very much looking forward to the 2017 Formula Renault Eurocup with all the modifications Renault has made. As usual, we have been preparing our cars during the winter with all the needed precision. Our 2017 driver line-up is a good mix of experienced and rookie drivers and they have all shown good pace so far. We will continue to carry out the same work we’ve done for the past six years in the Formula Renault Eurocup and hope that this year will be another successful one!”

Tech 1 Racing
Gabriel Aubry (FRA) – Max Fewtrell (GBR) – Thomas Maxwell (AUS) – Thomas Neubauer (FRA)

Eurocup Driver Title (2013) and Teams (2010, 2013)
Alps Driver Title (2011) and Teams (2011, 2013)

Simon Abadie, Team Manager: “I am very happy with the team we will enter for our eighth season in the Formula Renault Eurocup. The team is a mix of talent, experience and performance fully invested in its work. Winter testing confirmed our choices. We have excellent chemistry and one objective: win back the two European Championships after the title we won in 2010 and our two crowns achieved in 2013. We look forward to returning to the track and see our drivers run up front in one of the most competitive categories in motorsport.”

R-ace GP
Max Defourny (BEL) – Raúl Guzmán (MEX) – Will Palmer (GBR) – Robert Shwartzman (RUS)

Eurocup Runner-up Teams (2013)
NEC Runner-up Drivers (2016) and Teams (2015, 2016)

Thibaut de Mérindol, Team Manager: “We are currently putting our organisation in place and preparing our cars. It is a crucial step that will ensure the season runs smoothly. We are now operational and we have to now painstakingly work on the details just until the start of the season. We are confident about the quality of the team that we have built over the past several seasons. I sense the team is stimulated by the level of the drivers that we will enter. R-ace GP will enter four extremely quick drivers, of which three enjoyed success in the Formula Renault Eurocup last season. Their objective is to capitalize on their experience in order to fight for the title. We only have one team order, may the best win! Raúl Guzmán, who finished third in F4 Italia in 2016, confirmed his potential during our winter test. He will have the chance to quickly learn the subtleties of the category from his team mates in order to position himself as the most threatening of the outsiders. Without a doubt the titles are, more than ever, our objectives!”

AVF by Adrián Vallés
Henrique Chaves (PRT) – Axel Matus (MEX) – Rodrigo Pflucker (PER) – Grégoire Saucy (CHE)

Eurocup Rookie of the year (2015)
Formula V8 3.5 Teams Champion (2016)

Adrián Vallés, Team Manager: “Each season brings its share of new things and we never know what to expect. Nevertheless, we are ready and confident to race for the victory even though the field consists of solid contenders among the returnees and newcomers. We will continue our collaboration with Henrique, who should take a step forward in his second complete season. We hope to see him consistently in the top five. His team mate Rodrigo could spring a surprise if he continues to improve as he did during winter testing. Axel won the NACAM F4 and Formula Panam titles and was also competitive in the French F4 Championship. Grégoire knows the car after starring in V de V. Both of them should quickly be on pace and we are happy to have them in the team.”

Fortec Motorsports
Frank Bird (GBR) – Alexey Korneev (RUS) – Alex Peroni (AUS) – Najiy Ayyad Bin Abd Razak (MYS)

NEC Driver Titles (2012, 2013, 2014) and Teams (2012)
Alps Junior Titles (2014) and Runner-up Teams (2014)
UK Driver Titles (2002, 2004, 2006, 2007) and Teams (2006, 2007, 2008, 2011)

Martin Young, Team Manager: ”Everything is ready! The cars are built, we have done a lot of preparation and simulator work. We are looking forward to being back on the track! Alexey returns for his second season in the Formula Renault Eurocup and we want to build on that. After his impressive winter testing and outing in Estoril, we have exciting expectations of Alex and the team rates him highly. The same goes for Najiy. He knows the car, he finished 3rd in Asian Formula Renault, but the European tracks will be new to him. Finally, Frank comes from F4 and we’re looking forward to contributing to his development and see him run in the top 10. This season should be challenging but we really want to return to the top!”

JD Motorsport
Jean-Baptiste Simmenauer (FRA) – Alexander Vartanyan (RUS) – Sun Yue Yang (CHN)

Eurocup Driver Titles (1996, 1997, 1998, 1999) and Teams (1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2003, 2006)
Germany/NEC Driver Titles (2002) and Teams (2001, 2003, 2006)
Alps Runner-up Teams (2015)

Roberto Cavallari, Team Manager: “The 2017 Formula Renault Eurocup will be one of the most competitive seasons in these past few years with 30 cars in the hands of first-rate drivers and teams. With all three of our drivers being rookies, the title may be hard to add to our 11 drivers and teams titles, but of course we will fight flat-out and hope our drivers can be the ‘surprise’ of this extremely competitive championship.”

