“It’s been a very special day from a personal point of view, but my focus remains on the work we have to do to prepare for the race. The circuit is quite challenging and, as we expected, very slippery. In the middle sector there is a lot of movement with the car and it’s very difficult to get the car to stay on the right line. The altitude affects the levels of downforce pretty dramatically, so you end up being fairly light no matter what levels you are running. The conditions are very tricky but they’re the same for everyone, so we will need to adapt. I want to give all the Mexican fans who come to the track this week something to celebrate on Sunday: it was great to see so many of them today and I am feeling optimistic that I will be able to deliver a good result for them.



With three consecutive points finishes, Pastor Maldonado looks to wrestle some more from the grasp of his rivals as Formula 1 returns to Mexico.

How are you looking forward to the Mexican Grand Prix?

I think it’s going to be one of the most special races of the year. There’s certainly a lot of expectation and lots of great fans in Mexico. It’s a Latin American race so I think I’m going to enjoy it a lot. I think we’re all going to get a fantastic welcome and a lot of support. It’s a great country with great people. I love Mexico so I’m looking forward to it.

Do you expect to get a lot of local support?

It’s certainly very close to my home and

the Spanish language is used so I’m looking forward to meeting fans old and new. It’s a big city so there’s a lot of potential for many people tosupport the event and I’m sure they will.

What do you think of the circuit?

I’ve never been there so it will be a new experience for me. It’s always difficult to make a call on a track until you’ve driven it in the car. The layout looks good with some interesting corners with some low speed and also medium and quicker stuff, then a very long main straight which makes up a big percentage of the lap. We’re certainly going to get some high speeds along there! It’ll be interesting to explore our potential.

Did you have a particular approach because of the altitude?

There’s nothing particular other than your general conditioning and training. It’s the highest race of the year so the air will be a bit different but you adapt pretty quickly.

How was your United States Grand Prix?

It was an eventful one. The waiting for the sessions was something we see sometimes and you have to try to get some track time. To be honest the race itself wasn’t the most enjoyable as the car was quite a handful in the conditions we had and you never knew what to expect. I was struggling with the brake balance which made it tough to push hard. We also seemed to grain the wet tyres more than expected so that had to be managed. It was good to get the points, but we didn’t score them in the best way possible because you always want to be pushing hard all the way.

There’s a forecast of rain when we get to Mexico…

The weather will be the same for everyone and we showed we can have a good result when there’s lot of action going on elsewhere. It’s a different track and a new one for everyone so we’ll have to see how our car likes in then deal with the weather as we find it.

What are your thoughts on Jolyon now he’s been announced as your team-mate for 2016?

He’s a nice guy and he’s good to work with so I feel positive about next season. We’ve been working closely together in FP1 sessions this year so that gives me a good idea about working with him. He’s an intelligent guy so I’m sure he’ll do a good job.

Are you a fan of Mexican food?

I love tacos so I’ll be having a few there, but not too many, at least not before the race or qualifying! I like Mexican food, especially when it’s hot and spicy; although maybe not Mexican hot and spicy!

Trick or Treat?

I’m hoping the race will be a treat for us.

Will you celebrate with a tequila if it’s a good result?

Yes, but it has to be a proper good result!



DANIEL RICCIARDO, Finish Position: 10th, Start Position: 3rd

“The beginning was really fun between both Mercs and both Red Bulls. It was a good four-way battle. To see the Mercs not getting away from us was awesome. I was enjoying that. In the lead we were quite quick for a few laps and it felt like old times. That obviously didn’t last long and once we put the slicks on we just didn’t have the pace. We struggled with the warm up with the tyres and also struggled a lot with braking today. It was so tricky in the dry and then obviously there were the collisions with Hulkenberg and Carlos. It went downhill from then on. Even though we were on slicks it was never really dry out there. The kerbs were slippery and there was still a bit of a puddle through Turns 9 and 10, so it was definitely tricky. Dany spun off just in front of me on to the astroturf and into the wall.  It was a crazy race and I hope the fans enjoyed it as it was quite action packed. Lewis definitely deserves the title. This year he was clearly on top of the rest so congrats and hats off to him for being the 2015 champion.”


