FORMULA 1

NIKI LAUDA DIES AT 70

Three-time world champion Jackie Stewart told BBC Radio Four’s Today programme: “During that accident he died twice and was resuscitated.

“Recovering from that accident, he came to Monza [for the Italian Grand Prix], which I was doing commentary for. He shouldn’t have been there but wanted to get back to racing.

“I will never forget him putting his helmet on and he was suffering so much pain. When he came out from driving at the end I was there and the blood was running down out of his helmet.

“It’s very sad news. I’ve known Niki for a long time and he was just entering grand prix racing when I was retiring. We had a season together. He always had great integrity and was one the smoothest, best drivers I’ve ever seen.”

Team principal Toto Wolff said: “First of all, on behalf of the team and all at Mercedes, I wish to send our deepest condolences to Birgit, Niki’s children, his family and close friends.

“Niki will always remain one of the greatest legends of our sport – he combined heroism, humanity and honesty inside and outside the cockpit.

“His passing leaves a void in Formula 1. We haven’t just lost a hero who staged the most remarkable comeback ever seen, but also a man who brought precious clarity and candour to modern Formula 1. He will be greatly missed as our voice of common sense.

“Our Mercedes team has also lost a guiding light.

“As a team-mate over the past six and a half years, Niki was always brutally honest – and utterly loyal. It was a privilege to count him among our team and moving to witness just how much it meant to him to be part of the team’s success.”

Nico Rosberg, who won the world title in 2016 with Mercedes, tweeted: “Dear Niki. Thank you for everything that you did for me. I learned so much from you.

“Your passion, your fighting spirit, to never give up, you belief that you always meet twice in life, and even your patience with us youngsters.

“Myself and all of your 100 million fans around the world whom you also so strongly inspired to never give up in the hardest of times are thinking of you and your family and wish that you rest in peace.”

EUROFORMULA OPEN

MONGER GRABS HIS FIRST SINGLE-SEATER VICTORY AT PAU

Billy Monger took a remarkable first single-seater win in the 78° Grand Prix de Pau, gambling on wet tyres and overtaking nearly the whole grid on the way to victory.

The Briton, who is a double amputee below the knees after being injured in a racing crash two years ago, qualified 11th on slick tyres but peeled into the pits at the end of the warm-up lap for wets.

He was followed in by several others, but none made the progress Monger did, who was in the lead before the halfway point of the race.

Those last two positions were gained after the leading slick-shod Motopark drivers Julian Hanses and Liam Lawson clashed, a result of Lawson trying to force a move at the tight Turn 13.

That crash also led to safety car, wiping out Monger’s lead advantage, but he handled the restart well and then pulled away to take victory over Carlin team-mate Nicolai Kjaergaard.

Like Monger, Kjaergaard has also pitted for wets early on, and he came under late pressure from Motopark’s Yuki Tsunoda. After his team-mates crashed, Motopark finally called in Tsunoda to pit, and on the fresh rubber he came from the bottom of the top 10 to the top two’s tails in the small number of laps he had available.

Teo Martin Motorsport’s Lukas Dunner also left his change to wet tyres too late, but did fastest lap on the way to fourth.

Christian Hahn was fifth for Carlin, ahead of Marino Sato (Motopark), Teppei Natori (Carlin) and the slick-shod Cameron Das, who did a impressive job for Fortec Motorsports staying out of the barriers despite being on the wrong tyres for a wet track.

Lawson’s retirement meants Sato has closed the gap between the pair in the standings to six points.

Many drivers crashed in the race, with Linus Lundqvist causing a three-car pile-up with two of the Teo Martin cars after misjudging the tightness of a corner. Incredibly the marshals cleared the cars without the need of a safety car intervention.

INDYCAR

PAGENAUD TAKES POLE FERNANDO TAKES FLIGHT BACK TO OVIEDO

INDIANAPOLIS (Sunday, May 19, 2019) – Simon Pagenaud continued on his roll this May, winning the pole position for the upcoming 103rd Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge. Two-time Formula 1 champion Fernando Alonso, however, will be a spectator for the May 26 race after failing to successfully qualify.

In a drama-filled Sunday afternoon that featured separate qualifying sessions to fill opposite ends of the 33-car starting grid, Pagenaud completed a four-lap Fast Nine Shootout qualification run on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway superspeedway at 229.992 mph to earn the NTT P1 Award, the 11th pole position of his 11-year Indy car career and first at the Indy 500.

