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Colton Herta Wins Wet and Wild GMR Grand Prix

Colton Herta mastered the changing conditions that turned the GMR Grand Prix into a wet and wild mess of never-ending cautions and tyre strategy to take his first win of the 2022 season, with Simon Pagenaud and Will Power rounding out the podium.

After making an error on tyre choice at the last pit stops going onto the red tyres, Herta was the first to come in for wets. While Scott McLaughlin, Pato O’Ward, and Romain Grosjean all stayed out on slick reds, spinning under multiple cautions through the last 20 minutes of the race, Herta blitzed away to victory, winning under caution after a crash by Juan Pablo Montoya.

This race was the first full-wet race since the first race of the 2019 Detroit Grand Prix, and after a delayed start IndyCar decided that the race would end after 85 laps or 120 minutes, whichever came first. Very quickly after Power led the field to green, Herta made the gamble to pit on lap three for red tyres. With the race starting full-wet there were no mandatory black-wall tyres, the choice was easy to go onto the reds.

That move launched Herta from his fourteenth starting place into the lead, but was overcut by O’Ward who pit the next lap and took the lead back. With the advantage of warmer tyres, Herta made one of the most insane saves in history in turn eight before capitalizing on an O’Ward mistake to take the lead. From there, Herta navigated the carnage and take home the win.

“That was just awesome,” Herta said in Victory Lane. “That was the hardest race I think I’ve ever done.”


Turkington seals 25th BTCC career pole with BMW domination at Brands Hatch

Team BMW‘s Colin Turkington will look to kick start his title charge tomorrow (Sunday 15th) at Brands Hatch Indy after sealing a 25th career pole position earlier on Saturday during qualifying.

It is a front row dominated by BMW with Turkington’s teammates, Jake Hill and Stephen Jelley finishing just behind with Adam Morgan for Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport also getting in on the act as he continues to impress alongside rookie George Gamble who finished 7th in another strong qualifying effort

The leading front wheel drive effort came from the Honda of Josh Cook in fifth with Tom Ingram who performed admirably with no hybrid with the perils of being top of the Drivers’ Championship evident still finishing sixth. While behind Gamble was the NAPA Racing UK effort of Dan Cammish with his team-mate and reigning champion, Ash Sutton continuing his issues and he sits 18th place.

Similarly, Jason Plato struggled for pace down in 22nd place and so both will be drivers to watch out for on the Indy circuit on Sunday afternoon with a potential eye on the reverse grid. Rory Butcher and Dan Rowbottom rounded out the top ten, with the latter likely not pleased with his efforts but he won the bragging rights over his teammate Gordon Shedden who sits in 11th.

As usual, the closeness of the field was evident over the 25 minute session with Turkington all the way down to Jade Edwards in 25th were all within a second with only Nic Hamilton, Jack Butel, Rick Parfitt and Will Powell not within that range.

Stoffel Vandoorne: “I’m honestly a bit surprised that I still made it onto the podium”

Stoffel Vandoorne admitted finishing on the podium in the opening race of the Berlin E-Prix on Saturday was a bit of a surprise, particularly after falling down the field in the opening laps.

Having started eighth on the grid, the Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team driver did not have the best of starts at the Tempelhof Airport Street Circuit, and he fell well outside the top ten before be began his fightback.

Vandoorne said it was important to stay cool during his recovery, and he utilised a good strategy to ensure he maintained his lead in the Drivers’ Championship.  He finished less than two seconds behind race winner Edoardo Mortara, and only missed out on second to Jean-Éric Vergne after losing out to the Frenchman after he used his Fanboost advantage.

“Considering the way the E-Prix started, I’m honestly a bit surprised that I still made it onto the podium,” said Vandoorne.  “From eighth on the grid, I didn’t exactly have the best of first laps, and I lost a lot of places over the course of it.

“After that, I think I was actually way down in P15 at one point in the race. But I kept my cool and started to feel that there was good pace in the car. I was able to take advantage of that today and pull off some neat overtaking moves.

Jean-Éric Vergne: “I was not just going to sit behind and be happy with second”

Jean-Éric Vergne continued his strong start to the 2021-22 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship season with a second-place finish in the first of the two races at the Tempelhof Airport Street Circuit on Saturday, but that first win of the year still eludes the two-time champion.

