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“It’s frustrating to have performed so poorly” – Yuki Tsunoda

Scuderia AlphaTauri’s, Yuki Tsunoda, was unable to convert his ninth-place starting position to a points finish at the Miami Grand Prix, citing that he “struggled with pace” from the start and couldn’t recover the positions lost. He ended up finishing twelfth after being promoted a position due to Daniel Ricciardo’s five-second time penalty. 

“I’m really disappointed with today. On the first lap I struggled with pace and was overtaken by a few cars, then I wasn’t able to recover from there for the rest of the race.”

Tsunoda was able to move up the timesheets with each practice session, a positive trend that saw him go from eighteenth to thirteenth to eleventh, followed by a solid qualifying that allowed him to reach Qualifying 3.

He said that the team had “built-up confidence” in the AT03 and its abilities on the brand-new track since the start of the weekend, which added to the disappointment of his inability to score points after a solid showing at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

“We were happy with the way that we’d built up our confidence in the car from FP1, so it’s frustrating to have performed so poorly today.”

“Race result is disappointing after such a strong Qualifying” – AlphaTauri’s Jody Egginton

Scuderia AlphaTauri were unable to convert their fruitful qualifying results to points at the Miami Grand Prix, as Yuki Tsunoda finished twelfth and an incident with Lando Norris resulted in Pierre Gasly’s retirement from the race.

AlphaTauri Technical Director Jody Egginton said that the result was particularly “disappointing” considering their Saturday performance. He praised Gasly’s efforts in the midfield battles, and said that the two consecutive incidents with Fernando Alonso and Norris accumulated into his retirement.

“Today’s race result is disappointing after such a strong Qualifying. Pierre battled strongly in the midfield against the Alpines, but unfortunately was hit by Alonso during a passing manoeuvre, costing him to lose places to both the Alpine and Stroll. Soon after, he had contact with Norris which caused more damage to his car, meaning we had no choice but to retire him from the race.”

Egginton said that the team “gambled” when it came to Tsunoda’s strategy, as the Japanese driver was having difficulty in the beginning of the race. Ultimately, the early stop he took did not help matters, and the car’s performance remained less than ideal. A second stop onto soft tyres saw some improvement, however, it was too late in the Grand Prix for Tsunoda to recover points. 

“Yuki struggled in the first stint, so we gambled on an early stop but the pace and car balance in his second stint was also inconsistent, meaning it was difficult to make sufficient progress. We need to go through all the data to understand the reasons behind these issues. Yuki managed to show some better pace in his final stint on the soft tyre, but by this point we were running out of laps to move forward further, and he finished out of the points.” 

Maximilian Günther: “We need to optimize our package to be strong overall”

Maximilian Günther says this weekend’s Berlin E-Prix double-header will be a challenge for all drivers, with the German aiming for a return to the points after a troubled start to the 2021-22 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship season.

The Nissan e.dams driver was on course for the top ten in the last round in Monaco, but a lack of usable energy cost him dearly as he dropped to the back of the field on the final lap.

However, Günther is heading to a track he knows well and has fond memories of, with the German having taken a victory at the Tempelhof Airport Street Circuit back in 2020.

“I’m very much looking forward to my second home race of the season!” said Günther.  “My first one was last week in Monaco, where I live, and now Berlin.

“It’s always a challenge to race here. The high grip levels of the concrete surface are quite unique, and there are a lot of overtaking opportunities. So we need to optimize our package to be strong overall.

Alex Palou Fastest in GMR Grand Prix First Practice, Ilott Dazzles Once Again

The month of May at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is now officially underway with the completion of the first practice session for the GMR Grand Prix, and championship leader Alex Palou sits atop the timing sheets much like he does the points standings.

After a red flag was displayed with under two minutes left for Helio Castroneves who spun in front of the pit entry in turn 13, some drivers elected to put on a fresh set of firestone tyres and squeeze in one more flying lap. Palou was one of them, and took the top spot right at the end.

It came at the expense of Callum Ilott and Juncos Hollinger Racing, however, who are already turning heads once again like they did at Barber Motorsports Park. Ilott bested some of the most dominant drivers at the IMS road course like Will Power and Simon Pagenaud, finishing second in the session.

“I think we learned a lot last weekend at Barber,” said car owner Ricardo Juncos. “We’re improving every time, every lap we’re improving ourselves, himself [Callum], the whole team, so obviously we’re very happy to be here and what we’re doing as well, it’s very challenging. [Callum] has some experience at the track from last year, we did a pre-season test before the last few races so, so far so good.”

