Category Archives: Interviews

WTCC

wtcc Paul Ricard 2014

POLE POSITION FOR YVAN MULLER

AUTO - WTCC LE CASTELLET 2014– The French round of the FIA WTCC, a real festival of motorsport, had got off to the best possible start for Citroën Racing, with its three C-Elysée WTCCs claiming the top three spots in qualifying.

– However, Sébastien Loeb and José-María López saw their times cancelled after scrutineering, due to faulty fuel shut-off valves.

– Third-fastest qualifier Yvan Muller will therefore start the first race in pole position.

As in Marrakech, the Citroën C-Elysée WTCCs put in a superb team performance from the start. On Friday, during the first session of free practice, José-María López clocked the fastest time, ahead of Sébastien Loeb.

On Saturday, however, the tables were turned, with Loeb picking up the fastest time in the late-morning practice session. Despite recording the fourth-fastest time of the first practice session, Yvan Muller was frustrated to have damaged the front end of his car by hitting a tyre stack. Everything was back in order for the second half-hour practice session, however, which the Citroën drivers spent working on their worn-tyre setup.

When the time came for qualifying, the sun was shining brightly and the stands were packed full of spectators eager to witness the return of FIA World Championship action to the Paul Ricard Circuit. Yvan, Seb and Pechito had little trouble securing their place in Q2. Picking up the pace in the second qualifying session to fend off attacks from their increasingly speedy competitors, Yvan Muller, Sébastien Loeb and José-María López were the only three drivers to dip under the 1 minute 30 barrier.

In Q3, with a single flying lap to clock the fastest time he could, José-María López shaved a few hundredths of a second off his Q2 time. Sébastien Loeb then produced a perfect performance to record a lap time 92 thousandths of a second quicker than his Argentine teammate! Yvan Muller, the last to go, also drove impressively, but ultimately fell 0.33 seconds short of the nine-time World Rally Champion.

During the technical inspections, the scrutineers noticed that the fuel shut-off values on Sébastien Loeb and Pechito Lopez’s cars were not working. This component was, however, functioning properly on the C-Elysée WTCC driven by Yvan Muller. The race stewards decided to cancel the times clocked by Seb and Pechito, who will now start from the back of the grid in both races. Yvan Muller, meanwhile, will start from pole position in race 1.

WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY

Yves Matton, Team Principal, Citroën Racing: “We couldn’t wait to get out and race on a ‘real’ circuit to assess our cars’ true potential in relation to the competition. It was fantastic to claim the top three spots in qualifying, but we were disappointed when we heard about the punishment handed out to Seb and Pechito. It was a failure in a standard component sold by one of our suppliers. The valve doesn’t do anything to improve performance: it’s there to ensure safety, an area in which Citroën Racing has always tried to be ahead of its time. Our drivers will have their work cut out to recover tomorrow, but they have the talent to go out and get a positive result.”

Yvan Muller: “The day didn’t get off to the best start, with a minor collision in the first free practice session. But the mechanics did a great job again and I was the fastest driver in Q1 and Q2. I thought I put in a good lap in Q3, but it wasn’t enough to beat Seb and Pechito. Like all the drivers who were used to the old cars, I think we’re not getting the most out of our tyres yet. I’ve been handed pole position by default, but I don’t take any pleasure in it. Now I’m going to go out and try to win to make up some of the ground I lost in Marrakech.”

Sébastien Loeb: “It was really close between the three of us! We did some good work in free practice and my car was perfect, which meant I was able to push it close to its limits. I didn’t make a mistake. It was a faultless lap.”

José-María López: “We went out for qualifying without really knowing who would come out on top. I wasn’t that confident with my braking today, particularly at the Bendor corner. I’m not complaining, because the car was perfect, but I think that’s where Seb had the edge.”

