French Grand Prix – Time for the “triple header”
Le Castellet hosts the first of three GPs on consecutive weekends
The doyen of all Grands Prix returns to the calendar after an absence of ten years. The first race to be called a Grand Prix was held in France, 112 years ago at Le Mans. Back then, the track was triangular and measured 103 kilometres, of which 12 laps were required to make up the race distance. It was won by the Hungarian, Ferenc Szisz in a Renault, at a respectable average speed of 101.19 km/h.
Many years later, F1 as we know it began and the French GP moved around various circuits: Reims, Le Mans, Rouen, Clermont-Ferrand and Dijon. Then, before the Magny-Cours facility was built, the lion’s share of races took place at the Le Castellet Circuit, otherwise known as Paul Ricard. The last race was held there in 1990 and was won by Alain Prost driving a Ferrari 641. From then on, the track was used for testing, with facilities for watering the track, but with no permanent grandstands.
So now, the race returns to Provence with a race that kicks off F1’s first ever triple-header, with three GPs- France, Austria, Great Britain – one weekend apart, followed by a weekend off before two back-to-backs at Hockenheim and the Hungaroring. It makes for a very demanding schedule in the run up to the August break.
Planning for three events, with one of them at what is effectively a brand new venue, is no easy logistical task. However, after Sunday’s race, our cars and a good part of the personnel, will return to Maranello. This will be a weekend of discovery on the 5.861 km long track, where the tyres available will be the Soft, Supersoft and Ultrasoft, with a construction similar to that used in Spain a month ago.
24 Hours of Le Mans – Two Ferrari customer teams on the podium in the La Sarthe classic
Posted: 17.06.2018 / Source: Ferrari
Le Mans, 17 June 2018 – The 86th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans won’t be remembered with any fondness by Ferrari crews in the GTE-Pro class. A large dose of bad luck, along with the impossibility of fighting on equal terms with other manufacturers due to an unhelpful Balance of Performance (BOP), kept the 488 GTEs of AF Corse off the podium. It was better in the GTE-Am class with two podium finishes thanks to Spirit of Race and Keating Motorsports-Risi Competizione.
GTE-Pro. The race of the Ferrari crews in GTE-Pro class was immediately affected by incidents. A puncture during the third hour forced James Calado to limp from the Michelin chicane to the pits, losing practically a lap. The first Safety Car phase then split the group into three sections, with Porsche no. 92 out on its own behind Safety Car A, all the rest of the GT cars stuck behind Safety Car B car and no. 51 behind the third Safety Car. This cut world champions Calado and Pier Guidi along with Daniel Serra out of the leading group. During the following neutralisation, car no. 71 found itself with a damaged front splitter due to debris from another car and lost a few laps for repairs. The 488 GTE stayed in the race and crossed the finish line in tenth place, earning championship points. Antonio Giovinazzi, Pipo Derani and Toni Vilander in car no. 52 benefited from the Safety Car, moving up into second. During the night Calado, Pier Guidi and Serra lapped like metronomes rising to sixth position before dropping back to eighth due to a shock absorber problem. However, this finish was worth fifth place in terms of points, as only cars entered in the FIA World Endurance Championship are elegible for. Car no. 52, on the other hand, suffered three stops&go’s for speeding in the slow zone and the pits but finished in sixth. Victory went to Christensen-Estre-Vanthoor in the Porsche no. 92.
GTE-Am. As usual, Ferrari customer teams played a leading role in the GTE-Am. In this class too, Porsche made the most of the favourable configuration imposed by the regulations, but Spirit of Race, Keating Motorsport-Risi Competizione and JMW Motorsport teams, later delayed by a series of problems, were in the fight. Giancarlo Fisichella started out like a lion and even led for a time before having to content himself with a fight for a podium place when car no. 77 of Campbell-Ried-Andlauer took a decisive lead. After a difficult start the Keating Motorsports crew pulled off a perfect comeback thanks to solid stints from Ben Keating, Jeroen Bleekemolen and Lucas Stolz. In the final stage Keating’s mistake gave Flohr, Castellacci and Fisichella second position but a podium was never in doubt. The Ferrari of JMW Motorsport (MacNeil-Griffin-Segal) finished fifth while the car of Clearwater Racing (Griffin-Mok-Sawa) was eighth, ahead of the 488 GTE of MR Racing (Ishikawa-Beretta-Cheever III). The overall win went to the Toyota of Alonso-Nakajima-Buemi.
24 Hours of Le Mans – Two Ferraris still in the group
Posted: 17.06.2018 / Source: Ferrari
Le Mans, 17 June 2018 – The sun is shining again over the 24 Hours, but it’s as anaemic as the race enjoyed by the Ferraris in the GTE-Pro class, who haven’t had much luck so far.
