FORMULA 1

VETTEL TAKES POLE POSITION IN BAHRAIN LCH TAKES GRID PENALTY!

LCH will start the Bahrain Grand Prix from only ninth as his rival Sebastian Vettel stormed to pole position.

Hamilton has been off the pace all weekend and, while he posted the fourth quickest lap in a thrill-a-minute qualifying session, he will be shunted down the order following his penalty for a gearbox change.

Kimi Raikkonen joins Vettel at the sharp end as Ferrari secured a front-row lockout with the Italian team laying down the championship gauntlet to Mercedes. Hamilton’s Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas was third.

Vettel finished 0.134 seconds clear of Raikkonen, with Bottas marginally further back. Hamilton was 0.262 seconds down on Vettel’s best lap.

“I was very happy that I got the second run and I got it clean,” Vettel said. “The car has been excellent all weekend so far, so I am looking forward to the race.

“If the car is responding to what you want to do, it is a pleasure to drive, otherwise it is a fight. Australia was more of a fight, but we have improved here.

“I feel good now, but tomorrow is a different story and it is a long race, but the car is quick so that usually helps.”

Daniel Ricciardo lines up in fifth for Red Bull, but his team-mate Max Verstappen – expected to be a contender for pole here – saw his ragged start to the new campaign continue after a 140mph shunt.

FORMULA 2

LANDO NORRIS TAKES AN EASY WIN IN BAHRAIN

British driver heads Carlin 1-2 finish with comfortable lead
Lando Norris secured his first FIA Formula 2 Championship victory in the Feature Race at Sakhir, Bahrain, mastering the hot and windy conditions to win with an 8.3s advantage over Carlin teammate Sergio Sette Camara, who held onto second place after a thrilling battle in the final stages of the race with RUSSIAN TIME’s Artem Markelov, the latter producing a spectacular recovery drive to secure the final podium position.
With the majority of the field, save from the Trident team, opting to start on the medium-compound tyres, degradation was a hotly anticipated factor in the race. An aborted start was called at the beginning, as Markelov and MP Motorsport’s Roberto Merhi stalled on the grid and prompted a second formation lap; the Russian then took to the pits to restart from the back of the field while the Spanish driver retired from mechanical failure.
At the second time of asking, Norris made a fantastic start to streak clear of the rest of the field, while Sette Camara took advantage of a slow start from George Russell to catapult himself into second. Russell, starting from the front row, also lost ground to a fast-starting Nyck de Vries and Nirei Fukuzumi, resulting in a scintillating scrap among them in the early stages of the race.
De Vries soon put a move on Sette Camara to grab second, allowing Norris to scamper off into the distance at the rate of a second per lap. Further behind, Alexander Albon surged past Russell and subsequently did battle with De Vries and Sette Camara, the latter of whom ultimately won out for second as the Dutchman began to drop back.
Seemingly unflappable in the lead, Norris had the luxury of not needing to react to the others once they’d begun to make their stops. Louis Delétraz opened proceedings among the top ten on lap 14, with Russell blinking a lap later – staying ahead of the Swiss driver. Sette Camara and Albon came in together later on and dropped behind Russell as they rejoined the track.

EUROPEAN FORMULA 3

F1Weekly Friend Flies in F3 Pre-Season Testing

Enaam Ahmed, the 2017 British F3 Champion, has now arrived in the European theater. The 18-year-old London lad has signed with Hitech Grand Prix team to compete in the 2018 FIA European Formula 3 Championship.

The talent pool is very deep. Apart from Enaam, other championship winning drivers include; Franco-Argentine Sacha Fenestraz (Formula Renault Euro cup), Kiwi Marcus Armstrong (Italian F4), Russian Robert Shwartzman (Toyota Racing Series) and Daniel Ticktum, sensational winner of last year’s Macau Grand Prix.

Experienced hands include Austrian Ferdinand Habsburg, Indian Jehan Daruvala and Mick Schumacher.

Late March, the combatants in this year’s series were busy in pre-season action, first at the Hungaroring and then at the Red Bull Ring in Austria. On the opening day of testing, making his first appearance at the home of Hungarian Grand Prix, Enaam clocked the ninth fastest time at 1:34.69 compared to fastest time of the day set by second-year driver Mick Schumacher; 1:34.30

On Day 2 at the Hungaroring, Enaam was third fastest (1:34.53) while his Spaniard teammate, Alex Palou, was fastest (1:34.30).

The F3 field moved from Budapest to Spielberg for another two days of testing at the Red Bull Ring. This time it was Red Bull Junior, Daniel Ticktum, who set the fastest time on the opening day; 1:23.03. Enaam was fourth and the fastest rookie at 1:23.15.

On the second and final day of testing Austria, Enaam continued with his impressive form. Mick (Mini Schumi) set the fastest lap at 1:22.82 while Enaam stayed in the top 5 with 1:23.13.

Third and final test session will take place at Misano, Italy on April 10-11.

Pau, with the Pyrennes in the background, is the first race of the season on May 12.

