All posts by f1weekly

F1Weekly podcast #766

CLARK HAVING SEEN THE FUTURE KNEW THAT FERNANDO WAS DONE. NASIR GOES ON ABOUT WHY RED BULL DIDN’T WANT TO PRESSURE MAX WITH A FERNANDO…AND THIS WEEKS INTERVIEW…NEEL JANI

He was linked to a reserve F1 seat with the Sauber team. In 2004 however, he moved back to GP2 the following year. In December 2005 he was confirmed as Scuderia Toro Rosso’s third driver, alongside race drivers Scott Speed and Vitantonio Liuzzi, a role he held throughout the 2006 season, before departing to pursue a Champ Car career. For the 2008 F1 season, Neel was linked with the test driving role at Red Bull Racing.

As his father is from India, Jani was linked to the proposed Indian-backed buyout of BMW Sauber but this did not succeed. In early 2010 he tested for Force India and was rumoured to be involved with the team in 2010. However Force India signed Mercedes driver Paul di Resta as their test and reserve driver.

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FORMULA 1

McLAREN CONFIRMS FERNANDO ALONSO DECISION

Fernando will not race in Formula 1 in 2019

McLaren Racing today confirms that double F1 World Champion Fernando Alonso will not race in Formula 1 in 2019.

Fernando, who turned 37 in July, is competing in his 17th F1 season, his fifth with McLaren, and has amassed 32 wins, 22 pole positions and 97 podiums to date. Beyond his two titles – in 2005 he became the then-youngest world champion in F1 history – Fernando has been championship runner-up three times.

Zak Brown, Chief Executive Officer, McLaren Racing, commented:

“Fernando is not only an outstanding ambassador for McLaren but also for Formula 1. His 17 years in the sport, as arguably the pre-eminent driver of his generation and undoubtedly an F1 great, have added another layer to Formula 1’s rich history.

“There is a time for everyone to make a change and Fernando has decided the end of this season to be his. We respect his decision, even if we believe he is in the finest form of his career. Our open dialogue with Fernando has meant we could plan for this eventuality.

“While evaluating his future during the past months, Fernando’s competitiveness has been undimmed. He has continued to perform at the highest level throughout, as we know he will do in the remaining nine races of this year’s championship.

“I know that the entire team joins me in paying tribute to Fernando’s enormous contribution to McLaren; he is a legend both for the championship and for the team. Fernando is an important part of our story and will join an illustrious line of McLaren drivers. On behalf of Shaikh Mohammed, Mansour and our entire board, we wish Fernando every success in the future.”

Fernando Alonso commented:

“After 17 wonderful years in this amazing sport, it’s time for me to make a change and move on. I have enjoyed every single minute of those incredible seasons and I cannot thank enough the people who have contributed to make them all so special.

“There are still several grands prix to go this season, and I will take part in them with more commitment and passion than ever.

“Let’s see what the future brings; new exciting challenges are around the corner. I’m having one of the happiest times ever in my life but I need to go on exploring new adventures.

“I want to thank everyone at McLaren. My heart is with the team forever. I know they will come back stronger and better in the future and it could be the right moment for me to be back in the series; that would make me really happy. I have built so many great relationships with many fantastic people at McLaren, and they have given me the opportunity to broaden my horizons and race in other categories. I feel I am a more complete driver now than ever.

“I made this decision some months ago and it was a firm one. Nevertheless, I would like to sincerely thank Chase Carey and Liberty Media for the efforts made to change my mind and everyone who has contacted me during this time.

“Finally, I would also like to thank my former teams, team-mates, competitors, colleagues, partners, journalists and everyone I have worked with in my F1 career. And, especially, my fans all over the world. I am quite sure our paths will cross again in the future.”

BTCC

MORGAN, SUTTON AND SMILEY SHARE SPOILS AT ROCKINGHAM, BTCC STANDINGS LEAD SWINGS BETWEEN TURKINGTON AND INGRAM

Adam Morgan, Ashley Sutton and Chris Smiley shared the race winning spoils at Rockingham earlier today (12 August), whilst the battle for top spot in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship standings raged between Colin Turkington and Tom Ingram throughout the day.

Ciceley Motorsport with Mac Tools driver Morgan converted his first ever BTCC pole position into a commanding lights-to-flag victory in the opener, with Adrian Flux Subaru Racing star Sutton and Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher’s Tom Chilton completing the podium positions.

Whilst Morgan was taking his third win of the season in relative comfort there was seemingly no end of drama in the battle for the remaining podium places, which kicked off as soon as the lights went out.

