F1Weekly podcast # 696

CLARK AND NASIR INTRODUCE THE FIRST PODCAST OF 2016 with a discussion on the upcoming F1 season with the Host counting on a McLaren resurgence to the front of the spear. We have a new episode of “Loosh on the Loose” and…Special interview with Mirko Bortolotti

After karting for several years, Bortolotti began his formula racing career in 2005 by competing in the Italian Formula Renault Winter Series and Formula Gloria. He competed in the Winter Series for a further two years, with a best finish of fourth in 2006. He also drove in the Italian Formula Junior 1600 championship for this year, in addition to the Formula Azzurra championship. In the latter series he finished as runner-up in the drivers’ championship, behind winner Giuseppe Termine.

In 2007, Bortolotti moved up to Italian Formula Three, finishing fourth in the championship at his first attempt. He remained in the series for 2008, driving for the Lucidi Motors team, and won the championship with nine wins and six pole positions from the sixteen races.

Bortolotti obtained backing from Red Bull following his championship win; the company opted to place him in the relaunched FIA Formula Two Championship in2009. He drove car number 14 in the series, and finished fourth. During the break between the final two rounds of the season, Bortolotti returned to Formula Three to compete for Carlin Motorsport in the Formula 3 Euro Series season finale at Hockenheim, finishing on the podium in the second race.

Bortolotti’s next move was to the newly created GP3 Series. He drove in the 2010 season for Addax Team alongside teammates Felipe Guimarães and Pablo Sánchez López and managed some good results, finishing 11th and getting a podium in his final race.

As a reward for their performances in the 2008 Italian F3 championship, Bortolotti, Edoardo Piscopo and Salvatore Cicatelli were all given a test of the Ferrari team’s F2008 chassis at the Fiorano Circuit in November 2008. Bortolotti impressed by setting a time of 59.111 seconds, quicker than the previous fastest lap set by the F2008 at the circuit by any driver.

In 2009, among several other drivers, Bortolotti was linked to a drive with Ferrari as a replacement for injured Felipe Massa, after poor performances by Luca Badoer.

In 2011, Bortolotti was selected by Williams to appear in their car at the 2011 young drivers test in Abu Dhabi.

[audio:http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/mp3.f1weekly.com/podcasts/01-18-16f1weekly696.mp3]

MSA FORMULA

FORMULA KART STARS CHAMP MARTIN LANDS FORD-POWERED MSA FORMULA DRIVE

  • Ross Martin graduates to MSA Formula after winning Bernie Ecclestone and Formula One Management-backed 2015 Formula Kart Star Championship
  • Martin receives fully funded drive with Fortec as prize for claiming title
18 January, 2016 – The Autosport International Show has brought with it the announcement that Ross Martin will compete in the Ford EcoBoost-powered MSA Formula Championship in 2016. He will attack the track as a Fortec Motorsport driver thanks to winning the 2015 Formula Kart Star championship and with it the prize of a fully funded drive.

A proud Martin is understandably thrilled with the opportunity to compete in the championship: “There’s no other thing like it at any level in British motorsport. The MSA and Ford have put together a great championship with phenomenal drivers. We all know what an incredible brand Ford is and the 1.6 litre EcoBoost engine it supplies is fantastic.”

Safe in the knowledge of a fully funded drive for 2016, Ross has not had to contend with the pressures of securing sponsorship. “I knew I had sufficient funding in place, and therefore could focus on preparing for the year ahead as best possible. Of course it will be nice to get more sponsors on board, but that will hopefully happen as the season progresses.”

The Scottish youngster is excited to be working with Fortec, with whom he has already tested at Valencia in Spain, claiming second-fastest time. “I’m looking forward to working with Fortec, it is a championship-winning team. The test in Valencia was a great way to get to know everyone.”

Ross also paid tribute to his mentor, three-time Le Mans 24 Hour winner Allan McNish: “He’s been giving me advice for three years. Having him in my corner has been a great help and advantage. Hopefully he’ll come to a few races this season. I would love to match his Le Mans record one day.”

Carolynn Hoy, Formula Kart Stars chairman, is convinced that in Ross Martin Formula Kart Stars has the perfect candidate to fly the flag for the series. “We have a worthy champion here. A very able driver. After his first test with Fortec, he’s already showing he’s got great potential for 2016 and beyond. He’s going to be carrying the torch for us and I’m certain he will be an excellent ambassador for the series.”

The opening rounds of MSA Formula – Certified by FIA, powered by Ford EcoBoost are set for Brands Hatch in early April. The series is Britain’s official version of the FIA’s Formula 4 concept and was introduced last season as a supporting series on the live-televised British Touring Car Championship package.