GP2

Cecotto powers to feature victory

 Venezuelan on top in Barcelona
 Johnny Cecotto put in an immaculate drive for victory in this afternoon’s feature race in Barcelona, making a strong start and keeping out of trouble after making the right call on tyre strategies before putting in one of his best drives to steal victory from Jolyon Palmer and Felipe Nasr.
The Venezuelan lined up in P16 on the grid, but picked up a couple of positions because of the restart following poleman Stephane Richelmi and Stoffel Vandoorne’s stalls, but all eyes were on the front of the grid: Palmer made a decent start from P2 but Mitch Evans’ and Stefano Coletti’s were even better, with the pair blasting past the slower Raffaele Marciello off the grid and on either side of the Briton into turn one, but the pair touched and damaged each other’s cars in the process.
Palmer led Nasr, Evans (who soon stopped for a new nose), Julian Leal, Rio Haryanto, Alexander Rossi and a fast starting Cecotto, with the race soon slowing down for a safety car period to deal with a collision between Marciello, Daniel Abt and Facu Regalia, but when the race got underway there were two bets being made, one by most of the front of the field on soft tyres, and the other by Cecotto on the harder compound.
Palmer and Nasr stopped on lap 6, with the rest of the soft runners following shortly after, leaving Cecotto at the front ahead of the field with a 24 second gap (and a lot of cars) back to Palmer: with a normal end to end stop taking about 32 seconds here, it was a straight fight between the pair on the stopwatch, if not on the circuit, for victory.
Cecotto drive like his life depended on it, putting in faster laps on older tyres than Palmer to stretch the gap to 33 seconds when he came in on lap 27 for fresh rubber: the Venezuelan came out just behind the Briton with 9 laps to go, and had to quickly dispatch a serious challenge from Nasr behind him, but the newer tyres made the difference, with Cecotto taking over 4 seconds out of Palmer and easily sliding through at the chicane and walking away.
The Venezuelan had an easy run to the flag to win by 3 seconds, but Palmer had to fight off a late race challenge from Nasr for second, with the pair crossing the line nose to tail. Leal followed shortly behind for P4, while Haryanto just held from Arthur Pic, Rene Binder and an excited Tio Ellinas (who picks up tomorrow’s reverse pole in his first GP2 race), with Tom Dillmann and Adrian Quaife Hobbs picking up the final points.
Barcelona – Feature Race
Driver
Team
1.
Johnny Cecotto
Trident
2.
Jolyon Palmer
DAMS
3.
Felipe Nasr
Carlin
4.
Julian Leal
Carlin
5.
Rio Haryanto
EQ8 Caterham Racing
6.
Arthur Pic
Campos Racing
7.
Rene Binder
Arden International
8.
Tio Ellinas
MP Motorsport
9.
Tom Dillmann
Arden International
10.
Adrian Quaife-Hobbs
Rapax
11.
Stéphane Richelmi
DAMS
12.
Stefano Coletti
Racing Engineering
13.
Artem Markelov
RT RUSSIAN TIME
14.
Simon Trummer
Rapax
15.
Stoffel Vandoorne
ART Grand Prix
16.
Mitch Evans
RT RUSSIAN TIME
17.
Conor Daly
Venezuela GP Lazarus
18.
Sergio Canamasas
Trident
19.
Kimiya Sato
Campos Racing
20.
Takuya Izawa
ART Grand Prix
Not Classified
Daniel De Jong
MP Motorsport
Alexander Rossi
EQ8 Caterham Racing
Nathanaël Berthon
Venezuela GP Lazarus
Daniel Abt
Hilmer Motorsport
Raffaele Marciello
Racing Engineering
Facu Regalia
Hilmer Motorsport
Fastest Lap: Mitch Evans (RT RUSSIAN TIME) – 1:34.141 on lap 31

Formula 1

2014 SPANISH GRAND PRIX – QUALIFYING

Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg achieved a front-row lockout during qualifying at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya today.

– Lewis clinched his fourth pole position of this season, with Nico taking his second front row start
– A closely fought battle saw less than two-tenths of a second (0.168s) separate the drivers in the final Q3 session
– The F1 W05 Hybrid has now taken pole at five out of five races in 2014, including two front row lock-outs
– The result marks Lewis´ 9th pole for the team and the 35th of his Formula One career

Lewis Hamilton

I’m overwhelmed to get pole position because I’ve had a pretty tough day in the car, particularly after yesterday went so well. I was really happy on Friday and we changed a couple of small things overnight, just the tiniest of tweaks. But it was a real handful today because track conditions had changed. Nico had a strong P3 and first two sessions of qualifying, so we were making small adjustments to the differential to try and make improvements to how the car was handling for Q3. On that final run, I really had to eke out everything and more from the car and myself to get pole and I’m so happy that I managed it. The hard work from the team and the development step we have made this weekend are totally inspiring for me – I haven’t experienced this level of performance before. I’ve never won at this circuit and I would love to, because my support in Barcelona has been growing every year and I have some amazing fans here in Spain. We are going to give it everything we can tomorrow to get the win.

