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FORMULA 1

POSTCARD FROM YAS MARINA

126C2. One of the most beautiful cars ever produced in Formula 1. It was designed by Dr. Harvey Postlethwaite, who was famous for designing the car that gave James Hunt and “His Good Lord” Hesketh their first grand prix win at Zandvoort in 1975 over Niki Lauda. The photo shows Patrick Tambay’s ride. It was the sister car that was put on pole in 1982 at Monza by Mario Andretti. He would finish third in the race behind Tambay, and race winner in a Renault-turbo Rene Arnoux.

This was the first Gran Premio of my life.

Three days after the race I was invited by the famous Ferrari engineer, Mauro Forghieri, to the Ferrari factory in Maranello. It was a great surprise to see and meet the race winner! Rene was there for seat fitting before the official announcement that he was leaving Renault.

Not bad for then 23-year old Karachi Kid.

The Honey Badger. The Aussie mate could have been a contender at Red Bull Honda. But the Wild One rattled his cage like Danny did to Vettel. Ricciardo’s first victory came – like Lewis Hamilton – in Montreal. With excellent race craft and last of the late breakers, Ricciardo needs Renault to deliver the performance package they provided to Nando in 2005 & ‘06. Otherwise, he will be doing his own version of ‘These boots are made for walking.’ And he sings well.

Resemblance is there and so is the name. Yours truly with Piero Lardi Ferrari.

And now a word from our sponsors. The global appeal of Formula 1 is on display here. Ferrari sponsors include Dutch, American, Russian, Chinese, Taiwanese, Swiss, German and, naturally, “paisan” Pirelli and OMR Group.

FORMULA 2

GHIOTTO SPRINTS TO VICTORY IN FINAL RACE OF 2019

Latifi crowned Vice-Champion with second place in Abu Dhabi Sprint Race
Luca Ghiotto made it back-to-back Sprint Race wins to seal third in the Championship and close out his final Formula 2 race with a victory. The win is the Italian’s fifth during his time in F2, and fourth this season, as he brings a close to the 2019 season. Finishing in second place, Nicholas Latifi is crowned Vice-Champion, while his teammate Sérgio Sette Câmara claimed the final podium spot and fourth in the Championship.
Luca Ghiotto (ITA, UNI VIRTUOSI), celebrates victory in parc ferme
With Latifi and Ghiotto battling to become Vice-Champion, and lining up second and third on the reverse grid, they knew that a strong start would be vital. Ghiotto’s was perfect, Latifi’s was sluggish. The Italian fired ahead, as Latifi failed to challenge Giuliano Alesi on reverse pole, and lost out to Ghiotto.
Guanyu Zhou struggled with the getaway himself, as he dropped down to eleventh and allowed Jordan King, Sette Câmara and Mick Schumacher through. Alesi had remained in front for all of this, and even set the fastest lap. The Frenchman’s race quickly began to unravel though, as his tyres struggled to keep up with his demands and Ghiotto started to reel him in.
As the Italian closed the gap on the Trident racer, Mick Schumacher attempted to enter a three-wary battle with Louis Delétraz and Nobuharu Matsushita, however, the German got caught out down the straight, and Sette Câmara shot from nowhere to surge past the Schumacher. The Brazilian then followed this up by diving down the side of Delétraz, who braked as late as possible, before eventually giving way to the Dams driver.
Ghiotto had gotten within DRS range of Alesi, took a tow and fired down the left of him, before taking the inside line. The Italian roared into the distance, as Alesi fell into the path of Latifi, who swiftly eased past him.
Ilott piled further misery on the Frenchman as he followed Ghiotto and Latifi through to take up the final spot on the podium and throw Alesi down to fourth. The Trident man was handed some brief respite, as Matsushita in fifth was too busy defending against Sette Câmara to attempt an overtake himself.
YAS MARINA CIRCUIT, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – NOVEMBER 30: Sergio Sette Camara (BRA, DAMS) Nobuharu Matsushita (JPN, CARLIN) and Guanyu Zhou (CHN, UNI VIRTUOSI) during the Abu Dhabi at Yas Marina Circuit on November 30, 2019 in Yas Marina Circuit, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Joe Portlock / LAT Images / FIA F2 Championship)
The in-form DAMS driver was finally able to battle ahead of Matsushita, and made the most of a lock-up from Alesi, to dive ahead and steal fourth. Ghiotto had begun to struggle out in front, warning his team over radio that his tyres were shot. Luckily for him, Latifi appeared to be suffering with the same issue, which allowed Ghiotto to ease off, and still build a bit of a buffer in clean air.
Further down the order, Jack Aitken had begun to recover positions, firstly firing ahead of Jordan King, then powering past Schumacher down the straight, and edging ahead of him around the outside of the corner, which put him in the final points’ position.
Racing was momentarily brought to a halt as Nikita Mazepin clipped the side of Matevos Isaakyan and spun the Sauber Junior Team Driver 180 degrees, ending both of their races.
When racing resumed, Sette Câmara made a daring move on Ilott, with just two laps to go. The Brazilian squeezed past him down the straight, but the Briton battled back in front. Sette Câmara had another go, and this time, Ilott was forced to give up the position.
Ghiotto crossed the line in first with a 7s gap to Latifi, who settled for second, ahead of his teammate Sette Câmara. Ilott claimed fourth, ahead of Alesi, who secured his highest ever finish in F2. Delétraz managed to squeeze past Matsushita on the final lap for sixth, while Aitken completed the points’ positions, in eighth.
With the curtain closed on the 2019 F2 campaign, Nyck de Vries finished first on 266 points, Latifi second on 214, and Ghiotto moves up to third, with 207 points. Sette Câmara drops to fourth, despite his Feature Race win, while Aitken completes the top five, with 159 points.
In the Teams’ Championship, Dams finish on 418 points, ahead of UNI-Virtuosi on 347 and ART Grand Prix on 277. Carlin finish fourth with 236 points and Campos Racing fifth with 189.
The teams will remain in Abu Dhabi for post-season testing next week, when they will get their first opportunity to test out potential line-ups for 2020.

