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racingedgemag.wordpress.com

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acing edge R OPEN WHEEL - OPEN COCKPIT

The Future Technology and manufacturing in Formula One

F2 Preview

March 701

Boss GP


All text Š GTR Publishing 2018. While due care is taken to ensure that the contents of Racing Edge are accurate, the publishers cannot accept liability for errors and omissions. Editor in chief - Joseph King Deputy Editor - Mick Palmer Editor at Large - Rob Andrews Design and Layout - Mick Palmer Photographic credits: Cover: Renault F1 Jim Culp, Rick Dikeman, BossGP.com, FIA F3 Media Services, Haas F1, FIA Formula 2/Malcolm Griffiths/LAT Images, Federico Mera, Andrew and Alan Frost, Red Bull Content Pool, Andrew and Alan Frost, Derrick Noh, Madagascaria, Andrew Basterfield, Marc Evans, : Red Bull Content Pool Mark Thompson/Getty Images, Glenn Dunbar/ Williams, Robert Cianfflone/Getty/Red Bull Content Pool, Zak Mauge/FIA Formula Two, Tony Harrison, Perrault, Don Francis, Dale Coyne Racing, Habeed Hameed, Dutch National Archive, Brookings Institution, OSX, Caterham Composites, Toyota Gazoo Racing. Find us on: Facebook - Racing Edge - The Magazine Twitter @RacingEdgeMag Issuu - Search Racing Edge Magazine racingedgemag.wordpress.com/ Email - gtr.publishing@gmail.com

Contents News and Opinion

4

Racing Mick Marchionne is marching towards a split

6

News The F1 breakaway and Schumacher Jr

7

Durko Let's go racing, in a 240 GL?

10

News The wheels come off at Haas

11

News F2 testing and BOSS GP

Features 8

F1 AE The best looking liveries in F1

12

March The 701, from shed to track in 5 months.

24

History In Motion Phil Stratford and his Benetton B197

30

F1 Manufacturing Is 3D printing finally on the right track

36

F2 Preview 10 drivers to watch

40

When Two Worlds Collide F1 racers at Spa

44

Classic Single Seater The Panoz DP01

46

Australian Grand Prix Vettel wins in Oz

50

IndyCar St Petersberg Thriller leaves Wickens in the wall

52

Grand Prix Preview Bahrain, China and Azerbaijan

55

Reviews F1 review Blu-Ray and the book of Button

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12

24

40 30

46 36

44

Issue 2 Racing Edge 3


Photo: Rick Dikeman

@racing_mick

Start reading history Sergio

Ferrari boss Sergio Marchionne wants a new Formula One to be made in his own image. Before trying to control the course of the future he should spend a little time reading racing history. IndyCar has spent a quarter of a century suffering from similar personal grandstanding, and it makes Racing Mick mad that the fans are his collateral......

T

he 2018 racing season is well under way. For fans of the highest levels of single seater competition in Formula One and IndyCar, the opening races in the respective championships delivered very different results in terms of on-track action. In St Petersburg in IndyCar we saw a race littered with yellow flags and safety car periods, but when the cars were racing it was non-stop action with overtaking moves throughout the field determining how the race played out. A coming together between Robert Wickens and Alexander Rossi gave fans a barnstorming finish, and Sebastien Bourdais an unexpected victory. In Melbourne it was the opposite. The F1 season began with Sebastian Vettel picking up a win thanks to a Mercedes blunder under VSC/Safety Car conditions, and Lewis Hamilton, whose car had the edge, having no chance to regain the lead on-track. It’s pointless in comparing the two championships thanks to the massive differences between the them, but those differences do not mean that they can’t learn from one another. Formula One is not going to become a championship where you can buy your equipment off the shelf, and IndyCar is not going to have a field containing 10 teams building their own cars. It is off-track where a historical failing of one should be looked at by the other. But it appears that nobody has informed Ferrari doyen Sergio Marchionne of that history IndyCar this year is a series undergoing a rebirth. That is a statement that has been applied to the championship in all of its iterations since 1996. CART, IRL and Champ Car gave us a nightmare scenario that has plagued the category for 23 years. Ever since ‘The Split’ was announced in 1995, single seat racing in the USA has suffered an embarrassing collapse, and since the reunification in 2008 the high quality