 

Volant Euroformula

Enzo Guibbert Volant Euroformula

ENZO GUIBBERT FINISHES ON A POSITIVE NOTE—

The “Volant Euroformula” 2012, Enzo Guibbert, started this year in the highly competitive French GT championship and for a first in this discipline, it is safe to say that his gamble pretty much paid off! We met him at the Euroformula School:

 

  1. Enzo, you put on some good performances and in between you had some difficult times, like your pole position at Ledenon and then unable to get into the lead at Castellet. How do you explain the uneven outcomes?

 

First of all, success stayed cruelly out of our reach. Then there was not enough driving practice between races which handicapped me the most because I wasn’t at my best at the start of the meeting. I had to work around technical breakdowns like in Imola, for example, where I only raced in the qualifiers! Between lack of experience, hard to overcome without practice, and points lost because of various problems we ran into, we automatically end up with a season of highs and lows. Also, the Porsche, an excellent car all things considered, doesn’t have the top speed our rivals had like in Castellet, for example, where we were giving away 10 kilometres/hour to the leaders, that’s about seven tenths of a second lost. Even though the car was well balanced in the bends, it was impossible to catch up on the time lost.

 

2.    Tell us about the highlights and what conclusion do you draw from your first season in the GT Tour?

 

This season had a lot of powerful moments but the best memory will always be my pole position in Ledenon, all my family were there and we weren’t far from home with all our friends, it will always be a special moment because it was the completion of a year’s work with a lot of sacrifices, there was a lot of emotion! My season also had some bad times, the most notable being the meeting in Imola where I could not take part in the two races because of mechanical problems. The outcome still remains positive in relation to my progress throughout the season. I had a good season as part of Philippe Alméras’ Pro GT organisation, they have a good team. For next year I hope to start a new season in GT or to run in the Porsche Cup France for which I have already been selected to try for the Scholarship.

 

 3.Talking of awards, how did the “Volant Euroformula” help you and which memory will you keep from your victory?

 

My victory in the “Volant Euroformula” allowed me to drive this year, without it I think I would have had to give up my career. This Volant was a great opportunity for me. I remember the final as if it was yesterday. I was motivated and came to win. I had focus from the start and decided to attack from my very first lap. With good pace, I felt at ease in the car and everything went well. A great moment. Thanks again!

 

F3 European Championship

fiaf3-2013-03-24-0046

60 YEARS OF THE MACAU GRAND PRIX—

The prestigious Macau GP is going to celebrate its 60th anniversary, this year. The former Portuguese colony’s 6.12-kilometre street circuit is the venue of the ’FIA Intercontinental Cup’, representing the unofficial world finale of the Formula 3 season. Consequently, it goes without saying that the grid of the tradition-rich race also will feature a big number of FIA Formula 3 European Championship drivers: altogether, eight teams and 18 drivers will fly the FIA Formula 3 European Championship flag, in Macau. With reigning European Champion Raffaele Marciello (Prema Powerteam) and vice-champion Felix Rosenqvist (GR Asia with Mücke), the planet’s most competitive young-gun series will be represented – inter alia – by two of the hottest favourites. Motors TV will cover the anniversary edition re-live: Saturdays’ qualifying race will be broadcasted on Sunday, 17 November from 15.30hrs CET before the race itself (16.10hrs CET).

Felix Rosenqvist travels to China’s gamblers’ paradise with big ambitions. The Swede who turned 22 a week before the Macau GP finished second behind Portugal’s António Félix da Costa in last year’s edition and wants revenge. Alex Lynn (Theodore Racing by Prema), who finished third in 2012, also looks forward to returning to Macau. The Briton who also came third in the 2013 FIA Formula 3 European Championship, and Lucas Auer (Theodore Racing by Prema) who secured fourth position in the championship, will be the drivers behind the two single-seaters that mark the comeback of the name Theodore onto the Formula 3 stage. 

Apart from Rosenqvist and Lynn, another three 2013 FIA Formula 3 European Championship drivers made it to the top 10, in the 2012 Macau GP: Luis Felipe Derani (Fortec Motorsport, sixth) Raffaele Marciello (eighth) and Harry Tincknell (Carlin, ninth). And all the three drivers are going to once again meet the challenge represented by the narrow streets of Macau.

