Category Archives: Motorsport Mondial


EA on the Go in Pau

F1Weekly friend, Enaam Ahmed – the runaway 2017 British F3 Champion – started his international motor racing career in grand style, hustling in the season opener of the 2018 FIA European F3 in the streets of Pau, and emerging in the top three of the championship after three races.

Pau, located in south of France by the Pyrenees mountains, has a rich racing heritage; names like Fangio and Clark have been victorious here. Montoya once lapped the entire field to win an F3000 race. Lewis Hamilton has seen success here also.

For the first of three races of the weekend Enaam posted the fifth fastest time in his group (B), his time on his maiden voyage on a street circuit was 1’10 “357, very impressive as pole position time, set by Daniel Ticktum, was 1’10” 013.

Guan Yu Zhou, now in his third year in the series, made history by becoming the first Chinese driver to win in European F3. Enaam was 6th in his Mercedes-powered Dallara. He was the second best placed driver, behind Kiwi Marcus Armstrong, among racers making their first appearance in Pau.

In qualifying for race 2, French driver, Sacha Fenestraz, who raced last year at Pau in the Formula Renault Euro Cup, took pole (1’23″620) after a close battle with Enaam; (1’23″623). The two went cockpit-to-cockpit at the start, going into turn 2 Enaam attempted to take the lead but ran out of real estate, and after a love tap from Hitech GP teammate, Spaniard Alex Palou, dropped to 6th at the end of the opening lap. Enaam soldiered on to claim a top 5 finish.

The third and final race of the weekend, the main event Pau Grand Prix started in wet conditions, with only Sacha Fenestraz on slicks. Enaam was on pole position but wheelspin when the lights went out allowed Estonian Ralf Aron to take the lead. On lap 8 Armstrong hit the barriers, so did the Austrian Ferdinand Habsburg, which brought out the safety car. The race was later red flagged, further increase in rainfall led to the race to be declared over. Thus, only half points were awarded.

The opening round of the season saw three different winners, and two rookies in the top three in the championship. Sacha Fenestraz leads (37 points), third year driver Aron is second (34.5 points) and Enaam is third (27 points).

Speaking to Enaam said; “I am really delighted to have scored a podium finish already in my first weekend of racing in the FIA Formula 3 European championship. Here I am up against the world’s best Junior drivers and now I am bringing a pole position and a podium result home that is really great.”

EA in pre-season testing at the Red Bull Ring.

Round 2 is on the first weekend of June at the Hungaroring.

Nasir Hameed



This year, for the first time ever, Citroën will grace the 18th fairway as a featured marque at the 2018 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance on August 26th. The Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance poster, painted by Barry Rowe, commemorates this historic moment.

“Interest in Citroën among collectors has seen exponential growth in recent years, and the Concours is pleased to showcase custom coachwork Citroëns that offer the best of French technology and design,” said Concours Chairman Sandra Button.

Citroën’s iconic spaceship-like DS made its debut at the 1955 Paris Auto Show, where the unmistakable sheet metal garnered over 80,000 orders by the end of the week. The DS platform was far ahead of its time, featuring hydraulic systems for the brakes, steering, and transmission, and most notably a revolutionary hydro-pneumatic suspension. This specific advancement in automotive technology made the DS one of the most stable autobahn cruisers ever created, and allowed for self-leveling, decreased dive under braking, jack-less tire changes—the car could raise an individual wheel—and an unparalleled luxurious ride. Moreover, the unique style of the DS made it an attractive canvas for coachbuilders such as Henri Chapron; custom Citroëns subsequently sustained the art into the 1970s.

Citroën enthusiast Jeffrey Fisher likens Citroëns to couturier dresses—“because they featured some of the highest number of interior and exterior permutations for a car ever.” The Tour poster features three cars from Fisher’s collection that illustrate the progression of the Citroën DS from middle class family car to postwar work of art.

At the forefront of the poster is the two-tone blue 1966 Citroën DS 21 Chapron Le Léman Coupé, one of roughly 130 Chapron Coupés produced, and one of about 24 with the Le Léman specific roofline. This very car (chassis no. 4350020) graced the stage at the 1966 Geneva Motor Show and represents the pinnacle of postwar Citroën custom coachwork. The green 1967 DS 21 Chapron Cabriolet d’Usine was transformed to convertible specification straight from the factory and sold new for roughly twice the cost of a conventional saloon. The Jaune Jonquille, or Daffodil Yellow, DS 19 exemplifies the essence of the early, groundbreaking DS saloons. All three of these Citroëns have been fully restored by renowned Citroën expert Vincent Crescia, who currently operates out of the very building that housed his father’s Citroën dealership years ago.

