British Formula 3


A Fortec Motorsport 1-2 and a Carlin 1-2-3 were the highlights of the day’s Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series action at Brands Hatch, Pipo Derani leading home his Fortec team-mate Felix Serralles in round 13 and Jack Harvey winning round 14 ahead of his colleagues Jazeman Jaafar and Harry Tincknell.

Harvey was the big winner of the weekend, with his Saturday victory and today’s success helping him to within seven points of championship leader Jaafar at the mid-point of the season.

In the National class, Adderly Fong and CF Racing won twice today to complete a Brands Hatch clean sweep.

Round 13
Brazilian Derani beat Puerto Rico’s Serralles to the line by just 0.122s in a thrilling 13th round. Key to the Fortec men’s success were excellent starts – Derani slipped past Double R’s Geoff Uhrhane off the line to move up from third on the grid to second, with birthday boy Serralles – 20 today – pulling a blinder from P6 to slot into third by the opening lap’s end, behind Derani.

One obstacle lay ahead of them: Double R’s pole man Fahmi Ilyas, who jinked left and then right off the line to maintain his advantage into Paddock Hill Bend. The Malaysian drove impeccably to hold the lead for four laps, but the mounting pressure from the Fortec twins eventually told at Paddock on the fifth lap, where he ran wide and through the gravel, losing four places.

Serralles piled the pressure on Derani for the duration, on lap 11 pulling alongside the leader through Paddock and on the run up to the Druids hairpin. Pipo repelled the advance however, and did not put a wheel wrong all the way to the chequered flag.

It was Derani’s second win of the year, and the 18-year-old from Sao Paulo was delighted:  “It’s really good to be back on top. British Formula 3 gives you the opportunity to improve during the weekend; I didn’t have much experience of this track so I suffered a little bit in qualifying. But here we are, we are 1-2, Fortec on top and I think it’s a good result. We try always to do our best, and today, this is our best. Felix was putting pressure on me all the time and I had to think hard about not making any mistakes; he did an amazing job.”

“I think I had the fastest car I’ve had all year,” said Serralles. “It’s just impossible to pass here – I could have taken the win if there was a longer straight, but it is what it is. It was unfortunate I couldn’t qualify where I wanted because I had a puncture, so it’s really fantastic to be on the podium for a Fortec 1-2 and also it’s my birthday.”

Third place was battled over throughout by Pietro Fantin and Carlos Sainz, the latter settling for fourth towards the end. Fantin’s podium placing was investigated post-race by stewards after reports that the Brazilian had exceeded track limits, but no action was taken.

Championship leader Jazeman Jaafar was another fast-starter, the Malaysian gaining four places on the opening lap and going on to finish sixth, behind his countryman Ilyas. Nick McBride placed seventh for T-Sport, ahead of Fortec’s Alex Lynn and Saturday Brands Hatch winner Jack Harvey, who had to fend off Hannes van Asseldonk’s attentions for much of the race.

Uhrhane slipped to ninth on the opening lap and 11th behind the end. The final international class finisher was Harry Tincknell, who had to pit after suffering wing damage on lap five when Ilyas’s return to the track set off a late-braking chain-reaction through the field. Carlin’s men fitted new Coopers to Harry’s car and he was able to salvage a point by setting fastest lap.

In the National class, Adderly Fong repeated his Saturday success for CF Racing to lead home Spike Goddard by 10.6s, with Duvashen Padayachee third.

Round 14
Harvey put clear air between himself and Jaafar this afternoon at Brands Hatch to win round 14, and to narrow the points gap between himself and the championship leader to just seven.

It was Harvey’s second win of the weekend and his fourth victory of the season. Just like Saturday’s triumph, it was a pole position to chequered flag affair, but rather than the half-second margin he had over Jaafar in round 12, this time his advantage was 9.5s.

“It’s been a good weekend,” said the Lincolnshire 19-year-old. “Two poles and two wins! I’ve had two poles before this season and not made the most of them, so it’s good to do as well as we thought we could. The team have done a great job for me.

“I don’t feel as if anything has ‘clicked’ as such – I have always felt that results like this were possible. It’s just a combination of working hard to get the best from our car and driving well. This weekend we maybe had the edge over Jazeman a bit, and we need to maintain that.”

Jaafar was pleased with his result also: “Jack and I both made good starts. That was my only real opportunity to get ahead and I lost that battle. Jack drove brilliantly and his race pace was really good, and that’s something we need to look at and work on. But all in all it was not a bad race, I scored good points and I am quite pleased.”

There was drama on the opening lap as the cars of Carlos Sainz and Pipo Derani touched wheels into Paddock Hill Bend; both ended their races in the gravel trap, with Felix Serralles managing just to avoid the drama with a quick skitter through the gravel. The incident brought the safety car on track for two laps.

Thereafter there were no major moves inside the top 10, although Harry Tincknell was pleased to see the chequered flag and collect third place. “My throttle was sticking,” said the Devonian. “It made it all a bit too exciting.” Fortec’s Alex Lynn closed to within half a second of Tincknell by the end but had to settle for fourth.