More than 50 percent of the 29-driver Macau grid contested the 2013 FIA Formula 3 European Championship. 18 drivers racing for eight different teams will honour the event with their presence. In addition to the one for Tincknell, British Team Carlin will enter another two single-seaters for Jordan King und Nicholas Latifi. One of the two kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport vehicles will be raced by Dennis van de Laar. Fortec Motorsports will be represented – inter alia – by John Bryant-Meisner, William Buller and Tom Blomqvist. Alexander Sims is going to contest the event for ThreeBond with T Sport and the Double R Racing squad will make a two-car appearance with Sean Gelael and Antonio Giovinazzi. One of the two Galaxy – Double R Racing cars will be driven by Estonia’s Kevin Korjus who contested the FIA Formula 3 European Championship season finale at Hockenheim for ThreeBond with T-Sport. Eurointernational signed Monaco’s Stefano Coletti – who also raced at the Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg – for the Macau GP and Lucas Wolf will be the only German young gun on the Macau grid. He contests the 15-lap race for his squad URD Rennsport.

Felix Rosenqvist (GR Asia with Mücke): “I think that Macau’s circuit is the most difficult one of the world. Here, a lot of courage and perfect precision are a must if you want to be fast. A lot of really good drivers are going to race and nonetheless, I’m travelling to Macau with just one goal: to win the race!” 

Formula 3 Macau Grand Prix*

Thursday, 14 November 2013
10.55-11.40hrs Practice
14.40-15.10hrs Qualifying

Friday, 15 November 2013
11.00-11.45hrs Practice
14.45-15.15hrs Qualifying

Saturday, 16 November 2013
14.00-14.50hrs Qualification Race – 10 laps

Sunday, 17 November 2013
15.30-16.30hrs Race – 15 laps

* All times are local times (UTC+8).

Formula 1

Nasir Hameed and younger Magnussen
Nasir Hameed and younger Magnussen

MAGNUSSEN REPLACES PEREZ FOR 2014—

Magnussen will replace Sergio Perez at McLaren in 2014.

The initial report was done by Autosport’s Jonathan Noble on Sunday, suggesting the 21-year-old Dane had emerged as favorite after team meetings post-the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. McLaren team boss called Perez’s efforts in Abu Dhabi, “disappointing.”

Then on Monday, BBC reporter Andrew Bensoncited sources who said a contract isn’t signed, but the team has chosen Magnussen as the replacement. Veteran journalist Joe Saward also said in his blog McLaren has opted not to take its option up on Perez.

Magnussen has won this year’s World Series by Renault championship and impressed in two F1 tests.

Statistically speaking Perez hasn’t performed as well as teammate Jenson Button, but neither has been able to make much out of this year’s difficult chassis. Less than a week ago, though, reports were beginning to emerge that Perez’s seat was in doubt.

F1Weekly podcast # 637

peter_windsor2

This is a Special interview only podcast, Nasir Hameed has a conversation with Peter Windsor—

Peter David Windsor (born 11 April 1952 in Reigate, Surrey, England)  is the former Sporting Director of the US F1 Team and a Formula Onejournalist. He was brought up in Australia, but now has residences in London and Sydney.

Windsor started his journalism career at the now defunct monthly magazine, Competition Car. He was the motorsport editor for the British weekly magazine Autocar from the late 1970s until 1985, and was lauded for his Grand Prix reports.

In 1985 Windsor became sponsorship manager at Williams. He then worked as general manager at Ferrari, only to return to Williams as team manager in 1991. Windsor has won five awards for his writing, and most of his early television work has taken place with networks of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation. From 1998 to 2000, Windsor was the on-location reporter for FSN’s Formula 1 coverage. He then joined Sky Sports as a pit reporter on their F1 Digital + package. He also worked as a pit reporter for the American Broadcasting Company’s coverage of the 2002 United States Grand Prix. He also returned to WilliamsF1 as the narrator of the museum in the team’s Interactive HQ website.