The Host of F1Weekly Clark Rodgers driving on the 2014 Melee car rally in his 1952 Citroen 11BL Traction Avant

F1Weekly podcast # 757



Driver: Jake Dennis
Car: RB14
Laps: 75
Best time: 1:20.440
Circuit length: 4.655km
Fastest Lap: V. Bottas (1:16.904)
The second and final day of the first in-season Formula 1 test of the year saw a new name on the timesheets for Aston Martin Red Bull Racing as Simulator Development Driver Jake Dennis took part in his test debut for the Team. And despite a number of red flags in the afternoon session, GT racer Dennis completed 75 laps of the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya as he gained valuable real-world experience of the RB14 to aid with the team’s simulator programme, and as the team continued to evaluate test items targeted at upcoming races.
Commenting on his first track outing for the team, Jake said: “My first day in the RB14 went really well. Obviously it’s a big step up from what I’m used to in GT racing but I got used to the speed and the grip quite quickly and we managed to get through the whole run plan in the end. The morning session went pretty smoothly and then in the afternoon I managed to get quite a few laps under my belt, which was good. It was nice to change a few things to give me a proper representation of the difference between the simulator and real life. So we have a few things to work on back in Milton Keynes to help Max and Daniel and make it even more realistic for them. But overall, super happy, a big thanks to the team for giving me the opportunity, and hopefully I’ll be back in the RB14 soon!”



British driver masters difficult conditions to claim maiden win
Jack Aitken managed a flurry of virtual safety car periods to collect his first FIA Formula 2 Championship victory in the Sprint Race in Barcelona, Spain, assuming the lead at the start of the race and holding on to claim ART Grand Prix’s second win of the weekend, ahead of DAMS’ Alexander Albon and Carlin’s Lando Norris.
Although the circuit was damp following overnight rain and a short spell of drizzle in the morning, all driver started on medium-compound slicks as no further downpours were expected throughout. Polesitter Artem Markelov had a poor start, dropping down the order as Aitken darted to the front of the pack ahead of Sergio Sette Camara, clearing a wild first lap behind them as Nyck de Vries went wide at turn 4 before Roberto Merhi went sideways on the exit of the same corner.
Keeping his head cool, Aitken had found a 3.3s advantage over Sette Camara after the opening lap, the British driver setting the early quick laps before the first Virtual Safety Car period was introduced for de Vries’ stopped car, the PREMA driver spinning at turn 10 before coming to a halt. At the return of green flag running, Sette Camara went wide at the same corner to allow Albon and Norris through, while Aitken had managed the restart to perfection to assume a gap of 11.7s over the Thai driver.
A full safety car period emerged shortly after, as Japanese duo Tadasuke Makino and Nirei Fukuzumi tangled at turn 3 which eradicated Aitken’s lead as the two cars were cleared from the barrier. Aitken handled the restart adeptly, goading Albon into getting close before accelerating away to retain his lead, leaving the DAMS driver in the clutches of the chasing Norris.
Albon and Norris proceeded to draw nearer to Aitken after the ART driver briefly ran wide, while Luca Ghiotto nestled in behind the leading trio to pick up any pieces. Recomposing himself, Aitken hit back with a series of fastest laps to keep Albon out of DRS range, leaving Norris to occupy his mirrors. Behind them, Sette Camara had fallen some way behind and the Brazilian fell victim to Feature Race winner George Russell before subsequently pulling over at the side of the road with a mechanical issue – requiring a second VSC period to remove the lifeless Carlin.
Aitken increased his gap over Albon at the lap 15 restart, with Norris falling back dangerously close to Ghiotto. The Italian driver grabbed DRS on the following lap, but was too far back to seriously challenge for third place. Behind, Russell was hunting the pair down, bringing himself into DRS range of Ghiotto – delicately tucking his car down the inside of the Campos driver at the start of the 20th lap to claim fourth.
With Albon having his hands full trying to keep Norris away, Aitken was able to scamper up the road with a 2.8s lead before a third virtual safety car, called to clear the parked MP Motorsport car of Ralph Boschung after the Swiss driver sustained a heavy lock-up trying to pass Santino Ferrucci, puncturing his front-left tyre in the process. The race resumed with three laps left, Aitken surging ahead once more, but the Brit lost a full second to Albon on the penultimate lap. Dusting himself off, Aitken found time on his final lap to sweep home for his first F2 win, 1.5s clear of Albon in second.
Norris took third, some five seconds ahead of Russell who collected the fastest lap on the final tour of the circuit, while Ghiotto was further back. Sean Gelael produced an impressive overtaking display to grab sixth ahead of Antonio Fuoco. Nicholas Latifi fought tooth and nail with Markelov for the final point, even making contact in the penultimate corner, leaving the Canadian to hang on to eighth.