DANIIL KVYAT, Finish Position: DNF Start Position: 4th

“The opening laps were mega, it was very enjoyable and it was nice fighting, but then the track dried out. If it was a wet race I felt it could have been a victory today. It’s easy to say that, but there’s no point really, because once it dried out we were an easy target for everyone, which was a bit frustrating. We weren’t able to be as competitive in the dry as in the wet so we’ll have to have a look at that. In the dry, I was driving a bit over my limit when I crashed, I put the wheels on the artificial grass, tried to carry a bit more speed but it didn’t work out and I’m disappointed with myself. Finally, congratulations and well done to Lewis on winning the Drivers’ championship, he’s done a really good job this year.”

 CHRISTIAN HORNER, Team Principal: “During the first half of the race the performance of our cars looked really encouraging. We were very competitive on the intermediate tyres, which allowed Ricciardo to take the lead and build on it, before we made a double stop, bringing both cars in together. The mechanics worked very well to turn them round with Kvyat in third place. So we looked in good shape at that point, but unfortunately, our pace on the dry tyres was simply not as competitive as the Mercedes and the Ferrari. In particular, we struggled to get the tyres up to temperature at the re-starts, especially after the second Safety Car period. After that, our race unravelled with Daniil’s accident, which caused the final Safety Car. Daniel was involved in a collision with Sainz and that meant he needed a further pit stop, after which he fought back to grab the last available point on the last lap. A disappointing finish after a strong start. Finally, congratulations to Lewis Hamilton on defending his World Championship title, the first British driver to do that. He’s a deserving champion.”


MATTHIEU DUBOIS, Renault: “It was a hard work for a single point in the end and far from what we expected after qualifying with both cars on the second row. However, there are some positives to take out of this very wet weekend: firstly all four Renault-powered cars raced reliably from an engine point of view, and we congratulate our sister team for their fourth-placed finish. Secondly we managed to put on a good show and gave Mercedes a run for their money during the early stages of the race. Lastly there is no reason why the performance shown during the first half of the race cannot be repeated to achieve much better next week in Mexico.”


LEWIS Hamilton seized on a late mistake by Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg to win the United States Grand Prix and secure his third Formula 1 championship.

Hamilton overtook Rosberg with eight laps to go when Rosberg locked his tires and helplessly watched his teammate zoom past.

Hamilton had to beat Rosberg and outscore Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel by nine points to wrap up his second consecutive championship with Mercedes. He also won with McLaren in 2008.

The win also gave Hamilton his 21st victory over two seasons and 10th this year. He is the first Formula One driver to win 10 or more races in consecutive seasons.

Vettel, who could have pushed the title chase to next week in Mexico City, finished third after starting 13th.

Hamilton’s third world championship puts his name among the top drivers in the history of the sport, matching title wins with greats like his idol Ayrton Senna, and tying Jackie Stewart for most championships by a British driver. Only Michael Schumacher, Juan Manuel Fangio, Alain Prost and Vettel have won more.

After the race Hamilton radioed to his crew “This is the greatest moment of my life. To my family, I love you all.”

Enaam Ahmed

 A Step Ahead

At the end of last season, the London lad left the world of karting on a high five; winning five high energy and ultra-competitive championships. His first season of single-seater racing started on the same winning theme. EA ended the recently concluded MSA Formula Championship powered-by Ford EcoBoost certified by the FIA with victory on the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit, and clinching the Rookie of the Year award.

The FIA, in recent years, has launched several initiatives to stream line the racing ladder for aspiring young drivers. The F3 Euro series took a major hit after the launch of GP3 in 2010 as most young and talented drivers felt the need to race on grand prix weekends in front of F1 team principals.

Jean Todt, President of Paris-based FIA, is an ex-rally co-driver and former head of Ferrari’s glory days with the Red Baron, and to re-energize the F3 concept he brought in ex-Grand Prix driver, Gerhard Berger. The F3 Euro series, which itself was born from the merger of French and German F3 championships, was re-badged under the European Formula 3 Championship. The good work put into this very important series last year produced two very talented rookie drivers. Frenchman Esteban Ocon, who won the championship and Red Bull’s newest golden boy, Max Verstappen.

At the entry level, the FIA has launched Formula 4 in different markets. The concept will be introduced in the United States in 2016. This series is designed as the first stepping stone from karting to single-seater competition. The minimum age was set at 15, a year younger than requirement for most championships in Europe.

The British iteration of this concept is called MSA Formula powered by Ford Eco-boost. Cars for the series are supplied by the French firm Mygale.

Practice makes perfect

Enaam, who did not even turn 15 till February of this year, and realizing he will be competing against drivers with motor racing experience embarked on a mission to prepare himself for the season. The testing program took him, apart from English tracks, to tracks in Scotland and Wales.

