All posts by f1weekly


Three place grid penalty for Sebastian Vettel has left the prancing horse limping even more to fight for five, as if the big point gap was not enough headache.
I had a nice chat with Davide Valsechhi, he now works for Sky Italia on their F1 coverage. We are planning to take a trip to Sicily early next year. Plan is to rent an Alfa Romeo, invite local resident and Targa Florio legend Nino Vaccarella to take a tour of the circuit.
Davide introduced me to his camera man, who hails from Monza, and he is willing to record this momentous occasion.
Let’s hope we can make this happen.
I met Johnny Herbert and asked him to say “Hee Haw” – and he did!
Enjoy the US Grand Prix.



Racing Point Force India is delighted to announce that Sergio Perez has agreed an extension to his contract and will race for the team in 2019.

Otmar Szafnauer, Team Principal & CEO of Racing Point Force India: “I’m pleased that Sergio will continue his journey with us in 2019. Over the last five years, Sergio has confirmed his position as one of the most talented and consistent drivers on the Formula One grid. He gives us valuable stability going forward and is a huge asset to the team. As we begin an exciting new chapter in the life of this team, we are delighted that Sergio will race with us going forward.”

Sergio Perez (MEX) Racing Point Force India F1 Team.
Japanese Grand Prix, Thursday 4th October 2018. Suzuka, Japan.

Sergio Perez: “I am very happy to finally announce my future and I’m really motivated for 2019. Force India has been my home since 2014 and has allowed me to grow as a driver and show my skills on track. We have achieved so much success in the last five seasons but I think the best is yet to come. The new investment the team is enjoying fills me with confidence and I am really excited about the future.”

F1Weekly podcast # 772


Max Verstappen “As always I am really looking forward to getting back to the US. COTA is really fun to drive, it has long fast straights, slow tight corners and quick flowing sectors, all you want from a race track in one. The trickiest part is probably Turn 1 as you are blind to the apex coming up the hill.

When we race in America it is always unique to any other round, as you saw last year with the driver presentation they always go the extra mile. While staying in Austin there are so many options for good food, the meat and BBQ restaurants make you venture out and get stuck in. This year I will stop off in Miami for an event on the way to Austin so I’m excited to see a bit more of the country and sample a few of their local dishes.”




Launched in 1971, Formula Renault, which has developed more than two out of three F1 drivers, is about to begin a new chapter in its rich and long history. With its strengths developed over the decades, the category will welcome a car meeting the F3R regulations beginning in the 2019 season.
A new car

To achieve such results, the Formula Renault has always been able to evolve and adapt to the needs of the most promising drivers of their generation as well as establish itself as an unavoidable step after karting or national championships.

In 2019, Renault Sport Racing and Tatuus will continue their historic relationship with the arrival of the Tatuus F.3 T-318 chassis, powered by a 1.8L turbo-powered engine derived from the New Mégane R.S. power plant, delivering between 270 and 300 horsepower. Michelin will continue to be the sole tyre supplier.

Renault Sport Racing’s focus on safety will be reinforced with this car meeting the latest standards in the area, as demonstrated by the presence of a halo and anti-intrusion panels. Safer, more powerful and more efficient, this new Formula Renault will contribute to the FIA’s motor racing pyramid, while better preparing drivers for the next level.

The same philosophy

As the only category enjoying the official support of a constructor entered in F1, the Formula Renault Eurocup will continue to grow this lineage to detect and develop the stars of tomorrow.

True to its reputation, Renault Sport Racing will ensure that it remains the benchmark for technical and sporting fairness while actively contributing to cost control. The regulations will be in line with those already in force. The format of two 50-minute collective tests, two 30-minute qualifying sessions and two 30-minute plus one lap races will return. 12 days of collective tests will also be organised.

With a proven schedule, Formula Renault Eurocup will emphasize on development. The first nine circuits confirmed for the 2019 season also host Formula 1: Barcelona, Circuit Paul Ricard, the Hungaroring, Monza, the Nürburgring, the Red Bull Ring, Silverstone, Spa-Francorchamps and to be confirmed, Monaco as the curtain raiser for the Formula 1 Grand Prix. Another track will soon be added for a total of ten meetings over the course of the season.