Mark Burdett Motorsport
Presley Martono (IDN) – Julia Pankiewicz (POL)

BARC Runner-up Drivers (2008)
Third in Formula Renault UK Winter Series (2010)

Mark Burdett, Team Manager: “Mark Burdett Motorsport has been racing in Formula Renault since its introduction in the UK series and the NEC. The team is now ready to step up to the Formula Renault Eurocup. We are delighted that Julia and Presley will be racing for the team this season. Julia tested with us over the winter and made great progress working with the engineer and driver coach. Presley has a good background in karting and was the first winner of the FIA South East Asia Formula 4 Championship. We are looking forward to working with both drivers to achieve our goals.”

MP Motorsport
Jarno Opmeer (NLD) – Neil Verhagen (USA) – Richard Verschoor (NLD)

Eurocup Runner-up Drivers (2013)
NEC Runner-up Drivers (2012) and Teams (2012)

Sander Dorsman, Team Manager: “With a majority of F1-grade circuits, two classic street tracks and ample driving time, the Formula Renault Eurocup’s new format is appealing to teams as well as sponsors, and that’s why we’re back. It’s the ideal training ground for ambitious drivers. With Richard and Neil supported by Red Bull, we hold two strong cards for Formula Renault Eurocup honours. Last year, we all saw Jarno’s huge talent and it is well deserved that he appeared on the Renault F1 team’s radar. The Formula Renault Eurocup will be an amazing education for them, as it’s one of the strongest championships in Europe. At the same time I expect them to be up there right from the start. Their level of talent is that high.”

Arden Motorsport
Ghislain Cordeel (BEL) – Zane Goddard (AUS) – Dan Ticktum (GBR)

Newcomers in Formula Renault
International F3000 Titles (2002, 2003, 2004), Italian F3000 (2000), GP3 Series (2012, 2013) and Formula V8 3.5 (2016)

Ben Salter, Team Manager: “The team is really looking forward to what will be our inaugural season in the Formula Renault Eurocup. I believe that with the line-up we have put together it will enable us to hit the ground running and challenge for race wins from the off. With Arden now competing in the Formula Renault Eurocup it completes the ladder all the way through the junior categories for both drivers and personnel, where drivers can enter Arden on the YRDA (Young Racing Driver Academy) programme and advance all the way through the junior programmes right up to GP2. I’m looking forward for official testing to get under way.”

FORMULA 1

THE FERRARI SF70H IS HERE

The 63rd single-seater designed and built by Scuderia Ferrari to take part in the Formula 1 World Championship is born out of a regulation change that is without precedent in this category of motor sport. Generally, in the past, regulations went in the direction of slowing down the cars. However, this year, the rule changes go in the opposite direction, meaning the cars have more aerodynamic downforce and more mechanical grip.

Aerodynamic concept

On this topic, the Gestione Sportiva group has concentrated its efforts on finding the right compromise between downforce and aerodynamic resistance, or drag. The new Pirelli tyres are much wider than in the past, by 6 centimetres each at the front and 8 at the rear. This increased frontal area constitutes a “brake” on forward motion as does the increased downforce coming from the 2017 specification front wing, floor and diffuser. Countering this effect, the combination of downforce and the bigger footprint from the tyres translates into increased grip, leading to higher cornering speeds.

Chassis

There are several differences between the 668 project and Ferraris from the recent past: the lengthened nose and the arrow-shaped wing are a consequence of the regulations, as is the obvious fin on the engine cover and the more complex aero appendages ahead of the air intakes on the sidepods, whose unusual shape was designed in harmony with the front crash structure. Visible at the front is a duct that has an aerodynamic role, while behind the driver, the roll-hoop, which incorporates the engine air intake has been completely redesigned. Also updated is the suspension layout, which still retains a push rod design at the front with pull rods at the rear. The hubs and wheel nuts have been redesigned to facilitate the work of the mechanics when changing wheels during the pit stops. Finally, also as a function of the expected increase in performance this year, the power-steering and braking systems have been upsized.

Power unit

In contrast to the aerodynamics, when it comes to the power unit, there have been few changes to the regulations. The main one concerns the amount of fuel that can be used by each car during the race: with the predicted increase in performance, with a bigger percentage of each lap spent at full revs, the permitted amount of fuel has increased from 100 to 105 Kg, although the flow rate is still fixed at 100 kg/hour. The 062 engine is a definite step forward compared to its predecessor, when it comes to chasing performance. The layout of some of the mechanical components on the hybrid power unit has been revised, while other areas maintain a similar layout to the 2016 car. On the sporting regulation front, the abolition of the “Token” system allows the teams more room for development over the course of the season.