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March 2014 Issue 1

2014 PREVIEW EDITION

Pitlane Reporter wish Michael Schumacher a speedy recovery

Mercedes | McClaren | Williams | Ferrari | Red Bull | Force India | Sauber | Lotus | Torro Rosso | Marussia | Caterham | Australian GP | IndyCar | BTCC | World Rally Championship


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Editors Notes

What a great day! It’s a day I have been working hard towards for over a year, to finally bring back the magazine you all enjoyed so much in 2012. You probably haven’t failed to notice the change in name which is to avoid confusion with a website named The Podium. As we had been away for a year we took the decision to rebrand as ‘Pit Lane Reporter’. The design of the publication has been improved significantly but the style of writing remains the same. We aim to bring you news and views written by the fans for the fans. I am particularly proud to be bringing you this season preview in time for the first race weekend on the Formula One calendar - tomorrow see’s practice for the Australian GP. You will find articles on the new regulations, the tyres for 2014 and a close look at each team

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heading into such an exciting season. The changes are dramatic, especially with the new turbo engines. Who will have the advantage following pre-season testing? Will we have a surprise result or two? All will be revealed in this issue. We also welcome back Eric Hall, our esteemed IndyCar writer from America, he will be keeping us up to date with all things Indy during the coming season. He begins with a preview in this issue, one I am sure you will enjoy. We hope you enjoy reading this magazine as much as we enjoyed writing it. The next issue will include reviews of races from Formula One, WRC, BTCC, WTCC, IndyCar, NASCAR and much more. Don’t miss it. Thank you for downloading Issue 1.


Contents

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In this issue Previews

Features

Mercedes - Page 7 McClaren - Page 10 Williams - Page 13 Ferrari - Page 17 Red Bull - Page 20 Force India - Page 23 Sauber - Page 25 Lotus - Page 28 Torro Rosso - Page 31 Marussia - Page 33 Caterham - Page 36 Australian GP - Page 39 IndyCar - Page 42 BTCC - Page 49 World Rally Championship - Page 65

What is Nascar? New Circuits in 2014 Vijay’s Vision Caterham Talk Australian GP Turbo Returns To F1 New Regulations for F1

- Page 52 - Page 54 - Page 57 - Page 62 - Page 69 - Page 71

No part of this magazine may be reproduced or stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form – electronic, mechanical or physical – without express prior permission and written consent of the publisher. Contributions are invited and when not accepted will be returned only if accompanied by a fully stamped and addressed envelope. Manuscripts should be typewritten. No responsibility can be taken for drawings, photographs or literary contributions during transmission or in the editor’s hands. In the absence of an agreement the copyright of all contributions, literary, photographic or artistic, belongs to The Pitlane Reporter. The Publisher accepts no responsibility in respect of advertisements appearing in the magazine and the opinions expressed in editorial material or otherwise do not necessarily represent the views of the Publisher. The Publisher cannot accept liability for any loss arising from the late appearance or non publication of any advertisement. Information about products and services featured within the editorial content does not imply an endorsement by The Pitlane Reporter. © 2014. The Pitlane Reporter. Published by MFO Publishing (UK) ltd.


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Mercedes Preview

The Silver Arrows aim for the bullseye in 2014 Following a very successful period of testing for all the Mercedes powered cars, there was one team who have stood out and installed themselves as favourites for this seasons title, that is the Silver Arrows of Mercedes.

A team which took over from the title winning Brawn GP in 2009, Mercedes have been in a transition during the intervening years. Employing drivers with the ability of seven times world champion Michael Schumacher, the


8 super talent of Lewis Hamilton and consistently good Nico Rosberg, have moved them up the grid with great effect. Last season they managed to dominate qualifying early on, with a very fast package over one lap.

Mercedes enter this new season with no change in the driver line up. Great friends, Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg will once again battle for the title together. This season they will hope to go one better than 2013 and win the championship, and this year, I think they will probably achieve that. Pre-season testing has shown that they have both a very fast car and good reliability. It’s true to say that Mercedes have had some issues with the new car, but compared to their closest rivals, Red Bull, they have come away from the final test in Bahrain relatively unscathed. As you can see from the picture, their new

car is one of the more aesthetically pleasing of the new bunch. In my own humble opinion, the nicer the car looks, the faster it tends to be (most of the time). In Lewis Hamilton, they have a former champion who is back at his best again after a few troubled years. He seems to be in a better position in his personal life and is one of the fastest drivers on the grid. I fully expect Lewis to take his second world championship this season. Nico Rosberg, in the other car is also a fine driver, we all know his family history, however last season he started to make a real name for himself following his win in Monaco. If anyone can give Lewis a run for his money, it’s Nico. This will be an interesting season for them; they are likely to be fighting at the top of the championship during 2014. How will their friendship cope under such pressure? I personally have no idea, but I hope that they can come away from this season as even better friends. This is the year in which Mercedes will once again rise to the top. I believe that they will be fighting this championship with McLaren and Williams (yes, they’re


9 back....I think). There is no doubt that most pundits feel they are in the best position but, of course, we could all be wrong, if ever there was a season that could change at a moment’s notice, it’s this one. Regardless of that, I think the Silver Arrows will end the year as champions. So what do we believe Mercedes will do in 2014?

Prediction Team Championship - 1st

Drivers’ Championship – Lewis Hamilton 1st – Nico Roseberg 3rd

Images © Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team


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All Change At McClaren

Following what can only be described as a complete howler last season, McLaren look to be back on form again for 2014. ‘No podiums all year’ is a phrase you don’t associate with McLaren normally, but last season they achieved just that. It was a shock which called for major changes and those changes came over the winter. Out went Martin Whitmarsh and in came Eric Boullier. Also returning to the very top of McLaren was Ron Dennis, coming back to try and sort out the mess that was 2013. McLaren will tell you that Eric Boullier is not a replacement for Martin Whitmarsh. They would be right if nominated business titles are anything to go by, however employing Lotus’ team principal and letting their current team principal go tells a different

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story. Make up your own minds. What I can say following testing is that McLaren seem to have turned the corner. This year’s challenger looks and seems to run so much better than last year’s. Is it enough to get them back on the podium? Almost definitely. Is it enough to win them the championship? They have a chance, as they are the one team which can develop a car very well during the season. They are starting from a positive situation; they have a reliable engine, being one of the Mercedes powered teams and have a very good looking car. With all this, they should be in the title race come the back end of the season. Are they the best of the Mercedes teams? Not yet, but that could come.


11 The car itself has some interesting parts. The rear has an ingenious suspension system, having ‘blockers’ attached to the suspension but which looks like a totally separate part of the vehicle. These are designed to direct airflow from the ‘coke bottle’ shape at the rear of the car and if they are deemed legal (which I am sure they are), could be a very important factor in the coming season. They haven’t been right at the top of the timing charts in testing, but they have been there or thereabouts. They haven’t produced any stand out times to make everyone in the paddock draw breath, but they have been pretty reliable and consistent. They, like everyone else have had a few issues but nothing major. If any team have been sand-bagging in pre-season, then this is the team. We

could see McLaren fly when it comes to Melbourne and my predictions below could be totally wrong, but let’s see. As for drivers, they have the perfect driver line-up for the new regulations. They have retained Jenson Button, a driver who can adapt very well and with fuel saving a big issue this season, he will keep a cool head and drive a sensible race that could see him come out on top. Then there is Kevin Magnussen, a rookie who has come through the young driver programme at McLaren. He has followed in Lewis Hamilton’s footsteps and is highly regarded by the team. The media have to wait and see, but early signs are that he can adapt to this new formula and is a very fast racing driver. Can he emulate Lewis? There is every chance.

Then there is Kevin Magnussen, a rookie who has come through the young driver programme at McLaren.


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Images © – Glenn Dunbar/LAT (cars and Kevin Magnusson)

This is the one prediction I am most nervous about. I do think that McLaren are holding something back. They could blow my entire thoughts out of the window and become world champions. It remains to be seen. I guess in the next issue I will know more. So what do we believe the McLaren team will do in 2014?

