U.K. Testing Roads Made from Recycled Plastics

Transportation is innovating more quickly than it has in a long time thanks to cleaner powertrains and autonomous driving technology, but our roads have yet to keep up with the pace. Now, a startup company is beginning to change that reality by bringing sustainable roads to certain parts of the U.K.

There are 24.8 million miles of roads in the world today. Traditionally, they consist of limestone, rocks, and sand that are bound together with the help of bitumen, a component extracted from crude oil and sold by the likes of Shell and Total. Enter MacRebur, which has developed plastic pellets that can replace much of the bitumen in an asphalt mix.

The material, dubbed MR6, is made with 100-percent recycled materials and can reduce the amount of plastic waste that ends up in landfills. Not only is it considered a greener alternative, but it’s also 60 percent stronger and last 10 times longer than standard asphalt. It’s more resistant to cracks and potholes and is cheaper than traditional solutions, the company says.

The special roads can now be found in parts of Cumbria in the U.K., reports Inhabitat. A new “plastic” road was recently added in Gloucester, England.

MacRebur isn’t the first company to experiment with more sustainable roads. Back in 2015, a road construction firm in the Netherlands revealed a PlasticRoad prototype.

Watch the video below from BBC News to see how it all works.

Photo source: MacRebur via Facebook

The post U.K. Testing Roads Made from Recycled Plastics appeared first on Automobile Magazine.

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F1 – V.Bottas: “It took quite a while, more than 80 races for me, but definitely worth the wait, worth the learning curve”

Sport news


1 – Valtteri BOTTAS (Mercedes)

2 – Sebastian VETTEL (Ferrari)

3 – Kimi RÄIKKÖNEN (Ferrari)



(Conducted by Eddie Jordan)

Valtteri, tell us, what does it feel like, your first ever win in grand prix racing?

Valtteri BOTTAS: Amazing. It took quite a while, more than 80 races for me, but definitely worth the wait, worth the learning curve. This strange opportunity came to me in the winter to join this team and they made it possible today, so I really want to thank to the team, without them it wouldn’t be possible, so feels amazing.

It’s like a fairy tale isn’t it? Four or five months ago you were going to drive with Williams, a particularly good team, but you got the chance to come to this team – a winning, world champion team – and you’re one the top [of the] podium at the moment.

VB: yeah, we’ve had a tricky beginning of the year, you know the fight with Ferrari was again very close. We managed to be on top, but we need to keep pushing, we need to keep finishing with both cars all the time one and two, that’s the plan. But just very, very happy now.

Just going to interject here for a second because we see Toto down there and he of little faith gave you a one-year contract. I’ve got a pen Toto, we need a three-year extension on that minimum with proper money, is that OK? Coming back to you… where’s he gone. [Sebastian], Felipe Massa, tell me about him, what happened on that last lap?

Sebastian VETTEL: I obviously tried everything to catch Valtteri and maybe I thought there might be some opportunity on the back straight. I was sure [Felipe] would lift around Turn 3, it’s flat out, and let me be, so I wouldn’t lose much time, but then I think I just wasn’t sure what he was going to do and I ended up losing a bit more than I was hoping for. But it doesn’t matter. This is the man of the race today, big congrats to Valtteri, it’s his first grand prix win, so it’s his day.

Very well said. I have to ask you, your strategy: you ran much deeper into the race on those tyres and it looked like it was paying off.

SV: Not really, we didn’t come out ahead. Yeah, we had fresher tyres in the end. Obviously there was a gap to Kimi behind and we just decided to try and extend as much as possible to hope for maybe Valtteri running into trouble with traffic, us having a clear track. That was the plan. So I think we tried everything, but obviously we lost the race at the start, which was a bit of a shame. I had a good start but…

I was going to ask about that. You were a bit unlucky, both of you, on the front row of the grid but you have the longest run to the first corner but you got out-dragged?

SV: Yeah, that’s basically it. I think our start was basically a match with Valtteri, maybe he gained a bit of momentum in the beginning but then obviously he had a massive tow. I defended the inside but by the time we approached braking he was already in front and able to shut the door on me, so well done, and that’s where he won the race. And then he did a superb first stint, I couldn’t stay with him, he was very, very quick all; race, no mistakes and as I said – man of the race.

Ladies and gentlemen, year on year Kimi has been voted the most popular driver in Formula One and you have your fans here.

Kimi RÄIKKÖNEN: Yeah, I’m very happy that I have here support but whatever country they come from I’m very happy to have the. Unfortunately today we could only give third place but we try next time more so.

We have to talk about the podium and the lock-out on the front row. We weren’t sure how it would wind up and today both of you are on the podium. It shows a great sign for the future of this season and the championship and the excitement of it?

KR: Yeah, I think I have had a little bit of a rough start to the season. Far from ideal but this weekend for sure has been a step forward. We have been more happy with how things have been running but we still only finished third. We lost out at the start and then not a lot happened after that. We keep trying and keep improving and I’m sure we’ll get there, but it’s all about… all the small details have to be exactly there and then you will get the first place. The four or five of us are very close most of the time, so it’s the small differences that make a big difference in the end.

Valtteri, special day for you as we have already said. You also got driver of the day; that’s another little celebration you didn’t know about. Got to talk to you about that start: [Sebastian] said you more or less but you couldn’t have, you absolutely out-dragged both of them.

VB: Yeah, I mean, I think here normally starting from the second row is not too bad. I had a good start, if anything maybe slightly better than the guys in front. Obviously slipstreaming managed to get the inside for Turn 1. That was OK, but I’m a little bit more happy about the safety car restart actually.

He has big shoulders, he has a lot to live up to because he’s got Kimi, Keke Rosberg and of course Mika [Häkkinen], all world champion Finns. Are you going to be the next world champion Finn?

VB: For me that’s the only goal in my career, so we will keep pushing for that.


Q: Valtteri, has the reality of what you’ve just achieved sunk in?

VB: No. It’s going to take a while. I have to say, normally I’m not that emotional but hearing the Finnish national anthem is something quite special for me – felt good. But it is a little bit surreal: first win, and hopefully first of many. It was definitely one of my best races, personally, ever. It’s a good feeling and just, yeah, happy.

Q: How was the pressure towards the end of the race when you had Sebastian gaining on you and you were hitting traffic?

VB: It was OK. Just the main thing was with the lapped cars and trying to get past those and with these new cars we definitely lose more downforce, already two seconds, three seconds behind, so it was tricky to get close and pass them without losing time. That was the main thing at the end and I wasn’t quite happy for a few occasions. I also had one lock-up, maybe 10 or 15 laps to go, which hurt a little bit the pace. Other than that it was OK. I did ask for a bit more radio silence from the guys on the pit wall, just for me to get on it and focus for it and feel a bit more like home. Quite nice and quiet and that helped.

Q: How much confidence do you think this victory will give you going forward?

VB: I think a lot. I’ve always know I could do good results if everything goes right. I always trust in my ability but it’s nice to get confirmation that the results are possible, that anything is possible, so definitely good to continue from here.

Q: Sebastian, in reality it all came down to the start, didn’t it? How was your getaway from pole position?

SV: I thought it was OK. [To VB] Was it bad, my getaway?