Behind him sat Power, who was consistently one of the fastest this session, in third, and Graham Rahal in fourth who, like Palou, benefitted from fresh tyres at the end of the session.

Race for the Planet Season 1 set for early summer release

Regardless of one’s opinion on Drive to Survive, there is no denying the impact it has had on Formula One‘s growth. With so many motorsport championships having documentary series in the works like NASCAR and IndyCar, Extreme E is doing the same with Race for the Planet. Produced by NEO Studios, the five-part series will begin streaming on Amazon Prime Video in the United Kingdom and Ireland in early summer.

“We are absolutely thrilled to announce our new documentary Race for the Planet, highlighting the untold stories behind the scenes of Extreme E on and off the track, taking audiences along with us as we race in the most remote locations of the planet,” said Extreme E Chief Marketing Officer Ali Russell. “We have captured what it is like to race and breathe Extreme E. We break down the barriers, bring authenticity to displaying the ups and down of motorsport, the challenges and essentially, how gladiatorial Extreme E is. Listening into the intimate thoughts of some of the best drivers in motorsport makes this documentary even more exciting and entertaining.

“Working with Prime Video was the perfect way to release this original documentary to showcase Extreme E as pioneers and a sport for purpose Championship. Not only will Race for the Planet bring our fans and viewers into the heart of our racing and legacy projects, but this documentary will also attract a new audience to Extreme E.”

Each episode follows a round of the 2021 season. For example, the first episode “Bite the Dust” details the inaugural XE race, the Desert X Prix in Saudi Arabia, while the fifth and final chapter “Old Rivalries” focuses on the season-ending Jurassic X Prix. In between are “Roots” (Ocean X Prix), “Thin Ice” (Arctic), and “Fired Up” (Island). Non-racing segments are led by interviews with various drivers: Kyle LeDuc, Catie Munnings, Laia Sanz, and the Hansen brothers Kevin and Timmy. The show also discusses legacy programmes that the series has undertaken to raise environmental awareness.
A theatrical premiere took place in late April.

“The idea of Extreme E is so bold and exciting, and what we have is really the ultimate account of the competition’s first campaign,” added executive producer Anouk Mertens. “The series not only documents an incredible season of racing in some of the most extreme conditions imaginable, but also shines the light on some remarkable human stories. We are excited to be partnering with Prime Video to get the show to audiences later this year.”

Matt Crafton’s Darlington penalty rescinded, top 5 restored

Matt Crafton can breathe a little easier as his fifth-place finish in Friday’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Darlington Raceway has been restored. The run was previously taken away when his #88 ThorSport Racing Toyota Tundra TRD Pro failed post-race inspection.

After the race, the truck was ruled to be too low in the front, a violation of Section 14.17.3.2.1.2.A of the rulebook and resulting in a disqualification. ThorSport appealed to the National Motorsports Appeals Panel, which later announced announced:

“Upon hearing the testimony, the decisions of the National Motorsports Appeals Panel are:

That the Appellants did not violate the Rule(s) set forth in the Penalty Notice.That the Panel rescinds the original Penalty assessed by NASCAR.”

The panel was led by Dixon Johnston, Tom DeLoach, and Hunter Nickell. Johnston previously worked as a racing marketing executive while Nickell was the CEO of Raycom Sports. DeLoach was the co-owner of Truck team Red Horse Racing from 2004 to its closure in 2017.

With the penalty wiped, Crafton improves from thirteenth to tenth in points. Consequently, Matt DiBenedetto is bumped back from tenth to eleventh in the race finish.

Mikaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky becomes first female driver to receive Motor Prince’s Medal

The Motor Prince’s Medal (Motorprinsens Medalj) is one of the highest honours a Swedish racing figure could receive. Forty-seven years after its introduction, Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky has become the first female driver to be awarded the medal, doing so in a ceremony on Wednesday.

Åhlin-Kottulinsky received the medal for her achievements in the Scandinavian Touring Car Championship and Extreme E, the former of which saw her finish second in the 2021 championship while she currently leads the latter’s standings with Rosberg X Racing. She is the first female driver to win in the STCC, with two career wins in 2018 and 2019. In Extreme E, she scored her maiden win in the 2022 season-opening Desert X Prix, while her five podiums lead all drivers regardless of gender. In March, Åhlin-Kottulinsky and fellow Swede Annie Seel won the inaugural Rally Jameel, an all-women’s rally raid in Saudi Arabia.

Åhlin-Kottulinsky joins Tina Thörner as the only women to earn the medal. Thörner, the 2012 recipient, did so in recognition of her rally co-driving.