F1Weekly podcast # 752

CLARK AND NASIR TRY TO HIDE THEIR EXCITEMENT FOR THE NEXT GRAND PRIX IN BAHRAIN! WE HAVE A NICE GOODY BAG ON THE MOTORSPORTS HISTORY IN NORTH AFRICA AND THIS WEEKS SPECIAL INTERVIEW LONG TIME F1W LISTENER AND MOTORSPORTS JOURNALIST CHRISTOPHER DEHARDE!

WE WOULD ALSO LIKE TO PROVIDE YOU WITH WILLIAMS MARTINI RACING’S BAHRAIN GRAND PRIX PREVIEW…

Lance Stroll: As usual, this will certainly be a hot weekend. I enjoy the track, and it has a good rhythm to it. The conditions during the weekend are always tricky because practice is during the day and then qualifying and the race are at night. This means there is a lot of adapting going on throughout the weekend. However, I think it is going to be a good one and am looking forward to getting back there.
Sergey Sirotkin: I can’t wait for the weekend to begin. It was a very tough weekend in Melbourne and I really feel like I need another shot to bring us back to where we think we deserve to be, and to start everything from zero, and to try and get some confidence back in all of us. I know the track quite well and I think it suits some strong points of our car. I’m looking forward to it and let’s see what we can do.
[audio:http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/mp3.f1weekly.com/podcasts/04-04-18f1weekly752.mp3]

F1Weekly podcast # 751

CLARK AND NASIR SHARE THEIR THRILL OVER THE AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX RESULTS AND TRY TO MAKE SENSE OF IT ALL! THIS WEEKS SPECIAL INTERVIEW IS WITH TREVOR CARLIN
A LITTLE SOMETHING ABOUT CARLIN….
“TO BRING PROFESSIONALISM, PASSION, A RECORD OF WINNING AND TEAM SPIRIT TO EVERY PROJECT AND CHAMPIONSHIP WHICH WE ARE PART OF. TO TAKE THIS CARLIN ETHOS TO EVERY LEVEL OF MOTORSPORT FROM THE MOST JUNIOR TO THE HIGHEST ECHELONS OF OUR SPORT.”

Carlin are one of the largest teams outside Formula 1 with race winning experience in a variety of championships including British F3, Porsche Supercup, World Series by Nissan, Formula Renault 3.5, A1GP, FIA Formula 3 European Championship, GP3 Series and GP2 Series.

Some of today’s most successful drivers have passed through the doors of Carlin, including racers in F1, IndyCar, WTCC and DTM. F1 drivers such as Sebastian Vettel, Daniel Ricciardo, Kevin Magnussen and Daniil Kvyat among others, add up to almost half of the current F1 field who are former alumni.

Part of the Capsicum group, the management team at Carlin provide a great combination of business skills and racing knowledge. Ensuring a stable business base for the team are CEO Grahame (Chily) Chilton, long-term motorsport enthusiast and Rupert Swallow, Managing Director, complimenting Trevor Carlin’s wealth of experience and knowledge in motorsport.

Today, based out of the team’s bespoke facility in Farnham, Surrey, we compete in F4 British Championship, BRDC Formula 3, EuroFormula Open, and the FIA Formula 3 European Championship.

Carlin’s 2016 championship winning Indy Lights squad are based out of the team’s U.S workshop in Delray Beach, Florida. The Delray Beach workshop is also the base for our expanding projects in the U.S.

[audio:http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/mp3.f1weekly.com/podcasts/03-28-18f1weekly751.mp3]

FORMULA RENAULT

CHRISTIAN LUNDGAARD LEADS THE WAY AT PAUL RICARD

Christian Lundgaard (MP Motorsport) was quickest on day one of the Formula Renault Eurocup collective tests at Circuit Paul Ricard. The Renault Sport Academy driver got the better of Oscar Piastri (Arden Motorsport) by a mere 0.001s. The two rookies were followed by Yifei Ye (Josef Kaufmann Racing). Logan Sargeant (R-ace GP) set best time in the morning session on the track that will host the opening round of the season from April 13-15.

28 drivers are on hand for the second 2018 pre-season test that is being held on the re-surfaced and slightly modified Circuit Paul Ricard that will host the F1 French Grand Prix in June.

Straight away, the pace was elevated with the record established by Lando Norris in 2016 being beaten. The time was lowered even further in the final half hour before the early stoppage provoked by Clément Novalak (Josef Kaufmann Racing). Logan Sargeant led the way with a lap of 2:01.881s. Christian Lundgaard, Oscar Piastri, Alex Peroni (MP Motorsport) and Yifei Ye completed the top five.

In the afternoon, Yifei Ye was the first to improve the morning benchmark time, but the Chinese driver was dislodged by Oscar Piastri and Christian Lundgaard. With a time of 2:01.083s, the Danish member of the Renault Sport Academy set best time of the day by 0.001s. The two rookies were followed by Yifei Ye, Richard Verschoor (Josef Kaufmann Racing) and Max Defourny (MP Motorsport).

Morning session – Afternoon session
Best time for Christian Lundgaard

Christian Lundgaard (MP Motorsport): “Paul Ricard is among my favourite circuits, but I wasn’t as fast as expected when I was here in November. Today, our performance showed the progress we’ve made and we need to keep the momentum going. More than the new track surface, the biggest change is where some of the corners have been widened, especially the T1-T2 section and T5, which is a clear improvement.”

The Premiere Motorsport Podcast