GTE-Pro. The 488 GTE no. 52 of AF Corse is still the best placed but slipped from fourth to seventh due to two stop & go’s for a slow zone infringement and one in the pits. The car also had to make the longer pit stop to change the brakes. The same is true for no. 51, in eighth after a night spent on the attack in an attempt to make up time lost with a puncture at the start of the race. Ferrari no. 71 is still on track even though it is several laps off the lead, in eleventh. Porsche no. 92 remains in command.
GTE-Am. Ferrari is still doing well in the class aimed more at gentlemen drivers. The 488 GTE of Keating Motorsport – Risi Competizione is in second, ahead of Flohr-Fisichella-Castellacci for Spirit of Race. JMW Motorsport’s entry has slipped back and is now in eighth behind its Clearwater Racing rival. The Ferrari of MR Racing is tenth.
24 Hours of Le Mans – Midway point in sight
Posted: 17.06.2018 / Source: Ferrari
Le Mans, 17 June 2018 – The 24 Hours of Le Mans is now in its eleventh hour and not much has happened in the last six.
GTE-Pro. In the main class, Antonio Giovinazzi is back at the wheel of the Ferrari 488 GTE no. 52, driving the AF Corse team car into fourth. Daniel Serra is eighth in car no. 51, while no. 71 is in 13th place with Miguel Molina.
GTE-Am. In the GTE-Am class, the Ferraris of Keating Motorsport and JMW Motorsport are in second and third place. Spirit of Race’s car is in sixth while Clearwater Racing holds eighth place. MR Racing rounds off the Ferrari group in 12th.
24 Hours of Le Mans – Car no. 52 battling for the podium
Posted: 16.06.2018 / Source: Ferrari
Le Mans, 16 June 2018 – The 86th edition of the Le Mans 24 Hours race is in its seventh hour and the Ferraris are fighting, with the cars of AF Corse dogged by bad luck.
GTE-Pro. In the early stages of the race, car no. 51 had climbed to fourth when James Calado suffered a puncture at the Michelin chicane and then had to drive the entire lap at a limited speed. A Safety Car, brought on due to a puncture on a prototype, then broke the race into three sections. Porsche no. 92 led, because it was behind Safety Car A, while all the other GT cars were stuck behind Safety Car B, and car no. 51, delayed by the puncture, was behind the third safety car. Car no. 52, with Antonio Giovinazzi at the wheel, benefited from the situation, to take command of the group that was chasing the leader. At the moment, car no. 52 is seventh in the group fighting for the podium, while car no. 51 has been lapped by the race leader. Car no. 71 found itself with a damaged front splitter probably due to debris and lost a few laps for repairs.
GTE-Am. The 488 GTEs of JMW Motorsport and Spirit of Race are continuing their excellent race in the GTE-Am class. Porsche no. 77 leads the field, while the Ferrari of Jeff Segal, Cooper MacNeil and Liam Griffin is in second. The 488 GTE of Keating Motorsport has climbed into fifth with Jeroen Bleekemolen overtaking Thomas Flohr in the twin car of Spirit of Race. Clearwater Racing’s entry is in eighth, while the 488 GTE of MR Racing lost a few laps to a technical problem.
24 Hours of Le Mans – 86th edition underway
Posted: 16.06.2018 / Source: Ferrari
Le Mans, 16 June 2018 – At 3 pm tennis player Rafael Nadal waved the flag to start the 86th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, which was immediately marked by an accident involving two prototypes.
GTE-Pro. At the start, Ferrari 488 GTE no. 51 of AF Corse, driven by James Calado, was overtaken by Porsche no. 93 and Ford no. 66, which took advantage of their higher top speed allowed by the regulations. Sam Bird and Toni Vilander maintained the starting position. Calado was able to recover fifth place.
GTE-Am. Giancarlo Fisichella pulled off a Formula 1 style start, surging from fourth to second in the Ferrari no. 54 of Spirit of Race. Matt Griffin also got off to a great start in the car of Clearwater Racing, as did the car of JMW Motorsport.
Unique Tailor Made specification for the Ferrari 488 Pista
Posted: 15.06.2018 / Source: Ferrari
A tribute to the FIA World Endurance Championship world titles exclusively for client racing drivers
Maranello, 15 June 2018 – In occasion of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Prancing Horse is launching a unique ‘Piloti Ferrari’ specification for the Ferrari 488 Pista. This special custom creation, the latest from the exclusive Tailor Made programme, was designed to recognise the success of clients who race Ferraris and will make its debut on the eve of the legendary French endurance race at the Circuit de la Sarthe. Inspired by AF Corse’s no. 51 car, with which Alessandro Pier Guidi and James Calado won the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) Drivers’ and Manufacturers’ titles, this special finish for the new Ferrari 488 Pista is available exclusively for customers involved in the company’s motor sports programmes.