Meanwhile, Sage Karam, James Hinchcliffe and Kyle Kaiser drove their way into the field with the best qualifying efforts in the Last Row Shootout, with Alonso among those whose runs came up short on speed.

FERNANDO ALONSO (No. 66 McLaren Racing Chevrolet): “Well, I didn’t spend much time with the team yet. I’ve been only in my motorhome and talking with friends or family and following the Fast Nine Shootout. Once you are not anymore in, you try to start relaxing a little bit. It has been a very long qualifying, nearly 56 hours of qualifying from yesterday morning. Yesterday, we were 31st instead of 30th. Today, 34th instead of 33rd by a very small margin, and unfortunately, not fast enough in any or both days.

I’m disappointed now. Obviously, it would be nice to be in the race next Sunday. We came here to race and to challenge ourselves and we were not quick enough. I congratulate all the other guys that did a better job, and hopefully, we’ll see a nice show next Sunday, with everyone safe. I will be enjoying from the TV, unfortunately.”

INDYCAR

FERNANDO ON THE BUBBLE

FERNANDO ALONSO (No. 66 McClaren Racing Chevrolet): “It has been a difficult day, and it follows a difficult week. We were running quite well this morning when the conditions were not too bad, but unfortunately, we picked up a rear puncture and then we decided to wait until this afternoon to get back out on track when track conditions were slightly better.

At the end of the day, we didn’t have the pace and the final time we posted wasn’t enough to be in the top 30, so we must try again tomorrow and we’ll need to execute the four laps as well as possible, clean and with no mistakes. It’s a difficult moment for the team, but we must remain calm and focused and I hope we can find enough to make the top three positions of the six tomorrow.”

INDYCAR

ALONSO MISSING PRECIOUS TRACK TIME

Alonso – returning to the Indianapolis 500 this year in search of a victory to complete the final leg of racing’s Triple Crown – never made it on the track Thursday as his McLaren Racing team spent the day preparing a backup car after the two-time Formula 1 champion crashed his primary No. 66 Chevrolet in practice the day before.

Gil de Ferran, the 2003 Indianapolis 500 winner who now serves as sporting director at McLaren, said the team is not rushing to get the backup car ready, preparations that included an engine change when the powerplant in the primary car was found to be damaged in Wednesday’s incident.

“While we have a number of experienced individuals in the team, we are still relatively new as a crew,” de Ferran said. “Because of this and the fact that we have deep respect for Indianapolis, we are being careful and measured in our approach and want to ensure we’re sending the best possible car out on track.

“Not running today was a serious setback to our Indy 500 program, but all is not lost. We should have a full day of practice and preparations for qualifying tomorrow and our goal will be to have a nice, clean day.”

F1Weekly podcast # 789

CLARK IS ABOUT TO LOOSE IT AND NASIR IS ENJOYING THE 2019 FORMULA 1 SEASON WITH MERCEDES COMPLETE DOMINATION. WE DO HAVE A NICE MOTORSPORTS MONDIAL…
HERE IS FERRARI’S POST RACE STATEMENT…

Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow leaves the Spanish Grand Prix with a fourth and fifth place finish, which definitely did not live up to expectations. It is an even greater incentive to work flat out during the two days of testing at this same circuit this coming Tuesday and Wednesday.

The race. Sebastian got an excellent start, to the extent that he managed to come round the outside of the Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas at the first corner. But the German slightly locked his wheels, which saw him run wide, letting Max Verstappen slip past. All race long, Sebastian and Charles fought the Dutchman to try and snatch back third place, but in the end, with matters further complicated by the appearance of the Safety Car which affected Leclerc’s strategy, it did not happen and the two SF90s finished just off the podium places. Hamilton won from Bottas, with the aforementioned Verstappen third.

Test. Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow and the other nine teams are staying on in Barcelona for two days of testing with both the SF90s. On Tuesday, Charles will be at the wheel for the team, while Sebastian will be working for Pirelli. On Wednesday, Charles will take over for the tyre supplier, while Antonio Fuoco will drive for the team test.

Play Podcast: 05-14-19f1weekly789.mp3

The Premiere Motorsport Podcast