Italian F3


It’s a heart-stopping finish for the Italian ACI CSAI Formula and F.3 Championships. After the Formula Abarth struggle on the edge of a thousandth, an exciting Italian F.3 season has come to an end on Monza track. The verdict has been returned only after a vibrant struggle in which three drivers, members of two different teams, were involved.

“Both Formula Abarth and Formula 3 have displayed a charming season finish, whose verdict has been hanged in the balance until the end. The struggle has not only involved different drivers, but also different teams and constructors, therefore, some drivers have acted as holders of the balance of power. It has been a real struggle ‘till the end, so this is an honour to teams and drivers. In many Championships we experience an absolute supremacy, so the final result is clear even some weekend in advance.

The results of our drivers and teams clearly demonstrate the high level of the two series and I can affirm that guys will have a bright future. The performances of those drivers having at least one year’ experience in Formula Abarth behind them, inside other Championships, clearly demonstrate how good our job is”, says Gian Carlo Minardi.

The heated post-race at Monza has changed the track verdict. After some complaints and technical checks , both series standings are still under judgment.  “Unfortunately the Monza racing weekend has been marked by an extra-race event related to a controversy aroused by the two constructors who has handled the F.3 season. If, on the one hand, I’m so sorry about that, on the other hand I’m proud of it, as it’s the only series where two constructors have competed for the leadership ,  setting records. Regarding this unpleasant event, the Federation has  made its presence felt by making several controls on cars and quickly solving the problem, managing teams complaints in an exemplary way. Now it’s up to authorities to draw up the final standing. I’d rather prefer to talk about sport and   moral winners, who are Riccardo Agostini (JD Motorsport team driver on Mygale) and Eddie Cheever (Prema Powerteam driver on Dallara). The driver from Padua ,  who finished first in the Italian Championship, has had the ability to grab the European title to the Prema Powerteam driver, nearly achieving the “en plein”. Kevin Giovesi, the driver of Ghinzani team, who joined the team a long time after the beginning of the racing season,  has held the balance of power. “

The three cars of the series, i.e. the Tatuus FA, the Dallara and the F.3 Mygale have demonstrated to be performing and reliable. “ In these first three years , F.Abarth has represented the most preparatory series to incline drivers towards the world of motor sport. Since the beginning, the car has been distinguished by high performances and safety and our drivers have managed to draw attention to themselves in other important categories  such as F.3 and GP3. Since the category is still so young, it will take so much time to enjoy the fruits of our labor. We’re progressing, but quality has to continue to be our strength. Another even more performing category has been the F.3,which has also been the cheapest. That means that our drivers can test themselves behind the wheel of a training car at a lower cost. With a view to 2013 racing season, we’ll try to plan more accessible formats to better fulfill drivers and parents’ needs.

Formula 1


Sebastian Vettel

“Friday’s are always difficult with so many things changing. The track improvement was quite big today, it was dusty to start and improved lap by lap, so I wouldn’t be surprised if tomorrow the order is different, but we’ve had worse Fridays, so I am happy. We need to keep working and improve a little bit overnight.”

Mark Webber

“That went pretty well. I had a lock-up in Turn 1, which I could have done without, but it wasn’t the end of the world. We got on with the important stuff, which is understanding the soft tyre on short and long runs. We’ll have a look where we can improve the car, you can always improve. The team is incredibly motivated and the drivers also.”

Pedro de la Rosa

“I loved the circuit. It’s really nice and also very challenging. You have to use the kerbs a lot and the car really suffers, so we have to drive carefully. Overall I had good sensations with the balance of the car, especially in the afternoon when I was able to do more laps. But we’ve still got a lot of room for improvement and if we’re able to improve the balance of the car we’ll be able to run better. Especially in changes of direction because we lose too much time on quick corners and we can correct that. Now we must continue working on the set-up of the car to have a good qualifying session tomorrow”.

Narain Karthikeyan

 “It was a great feeling racing in India once again, at home. The first session went pretty well and in the afternoon we decided to change the balance of the car to improve certain aspects. We’d just set the soft tyres when, unfortunately, we suffered a hydraulic failure which impeded us from improving our times. But the problem should be fixed for tomorrow so I hope to have a good qualifying session”.