4 Racing Edge Issue 2

of on-track action has not brought fans back. A perfect example of the continuing fallout could be seen at the Fontana race in 2015. Hailed as the most exciting IndyCar race of all time, low TV ratings and a race day crowd struggling to reach 10,000 paying spectators showed that the sport was still on the ropes two decades after the split was announced. Formula One has lived through the threat of a breakaway series before, it’s lived through the threats of Ferrari leaving the sport too, but the latest comments from Marchionne have shown the greatest amount of utter disrespect to the most important people in the sport. The fans. It is the fans who pay over the odds to attend races, it is the fans who are paying extortionate amounts in some regions to watch F1 on TV, it is the fans who the sponsors and partners of the sport are trying to attract into investing in their products and services. It is the money from you, the fan, that makes this sport what it is. Without you F1 does not exist, and it is you that people like Marchionne are showing disrespect towards in an attempt to get their own way. Formula One is our sport. As fans it is our culture and investment of passion and time that Marchionne and his allies are playing political games with. Even if his end game is to keep the sport intact, with terms and conditions he finds more attractive than at the current time, it’s our emotions that is being used as leverage. Our goodwill is being used for their gain. Liberty Media have a vision for the future that may see a drastic change in how Formula One is regulated and, more importantly, consumed by its fans. It is a vision that threatens the status quo and in effect could disarm both the technical and political arsenals of the top two teams.


Photo: Brookings Institution

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has taken a softly, softly approach in an attempt to dampen down the situation, but has he really helped? Comments such as: “The perspective of doing something else is a realistic one, and it could happen if we don’t achieve to align our vision,” do not dispel the perception that his colleague in Maranello is stamping his feet and yelling for his own way. “Marchionne has a clear vision of what Formula One should represent for Ferrari, which is a purist sport that isn’t a shopping channel. I would strongly encourage all of the sport’s stakeholders not to try and provoke him,” is another line that serves to placate the Maranello boss. For Wolff to say: “I agree with most of the things Sergio says because Formula One has a certain DNA and it is a sport that needs to stick to its roots. So, don’t mess with Sergio Marchionne. Formula One needs Ferrari much more than Ferrari needs Formula One,” is an absolute disgrace, and again could not be further from the feelings of the majority of F1 fans. Like all fans of the sport I want Ferrari and Liberty to get things sorted, and pronto. But assertions such as: “Formula One has a certain DNA,” is dangerous. Unless Wolff can define what that DNA is, he shouldn’t be throwing quotes like that around. I’m sure that his interpretation of DNA in F1 is different to that of others. Take the DNA of his own team for example. Its place in the sport can be traced back to the woodcutting shed of one Ken Tyrrell, who progressed from using Matra and March chassis before his

Ockham lumber yard produced the first Tyrrell F1 car in 1970. The team was purchased by BAR ahead of a re-branding in 1999, ahead of a purchase by Honda, then morphing into Brawn for 2009 before Mercedes purchased the team. The DNA of the Formula One World Championship was built on the customer. Outfits such as Tyrrell purchased chassis and engines to go up against one Italian factory team. The manufacturer influx of the eighties lifted the sport to another level, and today the sport is, whatever you think, the better for it. The thing is, that ‘better’ is a collection of 10 manufacturers, and we are not going to see an expansion of that any time soon. The problem with a breakaway series is that it will separate those ten. We may end up with two championships featuring five teams with four cars each, but the pecking order in both will remain the same. This isn’t 1996 in the USA where the IRL opened its season at Disney World with 20 Reynard and Lola chassis, paired with CART running a further 24 (plus three Penske machines) in their opener. Can those in F1, a sport that struggles to attract constructors really think they can provide 40 cars a year? In all practicality, a split F1 would feature two thin grids. In reality we know that this outcome is unlikely to happen, but, if Marchionne thinks that he can get all of his own way then he is the tail trying to wag the dog, and the dog is not Liberty or the FIA, the dog is the millions of people who tune in every other week to watch (for the moment) the pinnacle of international motor racing.

