Tag Archives: Alonso

WEC

PEUGEOT TO RETURN TO LE MANS 2022

Peugeot Sport has announced that it will join the FIA World Endurance Championship’s ‘Hypercar’ top class from 2022 onwards.  The French marque made this short announcement via social media, stating simply that it will enter with a ‘Hybrid-Powered’ Hypercar, with “More news to come at the beginning of 2020.”

This announcement marks the return to the top of endurance racing and the Le Mans 24 Hours for Peugeot, after eight years away. It was last seen back in 2011, where it competed in the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup (including the Le Mans 24 Hours) with diesel-powered 908 LMP1 cars.

Peugeot’s diesel prototypes ruled Le Mans in 2009. Image by Kevin Wood/LAT

“Superb news from Peugeot!” FIA WEC CEO Gerard Neveu said in reaction to the news. “We can’t wait for you to rejoin the FIA WEC family!”

The brand was due to enter the FIA WEC in its inaugural season back in 2012 to compete against Audi and Toyota with a hybrid-powered 908 (Hybrid4), but pulled the plug on its program just weeks before the season opener at Sebring for financial reasons.

Peugeot stated that the “cost savings permitted by the WEC’s new Hypercar regulations and the confirmation that the series will feature hybrid power units led the Groupe PSA Executive Committee to approve the Peugeot brand’s proposal to participate in the world’s premier endurance racing championship from 2022.”

“I am very excited at the prospect of channeling the skills and passion of my team into this project,” said PSA Motorsport Director Jean-Marc Finot “It is a new challenge and I know our experts will rise to it with another demonstration of their will to win with teams financed by the Group’s brands, fueled by their long experience of top-flight FIA championships and hunger for success.”

Peugeot Brand Director Jean-Philippe Imparato added: “The changes that the FIA WEC is introducing fit now with the transition we are undergoing ourselves with the electrification of our range and the launch of high-performance products, developed in close association with PSA Motorsport and foreshadowed by the Concept 508 Peugeot Sport Engineered. These initiatives are completely in tune with Peugeot’s ‘Motion and E-motion’ brand signature.”

FORMULA 1

MAX TAKES POLE WHILST BOTTAS CRASHES

Verstappen celebrated his pole for Sunday’s Mexican Grand Prix but the Dutchman is likely to face stern criticism for what many will see as the dangerous manner with which he sealed the place. His final two laps were superb but for a driver still trying to shake off a reputation for recklessness and lapses of judgment, he was surprisingly unconcerned by his decision not to slow as he rounded the final corner, where Valtteri Bottas’s Mercedes lay after crashing into the barriers.

Verstappen took pole ahead of the two Ferraris of Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel in second and third, with Lewis Hamilton in fourth for Mercedes. Hamilton’s title hopes, however, may yet have taken a boost if Bottas takes grid penalties for the repairs to his car.

Valtteri Bottas emerges from the wreckage of his car. Photograph: Pixathlon/Shutterstock

Verstappen had been quick throughout but the crucial moments came in the final seconds of the final session. He held the top spot from his first run but as Bottas went though the final corner, he clipped the wall and took a major, 17G impact. The stricken car was left at the side of the track but Bottas was unharmed.

Verstappen entered the corner shortly afterwards, where stewards were waving single yellow flags, denoting that drivers should slow down. However, there appeared to be no yellow indicators on the Dutchman’s dashboard. He would have been expected to back off and in the past drivers have had times set under yellow flags deleted.

Verstappen said he had not slowed. “I was aware Valtteri crashed,” he said. When asked if he had backed off, he made no attempt at deception. “It didn’t really look like it, did it? No.”

F1Weekly podcast # 807

CLARK AND NASIR FINALLY GET TO THE CONFUSING JAPANESE GRAND PRIX AND IN THE PROCESS PRODUCE A VERY CONFUSING PODCAST! AND, LOOKING TOWARDS THE MEXICAN GP HERE ARE SOME THOUGHTS FROM SERGIO PEREZ…

Sergio: “The race in Mexico is a hugely important weekend for me. It’s my home race and I always feel very proud to see Formula 1 back in Mexico. We’ve just had the notice that the race contract has been extended for another three years, which is great news for the sport and for Mexico. Everybody tells me how much they love the race – my colleagues, the media and the fans. It’s our chance to show everybody the Mexican way of life and how much we love sports.
“The track is a pretty challenging one – especially when you consider we are driving the cars at a high altitude. It’s tough on the drivers physically and it’s hard work for the power unit as well because the air is so thin.