“I am extremely honoured to be awarded the Motor Prince’s Medal as the first female driver,” Åhlin-Kottulinsky wrote on social media. “Thank you KAK (Kungliga Automobil Klubben; the Royal Automobile Club) for the award, I will wear this medal with pride!”

Wednesday’s ceremony was overseen by Prince Carl Philip, Duke of Värmland. Also honoured were fellow STCC driver Thed Björk, RXR team-mate Johan Kristoffersson, and Extreme E peer Timmy Hansen.

“It was quite difficult to overtake off-line” – Lance Stroll

Lance Stroll drove superbly at the Miami International Autodrome last Sunday, to claim a point despite having started from the pit-lane. On the other side of the Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One Team, Sebastian Vettel had another race to forget after being forced into retirement late-on.

Stroll did brilliantly to work his way through the field at the Miami Grand Prix, the Canadian started the race on the Hard compound and ran deep into the Grand Prix. The Aston Martin driver made the most of the race’s only Safety Car, by pitting the moment it was brought out.

This saved Stroll valuable seconds, leaving him within touching distance of a points finish. Stroll initially crossed the line in eleventh-place but was bumped up to tenth after Fernando Alonso was awarded a late time penalty.

The Canadian spoke to the media before Alonso’s penalty was awarded, about how frustrated he was to have at the time, just missed out on some points.

“Overall a frustrating afternoon. It was a shame to start from the pit lane but once the race was underway we showed some reasonable pace today. It was quite difficult to overtake off-line, but we made good decisions and put ourselves in a position to finish inside the top 10 by pitting under the Safety Car. I think points could have been on the table, but a bad restart and contact with Kevin [Magnussen] prevented that.”

Vettel retirement “no fault of his own” – Aston Martin’s Mike Krack

It was a mixed Miami Grand Prix for the Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One Team, after Lance Stroll recovered to finish tenth whilst team-mate Sebastian Vettel retired late-on at the Miami International Autodrome.

Stroll put in a strong performance in Miami, to take home a single-point despite having started from the pit-lane. The Canadian initially crossed the line in eleventh but was elevated to tenth following a late time penalty for Fernando Alonso.

Vettel was also on-track for a points finish, until he was suddenly forced into retirement after Mick Schumacher dived-up the inside of him at Turn 1, where the pair then collided.

Aston Martin Team Principal, Mike Krack blamed Schumacher for Vettel’s retirement when he spoke to the media before Alonso’s penalty was announced.

“Today was a frustrating day. First, we had a fuel temperature issue that delayed the release of our cars from the garage, resulting in both our drivers starting the race from the pit lane. They made good progress on Hard tyres early on, and we were able to bring them in for Mediums during the Safety Car deployment triggered by [Lando] Norris’s lap-41 shunt. Sebastian was then running in 11th  place on new Mediums, just behind [Esteban] Ocon on older Softs and [Mick] Schumacher on older Hards.

PREVIEW: 2022 NTT IndyCar Series – GMR Grand Prix

It’s finally May, and that means that the NTT IndyCar Series is back home again in Indiana. Kicking the festivities off at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is the GMR Grand Prix, the fifth race of the 2022 season.

After a Penske-perfect start to the year, Pato O’Ward became the first non-Team Penske driver to win a race this season with his victory at the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama. A tough outing at Barber Motorsports Park for then-championship leader Josef Newgarden saw him drop the top spot to Alex Palou, who takes control of the title race with 144 points.

“The Captain” still dominates the top five, with Scott McLaughlin holding strong in second place, only three points behind Palou with 141 points. Newgarden sits third now on 135 points. Will Power is in fourth only one point behind Newgarden with 134 points, and O’Ward leaps into the top five after his win on 114 points.

This weekend also marks the return of two-time Indianapolis 500 champion Juan Pablo Montoya to the grid, as he prepares for another run at the Borg-Warner Trophy.

Who gets their May off to the best possible start? Will Penske be able to regain form? Can Chip Ganassi Racing turn Palou’s championship lead into their first win of the season? Here’s everything you need to know ahead of the GMR Grand Prix.



Granfors tops the table and the GB3 talking points after Silverstone

The GB3 Championship is already at one-quarter distance, with six of 24 races completed after the second round at Silverstone (7/8 May).

An early title fight is emerging, while storylines are being established up and down the grid which will likely run all season.

Let’s take a look at the state of play after the first of two visits to the home of the British Grand Prix in 2022.

Granfors storms through reverse-grid to lead standings

Joel Granfors stepped up from the F4 British Championship for this season, and has no doubt made the best start to life in GB3 of the seven making that step up.