FORMULA 1

POSTCARD FROM YAS MARINA

The French Connection. Another first for F1W. Our first ever interview with an active F1 driver. Esteban Ocon was European F3 and GP3 Champion. Highly rated by Motorsports media and, more importantly, by Toto Wolf. Placed at Renault at the expense of Nico Hulkenberg he remains under Mercedes management, and may be seen in Silver Arrows shooting for wins in the near future.

Lights. Camera. Chica. Action. Charles in deep thoughts. ‘I should be taking the photo, baby!’

If you can’t meet ’em, meet Papito. Seb’s dad Norbert had a big smile when I asked him if he was at Parco Monza in 2008. Definitely a proud papa. Seb’s son was born last week and in a few years we may see him battling Robin Raikkonen.


The Podium Pierre. I thought I was the happiest man in Yas Marina till I ran into Racer from Rouen. At Red Bull Gasly had, in the words of DC, the least desirable seat in Formula 1; teammate to Max Verstappen. Toro Rosso has given him new wings. The torpedo is right behind us.

Second and third rate people. I said to James Allison since I can’t get to Lewis Hamilton may I have a photo with you? He goes you mean get second and third rate people. I took the selfie, thanked and walked away. Then realized image was not captured. So I went back to him and requested a take-two and confirmed to him he was correct on our rating. He was kind enough to oblige with a big smile.

Nice to know there is humor in the cut throat world of Formula 1.

FORMULA 1

POSTCARD FROM YAS MARINA

Lucky Shot! Thursday afternoon in Abu Dhabi. Beautiful F1 machinery lined up in the pit lane. Wolf – as in Toto – was not sighted today. His pilots were also not seen in today’s Drivers’ press conference. May be the Lucky One will do the talking on the track.

Jos with the real Boss. Papa Verstappen counting the Max championships while Dr Marko devours Denny’s Grand Slam breakfast in the desert. I had a chat with Jos. He politely declined to be interviewed but kindly answered some questions.

Main thing I wanted to know was how important was becoming the youngest world champion for Max and if that will influence the decision when his Red Bull contract is up. He responded by saying that the important thing is that he wins the championship, they are not chasing the youngest world champion record.

If Newey and Honda can provide the package, Red Bull has the Driver for next day early morning delivery.

Arab dynamics lecture for Ross Brawn.

Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes (engine)? The divine cockpit of Sergio Perez’s Racing Point. “Checko” has established himself as a bona fide F1 driver and almost won the 2012 Malaysian Grand Prix in a Sauber. His best result in junior Formula racing was second in GP2 in 2010 to another Latin fuego – Maldonado.

Checked out! McLaren still has a Spanish driver, but now it’s Mini Machismo and self-appointed “Smooth Operator” – Carlos Sainz Jr. The previous round in Brazil saw him take his first ever podium in Formula 1, courtesy of rare bad luck for the Lucky One. With the prevailing lovey dovey for Carlito and Lando, there is no vacancy for the man from Oviedo.

