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“It’s going to be an exciting afternoon of tough racing” – Mercedes’ Toto Wolff

Team Principal at the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team Toto Wolff, is expecting a very tough but exciting Styrian Grand Prix with Lewis Hamilton starting second and Valtteri Bottas in fifth.

Yet again it will be Hamilton alongside Max Verstappen on the front row of the grid, the world champion is looking to claw some points back on the Red Bull Racing driver on Sunday, in a bid to halt the Dutchman’s momentum.

Mercedes have tended to have a quicker car on race day compared to qualifying this season, Wolff is hoping that this will mean both Silver Arrows will be able to take the fight to Verstappen where rain might play a key role.

“Overall, I think our qualifying result was probably a bit better than we expected after practice. Valtteri made a strong recovery from a tricky Friday and did a good job of damage limitation for his penalty – he will start P5 tomorrow and has a good opportunity running the Medium tyre in the opening stint. On his side, Lewis had strong runs and looking at the data, it’s not clear where he’d have been able to eke out any more time this afternoon.

“We ran a slightly unusual session, with Valtteri doing three runs in Q2, while Lewis did the same on the Soft tyres in Q3. That allowed us to squeeze everything out of the car and control the pace of our out laps in the best way to manage the tyres for our car. Both drivers will be starting on Medium tomorrow and we have generally raced stronger than we have qualified this season.

Lando Norris: “The car felt good throughout all of qualifying”

Lando Norris was one of the stars of Qualifying for the Styrian Grand Prix, with the Briton able to put himself fourth fastest in Q3, which becomes third once Valtteri Bottas’ three-place grid penalty is applied.

The McLaren F1 Team driver was able to out-qualify Red Bull Racing’s Sergio Pérez, with Norris less than three-tenths of a second away from pole position, which was set by the other Red Bull of Max Verstappen.

Norris says there are a lot of positives to take away from Qualifying at the Red Bull Ring, and he is in a good position to continue his unbroken run of points scores on Sunday afternoon.

“A very good quali – P3 in the end,” said Norris.  “The car felt good throughout all of qualifying, I was confident and could always make the small improvements needed.

“That gave us P3, which is nice – especially to be only two-and-a-bit-tenths off pole. A lot of positives and a very good position for us to score some solid points tomorrow, but it’s a long race and that’s where the points are. That’s the important thing.”

Red Bull’s Christian Horner: “It was another great Team performance today”

Christian Horner praised his Red Bull Racing team for their performance during Qualifying for the Styrian Grand Prix on Saturday, with Max Verstappen securing the team’s first ever pole position at the Red Bull Ring.

It is Verstappen’s third pole position of 2021, having taken top spot in Qualifying in the Bahrain and French Grand Prix.  It was also the first time he has taken poles in consecutive races.

Team-mate Sergio Pérez qualified fifth but will start fourth after Valtteri Bottas takes his three-place grid penalty, although it was a far less straightforward session for the Mexican who struggled to get out of Q1.

Horner, the Team Principal of Red Bull, says the team have put themselves into a good position for Sunday’s race at the Red Bull Ring, although he knows Pérez will need to get ahead of McLaren F1 Team’s Lando Norris if he is to be in contention for the victory.

“It was another great Team performance today, securing our first pole position at the Red Bull Ring,” said Horner.  “Max did a great job once again, completing two laps in Q3 that were quick enough for pole and achieving his first back-to-back pole positions.

“We live to fight another day” – Lewis Hamilton

For the second successive race, Lewis Hamilton will line up alongside Max Verstappen on the front row of the grid, again however it will be from the second place spot rather than pole!

Hamilton had no answer to Verstappen’s relentless pace in qualifying despite topping the final practice session. The world champion also gave it three goes in final qualifying in a bid to take the top spot, but it was to no avail.

Come the end of qualifying Hamilton wasn’t actually the fastest of the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team drivers, Valtteri Bottas would have been starting the race from second with Hamilton in third but of course has a three-place grid penalty.