The DS Techeetah driver lost a place off the line to Tag Heuer Porsche FE Team’s André Lotterer, but he had the pace to fight at the front of the field and was challenging race leader Edoardo Mortara towards the end of the race.

Unfortunately for Vergne, a move on the ROKiT Venturi Racing driver with six laps to go failed to pay off, and rather than challenging for the win he was left to defend his second place against Stoffel Vandoorne until the chequered flag.

But despite this, he was pleased to finish second, and he knew he had to at least make an attempt on taking the lead against Mortara rather than settle for an easier finish.

“It was an eventful race, a lot of things happened,” said Vergne.  “We had a strong pace today and I’m happy with second. Obviously, I tried to overtake Eduardo (Mortara) but he saw me coming so I could not overtake.

Edoardo Mortara: “I think we can be very happy about how we executed the race today”

Edoardo Mortara was ecstatic after taking his second victory of the 2021-22 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship season on Saturday, with the Swiss driver appearing to have the first race of the Berlin E-Prix under control from start to finish.

The ROKiT Venturi Racing driver had started the day in the right way by taking his first Formula E pole position at the Tempelhof Airport Street Circuit, and he converted that into the victory despite the pack being close behind for much of the race.

Mortara used his two attack modes to good use, utilising them later than his rivals to ensure he was able to fight back to the front, and he was never outside the top three, ultimately closing out the win by 1.782 seconds from DS Techeetah’s Jean-Éric Vergne.

“I think we can be very happy about how we executed the race today,” said Mortara. “It was amazing to take my first pole position in qualifying, especially after coming close to it quite a few times this season.

“Because energy consumption is quite high in Berlin, it is always difficult to lead because it allows the guys behind to under consume with the slipstream. For that reason, it was mega that we were able to keep the lead for the entire time and be able to build a gap so we could take both Attack Modes without losing too much track position.

Superb Mortara Denies Vergne, Vandoorne to Take Opening Berlin Victory

Edoardo Mortara took his second victory of the 2021-22 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship season after a hard-fought opening race of the Berlin E-Prix at the Tempelhof Airport Street Circuit on Saturday.

The ROKiT Venturi Racing driver started from pole position and controlled the race for much of the afternoon, only falling behind other drivers by being out of sync during the attack mode windows.  He also survived a late attack from Jean-Éric Vergne that failed to pay off to clinch the victory.

Mortara held onto the lead at the start ahead of Mahindra Racing’s Alexander Sims, with the Briton forced to defend from a fast-starting António Félix da Costa into turn one. 

Stoffel Vandoorne made a slow start from eighth on the grid to fall outside of the top ten, as did Nissan e.dams’ Sébastien Buemi, who fell to fifteenth having started tenth.

The lead pack soon began to shuffle around as they utilised their attack modes, with Mortara, Sims, DS Techeetah duo Vergne and Félix da Costa, and the Tag Heuer Porsche FE Team pairing of André Lotterer and Pascal Wehrlein pulling a small gap to the rest of the pack.

McLaren Racing to Take over Mercedes-EQ Entry from Season Nine of Formula E

McLaren Racing will make their debut in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship next season after agreeing a deal to take over the running of the Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team.

Having signed an option to join the third generation of Formula E at the beginning of 2021, the option has now been taken up, with the Woking based team adding a Formula E team alongside its FIA Formula 1 World Championship, Extreme E, NTT IndyCar Series and esports outfits.

Current Mercedes Team Principal Ian James will remain in the same role when the team switches over to McLaren ownership, but announcements on who will be the drivers, powertrain suppliers and other commercial partners will be come in the upcoming weeks and months.

“Today’s announcement confirms the next exciting chapter in the development of the team,” said James.  “Since our inception in 2019, performance, sustainability and adaptability have been the keys to our success.

“Mercedes-Benz have been the main enablers for this team so far and when we started this journey, we could only have hoped for the results we’ve achieved to date. The company’s clear objectives and technological expertise accelerated our ambitions, and I would like to thank them for being the most supportive owner by helping us to do what we do best: racing.

Avalanche Andretti to be Powered by Porsche from Start of Gen3 Era

The Avalanche Andretti FE Team has announced that they will be powered by Porsche powertrains from the start of season nine, replacing BMW.