VB: I had a little bit better one…

SV: Well, later on, yes. No, I thought there was a bit in the very beginning where I could have been a bit more aggressive but it was a bit hard to tell because for the formation lap, for some reason… I have the time of day in the car and it was two o’clock and the lights didn’t go off. So I was ready to go. I don’t know why there was a delay. Maybe whoever’s responsible to turn the lights off, didn’t turn the lights off! What I mean by that is that I didn’t get a proper read of how the grip was at the grid, so I think I ended up maybe a bit too conservative. Still, I had a good start. I had a look in the mirror, mine was I think better than Kimi’s. I saw Valtteri coming and I thought ‘OK, it will be close’ but it felt like I had a tent dragged behind me and he was gaining a lot. He was able even before we hit the braking to come back and shut the door. So I did well but nothing I could have done, I had the outside line but nowhere to do so in reality that’s part of where we lost the race. And then the first stint: we were just not quick enough to stay with him. In the end of the day we can talk about my race but today is Valtteri’s day. He drove a fantastic race, he had incredible pace. Also, if you look all weekend where he’s been compared to his team-mate, so, y’know, he’s done a superb job, it’s his day and he deserves to win today because he drove better than all the rest of us. So… it’s not easy to swallow. I would have loved, obviously, to come back but that’s the way it was today. Well done.

VB: Thanks.

Q: Kimi, coming to you, similar problems to Sebastian at the start? Just talk us through your getaway.

KR: I had a pretty poor start, comparing even to Seb. Got wheelspin straight away and then I really thought I was going to lose a lot more but then luckily, both of these cars went side-by-side and I started to get the tow and I managed to stay ahead of Lewis in the end. But, I don’t know what happened. It was slippery and lost a lot, so, not ideal. If you look last year it’s all about starts, and if you lose a place in those, it’s going to be a boring race. Not a lot happened after that. Mercedes, Valtteri was a bit too fast but then we were kind of holding our positions but nothing really happened the whole race, so, yeah, all about the start. Happy for Valtteri. People always think that we have something against each other because we have come close to each other and into each other a few times but no, I’m very happy for him to win. It doesn’t mean that I’m not happy if Seb wins. It’s good for him and things will turn out to be for sure good for him. It’s going to be close between both of the Ferrari and both of the Mercedes drivers this year, so it will be exciting – but unfortunately a lot of times it will depend of what happens in a first lap. That’s how it’s going to play out. Hopefully it goes better. I’m more happy this weekend but obviously not happy to be third but this is how it goes sometimes.


Q: (Livio Oricchio – GloboEsporte.com) To both Ferrari drivers: do you think if you had jumped in front of Valtteri and Lewis do you think you could have kept the leadership of the race considering the pace of Bottas with the ultrasoft – if you were surprised with that. And also, for you Kimi, were you surprised that Bottas was in front of you?

KR: At what point?

During the race you said on the radio that you were surprised that Bottas was in front of you.

KR: Yes, because I was not sure which one it was in the front of the race. I was asking – I was not sure because it was a bit confusing for me after the pitstops. Obviously I realised straight after. For me it made no difference: there was one Mercedes in front of us. I didn’t ask before.

And Sebastian, had you got the jump on Valtteri and made it to Turn One first, are you confident you could have stayed ahead?

SV: Well, it’s difficult to pass, let’s put it that way. I think it would have been difficult for Valtteri to put a lot of pressure on, even though I would say he had superior pace in the first stint. I think if you look at the stint I was struggling in the beginning, then sort of froze the gap and then was able to close. Now, if Valtteri’s closer to us, let’s say if we were in the lead, then obviously I don’t know the gaps behind, whether they have changed their strategy or not – but didn’t turn out to be that way but for sure, if we had track position then I think we had the pace also to keep it. At the end I think we were quicker on the supersoft but we were behind so, yeah. Also I was on fresher tyres so it’s not entirely fair. Overall he was a bit quicker in the first stint. For the race overall it was a good match, so yeah, the first lap mattered. As I said, he executed the start well, which obviously this year is crucial. It was in our hands so he did a good job and then he drove a very good first stint which didn’t give us the opportunity to put him under pressure and do something around the stop because we were simply too far away.

Q: (Kiril Zaytsev – 66.ru) Question for Valtteri Bottas. Valtteri, I have a theory about your win, please tell me am I right or not. I think that you won because you were very angry about all of these questions what it’s like to be number two in the team and so on. You were so angry you won and now you are number one, yes?

VB: I don’t think that was the reason for the success this weekend! Good theory but I don’t think it’s right. It really doesn’t matter in the car if you’re angry or not. Anyway you are doing your best. When I drive there is not much emotion in there. I’m just trying to get everything right and get every lap, every corner perfectly. All the questions, all the speculation, number two driver and so on, it doesn’t get into me. It doesn’t matter.

Q: (Flavio Vanetti – Corriere della Sera) To Sebastian. Now you turn to the European leg of the Championship with 13 points of advantage on Lewis. How much is it in accordance with your dreams and how much is it a surprise?

SV: I don’t know if I have an answer for you. We had a good run up in Barcelona at the tests, so looking forwards to Barcelona, the car felt good. I think we’ve improved it from early March to now – but yeah, I don’t need to think about the Championship because you’re kind enough to remind us where we are. I think we’ve had a very good start. It would be wrong to sit here and say that’s what we expected – but we’re here to win, we’re here to do our best. If we look back I think we have more or less extracted the maximum. So very happy with where we are as a team – but we can still learn and we can still improve and I think that’s the way we go forward. Nothing is for granted, Barcelona is just another race and we have a lot of races to go this year. But before that we have two weeks’ time to look at what we have done so far and improve. Today I think the speed in general was there, the balance dropped away from me a little bit in the first stint. I struggled with the fronts and couldn’t attack as much as I was hoping for and as much as I was probably able to in qualifying. So things that we could have done better but the race is done today so yeah, I’m generally looking forwards: we have a strong car, a strong team, the spirit is good, so lots of positives.

Q: (Tony Dodgins – Channel 4) Valtteri, I think in Australia and last summer you struggled in the first stint on the softer compound. Today, Sebastian said he couldn’t stay with you. Have you made progress on that generally or is it surface specific here and did that surprise you?

VC: Well, I think it was very different to Bahrain, for example, with the temperatures and the surface of the tarmac and the track layout, so I can’t say we’ve fixed some of the issues we had in the last race but I think we did a better job here in general, to get most out of ever being in these conditions on this track. I think from Friday until Saturday, Sunday we made good progress, we managed to optimise everything and that made the win possible today. We were a little bit afraid of struggling at the beginning of the stints but that didn’t really seem to be the case and also the tyre life was good compared to Ferrari so the guys did a very good job this weekend.

Q: (Luis Vasconcelos – Formula Press) Two questions for Valtteri: you talked about the start but the restart was even better because you were more than one second ahead of Sebastian as you crossed the line, so talk us through that and just before your pit stop you were losing a lot of time behind backmarkers. Were you frustrated there or did you know that you needed those extra laps because the pace on the harder tyre was not so good?