So it’s Hamilton versus Verstappen in the Styrian hillside, can the British driver get his revenge for the French Grand Prix?

“Firstly, well done to Max – they have been so fast this weekend and they’ve had two tenths on us through every session. I have been giving it absolutely everything but it just wasn’t the greatest of qualifying sessions for me today. Nevertheless, it’s still the front row after the penalty and we live to fight another day – we’re there with the Red Bulls at the start so let’s see what we can do, it makes for an exciting race.
“I’m proud of everyone’s hard work, and for continuing to push, we’re still in the fight and we’ve done a good job given the circumstances. I’m going try and enjoy my evening, gather my thoughts and come back strong tomorrow.”

Max Verstappen: “We made a big step forward in qualifying this year”

Max Verstappen was delighted to take pole position for the Styrian Grand Prix on Saturday, with the Dutchman relatively comfortable in Q3 as his two best laps were good enough to take top spot.

The Red Bull Racing driver continued his fine form of 2021, with Verstappen the only driver to dip beneath the sixty-four second mark in Qualifying, his lap of 1:03.841 more than two tenths of a second ahead of the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team pairing of Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton.

Verstappen says Red Bull have made good gains in Qualifying in 2021, and the championship leaders form continued at the Red Bull Ring as he took his third pole position of the season.

“It is of course a great result to take the Team’s first pole position at our home track and I feel very good about that,” said Verstappen.  “We made a big step forward in qualifying this year and although the car has been competitive and pretty easy to set-up all weekend we still made some good changes for qualifying.

“From my side, the first lap in Q3 felt pretty good. Around here you don’t have many corners but it is actually quite hard to nail the lap because of the braking up to Turn 3 and 4 where it is easy to lose a tenth if you make a tiny mistake.”

Edoardo Mortara: “This has been the best race weekend of my entire career”

Edoardo Mortara took his second career ABB FIA Formula E World Championship victory in race two of the Puebla E-Prix last Sunday, with the win also seeing him take over at the top of the championship standings.

Having finished third in race one on Saturday, the Swiss racer played the perfect tactical battle to defeat Tag Heuer Porsche Formula E Team’s Pascal Wehrlein to the chequered flag to take the win, with the ROKiT Venturi Racing driver scoring forty points across the weekend.

And Mortara says the Puebla E-Prix weekend was the best of his career to date.

“What a weekend,” said Mortara.  “Yesterday, we finished third on the podium and today, we went two steps further to take the win.

“Scoring 40 points on one race weekend alone is incredible and after winning today, I’m honestly speechless. This has been the best race weekend of my entire career.”

Di Grassi Revels in ‘Very Special’ Victory in Opening Race of Puebla E-Prix

Lucas di Grassi feels he is back in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship battle after taking his first win of the season in the opening race of the Puebla E-Prix last Saturday.

The Brazilian finished second on the road but was immediately promoted to victory after Pascal Wehrlein was disqualified from first place after his Tag Heuer Porsche Formula E Team failed to declare his tyres prior to the race.

From eighth on the grid, di Grassi drove well and used his attack mode to good effect to make up places, and he was in prime position once the decision was made by the stewards about Wehrlein.

It is di Grassi’s eleventh Formula E victory, and the thirty-third time he has stood on the podium, and he says his Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler team continue to show their credentials despite the German marque announcing their departure from the championship at the end of the season.

“This victory feels very special,” said di Grassi on Saturday. “Today, we finally proved that our Audi e-tron FE07 is a real winner.

Ushijima takes first British F3 win in Race 1 at Silverstone

The second round of the 2021 BRDC British Formula 3 Championship began with Race 1 at Silverstone on Saturday afternoon, where Hitech GP‘s Reece Ushijima took his maiden win in the series.

The Japanese-American driver took pole on Saturday morning, ahead of Zak O’Sullivan (Carlin) and Frederick Lubin (Arden Motorsport).

Lubin slipped back to sixth in the opening exchanges, with Bart Horsten, Javier Sagrera and Roberto Faria moving past between Abbey and Aintree.