Prediction Team Championship - 2nd Drivers’ Championship – Jenson Button 4th – Kevin Magnussen 6th


Williams Martini Racing F1 Team Preview

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Rising From the Ashes Here we are with Frank Williams’ team. I’m excited to be writing this preview today following pre-season testing. Why? You may ask. Well, this is a team who have such a great history, they are loved all over the world but they have had a torrid few seasons, 2013 being the worst in their history. They spent last year fighting with the back of the grid, apart from one brilliant moment in Canada when Valtteri Bottas qualified so brilliantly. Following the final test in Bahrain, Williams finished 1st and 4th in the timing charts and ran an impressive

2370 laps, more than any other team. Is this a sign of things to come from the British team? In short, Yes, and I am so pleased to finally be saying this about such a great team. Now, before I go any further, I am not a supporter of Williams and therefore this is not a biased preview. This is my honest opinion on a team I believe are finally going to be back where they belong. So what has happened? In Formula One, it is always a bit of a gamble when


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Photographs © Williams Martini Racing

it comes to design. More often than not, if you go wrong, you go drastically wrong and it is hard to recover during the season. On the other hand, if you get it right, it can be so incredibly right that you steal a huge march on other teams; remember Brawn GP in 2009 (who could forget). Over the last few years, unfortunately the team at Grove have got it wrong, but it seems that this year they have finally got it right. The car looks stunning in comparison to some of the others, it is very fast and with the Mercedes engine is incredibly reliable. They have topped the time sheets at testing and that wasn’t a one-off ‘promotional’ lap,

it was consistent. The whole Williams team have to be commended for taking to these new regulations so well. The engineers, designers, management and of course drivers have taking to them like a duck to water. In Felipe Massa, they have one of the best drivers around. It was a brilliant decision to take him on when he left Ferrari. A driver who was so close to a championship in 2008, only to be beaten on the final corner in Brazil by Lewis Hamilton, and who will finally be released from his shackles this season. He has been a great support driver to


16 Fernando Alonso at Ferrari but now he will be an experienced driver in a fantastic team, finally being allowed to race again. Then there is Valtteri Bottas, a rookie last year who showed signs of some great talent in an inferior car. What can he do in a good car? We are about to find out. I believe he will go on to become one of the best in the future. So where will this team finish this season? It’s really hard to say, but my first thoughts are that they will finish in the top 3 of the world championship. I think there is a chance to take on Mercedes at the very top. I am going to have to stick my neck out in a minute and give my prediction.....wish me luck. So what do we believe Williams will achieve in 2014?

Prediction Team Championship - 3rd Drivers’ Championship – Felipe Massa 2nd – Valtteri Bottas 8th


Ferrari Preview

The first question you are all probably asking is, why is that the headline for Ferrari’s review? Let me explain, the last time Ferrari won the championship was in 2007, the year Raikkonen won the drivers title too. Since then they have failed to succeed; yes, I know they have come close, but that is just not good enough for the Italian giants. The people at the top in Maranello want success and success means winning. The team have one of the world’s top drivers, Fernando Alonso; how long will he stick around without a winning car? That is why I believe it is a year when Ferrari need to get back to winning ways. The question is, will they? Ferrari headed into pre-season testing as one of the most confident teams. They had the ideal package, they manufactured their own engine and had a couple of top drivers. Did all that promise pay off? At first, in Jerez, it seemed that they had one of the most reliable cars behind Mercedes. Yes, the car was ugly as sin, but it seemed that they had done something right. The thing with Ferrari is that they don’t normally go for glory runs, i.e. they won’t empty the car of fuel to get one super-fast lap in, so it’s foolhardy to write them off just because they were a second behind Mercedes. It would seem that their engine is somewhat less economical than the Mercedes engine but

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A Season of Reckoning for the Prancing Horse that again remains to be seen. They can be pleased with their reliability; of course they suffered a few problems like everyone else, but nothing dramatic at all. Plenty of laps and some decent times. Their driver line up is something else though. Everyone is asking how Fernando Alonso and new/old boy Kimi Raikkonen will get on. Can you imagine when one of these drivers has to let the other driver through? As much as I like Raikkonen, I think that Ferrari’s decision to get rid of a great team player like Massa, may come back to haunt them. Ferrari have had some team order scandals in the past, but they make it very clear that it’s a team game and not about individuals. Try telling that to Raikkonen or Alonso! I’m not sure the line “Fernando’s faster than you.” will go down so well with Kimi. So what of their chances of glory in 2014? I won’t write them off, they have a couple of drivers who are capable of getting 110% out of a car. Expect Alonso to be there or thereabouts throughout the season but don’t expect to see Ferrari on top of the podium straight away. They have been developing the car during testing, and I have no doubt that it has the potential to be developed all season. The prancing horse could be the dark horse this season.


19 So what do we believe Ferrari will do in 2014? Prediction Team Championship - 4th Drivers’ Championship – Fernando Alonso 5th – Kimi Raikkonen 9th Images © – Ferrari F1 Team


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Infiniti Red Bull Racing Preview


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Too Clever? Is there really such thing as too clever? If there is, then that is perhaps what has gone wrong over at Red Bull Racing during the winter. The first and second tests were disasters as they turned out to be one of the worst performing teams of the lot. Finishing early in Jerez, less laps than any of the other teams in Bahrain certainly doesn’t bode well for the coming season. So what has gone so drastically wrong in Milton Keynes? And can it be resolved to mount a challenge for a fifth straight championship?

done good! The past four years should be looked on as encouragement for the guys at the back of the grid, a sign that no matter how tough things seem, the future could well be very exciting. The driver line up at Red Bull has changed this year, it was sad to see the great driver and great guy, Mark Webber leave F1, but at the same time he is being replaced by Daniel Ricciardo, a driver with a huge talent that matches his huge smile. If anyone can push Vettel all the way, it is Ricciardo. This was a great decision and one that will prove ultimately to be a successful one too. Daniel may well have finished 14th in last years driver standings, but look at the list of names above him and you can safely say he was the best of the drivers outside the top teams. He managed to put his Toro Rosso in Q3 on numerous occasions, and finished a best placed 7th twice. Daniel doesn’t yet have any podiums to his name, if Red Bull sort their issues out, a first podium and race win will not be far away for the young Australian.

The first thing to say is that if any team can turn this around, it’s a team which includes the talent that this one does. The problems with testing does mean that they start this season on the back foot, they have tried to design a very sleek car, obviously taking advantage of their expertise in aero but not concentrating on the cooling needs of the new engines. This has proven to be a huge mistake by the team and will mean either a season of learning about the new regulations, to launch a title challenge in 2015 or a redesign of the car followed by a massive recovery. I feel that the biggest issue for the team may well be keeping Sebastien What about Seb? A driver who has Vettel on board if they don’t compete proved that he is among the greats, 4 near the front of the grid. world titles in a row and he will win more. People have said that he can A lot of Formula One fans will be revelling only win from the front, but on many in the misfortune of the reigning world occasions in 2013 he proved otherwise champions, but I am not. This is mainly with some great racing. How will he do down to the fact they are a small team if Red Bull haven’t produced a winning


22 car? I believe he will be the difference between them being a front runner and a mid placed team. Even with an inferior car, I believe that Vettel will still fight his way onto the podium and provide us with some great entertainment. Will he win the championship again in 2014? Unlikely in my view, but he will surely do everything he can to prove me wrong. So what do we believe the World

Champions will do in 2014?

Prediciton Team Championship - 5th Drivers Championship – Sebastien Vettel 6th – Daniel Ricciardo 8th Images © – Getty Images


Force India A Force to be Reckoned with in 2014?

Images ŠForce India F1

Based at Silverstone in the UK and run by an Indian company, this team have a lot of fans all over the globe. They have had moments of glory over the years, not least when Giancarlo Fisichella climbed onto the podium after finishing second in the 2009 Belgian Grand Prix. The team have been known as Force India since 2008 so are a relative newcomer to Formula One, but they do have an illustrious history before the name change. This team was previously Jordan

F1, Spyker and Midland F1, founded in 1991, and winning four races under the watchful eye of Eddie Jordan. Since the Force India project started, they have progressed from being at the back of the grid to midfield runners, but, what will 2014 bring for them? The first thing to mention is that Force India is another team with a Mercedes engine. This gives them both reliability and pace, according to what we have

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24 learned from testing. The car seems to match the engine too. It has been at or near the top of the time sheets on numerous occasions during winter, not least at the final (and arguably most important) test, when they topped the time sheets for the first couple of days. It hasn’t gone without notice that the car has had a pretty cool paint job too, although that is probably irrelevant to anyone who doesn’t sponsor them. |Still, they can’t say I didn’t notice. It is the best livery on the grid right now. As for drivers, well they have caused a few murmurs within F1 by choosing Sergio Perez, the driver who lasted just a year with McLaren despite showing so much promise in 2012 with Sauber. They have also gone with Nico Hulkenberg, arguably one of the best drivers in the field right now. Nico has driven for Force India before, leaving at the end of 2012 for a drive with Sauber. Nico showed some world class performances last season finishing 4th in Korea, and who can forget his pole position for Williams in 2010 in Brazil? Brilliant driving. Sergio Perez has also had some fantastic drives, particularly in 2012

with Sauber, winning him his drive at McLaren. There is a lot of potential for Perez, if he is given the right team and car. These two could have a very good season with some podiums to enjoy. So how will the season pan out in the end for Force India? I can most definitely see podiums; however I feel that they will be the only team to gain a negative effect from the apparent drop in performance by Red Bull. What I mean by this statement is that I believe in any other season they would have finished 5th, unfortunately this year I believe that 5th and 6th will be a straight battle between Force India and Red Bull Racing. Who will win that battle? We will have to wait and see. So what do we believe Force India will do in 2014?