VB: The restart was very good and kind of a surprise actually by the gap but that was good. Obviously it worked. You have few opportunities where you start going. I think the main thing is not to catch the safety car before the safety car line but that obviously worked, so that was good. Yeah, the back markers, getting through the traffic, that was the main worry for me and especially at the end of the race, that was losing more time with these cars, following… already when you’re within two, three seconds and you start to lose some lap time, especially in the mid-sector in those medium speed corners so that was quite tricky and I wasn’t quite happy at times but I always knew that Seb and Kimi behind would have the same problem as I had with the guys so in the end it was OK.

Q: (Andrea Cremonesi – La Gazzetta dello Sport) Valtteri and Sebastian, is there any technical explanation about what happened before turn two and the overtaking? Was it just a question of the slipstream or was there some technical explanation?

SV: I didn’t see much. You had a better view, I guess.

VB: Yes, so from my side I felt like I had a good start, maybe initially slightly better than Seb but very close I think, and obviously here the slipstreaming is the main thing. It’s nearly one kilometre into turn one. If you can get a tow, you can carry the speed and I managed to do it, even though I was on the outside I managed to get in front of Seb and close the door and that was it really.

SV: The straight was a bit too long so maybe we can move the grid further up. For me there was not much I could do. I think it was a drag race. Obviously I didn’t have a tow. There was a bit of headwind as well, the wind was blowing the wrong way so it’s another 10/15kph off, the speed that you lose with the wind blowing against you rather than from behind. I guess it helped him but it didn’t help me today.

Q: (Livio Oricchio – GloboEsporte.com) For sure you don’t have a crystal ball but next race most of the teams will present very different cars and these changes have been conceived using all the knowledge gained in the first four races of the season with these new regulations. What do project for the next phase of the season with all these cars? Do you believe it’s possible there can be some dramatic changes to what we have been seeing until now?

VB: I think it’s just going to get quicker, every car is going to get a lot better through the season and always when there’s a big rule change and the progress is bigger, the steps are bigger, the performance… more lap time gained during the year. I think it’s going to be the same for each team and I think the top teams with more resources can obviously improve more. Hopefully we can improve more but I don’t think there will be anything dramatic; just the cars are going to be quicker, more downforce really and better tyre understanding with the tracks and all of the compounds.

SV: Well, I was just thinking whether I should buy a crystal ball. So many times we get questions up here, looking into the future. You said we don’t have one, which is right, which is why I was thinking maybe I should get one. I think it will be same as everything else. It will be a surprise, I think it will be a very close race between Mercedes and us, I hope, and I also hope that Red Bull find some pace. There’s a lot of rumours around. They are a strong team, they know how to build a quick car so I expect it’s a question of when rather than if but the sooner, the more exciting it will be but for us. I’m confident that we have the right people, the right tools on board and we will make progress. It obviously depends on what others are doing.

KR: We’ll see what happens in two weeks at the next race. There’s always a lot of talk because it’s the first real European round. Let’s wait and see.

Q: (Frederic Ferret – L’Equipe) Valtteri, you spoke on the podium about Nico Rosberg, the chance his retirement gave you for the possible victory. Have you planned to go and see Nico when you are back in Monaco or will you call him tonight?

VB: I didn’t actually speak about Nico. Obviously I respect him as a driver and World Champion and everything but I just said there was this strange opportunity for me that happened in the winter that made this possible. You never know in life what’s going to happen and it was a great opportunity. I wasn’t planning on calling him really. I think I’m going to call my wife first and then see who I’m going to call afterwards. 

FIA Formula One World Championship

Formula OneRussian Grand PrixPost Race Press ConferenceF1F1, Formula 1, Motorsport, FIA, Russian Grand PrixSEASON 2017SportCircuit1SportFIA Formula One World ChampionshipCircuitF1SEASON 2017Formula OneRussian Grand PrixPost Race Press Conference00Sunday, April 30, 2017 – 6:07pmSunday, April 30, 2017 – 6:07pm Source: http://ift.tt/1nrhiOR

F1 – S.Vettel: “I had a good start to the session, to qualifying this afternoon”

Sport news


1 – Sebastian VETTEL (Ferrari)

 2 – Kimi RÄIKKÖNEN (Ferrari)

3 – Valtteri BOTTAS (Mercedes)



Q: Sebastian, it was an incredibly tight battle at the front and a last-minute, do-or-die effort from you seemed to make the difference. Talk us through the session.

Sebastian VETTEL: Yeah, I had a good start to the session, to qualifying this afternoon. I was feeling reasonably comfortable. But then I think in Q2 I lost a little bit the rhythm, so, my final run in Q2 which I thought would just give me enough of an idea for Q3 for the final segment, would put me in place, and it went wrong. I locked up, lost a bit the rhythm and then in Q3 the first run was not really tidy so I left it to the end and, yeah, got a good lap it. It proved I think in the last sector, I think I made up some time compared to my lap before. I knew it would be tight and I knew I would be the first one across the line and by going quicker than what I saw on the screen before than Kimi I knew, for now, I’m ahead, but then I immediately and asked about everybody else, “tell me about the others”. My race engineer Ricardo told me “they are closing the lap, they are closing the lap”. I said: “yeah, let me know, let me know, how are the sectors, how are the split times?” The first one I got was Valtteri who didn’t manage to improve and then when I got the message that we got it, I was over the moon. So yeah, a big thank you to the team, I think the car was phenomenal this afternoon. It’s really a pleasure to take a seat and go around with low fuel and just try and push it to the limit. If you have a rhythm here it feels fantastic, so glad I got it back and big thanks to the team. It’s a team effort and it’s a great result to have both cars on the front row. But it’s only part of the job, the main job is obviously tomorrow but for now it’s an important step. We managed to improve a little bit. Maybe the circuit came our way as well but it’s a very good result and I’m sure everybody is very happy and very proud so we’ll enjoy that but in a couple of hours we’ll start focusing on the race 

Q: Many congratulations. Coming to you Kimi, your second place gives Ferrari it’s first front row lock-out since the French Grand Prix in 2008. You were so close to Sebastian. How frustrated are you to be on pole? 

Kimi RÄIKKÖNEN: Obviously the aim is to be on the front. The feeling has been more better this weekend and now we just got some traffic on the pout lap on the last set and couldn’t really make the tyres work as well as the first run and it was a bit more tricky. It was thereabouts and then I just got it back in the last corner but it didn’t pay off. I’m happier than previous qualifyings but obviously I think we had all the tools to be in the front today but a one-two for the team is not bad.

Q:Thank you Kimi. Valtteri, this is the first time this year that a Mercedes hasn’t started from pole position. Quite simply, how good is the Mercedes relative to the Ferrari here in Russia?

Valtteri BOTTAS: Well, I think we can clearly see from the result that Ferrari was quicker today. We were close in the end but not quite enough. To be honest all weekend they have had the upper hand and they have been able to extract much mire, especially from the ultrasoft tyre, and that’s where we really struggled yesterday. We made improvements for today but obviously not quite enough. Still, good team effort to get very close and we’re on the second row. As always, tomorrow is the day that really counts and I think a second-row start is that much of a bad thing – it’s a pretty long run into Turn One.

Q: Thanks. Coming back to you Sebastian: is Ferrari back?