Giedo van der Garde (in Heikki Kovalainen’s car for FP1):

 “It was another good session for me today and one I want to dedicate to my Grandpa who sadly passed away last week. I know he’s always been very proud of me and he told me to enjoy myself whenever I’m driving, so I made sure I did today. The circuit is pretty technical but I was up to speed quickly and didn’t have any problems getting through the plan we were running today. One thing that was really obvious was just how much the track evolves – even on my first run I could feel the grip levels improving with every lap, so by Sunday it will probably feel very different, but for me in FP1 it was fine.

“I’ll be back in the car again next week in Abu Dhabi at a track I know well, and then I have two full days at the Yas Marina Circuit in the young driver test. It’s good to keep adding to the mileage I’ve already done this year and I’m really pleased with how much progress I’m making with the car and the team in general.”

Heikki Kovalainen, 

 “Having sat out FP1 the key for me was getting through as many laps as possible and I’m pleased with what we achieved in FP2. The balance has been pretty good all afternoon on both tyre compounds – we did have some understeer in the high speed corners on the first run on the soft tyres but we dialled that out for the long run and the car felt good as the grip levels kept improving. It’s good to see clear air between us and the cars behind and maybe we can play with the tyre strategy tomorrow to push closer to the cars ahead – that has to be the aim.”
Vitaly Petrov, 

 “FP1 went well for me. Even though there wasn’t a lot of grip early on the car felt pretty good and we got through a lot of aero work that gives us data to work on tonight. In FP2 we were again running well but on my second run on the soft tyres it looked like we might have had a problem with the engine so we ended the session a little early to let the Renault Sport F1 guys take a look and make sure we prevented any damage. Until that point the car had again felt good and we’d found a balance where deg levels on the tyres were very manageable. I think we’re in quite good shape for tomorrow and Sunday so hopefully we can have a strong weekend here in India.”

Kimi Räikkönen,

“The circuit is nice. For me it was easier to learn than the Korean track ; it’s not as technical but it’s good. It’s always nice to come to a new place like this – I’ve been racing for many years, and you always end up going to the same places so it’s good when you get a new place and a new circuit. For sure we can still improve on one lap but I think we are not far away from our maximum speed. Of course I hope that we are faster than McLaren. Our car was working well, especially on soft tyres but with the hard tyres it was more difficult to find grip.”

Romain Grosjean,

 “It’s been very hard to set-up the car as the track has been evolving a lot through the day ; from zero grip in the morning to much better in the afternoon. However, we’ve made good progress today and we’re working on improving further overnight. There are a few blind corners, and some quick places where you don’t want to make mistakes either. Hopefully we find the car we want for qualifying and get what we want tomorrow.”

Paul Di Resta

 “It was not an easy session for me. The balance is still not perfect and we need to work hard tonight to try and improve that before final practice. The main issue of the day was the puncture I picked up half-way through FP2 because I missed out on my high-fuel run on the soft tyres. Also, it was hard to get a clean lap during my low fuel run because the track was so busy. We’ve got data with the other car but it would have been helpful to have run more laps and got a proper feel for the soft.”

Nico Hulkenberg  

 “It was my first experience of the Buddh circuit today and I have to say they have done a really nice job. There’s a good flow to the lap and the second sector is very technical and challenging. The programme for me today was quite straightforward because we managed to do everything we wanted. I completed a decent long run on the soft tyres this afternoon and I think we are quite well prepared going into tomorrow.”

Bruno Senna:

 We were working hard to get the optimum car set-up today so we had to try a number of things to get the right balance during the second session. On the whole we have had a very productive day and completed what we had set out to do. Now we need to work on improving our set-up ahead of tomorrow’s qualifying.

Pastor Maldonado

Today the pace wasn’t quite where we want it to be for qualifying so we will have to work hard and analyse where we can improve to give us the sort of one-lap pace that will get us into Q3. Our long runs continue to be strong though, like they have been all season, so that’s encouraging for the race itself.

Valtteri Bottas

It was a good first practice today because we managed to complete a busy programme. We completed some good aero evaluations and managed to get a good amount of data. This was my first time driving this circuit and I can tell that it will become one of my favourites because it has a nice flow to it and the surface is very smooth which means that tyre wear is lower so you can push the car a bit more.