Tag Archives: GP2

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.”

F1Weekly podcast # 725

NASIR CONTINUES TO CONSOLE CLARK ON THE DISASTER AT MCLAREN. IS BOTTAS JUST A NUMBER TWO? WE HAVE ANOTHER GREAT MOTORSPORTS MONDIAL WITH THIS WEEKS INTERVIEW…INDY LIGHTS DRIVER AARON TELITZ

After winning a dramatic 2016 Pro Mazda Championship, Telitz now sits on the doorstep of the Indianapolis 500. In 2017 Telitz will compete in the prestigious Indy Lights Championship. For the second time in his career Telitz will step up to the next rung on the Mazda Road to Indy with scholarship support from Mazda North America and Mazdaspeed. Only the fourth driver in the history of the Road to Indy to win multiple Mazda scholarships, he looks to follow other scholarship winners into the Verizon IndyCar Series.

Accomplishments
2016
Pro Mazda Championship
Series Champion – 6 wins, 13 Podiums
Series Rookie of the Year Award Winner

2015
USF2000 National Championship
3rd in Championship – 1 Win, 12 Podiums

2014
USF2000 National Championship
Rookie of the year Award Winner
4th in Championship – 1 Win, 5 Podiums
Team USA Scholarship Award Winner
Prestigious scholarship awarded top Jr. Level American driver
Pole Winner – Walter Hayes Trophy – Brands Hatch, England
Pole Winner – Formula Ford Festival – Silverstone, England
2013
Mazdaspeed / Skip Barber Racing Scholarship Shootout
Shootout Champion – $200,000 Mazdaspeed Scholarship
F1600 Championship Series
3rd in Championship, 1 Win, 6 Podiums

2012
Skip Barber Race Series – Winter Series
2nd in points championship, 3 wins, 6 Podiums
Skip Barber Race Series – Summer Series
5 wins, 4 Podiums (scored first win in first weekend)

The Beginning
Aaron began racing karts at age 7, winning several local and regional championships before starting his car career with a scholarship from Mazda and the Skip Barber Racing School.

Career Goals
Long Term – Aaron has two main goals: Win the Verizon IndyCar Series Championship and the Indianapolis 500.
Short Term – To win the 2017 Indy Lights Championship to gain entry into the Verizon IndyCar Series​.

[audio:http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/mp3.f1weekly.com/podcasts/04-20-17f1weekly725.mp3]

FORMULA 2

LECLERC STORMS TO DRAMATIC SPRINT WIN

Charles Leclerc made use of an unexpected Plan B to blast to a dramatic win in this afternoon’s FIA Formula 2 Championship sprint race at the Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir, Bahrain, stopping for fresh rubber from the lead of the race and emerging in P14 before fighting all the way back up for victory ahead of a crestfallen Luca Ghiotto and Oliver Rowland.

With conditions hot but slightly cooler than yesterday thanks to strong winds the teams were looking for options on a circuit renowned for its abrasive surface, but the decision to make a pitstop in a sprint race was one that took most observers by surprise, particularly coming from the lead: the fightback topped off a superb weekend of racing after Artem Markelov’s strong comeback yesterday.

There was drama at the front of the grid before the start when poleman Nobuharu Matsushita failed to make it out on time, forcing the frustrated Japanese driver to start from the pitlane. But when the lights went out his ART teammate pushed front row starter Ghiotto hard from P3, with the Italian braking as late as possible to slide inside and into the lead at turn 1 ahead of Albon, a fast starting Leclerc, Norman Nato, Jordan King, Oliver Rowland and Artem Markelov.

Nato was soon out of the race after a come together with King, and the resultant safety car period gave everyone a breather for 2 laps before going live again, with Leclerc making short work of disposing former teammate Albon, followed almost immediately by Rowland, and then Markelov next time round. The Russian was looking for more after his success yesterday, blasting into the podium positions by deposing Rowland on lap 7 and setting the fastest lap, but 3 laps later he was in the pits, switching from his options to a set of primes as Leclerc led the way, having grabbed the lead from Ghiotto the lap before.