Prediction

Team Championship - 6th Drivers’ Championship – Nico Hulkenberg 11th – Sergio Perez 12th


Sauber Preview

Average may be a good thing

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26 It may seem a little harsh to start this preview by describing Sauber as average, but hear me out. This season is all about change, it’s a season that will give us a lot of shocks and that means top drivers and cars being out of a race early and some smaller teams on the Podium. I’m sure that consistency will be a hugely beneficial factor in 2014, and that is where I believe Sauber currently are. Average, yes, but consistent, this is likely to get them into the points at a lot of races and therefore give them a better chance to climb the championship. See, it was a nice thing to say after all.

some performance and ended up in the middle of the pack. They certainly have a car that can produce results and with a Ferrari engine, seem to be reliable at this stage. This year they have one existing driver and one new driver. Esteban Gutierrez keeps his seat for a second season after some encouraging results in 2013. Joining Esteban will be Adrian Sutil who moves from Force India in what looks like a swap with Nico Hulkenberg, who went in the other direction. What can Adrian bring to Sauber? Well, he certainly has experience on his side and a team like Sauber needs that. He has had some excellent race days in the past, but also some pretty bad ones. I believe that Sauber have two evenly matched drivers this season and they are both good enough to produce results. I expect Sauber to be in the points on lots of occasions this year and perhaps with the way the new regulations are affecting other teams, another podium may well be on the cards.

Let’s look at their testing in more detail. They were very pleased with the first test in Jerez. They wanted to get the car on track and ensure that it worked, and were not concerned with anything else. Going into test number two at Bahrain they were more concerned with getting miles on the car and they managed that until day 4 when an issue with the monocoque ended their day early. They performed aero work and tested the tyre compounds. As a team they were pleased with the majority of the test. The third Last season they produced some great test also went well, this time they found results with Nico Hulkenberg. In 2012


27 they had some with Sergio Perez. The pressure must now be on Esteban Gutierrez and Adrian Sutil to produce the goods. It remains to be seen if they can, but in my view, Sauber have an average yet reliable car and that may just be all they need to have a good season.

So what do we believe Sauber will do in 2014?

Images ©Sauber F1 Team

Prediction Team Championship - 7th Drivers’ Championship – Adrian Sutil 13th – Esteban Gutierrez 16th


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Lotus Preview

A Two Pronged Attack


29 So we move on to the team from Enstone. This team have had more ups and downs over the past few years than a underground station lift. They experienced the joys of winning two world championships with Fernando Alonso, the embarrassment of ‘Crashgate’, the ingenious signing of Kimi Raikkonen, the sad days following Robert Kubica’s accident, the rumours of financial difficulty in 2013 and more. So what will 2014 bring? A season of joy? Or a season of sorrow? The first thing to mention is that they didn’t make it to the first test in Jerez, claiming that this was their choice. Quite why they made this decision, only to arrive at the end of the test to partake in some filming days is beyond me. The E22 has got one of the most unusual features I have seen on a Formula One car for a long time. It has a nose with two prongs, as you can see below. They have decided to use one side for legality and the other for aero effect. If this works then it could be the difference between a good car and a poor car.

Their driver line up for 2014 could well be interesting. They have retained Romain Grosjean, they seem to have tamed him following a difficult 2012 for the driver. However with his manager and friend, Eric Boullier moving to Mclaren, will the good form continue? Following apparent success with Romain, they have gone for a second driver in Pastor Maldonado. Pastor also has a reputation of being a bit on the wild side. Will they be able to control him? This is a tough one to answer, especially as it seems they are starting on the back foot. We all remember some of the comments coming from Pastor at Williams towards the end of 2013.

I’m not convinced that Lotus will have a good season this year. They do have a couple of good drivers but the car is powered by the Renault engine that is causing so many issues right now. They haven’t done much in the way of testing and must be very disappointed leading up to Australia. They clearly aren’t ready. Do they have the finance to develop the car into a winning machine? Nobody They arrived in Bahrain for testing and knows. If you ask Lotus they will tell you have been beset with problems from that they do, but some journalists are day one; exhaust issues, fires and other unconvinced. mechanical issues. Could it be that they will rue the decision to miss Jerez in Unfortunately, going back to my first such an important season? They ended statement about Lotus, I believe that this the second Bahrain test in the bottom will be a season of downs rather than two places, following a week worse even ups. I see Romain Grosjean being the than Red Bull. top driver out of the two and the one most likely to get a podium. I believe


30 that this season will be a chance for Pastor to bed into the team and get used to the new surroundings. So what do we believe Lotus F1 will do in 2014?

Prediction Team Championship - 8th

Drivers’ Championship – Romain Grosjean 14th – Pastor Maldonado 15th

Images © Lotus F1 Team


Torro Rosso Preview Images © Getty Images

Will the ‘B’ Team Beat the ‘A’ Team?

If there ever was a season when the smaller Red Bull team, Toro Rosso, could beat the main team, then this is it. As we already know, Red Bull have had a torrid time in pre-season testing and are not looking good for the early races at least. This, then gives Toro Rosso a chance to be the leading bulls in the early part of 2014. The question is, have they managed to build a better car?

at how their testing has gone during the winter. The first test in Jerez was nothing short of a nightmare for Toro Rosso as they tried to get to grips with the new Renault engine. They had problem after problem, putting them on a par with Red Bull. Toro Rosso had moved from Ferrari power to Renault over the winter, a change they may come to regret given the reliability difference between the two new engines. The second test in Bahrain To answer that question we need to look was a little bit better for them as they

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32 got in more running, however they still had issues. The third test bought about a significant change in the nose of the car, a new curved look that I have to say looks far more attractive than a lot of other cars and perhaps more aero friendly. The highlight of the final test was a 5th place finish in the time-sheets for Jean-Eric Vergne, although it was still some two and a half seconds off the pace. The driver line up had to be changed for this season as Daniel Ricciardo had moved to the World Champions, Red Bull. In for Daniel came Russian, Daniil Kvyat. Daniil won races in GP3 and Formula 3 during 2013 and is well regarded in the Red Bull Driver Programme. He has proven he can be a race winner and has already shown, during testing, that he can compete at the top level of motor sport. Whether or not that will translate into good race form, only time will tell. In the other seat, Toro Rosso have retained Jean-Eric Vergne, a racer who matched Ricciardo for a lot of last season and would have been slightly disappointed not to have got the senior seat at Red Bull (perhaps not so disappointed now though). Vergne

will no doubt go on in his career to be an accomplished driver. He has the skill and passion to rise to the very top. This season may be a little difficult unless Toro Rosso resolve all their issues, but both drivers will do okay, I’m sure. Back to the main question, can they get one over on their sister team Red Bull? Probably, especially in the early part of the season since Toro Rosso made great strides from the first test in Jerez to the final test in Bahrain, whereas Red Bull seem to have stayed pretty stagnant. At the beginning of the testing period, I would have put Toro Rosso at the back of the grid, behind Caterham and Marussia, but now, for the beginning of the season at least, I have them slightly ahead of Red Bull. So what do we believe Toro Rosso will do in 2014?

Prediction

Team Championship - 9th Drivers’ Championship – Jean-Eric Vergne 17th – Daniil Kvyat 19th


Marussia Preview The Minnows Rise?

Here is a team who I mulled over for a while before writing this review, mainly because I am not really sure where they are. They are one of the two ‘new’ (but not that new) teams on the grid and have been battling at the back of that grid alongside Caterham since 2010, when they started life as Virgin Racing. This season is a battle of the new engines and car design. Have Marussia gone in the right direction? They have gone for a Ferrari engine which has proved to be fast and reliable, the design of the car looks good and is on par aerodynamically with other midfield teams, so after a lot of deliberation I have concluded

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Images Š Marussia F1

that they will improve in 2014. A 13th for Jules Bianchi in Malaysia last season gave them 10th position in the championship, it may not seem huge but it means a lot financially to both Caterham and Marussia. This season, both of these teams will be looking for their first ever points and if testing is anything to go by, now is the time to achieve that. They could find themselves qualifying in the top 10 due to the number of teams having issues in the


34 early races. They also have a driver who finished every single race last season, surely a great asset as we move into such a complex season with reliability a major issue. So how has testing gone for Marussia? At the first two tests they had their share of problems and spent most of the time near the bottom of the time sheets, although we don’t know what anyone’s program was at that point. At the final test on the final day, Max Chilton finished in an impressive 7th position doing a near race simulation. The time itself was around six tenths of a second behind their fastest at last year’s Bahrain GP. With the new regulations and most cars being around a second behind last year’s times, things are certainly looking promising for the minnows. Something else to make Marussia feel confident are the comments by Jenson Button after spending some time following Jules Bianchi around the circuit in Bahrain, he said the car looked promising and a lot faster than it had in previous years. So with potentially a good season ahead, who have they got as drivers for 2014? They have retained the same line up as

2013 with Brit, Max Chilton racing for a second season and Ferrari prodigy, Jules Bianchi in the other seat. Both drivers have a lot of promise, and expect to see Bianchi winning the inter team battle this year, but I would guess that Max Chilton won’t be far behind. You could very well see one or both of these drivers in the points during the first two races. Imagine the celebrations back at Banbury if they do. Good luck to them, it seems they have done a good job this winter. Unfortunately, I still think they will finish the season in a similar position to last year, mainly due to the money available to other teams. This will affect them in the development race, although, I would love to be proven wrong. So what do we believe Marussia will do in 2014?