Nico Rosberg

I had a good feeling throughout today and I quite enjoyed Qualifying. I had a good lap at the end but Lewis just did a better job in Q3. Starting second is a bit of a disadvantage but it’s such a long straight down to the first corner, so I will hope to have a better start than Lewis tomorrow and overtake him. It’s also a long race where tyre degradation will be a key issue so there may be some opportunities to take advantage. I’m looking forward to tomorrow and I’ll be giving everything to take advantage of this amazing Silver Arrow that we have at the moment and hopefully extend my lead in the Championship.

Toto Wolff

Barcelona is a track where a strong lap time is all about the quality of your total package – and particularly about having efficient downforce. That makes today’s result really satisfying and full credit goes to everybody in our team who has worked so hard to deliver it. It has been a close battle between our two drivers this weekend so far, with swings in performance each way, and Lewis came out on top this afternoon. That’s one of our keys right now: we have two drivers who are pushing each other really hard which is crucial for delivering this kind of team performance.

Paddy Lowe

It was great to get a dry qualifying session this afternoon, for only the second time this season so far, and to get a proper read on the performance of the cars and drivers without the uncertainty of wet conditions. Yesterday, Lewis was particularly happy with the car and Nico less so, but that situation had switched around this morning during practice. In the first two parts of qualifying, Lewis was still struggling quite a bit with the car, and we saw a few examples of this when he was trying to put together a fast lap in Q1. On the other hand, Nico was able to set strong lap times straight away. However, the balance swung again in Q3, when Lewis found a small edge over Nico with an impressive lap on his final run on new tyres. It’s positive to see such healthy competition in the garage and great to get the front row at such an important track for our season. Thank you to all the staff back at Brackley and Brixworth for their huge effort developing the car for this race. Looking ahead to tomorrow, key factors will be the start, tyre strategy and reliability. It will be a tough race, as it always is here in Barcelona.

F3 Euro Championship

Home victory for points’ leader Esteban Ocon

Season race: 7 of 33
Track: Pau
Winner: Esteban Ocon (Prema Powerteam)
Pole position: Esteban Ocon (Prema Powerteam)
Weather: sunny

Rookie driver Esteban Ocon (Prema Powerteam) extended his points’ lead in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship with an undisputed victory in the streets of Pau. At the 2.76 kilometres long street circuit, the Lotus F1 junior driver took the lead at the start and safely brought first place home in spite of two safety car interventions. Lucas Auer (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport) took the chequered flag in second place from Max Verstappen (Van Amersfoort Racing), the second-best rookie in the classification. For Ocon, it was already his third victory from seven races held so far this season. FIA president Jean Todt presented the trophy to Ocon on the podium after the race.

Ocon already having claimed pole position on the day before, he used it in his first race at Pau to take the lead as the race got underway. In the following laps, the Formula 3 novice was able to pull clear from the rest of the field while his two main rivals, Lucas Auer and Max Verstappen, were involved in close battles for second. Eventually, the more experienced Auer had the upper hand against 16-year-old rookie driver Verstappen.

Behind the first three drivers, Jake Dennis (Carlin) quickly dropped back; the third-best rookie in the field had to defend his position from his team-mate Jordan King (Carlin). As a reward, Dennis secured fourth place in his first-ever Formula 3 race at Pau. In sixth place, Félix Serrallés (Team West-Tec F3) scored the best result to date for his newcomer team West-Tec F3. He finished ahead of Antonio Giovinazzi (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin), Edward Jones (Carlin), Richard Goddard (ThreeBond with T-Sport) and Sean Gelael (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin). For 17-year-old Indonesian Gelael, it was his first FIA Formula 3 European Championship point.

The race was neutralised behind the safety car twice. On the opening lap already, a crash by Alexander Toril (ThreeBond with T-Sport), in which birthday boy Mitch Gilbert (Fortec Motorsport) was involved as well, brought the yellow flags out. Italian Michele Beretta (Eurointernational) caused the second safety car phase as his car got stuck on the track.