Antonio Fuoco was looking to emulate his teammate: after starting in P9 he was up to P4 on lap 11 by easing past King, giving the hurry up to Rowland. 2 laps later the Briton barged past Ghiotto for P2, leaving the Italians to squabble among themselves, before Leclerc dropped a bombshell by pitting on lap 15, emerging ahead of Markelov and wasting no time in fighting back towards the lead, now held by Rowland, setting the fastest lap in the process.

In a 23 lap race it seemed impossible that the Monegasque driver could force his way back, and the action continued at the front of the race as King snuck past Fuoco, giving him the space to look forward to Rowland instead of in his mirrors. The Briton was falling back towards the Italian as Leclerc broke back into the points positions, and on the penultimate lap the inevitable happened as Ghiotto forced his way into the lead, just as Leclerc blasted by King for P3.

And on the final lap Leclerc on fresher rubber easily dispatched Rowland on the front straight and Ghiotto in the back section of the circuit before cruising to his maiden win ahead of the pair, to the obvious delight of his PREMA team. Behind then Nicholas Latifi had done a superb job of managing his tyre for P4 from P11 on the grid ahead of King, with Nyck De Vries grabbing his first points for 6th from 10th at the start ahead of Albon, and Markelov rounding out the points in P8.

After the first round Leclerc leads Markelov by 36 points to 28, ahead of Rowland on 20, with Ghiotto, Nato and King on 18, while in the Teams’ Championship RUSSIAN TIME is on top with 46 points ahead of PREMA Racing on 38, DAMS on 28, with Pertamina Arden and MP Motorsport on 18 points as they look forward to the next round of the championship in Barcelona, Spain on 12-14 May.

FORMULA 1

BOTTAS BEATS LCH TO POLE IN BAHRAIN

Bottas beat LCH to pole position for the first time on Saturday, going quickest in qualifying for the Bahrain Grand Prix.

The Finn improved dramatically during the final session, while Ferrari and Red Bull failed to build on the promise shown in the practice sessions. Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo will start on the second row, with Kimi Raikkonen and Max Verstappen finishing fifth and sixth in qualifying, respectively.

Bottas was the first of the top runners to come out, with the returning Pascal Wehrlein topping the standings at the time, well ahead of team-mate Marcus Ericsson. Once again, Hamilton had to abort his first attempt after locking up, although he did manage a solid lap on the soft compound.

McLaren made a fine impression in the first qualifying session, but some brake issues meant Stoffel Vandoorne did not advance.

Ricciardo and Raikkonen were notably slower than their team-mates, Verstappen and Vettel. The Finn even ventured out on the super softs to improve his position and still wasn’t able to beat Hamilton’s time, set on a harder compound.

Carlos Sainz didn’t survive the first qualifying session, as his Toro Rosso suffered yet another failure during his flying lap, with the Spaniard setting the fastest first sector. As shared by BBC F1, he wasn’t the only big name to miss out on Q2:

F3 EURO CHAMPIONSHIP

ERIKSSON CLAIMS VICTORY SCHUMACHER BEST ROOKIE

Event: 01 Silverstone
Session: Race 2
Track: Silverstone / GBR
Pole position: Callum Ilott (Prema Powerteam)
Race winner: Joel Eriksson (Motopark)
Weather: changeable, 8.6 °C

At the 5.901 kilometres long Silverstone Grand Prix circuit, Joel Eriksson (Motopark) brought the Motopark team its first FIA Formula 3 European Championship season victory. The Swede already made the decisive overtaking move on the opening lap as he went past British driver Callum Ilott (Prema Powerteam) to take the lead. Behind Eriksson and Ilott, Jake Hughes (Hitech Grand Prix) finished third. Thus, the first two races of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship season already saw drivers from four different teams on the podium. Mick Schumacher (Prema Powerteam) collected the trophy for the best-placed rookie driver. In the drivers’ standings, race winner Eriksson is leading from Jake Dennis (Carlin) and Lando Norris (Carlin). In the rookie standings, Schumacher and Norris are tied in the lead.