Shortly before the start of the 1986 season, Windsor was in an automobile accident when the car he was riding in with Frank Williams crashed on the way from the Paul Ricard Circuit in southern France to the Nice airport, causing Windsor minor injuries but leaving Williams, who was driving, paralysed.

Windsor carried out on-location reports from Formula One venues for Speed; in contrast to SPEED F1 coverage team colleagues Bob Varsha, Steve Matchett, and David Hobbs, who covered the races from the studio, Windsor traveled to the various race venues to provide interviews with drivers and other F1 personnel during the race weekend. After the 2006 season this role increased in prominence with Speed’s addition of a live camera on the pre-race grid, where Windsor wandered the grid to conduct pre-race interviews with drivers, race engineers, managers, team principals, FIA personnel and visiting celebrities. He also frequently chimed in during the race with his own analysis.

For several seasons Windsor was also the moderator for Formula One’s post-qualifying and post-race press conferences. He handed the interviewer’s microphone to James Allen from the 2009 British Grand Prix due to a concern over a potential or perceived conflict of interest as a future team boss; but returned to the interview room at the 2009 Italian Grand Prix. He also did reports and phones in from the pitlane before the start of each race forNetwork Ten (ONE) Australia F1 broadcaster

Windsor is the current senior columnist of the F1 Racing magazine, for which he writes feature articles, and ‘The Racer’s Edge’ column.

He has spoken out against making changes to Formula 1 to improve the quality of racing by making overtaking easier. He said in 2007: “I would change nothing. I think F1 is fantastic as it is. If you want to watch a million meaningless overtaking manoeuvres and lots of shunts go and watch NASCAR or bikes or IRL or something.”

On 4 February 2009, it was reported Windsor and engineer/designer Ken Anderson were to head an American entrant into the 2010 Formula One season called Team US F1. Their application was formally accepted by the FIA on 12 June 2009.[6] Windsor’s role would involve team management and driver development and selection.[2] However, in March 2010, USF1 ceased operations due to sponsorship difficulties. On 25 June 2010 the FIA officially banned USF1 from any further participation in the sport, and the World Motor Sport Council fined them $380,000 USD for failing to meet their commitments for the 2010 race season.

[audio:http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/mp3.f1weekly.com/podcasts/09-25-13f1weekly637.mp3]

F1Weekly podcast # 636

Singapore GP

Clark and Nasir cover the Italian Grand Prix, we give you the Peter Brazier report and Tech Talk with Tim!

and here’s some great information about the Singapore Grand Prix—

DISCOVERING THE SINGAPORE GP—

Almost 1700 headlights fed by 2000W lamps placed on a 7-km-long aluminium truss which is supported by 247 steel pylons, a 214-km-long electric cables system, 475 switchboards, a 57-km-long optical fibers system, 47 closed-circuit cameras for race monitoring placed in the operations centre. More than 530 loudspeakers arranged in all the areas attended by the audience, 500 radios for the communication between race commissioners and race professionals, 160 days of hard work and hundreds of men engaged.” These are only some of the numbers which allow the whole world to attend the Singaporean GP, which is the F.1 World Championship’s 13th event, come to its 6th edition. The Marina Bay street circuit was inaugurated in 2008 and hosted the F.1 World Championship’s first night race. The circuit is getting ready to switch on its reflectors again on September 21-22.