A sluggish start from Halfords Yuasa Racing’s Dan Cammish from third on the grid almost saw Chilton’s Ford by on the run down to the hairpin for the first time, but as the former went in deep to defend he unfortunately tagged second placed Sam Tordoff and tipped him into a spin.

With the GardX-backed Ford now stranded in the middle of the track and facing the wrong way, a number of unsighted drivers were then caught up in the resulting melee.

Sutton produced the move of the race on lap 13 with a switchback manoeuvre on Chilton through the esses. From there, he scampered away with a second placed finish.

Chilton held on to third with Cammish and BTC Norlin Racing’s Daniel Lloyd crossing the line behind side-by-side – with Lloyd securing fourth place by just 0.059s.

Reigning champion Sutton went one better in race two as he saw off the challenges from Morgan and the blisteringly quick Toyota Avensis of Ingram.

Pole-sitter Morgan lost the lead to Sutton off the line, and although the former kept the latter honest throughout he was never really close enough to make a concerted effort to get by.

Yet again, it was the fight for the final podium position that created the most excitement with Ingram incredibly grabbing the place late on after a storming drive from 27th on the grid.

He had already picked off rival-after-rival before he blasted by then championship leader Turkington to take fifth on lap 15. Both title protagonists then muscled their way past the impressive VW of Mike Bushell, so now it was Ingram and Turkington in fourth and fifth with just a couple of laps remaining.

Senna Proctor’s Power Maxed TAG Racing Vauxhall was hanging on to third but when he ran across the grass through Brook for the second time, Ingram spied his opportunity and nipped through to complete another wonderful comeback drive.

His championship advantage didn’t last long, however, as Team BMW’s Turkington scored his own podium in the final encounter to move back to the standings summit with a four-point advantage over Ingram.

Despite Turkington’s table topping success, the final race will be remembered for Smiley taking his first ever victory in the series in largely dominant fashion.

The other podium places eventually came down to the run to the finish line as Matt Simpson’s Honda lost second to Turkington through Brook. In a dash to the chequered flag it was Simpson who hung on to a podium by just 0.029s from Motorbase man Tordoff.

As well as Turkington heading the Drivers’ standings his Team BMW squad lead both the Manufacturers’ and Teams’ orders. Unsurprisingly, it is Speedworks Motorsport topping both Independents’ tables. Cammish leads the Jack Sears Trophy.

The action returns in two weeks’ time for Rounds 22, 23 and 24 of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Knockhill (25/26 August).

F1Weekly podcast # 765

CLARK AND NASIR REACT TO THE BIG RICCIARDO NEWS, WE FINALLY COVER THE HUNGARIAN GRAND PRIX AND VETTLE LOST ANOTHER ONE! THIS WEEKS SPECIAL INTERVIEW IS WITH FIA EUROPEAN F3 CHAMPIONSHIP DRIVER GUAN YU ZHOU…

Born in Shanghai on 30th May 1999, Guan Yu Zhou began karting at the age of eight. In 2008, he won 8 races and was crowned “Best Young Driver.” In 2012, he moved from China to London to study, while continuing to race karts, joining Team Strawberry Racing, taking some important wins in the Rotax championships. In 2013, Guan Yu took the title in the European Junior Rotax and ABKC S1 Rotax Junior series, as well as finishing third in the final of the Euro Max Challenge in France.

FDA – A German debut for Guan Yu Zhou

In 2014, he joined Maranello’s Ferrari Driver Academy and raced for the Strawberry Racing Team in the Rotax Max Euro Challenge and in the CIK-FIA European Championship KF. In 2015, the Chinese youngster raced in the Italian Formula 4 series with the Prema team and the following year he joined the Motopark team, racing in the European Formula 3 series. In 2017, he came eighth, with five podium finishes with Prema, for whom he continues to race in 2018.

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FORMULA 1

RENAULT SPORT FORMULA ONE TEAM IS PLEASED TO CONFIRM DANIEL RICCIARDO WILL JOIN THE TEAM FROM THE 2019 SEASON. HE WILL TEAM UP WITH CURRENT DRIVER NICO HÜLKENBERG.

Twenty-nine-year-old Daniel, who hails from Perth, Australia, joins Renault Sport Formula One Team for the next two seasons.

Daniel has secured seven Grands Prix wins and stepped onto the podium 29 times. He is already very familiar with the Renault family, having driven in Renault junior series between 2007 and 2011 and has been powered by Renault engines in F1 since 2014.

