Motorsports Mondial

GT – Davide Rigon gets ready for Silverstone

More than a month after the starting race on Monza track, Davide Rigon gets ready to get behind the wheel of his Ferrari 458 for the second round of Blancpain GT Endurance Series, on Silverstone’s historical track.

After a solid debut, the talented driver from Veneto, will race on the English track, together with his team mates Zampieri and Gattuso, who are supposed to be the favourites to get up to the podium. Unfortunately in Monza, they didn’t succeed to get on it because of several pit stop problems which slowed down the three drivers of Kessel Racing Team, who usually are the fastest on track. In these weeks off, Rigon reached the team in Switzerland to better analyze the domestic race and get ready for this new challenge, putting all his efforts on several pit stop practices.

For Rigon, this will be a return on Silverstone’s track with a GT car, after the FIA GT World Championship, ran behind the wheel of a Ferrari F430 GT2.

“ During the break I went to the factory to thrash out this transfert. The team focused its training on pit stop so much. Pit stops were the weak point last time. We improved material and technique. I hope it will be a dry week end so i can improve my feeling with the car. Since I haven’t made any practice day yet, next race will be to me as an apprenticeship. What is important is not to make mistakes and keep on gaining experience. In Monza we showed how good the car is and how good the team manage it. We were the fastest on track, especially on wet pitch, but unfortunately we didn’t succeed in getting on the podium.

I know Silverstone’s track very well, that is a historical track. During winter practices of last GP2 season , I got race’s best time on a wet track. I’ll have to be concentrated to find the right pace. There’s a big difference between a Formula and a GT in terms of way of driving and track interpretation. As far as race time is concerned the three bends called Maggots, Becketts and Chapel, are decisive. “ says Davide Rigon.

Motorsports Mondial

Williams F1 finished the Monaco Grand Prix with mixed feelings. Bruno Senna finished 10th, bringing home one world championship point for the team, but the pace of the FW34 had promised a lot more, as the team’s Chief Operations Engineer Mark Gillan explains.

Mark Gillan, Chief Operations Engineer:
Q:  Mark, it was a frustrating weekend for Williams F1 in Monaco. So much potential, yet the team only got one world championship point. How competitive was the FW34 around the Principality’s streets?

MG: The car was good enough for a P4 or P5 qualifying position and our race pace was also good so it is disappointing not to have come away from this event with a decent haul of points.

Q: This was the first race of the year for Pirelli’s super-soft compound. Did it perform as you expected?
MG: Yes, the tyre performed pretty well (as expected) in terms of both pace and durability.

Q: Were you surprised that so many people opted for a one-stop strategy in the race?
MG: No not really, as the tyres were capable of a one stop and it was likely to have been the default strategy for the majority of the field.

Q: Pastor’s weekend was compromised by a 10-place grid penalty, following a collision with Sergio Perez in FP3. What was your opinion of the incident and the penalty?
MG: I think that the incident was avoidable and therefore disappointing and that the penalty was therefore understandable.

Q: Bruno was more competitive in race trim than in qualifying. Why was that, and what does he need to do to qualify higher?
MG: Bruno was very honest after qualifying admitting that he could have done better and he pushed hard through the race but was ultimately frustrated by Kimi who held him up.  We will continue to work hard with Bruno in the simulator and on the track to help him maximise the new tyres’ performance.

Q: The Canadian Grand Prix comes next. What are the technical challenges of the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, and what can we expect from the FW34 there?
MG: The team are looking forward to Montreal as we believe that we should be strong again, but we need to deliver in both qualifying and the race. Montreal is usually an eventful race, with multiple stops, high brake wear and with the chance of a safety car being very likely.

Motorsports Mondial

F1- GP Monaco: the point… Gian Carlo Minardi

MONTECARLO- This year’s Gp in Monaco was really amazing. After 78 laps six cars crossed the line within just 6 seconds. This is one of the most intense and competitive Championships of the F1 history. The competition will be played till the end and placing will be decisive. After six races ( won by six different drivers ) we haven’t a leader yet.

78 laps have been run without making mistakes, under hard conditions and with different strategies. This is the case of Sebastian Vettel, who decided to start the race with soft tires, in opposition with the group. Grosjean made a hasty start. He has to pay more attention, because he has been making too many mistakes. What a pity for Lotus who has one car which is quite performing, even if the team has to change its strategy. Tires are making engineer’s job on track and their effort to determine car’s best stability, harder and harder. We’ve been noticing differences even between cars of the same team.