The exterior features a new livery with stripes in the colours of the Italian flag recalling the racing version of the 488 GTE, embellished by a laurel celebrating the WEC title, the logo of the championship and the word “PRO” indicating the class the car raced in. The Italian flag livery features again along the car’s flanks which are also adorned with the personal race number each client will be able to add. The version that will be unveiled at Le Mans carries the number 51 used by the world championship drivers. The matte black S-Duct and the natural carbon-fibre ‘dovetail’ suspended rear spoiler and vent surrounds round off the personalisation of the exterior.
The ‘Piloti Ferrari’ 488 Pista will be available in four different colours inspired by the world of racing: Rosso Corsa, Blu Tour De France, Nero Daytona and Argento Nürburgring.
The interior, in black Alcantara®, includes seats upholstered with a special perforated version of the same material that incorporates the Italian flag in the central band of the backrest. The national colours are also clearly visible on the edge of the gearshift paddles and on the floormats which, like the carpeting itself, are made of a special technical fabric. The number that features on the external livery also appears on the base of the steering wheel, while all the carbon-fibre trim parts have a matte finish. The personalisation of the interior is completed by an exclusive identification plate and sill trim in carbon-fibre, the latter with the Tailor Made logo.
The ‘Piloti Ferrari’ 488 Pista is powered by the latest 720-cv version of the 3.9-litre turbocharged V8 which has been voted best engine in the world for the third consecutive year at the 2018 International Engine of the Year Awards.
24 Hours of Le Mans – Massive crowds greet the Ferrari drivers parading through the city
Posted: 15.06.2018 / Source: Ferrari
Le Mans, 15 June 2018 – Ferrari drivers took part in the traditional parade through the centre of Le Mans the day before the 24 Hours. The crews of cars no. 51, 71 and 52 were preceded only by the new 488 Pista ‘Piloti Ferrari’, the car that the guys who brought the constructors’ world title to Maranello had unveiled at 12 pm.
Group photo. Before the start of the parade, all 24 drivers competing behind the wheel of a Ferrari 488 GTE posed for a group photo together with the new Tailor Made special series. Some of the biggest cheers, of course, were for the three AF Corse crews racing in the GTE-Pro class: Alessandro Pier Guidi, James Calado and Daniel Serra (car no. 51), Davide Rigon, Sam Bird and Miguel Molina (no. 71) and Antonio Giovinazzi, Pipo Derani and Toni Vilander (no. 52), who threw promotional items and postcards from their classic cars to a public that, as usual, thronged the city streets.
Race at 3 pm. After this light and fun moment, the focus returns to the world’s most gruelling race. The 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2018 will start on Saturday at 3 pm.
24 Hours of Le Mans – The Ferrari of Pier Guidi-Calado-Serra to start from second row
Posted: 15.06.2018 / Source: Ferrari
Le Mans, 15 June 2018 – The Ferrari crews in the GTE-Pro class of the 24 Hours of Le Mans will start on the second, fifth and eighth rows. The 86th edition of the French classic, known to everyone as the toughest race in the world, will kick off at 3 pm on Saturday at the Circuit de la Sarthe circuit. The fastest of the Ferrari in the GTE-Am class will also start from the second row. The six hours of qualifying, which can seem endless to anyone who doesn’t know Le Mans, were a sort of lottery because with 60 cars competing there really was very little free track with no yellow flag to slow down the drivers. Low temperatures and a particularly dirty track made things very difficult. In the last part of the third session the rain also started to fall.
GTE-Pro. In the GTE-Pro class, the times were obtained in the first minutes of the two night sessions. In the first on Wednesday, car no. 51 of world champions Alessandro Pier Guidi and James Calado, together with Daniel Serra, recorded the fifth fastest time in 3:49:854 with Pier Guidi at the wheel. In the third session, the Italian driver improved to 3:49:494, moving up to fourth place. In car no. 71 Sam Bird, alternating at the wheel with Davide Rigon and Miguel Molina, couldn’t do better than a 3:50:669, forced to limit his speed due to a slow zone called by race officials over the last few hundred metres of the lap. On Thursday evening the British driver cut his time to 3:50:246, moving from 12th to 10th. Car no. 52 recorded the sharpest improvement, with Pipo Derani cutting its time from 3:52:112 on Wednesday to 3:50:957 on Thursday. The Porsche no. 91 of Bruni-Makowiecki-Lietz set the best time in 3:47:504.
GTE-Am. The picture in the GTE-Am class was similar to the main category, with Ferraris fighting for a place on the second row. In the end, the 488 GTE no. 54 of Spirit of Race crewed by Giancarlo Fisichella, Francesco Castellacci and Thomas Flohr came out best with a time of 3:51:956 good for fourth position. Clearwater Racing no. 8 will start from the fourth row, with Weng Sun Mok, Matt Griffin and Keita Sawa stopping the clock at 3:53:409, 30 thousandths of a second faster than the 488 GTE of JMW Motorsport driven by Liam Griffin, Cooper MacNeil and Jeff Segal. Ferrari no. 85 of Keating Motorsport, with Stolz-Keating-Bleekemolen, set the eleventh fastest time in 3:54:000, while MR Racing (Ishikawa-Beretta-Cheever III) were 13th in 3:54:951.