SV: From where? I think if you look at the first three races then I think we had a good start to the season. Obviously in qualifying Mercedes has been very, very strong. As I touched on, maybe the track, maybe how we handled the tyres, I don’t know. It doesn’t matter in the end; we are in front which is a good thing. As I said, it’s a great achievement. We managed to improve the car a little bit for this race. It will be very close tomorrow, especially over a long run. Valtteri had good pace yesterday. We’ll see. But as I said, for now we’re full of joy. We’re very happy that we’re back – at least if you talk about the front row for Saturday and obviously we’ll try and take the momentum into the race tomorrow.


Q: Sebastian, how important is it to have your team-mate alongside you on the front row tomorrow?

SV: Well, if I could choose I would put Kimi alongside and I think he would say the same. But I think for the team it’s a great day today. Mercedes has been very, very dominant the last years in qualifying, so it’s good to get there, get closer. It was again very close with Valtteri. I don’t know his last lap but the Q2 lap and his first lap in Q3 was very, very strong. I think it’s been a mega qualifying. The car was really nice to drive and it’s a track when the car comes alive it’s really pleasant.

Q: Are you surprised to be on pole?

SV: Yes and no. I was eyeing… you are always eyeing for pole when you go into qualifying. I think I was eyeing also the last couple of events but I had to learn harshly that in Q3 we weren’t quite ready, so today I don’t think I ever looked at it and said: “OK, today we can do it.” I knew that we can do well, and I knew the car was good, but I didn’t know what they might be able to find for the last part of qualifying, so yeah, to sum it up I knew we were strong, I knew we can do it, but I didn’t know how strong in relation to them.

Q: Kimi, different strategies for Ferrari and Mercedes during that session, you guys going out on the supersoft tyres at the start of Q1. Just talk us through how the whole qualifying session played out.

KR: It played out as we planned it. We did what we planned to do and obviously the end result turned out to be pretty OK for the team. We’ve seen often people run different tyres in the first qualifying. Doesn’t really matter which tyres you run most of the time. That’s what we chose to do and then just go from there.

Q: How’s the race pace of the Ferrari?

KR: I think it was good yesterday but obviously tomorrow is the race and we have to see. I’m sure it’s going to be a close fight and we have to make a good job out of it, so let’s see.

Q: Valtteri, coming to you, are you surprised by the pace of the Ferrari this weekend?

VB: I think definitely, yeah. Me personally and as a team, coming into this weekend probably we were thinking, y’know, it’s going to be better than Bahrain but so far it’s turned out to be not so good and Ferrari seems to be doing something better. For sure it’s disappointing for us to be… not to be on the pole. I mean we did a good improvement from yesterday to today I think but it wasn’t quite enough and we definitely have some work to do but tomorrow is a different story. It’s going to be a long race and, again, difficult to predict but I think it’s going to be close.

Q: Is there one specific problem with the car or is it just simply that the Ferrari is faster?

VB: You know, I think before the qualifying, the only problems we really had was extracting the most out of the ultrasoft tyre. Like I said, I think we mad eit better but I don’t know if it’s because of the tyres or because of the car. For sure they have a very good car and we are struggling to compete with them but we can. It’s a long season ahead and tomorrow is another day, so we are going to do everything we can as a team to be in front of them.


Q: (Livio Oricchio – Globoesporte.com) To Sebastian and to Kimi, you already said about that in the Q2, in the first exit you didn’t get the maximum out of the car. From the outside we had the impression that both of you didn’t reach the limit, maybe thinking of the start of the race, using that tyre for the start of the race, not using the limit of the tyre, not going to the limit of the tyre. Is there any meaning in that?

SV: Not really. I think, yeah, obviously we evaluated two different things Q2, we did one run with only one lap and another run with two laps and I wanted to push the limit on the first one and on the second one, as I said, I was feeling quite well up to the point where I locked the front and went straight into Turn 13. So… yeah, the plan was to go full steam ahead and see how fast we can go. Also because Valtteri had put in a very strong lap already in Q2.

Kimi, anything to add?

KR: No.

Q: (Andrea Cremonesi – La Gazzetta dello Sport) I have a question for Sebastian and Kimi. Sebastian, do you feel that you are in the same condition you were in at Red Bull during their dominant era. Is Ferrari starting a new dominant era like Red Bull when you were there. And for Kimi, if you think this Ferrari seems very close to the Ferrari in that fantastic years 2007-2008.

KR: They’re all different cars. There’s no way that we can compare. It’s ten years ago so different rules, different tyres, different a lot of things. So, maybe we have a good package. Estimating how does it feel comparing to the old cars… doesn’t really matter how that plays out as long as we can be faster against the cars that we are racing now.

SV: I think I’d agree with Kimi. It’s difficult to compare those kinds of things – but I don’t like the word ‘dominant’. I think you work hard, you go fast and then you deserve to do well. I think we’ve been working very hard, last year as well, we didn’t go so fast, this year we go a bit faster but it’s only a couple of races in. I think at the moment it’s more important to enjoy the fact that we are doing well. The spirit is good, that’s what we want to keep up. Then, for the remainder of the year… not really interested at this point.

Q: (Kiril Zaytsev – 66.ru) Question for both Ferrari drivers about team orders. Seb, if tomorrow will be in front of you, will you ask the team to pass, and Kimi, will you let Seb pass you without fighting?

SV: I think it’s simple. If I’m in front then he wants to pass me, if he’s in front I want to pass him. I don’t think it makes any sense to ask for help from outside. We know that we’re free to race and that’s what I believe and I know we’re both here to do. Today obviously was very close, I expect it to be very close tomorrow and we see how the race goes.


KR: No more to say about it. We know what we do and we race for Ferrari and that’s it.

Q: (Flavio Vanetti – Corriere della Sera) To Sebastian, did you expect to need more time to see the car competitive for the pole position? Or it’s the proper time so you achieve this result at the proper time?

SV: Well, let’s put it this way, coming here I think on paper Mercedes looks very strong. I think they are very strong, they looked very strong yesterday. As Valtteri touched on, maybe they weren’t completely comfortable with the tyre treatment, whatever, getting up to temperature. Makes a big difference around here, whether you have the confidence or not. On our side, we focussed on what we had to do. I think we had a plan, we executed it well, I believe and had a good feeling for the car and obviously it’s a great reward to have both cars in the front row. Now, we’re not here to look at what other people are doing: we’re here to look after ourselves but I’m sure tomorrow it will be tight with Mercedes. But, as I’ve said many times, I’m happy we got the result today and for the team obviously it’s fantastic.

Q: ( Jelena Leppanen – Ilta-Sanomat) Question to Kimi, you said already yesterday that you’re pretty happy with how the car works out. In which way does it feel better compared to the previous races?

KR: It’s always specific for each circuit so you cannot really compare how it is in one place – because what you need in other circuits might be a completely different story. Overall it’s just been more easy to… normal to drive. I think we started well, in the correct areas, so it’s always more easy to go from there. That side has been much better this weekend so I’ve been happy and doing some changes and improving. Small things but it makes a big difference in the end.

Q: (Michael Schmidt – Auto Motor und Sport) Sebastian, how do you explain the good pace on Saturday? Is it that the car improved since the last race? Does the circuit suit you or did you just understand the tyres better?