Prediction Team Championship - 10th Drivers’ Championship – Jules Bianchi 18th – Max Chilton 21st


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Caterham Preview At Last!

Images © Caterham F1

We now come to Caterham, a team well known to the magazine since, in our previous guise as ‘The Podium’, I personally spent ‘Qualifying’ at the British Grand Prix in their garage. Not only that, we interviewed a fair few Caterham drivers and staff during 2012. I have to admit that I have a soft spot for these guys, and why not? They helped me a lot and as a team are a bunch of friendly people. It’s been frustrating though, to hear every pre-season how they hope to achieve their first points in Formula One

yet they still haven’t managed it. It isn’t like they are not talented enough, they are! I just think they have been unlucky with the decisions they’ve made, it could so easily have gone a different way. What is likely to happen this season for the team? First of all, as you can see from the photo, they have released probably the ugliest car on the grid, but looks aren’t everything, I should know, after all someone married me! They have a Renault engine so started the


37 testing period with issues, like the other teams did, no one escaped it really. By the end of testing they had made a significant step in reliability when they finished with the highest number of laps completed by a Renault powered team. It’s fair to say that they may not have outright speed at first glance, but as we already know, reliability is the key factor in having a good start to the season. There is the chance that Caterham haven’t managed to test how fast the car is due to their earlier woes in testing, so we may be surprised by the team in Melbourne. It has been all change in the driver line up this season. Out went Giedo Van Der Garde and Charles Pic, replaced by rookie Marcus Ericsson and the experienced Kamui Kobayashi. For me, it was a signal of intent by the team bringing in Kobayashi as he is an excellent driver. His final season at Sauber bought him a podium at his home race in Japan, so it was a shock to see him part company with the Swiss team at the end of 2012. A lot of people will be very pleased to see him back in Formula One as he is one of the most exciting drivers to watch. Ericsson may be new to Formula One but he has raced in GP2 for a number of years, finishing 6th last season for DAMS. With Ericsson longside Kobayashi, Caterham seem to have a good mix of youth and experience going into 2014. When I was thinking about my predictions, I really struggled with Toro Rosso, Caterham and Marussia. Who would be at the bottom? I didn’t have a clue. It’s only down to the potential pace of Marussia and the fact that Caterham are powered by Renault that led me to the decision to place Caterham in 11th. In all honesty, I haven’t got a clue how the season will pan out for these three teams, all I know is that I would be surprised if anyone finishes 2014 pointless. So what do we believe Caterham will do in 2014?

Prediction Team Championship - 11th

Drivers’ Championship – Kamui Kobayashi 20th – Marcus Ericsson 22nd


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Australian GP Preview It’s here, the first Grand Prix of 2014. This promises to be an exciting season full of drama and intrigue. So what is likely to happen in the first race of the new V6 Turbo era? How the heck should I know? This has to be the toughest preview to a race that I have ever written. I don’t think there is a journalist who would dare to predict what is going to happen this weekend.

Williams, behind that, it’s hard to say. I would expect Force India to have a good race and McLaren will be bringing a raft of upgrades to Melbourne, if they work, we could be seeing Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen up there at the front. If you’ve read my team previews you will see that Red Bull may well struggle to finish the race, along with a host of others. Expect to see some huge surprises on race day, perhaps the first points for We have learned in testing that the like- Caterham and/or Marussia. ly front runners will be Mercedes and

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40 The track in Melbourne is in the main a fast flowing track. There are some tricky corners, like 3, 4, 9 and 15. The layout of the track below indicates the DRS activation zones for 2013. The layout hasn’t changed this year and this gives you an idea of what the drivers will face.

it can be slippy and dirty off line. Drivers will need to be wary of this when overtaking, even on the straights.

As for the weather, that’s just as hard to predict. Australia is coming out of its’ summer around this time and going into early autumn. There is every chance that It’s an incredibly challenging track for it’ll be a scorching hot weekend, but at drivers with turns that require pin-point the same time it may just rain. When it accuracy when braking. It’s easy to over- rains in Melbourne, it rains hard. shoot a corner. There are plenty of overtaking opportunities for those drivers All I know is that like every Formula who master the distances leading into One fan around the world, I can’t wait corners. However this year, with the new for this season to start. I am sure my race cars, I should imagine this course will be previews will be more in depth over the anything but straightforward. coming season. For now, sit back and enjoy! As some of the track is on standard roads,

Australian Grand Prix Results 2013 Driver Car 1 Kimi Raikkonen 7 2 Fernando Alonso 3 3 Sebastian Vettel 1 4 Felipe Massa 4 5 Lewis Hamilton 10 6 Mark Webber 2 7 Adrian Sutil 15 8 Paul Di Resta 14 9 Jenson Button 5 10 Romain Grosjean 8 11 Sergio Perez 6 12 Jean-Eric Vergne 18 13 Esteban Gutierrez 12 14 Valtteri Bottas 17 15 Jules Bianchi 22 16 Charles Pic 20 17 Max Chilton 23 18 Giedo van der Garde 21 19 Daniel Ricciardo 19 20 Nico Rosberg 9 21 Pastor Maldonado 16 22 Nico Hulkenberg 11

Team Lotus-Renault Ferrari Red Bull Ferrari Mercedes GP Red Bull Force India Force India McLaren Lotus-Renault McLaren Toro Rosso-Ferrari Sauber Williams-Renault Marussia-Cosworth Caterham-Renault Marussia-Cosworth Caterham-Renault Toro Rosso-Ferrari Mercedes GP Williams-Renault Sauber

Grid 7 5 1 4 3 2 12 9 10 8 15 13 18 16 19 22 20 21 14 6 17 11

Fastest Lap 1:29.274 1:29.560 1:30.409 1:30.239 1:29.759 1:29.732 1:30.710 1:30.894 1:30.198 1:30.395 1:29.926 1:29.498 1:31.415 1:30.652 1:30.454 1:32.261 1:32.210 1:32.636 1:30.881 1:32.259 1:32.915 No time

Race Time 1:30:03.225 +00:12.451 +00:22.346 +00:33.577 +00:45.561 +00:46.800 +01:05.068 +01:08.449 +01:21.630 +01:22.759 +01:23.367 +01:23.857 lapped lapped lapped lapped lapped lapped retired, 39 laps retired, 26 laps retired, 24 laps retired, 0 laps

Points 25 18 15 12 10 8 6 4 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0


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IndyCar Preview


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IndyCar Preview

A frozen winter in North America and an unusually busy offseason for driver moves have punctuated the five months since the IndyCar paddock took the checkered flag at Auto Club Speedway and Scott Dixon was crowned series champion. Teams have been engaged in preseason testing since January at a multitude of warm weather locations including Sebring International Raceway Short Course, Homestead-Miami Speedway and Auto Club Speedway. In the midst of all the action, homeless drivers have been vying for the quickly shrinking pool of open seats.

Eric Hall eric@pitlanereporter.com

motorsport world. On-track, the largest change will undoubtedly be the transition of Honda from a single-turbo engine layout to a twin-turbo system. The change was to be series mandated as technical officials have had difficulties balancing the single system from Honda and twin system from Chevrolet, however Honda had plans for the switch anyway and was well into development when the rule change was announced. Honda had lagged behind Chevy in a few key areas in 2012 and 2013 and the change to a twin-turbo layout was more of a competitive decision to stay on par with Chevy. Honda had made sacrifices the last two years in drivability and fuel economy to stay in the same range of horsepower as Chevy. By the end of 2013, Honda had made huge strides in containing the power of the bowtie brigade. The move to twin-turbos could give Honda a decisive advantage considering all the work they have done on engine drivability and power delivery on their tricky single-turbo unit.