As has been the case since 2017, the Champion will have the opportunity to join the Renault Sport Academy and, in addition to a financial backing, gain access to a number of tools at Enstone and Viry-Châtillon aimed to his development to the upper levels.

An already coveted grid

Testimony of the competitors’ confidence in the Renault Sport Racing scheme, all the teams already aboard have expressed their intention to be on the grid next year, while several other outfits have expressed their interest in the championship.

In total, a field of some 30 cars is expected on the starting grid for the first race of the 2019 season, the 49th in the history of Formula Renault.

Benoît Nogier, Renault Sport Racing Commercial Racing Director: “Since 1971, Formula Renault has always been one of the leading benchmarks in the feeder series. With our vast experience and the introduction of this new, fast and affordable car, the most ambitious and talented drivers of their generation can continue their learning process in a relevant and renowned category. The Formula Renault Eurocup has the foundations, know-how and strengths needed to complete this transition. We are already eager to see what the future holds!”



Event: 10 Hockenheim
Session: Race 2
Track: Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg / D
Pole position: Jüri Vips (Motopark)
Race winner: Jüri Vips (Motopark)
Weather: sunny, 31.9 °C

The 2018 FIA Formula 3 European Championship has been decided with one race to spare. Mick Schumacher (PREMA Theodore Racing) is beyond reach in the lead of the drivers’ standings. For the 19-year-old, finishing second combined with seventh place for his only remaining rival Daniel Ticktum (Motopark) was enough to secure the biggest success of his career to date. Victory at the 4.574 kilometres long Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg in high temperatures went to Estonian Jüri Vups (Motopark), whose compatriot Ralf Aron (PREMA Theodore Racing) finished in third place.

4 Mick Schumacher (DEU, PREMA Theodore Racing, Dallara F317 – Mercedes-Benz), FIA Formula 3 European Championship, round 10, race 2, Hockenheim (DEU), 12. – 14. October 2018

At the start, Jüri Vips took the lead, but immediately found himself under pressure from Mick Schumacher. After a collision involving Enaam Ahmed (Hitech Bullfrog GP), Julian Hanses (Carlin) and Sacha Fenestraz (Carlin), the safety car was deployed. At that time, Daniel Ticktum, who had only started from 15th place on the grid, had already worked his way up to eleventh place.

After the restart, the order in the positions at the front remained unchanged. Schumacher initially put Vips under pressure for the lead, but lost contact to the rookie from the Motopark team after a driving error. After 21 laps of racing, he took the chequered flag in second place behind Vips and ahead of Aron and thus secured his most important single-seater racing title win to date.

Further down, Ticktum was able to continue his progress. The Red Bull-backed Brit finished the 29th race of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship season in seventh place behind Vips, Schumacher, Aron, Jehan Daruvala (Carlin), Robert Shvartzman (PREMA Theodore Racing) and Fabio Scherer (Motopark). Alex Palou (Hitech Bullfrog GP), Nikita Troitckii (Carlin) and Guanyu Zhou (PREMA Theodore Racing) rounded out the top ten. Race winner Vips moved up into third place of the drivers’ standings and is only 14 points down on Ticktum. In tomorrow’s final race of the season, the two teammates will be competing for runner-up position in the final standings.

Jüri Vips (Motopark): “I am very happy about this victory. I am now third in the drivers’ standings and still want to move up into runner-up spot tomorrow. In this race, I took the lead right away, but I made a little mistake at the restart and Mick was right there. When he then made a mistake himself a little bit later, I was able to pull clear and drive victory home.”

Mick Schumacher (PREMA Theodore Racing): “Of course, I am really happy with my title win. I can hardly describe what a beautiful feeling it is to be doing something that you love really well. However, I also have a great team around me that is giving me the best conditions, enabling me to concentrate on what is important. I reckon that that is one of the keys to success. Moreover, we never gave up this season and have always tried to improve further. We never stopped working on ourselves. About this race: my start was average. Until the safety car came out, I had a close fight with Jüri. After the restart, I ran wide on the first corner and lost contact to him. After that, it took a while for me to get my tyres clean again and to find back my rhythm. However, the championship party still has to wait, because there is another race to run tomorrow in which I want to give the maximum once more.”