Issue 2 Racing Edge 5


F1 under threat of breakaway again

Tensions have been rising once again ahead of Liberty Media laying out their future plans for Formula One over the Bahrain Grand Prix weekend. Simmering pressure over where the sport is heading has been bubbling under since Ferrari boss Sergio Marchionne made threats that the team could become involved in a breakaway series, or leave the sport altogether. Disagreements about finances and restrictions are at the core of the problem. Ferrari and Mercedes both appear to be pulling in a very different direction to Liberty Media to extract what they want from the sport. The meeting in Bahrain has been promoted as being one to unveil the technical future of the sport. It is not known whether the commercial aspects will be laid out on the table for the teams to see. The future engine regulations,

which include the removal of the MGU-H and the use of standardised parts, has not gone down well with the manufacturers. Formula One has found itself in a similar situation before with manufacturers threatening to head off and set up a new championship. Bartering with then ringmaster Bernie Ecclestone headed off that attempt, which was followed by Concorde Agreements, the latest of which ends in 2020. Ecclestone has aired his opinions on the subject by sugesting that Marchionne will not want to lose face unless he has an influence on the future of the sport. Ecclestone said that Marchionne: “Is not the kind of guy that makes threats as a joke then runs away.” The gambit could be a risky move. The precedent set by the IndyCar split in the nineties is still affecting the sport.

Photo: FIA F3 Media Services

Schumacher sets pace in F3 testing

Mick Schumacher has set out his stall with a pair of impressive test sessions ahead of the European F3 season opener at Pau in May

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The son of seven time Formula One champion Michael will contest the series for the crack Prema Theodore squad. During the first pre-season test at the Hungaroring in March, the German headed the timesheets at the end of day one. Schumacher also set the pace at the Red Bull Ring in Austria where he outpaced Ferdinand Habsburg in what may see as a prelude to a title battle between the pair. Carlin driver Habsburg said: “Its just great to have so many fast teammates. This means that we can share the testing work and always will have a lot of data for finding the best possible setup. Furthermore, we have got a lot of staff and if there’s a problem on one of the cars a mechanic of another car will be able to help. Currently, I see only advantages when it comes to racing for a team as big as we are.”


Stop complaining and enjoy the racing! The original F1 armchair expert Anthony Durkin ruminates on binary sponsorship, the shape of a classic Swedish beauty and the gallic charms of on Monsieur R.Grosjean Esq. From the desk of the F1 Armchair Expert: In late March 2018 we witnessed the F1 circus attending it first full-length dress rehearsal or fly away test, the Australian Grand Prix held at Albert Park, Melbourne. One of the big talking points for the first race was the introduction of the ‘Halo’ safety device. Designed to withstand the weight of a London bus full of non-paying passengers, it was a design nightmare for the teams. The FIA’s press release stated that this new device would provide greater levels of safety for the drivers than a Volvo 240GL with a fish sticker on the rear window. Also for 2018, McLaren announced two new sponsors, one to display their logo on the halo device and the second being the computer company ‘Dell’. As part of this agreement, ‘Dell’ had asked that the 2018 title contender be renamed as the MCL0011001100110011. For commercial reasons, Zak Brown, the Executive Director at McLaren. was heard to state: “Nah, y’all see we’ll keep the 33 as all those ones and naughts remind me of the sequence of Honda power units we used last season.” And as luck would have it, the Aussie GP was a spectacle

of close racing and retirements. Sirotkin in his race debut for the Williams team couldn’t bag any points because of a piece of rubbish, a plastic bag, and the Sauber of Ericsson packed it in with dodgy Alfa Romeo hydraulics. Honda continued with their run of failures as part of the new partnership with Toro Rosso, meaning Pierre Gasly hit the showers early too. The retirement of both Haas’ due to a simple human error meant that the safety car was brought out. This simple mistake saw Grosjean melt the hearts of his haters with his kind consoling act towards his mechanic. The safety car also saw the re-introduction of the Mercedes conspiracy theorists, claiming that the Ferrari

What chance the boxy but good Volvo will be the next FIA safety initiative? Photo: OSX

win by Vettel was rigged. For those of that really

understand F1, it was what is referred to as racing. From here we move on to the Middle East equivalent of Zandvoort and the sand covered Bahrain International Circuit before again returning to China and saying, “Ni hao” to the Shanghai International circuit. The 2018 season has commenced, so let’s sit back and enjoy the show.! Durko (El Presidente) Issue 2 Racing Edge 7


BRAWN BGP 001

Before the F1 season began t F1 class of 2018 were a dull bu we asked the fans over at the F group for their favour PATRICK SPENCE provided a list that included the Williams FW 18 and the championship winning Renault machines of 05/06, but the Brawn BGP001 stood out most.

