Tag Archives: Silverstone


MW Arden’s Mitch Evans flies to pole position at Silverstone
In the first dry running of the weekend at the Northamptonshire circuit, Mitch Evans claimed his second pole of the season at Silverstone ahead of this afternoon’s race with a laptime of: 1:51.892 which was 0.324s faster than Lotus GP’s Aaro Vainio.
After the torrential downpour for Friday’s Free Practice, GP3 were greeted to cool but dry conditions for qualifying as the 27 drivers made their way onto the circuit to set their installation laps. There was a large puddle which did catch a number of drivers out as they battled to keep control of their cars from sliding off.
Conor Daly was first to set the pace, until Carlin’s Antonio Felix Da Costa grabbed P1. Daly who faces a ten place grid penalty after an incident in Valencia was keen to set a flyer in qualifying and jumped to the top of timesheets, over half a second quicker than the Portuguese star. Vainio went P2 until Brit’ William Buller split the Lotus GP pairing.
Felix Da Costa was hot on the pace and regained his place at the head of the timings until Vainio stole it back. It was a great tussle for pole and the Finn remained on provisional pole until 18 seconds before the session ended when New Zealander Evans produced a flier to secure pole for Race 1 and claim four vital points for the championship. The MW Arden ace had been quietly moving his way up the timings throughout the session after a fierce battle at the top.
Therefore, Evans heads the front row, with his main rival for the GP3 crown starting alongside him. Felix Da Costa finished P3, ahead of Matias Laine, Daly, Daniel Abt, Kevin Ceccon, Buller, Kotaro Sakurai and David Fumanelli.

F1Weekly podcast # 587

F1weekly podcast number 587 British GP preview

HRT Formula 1 Team will take part in its Young Driver Test at Silverstone after the Grand Prix

An agreement has been finally reached and HRT Formula 1 Team will be able to carry out its Young Driver Test at Silverstone next week after the British Grand Prix. This test will take place on Thursday the 12th and Friday the 13th of July at the legendary Silverstone circuit. 24 year-old Chinese driver Ma Qing Hua will be at the wheel of the F112 and will complete his first tests in a Formula 1 car.
After competing in international championships such as Formula Renault, A1 Grand Prix, Formula 3 or Superleague Formula, and winning the Chinese touring car championships in 2011, Qing Hua joined HRT Formula 1 Team’s driver development programme un April. This programme has included tests with cars from different categories such as World Series and GP2, besides working with a simulator and specific physical preparation ahead of the demanding challenges of F1. During these tests, the Chinese driver has shown firm evidence of his talent behind the wheel, learning capacity and commitment, and the team is confident that these upcoming tests will be the next step in his journey to Formula 1.
For those who would be interested, Ma Qing Hua will be available to the media on Sunday the 8th of July at 10.00h in the team’s hospitality unit.
Ma Qing Hua: “I’m very happy that the day has finally come and I will be able to step into a Formula 1 car for the first time with HRT Formula 1 Team. And I want to thank everyone who made it possible for me to be here today, my compatriots who support me, and the people who made it possible for these tests to take place in Silverstone. The last few months have been intense as I have been doing a lot of tests on the track and off it, which have helped me to improve as a driver and take on this challenge from a better position. I’ve worked hard to make it here but this journey is only getting underway”.
Luis Pérez-Sala, Team Principal: “The fact that these tests will finally be able to take place at Silverstone is great news for us because it fits perfectly with the next step that we had planned for Ma Qing Hua’s development programme. In the last three months, we’ve been working with Ma on different aspects: testing on track with cars from different categories, carrying out tests on the simulator and working on specific physical preparation to be better prepared for this demanding challenge. We were aware of his ability but, once more, he has shown his professionalism, attitude and sensitivity, so we’re sure that he will continue to progress as a driver in these Formula 1 tests”.


Leimer flies to Silverstone pole
Swiss driver dominates wet qualifying
Fabio Leimer has decimated his rivals with an untouchable string of laps in this afternoon’s qualifying session in Silverstone that put him almost a full second ahead of his closest competitors Johnny Cecotto and local driver Jolyon Palmer to claim an easy pole position for tomorrow’s feature race.
The Swiss driver stopped the clock at 2:01.889 in cold, wet conditions, with temperatures dropping further from the earlier lows in free practice this morning. Leimer set the running for almost the whole session, with his rivals seemingly unable to do anything about his pace in the treacherous conditions.
Series leader Davide Valsecchi was the first man on track, hopeful of taking advantage of a clear track in the session which promised to be one of the most difficult in recent memory, and duly set the running next time around. But Leimer cut 2 seconds out of the Italian’s time to be the first man into the 2:07s, and although Valsecchi sneaked ahead on his next lap, it was the Swiss driver who was to set a string of fastest laps from then on, seemingly in competition only with himself.
The rest of the field were determined to provide some competition, but each time they closed a little on his times it seemed to spur Leimer into an even faster lap. This continued until the 20 minute mark, when Marcus Ericsson and Johnny Cecotto slowed and stopped on circuit, prompting the red flags to make a first appearance in the session. The Venezuelan was pushed from the pitlane entrance back into the pits and was accordingly able to take the re-start.
With ten minutes remaining there was little to lose, but although the rain seemed to ease slightly it was hardly optimal conditions for lap times. A number of drivers slowed and stopped in the closing minutes, possibly having run out of fuel in the awkward conditions, but happily managed to roll off the circuit to avoid anything other than local yellows.
With one minute to go Palmer found enough for P3, with Cecotto improving his best time just after that to hold on to 2nd place, but both drivers were still almost a second off Leimer’s pace, although they displaced Stefano Coletti, Esteban Gutiérrez, James Calado, Rio Haryanto, Max Chilton, Luiz Razia and Giedo van der Garde in the process, setting up an interesting set of duels for tomorrow’s feature race.