Alex Connor, Bryce Aron, Max Marzorati and Chris Dittmann Racing team-mate Ayrton Simmons all overtook José Garfias who dropped to 14th.

The top three remained unchanged from then, with Ushijima and O’Sullivan pulling a three-second gap to Horsten and the rest of the chasing pack.

Rowbottom secures maiden BTCC pole position in Team Dynamics lockout with Shedden at Brands Hatch Indy

Dan Rowbottom has taken a maiden British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) pole position around the Brands Hatch Indy circuit in a front row lockout with Halfords Racing with Cataclean (Team Dynamics) teammate Gordon Shedden.

A session which saw Jake Hill lead throughout and not a lot of drivers improving, the MB Motorsport driver finished third ahead of Tom Oliphant, Aidan Moffat, Tom Ingram, Ash Sutton, Chris Smiley, Josh Cook and Stephen Jelley.

After criticism from certain quarters about his inclusion in the squad alongside Shedden this season, Rowbottom has once again proved the doubters wrong and will aim for a first race win tomorrow.

While further down, Colin Turkington didn’t have a great session finishing 14th with many title contenders having poor sessions or having times expunged due to track limits offences.

To start off, 21 cars were covered by less than a second early in the session with Hill leading with 48.179 which was +0.078secs ahead of Oliphant with Ingram covering the top three as just over 20 minutes remained.

Verstappen Continues His Dominance after Securing Pole For The Styrian Grand Prix

It’s back-to-back for poles for Max Verstappen after a stormer of a lap during the Styrian Grand Prix qualifying. 

Championship leader Verstappen was the only driver to get his car into the one minute, three seconds times all weekend, and he cemented his place on top with two laps good enough for pole position in Q3.

Q1 – Haas Out Again

Nicholas Latifi still hasn’t been able to outqualify Williams Racing team-mate George Russell. Yet again, Russell got through to Q2, but Latifi just missed out in sixteenth. However, the Canadian was less than seven-tenths of a second behind the best lap of the session.

Esteban Ocon was the surprise omission of Q1. The Alpine F1 Team driver had looked fast all weekend and a Q3 entry was looking promising, but he struggled and could only get seventeenth.

Antonio Giovinazzi was able to not only outqualify his Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN team-mate, but he also pushed his car into Q2. Kimi Räikkönen couldn’t follow him and is starting eighteenth. His session was hindered when he went off at Turn 4 during a flying lap.

Hamilton in Prime Position in Styria after topping Final Practice at the Red Bull Ring

Max Verstappen couldn’t complete a hat-trick of fastest times, with Lewis Hamilton topping the final practice session of the Styrian Grand Prix. 

Yet again, the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team duo of Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas seemed to be on the back foot compared to Red Bull Racing, but the team was able to pull a couple of rapid laps out to beat their rivals. 

In the battle on top, Hamilton and Bottas came first and third respectively, with the duo being sandwiched by Verstappen in third. Sergio Pérez wasn’t too far behind in fourth. 

Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda seem to be on fine form. Pierre Gasly has been one of the standout drivers of the year and his pace is getting stronger. He was fifth fastest with his team-mate Yuki Tsunoda following just behind him in sixth.

Scuderia Ferrari will be hoping to put the disaster of Paul Ricard behind them after walking away from the French Grand Prix with no points. However, the Red Bull Ring hasn’t been kind to them, with the duo of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz Jr. struggling to have the pace of those in front. Leclerc finished seventh with Sainz Jr. in thirteenth. 

Ushijima fastest in British F3 Qualifying at Silverstone

Reece Ushijima topped the times in Qualifying for Hitech GP as the BRDC British Formula 3 Championship began its weekend at a Silverstone on Saturday morning.

Arden Motorsport‘s Frederick Lubin was fastest on Thursday morning’s second pre-event testing session and on Friday afternoon, with Ushijima, Roberto Faria and Javier Sagrera sharing the top of the timing sheets across the six sessions.