Jérôme Stoll, President, Renault Sport Racing:
“Renault decided to come back to Formula One to fight for World Championships. Signing Daniel Ricciardo is a unique opportunity for the Groupe Renault towards this objective that could not be missed. We welcome Daniel’s arrival to our team, still in the making, but more motivated than ever.”

Cyril Abiteboul, Managing Director, Renault Sport Racing:
“Daniel’s signing underscores our determination to accelerate our progress towards the forefront of the sport. It is also a recognition of the work accomplished over the past two and a half seasons. Daniel’s undoubted talent and charisma are a huge bonus and statement for the team. We will have to repay his faith in us by delivering the best car possible. We welcome him to our growing team in 2019 with a great deal of pride, but also humility.”

Daniel Ricciardo:
“It was probably one of the most difficult decisions to take in my career so far. But I thought that it was time for me to take on a fresh and new challenge. I realise that there is a lot ahead in order to allow Renault to reach their target of competing at the highest level but I have been impressed by their progression in only two years, and I know that each time Renault has been in the sport they eventually won. I hope to be able to help them in this journey and contribute on and off track.”

F1Weekly podcast # 764

CLARK AND NASIR SHARE THEIR THOUGHTS ON VETTEL LOOSING THE GERMAN GRAND PRIX GIVING LCH THE POINTS LEADER IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP, WE HAVE THIS WEEKS GOODY BAG AND AN OUTSTANDING INTERVIEW WITH HALF TIME FORMULA 3 EUROPEAN CHAMPION MARCUS ARMSTRONG!
Marcus Armstrong half-time champion in the thrilling 2018 FIA Formula 3 European Championship season

Five of the 10 race meetings of the 2018 FIA F3 European Championship season are history and consequently, the hopeful young guns already contested 15 races. Rookie Marcus Armstrong (PREMA Theodore Racing), a Kiwi racing with an Italian license and member of the Ferrari Driver Academy, secured the unofficial half-time title. Nonetheless, there still is a long way to go to the title for the 18-year old as the FIA Formula 3 European Championship grid is better balanced than ever. Just one point behind Armstrong, Briton Daniel Ticktum (Motopark) follows in second position, 11.5 points ahead of third-placed Ralf Aron (PREMA Theodore Racing).

8 Marcus Armstrong (ITA, PREMA Theodore Racing, Dallara F317 – Mercedes-Benz), FIA Formula 3 European Championship, round 5, Spa-Francorchamps (BEL), 26. – 28. July 2018 *** Local Caption *** Copyright (c) FIA Formula 3 European Championship / Thomas Suer

To date, Marcus Armstrong didn’t impress with spectacular manoeuvres but by scoring consistently. With seven podiums, the Kiwi participated in more presentation ceremonies than any other driver on the grid. Furthermore, he secured at least one podium in every race meeting and at the Norisring he even clinched the full set of trophies. And with two pole positions he demonstrated that he also is among the fastest when it comes to delivering on a flying lap.

Meanwhile, Daniel Ticktum already secured five poles, thus holding the lead in this ranking. With three race wins, he also is the best in this area – but is tied for the lead with Ralf Aron. Particularly impressive was the Red Bull Junior’s win in the third round of the Norisring meeting, just a few hours after his starting crash with Ameya Vaidyanathan (Carlin).

Currently, the gap between the championship leader and the 10th-placed driver amounts to 62 points. Nothing you can rest on in consideration of the fact that a total of 75 points can be scored on every race weekend. Only two drivers of the top 10 – Robert Shvartzman (PREMA Theodore Racing) and Alex Palou (Hitech Bullfrog GP) still are waiting for their first win but both came close to realising this goal by finishing second.

The fact that the racing in this year’s FIA 3 European Championship is extremely close also is demonstrated by the fact that no driver was able to defend his championship lead for a long time, to date. Seven times – virtually after every second race, another driver made it to the very top on the leaderboard. Altogether, six drivers racing for four different teams were involved in this chase. The first leader of the season was Guanyu Zhou (PREMA Theodore Racing) after race one but in the next race, rookie Sacha Fenestraz (Carlin) stole his lead. And Fenestraz was followed by Ticktum, the two rookies Enaam Ahmed (Hitech Bullfrog GP) and Armstrong as well as Aron.

The summer break won’t be long for the young drivers and teams competing in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship season. The second half of the season will be kicked off at Silverstone, the British F1 circuit, as early as in mid-August. Afterwards, the season will be continued at Misano, the Nürburgring and Spielberg before Hockenheim will stage the season finale, where the new FIA Formula 3 European Champion and successor of Lando Norris will be crowned.

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The Premiere Motorsport Podcast