French driver keeps cool to collect win in damp Barcelona
Giuliano Alesi kept his cool in a damp GP3 Series Race 2 in Barcelona, Spain, producing a trio of flawless safety car restarts to ensure the Trident driver secured victory, keeping second-placed ART Grand Prix driver Anthoine Hubert at arm’s reach throughout the race as Jake Hughes took third place having started from 13th on the grid.
With overnight rain resulting in a damp track, a quick flurry of drizzle before the race cemented the need for the field to bolt on sets of wet tyres, with only Will Palmer gambling on a set of slicks. Alesi grabbed the lead from polesitter Juan Manuel Correa, who attempted to squeeze the French driver to the other side of the circuit before conceding defeat, as his Jenzer Motorsport team-mate David Beckmann went off at turn 5 from third after contact with Leonardo Pulcini.
Hubert was next to pick off Correa, passing the American around the outside of turn 12 before going after Alesi, but a third lap crash for Pedro Piquet brought out the first safety car – the Brazilian driver losing control on the exit of turn 9. The race resumed on lap 7, Alesi capably defusing a potential attack from Hubert as he dealt with the restart perfectly, before setting a pair of fastest laps on his next two tours of the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
Correa then continued to drop back, and lost third place to Hughes before then coming under heavy fire from Callum Ilott, who himself was under pressure from Dorian Boccolacci. Meanwhile, Alesi had built a three second lead over Hubert by lap 10, before their countryman Gabriel Aubry was edged into the gravel while battling with Arden teammate Joey Mawson to welcome a second safety car.
Jenzer used the opportunity to attempt slick-tyre gambles with Beckmann and Tatiana Calderon, despite Palmer’s series of struggles on the compound. Once more, Alesi comfortably dealt with the restart, while Beckmann immediately found himself running wide at Turn 5 at the resumption of the race to foreshadow Calderon’s off-moment a lap later. The Colombian, however, was left stranded in the gravel, adding a third safety car period to the race to shorten the distance by an overall lap.
The safety car came in for a final lap shootout, which Alesi managed to perfection to keep Hubert at bay. Setting the fastest lap, Alesi crossed the line two seconds ahead of his compatriot, who had to deal with a late challenge from Hughes as Correa managed to ward off a rapid Boccolacci for fourth. Niko Kari muscled past Ilott in the latter stages to grab sixth from last on the grid, as Simo Laaksonen took the final point on offer for eighth place.



Event: 01 Pau
Session: race 1
Track: Circuit de Pau / F
Pole position: Daniel Ticktum (Motopark)
Race winner: Guanyu Zhou (PREMA Theodore Racing)
Weather: overcast, 16.2 °C

Chinese driver Guanyu Zhou (PREMA Theodore Racing) collected the first winner’s trophy in the 2018 FIA Formula 3 European Championship. Zhou, a member of the Ferrari Driver Academy for many years, took the lead at the start and won after 24 laps from Ralf Aron (PREMA Theodore Racing) and Red Bull junior driver Daniel Ticktum (Motopark). At the 2.76 kilometre long street circuit of Pau, Sacha Fenestraz (Carlin), the only Frenchman in the field, was classified fourth and the best-placed rookie. Fellow rookies Marcus Armstrong (PREMA Theodore Racing) and Enaam Ahmed (Hitech Bullfrog GP) rounded out the top six.

Daniel Ticktum started the race from pole position, but it was Guanyu Zhou who pipped him at the start and the Brit slotted into second place. In the opening stages, Ralf Aron was third ahead of Robert Shvartzman (PREMA Theodore Racing). On lap four, a ‘full course yellow’ (FCY) was called by race control after a crash by Devlin DeFrancesco (Carlin). During a FCY, the drivers have to reduce their speed and keep the gap to the driver in front of them consistent.

The drivers just having returned to racing speed, Ferrari protégé Shvartzman dropped back to ninth, which made Renault junior Sacha Fenestraz, now in fourth position, the best-placed rookie. Almost at the same time, a crash by Ben Hingeley (Hitech Bullfrog GP) prompted the first safety car intervention.

At the start of lap nine, racing resumed and Aron used the situation to overtake Ticktum. Only one lap later, Mick Schumacher (PREMA Theodore Racing) and Fabio Scherer (Motopark) collided, causing Schumacher to drop back to 19th and Scherer to 15th place. Just before the end of the race, Keyvan Soori Andres (Van Amersfoort Racing) hit the barriers from twelfth place and thus caused the second safety car procedure.

Once this was over, Fenestraz mounted a final challenge on Ticktum for third, but the Brit successfully defended his position. As there were no changes up front, Zhou scored his maiden victory in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship from Aron, Ticktum and Fenestraz. Behind Marcus Armstrong and Enaam Ahmed, Alex Palou (Hitech Bullfrog GP), Robert Shwartzman, Marino Sato (Motopark) and Jüri Vips (Motopark) rounded out the top ten. Mick Schumacher eventually crossed the finish line in 15th.

Guanyu Zhou (PREMA Theodore Racing): “I had a good start of the race. After that, I only had to be careful to stay in the lead at the restarts. Being the first Chinese driver to win a single-seater race in an FIA championship is a great feeling. I am very happy about this.”