Over the years many karting champions have not even made the transition to single-seater scene; most who do face a steep learning curve but, as they say, cream rises to the top – sooner or later.

Young drivers face many challenges; new machine to master, new tracks and new drivers. For Enaam the biggest adjustment “was having the MSA Formula car slide around.”

Learning very quickly there is no short cut to experience, Enaam in the second half “gained confidence to do it.”

Game On

The inaugural season of MSA Formula Championship got under way on the first weekend of April at the beautiful Kent circuit, Brands Hatch. The season opener used the Indy circuit and Enaam qualified an impressive 8th on the grid for his first ever motor race, and improved to 5th on the grid for the second race of the weekend. On each occasion ahead of his two Arden teammates, Sandy Mitchell and the vastly more experienced 18-year-old Ricky Collard.

Enaam finished 9th in his first race and retired on lap 16 of 23 in the second race. He was 7th in the third and final race of the weekend. Two weeks later Round two was held at Donington Park circuit in the English midlands and Enaam recorded another top 10 finish.


“I like the Arden team. My engineer Stephen Colbert was tough on me but made me a better driver.”


The Thruxton circuit in Hampshire was the only round during the month of May. In the opening race off the weekend he improved from 14th on the grid to finish 8th. In the second race he was 7th and was classified 10th in the third and final race of the weekend. This was the first racing weekend where Enaam was in the top 10 in all three races.

Next stop on the 2015 calendar was at Oulton Park in Cheshire. A top ten finish eluded Enaam for the first time in his young single-seater career but he continued to build on an important aspect of any young driver’s career; bringing the car home in one piece in all three races of the weekend.

Croft played host to the final round before one month of vacation for the young aspiring drivers and their crew. Race number 13 of the season saw Enaam finish 9th and was placed one spot higher in race 14 of the season. He was 11th in the third and final race of the weekend

Second half. Triple Play

The championship trail led to Lotus and Brundle country, Norfolk. Enaam started the second half of the season at Snetterton with his best finish of the season so far with his sixth place finish from 10th on the grid. He was seventh in the remaining two races of the weekend at the Dr. Jonathan Palmer-owned track.

For round seven teams traveled north of the border to the Scottish circuit at Knockhill. In a sign of things that Ennam’s performance in the second half of the season, and indeed his career, was on an upward tick was highlighted by the opening race of the weekend. He qualified fifth, only 0.380s from pole position, and made his first podium appearance of the series – only 0.662 separated him from the car in front. Fifth in race two saw him gain more useful points as he sets his sights on being the top rookie in his maiden season of motorsports. He was fourth in the third and final race of the weekend.

The series was back in England for round 8, this time at the road circuit layout at the Rockingham oval. Enaam was fourth in the opening race, just behind Colton Herta, son of Bryan of Indy car fame and who will be involved in the American introduction of Formula 4 next season. Enaam was sixth in the second race, and looking strong to end the season on a high note in the remaining two races at two very classic English tracks; Silverstone, the birth place of Formula 1 World Championship and the grand finale at Brands Hatch utilizing the full grand prix circuit, scene of the long-awaited first F1 win for “Our Nige.” And the epic drive by Pedro Rodriguez for Porsche in monsoon conditions many moons before Mansell.

At the Silverstone (National) circuit, Enaam was 11th in the opening race of the weekend and set the fastest lap among the rookies. He was again 11th in race two.

In Sunday’s third and final race Enaam bagged his second podium finish of the season with his third place finish, and also set the fastest lap among the rookie crop.

The first season came to the Brands for grand finale on the weekend of October 10/11 with both the championship and rookie titles to be decided. The two drivers gunning for their respective title started the weekend on fast track; Lando Norris, who last year competed in Ginetta tin-tops, winning the opening race and Enaam was the highest placed rookie, fourth overall and yet again set the fastest lap among the first year’s racers.

The second race witnessed Enaam’s first motorsports victory on home soil, the podium was an all-rookie affair with Enaam’s Arden teammate Sandy Mitchell second and Rafael Martins third.

Enaam claimed another podium finish from his third place finish in the final race of the season, set the ‘rookie’ fastest lap again, and more importantly won the Rookie of the Year award.

This is how the official press release from MSA described the final showdown:

The battle for third place was the highlight of the race. The newly crowned Rookie Champion, Enaam Ahmed, slotted ahead of his TRS Arden team-mate Collard on the opening lap and clung tenaciously to third all the way to the line despite very worn tyres and heavy pressure from behind, first from JHR Developments driver Sennan Fielding and then from MBM Motorsport man Toby Sowery.