Ralf Aron (PREMA Theodore Racing): “I started the race from eighth place and I had a good start. Moreover, on the opening lap, I was able to benefit from a battle in front of me and I was in third place after one lap already. For me, the second half of the season didn’t go to plan at all, but now, I am happy to be at least on the podium during the season finale.”

Gerhard Berger (chairman ITR e.V.): “Of course, I am happy for Mick. He has prevailed and won the title early with a podium finish by his own means today. However, I am also very happy for Michael Schumacher and I wish that he will be back with us one day to watch Mick’s future career together with all of us. Mick doesn’t only look like his father, doesn’t only have the same posture and the same walk, he even has his father’s forearms as I noticed yesterday. But the decisive thing is: particularly in the past weeks, he has proven that he has his father’s racing driver genes. When he is able to keep on delivering this performance, his career path will bring him into Formula 1.”



Event: 10 Hockenheim
Session: Race 1
Track: Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg / D
Pole position: Guanyu Zhou (PREMA Theodore Racing)
Race winner: Guanyu Zhou (PREMA Theodore Racing)
Weather: sunny, 21.8 °C

Mick Schumacher (PREMA Theodore Racing) hasn’t managed to use his first match point in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship. After a collision with Marcus Armstrong (PREMA Theodore Racing), he only finished twelfth at the 4.574 kilometres long Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg. As his fiercest title rival Daniel Ticktum (Motopark) finished in fifth place, Schumacher’s margin in the drivers’ standings was reduced to 39 points. Victory in the race went to Guanyu Zhou (PREMA Theodore Racing) from Robert Shvartzman (PREMA Theodore Racing) and Jüri Vips (Motopark). For Russian driver Shvartzman, second place was enough to seal the title of the best rookie driver.

Start of the race, 1 Guanyu Zhou (CHN, PREMA Theodore Racing, Dallara F317 – Mercedes-Benz) taking the lead from 10 Robert Shvartzman (RUS, PREMA Theodore Racing, Dallara F317 – Mercedes-Benz), 39 Alex Palou (ESP, Hitech Bullfrog GP, Dallara F317 – Mercedes-Benz), 9 Jehan Daruvala (IND, Carlin, Dallara F317 – Volkswagen), FIA Formula 3 European Championship, round 10, race 1, Hockenheim (DEU), 12. – 14. October 2018

Guanyu Zhou was able to benefit from his pole position and took the lead at the start. Jehan Daruvala (Carlin) slotted into third place behind Robert Shvartzman, but the Indian retired after contact with Alex Palou (Hitech Bullfrog GP) on the opening lap already. A few metres later, Mick Schumacher and Marcus Armstrong tangled and were both forced to make a pit stop. While Armstrong retired later on, Schumacher started his way back up and eventually came home in twelfth place.

Further up to the front, Zhou also remained in the lead after a pair of safety car interventions. These two neutralisations followed after Daruvala’s retirement on the opening lap and an accident involving Ferdinand Habsburg (Carlin) and Fabio Scherer (Motopark) on lap six. Zhou remained unfazed and scored his second victory of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship season. Second across the line was Robert Shvartzman, who successfully managed to defend his position from a charging Jüri Vips on the final lap. Behind fourth-placed Palou, Daniel Ticktum finished fifth from Ralf Aron (PREMA Theodore Racing), Sacha Fenestraz (Carlin), Nikita Troitckii (Carlin), Enaam Ahmed (Hitech Bullfrog GP) and Frederik Vesti (Van Amersfoort Racing). The Dane finished in the top ten in his first participation in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship.

Guanyu Zhou (PREMA Theodore Racing): “Having claimed pole position, my goal was to win the race as well. At the start, I managed to take the lead and the restarts were okay, too. My car was really fast and I was lucky that the drivers behind me were battling with each other. Then, I tried to save my car and my tyres as much as I could. I am very happy with my second win in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship, even though it has been a long time since I won the first race of the season at Pau.”

Robert Shvartzman (PREMA Theodore Racing): “First of all, I am happy with having sealed the rookie title already. Winning titles is always nice. In the race, I was already able to overtake Alex Palou and Jehan Daruvala on the opening lap when the two tangled. Then I was second and stayed there until the end. At the end, I had some problems with lack of grip from my tyres and I made a few mistakes as a result. Jüri was able to close up and we had a nice battle that was fair and enjoyable.”