SV: I think the track, the corners, the layout, is not not bad for us, for sure. I think last year we were very strong here. If you look at the performance in sector two it was strong here last year, it was very strong. Obviously it’s completely different but still, some stuff you can compare and we were strong last year, strong this year. As I said, I don’t know how much Mercedes were struggling or not but, to be honest, I don’t really care. It’s more important for us that we do what we need to do and we didn’t have any problems. We had smooth sessions so far this weekend and, as I said, the car felt really good. I think it’s a track where it’s important to have the trust in the car, so you can sort of let go and attack. And I think that was the case for both of us. How much Mercedes were struggling or not… I don’t know.

Q: (Victory Gavrilova- Ufa City News) For Kimi: were you angry that the team did not want your training time was finishing yesterday? And did you manage to complete all the work planned for today?

KR: We did what we planned today. I wasn’t angry with anybody; I don’t know that I got right what you’re asking. I was disappointed that we ended up having a bit of traffic but I think everybody knows that here you get the tyres working or it’s a massive difference how the lap time pans out but we ended up having a bit of traffic on our out lap on our last try and it was enough to make it a little bit tricky. I’m happy with second place but we had everything for doing even better. I’ll take it but tomorrow is another day. I think over the weekend things have run quite smoothly and that’s obviously been a big help.

Q: (Anton Tikhiy – The Independent Sports Newspaper) Sebastian, today the weather is rather warm and dry and tomorrow probably it will be the same. If we’re talking about a great battle between Mercedes and Ferrari, how do you think… which side it will be better, this type of weather?

SV: I think it’s a lot better when it’s warm and sunny. I think people in the grandstands enjoy it a lot more so they don’t need to bring their umbrellas which is good. For the rest, I think if it’s tight and a good race then they also like that, so let’s hope for a good one. (To Valtteri) You prefer cold? That’s because we’re in Russia and it’s supposed to be cold! In the end, you have to deal with the conditions that you have. I think it’s about twenty degrees. I don’t know if that’s the warmest it ever gets here but it’s nice. The last couple of years it was a bit cooler, so it’s nice to have it a bit warmer.

Q: (Livio Oricchio – GloboEsporte.com) Valtteri, Mercedes made a step forward since yesterday to today; we saw that in free practice and also in qualifying but you cannot touch the car before the race tomorrow. You found a compromise in your set-up for qualifying and race, do you believe you can be as strong in the race as you were in qualifying?

VB: I think the changes and the improvements we made from yesterday to today should help us in the race also. Everything just went in the right direction with the tyres and yeah, if the conditions are more or less like today I think it’s going to be OK. Obviously we’re not confident that we have the quickest car around here and that is the case and Ferrari is very strong here. I think, as we’ve seen in all of the first three races they have a good race pace and we think it’s going to be the same case tomorrow so it’s going to be a close one again.

Q: (Andrea Cremonesi – La Gazzetta dello Sport) Sebastian, in Bahrain you said after the race you compromised the qualifying a little bit, thinking about the race. Could you tell us if you worked in a different way here?

SV: I don’t remember what I said in Bahrain. I get a lot of questions; I have to come up with a lot of things. You try to improve the car, no matter what. I think the days – maybe when you started and people were talking about qualifying and race set-ups – it’s not like that any more.  I think you try to extract maximum performance whenever you can, so for sure there are some things that might help you in the race over qualifying but we also made some changes, to get more out of the car, which worked and which will also help us tomorrow. We didn’t compromise here one way or the other.

Q: (Slava Karpov – Radio Sport) Kimi, you are a favourite driver among the Russian fans; what do you think of this and do you feel this support?

KR: Obviously I’m happy to have the fans here or anywhere around the world. I must say it’s nice to come here. There are not many places that have beautiful mountains behind and snow. The weather is perfect this weekend so it’s a great place to come in my view and the circuit is fun. Like I said, I will take any fans that I have, here or anywhere else.

Q: (Kiril Zaytsev – 66.ru) To both Finnish drivers: why are you so successful on this track? We remember Valtteri was on the podium in Sochi, Kimi has been on the podium in Sochi. Why are you so successful here, maybe because it’s slippery asphalt and Finnish people love sliding and slipperiness?

VB: It’s not actually that slippery asphalt compared to Bahrain, for example. I think we have had more grip here so that’s not the explanation. Obviously you like some tracks more than the others but I think in the past, for Williams, this used to be a good track in general and I don’t know if I can explain it more than that. I think the track is nice and I enjoy it.

KR: I don’t think I have had very good results here. In the past years it’s been very slippery, at least for me, but this year the rules and conditions are better. It’s not really any different here to any other place.

Q: (Andrea Cremonesi – La Gazzetta dello Sport) To the two Ferrari drivers: the only negative – if you can say that it’s negative – point of this weekend is that you have to again change the turbocharger and it’s the third element. Do you believe that it will be an issue for the end of the season?

KR: You’re always very good to always find negative things about us.

SV: He’s Italian, he should be over the moon. Everybody in Italy I’m sure is very happy now and you’re the only Italian in the world that finds a reason to be negative. You should be ashamed.

KR: It’s a planned change and I’m sure we’ll be fine with it. Obviously I’ve had one failure that we will not be able to use but the others are still fine and we will run it as we want and they are there to be used and re-used whenever you feel like it.

SV: Maybe I think you will have a great chance to get a German passport because usually Germans always find a reason to complain. If there’s a hard time when you get back to Italy you’re welcome to Germany. 

FIA Formula One World Championship

Formula OnePost Qualifying Press ConferenceRussian Grand PrixF1F1, Formula 1, Motorsport, FIA, Russian Grand PrixSEASON 2017SportCircuit1SportFIA Formula One World ChampionshipCircuitF1SEASON 2017Formula OnePost Qualifying Press ConferenceRussian Grand Prix00Saturday, April 29, 2017 – 5:33pmSaturday, April 29, 2017 – 5:33pm Source: http://ift.tt/1nrhiOR

F1 – M.Isola: “I think the biggest improvement was about over-heating of the tyre”

Sport news

PART TWO: Otmar SZAFNAUER (Force India), Matt MORRIS (McLaren), Mario ISOLA (Pirelli)


Q: Mario, if we can start with you, we’re now at race four of the championship, you’ve had a lot of time now to look at this year’s tyres, what’s your assessment of this year’s compounds and structures?

Mario ISOLA: I have to say we are quite happy with the new product and obviously we have more experience on the softer range of compound because we use it many times. I think the biggest improvement was about over-heating of the tyre. Last year we had a lot of talking about these effects that drivers didn’t like, so we were working a lot on a new family of compounds. You cannot avoid overheating because basically when you follow another car and you lose the downforce the surface overheating is something that happens but the drivers are able to recover the performance very quickly and fight again – so that was important. And we deliver a product that has these characteristics and now we are collecting all the possible information to improve the product for next year. We have 25 days of testing this year with a view to improve the product for next year and we want to work and give even a better product for next year.

Q: Before we talk about next year, is there a desire from any of the teams to see some adjustments made to the compounds during this season?

