WTCC

WTCC Citroen 2013

MA QING HUA COMPLETES CITROËN RACING’S WTCC LINEUP—

MQH_Portrait

  • Citroën Racing is delighted to welcome driver Ma Qing Hua to its team for the World Touring Car Championship.
  • At the age of 26, Ma Qing Hua has solid experience in single-seater racing, right up to Formula 1 level. He also won the China Touring Car Championship (1600cc class) in 2011.
  • Ma Qing Hua’s programme for 2014 includes the Moscow, Spa-Francorchamps, Shanghai and Macao meetings. He will also take part in a fifth race, which has yet to be determined.

Ma Qinq Hua has been recruited to join Sébastien Loeb, Yvan Muller and José-María López in Citroën Racing’s WTCC team. Like Citroën itself, which is stepping up its international expansion, the team representing the brand will have a very international flavour, with drivers from three different continents.

“In 2013, China became our number-one market in terms of vehicles manufactured,” confirms Arnaud de Lamothe, Citroën’s Director of Communications, Marketing and Sport. “We achieved 26% growth in 2013, outperforming the market as a whole, which grew by 19%.” Orders for the C-Elysée, which is produced at our Wuhan plant, have already exceeded our objectives. For 2014, our ambition is to sell more than 100,000 units of this model on the Chinese market. For all these reasons, and with the support of the joint venture Dongfeng Citroën, we wanted to have a Chinese driver competing in one of our C-Elysée WTCCs.”

To ensure that this role went to an excellent driver, Citroën Racing spent several months testing a number of potential candidates, before selecting Ma Qing Hua for his strong performances. A native of Shanghai, the 26-year-old driver has amassed impressive single-seater experience, first in Asia and then in Europe. Having driven for the HRT and Caterham teams, he made it to the fringes of Formula 1, driving in free practice at five Grand Prix.

Ma Qing Hua has also taken part in the China Touring Car Championship. After an incomplete programme in 2010, he won the CTCC 1600cc class the following season. This technical experience enabled him to quickly prove his potential in the C-Elysée WTCC.

“We chose Ma Qing Hua not just for his nationality, but also for his performances,” explains Yves Matton, Managing Director of Citroën Racing. “He made a positive impression on us during various tests in the C-Elysée WTCC. We won’t be able to enter four cars in every round of the championship in this first season, but we’ve managed to put together a coherent programme. Ma will compete in the last two European rounds – Moscow and Spa-Francorchamps – before lining up for his two home meetings, in Shanghai and Macao. The fifth race in his programme will be determined at a later date.”

It is a great honour to have been chosen by Citroën Racing for this ambitious programme,” says Ma Qing Hua. “I really enjoyed working with the team during the test sessions I was invited to take part in.   I am really excited about the opportunity to race for a manufacturer with such a winning record and I will do my best to help Citroen to keep winning!  It would, of course, be particularly special for me to have a good result in Macau and my hometown of Shanghai.  But for now, I’m just looking forward to getting back behind the wheel of the C-Elysée WTCC.”

F1Weekly podcast # 649

 

Clark and Nasir at the F1weekly round table discussing the latest from testing results, we have Tech Talk with Tim and Special interview with Dr. Miguel—

Good news for Felipe Massa!!!

Williams Massa

Williams has bolstered its senior race operations line-up as it prepares for the 2014 Formula One World Championship season, with the appointments of Rob Smedley and Richard Lockwood.

The team welcomes Rob Smedley as Head of Vehicle Performance, a newly created position which will strengthen the trackside team whilst also supporting the development work back at the factory to help bring more performance to the car throughout the season. Rob’s proven track record and experience stand him in good stead for the challenges that 2014 bring. Rob will join Williams prior to the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Rob will be supported by Race Engineers Andrew Murdoch, who is engineer to Felipe Massa, and Jonathan Eddolls, who remains with Valtteri Bottas in 2014.

Richard Lockwood completes the trackside operation line-up, joining the team from Marussia as Head of Race Strategy. Richard will work with current Strategist Randeep Singh who remains with the team for the 2014 season.