“I think the final sector is my favourite part of the lap – the fast and flowing section, which can be very tricky, and it’s easy to make a mistake through there. Because of the altitude, you have much less downforce on the car and the car can sometimes get quite loose through those fast corners.

“The final sector also has the stadium section and when it’s full of fans the atmosphere is like nothing else. Each time I drive through there, even during practice, I can hear the fans and feel their support.

“Overtaking is never easy, but I think the best opportunity is into Turn 1 – that’s where we’ve seen most of the moves being made.”

Play Podcast: 10-22-19f1weekly807.mp3

DAKAR RALLY

Dakar glory up in the air as convoy arrives in La Paz for Rest Day

clockwise) Antoine Méo, Carlos Sainz, Eduard Nikolaev and Ignacio Casale © Marcelo Maragni/Red Bull Content Pool

When you reach for glory at the Dakar Rally you have to stretch up high, 4,700 metres above sea level to be precise. As the race left Peru and transferred to Bolivia’s Altiplano we witnessed the first day of extreme altitude. While some competitors took the chance to soar up the general rankings others dropped like stones as the harsh conditions got the better of them.

Standing up to the altitude in the bike race was Antoine Méo (FRA) who recorded his first stage win of this Dakar. Red Bull KTM Factory Team rider Méo is back for his second attempt at the Dakar after a distinguished Enduro career. Today’s stage win has pushed the French rider up to 7th overall, just over 10 minutes behind new race leader Kevin Benavides (ARG).

“I thought to myself ‘now is my time to make the difference’ so I really pushed. I knew there was a risk that I could crash but this was one of those times when everything went well.” – Antoine Méo

Also putting in strong rides on the path to La Paz were Méo’s team-mates Toby Price (AUS) and Matthias Walkner (AUT). Former Dakar winner Price was third fastest on the stage to move to 6th overall while Walkner remains third overall and under three minutes behind Benavides.

“We know from previous years how much things can change in Bolivia and also we still have two marathon stages to ride. There are still some tricky days to come that’s for sure.” – Matthias Walkner

Fellow KTM rider Laia Sanz (ESP) is staying on course for her pre-race target with 18th place on the stage lifting her to 16th overall.

“I’m happy because I’m improving my position in the overall classification and this is what I need to do until the end.” – Laia Sanz

While today’s stage from Arequipa to La Paz was shortened for the bikes there were no such concessions made for the cars as they raced the entire 313km timed special. Carlos Sainz (ESP) won the stage with an exhibition of speed, but could not make too much of a dent in the overall lead of Peugeot team-mate Stéphane Peterhansel (FRA) which now stands at 27m10s over the Spaniard.

“There is still a lot of racing left, with stages that are 400 and 500 kilometres long, as well as the marathon stage.” – Carlos Sainz

Race leader Stéphane Peterhansel (FRA) opened the stage and put in yet another extremely professional performance to clock his category’s second quickest time.

“The main problem is altitude for the driver and for the engine. We lost a lot of power and we lost concentration – you know, the brain also works in slow motion, so it was a little bit complicated.”– Stéphane Peterhansel

The Peugeot 3008DKR Maxi of Cyril Despres (FRA) claimed the car class’s fifth fastest time. Meanwhile, Peterhansel was actually able to increase his advantage over chasing Toyota Gazoo Racing SA pair Nasser Al-Attiyah (QAT) and Giniel De Villiers (ZAF).

“It’s always good to have variation: some dunes, some stages like this with really fast rally roads, really very enjoyable to drive, but the dunes are also a different challenge and that’s also nice.” – Giniel De Villiers

There was no podium place for Ignacio Casale (CHI) in the quad contest on stage six but he was still upbeat in the La Paz bivouac. Despite finishing 4th on the stage the 2014 Dakar quad champion was still able to increase his overall lead to 41m30s from his nearest rival Alexis Hernandez (PER).