MI: Changing the compound during the season is always difficult because you change the balance in between teams, so it’s something that we need to discuss carefully with the teams, with the FIA. There is no plan at the moment to change the compounds during the year – but it’s something we can discuss. I’m not saying it’s impossible. I think with the soft/supersoft/ultrasoft compound we are quite on target; at the moment the medium is a bit far from the soft in terms of delta lap time, and we need to understand the hard because we’ve never used it before and the first time is in Barcelona – so let’s collect some data first and then we can discuss – but there is no plan at the moment.

Q: You did some 2018 tyre testing with Ferrari at the Bahrain test last week: what can you tell us? What did you learn?

MI: It was the first test so we had to take some information basically on the direction we want to take for the future. We tested different prototypes with different solutions. Obviously the tests are blind, like they were in the past, so the teams just know the level of baseline and we tested different baselines: soft, medium, hard to define the direction of development. We collected very important information – we had some issues at the beginning – thanks to the teams that authorised us to have an extension of time from 6pm to 9pm so that we could complete the test plan and we collected quite useful information for the direction.

Q: And finally Mario, what have you learned during today’s running here in Sochi about tyre performance this weekend?

MI: The performance seems to be good because in terms of lap time we are already quicker than last year’s pole position. Obviously we are talking about one step of softer compound: last year we didn’t have the ultrasoft – but the performance seems to be quite good. This circuit is low-degradation, we know since year one. That’s why we decided to bring the ultrasoft, supersoft and soft. The delta laptime at the moment seems to be one second between the soft and super and super to ultra. We are currently having a look at the long runs of the afternoon to understand the level of degradation and possible strategies. I think it will be a one-stop race anyway.

Q: Matt, it’s been a very difficult season for McLaren-Honda so far and Honda’s problems are well documented, so what can you tell us about your chassis, your car? Have you hit your pre-season target?

Matt MORRIS: Yes we have. We set ourselves some pretty aggressive targets on the chassis. We made a conscious decision towards the end of last year to spend some time trying to understand where the limitations of the car were and hold off on our development of this year’s car. That sort of made it quite a tight programme for us over the winter, to get everything to Melbourne, but we did, we achieved our targets and our development rate at the moment is unbelievably high. Most of that comes from the fact that the regulations have obviously changed a lot from last year but no, we’re finding performance on an hourly basis almost and the challenge now is to bring that to the track as soon as we can. We’ve got a load of new bits here and then for Barcelona we’ve got a major upgrade so it’s been a challenge but I think that as an engineering team we’ve actually produced a good chassis.

Q: Has the development of this year’s car been compromised by the lack of on-track running you’ve been able to do?

MM: Yeah, absolutely, particularly with the new regulations, the new tyres, winter testing was going to be all about understanding that, to check that we’d taken the right direction and obviously help us guide our development direction. When you spend so much time in the garage it makes it very difficult to understand the car and obviously we went to Bahrain just the other week and that was almost a continuation of our pre-season testing if you like, because we didn’t get all we wanted to get done in Barcelona. It’s very difficult at race weekends to do a lot of development work so we go through most of the things that we wanted to get through, it was a good test in the end. We suffered reliability issues on the first day but coming out of that, again, I think it helped us confirm the direction that we’re heading in and yeah, we’re really looking forward to Barcelona, to bring the big package to Barcelona.

Q: As you say, there were reliability problems on the first day of that Barcelona test but you then did 81 laps on the next day. How do you explain that?

MM: The problems that we were having, I guess some of it was good luck, some of it bad luck but you sort of make your own luck in this game. We had some bad luck on the first day and arguably some good luck on the second day and that’s why we did no miles on the first day and whatever, 80-odd laps on the second day. But it’s good that we had those issues at the test; it’s then given us some time to get them resolved for here and beyond.

Q: And Matt, I know you go to Sakura in Japan every month, so you might be the right person to ask about the relationship with Honda. How strained has it been at times this year?

MM: Yeah, it is clearly a strained relationship but actually it’s a very strong relationship and I think things like this tend to bring you close together if you like. I think one of our biggest disappointments was that we weren’t expecting to have all the reliability issues that we’ve had and I think that took some swallowing I think, but we’ve got over that disappointment, we’ve all sat down like big boys and discussed how we get ourselves out of the situation and obviously we’re doing everything we can to support Honda and Honda have set themselves some pretty bold targets for this year which, if they deliver on, then it’ll be a very different story, because I think we’ve got a decent chassis under us so yeah, if those two come together then we might be talking about a different subject.

Q: Otmar, Sergio Perez said last week that the team has over-performed this year. Is that true?

Otmar SZAFNAUER: Well, we set our target to finish fourth again this year and that’s where we are so over-performed might be had we been sitting in third with an objective of fourth then I can see him saying that’s true but now it’s where we wanted to be and we’re doing everything in our power to maintain our position.

Q: It’s been quite difficult to read exactly where this year’s car is in the pecking order. How good do you think it is?

OS: Well, it’s still early days. We’ve had three races and they haven’t been quite straightforward. We’ve got a rookie driver, so to speak.  Esteban hasn’t driven a Formula One car on a lot of the circuits at the beginning of the year, so he’s still learning. We had NIco last year who’s well experienced. First, to be sitting in fourth – I think it’s very tight in the mid-field – is good, it’s going to be difficult for us to maintain that position. Your question is how good is the car? Time will tell. I think Matt mentioned that there is a massive rate of development this year. We’re seeing the same thing. I think looking back at the end of the year, even mid-year, we’ll have a better idea of where we sit.

Q: In hindsight, did your battle for fourth place in the Constructors’ championship last year compromise the development of this year’s car?

OS: No, I don’t think so. We started on this year’s car quite early and we had a really good baseline last year. We had a team that’s been together for a long time so we had good continuity there. We had two great drivers who understood the tyres. Because of all that, we were able to start on this year’s car quite early but there’s a lot of development to be had because of the regulation change and we just have to make sure with the resources that we have, we focus in the right areas and reap the low hanging fruit.

Q: You’ve said already that Esteban Ocon is new to a lot of the circuits in Formula One so far this year but he has finished in the points at every race. Sergio did a great drive in Bahrain last time out; how important has it been during these early races to have both drivers scoring points while others may have let opportunity slip?

OS: Yeah, very important and for us to have a reasonable chance of maintaining our fourth place we need both drivers to score points like you say. I know Esteban’s only scored three – I think he’s been tenth every time –  but that’s better than not scoring at all and he’s been a bit disappointed with some of his races. He thinks he could have done a bit better so as time goes on he’ll learn. He’s very competitive and a great racer, I think. Sergio races incredibly well. He’s very tenacious but the risks he takes are calculated so he finishes and finishes in good position so if we can get Esteban to do a little bit better because of experience, which I think he will, I think by mid-season we’ll have two drivers capable of scoring in every race.


Q: (Michael Schmidt – Auto Motor und Sport) Mario, there’s a lot of talk that the tyre window is smaller this year than last year. Can you say by what percentage, has it come down from the top or is it from the lower end?