Commenting on the new line-up Pat Symonds, Chief Technical Officer, said; “Williams is undergoing change and these new appointments reflect how high our ambitions are. We have a number of senior people joining us to assist us in the pursuit of those ambitions and I am extremely excited to welcome them on-board. 2014 gives us the biggest change to the technical regulations that I have seen in my career, and so it will be important to add further depth to the talent we already have here as we head into the new season. Williams has always prided itself on engineering excellence and this latest announcement is part of our continued goal to bring success back to the team.”

[audio:http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/mp3.f1weekly.com/podcasts/02-25-14f1weekly649.mp3]

Formula 1

SusieWolff

SUSIE WOLFF TO CONTINUE AS WILLIAMS DEVELOPMENT DRIVER FOR THE 2014 SEASON—

Williams is pleased to confirm that Susie Wolff will be continuing as the team’s Development Driver for 2014 in an expanded role that will see her take to the wheel of the Williams Mercedes FW36 in two FP1 sessions this season.

Susie joined Williams in April 2012 and has played a valuable role in helping to develop the FW34, FW35, and the new Williams Mercedes FW36. In 2014 Susie will continue to work in the Williams simulator to help further develop the FW36. Driving for Williams in two FP1 sessions this season will see Susie become the first female driver to compete in a Formula One Grand Prix session in over two decades, and builds on her promising performance for Williams in last year’s Young Drivers Test in Silverstone. Prior to joining Williams Susie spent seven seasons driving in DTM, and was twice nominated for the prestigious BRDC Young Driver of the Year Award.

Speaking about Susie’s continued role with the team Pat Symonds, Chief Technical Officer, said: “Susie has become a valued member of our driver line up and 2014 will see her take on more responsibilities as we seek to make a strong step forward in performance. Susie has demonstrated a natural talent for developing a car and providing strong feedback and these sort of characteristics will be key this season as teams seek to quickly understand and refine the radically overhauled 2014 cars.”

Speaking about her continuation with the team Susie added; ”I’m grateful for the support and belief Williams continue to show in me and 2014 promises to be a very important milestone in my career. My responsibilities within the team have steadily increased as I have proved myself, culminating in the opportunity to test the car at Silverstone and conduct straight line aero tests last season. Competing in two FP1 sessions, alongside an additional full test day this season will be a big step and I am looking forward to the opportunity to get behind the wheel of the FW36 on a Grand Prix weekend. It’s a challenge that I will relish and it will be a great chance for me to continue assisting the team.”

Formula 1

Felipe Nasr

WILLIAMS APPOINTS FELIPE NASR AS TEST AND RESERVE DRIVER—
Williams is pleased to announce the appointment of Brazilian Felipe Nasr to the position of Test and Reserve Driver for the 2014 season.

In this role Felipe will attend all Grands Prix during the 2014 season and take to the wheel of the Williams Mercedes FW36 in three tests and five FP1 sessions. This will be combined with factory based work in the team’s simulator to support the continued development of the team’s cars.

Felipe began karting in Brazil at the age of seven and won several titles before making his open wheel racing debut in 2008 in the final round of the Formula BMW Americas season. For 2009 he moved to Europe and competed in the Formula BMW Championship, claiming the title in his first season with seven wins in 16 starts. In 2010 and 2011 he competed in the British Formula Three Championship, finishing in 5th position in his first year and claiming the title in 2011 after securing seven wins. 2012 saw Felipe move to the GP2 Championship with DAMS where he finished the championship as the second highest placed rookie and in tenth place overall. That year he also competed in the Daytona 24 Hour, finishing third overall with Michael Shanks Racing. For 2013 Felipe joined Carlin Motorsport, finishing in 4th place in the GP2 Championship.

Commenting on his new role Felipe Nasr said: “I’m really happy to be joining the Williams family. They have a great history in the sport and some of the greatest Brazilian drivers of all time have driven for the team, so it’s an honour to join names such as Piquet, Senna and Massa. This is a fantastic opportunity for me to make the next step in my career and I can’t wait to get behind the wheel of a Formula One car for the first time in Bahrain.”