The three Carlin cars of Christian Mansell, Championship leader Zak O’Sullivan and Bryce Aron set the early pace in Qualifying, before Faria went fastest for Fortec Motorsport.

Faria’s team-mate Mikkel Grundtvig and Douglas Motorsport‘s Reema Juffali spent time at the top of the table as times fell towards the halfway stage of the session.

Ushijima and Hitech team-mate Bart Horsten sat first and third with eight minutes remaining, sandwiching Lubin.

Ryan Ellis to make Cup return at Kansas, first race since 2016

For the first time in five years, Ryan Ellis will race in the NASCAR Cup Series. Ellis confirmed Friday that he will drive for Rick Ware Racing in October’s race at Kansas Speedway.

The news was initially revealed on Wednesday in an episode of his and Matt DiBenedetto‘s Not Another Racing Podcast show. Cody Ware, a Cup driver for RWR and close friend of Ellis, was a special co-host for the episode and dropped the news shortly after his segment discussing his IndyCar Series début. In the episode, Ware explains the deal came together as his way of making up to Ellis after the Ware wrecked Ellis on the final lap of June’s Xfinity Series race at Mid-Ohio.

“Afterwards, you know how horrible I felt—the text messages were gold, the gifs and everything you sent me,” Ware said. “At that point, me and my dad were talking and obviously, he knows how bad I felt. He felt bad for you too. We both know how hard you work and you’re always digging to find sponsorship to get to the race track any chance you get.

“That’s why we’re super stoked to be able to bring you on for the Cup race at Kansas later on this season, to give you another chance and hopefully just let you have some fun and do what you do.”

Ellis quipped in response, “If you crash me in that race in your dad’s car…

Seidl Welcomes FIA’s Changes to Pit Stop Procedures, but Horner Disagrees with Rule Change

From the Hungarian Grand Prix onwards, the FIA have announced that they will be changes to pit stops in order to reduce the amount of automation involved.

Some teams are thought to be utilising sensors and automatic systems to quicken stops, but the FIA want minimum reaction times of humans to be taken into consideration.

These means at least 0.15 seconds from when the wheel nut is tightened to the jack man being told to drop the car to the ground, while another 0.2 seconds will be taken between the jacks going down and the driver being told to drive away.  This is thought to be a safety aspect before any possible issue arises.

Andreas Seidl, the Team Principal of the McLaren F1 Team, has welcomed the news, and he says it is important to ensure the safety of the pit crew.  He is also delighted it is being introduced before something major happens.

“Safety for our pit crew is one of the most important things for us as a team,” Seidl is quoted as saying by  “It’s such a very competitive battlefield in F1, and therefore I think it is good to clarify even further of what the FIA is expecting in order to be within the rules.

Carlos Sainz Jr.: “Tomorrow we will concentrate more on enhancing the car’s performance”

Carlos Sainz Jr. says most of Scuderia Ferrari’s focus on Friday at the Red Bull Ring was on long-run pace and testing ways to best keep life in their tyres, particularly on the back of their terrible French Grand Prix last Sunday.

Both Sainz and team-mate Charles Leclerc were unable to keep their tyres in a good operating window last weekend and, after Qualifying inside the top ten on Saturday, both feel out of the top ten to miss out on points.

Sainz says a lot of work will be done on Saturday morning in order to prepare for Qualifying for the Styrian Grand Prix, but for now, they will be analysing the data acquired on Friday in order to prevent a repeat of what happened at the Circuit Paul Ricard last week.

“It was an intense Friday,” said Sainz, who ended eleventh in both Friday sessions.  “In the morning, we tried various set-ups to find the best direction to follow regarding the tyres. Our main aim in both of today’s sessions was to understand the behaviour of the various compounds.

“Tomorrow we will concentrate more on enhancing the car’s performance on flying laps with the aim of qualifying well, but it will not be easy. Our race pace was not bad, but we are cautious and we will continue to analyse all the information and data gathered today.”