British driver Callum Ilott started the race from pole position and took the lead at the start. Alongside him, Lando Norris had a poorer getaway from the damp side of the track and lost some positions. Ilott, however, wasn’t able to hold on to the lead for long. On the opening lap already, Joel Eriksson made an attack and went past the Prema driver. The Swede, the winner of last year’s FIA Formula 3 European Championship rookie title, immediately pulled clear from his rivals and went on to secure an undisputed victory.

Ilott and Hughes also safely brought home their second and third places. Maximilian Günther (Prema Powerteam), on the other hand, had to defend his fourth place from Jake Dennis at several stages during the race, which the runner-up from last year’s championship managed to do. Mick Schumacher took the flag in sixth place overall as the best-placed rookie driver. The son of Formula 1 record world champion Michael Schumacher came out on top in the duel with Lando Norris and, in his second FIA Formula 3 European Championship race outing, emerged as the best rookie for the first time. In the closing stages of the race, Norris also lost seventh place to Guanyu Zhou (Prema Powerteam) and then, Jehan Daruvala (Carlin) managed to overtake the race winner from the previous day as well. After 19 laps, Harrison Newey (Van Amersfoort Racing) was classified tenth.

Joel Eriksson (Motopark): “My start was good, but I was also fortunate to be starting from the dry side of the track. Yesterday, I didn’t want to take too many risks and just score points. Today, however, my plan was to end up further at the front. As I was unable to overtake Callum at the start, I had to opt for a different strategy. I had a good exit of turn four and thus I was able to overtake him in turn six, even though the move was close. My car was very good; I reckon I was the fastest driver on track, especially during the opening part of the race. I used this advantage to pull a gap straight away and then hold on to it until the end. This victory is great, also as it is my goal to win the title this year. That, however, will not be easy as the field is stronger than last year.”

Callum Ilott (Prema Powerteam): “Being on the podium on home soil is always nice. At the start of the race, Joel was simply faster, but I was also having trouble in getting my tyres to the right temperature. After the first two laps, things were getting better, but by that time, Joel was gone. After my retirement yesterday, these points for second place are important.”

Jake Hughes (Hitech Grand Prix): “We are having problems this weekend, particularly in the fast sections. In the race, my left front tyre degraded badly, preventing me to keep up with Joel and Callum in front of me. On the first few laps, I also had to defend my position from Maximilian Günther, so that the gap to the front runners got bigger. Generally, a podium finish in the home race both for myself and for the team is nice, of course, we can now build on that.”

FORMULA 2

ROWLAND ON TOP IN F2 PRACTICE

Oliver Rowland has topped the timesheets in the first FIA Formula 2 Championship free practice session with a blistering lap under scorching conditions this morning at the Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir, leading the way for most of the session by less than a tenth from Artem Markelov and Charles Leclerc.

The Briton stopped the clocks at 1:42.221 just nine minutes into the session, which opened under a cloudless sky, with track temperatures at 45˚C as the lights went green to open the session. All of the drivers headed straight out onto the circuit to get the day started, with Johnny Cecotto setting the first competitive lap 6 minutes in, before being usurped by Nobuharu Matsushita next time round.

Rowland stole the top spot on the next lap, as Markelov (0.092s) and Antonio Fuoco (0.160s) following in his wake. With such extreme temperatures and serious tyre wear at the desert circuit there was little chance of improvement, although Leclerc had clearly saved some tyres for a quick run at the 15 minute mark to nab P3 by a hundredth from his teammate.

The second half of the session was focused on race pace, leaving little opportunity for a change on the timesheet, with the only excitement revolving around a few drivers being caught out by the heat as they stopped at the end of the pitlane for practice starts, putting the marshals to work pushing the stricken cars back across the line for their teams to restart.

Behind the top three Fuoco, Norman Nato, Luca Ghiotto, Nyck De Vries, Johnny Cecotto and Matsushita all posted times within a second of the top spot, and will be hoping to find a small margin in the cooler conditions for this evening’s qualifying session.