Webber, Rosberg and Alonso made a good job. The Spanish driver, with his third place, is the standing’s leader. Massa succeeded in getting back to Q3 and, during the race, he was next to the group. I think this result could be a good new lease on confidence. I think that the Brazilian driver still can give his contribution to Ferrari and help it getting up to the first three positions of the Championship. The two next races should go to Ferrari’s benefit. The keystone was in the 30th lap when Alonso, just before getting out for a pit stop, marked race’s best splits, going ahead of Hamilton. Congratulations to the mechanics, because it took only 3.7 seconds for him to make the job and congratulations also to Fernando who made a difference just in the crucial moment.

Unfortunately the GP missed two drivers who could have been the protagonists of the race, making the Gp even more inflamed: Maldonado and Schumacher. Having regard to his performances and  feeling with the track, the Venezuelan driver could make a great recovery. The German driver, instead, was back to the pole after a long time, showing everybody he doesn’t give up. He made a very good job during qualifications.

I’m sorry for Vergne, who dearly paid the choice of changing tires at the 18th lap. Since the driver was in trouble with the race, his team decided to attempt a change, hoping for rain to fall. But it didn’t rain so hard. In the last 14laps the car was equipped with unsuitable tyres and, even if the driver hadn’t stop, he would have been out of the top ten as well, providing the fact the group was very close-knit. He was handling a good race, so was doing his team mate. He is a driver we should keep an eye on for the rest of the season. He makes interesting times and grows up race by race. The strategies and mistakes the team can commit, together with the actions made to make up for mechanical lacks, have a strong influence on the French driver himself.

Gian Carlo Minardi

Motorsports Mondial

Photo: caterhamf1

Red Bull Racing-Renault wins Monaco Grand Prix

Red Bull Racing-Renault’s Mark Webber took victory in today’s Monaco Grand Prix, the second win for the Australian around the streets of the Principality. Mark started from pole position and finished the 78 lap race ahead of Nico Rosberg and Fernando Alonso, making it six different winners in as many races. The win is Red Bull Racing-Renault’s third consecutive win at Monaco, Renault’s sixth in Monte Carlo and the third consecutive win for a Renault-engined car this season.*

Webber’s Red Bull Racing team-mate Sebastian Vettel finished in fourth position after a long stint on his first set of tyres allowed him to jump ahead of Lewis Hamilton.

Lotus F1 Team-Renault’s Kimi Raikkonen was the sole finisher for the team in ninth position after Romain Grosjean was involved in a start line accident that eliminated him on the spot. The same accident also put paid to Williams F1 Team-Renault’s Spanish GP winner Pastor Maldonado’s hopes as he lost his front wing and retired. Williams’ team-mate Bruno Senna however scored one point for tenth position.

Caterham F1 Team’s Heikki Kovalainen finished the race in 13th position, moving the team to 10th in the constructors’ title race ahead of Marussia. Unfortunately Vitaly Petrov retired with an electrical problem on lap 15.

The results today extend Red Bull’s lead at the top of the constructors’ championship ahead of McLaren and Ferrari. Lotus is fourth overall with Williams sixth and Caterham tenth. Alonso takes the lead of the drivers’ title race, but Vettel and Webber are just three points behind.

* 1995 (Schumacher, Benetton-Renault), 2004 (Trulli, Renault F1 Team), 2006 (Alonso, Renault F1 Team), 2010 (Webber, Red Bull-Renault), 2011 (Vettel, Red Bull-Renault), 2012 (Webber, Red Bull-Renault)

Rémi Taffin, Renault Sport F1 head of track operations

Monaco is a massive challenge for an engine manufacturer as it is completely unique on the calendar so to get the win here and a further three points’ scoring positions is a really good result. A huge congratulations to Mark to have secured his first win of the year. He was under pressure all race long and completely deserved the victory. The win gives Red Bull-Renault the last three wins in Monaco; a great result for Renault so close to our home!

It was unfortunate for Lotus that the results do not reflect the pace of the engine-chassis package this weekend, but accidents such as Romain’s can happen as the first corner is so tight. Pastor also got caught up in the aftermath, but fortunately Bruno kept clear and was able to score one point to keep the team ahead of Sauber. Congratulations to Caterham as well for taking 13th position and moving into tenth in the constructors’ championship

However we have not been without issues this weekend, so we need to continue to work hard with our partners. Canada is next on the calendar and a very different type of track, requiring good top end power but also response out of the hairpins – we will work hard to improve on form and deliver the best possible package we can to all our teams to make the most of the opportunities in this very competitive field.