The transition from 2013 to 2014 in IndyCar has been a relatively smooth one considering we are talking about openwheel racing. INDYCAR and newly appointed CEO Mark Miles looked to streamline what had historically been a family run business lacking the acumen to consistently fortify the series’ place in the US and global motorsport world. Jay Frye as Chief Revenue Officer and CJ O’Donnell as Chief Marketing Officer and Mike Kitchel as Communication Director have been welcome additions as all three men bring a wealth of knowledge and history in the sports and After two years of development, the 2.2


43 litre direct injected turbo motors are purportedly making in the neighborhood of 725 horsepower while in road trim. This could be as much as 50 more than when the power plants debuted in 2012; a considerable increase in the heavily homologated engine formula with few windows for upgrades. And with two years of aero development in the bag, 2014 should see speeds increase at nearly all tracks, a trend continued from 2013. Adding to the tangled web of engine talk, Chip Ganassi racing has swapped manufacturer during the offseason. The championship contending team has opted to go with Chevy for 2014 after perceived lack of commitment from Honda soured Ganassi on the partnership. Andretti Autosport went the other way, choosing to represent long-time partner Honda for the 2014 season. The Grand Prix of Baltimore was unfortunately axed from the schedule because IndyCar and the city of Baltimore were unable to find a suitable date to hold the event. A future revival of the grand prix does not look to be an option for either party. IndyCar also lost the Sao Paulo Indy 300 due to the promoter backing out of the contract forcing the series to look elsewhere in Brazil for a possible return to the country sometime in the future. Although two fan favorite races have

been lost from the schedule, a new road course event has been added at the newly reconfigured Indianapolis Motor Speedway Grand Prix Course. The race will take place on what is traditionally opening weekend for the Indianapolis 500; the crown jewel of the series held on the famous oval during Memorial Day weekend. The Indianapolis Grand Prix will complement the three returning double header weekends. Detroit, Houston and Toronto will host two full distance, full points paying races; one Saturday and one Sunday. Each double header weekend poses a true test of endurance and fortitude of the teams and drivers. Surviving race one intact and unscathed as to be in a strong position for race two is imperative to a successful championship push. Also returning for 2014 will be the Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka Triple Crown. A traditional sub-championship awarded to the winner of three 500 mile races; the Triple Crown will include the 500 mile oval races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Pocono Speedway and Auto Club Speedway. A 1,000,000 USD payout is the prize if a driver can see the checkered flag first at all three events. For 2014, the IndyCar paddock is missing a few familiar faces, but it is also home to new and returning drivers looking to make their mark on IndyCar racing. Dario Franchitti’s retirement following


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his high-flying impact with the Houston catchfence and ensuing concussion and bone injuries was a shock to most of us. But unlike many of the drivers that came before him, Dario was able to retire in person and will continue to be involved in some capacity with Chip Ganassi Racing. Also Absent from the 2014 paddock is Simona de Silvestro who left KV Racing Technologies to become an “affiliated driver” with Sauber F1 Team. What this means for the young Swiss driver’s career is still to be seen. Simona’s 2013 teammate and 2013 Indy 500 champion Tony Kanaan has also left KVRT, but to fill the #10 seat left by Dario. 2013 Dragon Racing teammates Sebastien Bourdais and Sebastian Saavedra have both departed Dragon to fill the two KVRT seats leaving Dragon with no

drivers and no current plans for the 2014 season. Tony Kanaan will be joining current Chip Ganassi Racing drivers Charlie Kimball and 2013 series champion Scott Dixon along with Ryan Briscoe. Returning from a 2013 season of sports car racing, Briscoe parlayed his 2013 Indy 500 drive for the team into a full season charge. Team Penske drivers Helio Castroneves and Will Power will be joined by Juan Pablo Montoya who returns to American open-wheel racing after a 13 year absence. Largely unchanged for the 2014 season is Andretti Autosport as the team welcomes back its trio of North American drivers. James Hinchcliffe, Marco Andretti and Ryan Hunter-Reay will be joined by


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Tony Kanaan will be joining current Chip Ganassi Racing drivers Charlie Kimball and 2013 series champion Scott Dixon along with Ryan Briscoe.

rookie Carlos Munoz who drove for the team to dramatic effect at Indianapolis and Auto Club in 2013. The surprise driver signing of the year award goes to Andretti Autosport who inked a deal to run NASCAR driver Kurt Busch at the Indy 500. Mikhail Aleshin, the second full season rookie competing in 2014, will team with veteran Simon Pagenaud at Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Motorsports. This will be the second rookie stablemate Simon has taught in as many years. The team will also be home to Jacques Villeneuve for the Indy 500. Villeneuve, 1995 Indy 500 winner, 1995 CART champion and 1997 F1 World Champion, will be an interesting addition to the

team and series this May by continuing the tradition of drivers in the twilight of their career coming to, or back to, Indy. Single car operation AJ Foyt Enterprises welcomes back Takuma Sato for another year. The team will also have Martin Plowman making his IndyCar debut with them for both Indianapolis rounds. Ed Carpenter will take the wheel of his namesake team’s machine for the oval rounds, while sometimes IndyCar ace Mike Conway will take the honors of wheeling for the team on the remaining road and street courses. Dale Coyne Racing and Justin Wilson will attempt to take on the big dogs for yet another year. Coyne’s second seat has always been a sort of enigma with late


46 driver signings the norm; expect this seat to be filled for a second full season entry from the team by St. Petersburg weekend. Bryan Herta Autosport has enlisted the services of Mazda Road to Indy veteran Jack Hawksworth who has already been testing with the team at Sebring. Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing has signed up Joseph Newgarden to contest the championship for the third consecutive year with the team. The National Guard sponsorship was transferred from Panther Racing to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing during the offseason. The move not only secured Graham Rahal’s future with his father’s team, but it has also allowed the team to sign Orial Servia for at least four rounds this season. Losing this sponsorship has brought Panther Racings’ already unstable future into question. The team has done preseason testing with Carlos Huertas, but is currently tangled in a legal battle with RLLR, INDYCAR and the National Guard regarding the sponsorship transfer. The teams’ chances

of securing a full season entry look very slim. There should be between 22 and 24 cars on the grid for the season opening race in St. Petersburg. But the question at the start of most recent seasons has been: How does the series make it to the historic car count of 33 for the Indianapolis 500? First, the bulk of the balance will be made up by “Indy only” entrants from full season teams. Busch, Plowman and Villeneuve have already signed to such programs. Look for Townsend Bell, Buddy Lazier and Conor Daly to ink Indy only deals as well. And there are a few Indy only teams that will most likely make an appearance as well. If Panther Racing or Dragon Racing miss the full season, they will almost certainly still attempt the 500. Dreyer & Reinbolt Racing, once a full season entrant, will also do their best to be back in May. A new and unknown Cutters Racing Team is also looking to crowd source the funding for an Indy 500 attempt. Team Penske could be the team to beat in 2014 with Target Chip Ganassi very close behind. Helio Castroneves is chasing his elusive first championship to compliment his three Indy 500 wins and Will Power looking to finally clinch a championship in the absence of arch-rival Dario Franchitti. With the driver and engine shake-up at TCGR,


47 the addition of Montoya to an already driven Team Penske and the slightly inconsistent Andretti Autosport, Penske looks primed to capture its first championship since 2006, an eternity for Team Penske. However, IndyCar is not defined by the big teams. Simon Pagenaud won two races in 2013 and his team has coalesced to become one of the best teams on a budget in the paddock. A championship is not out of the question for the small operation. The move by Sebastien Bourdais, 4 time ChampCar series champion, to KVRT thus freeing himself from Dragon Racing may be the best career decision he has made since returning to the paddock in 2011.

Finally, the cash infusion received by RLLR and Rahal may very well propel them into the realm serious contenders. Only time will tell how they use the new resources. The championship is wide open in 2014 with as many as 15 drivers possessing the skill to take a win on any given week. A podium finish at sometime during the year will be within the grasp of every single driver taking the green flag. Pound for pound, IndyCar has some of the tightest competition in the motorsports world and the series’ history of nail biting races and championship finishes is prepped to deliver again in 2014.


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IndyCar 2014 Schedule 30th March 13th April 27th April 10th May 25th May 31st May 1 June 7 June 28th June 29th June 6th July 12th July 19th July 20th July 3rd August 17th August 24th August 30th August

Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg – Streets of St. Petersburg 40th Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach – Streets of Long Beach Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama – Barber Motorsports Park Grand Prix of Indianapolis – Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course 98th Indianapolis 500* – Indianapolis Motor Speedway Oval Course Chevrolet Grand Prix of Detroit Race 1 – Belle Isle Chevrolet Grand Prix of Detroit Race 2 – Belle Isle Firestone 600 – Texas Motor Speedway Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston Race 1 – Reliant Park Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston Race 2 – Reliant Park Pocono IndyCar 500* Fueled by Sunoco – Pocono Raceway Iowa Corn Indy 300 – Iowa Speedway Honda Indy Toronto Race 1 – Streets of Toronto Honda Indy Toronto Race 2 – Streets of Toronto ABC Supply Wisconsin 250 – The Milwaukee Mile GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma – Sonoma Raceway MAVTV 500* IndyCar World Championships – Auto Club Speedway Street Circuit Oval Track Road Course * Indicates a Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka Triple Crown round


British Touring Car Championship Preview 2014 see’s the 57th Annual British Touring Car Championship (otherwise known as BTCC). This championship is one of the most popular domestic racing series in the United Kingdom.

Exciting times ahead for BTCC fans as the season gets under way at Brands Hatch on 30th March.