Williams Founder and Team Principal Sir Frank Williams added; “Felipe has a strong track record of success in his career so far and we have been watching him closely for a while. We have a track record at Williams of bringing through new talent and giving them a chance to show what they can do on the world’s biggest stage. By driving in five FP1 sessions this season, Felipe will have the perfect chance to showcase his skills and I’m confident he will be a strong addition to our driver roster.”

F1 Testing Bahrain day 3

RB10

RED BULL CONTINUES TO STRUGGLE WHILST MERC GOES TO THE TOP OF THE TIME SHEET—

Infiniti Red Bull Racing’s third day of testing at the Bahrain International Circuitgot off to a positive start this morning as Daniel Ricciardo took over at the wheel of the RB10. However, midway through today’s running the team discovered a mechanical problem and in anticipation of tomorrow’s final day, the decision was taken to suspend running this afternoon.
“It was going OK,” said Daniel of his morning outing. “I did some good laps and those came off the back of the more than 50 laps Seb did yesterday, so we’re getting there. Obviously, I would have liked to do more this afternoon but we still have tomorrow ahead of us and it’s important to be ready for that. The car is definitely making progress though. It’s coming together bit by bit. We’d love a big chunk all at once but obviously that’s not the way these things work, so we have to be a bit patient for now. However, it is coming and we’re heading in the right direction. Tomorrow it would be nice to get more laps in and then roll on next week.”
Race Engineering Co-ordinator Andy Damerum said: “After yesterday’s good work we had another positive period overnight with the car build, which we’re getting quite good at, and it looked good this morning. We were focused on short runs for Daniel, as the car feels very different to the one we had in Jerez and we wanted to build things up gradually for him. We made more changes over lunch and in doing so we came across a mechanical issue that we hadn’t encountered before and because of its nature it means we have to take the car apart. As everyone in the pit lane is finding out this is a long process, so we decided to suspend running in the afternoon so that we can be ready for the final day. These issues are of course frustrating but this was unrelated to the others so it’s just a case of tackling each issue as it appears. A tough night in prospect but we hope to get a good day in tomorrow.”
Pos Driver                Team                     Time       Gap     Laps
 1. Lewis Hamilton        Mercedes              1m34.263s           67
 2. Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes         1m34.976s  +0.713s  103
 3. Felipe Massa          Williams-Mercedes        1m37.066s  +2.803s  60
 4. Esteban Gutierrez     Sauber-Ferrari           1m37.180s  +2.917s  96
 5. Sergio Perez          Force India-Mercedes     1m37.367s  +3.104s  57
 6. Kimi Raikkonen        Ferrari                  1m37.476s  +3.213s  44
 7. Daniil Kvyat          Toro Rosso-Renault       1m38.974s  +4.711s  57
 8. Pastor Maldonado      Lotus-Renault            1m39.642s  +5.379s  26
 9. Daniel Ricciardo      Red Bull-Renault         1m40.781s  +6.518s  28
10. Marcus Ericsson       Caterham-Renault         1m42.130s  +7.867s  98
11. Max Chilton           Marussia-Ferrari         1m46.672s  +12.409s  4
12. Valtteri Bottas       Williams-Mercedes        no time             55

Formula 1

Lotus F1 drivers2014

LOTUS F1 DRIVERS TALK ABOUT THE E22—

Following the first laps on track of the E22, drivers Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado look to the season ahead.

Romain Grosjean: “I’m ready to lead the way”

Romain heads into his third season as race driver for Lotus F1 Team with the confidence and experience to lead the team to greater things.

New season, new rules and new cars; how much of a challenge do you see the coming months to be?
New season, new car, news rules – everything it pretty new and our challenge is pretty big. It’s very exciting though! We don’t know exactly what’s going on and where people are, it’s the same every year when we start the season, but it’s particularly the case right now with all the changes and new rules. The changing of engines, the changing of aerodynamics, more electrical help in the car, so yes some tough work for the engineers and drivers to understand and get on top of everything as quick as we can and hopefully faster than the others.