“I was struggling a bit with worn tyres,” said Enaam, “which was an immediate disadvantage. I don’t really know how I stayed in third; my speed was not that great but I just stayed pretty consistent and Sennan didn’t quite have enough to overtake me but he definitely gave me a run for my money. Then on the final lap I had a little nudge from Toby around the back of the circuit, which was quite scary but I managed to hold it.

“It’s really great to end the season on such a high.” It was Ahmed’s fourth overall podium finish of the season and his sixth Rookie class victory.

The stage is now set for the next step in the exciting and winning career of Enaam Ahmed, as he ponders “things in the pipeline.”



After his outstanding performance this year, Enaam Ahmed was recently awarded with the Joe Tandy Memorial Award, beating his fellow competitors to be the ‘Most Impressive Newcomer of the 2015 Season’.

It was awarded to him because of the improvement the London based driver had made over the course of the season. Ahmed mostly competed in MSA Formula where he collected a number of rookie class wins, including four in a row at the end of the year, to take the rookie championship.

His performances showed real improvement throughout, as he even won an overall race in the final weekend of the year.

However; his results weren’t just shown in the UK, as Ahmed raced in the SMP F4 championship for a number of rounds as a guest driver, with it culminating in him winning all three of the races, at the final round in Estonia earlier this month.

“I’m very honoured to be given such an award.” stated Ahmed.

“I didnt know Joe, but of course I know his team, JTR, and they are such an awesome team. I must say a huge thank you to everyone that selected me and it really does mean a lot. I hope I do Joe, JTR, and the championship proud over the next few years with whatever we choose to race in”.

The award was put together in honour of the late Joe Tandy with the help of his race team JTR. Joe’s ethos was to develop and nurture new emerging talent. His younger brother, Nick Tandy, won the Le Mans 24 hours this year.

Having finished as top rookie, Ahmed has the option to return to the MSA Formula series as a likely contender, or move up, with the 15 year old having recently competed in a Formula Renault 2.0 test.

F1Weekly podcast # 692

Clark and Nasir talk about Putin and the Russian Grand Prix, The host is beginning to loose faith in the modern era of Formula One. And here is some great news from our friends at Renault Sport…

No rest for the Renault Sport R.S. 01 ! For the first time since it made its racing debut, the high-performance vehicle from Renault Sport Technologies will compete outside the World Series by Renault. Two cars are entered for this weekend’s GT Tour season finale at Circuit Paul Ricard.

Originally built exclusively for racing in the Renault Sport Trophy, Renault Sport Technologies’ most recent sports car received such a strong interest that the Ulis engineers quickly went to work to make certain adjustments to reach a new homologation. The first was granted by the FFSA, through a GT3 balance of performance.

Created to achieve high-end performance, the Renault Sport R.S. 01 had to review and level out itself to be allowed to race. The carbon brakes have been replaced with steel. In addition to the 25 extra kilograms associated with the change, 50 more of ballast was added. The ride height was raised and an engine restriction added.

Aerodynamically, changes were necessary both to add drag and remove downforce from the Renault Sport R.S. 01, which naturally enjoys exceptional characteristics in this area.

Less than a week after the inaugural Renault Sport Trophy season finale, two cars will take part in the FFSA championship for the first time. The Team Duqueine Renault Sport R.S. 01 will be entrusted to three GT Tour regulars : Eric Clément, Ange Barde and Bruce Lorgere-Roux. They will be joined in Open Challenge by a second R.S. 01 entered by the Belgian Boutsen-Ginion team for Eric Vaissière and Olivier Grotz.

Jean-Pascal Dauce, Renault Sport Technologies Motorsport Director : “Since the genesis of the Renault Sport R.S. 01, the interest in our creation has been keen among teams and promoters. The success of the Renault Sport Trophy in the World Series by Renault has confirmed this trend. As competitors, we are extremely enthusiastic about the idea of seeing the R.S. 01 take on the competition. No doubt it will turn heads among both drivers and spectators. We are extremely grateful in the confidence that Hugues de Chaunac has shown in us and this drives us to continue our discussions with other championships.”

Hugues de Chaunac, ORECA Group President and GT Tour promoter : “We are pleased to welcome two Renault Sport R.S. 01s for the first appearance of this car outside the Renault Sport Trophy. It is a fast car with a magnificent look. This presence, through two quality teams, will without a doubt be positive and interesting. We have paid close attention the R.S. 01. I am convinced that the spectators will fully appreciate it.”