Esteban Ocon (Prema Powerteam): “I am really happy to have won a race in my home event in France. My start wasn’t too good, but I still managed to take the lead. After the two restarts, I succeeded in holding on to first place and I tried to pull a gap right after that. After that, I could control the race. Of course, the experience I gained at Macau last year helped me, although the two tracks really aren’t identical.”

Lucas Auer (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport): “My start was good, but not good enough to take the lead. At the start of the race, I wasn’t really fast, so that Max was able to follow me. The battle with him was nice and fortunately, we decided to leave each other enough room.”

Max Verstappen (Van Amersfoort Racing): “For me, the battle with Lucas was great fun, too. I wanted to overtake him, so I just had to try something, but because I was on the outside in the next corner, I let him go. I wanted to avoid an accident, because third place also is a good result and gives me valuable points.

GP3

Alex Lynn flies to maiden pole in Barcelona
 Carlin’s Alex Lynn starts the GP3 season in style in Spain
An enthralling GP3 qualifying session at the Circuit de Catalunya saw rookie Alex Lynn achieve his maiden pole position in Round 1 of the 2014 Series. ART Grand Prix’s Marvin Kirchhöfer will join the Brit on the front row. Richie Stanaway (Status Grand Prix) will start from third.
The thirty minute qualifying session got underway with a track temperature of 21 degrees. The 27 drivers fed onto the track, eager to see who could secure the first points on offer with four points for the coveted pole position. Dino Zamparelli (ART Grand Prix) and Jimmy Eriksson were first to exit the pitlane. Following the installation laps, it was Zamparelli who was first to lap in the 1m36’s, until Eriksson and Alex Fontana bettered his time.
Kirchhöfer shot into P1, a position he held the majority of the session, the German rookie showing his pace to the rest of the pack but it was the Swede, Eriksson, who was first into the 1m35’s. The ART Grand Prix driver was back on it after lighting the timing screens purple and reclaimed back P1.
Stanaway flew up the order to P2 as the clock ticked down but it was Red Bull Junior team’s Lynn who set the quickest time of the session in a 1:35.614. Kirchhöfer did all he could to improve on the Brit’s time but had to be content with second fastest. There was a small spin for Dean Stoneman (Marussia Manor Racing) at the close of the session which was covered by yellow flags, whilst Patric Niederhauser (Arden International) stopped on track.
At the chequered flag, it was Lynn who topped the timings and earned four points for his efforts. Kirchhofer, Stanaway, Eriksson, Patrick Kujala, Zamparelli, Emil Bernstorff, Fontana, Pal Varhaug and Matheo Tuscher completed the top ten.
The opening race of the season will commence later today at 17.20 local time – find out who will become the first winner of the 2014 GP3 Series season!
Qualifying
Driver
Team
Laptime
Laps
1.
Alex Lynn
Carlin
1:35.614
13
2.
Marvin Kirchhöfer
ART Grand Prix
1:35.726
13
3.
Richie Stanaway
Status Grand Prix
1:35.784
13
4.
Jimmy Eriksson
Status Grand Prix
1:35.904
12
5.
Patrick Kujala
Marussia Manor Racing
1:35.970
11
6.
Dino Zamparelli
ART Grand Prix
1:36.015
11
7.
Emil Bernstorff
Carlin
1:36.136
12
8.
Alex Fontana
ART Grand Prix
1:36.151
12
9.
Pal Varhaug
Jenzer Motorsport
1:36.165
13
10.
Matheo Tushcer
Jenzer Motorsport
1:36.210
14
11.
Nick Yelloly
Status Grand Prix
1:36.230
13
12.
Patric Niederhauser
Arden International
1:36.276
13
13.
Dean Stoneman
Marussia Manor Racing
1:36.375
11
14.
Roman De Beer
Trident
1:36.579
11
15.
Robert Visoiu
Arden International
1:36.711
12
16.
Ryan Cullen
Marussia Manor Racing
1:36.759
12
17.
Adderly Fong
Jenzer Motorsport
1:36.787
13
18.
Jann Mardenborough
Arden International
1:36.871
12
19.
Victor Carbone
Trident
1:37.023
12
20.
Nelson Mason*
Hilmer Motorsport
1:37.084
12
21.
Luis Sa Silva
Carlin
1:37.163
11
22.
Santiago Urrutia
Koiranen GP
1:37.166
11
23.
Alfonso Celis. Jr
Status Grand Prix
1:37.300
12
24.
Beitske Visser
Hilmer Motorsport
1:37.406
13
25.
Ivan Taranov
Hilmer Motorsport
1:38.071
5
26.
Denis Nagulin
Trident
1:38.203
12
27.
Carmen Jorda
Koiranen GP
1:38.694
12
*3 place grid penalty for technical infringement in Free Practice