You are going into your third season as race driver for the team; will the continuity enable you to continue to learn and grow as a driver?
I think continuity will be important this year with all the rule changes, and it’s my third year at Enstone so it feels like home. I like the team and I think we do a very good job together so I’m happy to keep going, and I’m happy that we’re together for this challenge. We have a common aim for the future and we want to win races and win Championships. We’ll work as hard as we did to achieve even more than last year. I am ready to lead the way with this challenge.

You’ve been on the podium 9 times so far. Is that first win within reach?
I don’t know when it will come, I’ve come close a few times and nine podiums with the team is a good record. We just need to keep doing our best, keep trying to optimise everything we can from the first day we have on a race track to the Sunday and to get a good car. I trust the people here to try to give me all the tools we need to achieve that win – it’s a good car, a good engine, we have good strategy, we have good engineers and mechanics, and a good driver. So I’m looking forward to try and will go for it, and the day it comes, we’ll have a big party!

What do you think of the E22 and the design team which has created it?
I like the colour of the car, it’s nice. I think with the rule change it’s very interesting to see how people have understood it, and the direction people have taken. Our guys have been pretty clever with it; I really like the idea of trying something different, and we’ll just need to see when we get to Melbourne where we are. But I really like the car, and if it’s a winning car then I will love it!

What are your targets and objectives for 2014?
Targets and objectives are always the same when you start a new season – trying to win the title. It sounds optimistic sometimes, but I think we are all here to try and win races; the team in Enstone, the team on the racetrack and myself, so we’ll do everything we can, do our best, and see if it’s good enough!

Why the number 8?
Simply I like this number, plus it has some significance to me. My wife was born the 8th of December, we started dating in 2008 and, to my eyes my son is the 8th wonder of the world. That’s why I picked up number 8.

Pastor Maldonado: “I feel really good here”

After three seasons in Formula 1, Pastor Maldonado comes to Lotus F1 Team with the objective of being one of the best and fighting for wins.

How excited are you about kicking off the new season with Lotus F1 Team?
It’s great to start the season with Lotus F1 Team. For me it’s something very special, and it’s part of the big transition of progressing in Formula 1. After three years in one team, it will now be my fourth season at a higher level, and I’m very happy to part of this fantastic team. Lotus F1 Team have been very successful in the past, been competitive on track and have won a lot of races. We’re working very hard to again be one of the best and fighting for wins.

You have 58 Grands Prix starts under your belt; what experience can you bring to the team?
I’ve been learning a lot, especially in the first two years. I don’t count last year as it was so difficult, but even in the difficult times you can learn a lot and I’ve used all of that as an experience and I feel ready to get back to the top. In the past I’ve been quite good in my last team, and maybe here I will get extra power to be more consistent and I think together we can make a very strong team.

You already know Romain Grosjean, are you looking forward to working together?
I know Romain from some years ago, he’s a good guy. He’s a great driver and we’ve competed in the lower categories together. We’ve both always been at the top so I’m really looking forward to working with him. I think we are both real fighters on track, so I hope we can both do our best for the team.

How different do you expect the racing will be with such big regulation changes?
The difference we see from last year to 2014 is huge, and it will have a huge influence in terms of racing, and racing style. I think the drivers, together with the team, must work a lot to adapt to this new style of racing. We’ve been working in the simulator for a while and I feel optimistic. Let’s go for it!

What do you think of the E22?
The E22 is just amazing, I think it’s the most revolutionary car in the paddock. The car looks great, it’s a combination between the new technology and many other new ideas. It’s pretty special to see the nose like that – I’ve never seen something like that in the past! It’s something completely new for Formula 1, and we’re fully confident with this solution. I can’t wait to be in the car and try it out on track.

What are your targets and objectives for 2014?
The season ahead is really a big question mark. We need to start with great expectations, we need to do our best from the beginning. For sure it will be quite hard, for all the teams and all the drivers, with the new regulations but we’re really looking forward to fight for the best, and to fight for the Championship.

Why the number 13?
The reason I choose the number 13 is just because I like it. In Venezuela it is not an unlucky number and it actually has a long history in Venezuelan sport.