Who makes all this possible it’s the Italian company DZ Engineering, which is headquartered in Forlì. The company has the honor and the duty of shedding some lights on the Singapore’s darkness “It takes a six-month-assembly and dismantling work to arrange a three-day-event. In fact, it’s a fully off-taking lighting system”, explains the Project Manager Mr. Roberto Grilli, “It takes 100 days to install it. At mid-May we start to setup all the infrastructures inside which the track lighting system, the close-circuit cameras for on-track operations and the loudspeakers for sound diffusion, will be placed. We need to have all systems installed by the end of August, as it takes 10 days for them to be tested. It’s an extremely accurate check; every single piece has to be tested and checked. The rest of the pre-race period is dedicated to headlights pointing and all the other systems’ fine tuning. The dismantling begins the same night of the race and it takes about one month to dismantle the whole system. All materials have to be scrupulously inventoried after they are stored in a government’ s property area” continues Mr. Grilli the engineer “ It has to be considered that we have to work in the heart of a very dynamic city and on streets which are open to daily traffic. The track is closed to traffic on the Wednesday night of the race week, only some streets are opened every morning to let traffic stream towards main streets. Furthermore, there are also some private areas to which access is allowed only in certain periods. So we have to follow a well-structured time schedule which makes our work very long.”

Descrizione: cid:image008.jpg@01CEAE3E.61EE84F0 The DZ Engineering’s name is also linked to the design and installation of all devices related to on-track safety, which is guaranteed through a close-circuit cameras system and a sound and communication system. Our trip in the Singaporean GP’s backstage begins through Roberto Grilli’s words “The Singapore’s project gather the company’s many skills. Even if track lighting is the activity which gives us more visibility from a media point of view, on the occasion of this race event, we are also in charge of designing and installing other technological systems which are integrated in the infrastructures, such as the TVCC, Audio

and Radio communication systems. All the system is fed by twelve stations which are deployed along the circuit. Each station is equipped with two 500 kVA power units working at the same time. In case of malfunction of one of the two units, the second one is able to support the whole electric load, which is equal to 30-35%. The track lighting system is made available through 1565 headlights powered by a 2000 W lamp, while the three tunnels are fed by 179 headlights powered by a 400 W lamp.”

Galleries and paddocks are lighted by respectively 98 and 80 headlights.” Since this year, the DZ Engineering is in charge of carrying out the lighting system of the advertising panels which are affixed on the side facades of the pedestrian bridges which cross the circuit “Considering that the track lighting system is installed only on one side of the circuit, it is necessary to increase the visibility of the advertising banners which are on the opposite side. Some special headlights will be installed on the truss, so that the beam of light can be shaped. Doing that, we act only on the area which has to be lighted up, avoiding dazzling drivers, cameras and audience.”

Descrizione: cid:image009.jpg@01CEAE3E.61EE84F0

Thanks also to the know-how gained by the company for what concerning the carrying out of the lighting system of some of the main artistic and historical places such as the Roman remains in Pompei and Paestum, the Temples’ Valley in Agrigento, the Singapore National Art Gallery, the Otranto’s Cathedral, the S.Vitale’s Benedictine historical complex in Ravenna (just to mention a few), since this year, the DZ Engineering is in charge of carrying out the lighting system of the pit stop area, whose façade will be lighted up for the first time “The Singapore’s government announced a tender for the lighting of ten sites of historical and artistic interest, whose value has to be increased during shooting.” The Government, through the Formula 1’s mass media exposure aims at promoting the State-City of Singapore to the whole world. “Doing that, the visibility of the city’s most important monuments and touristic attractions will be increased, creating an added value for the paying audience and television-viewers. So, starting from this year, the Pit Building’s façade will look different thanks to our cooperation with two other Italian companies: Namaste and Proietta. What is it? You only have to watch the GP to discover that”, ends Roberto Grilli.

Now we only have to wait for Vettel and Alonso to challenge each other in the Singaporean night, after the Red Bull’s successful race on the Monza’s fast straights. Ferrari will have to make a great effort and the Marina Bay Street Circuit could represent the last chance for the Italian team to be a candidate for the 2013 World title, before focusing on the 2014 season. It was the Red Bull’s German driver who won the Championship last season. The blond racer will be a contender for the win also in Singapore, ahead of Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso.

[audio:http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/mp3.f1weekly.com/podcasts/09-17-13f1weekly636.mp3]