24 Hours of Le Mans – Eight Ferrari crews go for glory
Posted: 13.06.2018 / Source: Ferrari
Le Mans, 13 June 2018 – The first free practice session today at 4 pm, will mark the official opening of the 86th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the second round of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC). Sixty cars are due to start, divided equally between prototypes and GT cars. The GT contingent includes 17 cars in the GTE-Pro class and 13 in the GTE-Am. There are three Ferraris in the Pro class and five in the Am.
GTE-Pro. Three Ferraris are competing in the top class for professional drivers, all in the colours of AF Corse. The iconic no. 51 will be crewed by world champions Alessandro Pier Guidi and James Calado, who today celebrates 29 years on the track. They will be joined by Brazilian Daniel Serra. Last year Calado and Pier Guidi dominated the Drivers’ championship with an incredible second half of the season and amazing wins like those at Austin and Fuji. Daniel Serra, instead, started the IMSA season in America with a pole position in the Ferrari of Spirit of Race at both the 24 Hours of Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring. The same trio as last year will drive car no. 71. Sam Bird will take turns in the 488 GTE with Davide Rigon and Miguel Molina, a globetrotting driver who has been notching up some great results in the European Le Mans Series, the Blancpain Endurance and the Pirelli World Challenge.
Car no. 52. The 488 GTE no. 52 is not the usual one that takes part in the FIA WEC. Instead, it is only competing in this race and is doing so with drivers who mix experience and youth. The crew includes Toni Vilander, one of the most experienced drivers in the world, twice winner of the Sarthe classic, Pipo Derani, who despite his tender years has already triumphed in the 24 Hours of Daytona and Sebring, and Antonio Giovinazzi. Giovinazzi has prepared with dedication for his debut in the French race, practising on the simulator and working hard in the test two weeks before the race. Indeed, he recorded the best time for his crew in car no. 52.
GTE-Am. Five Ferrari cars will be racing in the GTE-Am class, three of which are habitual FIA WEC competitors, while the other two appear in Europe and America. Giancarlo Fisichella, Thomas Flohr and Francesco Castellacci will take turns in the 488 GTE of Spirit of Race, while Motoaki Ishikawa, Olivier Beretta and Eddie Cheever III will be in car no. 70 of MR Racing. Car no. 61 of Clearwater Racing, driven by Keitha Sawa, Weng Sun Mok and Matt Griffin, completes the trio of Ferraris entered for the entire championship season. They are joined by the 488 GTEs of JMW Motorsport, which has abandoned its traditional yellow on behalf of sponsor Cooper MacNeil who will be at the wheel along with Jeff Segal and Liam Griffin, and that of Risi Competizione, entered by Keating Motorsport and driven by Jeroen Bleekemolen, Lucas Stolz and Ben Keating. Today’s free practices (4 pm to 8 pm) will be followed by the first qualifying session (10 pm to 12 am). The other two qualifying sessions take place on Thursday (7 pm to 9 pm and 10 pm to 12 am).
Canadian Grand Prix – Montreal 10 June
Maurizio Arrivabene: ”Without a doubt, today’s win is down to a very good car and a great drive from Seb. The team, both at the track and back in Maranello, has worked hard and methodically, preparing the car, which right from Saturday’s qualifying proved to be very quick. The tyres responded very well to the strategies we devised. It’s a shame that Kimi’s mistake in qualifying affected his whole race. There is still a long way to go in the championship and we have to continue giving it our all. I take this opportunity to thank our fans and customers who never fail to show us their support and our sponsors and technical partners, especially Shell, for their support in our development programme.”
Sebastian Vettel: ”This win is very important for our tifosi and for our team, today is a special day. 40 years ago Gilles won here, then 14 years ago it was Michael and I was thinking of that today. At the start I tried to build up a margin, I was happy with my first lap and then the safety car came out and I had to start over again. During my last 10 laps I prayed that my car would not develop a problem until the end! Points are always important but today this win means a lot and not just in terms of Championship. The season is still so long and there are many races ahead. The main thing is that our car is strong and stays like that, so that we can fight.”
Kimi Raikkonen: “Yesterday’s mistake in qualifying did not put ourselves in a good position for the race. Overtaking was very difficult here; I tried to get ahead of Hamilton after my pit stop, but it did not work out. Then It was even difficult to get close enough to him to open the DRS. It was a surprise, because on this track you would expect to see overtaking and fights, instead it was a similar story to two weeks ago in Monaco. The race was boring and not much happened. We decided to stay out a little bit longer on our first set of tyres and I don’t think that cost us any position: it was our only option to try something different.”
Canadian Grand Prix – “Great job, great!”
Seb takes third win and is back leading the championship. Kimi sixth.