Pietro Fantin brought his Carlin car home for fifth ahead of Nick McBride, sixth the Australian’s best feature race result of the season for the T-Sport team. Hannes van Asseldonk claimed seventh ahead of Geoff Uhrhane, with Serralles, who lost time with a pit call after his lap one off, snatching ninth from Fahmi Ilyas right on the line. Ilyas had been comfortably ahead of the Puerto Rican until a penultimate lap error at Clearways.

Adderly Fong completed a hat-trick of National class victories for the returning CF Racing team, leading the class throughout. He came under pressure from T-Sport’s Spike Goddard at mid-distance, but the Australian went off at Westfield eight laps from home, handing class second to Double R’s Duvashen Padayachee.

“We expected to be up there,” said Chinese driver Fong, who last raced an F3 car in 2011. “It took a little time to get back used to the car but we’ve been improving it all weekend and everything has gone according to plan.” Fong intends to do further rounds of the championship later in the season.

F1Weekly podcast # 585

Leo Hindery Jr


Bringing the Big Show to the Big Apple Area

Port Imperial, NJ. The glamorous globe-trotting world of Formula 1 Grand Prix motor racing sails into New York/New Jersey area in June next year. The seed for this multi-million dollar project was planted on the back of a buck on the left coast of the United States. 

On our special podcast # 585 we are very pleased to present a conversation with the “Cable Guy” behind the project. 

Meet Mr Leo Hindery Jr. He is originally from Tacoma, WA and it was the green Lotus of Jim Clark which provided the spark for his motorsports passion. Leo has raced and won his class at Le Mans.

Professionally Leo led TCI, then the world’s largest cable television system operator and after its merger with AT&T became head of their broad band division. He also started the YES Network.

The Grand Prix of America next June will be held on a 3.2m long Tilke-designed street circuit, incorporating elevation change and 19 turns. 

The talented Mr. Vettel has already given his thumbs-up after sampling the course earlier this month.


— Nasir Hameed


Formula One

Fernando Alonso takes Victory in the most exciting European GP ever!

Sebastian Vettel on his DNF: “The engine stalled, the engine switched off and there’s nothing that we could have done – at the moment we don’t know what the problem was – maybe it was similar to the issue Mark [Webber] had on Friday,” said afterwards.

The safety car was obviously not ideal for us and it might be that the retirement in some regards is also down to the safety car so it’s a shame.

It’s s**t but you can’t change it now,” he added. “I think up to that point it was clear that we were very strong and I felt happy in the car. We had the pace and we were very, very quick today. I was surprised, it felt really good. Also after the safety car the initial restart was okay so…

It’s okay,” he said. “There is not much we could have done better today. It’s just reliability. We all work on the limit and so does the car so, surely it’s a shame, but I think up to that point we did everything right. Perfect pitstops, perfect start, perfect race. I think everyone has seen what would have happened.

Would, could, should; I’m standing here and they are still racing so no chance to win today, but a good step this weekend and hopefully we can carry that momentum into the next grand prix.

More to follow…

Pos Driver Team Time
 1.  Alonso        Ferrari                    1h44:16.449
 2.  Raikkonen     Lotus-Renault              +     6.421
 3.  Schumacher    Mercedes                   +    12.639
 4.  Webber        Red Bull-Renault           +    13.628
 5.  Hulkenberg    Force India-Mercedes       +    19.993
 6.  Rosberg       Mercedes                   +    21.176
 7.  Di Resta      Force India-Mercedes       +    22.866
 8.  Button        McLaren-Mercedes           +    24.653
 9.  Perez         Sauber-Ferrari             +    27.777
10.  Maldonado     Williams-Renault           +    34.653
11.  Senna         Williams-Renault           +    35.961
12.  Ricciardo     Toro Rosso-Ferrari         +    37.041
13.  Petrov        Caterham-Renault           +  1:15.871
14.  Kovalainen    Caterham-Renault           +  1:34.654
15.  Pic           Marussia-Cosworth          +  1:36.551
16.  Massa         Ferrari                    +     1 lap
17.  De la Rosa    HRT-Cosworth               +     1 lap
18.  Karthikeyan   HRT-Cosworth               +     1 lap
19.  Hamilton      McLaren-Mercedes           +    2 laps