MI: I honestly don’t think so. The point is that everybody’s trying to use the tyre in the best possible way and the behaviour of the tyre is different because the compounds and the philosophy and the materials that we use for the compounds are different. So it is a behaviour that is more common for what you can call hard compounds – you don’t have a real peak of grip, you have a warm-up phase, then you achieve the grip and then the tyre is quite consistent. In the past, all the drivers could feel the peak of grip and then the degradation and now it’s a different behaviour so it is clear that the lap times are so close that any small difference in how you manage the tyre in the preparation lap, in the race pace can make a difference. And this is part of Formula One and the technology that is behind Formula One with the new cars, the new regulations, the additional downforce. They are also probably more sensitive to small adjustments in the set-up and so that means that you are stressing the tyre in a different way. It’s not the working range of the tyre that is narrower compared to the past.

Q: (Dieter Rencken – Racing Lines) Mario, the Formula One regulations have recently become a lot less restrictive. If we have a look at the engines, there’s no more tokens or whatever, the aerodynamics have opened up and all sorts of things. Yet the tyre regulations are still very restrictive. Alain Prost recently suggested that we should look at a completely free choice of compounds for the drivers, possibly even on different axles and you seem to be against that. Could you expand on your reasons for that please?

MI: I’m not really against if you chose different compounds for the front and rear axle. I think the biggest issue is how to balance the car. But I think it’s more a question for them than for me. I think that we made a good step two years ago, changing the regulations and selecting three compounds per race and giving the freedom to the teams to chose ten sets of tyres for each car out of the 13 that are available at a race weekend, so now there is a  certain degree of freedom. If you consider that here we have soft, supersoft and ultrasoft, I think also with a free choice of tyres, nobody’s going to chose any medium or hard compound so honestly there is not a big difference. The only difference could be on high severity circuits where we are going to use the hard, medium and soft and somebody could chose supersoft and ultrasoft compounds but again it was a good step, two years ago. I think we can always discuss to improve the regulations further. I heard the comment about the possibility to remove the obligation to use two different compounds at a race. Two different compounds at least guarantee one stop and a different strategy. If you remove this rule, I’m not sure that everybody’s going to use the same compound for the race or the same strategy, let’s say, because I’m not saying that with all the compounds you can run all the race. In Bahrain, we had a race with two stops and that is on target. It is clear that any modification on the regulations is possible but it’s also not easy for to change the regulations from two compounds to the three compounds we discussed for one year, in any sporting regulation meeting and together with the FIA and all the teams and I think we achieved a good result but it was not an easy process. We can improve, yes, probably yes, but we have to pay attention not to make a change and then discover that it was not a good change.

Q: Matt, can we get your thoughts on this? Would you welcome free tyre choice or different compounds on different axles?

MM: Well yeah, as an engineer and knowing all the engineers that work with me I’m sure they’d love to have more things to change but to be honest with you, the sort of axles on these cars tend to be pretty balanced. Some circuits are a little bit harder on the front, some are a little bit harder on the rear but it’s not a big difference, and I think even if we had that choice we would probably not use the different compounds anyway. I think we’d probably be looking at what we always do: trying to get the soft compounds to work on the car. It would be something that would clearly be interesting but I don’t think it’s a big game-changer and not a big subject in my eyes.

FIA Formula One World Championship

Formula OneRussian Grand PrixPress ConferenceTeam PersonnelF1F1, Formula 1, Motorsport, FIA, Russian Grand PrixSEASON 2017SportCircuit1SportFIA Formula One World ChampionshipCircuitF1SEASON 2017Formula OneRussian Grand PrixPress ConferenceTeam Personnel00Friday, April 28, 2017 – 7:18pmFriday, April 28, 2017 – 7:18pm Source: http://ift.tt/1nrhiOR

Tiago Monteiro extends lead in Italy, despite expecting a “disaster” at Monza

Honda’s Tiago Monteiro leaves Monza with a 15-point lead in the drivers’ standings over Volvo’s Thed Björk, after taking two podiums at the circuit which Honda expected would be the weakest on the calendar for them.

After struggling during the pre-season test at the circuit last month, Honda surprised from the off, with Monteiro leading the first practice session. The Portuguese driver then qualified in second position, just behind the much-fancied Volvo of Thed Björk, converting that into a second-place finish in the main race, whilst moving up from ninth to third in the reversed grid opening race.

“Coming out of here with two podiums was not expected,” said Monteiro to TouringCarTimes. “We honestly thought this race was going to be a disaster. The package, power, aerodynamics, chassis, has really improved as you can see. Rob (Huff) was saying me what have we done compared to last year? There’s no doubt about it, it’s a better car.”

While Monteiro leads the standings, the Honda driver admits that he’s had a lucky start to the year so far, but hopes that it continues.

“I haven’t had any bad luck yet, but it’ll probably come,” he said. “It’s very rare you do a whole championship without one bad weekend. All the champions like Yvan Muller, Gabriele Tarquini, they’ve all said to me the year you win the championship is the year you have the most good luck.”

Source: http://ift.tt/1hZFF9N

2017 Russian Grand Prix

Russian Grand Prix 2017

Sochi Autodrom, Sunday 30 April

A hugely disappointing afternoon for the whole McLaren-Honda team after Fernando Alonso failed to start the Russian Grand Prix, and Stoffel Vandoorne took the chequered flag in 14th position.

Fernando suffered an ERS software fault on the parade lap, and, despite attempting to restart it during the lap, he was unable to make it back to the pits and was left stranded on the circuit.

Stoffel put his head down and drove a tidy, measured race, finishing 14th – getting the best from his car but unable to challenge any of the runners ahead of him.


FERNANDO  ALONSO, McLaren-Honda Driver, MCL32-03

  Started  15th     
  Finished  DNS –  ERS software failure (0 laps)    
  Fastest lap   –    
  Pitstops  –    

“It’s tough, it’s frustrating – every weekend is the same.

“My power unit didn’t have the usual power during the formation lap, so my engineer told me to change some settings on the steering wheel. Unfortunately, that didn’t work and towards the end of the lap the engine shut down. My race was over before it started.

“Not being able to take part in the race today and not being able to finish any race so far this season is extremely tough.

“But Formula 1 is my life, so hopefully we can improve the situation soon.”


STOFFEL VANDOORNE, McLaren-Honda Driver, MCL32-01

  Started  19th (after Fernando’s retirement)    
  Finished  14th    
  Fastest lap  1m39.790s on lap 47 (+2.946s, 14th)    
  Pitstops Two: laps 1 (2.73s) and 24 (3.26s + 5s penalty) [Prime/Option/Option]    

“From my side, 14th position was pretty much the best possible result today.

“I had a decent start but had to avoid a first-corner accident, which meant I got a five-second time penalty for missing the markers at Turn Two.

“However, I don’t think that did anything to change today’s result. It was a pretty normal race, we ran at our own pace, I did the maximum possible and I think 14th is a fair reflection of where we’re at.

“Fernando not being able to start shows that there’s still a lot of work to do on the reliability side – that’s two races in a row where two McLarens haven’t started. That’s a shame, but at least we got to the finish – that meant a lot of learning for the team and a lot of learning for myself.

“But, in terms of pace, we’re still not quick enough – that’s for sure.”


ERIC BOULLIER, McLaren-Honda Racing Director

“You cannot hide behind a result like this: finishing 14th is not why McLaren-Honda goes racing, and, believe me, we are working hard to make sure this level of performance doesn’t last for long.

“That said, it’s still extremely disappointing to run into reliability and performance issues during a race weekend – we must work together to pull ourselves out of this position.