BMW withdrew their factory team at the end of season seven but allowed Andretti to continue to use their powertrains for an additional season, but new regulations for season nine – the first of the Gen 3 era of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship – meant it was impossible for this partnership to continue further.

Porsche committed themselves to the Gen 3 era and will now also provide powertrains to a customer team alongside their own Tag Heuer Porsche FE Team, much to the delight of Roger Griffiths, the Team Principal of Avalanche Andretti FE Team.

“Season 9 will be an important year for our team and the series,” said Griffiths. “It was vital that we made a strong choice in our powertrain provider in preparation for this new chapter and exciting generation of car – and we have that in Porsche. We are looking forward to starting Gen3 as a formidable competitor.

“We remain focused on the rest of this season, we continue our powertrain relationship with BMW, who have been a valued partner to our team and will support us until the end of this season. We’ve had many successes together through the years and thank them for both their partnership and friendship.”

Mortara Finally Snatches Maiden Formula E Pole Position for Berlin Opener

Edoardo Mortara took his maiden ABB FIA Formula E World Championship pole position on Saturday as he denied surprise package Alexander Sims to take top spot for race one of the Berlin E-Prix.

In the previous fifty-one races of his Formula E career, Mortara had never started at the very front of the grid and had twice made the finals of the Qualifying duels this season only to miss out on pole position.

But a great final sector, coupled with a slow one for Sims, allowed the ROKiT Venturi Racing driver to finally take the pole position his form has deserved.

Sims was perhaps fortunate to be in the duels at all, let alone in the final, with Sébastien Buemi having a lap time deleted for a pit lane violation meaning the Mahindra Racing driver advanced rather than the Nissan e.dams driver, but after that, the Briton was superb.

The quarter finals saw him depose of Tag Heuer Porsche FE Team’s Pascal Wehrlein, the fastest driver of the initial group sessions, but the semi-final was a lot more controversial, with Sims and DS Techeetah’s Jean-Éric Vergne setting identical lap times.

Jack Doohan to Receive First-ever Formula 1 Outing

Jack Doohan is set to receive his first-ever taste of Formula 1 machinery at the Losail International Circuit, Qatar. The Formula 2 driver will drive for the BWT Alpine F1 Team on the final day of their three-day test at the circuit, using the A521.

Doohan, who has been part of the Alpine Academy since January, has joined his Australian compatriot and Alpine Reserve Driver Oscar Piastri, who has also been taking part in the team’s test.

The nineteen-year-old joins Alpine in the Middle East on the back of a mixed start to his season, he lined up on pole at the season opener in Bahrain and recently stood on the podium in Imola.

Doohan is understandably excited to get to experience the thrill of being behind the wheel of a Formula 1 car.

“I’m super excited to drive a Formula 1 car for the first time. This is a moment that I’ve been building up to ever since I started racing karts, and I know these opportunities are extremely privileged. I’m very grateful to Alpine for the opportunity and I’m looking forward to giving it my best on the test day.

Will Power wins sixth IMS RC pole with GMR Grand Prix qualifying run

Will Power winning the pole at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course is like grass being green. While much of the hype for Friday’s NTT IndyCar Series qualifying for the GMR Grand Prix revolved around Conor Daly and Callum Ilott‘s impressive runs, Power walked away with his sixth pole on the road course.

Power’s time of 1:09.76 topped Álex Palou‘s 1:09.80. He previously won the IMS Road Course pole in 2015, 2017, 2018, and two of the three races in 2020, while he has five total IndyCar victories on the layout including the August date in 2021.

Palou was the lone non-Chevrolet driver in the Fast Six, a group that surprisingly contained Indiana native Daly. Daly qualified fourth behind the two mentioned and Josef Newgarden for his best run of the season and tied 2020 at Mid-Ohio for his strongest career road course qualifying effort. It is also Ed Carpenter Racing‘s second-best qualifying performance at the IMS GP after Rinus VeeKay‘s pole in the 2020 Harvest Grand Prix #1; VeeKay, the defending GMR GP winner, qualified fifteenth.

Pato O’Ward, who led Practice #2 earlier in the day, was fifth ahead of Felix Rosenqvist.