Montreal, 10 June –Scuderia Ferrari won the Canadian GP to end a 14 year drought at this track. Seb Vettel is now back in the lead of the championship, while Kimi Raikkonen brought home 8 points for sixth place. A weekend that started with a few difficulties was turned around thanks to team work, a fact Seb was quick to underline.
Seb got away well from pole, while Kimi had Hamilton in his sights, but had to lift off and lost a place. The opening lap saw a collision between Hartley and Stroll, which brought out the Safety Car, which is a classic Montreal feature. Four laps later the race was on again and the number 5 Ferrari pulled out a bit of a lead to ward off the threat of an undercut. At this point, Seb was the only one lapping under the 1’16” barrier and all he had to say on the radio was that the tyres were fine.
The strategy was based on a single stop to take on the hardest compound available here, the Supersoft and then run to the flag. So Kimi also upped his pace a bit. Seb locked his front wheels and lost a second and then had some traffic to deal with. But once he’d cleared the backmarkers, he banged in a super third sector to set the fastest lap on lap 29.
Kimi also upped his pace prior to his pit stop in the hope of attacking Hamilton. He came in on lap 33 and had his rival in his sights, but lost time lapping Sirotkin.
Out in front, Sebastian led by around 6 seconds. Raikkonen set the fastest lap and was back in the hunt. On lap 37, Bottas pitted and that was the sign for the Scuderia to also bring in Vettel and the mechanics did a good job on his car.
After that it was a race run at arms length, with Seb managing his lead, the tyres and fuel consumption and paying particular attention to the backmarkers. Behind Seb, Bottas had to fend off a hard charging Verstappen.
“Tell them not to wave the chequered flag, it’s not over yet,” said Seb on the radio. He was right, as there was still a lap to go, the best one of the whole weekend.
Canadian Grand Prix – “This pole means a lot to us”
Seb over the moon after Qualifying, Kimi unsure about what happened
Montreal, June 9 – Every metre counts on this 4.361 Km long circuit where half a tenth of a second can make a lot of difference. Scuderia Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel got the best out of it today and his effort resulted in pole number 217 for the team, the 4th in the season so far. Conversely, a small mistake on his very last run, cost Kimi Raikkonen dear and he had to settle for fifth place when a much better result had looked on the cards. However, the substantial performance improvement that the SF71H has shown since the first day of practice means there’s a lot of potential to be explored in tomorrow’s race.
“Pole position is always important”, said Seb “and for Scuderia Ferrari this track and this country means a lot, as this is the place where Gilles Villeneuve came from. That’s why I am very happy to have qualified on pole. It’s a great result for all the team, but I think I could have been even faster. I was quite happy with my first run in Q3 but I knew there was something more in the car for the first part of the lap. So I tried it all but I wasn’t sure until the end if it was enough. We have definitely improved since yesterday, I was very happy with the car today . Choosing the Ultrasofts for the start of the race was a pretty straightforward decision for us, now we have to do our best on Sunday!”
Teammate Kimi Raikkonen was obviously less happy: “On my last try in Q3, I suddenly had a lot of understeer entering Turn 2, I struggled to turn the car round. At that point I had no choice but to try and get out of it as quickly as possible , but obviously I was off the line and my lap finished there. What happened was a bit odd, my car had been working well all day. I’m sure there was more to come today, and the end result is not what we were looking for. Tomorrow is a different day though, we’ll see what happens. For sure it will be tricky, with different tires on different cars in the front. It’s difficult to have a clear picture of how it will pan out, but we believe we made the right choice for the start of the race”.
Canadian Grand Prix – Scuderia Ferrari on pole
Seb heads the field, with Kimi on third row
Montreal, 9 June – Sebastian Vettel drove his Ferrari SF71H to pole position this afternoon at the Gilles Villeneuve circuit in Canada. On the way, he set a new track record of 1’10”764. It is Seb’s 54th career pole, the ninth with the Scuderia and it is number 217 for the team. Kimi Raikkonen made a mistake on his final run and that meant he could do no better than fifth fastest in 1’11”095. Both Scuderia Ferrari drivers ran the Hypersoft and Ultrasoft tyres and having used the latter in Q2, these are the tyres on which they will start the race, which gets underway at 14h10 (20h10 CET.)
Canadian Grand Prix – Final free practice completed in Canada
Seb second and Kimi third
Montreal, 9 June – By the end of the final free practice session, Sebastian Vettel set the second fastest time of 1’11”648, followed by team-mate Kimi Raikkonen who posted a lap in 1’11”650. Both drivers ran Hypersoft tyres for the entire session, doing long runs towards the end of the hour. Qualifying starts at 14:00 (20:00 CET.)
Ferrari Challenge Europe – Laursen Wins 2017 Best Livery Award
Misano, 9 June – We had to wait until Misano for the winner of the 2017 Ferrari Best Livery competition to receive his prize. The model created by Amalgam, a reproduction the Formula Racing team car driven by Johnny Laursen, was thus presented at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli. The livery was the favourite of the guests of the sponsors who voted by postcard in all last season’s races.