In the truck race it was a good day for Team Kamaz Master as race leader Eduard Nikolaev (RUS) saw his team-mates Ayrat Mardeev (RUS)Dmitry Sotnikov (RUS) and Anton Shibalov (RUS) all join him in the Top 15 on stage six.

Tomorrow brings with it a much needed Rest Day for the competitors as their vehicles are handed over to the mechanics for a comprehensive tune up. Expect battle plans for the second week to be drawn up in La Paz by those still in with a shot at Dakar glory.

The 40th edition of the Dakar Rally takes place from January 6 until January 20. Watch daily updates of all the action from South America at www.RedBull.com/Dakar.

F1Weekly podcast # 741

CLARK AND NASIR GO OVER THE EXCITING FINAL RACE OF THE 2017 FORMULA 1 SEASON IN ABU DHABI AND WHEN THE F1 SEASON ENDS THE 2018 MOTORSPORT MEMORIES CALENDAR “THE ART OF RACING” BEGINS!! GET YOURS TODAY!

The 2018 theme, “The Art of Racing”, is a tribute to great grand prix designers. The world of Formula One motor racing has seen some beautiful racing machines driven to success by legendary names.

Gioachino Colombo designed the graceful Maserati 250 F which was driven to one of the greatest wins in grand prix racing by Juan Manuel Fangio at the Nurburgring in 1957. Ron Tauranac designed cars for his Aussie mate, Jack Brabham. “The Black Jack” drove their 1966 creation to championship success. Colin Chapman was one of the greatest engineering minds. His “simplify”, then add lightness” to Lotus racing cars took names like Clark, Hill, Rindt, Fittipaldi and Andretti to championship glory.

The modern masters, Gordon Murray, Mauro Forghieri, Ross Brawn and Adrian Newey are also profiled.

[audio:http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/mp3.f1weekly.com/podcasts/11-28-17f1weekly741.mp3]

INDYCAR SERIES

ALONSO VISITS BARBER AHEAD OF INDIANAPOLIS 500

A racer is a racer is a racer. If nothing more can be gleaned from Fernando Alonso’s visit today to Barber Motorsports Park – and his plan to race in the 101st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil on May 28 – it’s that racers share one goal: to be faster than the rest, no matter the car or venue.

And to do that, they occasionally need assistance from other racers.

The two-time Formula One champion explained that he’ll need help to be competitive at Indianapolis next month, so he’s relying on his five temporary teammates at Andretti Autosport – Ryan Hunter-Reay, Marco Andretti, Alexander Rossi, Takuma Sato and Jack Harvey – to help him get up to speed.

“I need to learn all of these things,” Alonso said. “To learn them alone would take two years. To learn it with some help would take six months. But I have two weeks. I will need a lot of help.”

Alonso has 32 F1 victories and championships in 2005 and 2006 to his credit. Aside from some Indy 500 warmups on a simulator in Italy, though, he has no experience with Indianapolis Motor Speedway, oval tracks or Indy cars.

“I will need the help to be competitive,” he said. “I’m very open-minded, knowing that the series is completely different, the cars are completely different and superspeedways require a driving technique and a driving feeling that’s completely different and that I don’t have yet.”

Alonso met his teammates Saturday night after arriving at Barber to watch today’s Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama presented by America’s First. From there, he’ll travel to Andretti Autosport headquarters in Indianapolis on Monday for a seat fitting and more time on a simulator. He’ll then travel to Sochi, Russia, for next weekend’s Russian Grand Prix and his fulltime job with the McLaren Honda F1 team before returning to Indianapolis Motor Speedway for a solo test in the McLaren-Andretti Honda on May 3.

That’s when the sorting of the details will commence.

“The setup of the car is extremely important, because the difference is in milliseconds,” Alonso said. “To set up the car for different parts of the race in different wind direction and fuel loads in the car, tire degradation – there are many things that you need to make small adjustments, apparently, that I have no idea about.”

For now, Alonso is just taking as much in as he can and relying on his fellow racers in the process.

“There are many, many things – more than people can imagine,” Alonso said. “There are little things when you’re driving at those speeds and you have all those things going on – the radio, etc. – but we are professional drivers and we should be able to deal with it.”