Sorry for the silence on this blog recently. I’ve had a hectic few days. My work and my friends always comes before motor racing.
Everyone was testing at Mugello this week, and Lotus were the dominant team in terms of pace. Grosjean and d’Ambrosio shared time in the car, though a wet Tuesday limited the options for the Belgian test driver. On the Wednesday, Kobayashi in the Sauber shared honours with Grosjean at the top of the table, as both set identical times, but on Thursday the French driver stood alone in P1.
Force India lost time due to mechanical difficulties on the Wednesday, while a low-speed crash for Alonso on the Thursday set Ferrari back a couple of hours. The tests were most notable, however, for the enjoyment expressed by the majority of drivers about testing there. Many said that one lap at Mugello was worth 100 elsewhere. Only Petrov stood apart, claiming the track to be too dangerous for F1. As expected, the Russian was rather scorned for his comments.
Caterham have announced that Alex Rossi will be driving in place of Heikki Kovalainen for FP1 at the Spanish Grand Prix next weekend. He will be the first American to drive an F1 car since Scott Speed for Toro Rosso.
The series is at the Hungaroring this weekend. Adrian Quaife-Hobbs took pole for today’s race. He lost his lead off the line to Pal Varhaug and Sergey Sirotkin, but the two battled too fiercely and went off track. Quaife-Hobbs was back in the lead and kept it to the end. Sirotkin fell just behind his opponent, but began losing time and soon found himself battling with Manor MP’s Daniel de Jong. Both drivers chose a late pit stop strategy, but mechanical errors put both of them out. Guerin, tailing the two closely, moved up into a podium position behind his Super Nova teammate. Facu Regalia claimed third, having started eighth.
The World Series by Renault kicked off today, and Daniil Kvyat took pole for the Eurocup race. The first lap saw seven drivers retire in crashes, including all three Manor MP cars. But Korainen’s Kvyat was impeccable, and led when the safety car came out for a second incident half-way through the race. The rain came and ended the race a few minutes early, but championship favourite Kvyat has made the perfect start. He shared the podium with rookie Nyck de Vries, and Stoffel Vandoorne.
Arthur Pic, brother to Charles, took pole for the first race of the season, but a poor start allowed Comtec’s Nick Yelloly into the lead. Just as with the Eurocup, there were plenty of incidents. There were stalled cars from Daniil Move and Richie Stanaway, who was not helped by Giovanni Venturini hitting his car. Another incident on the first lap saw Rossi, Muller, Korjus and Grubmuller take each other out, and the safety car was in use. It was out for four laps, and then Yelloly was able to begin fighting. Carlos Huertas was second, with series rookie Jules Bianchi third. Jake Rosenzweig collided with Pic, allowing Carlin’s Kevin Magnussen to gain positions. Bianchi overtook Huertas for second, then fought Yelloly in the closing laps. The British driver held on for Comtec’s first win since 2009, and their first real points since 2010 (they scored 2 in the entirety of last season).
Auto GP and the World Series by Renault continue tomorrow. There’s also action from Moto GP, DTM, the WEC, and the WTCC!