After the award ceremony for Eric Zang for the Ferrari Challenge Asia Pacific Championship and Brent Holden for the Ferrari Challenge North America, Coppa Shell champion Johnny Laursen received his miniature car with a 488 Challenge matt red and white livery.
We had to wait until the fourth round of the season because Laursen decided to appear in fewer races in 2018 and made his seasonal debut at Misano. On the circuit’s starting grid, head of Ferrari Attività Sportive GT, Antonello Coletta, presented Laursen with a 1:8 scale reproduction of his 488 Challenge, one of the most coveted prizes among Ferrari Challenge drivers.
Ferrari Challenge Europe at Misano – Victory for Cheung, Cuhadaroglu, Nielsen and Wohlwend
Misano Adriatico, 8 June 2018 – Eric Cheung, Murat Cuhadaroglu, Nicklas Nielsen and Fabienne Wohlwend triumphed on the first day of the fourth round of the 2018 Ferrari Challenge Europe season at Misano.
Coppa Shell. The day’s racing kicked off with the Coppa Shell, which took place at sunset and was an exciting and spectacular race. Christophe Hurni (Team Zenith Sion-Lausanne) jumped the start and was punished with a drive-through. The lead then passed to poleman Erich Prinoth (Ineco-MP Racing), who was followed by Eric Cheung (Formula Racing), Manuela Gostner (Ineco-MP Racing) and Vladimir Hladik (Baron Motorsport). There was no change until mid-race when Prinoth spun out, having to start again from fourth. This left the way open for Cheung, Gostner and Hladik. Thomas Gostner (Ineco-MP Racing), fifth up to that point, and his daughter Corinna Gostner, were hit respectively by Giuseppe Ramelli (Rossocorsa-Pellin Racing) and Agata Smolka (Rossocorsa). Hurni climbed up to eighth while Tommy Lindroth (Baron Motorsport), in his one 100th Challenge race, and Fons Scheltema (Kessel Racing), in his 200th, finished ninth and tenth. Despite the result, Prinoth still tops the championship standings although Cheung has pulled much closer.
Shell Am. Giuseppe Ramelli seemed to have notched up his first career win in the Coppa Shell Am. Driving the 488 Challenge of Rossocorsa-Pellin Racing, he performed impeccably from start to finish. However after the race was considered responsible for a contact with Thomas Gostner and was hit with a 25-second penalty dropping down to sixth. Turkey’s Murat Cuhadaroglu (Kessel Racing) won the race to close the gap with championship leader, Sweden’s Ingvar Mattsson, who started from pole but was third over the line. Alexander Nussbaumer (Formula Racing) took second.
Trofeo Pirelli. The Trofeo Pirelli race took place at night. At the start, poleman Nicklas Nielsen pulled away from the competition helped by the fierce duel between David Fumanelli (Rossocorsa) and Bjorn Grossmann (Octane 126). The Formula Racing driver crossed the line more than six seconds ahead of Fumanelli and Grossmann. Nielsen tops the championship standings.
Pirelli Am. Fabienne Wohlwend is letting nothing get in her way at the moment. The 20-year-old from Liechtenstein, winner of Race-2 at Spa, dominated from qualifying in the 488 Challenge of Octane 126. Like Nielsen, Wohlwend also benefited from the battle that raged behind her involving Tommaso Rocca (Rossocorsa), Martin Nelson (Scuderia Autoropa) and Chris Froggatt (Ferrari GB – H.R. Owen). The three fought it out until the last lap, when Froggatt, who overtook Nelson after the midway point, passed Rocca to seize second place. The second set of races are on Saturday at 8 pm and 10:15 pm.
Canadian Grand Prix – “We didn’t get all the answers”
Seb and Kimi predict further improvement for tomorrow
Montreal, June 8 – A very mixed picture emerged from the first day of practice at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, where Kimi Raikkonen was in second place on the timesheets and Seb Vettel managed fifth best after losing some time in the garage and then being hampered by a red flag and traffic on his fast runs. The Canadian circuit is notorious for featuring strong track evolution as the weekend progresses, so it is not easy to predict what the future holds.
“We’re not far off,” was Seb’s comment, “although I am not entirely happy yet and there’s still some work to do. In the end I didn’t do many laps today and I think we were running a bit late. It is difficult to get to know all the answers, I think we need some more time to get everything together and then we’ll see what happens. We tried various things, but there’s still something we have to work on. I didn’t get into the rhythm, but tried to go through as much of the programme as we could. In the end, we need more time to get a better picture of the situation. Hopefully, putting everything together can help us tomorrow. Now we’ll stay focused on the work to do”.