A maiden podium in Race 2 at Oulton Park, which saw him have to defend from reigning British F4 champion Matthew Rees, was an impressive drive for only his second race in F3 machinery.



Stoffel Vandoorne: “It’s super important to get the car in a window where it goes well”

Stoffel Vandoorne arrives at the Tempelhof Airport Street Circuit with confidence and the championship lead after winning the Monaco E-Prix last time out, and the Belgian is eager for more success this weekend.

The Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team driver took his first victory of the 2021-22 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship season in Monaco, and he has fond memories of this weekend’s venue having taken his maiden series win there in 2020.

And Vandoorne is confident he can return to the top step of the podium this weekend and further cement himself as one of the favourites to take the title this season.

“We’ll be back in Berlin at the weekend for another double header and our team’s home race,” said Vandoorne.  “We’ve done well in Berlin previously.

“I’ve been on pole a couple of times before there, have taken quite a few podiums and secured my maiden win in Formula E in 2020, so you could say that this track has suited us well so far.”

Kevin Hansen recounts Desert X Prix injury and recovery

Speaking with Extreme E, Kevin Hansen gave more details on the injuries he suffered in February’s season-opening Desert X Prix that left him hospitalised and rehabbing for the next few months.

In the Crazy Race for the Desert X Prix in Neom, Hansen roared to an early lead in the JBXE car before switching off to team-mate Molly Taylor. However, an especially hard landing during his furious charge caused him to break his T8 vertebra and bruise his lung. Hansen explained a major factor in the injury came in the seat arrangement.

“Molly had an insert in her seat and I didn’t, and that compression in the final downhill run in Neom meant that my hips were not fully fixed to the seat,” Hansen told Extreme E. “When I moved forward, the weakest point of my body going over any jumps was my back. My hip moved a bit and it compressed my top vertebra, which led to the crack.

“I’ve been through worse compressions previously when competing in rallycross, but just catching the wrong part of terrain at the wrong time was a bit too much and that caused the injury. I experienced huge, incredible pain almost immediately and I knew I had broken my spine straight away. I had no doubt about that. I also heard the crack and it was really loud. I could feel it directly.”

After confirming he still had feeling in his legs, he completed the painful drive to the switching bay. Once Taylor got in, Hansen laid down before medical assistance arrived. JBXE would finish third.

Oliver Rowland: “Hopefully we can move forward in the same way again”

Oliver Rowland may have missed out on points in the Monaco E-Prix, but the British racer says he was ‘really proud’ of his Mahindra Racing team for the way they came to the principality with a strong car after a difficult opening few races of the season.

Rowland was in contention for the points in Monaco, but a late race crash with Tag Heuer Porsche FE Team’s André Lotterer put paid to his chances and left him with only four points to his name across the first six races of the 2021-22 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship season.

Heading into the Berlin E-Prix double header, Rowland says he hopes the form and progress shown by Mahindra can continue into the two races at the Tempelhof Airport Street Circuit, with an appearance in the Qualifying duels amongst his aim for the weekend.

“Despite not getting a result in Monaco, I actually left feeling really proud of my team and what they had achieved in the two weeks since Rome,” said Rowland.  “After Monaco, we did the same again – heads down and working hard – so hopefully we can move forward in the same way again this weekend.

“I won in Berlin back in 2020, after taking pole position, so I’ll be arriving this weekend aiming for more success. I’ve just missed out on the Duels in the last two events so getting through is a main goal of mine.”

Edoardo Mortara on Berlin Potential: “I know that we can contend for big points”

Edoardo Mortara is eyeing strong performances in Qualifying for this weekend’s double header at the Tempelhof Airport Street Circuit, with the Swiss racer knowing the importance at starting near the front of the field.

The ROKiT Venturi Racing driver has shown he has had the pace during the races during the 2021-22 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship season but fighting through the field has meant he has not been able to score as many points as he would have liked heading to the Berlin E-Prix.  He currently sits fifth in the standings, thirty-two points behind championship leader Stoffel Vandoorne.

Mortara had a good weekend in Berlin during season seven last year, and he hopes for a return to the kind of form that took him to the top of the Drivers’ Championship earlier in the season.

“I’m looking forward to returning to Berlin,” said Mortara. “Last season we showed real promise in Berlin and in Race One, we missed out on the win by only a handful of tenths of a second.

“Although we have had the pace to fight through the field this season, qualifying is as important as ever. If I can start in a good position, I know that we can contend for big points and hopefully have a strong race weekend.”


RaceScene.com