Razia steals win with last lap sprint
Brazilian mugs Calado for last gap victory
Luiz Razia stole victory in this morning’s sprint race in Valencia with a cunning and stylish drive, saving his tyres early in the race while his rivals squabbled with each other before turning up the wick late in the race to slice past James Calado and Fabio Leimer on the last lap for a stunning victory.
The Brazilian had it all to do at the start, where he dropped from P6 on the grid to P8 in short order, while at the front poleman Calado led Nathanaël Berthon when the lights went out, but the Frenchman was soon under attack by a fast starting Marcus Ericsson, while inside them Rio Haryanto mugged teammate Max Chilton for track position.
Ericsson’s challenge lasted just 2 corners, when he ran out of room and found the barriers, followed by Esteban Gutiérrez, Stefano Coletti and Davide Valsecchi, prompting a safety car period to remove the stricken vehicles while Calado led Haryanto, Chilton, Leimer, Berthon and Giedo van der Garde as they waited to be released again.
The Englishman made a perfect restart 2 laps later, while Berthon had a go at his teammate and instead opened the door for the Dutchman behind him, but the battle stopped almost immediately when Jolyon Palmer found the back of Johnny Cecotto in front of him, with the spinning pair out on the spot, prompting a second safety car period.
Another 2 laps, another perfect restart by Calado, with the rest of the field shaking out behind him. Razia slicing his way into the points by zipping inside Berthon at the chicane, while the first five runners tore away in a private battle as Razia seemed unable to stay on their pace.
Up at the front Calado was no longer having things his own way, as Haryanto piled on the pressure as he tried to find a way past, with the Englishman equally resolute that he would keep the win he lost yesterday as they went side by side around the circuit. The fight lasted until lap 19 when the pair finally touched at the chicane, with the Indonesian losing his front wing and slowing his teammate just enough for Leimer to squeeze past Chilton for second.
Unnoticed behind all the top five drama, Razia was suddenly on pace again and catching his rivals easily: van der Garde had no tyres left and had to donate P5 on lap 20, with Razia mugging Chilton a lap later while the cameras followed the intense fight between Calado and Leimer as Razia closed in behind.
On the last lap Leimer made a last gap late brake attempt to take Calado at the chicane: both drivers ran too deep but the Swiss driver had to give the position back, and didn’t see Razia closing on him. The Brazilian sliced past the pair at the hairpin and ran away to steal a memorable victory ahead of Calado and Leimer, with Chilton following them across the line ahead of Berthon and van der Garde, who was unable to stop a last lap challenge of his own.
The victory means that Razia is now just one point behind Series leader Valsecchi, 141 to 140, with Calado now up to third on 95, Chilton on 93 points, van der Garde on 89, Gutierrez on 87, and Leimer on 65. In the teams’ championship Lotus is out on top with 182 points, ahead of DAMS (169), Arden (144), Carlin (119) and Racing Engineering on 106 points.


Niederhauser claims maiden win in Valencia
Jenzer Motorsport’s Patric Niederhauser takes victory in Spain
Swiss driver Patric Niederhauser raced to the top of the podium at the Valencia Street Circuit for Race 2 of the 2012 GP3 Series. The Jenzer Motorsport driver started from reverse pole to celebrate a commanding victory, to finish ahead of Lotus GP’s Daniel Abt and Marussia Manor Racing’s Tio Ellinas.
It was Daniel Abt who made the best getaway from third on the grid and he edged past Niederhauser briefly to go P1 down the straight. It was tight between the two with Niederhauser just edging the German driver to regain his lead. Kevin Ceccon (Ocean Racing Technology) dropped to third while Ellinas progressed to P4, passing Matias Laine in the early stages.
It was a dramatic first lap for Conor Daly (Lotus GP), Alice Powell (Status Grand Prix) and John Wartique (Atech CRS GP) as the trio were involved in a crash which made it a premature end for all. The incident will be investigated after the race. Mitch Evans (MW Arden) who is celebrating his 18th birthday today got the better of his championship rival Aaro Vainio (Lotus GP) by sneaking in front of him, whilst David Fumanelli lost several positions to fall down the field.
Marlon Stockinger (Status Grand Prix) went from P19 to P11 after two laps as the action on track hottened up with a massive battle between Alex Brundle, Dmitry Suranovich and Robert Cregan. Carlin’s Antonio Felix Da Costa started his fightback through the field and soon caught up with his teammate William Buller. The Brit locked up and the Portuguese driver dived through on the inside to make his way into the top 8, along with recording the fastest lap of the race and earning himself two extra points.
Meanwhile at the front, Niederhauser maintained his advantage to Abt of 1.5 seconds, with Ceccon and Ellinas further back. The dice between Series rivals Evans and Vainio was back on with the Finn making a sucessful move on the New Zealander, but as the duo caught up with Matias Laine (MW Arden), Vainio overshot his braking point in an attempt to pass his fellow compatriot and in the process lost his place to Evans.
All eyes were on the battle for the final place on the rostrum as the race reached its climax. Ceccon had held P3 for the duration of the race, but Ellinas in determined mood, set his sights on third place. It was a very lively final lap with the Cypriot trying to make his move but the Italian shut the door and Ellinas went wide trying to avoid contact with him and the barrier. The Marussia Manor Racing driver clawed back time and on the final corner of the lap, he was alongside the Ocean car and got through on the inside, the pair making wheel to wheel contact which resulted in Ceccon dropping to P5 as they crossed the line to see the chequered flag.
Niederhauser recorded his debut win, with Abt achieving his personal best result of the Series in P2. Ellinas secured his maiden rostrum in GP3, to finish ahead of Laine, Ceccon, Evans, Vainio and Felix Da Costa.
Evans now has a four point advantage in the Drivers Standings over Vainio, with Abt moving up to third place. MW Arden lead the way in the Teams Standings on 151 with Lotus GP on 139.