“This track is not the easiest to get things where you want them,” added Kimi. “It’s not straightforward and we expected that. It’s very bumpy, not just with all the bumps, but also with the kerbs to ride over. The combination of low downforce and low grip can make it very difficult. As for the Hypersoft tyres, at least we have a better idea of how they work. They’re good on one lap and then last quite a few more. We’ve been improving during the day and that proves that we’re going in the right direction. For sure we have some work ahead of us, but I was a bit happier at the end of the session”.
Canadian Grand Prix – Friday practice completed
Kimi 2nd, Seb 5th
Montreal, 8 June – Come the end of the second free practice session at the Ile Notre Dame track, the Scuderia Ferrari drivers were in second and fifth places with Kimi Raikkonen (1’12”328) and Sebastian Vettel (1’12”985) respectively.
Following a crash for Renault driver Carlos Sainz at the exit to turn 7, the session was red flagged so that debris could be removed from the track. The Finn ran Ultrasoft and Hypersoft tyres, while the German used all three compounds, the Supersoft, Ultrasoft and Hypersoft.
The final free practice session takes place tomorrow at 11h00, 17h00 CET.
Canadian Grand Prix – P1, updates on the SF71H
Session given over to testing: Seb 4th and Kimi 6th fastest
Montreal, 8 June –Sunny and windy conditions greeted the drivers for the first free practice session of the Canadian Grand Prix at the circuit named after Gilles Villeneuve. The two SF71Hs took to the track with various new parts, both aerodynamic to suit this low downforce track and also some mechanical changes to elements of the Power Unit. The 90 minute session was red flagged at one point as the Ferrari drivers focused on various types of test and, come the end, Sebastian was fourth fastest in 1’13”574 and Kimi was sixth in 1’13”727, both times set on the Hypersoft tyre. The second session gets underway at 20h00 CET.Canadian Grand Prix – “This is quite a special place”
Kimi and Seb reflect on the ‘superfast’ challenge ahead
Montreal, June 7 – Scuderia Ferrari drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel arrived at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve this morning – in the case of Seb, riding a bike – and now, they are all set for the challenge on one of the few remaining ‘superfast’ tracks on the calendar.
“This is quite a special place”, says Kimi “where you need a good top speed, but the most important thing is to have a good ride over the kerbs; it’s about compromising the top speed through the slowest part and the braking. It’s the first track of the year that is quite different from the others. Compared to Monaco, here you have less chances to go off track and hit the wall, but there are places you can easily lose the car and end up in the barrier, because the kerbs are quite rough here and the chicanes are taken at quite high speed. Obviously you don’t want to waste time going off the track and missing part of a session, but it’s part of the game. You want to push as much as you feel it’s ok for that moment, especially in qualifying and the race. The rest is just about figuring things out and trying, making sure that you have the right feeling to go as fast as you can. It will be interesting to see how the Hypersoft tyres will behave at this track; I tried them for a couple of runs in the winter test , but obviously the conditions are different now. I’m sure over one lap they will be very good, but how long they will last will depend on many things. It’s been very close between everybody in the past races, so I don’t expect the situation to be completely different all of a sudden. It’s impossible to know now what will happen over the weekend; tomorrow we’ll start driving and get the first feelings and then will go from there. Hopefully we’ll be there in the fight”.
Seb’s comments reflect his teammate’s point of view: “Compared to last year, we have another car and the approach is, of course, also different. It is hard to make any prediction about this weekend. A lot can depend on what the other teams can do here and on the weather as well, as it might be raining. The track is a little bit different from any other, but we think the engine can play a role here. So, let’s see where we are. We have brought some updates here, which I am sure everyone does at some point along the season: so far, we’ve had a good and efficient car on the straights and this should help. There are a couple of tricky points, but I like this track. Unlike Monaco, which is not the best place for overtaking, I think it should be different here. However, tires play a bigger role this year. We’ve done a good job so far, but there’s still a long way to go”.
Ferrari Challenge Europe – All ready for Misano night race
Misano Adriatico, 6 June 2018 – The Ferrari Challenge Europe is all set for round four at Misano Adriatico track. Unusually, this weekend’s races are all at night, kicking off on Friday and Saturday at 8 pm and 10:15 pm.
Special guest. Andrea Bertolini will be race advisor at Misano. The Sassuolo driver is preparing to take to the track in the 24 Hours of Le Mans at the wheel of an LMP2 class prototype. Bertolini triumphed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the GTE-Am class in 2015 together with Russians Victor Shaytar and Aleksey Basov.
Trofeo Pirelli. Just 16 points separate Nicklas Nielsen and Bjorn Grossmann in the Trofeo Pirelli. The Dane of Formula Racing and the German of Octane 126 have so far shared the spoils except for Race 1 at Spa-Francorchamps, won by an extraordinary Florian Merckx. Chris Froggatt is comfortably ahead in the Trofeo Pirelli Am, although Fabienne Wohlwend is ready to do battle after her victory in Race 2 in Belgium.