“Given the performance limitations he had today, Stoffel drove a very measured and efficient race, doing everything that was asked of him to look after his tyres and fuel. As I say, 14th is not a notable result, but it’s exactly what we could expect from his car this afternoon. It’s pleasing that he was able to make the finish and gain some useful mileage.

“As for Fernando, I share his frustration – it’s not acceptable to start the second consecutive grand prix with only one car, and we need to address this shortcoming immediately. He is naturally disappointed, but things will get better.”


YUSUKE HASEGAWA, Honda R&D Co. Ltd Head of F1 Project & Executive Chief Engineer 

“We’ve had an incredibly difficult and ultimately disappointing weekend here in Russia.

“That said, it was a positive that Stoffel finished the race, especially in such tough conditions, starting from the back of the grid. Today his running was impressive and he kept consistent pace in a difficult situation with tyre and fuel management. Stoffel hasn’t had an easy start to the season with many issues during each race weekend, so we’re happy that he finally took the chequered flag, albeit in P14 which is of course not where we want to be.

“Fernando lost the power from his deployment with the system failure of ERS during the formation lap. Although we tried to fix it by rebooting the system while running, we weren’t able to recover it. As a result, we had to stop the car out on the track and were unable to start the race. We’ll be investigating the cause of the system failure.

“It’s a big disappointment for us that we’re not able to complete the race with both drivers, but we will move forwards from this and keep pushing. We’re expecting some updates to the PU over the next few races, and we’ll continue working on our development in order to be more competitive with better reliability.”

Source: http://ift.tt/1fy3AvV

Mehdi Bennani and Thed Björk given penalties for incidents at Monza

Sébastien Loeb Racing’s Mehdi Bennani and Volvo’s Thed Björk have been punished by the stewards for incidents in the opening race at Monza.

Bennani and Honda’s Norbert Michelisz came together at the end of the third lap at the Parabolica whilst fighting for the lead. Michelisz made a move down the inside of Bennani’s Citroën, with the two locking wheels as the Moroccan turned into the corner, both sustaining terminal suspension damage.

“I didn’t expect him to fight at Parabolica, as it’s very tricky,” said Bennani to TouringCarTimes. “When I started to brake at the same point as I had before, and I felt a big crash and the race was over. At the end we are both losers, as we’ve lost a lot of points and given them to the others.”

Michelisz was unhappy about the damage to both his car and his championship standings after the incident, leaving the race weekend 39 points behind team-mate Tiago Monteiro in fourth in the standings.

“He should either defend before the corner, or if he leaves the door open, he shouldn’t turn into the corner as if I wasn’t there,” said Michelisz to TouringCarTimes.

“I can accept that he didn’t see me, but it doesn’t help me get the points back. I think everyone understood that the decision was because Mehdi turned into the corner like I wasn’t there.”

The stewards investigated the incident and have handed Bennani a five-place grid penalty for the next race at the Hungaroring.

Thed Björk meanwhile was given a one-second penalty for his pass on Esteban Guerrieri’s Campos Chevrolet in Race 1. The penalty drops Björk behind Guerrieri to fifth in the result, and so he drops back two more points to Monteiro in the championship standings, with the Portuguese driver now 15 points ahead.

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Francisco Mora wins in Estoril and takes TCR Iberian points lead

Veloso Motorsport driver Francisco Mora led from the start to the finish to win the second race of the TCR Iberian series at Estoril.

Morea led the way from the pole position, followed by Cesar Machado and Amalia Vinyes, all driving SEAT Leóns.

The race positions remained stable, until on lap five, Francisco Abreu, in his Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR, overtook Vinyes for third position.

Further behind, Francesc Gutiérrez, CEO of V-Line.org, the series promoter, was recovering positions having started from tenth on the grid at the wheel of a SEAT León shared with Jose Monroy, seventh in yesterday’s race.

At the chequered flag Francisco Mora took his first victory of the year, which also counts towards Portuguese TCR series. Cesar Machado was second, with Francisco Abreu in third, completing an all-Portuguese podium.

Amalia Vinyes was fourth and the winner in the Spanish TCR, followed by the Leóns of Nuno Batista, Max Llobet, Francesc Gutiérrez, Gustavo Moura, Ricardo Leitao and Ricardo Gomes.

After the first round in Estoril, Francisco Mora leads the standings with 57 points, with Francisco Abreu 10 points adrift.

Next round of the TCR Iberian series takes place at the Spanish track of El Jarama, from the 10th to the 11th of June.

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Florian Thoma takes maiden win at Oschersleben

Engstler Motorsport driver Florian Thoma led a lights-to-flag race at Motorsport Arena Oschersleben to score his first win in the TCR Germany series.

At the start, poleman Thoma (Volkswagen) took the lead, ahead of Pascal Eberle (SEAT) and Tim Zimmermann (Audi). At the end of lap one, Zimmermann took the inside of Eberle, with Josh Files (Honda), José Rodrigues (Honda) and Sheldon van der Linde (Audi) following suit.

Thoma kept his foot down, improving his lap times, but Zimmermann was also able to lap quickly, reducing the gap to the leader. Further back, Kris Richard (Honda) took advantage of the fights and bumps ahead of him to recover from tenth to eighth, reaching Sandro Kaibach (Audi). Richard, however, lost to Max Hofer at the beginning of the fifth lap.

On lap 5 Niels Langeveld spun his Audi at the end of the main straight, being stuck in the gravel trap, with the safety car being called into action. On a separate incident, Rudolf Rhyn (SEAT) had to retire after colliding with Kristian Poulsen (Volkswagen) at Zeppelin Kurve.

The race was relaunched after three laps under the safety car, with Thoma maintaining the lead ahead of Zimmerman, now under pressure from Josh Files. A a mistake from the Briton on lap 11 caused him to lose ground to his team-mate and fall within Jose Rodrigues’ grasp.

Kris Richard was able to make a comeback, overtaking Max Hofer and Sandro Kaibach, and quickly reducing the distance to Pascal Eberle.

The safety car was called into action again on lap 14 after the engine in Moritz Oestreich’s Honda Civic caught fire, with the driver desperately looking for a fire extinguisher. The German and the marshals managed to put the fire out quickly. The race was restarted after just two laps and with less than two minutes on the clock.

Florian Thoma maintained the lead, with Josh Files increasing the pressure on Tim Zimmermann for the second place. Jose Rodrigues also wanted to fight for the podium, clinging to the Briton’s rear bumper.

At the chequered flag, Florian Thoma took his first victory in the TCR Germany series, followed by Target Competition’s Tim Zimmermann and Josh Files.

Jose Rodrigues slid at the exit of Amman Kurve and again at Bauer, coming under pressure from Sheldon van der Linde. The Portuguese, however, was able to prevail against the South African, taking fourth position by just 0.033 seconds.

Sixth was Pascal Eberle, who managed to hold off Kris Richard. Antti Buri (SEAT) climbed up to eighth position, ahead of Sandro Kaibach and Harald Proczyk (SEAT).

Luca Engstler (VW) climbed from 24th on the grid to 16th at the chequered flag to take his second weekend victory in the Rookie Class.

The next round of the TCR Germany series takes place at the Red Bull Ring on 10-11th of June.

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