Ilott fell short of making the Fast Six, but he continued his strong weekend by qualifying seventh after being second in Thursday practice behind Palou. Trailing him by one spot was fellow rookie Christian Lundgaard.

Pirelli’s Mario Isola impressed by tyres “strong performance” in Miami

Max Verstappen continued his run of winning every race he finishes in 2022, after taking his third victory of the season at the inaugural Miami Grand Prix. Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz Jr rounded off the podium, with the top-three all completing the race on a one-stop strategy.

Prior to the race, a two-stop strategy was predicted to be the fastest option in Miami, however, many of the top ten stretched out their first stint to enable a one-stop.

The majority of the drivers started the race on the yellow-walled Medium tyres, whereas a handful started on the white-walled Hards. Those who started on the hard compound extended their first-stint until the race’s only Safety Car occured, after Lando Norris and Pierre Gasly collided heavily late-on.

George Russell made the most of the opportunity to pit under the Safety Car, and was on fresher and faster tyres at the end of the race than those around him. This saw Russell finish in fifth-place having started from twelfth.

Pirelli’s Motorsport Director, Mario Isola was very impressed by how well the tyres held up on the newly-built circuit.

“The pace in the car was there” – Haas’ Guenther Steiner

Haas F1 Team’s first home race of the season came to a disappointing end, with Kevin Magnussen retiring late on and Mick Schumacher finishing fifteenth at the Miami Grand Prix.

Despite both drivers having poor Qualifyings, Schumacher and Magnussen found themselves in the points half-way through the race at the Miami International Autodrome.

By the end of the race though, it had become an afternoon in the blazing sun to forget. Magnussen retired from the race following a collision with Lance Stroll, whilst Schumacher dropped to fifteenth following a late incident with Sebastian Vettel.

Haas Team Principal, Guenther Steiner was understandably disappointed by the end result, especially as both drivers demonstrated good pace.

“Clearly not the day we wanted – especially this being one of our home events. The pace in the car was there and it was demonstrated by both drivers, but once again we got unlucky with some events on track. It’s disappointing to look like you were going to come away with points and then not – Mick’s incident with Sebastian took care of that unfortunately.

Schumacher “gutted” following Vettel collision in Miami

Mick Schumacher’s inaugural Miami Grand Prix came to a disappointing end, the German was involved in a late incident with Sebastian Vettel which saw the young German’s hopes of scoring his first Formula 1 points diminish.

Schumacher who started the race in fifteenth, made an excellent start at the Miami International Autodrome. It wasn’t long until the Haas F1 Team driver found himself in the top ten, and on-track for his first points in the championship.

It came to a crashing end for Schumacher though, after the German went for an audacious move on his “mentor”. The move saw Schumacher collide with Vettel, resulting in the Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team driver retiring immediately. Schumacher went on to finish fifteenth, after pitting for a nose change.

Schumacher was bitterly disappointed to have missed out on points, in what he called “our best race so far this year”.

“The car was really good so I’m gutted that we didn’t get to stay in position – I think it was our best race so far this year. We’re all racers, we’re all trying, and it was always going to be tough to keep new tyres behind us and it was very unfortunate to end the race in that way. We were on the road to getting points, but we’ll have to wait some more.”

Wehrlein Confident of Porsche’s Victory Chances in Berlin Double-Header

Pascal Wehrlein is looking to put the disappointment of losing a potential victory in the Monaco E-Prix two weeks ago behind him as the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship rolls into Germany for the Berlin E-Prix double-header this weekend.

The Tag Heuer Porsche FE Team driver had just taken over the lead when he suddenly slowed in Monaco, and he was forced to pull over and stop the car, ending his chances of a second victory of the season.

Despite that disappointment, Wehrlein says the team are eager to race in front of their home fans this weekend, and the pace the team showed in Monaco prior to the retirement gives him hope that they will be quick this weekend at the Tempelhof Airport Street Circuit.

“We’re all looking forward to this race,” said Wehrlein. “In Berlin, there will be a lot of Porsche fans at the racetrack supporting us from the sidelines. This will be a real home game and a special motivation for the whole team.

“The competition in Formula E is extreme, you can’t win every weekend. In Mexico, we gave a very strong performance, and even in Monaco a podium finish would’ve been possible, maybe even a win. Everything was coming together.


RaceScene.com