Racing and Season finale regards.

– – Nasir Hameed

FORMULA 1

ROKIT WILLIAMS RACING CONFIRMS NICHOLAS LATIFI AS RACE DRIVER FOR 2020

ROKiT Williams Racing is delighted to announce Nicholas Latifi will complete the team’s driver line-up for 2020, partnering George Russell in next year’s FIA Formula One World Championship.

Race winner Nicholas Latifi (CAN, DAMS) celebrates in parc ferme

Nicholas has impressed as Reserve Driver this year, conducting several tests and taking part in six FP1 sessions across the season. The 24-year-old has fully integrated himself in his role, spending extensive time working closely with the team both trackside and at the factory, and providing valuable feedback for the development of both the FW42 and FW43.

The Canadian has enjoyed a successful career in junior formulas, winning multiple races in FIA Formula 2 and mounting a strong title challenge in 2019 where he currently sits second ahead of the season finale. Prior to this, he competed in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series and FIA Formula 3 European Championship.

Speaking about the announcement, Nicholas Latifi said; “I am thrilled to be stepping up as Race Driver for 2020. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with the team this year, supporting them with the development of the car, and assisting wherever I can trackside and at the factory. I look forward to the journey ahead with the team, and I am excited to make my Formula One debut at the Australian Grand Prix in 2020.”

Claire Williams, Deputy Team Principal, commented; “I am delighted to announce that Nicholas will be stepping up to the role of Race Driver to partner George in 2020. All of us at Williams have been immensely impressed at what he has achieved this year in FIA Formula 2, along with his commitment to the team, and the work that he has put in behind the scenes. Nicholas has become an established and well-respected member of Williams, and we look forward to him stepping up into this new role, as we look to fight our way back to the midfield.

SUPER GT X DTM

Karthikeyan wins Sunday’s sensational Dream Race at Fuji

  • Ex-F1 racer takes command as drama breaks out behind
  • Former DTM champ Wittmann earns second on birthday
  • Duval reverses fortunes with pole and charging drive to third after puncture

Narain Karthikeyan (Modulo Epson Honda NSX-GT) won the second Dream Race at Fuji Speedway, leading home the field after a breathlessly exciting, incident-strewn, Safety Car-punctuated finale to this weekend’s long-awaited SUPER GT x DTM tie-up.

The Indian driver quickly took control of the race, slipstreaming past pole-sitter Loïc Duval (Audi RS 5 DTM) at the start of the second lap and seeing off a lengthy challenge from the chasing cars of Naoki Yamamoto (RAYBRIG Honda NSX-GT), Koudai Tsukakoshi (KEIHIN Honda NSX-GT) and Daisuke Nakajima (MOTUL MUGEN Honda NSX-GT).

Marco Wittmann, Narain Karthikeyan, Loic Duval, SUPER GT x DTM Dream Race, Sunday, Race 2, Fuji Speedway © SUPER GT

These four cars set the pace at the front until a number of Safety Car periods began to ramp up the pressure, finally causing a series of frantic, multi-car accidents that slimmed down the field and resulted in a nail-biting single-lap charge to the chequered flag.

Safety Cars raise the pressure

The first two Safety Car periods were called in order to clear debris resulting from left-rear punctures to Duval and René Rast (Audi RS 5 DTM) – possibly as a result of running a sub-optimal set-up following a lack of dry running this weekend, according to Head of Audi Motorsport Dieter Gass.

At the second restart, two multiple-car accidents took out several SUPER GT runners, including frontrunners Tsukakoshi and Nakajima. A third Safety Car was then called out to clear the increasing amount of carbon-fibre debris left scattered across the racetrack, and to remove James Rossiter’s CALSONIC IMPUL Nissan GT-R, which had rolled to a halt at the first corner with heavy accident damage.

Modulo Nakajima Racing, Honda NSX-GT, Narain Karthikeyan, winner, finish, SUPER GT x DTM Dream Race, Sunday, Race 2, Fuji Speedway © SUPER GT

If Karthikeyan was able to successfully manage the pace at the front, it grew increasingly unruly behind him: on the very last lap, Duval and Wittmann scrapped mightily for second, switching positions several times. The Frenchman only took runner-up spot on the chase to the finish line – but was then penalised one second for nudging Wittmann a couple of corners earlier. The top three was separated by just 0.935s, with the German earning second place – appropriately enough on his birthday.

Behind the top three, Yamamoto came home fourth from Kamui Kobayashi (BMW M4 DTM), who drove a hugely spirited race to fifth – on his debut weekend in a DTM car.