The BTCC Championship is supported by various other disciplines. So if you BTCC features a mix of professional find time to go to one of the weekends teams and amateur independents you will enjoy: battling it out in the cars you see on the high street every day. The big difference British Formula Ford Championship is that these cars are highly tuned and Ginetta Junior Championship modified. Ginetta GT4 Supercup Porsche Carrera Cup GB This year see’s the end of the S2000 Renault Clio Cup UK era, the cars will now all have to meet NGTC (next generation touring car) The season opener at Brands Hatch is specifications. This is to save costs and expected to be very well attended this level the playing field a bit. It has been year. If you want tickets you can book planned for three years now and every car on the grid this year will be compliant them online at www.brandshatch.co.uk tickets to other events can be purchased with the new regulations. at the individual circuit’s websites. There is a lot of interest in this year’s championship, as we see no fewer than seven former world champions expected to take to the grid. They are Alain Menu, Fabrizio Giovanardi, Matt Neal, Jason Plato, Gordon Shedden, Colin Turkington and Andrew Jordan.

In the UK, BTCC will be shown live on ITV4, available on Freeview. This is likely to be one of the most competitive seasons ever, don’t miss a thing!

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British Touring Car Championship Schedule


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Current NASCAR Leader Dale Earnhardt Jnr


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What is NASCAR? A brief history

Without any doubt NASCAR is the most popular motor sport in the United States of America (Don’t shout at me IndyCar fans), but Where? How? And why did it begin? These are questions we ask as we try to discover what makes it so popular and answer that age old question, where did the sport originate? Moonshine – Believe it or not NASCAR was never a sport to begin with. Way back in the early 1900’s it was illegal to produce and transport ‘moonshine’ (an alcoholic drink) in the south, however it was far too profitable for the makers just to take it on the chin and give up. So what did they do? Well, it was no good transporting it in the back of a standard pick-up truck, this would have made it far too easy for the police to find and catch them, thus losing lots of money. So they began to modify cars. If a police car could reach 100mph then the moonshiners needed to build a car that went 110mph, therefore able to outrun the police. As the police got faster, so did the moonshine runners. Thus beginning what we know today as NASCAR racing. Of course, there is no moonshine involved now and they even make children’s films about the race series (take Disney Cars for example).

being affiliated to anyone, remaining a family business since it was originally founded in 1948 by Bill France Jnr. It’s now run by his grandson, Brian France. It has a fan base of around 75 million people, spending around $3 billion a years on licensed products, making it one heck of a profitable privately owned sport. The 2014 season will consist of 38 races (2 of which are exhibition races) and started mid-February. It runs through to mid-November. For the fans, that is nine months of high octane action. It all got underway at the Daytona International Speedway and finishes in sunny Miami during November at the Homestead circuit. NASCAR doesn’t stop at the stock car standard. They run truck races and many other disciplines. All this culminates in the company sanctioning over 1500 races at over 100 tracks in 39 US states and over the border in Canada.

The first NASCAR races were during the 1940’s, shortly after prohibition, with people racing for pride and profit. Most of the cars back then were simple street cars, made lighter and reinforced. It was mainly focused in the southern counties NASCAR has always steered clear of of the USA, and North Carolina,


53 particularly Wilkes County.

stone’s throw from Niagara Falls.

Remember the film ‘Cannonball Run’? Well, that was named in honour of Erwin ‘Cannonball’ Baker. Following his death the first NASCAR race was commissioned, the ‘Transcontinental Cannonball Run’. It was March 1938 and a collection of drivers got together at Daytona Beach in Florida with all manner of cars (coupes, convertibles, hardtops etc), with the simple plan to see who could go the fastest. They were looking at both drivers and cars, as they understood it took both to make it work.

Now you have had a little history lesson, let’s bring you right up to date. The highest level in NASCAR is the Sprint Cup Series. It is therefore the most popular and consequently the most profitable of all the NASCAR series. This season it will consist of 36 points gaining races. As I write this, there have been two races so far, and Dale Earnhardt Jnr is currently leading the title race. It’s expected to be a very competitive season in 2014, with a bundle of drivers in with a shout of claiming the title.

The first official NASCAR stock race was held at the Charlotte Speedway back in The attendance at NASCAR races ranges 1949, a race won by Jim Roper, someone between 63,000 and 159,000 spectators who is now down in the history books. (based on 2012 figures), making it comparable only to Formula One. Three years later, the first race outside the USA took place, this time it was In the next issue, we will look at the Canada’s turn to get a taste of the action. season so far and run down all the On July 1st 1952, Buddy Shuman won a results. unique 200 lap race on a dirt track just a


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New Circuits in 2014

2014 sees two new racing circuits appear can you expect? Where are they based? on the Calendar. We have the Russian What do they look like? GP in Sochi and the Austrian GP at the Red Bull Ring. In this feature we look at the new circuits in more detail. What

Russian GP October 12th 2014

The 5.853 kilometre circuit will be the third-longest circuit on the Formula One calendar, behind Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium and Silverstone in Great Britain. The circuit will be built around the Sochi Olympic Park, a collection of ven-

ues used recently for the 2014 Winter Olympics that have hosted ice hockey, speed skating and the stadium for the opening and closing ceremonies. The circuit will start on the northern


55 edge of the Olympic Park near the train station, heading west towards the Black Sea. The cars traverse the outer edge of the central “medals plaza”, the podium for Olympic medals presentations. The circuit will circle the plaza and head east to the Bolshoi Ice Dome and navigate a series of tight corners before turning north where it will skirt the edge of the Olympic Park, above the main Olympic Village and the Adler Arena Skating

Centre. It will then pass the skating and curling centres, before funnelling up behind the pit paddock toward the train station, and completing a circuit with a one hundred and eighty degree bend. 1.7 kilometres of the circuit length will take place on public roads. The layout can be seen in the diagram below. The run from the final corner to corner two looks particularly fast, and could see a lot of overtaking.

Here we can see an artists impression of the final circuit.

Austrian GP June 22nd 2014 A return to Austria for the Formula One teams this year will take them to the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg. The Austrian GP fell off the F1 Calendar in 2003.

The race circuit was founded as Österreichring and hosted the Formula One Austrian Grand Prix for 18 consecutive years, from 1970 to 1987. It


56 was later shortened, rebuilt and renamed subsequently hosted one round of the the A1-Ring, hosting the Austrian Grand 2011 DTM season and one round of the Prix again from 1997 to 2003. When 2011 F2 championship. Formula One outgrew the circuit, a plan was drawn up to extend the layout. The old Österreichring was more often Parts of the circuit, including the pits referred to as being located at Zeltweg, and main grandstand, were demolished, which is bigger and better known. but construction work was stopped However, the circuit was never relocated, and the circuit remained unusable for only modified. several years before it was purchased by Red Bull’s Dietrich Mateschitz and rebuilt. Renamed the Red Bull Ring the Here track was is the reopened layout on of 15 theMay circuit. 2011Unusually and for an F1 circuit it has very few corners. It could be a race that favours top speed.

Two circuits to add to the Formula One Calendar in 2014. I believe that these will be great additions and will both provide quality races for the supporters. Like any circuit, we have to wait and see what happens on the day. I, for one, am looking forward to these races.


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2014 Formula One Rolex Australian Grand Prix Preview Vijay’s Vision Force India Look Ahead to Melbourne.


58 Team Principal, Dr Vijay Mallya, looks ond highest number of laps of all the ahead to the start of the 2014 season teams. So we can be satisfied with the with anticipation. amount and quality of the work we were able to carry out. We’ve learned a lot of Dr Mallya, it’s been a very busy win- things – by no means everything – and I ter – how have things gone for Saha- think we can feel quietly confident.

ra Force India? It’s been a massive challenge, especially for a smaller team like ours. That was why we put so many plans in place early last year to be ready for what has become a very different Formula One. All the hard work has paid off, but it has been a very steep learning curve and a huge undertaking to get where we are today.

What can we expect in Melbourne?

It’s never easy to make predictions and this year there are so many more unknowns than usual. I think we can arrive in Melbourne feeling happy about the work we’ve done over the winter. How that will translate to a race weekend is hard to say, but I think it’s important that an element of unpredictability As you say it’s a different Formula has returned. There is plenty of interest One. A new direction for the sport… around Formula One at the moment and It’s the first time for many years that that’s a good thing. Formula One has been properly aligned with the automotive industry. The pros- Drivers View: Nico Hulkenberg pect of Formula One driving forward technical advances for road cars is a very Nico Hulkenberg reflects on a busy exciting one. pre-season and looks forward to Melbourne.

You attended the final test in Bahrain. Were you encouraged by what Nico, how satisfied are you with the you saw? work completed over the winter? It was certainly a good week in terms of I think we’re pretty satisfied. In the final mileage because we completed the sec- week in Bahrain we averaged 100 laps


59 per day and made good progress. You You’ve always been unlucky on race would always like more time to test, but day in Melbourne. Surely you are we’ve done as much as we could. due a change of luck… It’s been three races in Melbourne and 2014 brings new procedures and I’ve still not completed a racing lap! a new way of driving – do you feel They say bad luck comes in groups of three so hopefully attempt number four comfortable already? will work out better! I feel comfortable, but I think this feeling will grow stronger during the season. The cars are different compared to last year: the corner speeds are lower because there is less downforce and the engine behaviour is quite different. So it’s a new challenge and it’s difficult to tell just from testing how it will feel during a race weekend.