Formula One

F1: British GP 2012

The Formula One World Championship heads over to Silverstone this weekend for the ninth round of the 2012 season. Last year’s winner Fernando Alonso heads into the race as the championship leader having become the first double winner of 2012 in Valencia two weeks ago. He now has a solid 20 point lead of Mclaren’s Lewis Hamilton.

Initial weather forecasts have not been positive, with showers forecast over the all three days of the weekend. However, this could be just the kind of weather Hamilton needs if he is to win his home race for the second time this weekend given the worrying form of Sebastian Vettel and the Red Bull team in Valencia last time out.

History is on Hamilton’s side, with Britain being the most successful nation at the event over the past 62 years; winning on 22 separate occasions with the most successful British driver being Jim Clark who was victorious at the race five times. In-fact British drivers have more than 4 times as many victories at the British Grand Prix as the German’s who are the second most successful nation.

This is all highlighted in the following British Grand Prix infographic which has been produced by price comparison website MoneySupermarket.com:

F1Weekly podcast # 568

Photo: gp3media

F1weekly podcast number 568 china preview.

On the GP3 front MW Arden’s Mitch Evans quickest on day two at Silverstone

The final pre-season test concluded in Silverstone today before the GP3 Series heads to Barcelona next month to kick start the 2012 season. The session got underway under dark clouds on a chilly morning at a slippery circuit which was declared wet at the start of the test. Maxim Zimin stepped into the Jenzer Motorsport and was fastest for the first hour until Tio Ellinas in his Marussia Manor Racing car took control of the timesheets. The morning test was eventful: five red flags occurred with several drivers getting caught out in the tricky conditions.

Antonio Felix Da Costa went top as the times continued to improve on a drying track as the drivers switched from wet tyres to slicks. Aaro Vainio then shot to P1 as the session was red flagged when Kotaro Sakurai spun off into the gravel. Ocean Racing Technology’s Robert Cregan suffered a technical issue when he was forced to stop on the circuit, giving a premature end to his morning test.

The position at the top of the timings then changed numerous times before Felix Da Costa regained his place back at the head of the standings. Conor Daly and Ellinas jumped up to P2 and P3 ahead of William Buller who was confirmed as driving for Carlin for 2012 this morning. David Fumanelli, Marlon Stockinger, Vainio, Daniel Abt, Matias Laine and Kevin Ceccon completed the top ten.

Following the one hour lunch break, it was the fastest man from day one, Mitch Evans who set the early pace in the afternoon. The New Zealander quickly improved on his best time from yesterday by a tenth of a second setting a lap of 1’50.150. Buller then made a trip into the gravel, thus causing a halt to proceedings. As the rest of the drivers concentrated on long runs and some pitstop practice, Laine had a quick, therefore a red flag arose. Within the final forty-five minutes, the rain began to lightly fall, as the session came to a close with Evans heading the pack again. Robert Visiou was a late addition to the top ten and went P2 in the dying stages ahead of Vainio, Fumanelli, Abt, Ellinas, Stockinger, Daly, Laine and Alex Brundle.

GP3 Series is next on track when the 2012 campaign begins at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona on 11-13 May.


Motorsports Mondial

Gilles Villeneuve

Passion for Performance

Painting: John Ketchell

January 18, 1950: Gilles Villeneuve is born on this day. The son of a piano-tuner played his own racing rhapsody, starting with snowmobiles in his native Quebec. Hauling his family race to race he set new standards in Formula Atlantic. Waves he made with gutsy and relentless pursuit of winning were felt across the pond.

Gilles’ performance in the Trois-Riviers Formula Atlantic race against established Formula 1 stars was talk of the town and track. James Hunt, on his way to a world championship, recommended this French-speaking charge to his McLaren team boss, Teddy Mayer.

Out of nowhere the Formula 1 world was treated to this speed demon at Silverstone. Entered in a third McLaren for the 1977 British Grand Prix the new kid on the block out-qualified the team’s regular number two driver, Jochen Mass.

The speed and tenacity shown by the little Canadian that weekend got the attention of the man most drivers crave for after years in Formula 1, Enzo Ferrari.

Gilles Villeneuve would spend the rest of his life and career on a prancing horse, and what a stride it was. Maiden win came on home soil in Montreal in 1978. A total of six Grand Prix victories were scored, most memorable was his freight-train victory at Jarama in the 1981 Spanish Grand Prix where he held-off a charging Jacques Laffite and three other drivers to score what would turn out to be his final win in Formula 1.

In between the wins was a race for which Gilles Villeneuve will always be remembered. It was his epic battle for second place with Rene Arnoux in the 1979 French Grand Prix at Dijon-Prenois. A battle royale over three decades ago is still a joy to watch.


For the 1982 season Scuderia Ferrari had the car, the beautiful 126C, to bring home the turbo-charged glory. The two pilots spoke the same language but there was complete breakdown in communication after the 1982 San Marino Grand Prix controversy. Sadly, controversy was followed by tragedy in qualifying for the next race at Zolder, the Belgian Grand Prix.

Enzo’s “Prince of Destruction” was unable to survive the accident approaching Terlaemenbocht corner, and the motor racing world lost a fierce competitor and what one journalist called “poet of a driver.”

— Nasir Hameed