Former F1 driver and owner of MotorSport Vision (who run F2 and the new BRDC F4 series, and own Brands Hatch and Snetterton) Jonathan Palmer is 56 today.
On This Day:
The final race of the 1993 season became Ayrton Senna’s final race for McLaren, his final victory, and the last time he would ever complete an F1 race. His great rival Alain Prost shared the podium with him, taking part in his final F1 race and putting the last flourish on his fourth world championship. Prost’s Williams teammate Damon Hill was third.
Sebastian Vettel didn’t quite dominate the 2010 season, but he pulled off two spectacular victories and took advantage of his rivals mistakes to clinch the championship. Brazil was the first of those victories, in a race briefly interrupted by a crash from Force India’s Tonio Liuzzi. Vettel had started second after Nico Hulkenberg pulled off an astonishing lap in changeable conditions to take pole for Williams. Hulkenberg would be dropped from Williams for 2011, before returning with Force India in 2012.
It was a hot day in Estoril yesterday, but Daniil Kvyat wasn’t put off. Driving for MW Arden, the Formula Renault Alps champion, and Eurocup runner-up, set the fastest time of 1:30.902 in the afternoon. Marussia’s Tio Ellinas, already a GP3 race winner, was second-fastest, and close behind. The morning session had been almost as fast, though Ellinas came out ahead of Kvyat.
At Yas Marina, Kevin Magnussen came out on top for McLaren, closely followed by Antonio Felix da Costa at Red Bull. McLaren’s regular test driver Gary Paffett, and 2012 DTM runner-up, set the third-fastest time in the afternoon.
Tony Fernandes will not be continuing in his role as Caterham’s Team Principal. As a busy CEO with less and less time for F1, it makes sense for him to give the role over to someone who can be trackside at all times and make the important calls.
HRT may be fielding Chinese reserve driver Ma Qing Hua as one of their 2013 lineup. This is provided HRT can afford to pay the entry fee for 2013, which rumours suggest they have not yet paid. Ma, who last year was 1600cc champion in the China Touring Car Championship, is an unlikely F1 driver.
Finally, Karun Chandhok and Narain Karthikeyan have signed up to the 2012 Race of Champions as Team India. It is the first time India has ever had a RoC team. Meanwhile Ho-Pin Tung and Han Han have signed up as Team China, both having competed in the 2009 event in Beijing. Han Han is both the China Rally Championship and China Touring Car Championship winner this year. They will be competing against drivers such as Michael Schumacher, Sebastian Vettel, David Coulthard and Jorge Lorenzo.
F1 testing and GP3 testing continue in Abu Dhabi and Portugal.
Stat of the Day:
The last podium to feature none of Vettel, Webber, Hamilton, Button or Alonso was the 2008 Hungarian Grand Prix won by Heikki Kovalainen. If you also include Kimi Raikkonen, then it’s the 2008 Canadian Grand Prix won by Robert Kubica.