How much has the car improved Drivers View: Sergio Perez since the first test in Jerez? The car has come a long way since Jerez. We made steps at each test and I think we made very good use of the time we had available. We signed off a lot of things during testing and I don’t think we’re in bad shape. There is always more you can do, but we’re pretty well prepared.

Sergio Perez gears up for the start of the season.

Sergio, the start of the season is here. Are you looking forward to racing in Melbourne?

It’s the first race of the year so I’ve been looking forward to this moment for a Have you set any expectations for long time. I hope we can have a great this weekend? start of the season. It’s not easy to say. Testing only tells you so much, but I think we still have some How have you found the new generperformance in our pocket. I just hope ation of Formula One cars to drive? we are competitive and can race for good The new rules are interesting and the points. cars are quite challenging. There is less


60 downforce now, but there is a lot of torque from the engine so it’s quite a different feeling. You also have to think about managing the fuel load and we know that Melbourne is a circuit with high fuel consumption.

I think we are feeling well prepared going into Melbourne. Testing has had its ups and downs, as always, but we ended the second Bahrain test in a good position. There are still areas we need to improve, but I think we have made a good start and we can build on that.

Do you feel busier in the car this year? How are you feeling about your first Yes, there are more things to do in terms race weekend with Sahara Force Inof managing the systems on the car so dia? it’s more complicated than last year. The pre-season testing has given us enough time to get to know the new systems so I don’t foresee any issue come the first race.

How would you sum up the pre-season so far?

It’s always a good feeling to start with a new team. I had a full winter to get to know everyone and I’m feeling ready now. The team is very hungry and I hope we can achieve some great things this year.


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The Caterham Drivers Talk about the Australian GP

Marcus Ericsson, car #9

“Honestly, I cannot wait for it all to start in Australia. It will be my first ever F1 race weekend as a race driver and I’m so excited about my debut season in F1 starting, and in Australia, a country with a lot of F1 history and seriously passionate fans, that’s just going to be cool. I’ve been working for this chance since I started racing, and now it’s finally coming true, thanks to all the people who’ve supported me, and to the team for giving me this chance.

“We’ve done everything we can to prepare, but, honestly, I don’t think you can ever prepare for what it’ll feel like in the car, sitting on the grid as the lights go out in my debut race – however, that feeling will go very quickly and I know I’m ready to race. “The pre-season tests were tough, but at the end of them we’d got through most of what we planned, so there shouldn’t be too many surprises in Melbourne. By the end of the tests our reliability was


63 best of the Renault teams and we ran through a race sim, including the formation lap procedure, starts and pitstops, so with the mileage we completed in both Bahrain tests, we’re as ready as we can be. I’ve also been back at the factory since leaving Bahrain and been driving the Melbourne track on the sim which means it’ll only take a lap or two for me to get up to speed when we’re there. “Since the tests finished there’s been a lot of talk about what’ll happen in Australia, but until we’re actually on track it’s impossible to predict what might happen. We weren’t able to do full performance runs on either of the last two days – for me because it was my first ever lap on supersofts and I know how much more I will get out of them with more experience, and for Kamui because a clutch issue problem stopped him before he could have a go at supersoft runs – so I think the first time we’ll really see where we are on pace compared to the other teams will be in quali. What we do know is that in the race itself fuel and energy management strategies are going to be critical, so I’m glad we were able to work on them with Renault as much as we did in the tests. It might well be confusing for the fans, a bit watching driver manage tyres was for the first half of last year, but it will all be clear when the chequered flag falls.” Kamui Kobayashi, car #10: “We start the season in Melbourne and I’m excit-

ed about getting back to racing F1 cars again! Last time I raced in Melbourne (in 2012 with Sauber) I was sixth and while I don’t think that’s a realistic target for us this year, I think the race will be very interesting. There could be reliability problems for lots of teams, us as well obviously, but by the end of the tests our reliability was ok, certainly better than a few other teams, and that could be very important on Sunday in Melbourne. “Obviously for me this is my first race back, and I’m really pleased it’s with Caterham. I guarantee that they are working as hard as anyone else to have a good year in 2014 and I’ve been very impressed with how determined they are to succeed. They have a very good base to work from in Leafield, so there’s no reason we can’t have a good year, particularly with what we have planned to improve the car as the season goes on. “We still don’t know exactly where we are on performance, partly because you never do in tests because you don’t know what everyone else is doing, but also because we didn’t really have a chance to do a proper quali sim in Bahrain. We have some new parts coming to Australia, including some revisions to the front wing, so we’ll be working on them on Friday and Saturday morning and know more about where we are when qualifying’s finished on Saturday.”


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Out went Giedo Van Der Garde and Charles Pic, replaced by rookie Marcus Ericsson


PLR World Rally Championship

Preview Tervetuloa!

Bruno Keiser bruno@pitlanereporter.com

Photographs © Bruno Keiser

Recently, I’ve been asked to write a preview on the 2014 World Rally Championship season. The very first thought that crossed my mind was: ‘it´s too late’. The season opening rallies “Monte”, the winter games in Sweden and the mountaineering in Mexico are already history. But then I remembered how different these three rallies are in comparison with the rest of the season. Not till the fourth round in Portugal will the real

balance of power be revealed. Before I loose myself in speculation about who is going to win the next rally or even the championship, I need to look at the facts. Now I could blind you with science with all the technical regulations that have changed. But why do that? Those who are interested in these details already know what´s new. All the others are most probably mechanically minded

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66 enough to understand or are simply uninterested. On the other hand, does any fan recognize these regulations when spectating in the forest? I don´t think so. That´s why I want to have a closer look on those numerous changes which every rally fan can see clearly during a rally. Unfortunately I missed the first showdown in the French Maritime Alps but I did manage to go to Sweden. Before visiting service park, shakedown in Sweden has been my first contact with the new rally season. No-one could fail to notice the new engine sound among the known ones: Hyundai is back! The Korean manufacturer has made a three years commitment to the top level of rallying and has taken several drivers under its wing including Belgian vicechampion Thierry Neuville, flying Finn Juho Hänninen, Spanish tarmac specialist Dani Sordo and Australian ace Chris Atkinson. The latest member of the Hyundai family has been announced only a few days ago: Kiwi Haydon Paddon will drive seven European events. A lineup as colourful as the i20...

Does anyone miss the qualifying stage? Maybe, because it has always been interesting to see the cars on maximum attack to get the best cards for the starting position poker. Anyway, the starting order is according the championship standings again. Let´s hope we don´t see ridiculous tactic games of losing time for a better road position again! Of course I have found more news in the Swedish forest. The most obvious thing I

nearly forgot: Citroën and M-Sport have new drivers and the latter has a new colour scheme (black isn’t a colour!). After nine years in a row there’s no number “1” sticker on a Citroën door anymore. Newly crowned WRC2 champion Robert Kubica has switched from Citroën to Ford under the RK M-Sport World Rally Team banner. He clinched the two very first stage wins of the season, and will no


67 doubt be a force again this season. One of the two constants is Fiona, (the name given to the Czech Ford National Team’s Fiesta RS WRC used by Martin Prokop for the Jipocar Czech National Team.

approaches the fans. Can you imagine a Formula 1 team would do the same? That´s why we love rally! :-)

Second floor is reserved for VIP´s, guests and media. (Not to be too serious - the buffet is delicious, the vines well selected Last but not least, here is the other and the personal service excellent) constant, World Rally Champion 2013, Volkswagen: same drivers, same colours, The rally hasn’t started yet but we have same speed. For the 10th time in a row already discovered so many new things. a Sébastien runs with number “1” on his To give you some of the detail -. doors. I´m not a fortune teller when I say The length of all special stages must that VW and Ogier are the benchmark now be at least 25% of the overall rally this year too. distance. This means that either the stages must be longer or the distances Let´s go to Service Park, I have a feeling between them are shorter. Neither there is more to discover... drivers nor fans shed any tears over a Et voilà, the biggest service building the ceremonial start e.g. in Buenos Aires and WRC has ever seen! If you miss it, please then driving 700kms to the rally HQ in contact your trusted optician. It takes Cordoba... Convenient new regulation, I five days to build it up, has two levels would say. and its glass front has a size of more than 9000 square meters. Ground floor A bit less comfortable from my personal is used as service area and spectator point of view is that the rallies have to end zone. Haven´t you ever dreamed about on Sunday around noon with the power watching a service as close as possible stage. The reason for that is standardised AND be sheltered from rain, wind and live TV coverage time which should help cold? to attract more people to rally all around I´m happy to see how Hyundai the globe.


