French F4


The final challenge of the French F4 Championship 2012 took place on the high tech circuit of Le Castellet.  For Simon Gachet, the “VOLANT EUROFORMULA” 2011, the stakes were high because he was only four points short of a podium at the start of the meeting. If he was to reverse the situation he would have to find the pace which made him one of the strong players at the start of the season. Mission accomplished for Simon Gachet who, after a nice comeback, crossed the finishing line in third place of Race 2, which definitely landed him in third place of the French F4 Championship 2012.

Yet the path which led the “VOLANT EUROFORMULA” 2011 to rise up on the podium was not easy. His free practice was disrupted with a mechanical problem and a drying track, where the last lap is crucial. Simon Gachet was on the starting grid of Race 1 and 2 in 7th and 4th place respectively.

The first race was difficult, a competitor in a 180 spin forced him to take the outer line of the Signe bend and he found himself down in 11th position before climbing back up to 7th place. Neck and neck with his direct opposition for the final podium, everything came down to the second race where the “VOLANT EUROFORMULA” had absolutely to get ahead of him, which he did!

Simon Gachet: “I am really happy with this third place in the championship even if I was aiming higher at the beginning of the season some poor performances decided otherwise. It’s only my second season in motorsport and I know I still have a lot to learn. I want to thank all the people who have supported me, especially the EUROFORMULA school which allowed me to join the Auto Sport Academy, without who it would not have been possible.”

“Rather it’s us that thank him,” says Laurent Fradon, the Director of the EUROFORMULA School, “he fully justified his title as he stepped up for 3rd place of the final podium. On top of that he never buckled under the pressure and showed the driving qualities we hoped he had. Do not forget that Simon doesn’t have the same background as the rest of the competitors and he will not be able to show the full range of his abilities for another year or two. That also explains his lower results during the year. Simon will now do us the honour of coming to the grand final of the “VOLANT EUROFORMULA” 2012 which takes place on the La Chatre circuit on November 7 and 8.”

Paul Loup Chatin’s podiums in the ALPS 2011 and 2012 added to those of Simon Gachet in the French F4 Championship 2012, show that the winners of the “VOLANT EUROFORMULA” are among the best drivers in the country, nobody wins a “VOLANT” by chance!

The Point by Minardi

F.1 –  Indian GP: THE POINT…by Gian Carlo Minardi

Waiting for some technical checks to be carried out on the car driven by Sebastian Vettel, the Indian GP  gave an important signal. Once again the Red Bull demonstrated not to be 100% reliable, but to their luck, unreliability affected Webber’s car, not Vettel’s.

We saw an amazing Fernando Alonso who needs the support of a car which is still seeking 5 tenths in qualifying but is able to limit the damage during the race. Anyway, we still don’t know the real potential of the Red Bull, since Vettel was never put under pressure. The end of the season will be exciting, with 75 points still up for grabs. The last lap demonstrated how difficult it is to understand the current racing season, with Vettel, Alonso and Button setting the fastest lap. By now, the fight is between two drivers even if, as Alonso said few days ago, the Spaniard of Ferrari is mainly fighting against Newey. We cannot ascribe any fault to the Spaniard. He’s focused and resolute. The Ferrari has to find new solutions, which is not easy to do with a racing season now at an end. It will be quite hard to make 13 points up, but not so impossible.

The order of arrival represented the existing potential of teams, with the Red Bull ahead of Ferrari, McLaren and Lotus, even if the distinction between them is not as sharp as in the last few years. The Ferrari has reliability on its side. That allows the car to maintain a second place and the McLaren is getting more and more performing on hard tyres, thanks to which it scored some wins during the current racing season. Hamilton sought to attack, who encountered a KERS problem, while Alonso tried to put pressure on Sebastian Vettel. Raikkonen had to be satisfied with a 7th place, behind a performing Massa. By now, it looks like the top 6 belongs to the first three drivers.   Thanks to his steadfastness, the Finnish driver preserves the third position in the general standing, but it won’t be easy to hold off the assaults of the Australian driver.

Thanks to Grosjean’s ninth place,  both Lotus cars come in the top 10 and, along with Williams, Force India and Sauber, they’re all “second class” teams who are trying to get a place in the sun. Both Sauber drivers have experienced a harder weekend, anyway its fifth place seems to be untouchable. Perez’ race was ruined by a tyre puncture caused by a brush with a rival’s front wing, which I consider too large.  I think it’s a matter of discussion, as wings don’t avoid wheels brushes. So, I think they’re too large and they can easily ruin the race of the drivers concerned.

In seven days drivers will race at Yas Marina. The Ferrari will have to find the right technical solution to allow Fernando and Felipe to shorten the speed gap with Red Bull in qualifying and demonstrate the similar speed to Vettel in race. In the last few GP the German driver  was never put under pressure and was able to exceed the record of  laps run as a leader, held by Senna.  

Gian Carlo Minardi