Coppa Shell. The Coppa Shell sees a very open fight between leader Erich Prinoth (Ineco-MP Racing) and pursuers Christoph Hurni (Team Zenith Sion-Lausanne), Eric Cheung (Formula Racing) and Thomas Gostner. After a one-two at Mugello Prinoth limited the damage in the next two rounds while Hurni and Cheung put in good performances at Silverstone and Spa-Francorchamps to put themselves back in the running for the title. Gostner (Ineco-MP Racing) is making consistency his strong point. In the Coppa Shell Am Ingvar Mattsson (Scuderia Autoropa) tops the standings 18 points in front of Murat Cuhadaroglu (Kessel Racing) and 18.5 ahead of Alexander Nussbaumer (Formula Racing).
Ferrari Challenge North America Heads to Montreal
Englewood Cliffs, 6 June 2018 – Forty-five Ferrari Challenge race cars will again gather at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, Canada from June 8th to the 10th for the fourth round of the Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli series in North America. Drivers will take to the track in practice sessions on Friday while racing action will be on Saturday and Sunday.
A Competitive Season Continued at Laguna Seca. Ferrari Challenge returns to action in Montreal after a hugely competitive weekend at Weathertech Raceway Laguna Seca in May. Nearly 70 Ferrari Challenge cars competed at the fabled California circuit and six drivers went home with the first place trophies of their respective classes.
A Special Weekend in Montreal. Ferrari Challenge will again support the Grand Prix du Canada at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, a tradition that dates back to 1995 and has been continued nearly every year since. The circuit’s long back straight and tight confines make this a special challenge, particularly considering the limited practice time on a busy weekend.
Schedule. Cars will take to the track for the first time on Friday morning for the first of two 20-minute practice sessions where all 45 cars will take to the track at once. On Saturday, there will be qualifying from 12:20 to 12:55, followed by racing action at 3:35. On Sunday, drivers will have a single race at 11:20 before enjoying the spectacle of Formula 1 action which starts at 2:10.
Canadian Grand Prix – 40 years on
Montreal and memories of Gilles Villeneuve
There are several unusual elements to an old photo from 40 years ago. For starters, the winner is wearing a heavy jacket over his race suit and instead of champagne, a magnum of beer features in the celebration. It was a weekend of rain and arctic cold and it might have been even more strange, as the original idea for this Canadian Grand Prix, the first staged in Montreal, was that it was originally meant to be held on the following Monday, Thanksgiving day. But even back in 1978, TV was all-important and the race ran on Sunday.
But maybe, the strangest thing about this short, oval shaped track, with its layout cut by chicanes and built alongside the Olympic Rowing basin among the greenery of the Ile Notre Dame, skirting the Saint Lawrence River, was that apparently, the drivers didn’t like it. There were mutterings that it was built specifically to suit the local man, the daredevil Gilles Villeneuve. True or not, he won the race on Sunday, his first F1 win, at the wheel of the Scuderia Ferrari T3. He drove like a demon to catch Jones and future team-mate Scheckter, before inheriting the lead after Jarier retired.
Gilles has gone, but the truth is, the likes of him always stay with us a little bit. And the track, the one no liked at first, is now considered one of the classics on the championship calendar. And of course, it bears his name: Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
Ferrari’s turbo-charged V8 is voted the best engine of the last 20 years
The 3.9-litre V8 takes the International Engine of the Year Award for the third year running
A record number of six awards
Stuttgart, 5 June 2018 – The latest iteration of Ferrari’s turbo-charged V8 that equips, in various forms, all Ferrari’s V8-engined cars, has been nominated the best engine in the world for the third year running in the 2018 International Engine of the Year Awards.
In this, the award’s 20th anniversary edition, Ferrari took no fewer than six awards, the highest number for any manufacturer in any one year, bringing the total of Ferrari’s trophies up to 27, a record number of wins for any sports car company.
Along with the overall Engine of the Year honour, the 720-cv 3.9-litre V8 that powers the new 488 Pista also took the 3-litre to 4-litre class, the Performance Engine category and the special nomination for the ‘Best of the Best’, with the 68 international judges asked to vote for the top engine from among all the winners over the last 20 years.
“In the 488 GTB, the 3.9-litre eight-cylinder was a near-perfect example of a high-performance turbocharged engine, setting the bar so high that it swept aside rival powertrains,” said Dean Slavnich, co-chairman of the IEOTY Awards. “But redeveloped and tweaked for the 488 Pista, the best engine in the world just got better. Without doubt, we’re looking at an engineering masterclass from Ferrari. No turbo lag, beautiful delivery, raw emotion, a furious growl and so much power – this Ferrari V8 is a work of art.”
Crowning Ferrari’s record-breaking year, the naturally-aspirated 800-cv 6.5-litre V12 powering the 812 Superfast also won two awards: the Above 4-litre class and, due to it being comprehensively re-engineered from the 6.3-litre unit that equipped the F12berlinetta with 75% new components, the Best New Engine category.