F1Weekly podcast # 578

Photo: redbullracing

Mark Webber leads from start to finish to take the Grand Prix de Monaco.

Formula One record with six different winners in six races.

Mark Webber won the showcase Monaco Grand Prix for champions Red Bull as Formula One celebrated an unprecedented six different winners in six races so far this season.

Webber led a processional but nail-bitingly close race, with the top three separated by less than a second at the finish, from pole position to chequered flag as the rain held off despite darkening skies and occasional drops.

Germany’s Nico Rosberg finished second, 0.6 seconds behind Webber, with Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso third and a further 0.3 adrift to go three points clear at the top of the overall championship standings.

It was Webber’s first win since Brazil at the end of last season, the eighth of his career and Red Bull’s third in a row around the metal-fenced streets and crowded harbourside of the millionaires’ playground.

There remained a question mark over the result, however, with talk sweeping the paddock ahead of the race of a possible protest by rival teams questioning the legality of his Red Bull’s floor.

The top five were split by just 4.1 seconds, running nose-to-tail through the hairpin, with Webber’s team mate and double world champion Sebastian Vettel fourth ahead of McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton.

Alonso has 76 points with Vettel and Webber both on 73.

Pos Driver Team Time
 1.  Webber        Red Bull-Renault           1h46:06.557
 2.  Rosberg       Mercedes                   +     0.643
 3.  Alonso        Ferrari                    +     0.947
 4.  Vettel        Red Bull-Renault           +     1.343
 5.  Hamilton      McLaren-Mercedes           +     4.101
 6.  Massa         Ferrari                    +     6.195
 7.  Di Resta      Force India-Mercedes       +    41.500
 8.  Hulkenberg    Force India-Mercedes       +    42.500
 9.  Raikkonen     Lotus-Renault              +    44.000
10.  Senna         Williams-Renault           +    44.500
11.  Perez         Sauber-Ferrari             +     1 lap
12.  Vergne        Toro Rosso-Ferrari         +     1 lap
13.  Kovalainen    Caterham-Renault           +     1 lap
14.  Glock         Marussia-Cosworth          +     1 lap
15.  Karthikeyan   HRT-Cosworth               +    2 laps

F1weekly podcast number 578
Weekend special interview with Jake Dennis.

Motorsports Mondial

Stockinger storms to first win at Monaco

Status Grand Prix’s Marlon Stockinger claims maiden win in Monte Carlo

Reverse Pole man Marlon Stockinger celebrated his first win of his GP3 career after producing a lights to flag victory on the famous street circuit in Monaco in a memorable race!

The start was dramatic with a spectacular incident at the exit of Sainte Devote after Alex Brundle tapped the back of his Carlin team mate William Buller which sent Buller’s car into the air and landed upside down. The safety car was immediately deployed and luckily Buller was able to climb out of the car unscathed after a nasty looking shunt. The accident also ruled Brundle out of the race.

Stockinger defended his lead at the start with Daniel Abt trying to sneak past Antonio Felix Da Costa but the Lotus GP driver had to hold station. After two laps, the safety car came back in and the race was restarted. The remaining Carlin car of Felix Da Costa set sights on P1, chasing Stockinger and desperately was looking for a way past. The Portuguese star started applying the pressure on the Filipino and stayed within half a second of the Status Grand Prix car during the race, eager to make a move.

Abt in P3 was a few seconds back from the two dicing for the win, ahead of Mitch Evans, David Fumanelli, Kevin Ceccon, Aaro Vainio and Tio Ellinas. There was to be more action further down the field in the second half of the race after Lotus GP’s Conor Daly caught the back of Dmitry Suranovich at the hairpin and the Russian driver lost his rear wing. As Suranovich continued on, struggling to keep control, Daly made contact with the rear of the Marussia Manor Racing car as they came out of the tunnel and became airborne, hitting the side fence at the side of the circuit. It was a shocking accident but the American was able to get out of his car and walk away unharmed.

It was the second time the safety car was deployed and after a few laps, the decision was made to stop the race for safety reasons as the fence was damaged. Therefore, Stockinger recorded his debut victory in GP3, as the result was declared after 14 laps. Felix Da Costa took second with Abt achieving his first podium in the Series. Evans, Fumanelli, Ceccon, Vainio and Ellinas rounded out the top eight. This result makes it four different winners from four races in 2012.

Vaino heads the standings after Round 2 on 54 points ahead of Evans on 43 and Stockinger on 39.

Round 3 takes place in Valencia on the 22-24 June with a GP3 test planned the week before.