68 stage upside down. Goodbye to sleeping late on Sunday The best and fastest drivers on that morning to recover from the after rally planet will entertain us perfectly. party! It´ll be fun for everyone. I bet my left The following is what really matters arm. :-) In my humble opinion, the most important thing is still the action in the Next chapter opens on April 3 in and forests, fields, villages, vineyards or ...... around Faro, Portugal. (I’m sure you have your own favourite I´ll be there. Maybe we will meet? location). I want tight battles, dramatic fights for tenths of a second and feelings High octane greetings from Finland on a roller coaster when my favourite driver suffers a puncture or leaves the Bruno


The Turbo Era Has Returned to Formula One

The new season brings with it a very exciting change to the engine regulations. Gone are the V8 beasts to be replaced by a 1.6 V6 Turbo unit. The new engines will sound different, they’ll feel different for the drivers and will be much ‘greener’ too, but what will you notice? How will they differ from 2013 cars? And what has happened to KERS? Firstly, let’s look at why this has been done. Since 2006 there has been an engine performance freeze, which meant

that power units were pretty much a redundant part of the performance of a Formula One car. Instead it became a battle of aero design, which some would argue led to the dominance of Red Bull, however, having someone with the brilliance of Adrian Newey and such a talented driver as Sebastien Vettel, probably had something to do with it. Now the engines will once again become a performance differentiator, and that is a good thing in my view, after all, it is

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will give drivers 150kw for 30 seconds. This makes the systems more relevant to There has also been an argument the hybrid systems we have in road cars. that Formula One is environmentally unfriendly sport. I suppose it isn’t So what about the engine itself? Well, friendly but I think it was a bit rich for it will be reduced in size from 2.4 litres it to be continually criticised by people, to 1.6 litres but will be boosted by after all what about football? I know turbo power. In the past, turbo had a you’re all probably be scratching your lag in power when kicking in, but now heads about now, but think about the they will seem to fire instantaneously, audience travelling to football matches, as elements of the above mentioned every week all over the world? Surely they ERS system will kick in to remove that produce more carbon than the 19 events lag. The cars will need much more a year that Formula One produces...... complex cooling systems that the older Just saying! Nevertheless, F1 have ones. This is expected to be one of the decided to do something about this potential downfalls in design, because if ongoing criticism and have restricted a team gets this wrong, they can expect the fuel to 100kg per race, decreasing reliability to be a big issue. from 150kg, a huge reduction. They have also done away with KERS and What about the sound? That has changed, replaced it with ERS (Energy Recovery for the better or worse? Only time will System), a system devised to recover tell. We have heard the engines in testing energy under braking and store it in a but, until all the cars are lined up on the battery to increase power. In addition grid ready to launch at Melbourne, we the cars will have a motor which will won’t truly know. They do sound very take heat energy from the turbo unit different, that is for sure. They have a which would otherwise be dispersed, more raspy sound and when they are and use that to increase power too. In taking corners they sound very quiet. 2013 the KERS system could produce There hasn’t really been a major need for 60kw for 6.7 seconds a lap, this time it ear plugs at testing, but in all honesty you


71 haven’t got 22 cars on track at the same time. In truth, some people will hate the new sound and some people will love it. What won’t change is the competitive nature of Formula One, incredible cars

driven by amazing talent all fighting for the Podium. We are looking forward to what promises to be a great season in Formula One, we hope you are too.

2014 NEW Sporting Regulations for Formula One The sporting regulations are very different to the rules that surround aerodynamics and engineering of the car. These regulations affect penalties, points, drivers and teams on race weekends, at testing and throughout the championships. This year has seen dramatic changes in the cars, but also in the sporting regulations. In this article we will look at each of the major changes and explain what they are and how they will affect teams.

his aim is to halt the type of dominance we have seen over the past couple of years, where Sebastian Vettel has won the championship with three races to go. There was talk of extending the double points to three races, but that idea was soon halted by the powers that be. It may be one of the most controversial rule changes in many years, but it’s been ratified and will be going ahead. Expect an exciting end to the season and a very important final race.

Double Points

Drive Through Penalties

We start with one of the most controversial rule changes of all, the awarding of double points for the final race in Abu Dhabi. The idea is to make the championship fight last that little bit longer, allowing drivers up to 50 points behind with one race to go able to battle for the title. It also means teams that are up to 100 points behind could also prevail at the final race. This was a scheme dreamed up by Bernie Eccleston,

Stewards will this year have an option of handing out a new 5-second penalty for minor offences. This is an alternative to the harsh ‘drive-through’ or ‘stop and go’ penalties we have previously had. For those offences where these larger penalties are too severe, the stewards can, instead, give the new 5 second penalty. How this is served is up to the driver and team. If a driver wishes he may incorporate this with a pit-stop,


72 they can pull into the pits and have no work carried out for five seconds and then they may continue as normal. This means that it is five seconds in real time rather than the dramatic effect of anything from 25-35 seconds lost in a drive through. Any driver given a drive through or a stop and go must not have any pit work carried out, there is no change to this rule.

engines in a season. In 2014 this has been reduced to 5. Anyone using a 6th engine will have to start the race from the pit lane. The engine will be split into more individual components, including, ERS unit, KERS battery and Turbocharger. Each driver will be allocated 5 of each component to change during a season without affecting their engine allowance. If they go over this allowance on any one part they will incur a ten place grid Unsafe Release penalty. To avoid teams taking advantage of one part going wrong and replacing There have been several instances of numerous parts, they will receive an unsafe release of cars in the pit lane. additional five place penalty for further Some of these have resulted in drive parts changed. through penalties and other types of punishment. In order to clear this up Car Numbers and try to prevent it from happening again, any car released into the path of From the beginning of 2014, drivers will another car in the pit lane will receive a be able to choose a number that will stay grid penalty for the next race. with them for their careers. The only exception is the current world champion Penalty Points who will carry the number 1 on their car. Just like you and I, Formula One drivers will now get points for motoring offences on track. Over the course of a season, these points will be totted up, and any driver reaching twelve will get a race ban. Once the ban is complete they will start again with 5 points, this is in an attempt to make drivers more careful on track.

Extra Tyres

Engine Allowance

This is changing from 100kmh to 80kmh.

In 2013 teams were allowed to use 8

Teams will be issued a qualifying only tyre for Q3. This is to stop the trend of teams choosing not to go out in Q3 to save tyres for the race.

Pit Lane Speed Limit


Competition Time

Win two tickets to any of this seasons British Touring Car events.

Enjoy a day of pure racing fun, with Formula Ford, the Ginetta Championship, the Clio Cup and of course the Touring Cars. This season is set to be one of the most exciting with no less than 6 former champions lining up on the grid. The British Touring Car Championship is one of the most exciting race formats around, cars driving mere millimetres from each other, and sometimes even closer, yes, there are a fair amount of crashes too. If you enjoy motor racing then you’ll love this prize. To enter this competition, just answer the following question; Who is the current British Touring Car Champion Andrew Jordan Jason Plato Colin Turkington Simply email us at comp@pitlanereporter.com with your name, address, contact phone number and the answer for a chance to win these two tickets to any BTCC event this season. Closing date is the 1st April 2014 - 12 noon GMT. Winners will be drawn on 1st April 2014.

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2014 Manufacturers 2014 Driver Predictions Predictions 1. Mercedes 2. McLaren 3. Williams 4. Ferrari 5. Red Bull 6. Force India 7. Sauber 8. Lotus 9. Toro Rosso 10. Marussia 11. Caterham

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13.

Lewis Hamilton Felipe Massa Nico Rosberg Jenson Button Fernando Alonso Kevin Magnussen Sebastian Vettel Valterri Bottas Kimi Raikkonnen Daniel Ricciardo Nico Hulkenberg Sergio Perez Adrian Sutil

2014 Formula One Season Calendar No. Race Circuit Dates 1 Australia Melbourne 14-16 March 2 Malaysia Kuala Lumpur 28-30 March 3 Bahrain Sakhir 4-6 April 4 China Shanghai 18-20 April 5 Spain Barcelona 9-11 May 6 Monaco Monte Carlo 22-25 May 7 Canada Montreal 6-8 June 8 Austria Spielberg 20-22 June 9 Britain Silverstone 4-6 July 10 Germany Hockenheim 18-20 July 11 Hungary Budapest 25-27 July 12 Belgium Spa-Francorchamps 22-24 August 13 Italy Monza 5-7 September 14 Singapore Singapore 19-21 September 15 Japan Suzuka 3-5 October 16 Russia Sochi 10-12 October 17 USA Austin 31 Oct-2 Nov 18 Brazil Sao Paulo 7-9 November 19 Abu Dhabi Yas Marina 21-23 November

14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22.

Roman Grosjean Pastor Maldonado Esteban Gutierrez Jean-Eric Vergne Jules Bianchi Daniil Kvyat Kamui Kobayashi Max Chilton Marcus Ericsson


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In The Next Issue

- Formula One Race Reviews - Interviews with the unsung heroes of Formula One - We catch up with Pippa Mann, IndyCar Driver - IndyCar Race Reviews - Also more from the world of NASCAR, Touring Cars and Rallying ………and loads more. Don’t miss it, available for download on the 15th April 2014


Pitlane Reporter Issue 1