LOTUS 72

Photo: Derrick Noh

WILLIAMS FW14B

TONY DUNN - That’s a tough one but for me personally I always loved the FW14B. Photo: Andrew and Alan Frost

Benneton B189B

THEO ORIE ary car in its sorship most JPS Lotus is s

Or as Roy Ca than black w JPS 72. For m

Photo: Andrew

Chosen by CHARLIE BLANN, the B189B was a staple in Scalextric sets of the early nineties. Photo: Madagascarica

8 Racing Edge Issue 2


CATERHAM/LOTUS

there were complaints that the unch as far as liveries went. So F1 Armchair Experts facebook rite F1 colour schemes:

2

E - JPS Lotus for me...... Where the Lotus 72 was a revolutiontime, the black and gold livery that came with the JPS spont definitely made heads turn. For me the sleek, wedge shaped still one of the most beautiful F1 cars ever built.

RHODRI TIPPETT-MERRYWEATHERTough one. But I’ll be honest, the Caterham shade of green was always agreeable to look at. Photo: Caterham Composites

McLaren

alitz put it - If God had wanted race cars to be anything other with gold highlights he would never have created the beautiful me the best looking car / colour combo ever

w Basterfield

STEFAN DAVIES - Can’t go wrong with rocket red and chrome. Photo: Marc Evans

Issue 2 Racing Edge 9


Photo: Haas F1

Haas to come back fighting Haas suffered a nightmare end to the first race of the season in Melbourne when both Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen exited after falling foul of problems during their pitstops. With a likely fourth and fifth double points haul on the board, the pair found themselves heading back to the paddock after both cars left the pits with cross-threaded wheel nuts. A probable 22 points and a second place in the constructors’ championship would have been the reward for the British based American team. “It was a disappointing end to a very promising weekend,” said team principal Gunther Steiner. “We had two failures on the pit stops – didn’t tie the wheels on correctly, so we had to stop the cars. As much as you don’t want to say it, it’s racing. It happens, even though it shouldn’t. It’s almost unbelievable to have this in one race, and on two cars, while running fourth and fifth. It’s very disappointing. The good thing we can take away from this is that the car is competitive. We just need to get our heads up again, to get well prepared for Bahrain. We’ll focus on that one and get our pit stops sorted out.” Magnussen was up to fourth from the start 10 Racing Edge Issue 2

and was comfortable defending from a feisty Max Verstappen. “It’s a very tough one to swallow for the whole team,” he said. “To have both cars not finishing – having been in such good positions and with so much anticipation – it’s just heartbreaking to finish like that. We’ll get on top again. We’ll fight back. I’m beyond disappointed right now, but we’ll get over it.” While Magnussen suffered a problem on the left rear, Grosjean suffered a similar problem on the left front when the wheel wasn’t seated properly. After exiting the pits the Frenchman had to park up just after turn three. The position of the car caused a VSC then a safety car, the outcome of which handed Vettel victory. Grosjean said: “I had great pace today, and I’m sure I could have stayed a bit more with the frontrunners if I’d been in front of Kevin early in the race. We’ll now analyse everything and work out what happened exactly. We’ll come back stronger as we always do. It’s a lot of points lost today, but if we can repeat that performance over and over, we’re going to forget this very quickly.” The team were issued with a $10,000 fine for an unsafe release of the cars.


Photo: FIA Formula 2/Malcolm Griffiths/LAT Images

Gunther tops final F2 test

Maximilian Gunther set the fastest time over the three days of final pre-season Formula Two testing in Sakhir at the Bahrain International Circuit. The German BWT Arden driver clocked a 1 minute 42.756 on the final day of the test to lay down a challenge heading into the first race of the 2018 season at the track on April 7. The time set in the morning was nowhere near close to being matched in the afternoon where teammate Nirei Fukuzumi set a 1:43.430. Campos driver Luca Ghiotto and Nyck de Vries set the top speeds on day one and two as the teams got to grips with the new car to be raced in 2018. The Dallara F2 2018 will mirror it’s big brothers in Formula One by becoming the first car in the series to run with a HALO cockpit protection device integrated into the chassis. The car and its 3.4 litre Mechachrome V6 turbo engine ran faultlessly as the teams put more miles on the combo. Newcomers Carlin ran comfortably in the top 10 with Lando Norris outpacing teammate Sergio Sette Camara.

Day One Morning 1 Luca Ghiotto Campos Vexatec Racing 1:44.042 2 Antonio Fuoco Charouz Racing System 1:44.435 Day One Afternoon 1 Nyck de Vries PERTAMINA PREMA 1:43.785 2 Louis Delétraz Charouz Racing System 1:43.905 Day Two Morning 1 Arjun Maini Trident 1:42.779 2 Jack Aitken ART Grand Prix 1:43.003 Day Two Afternoon 1 Santino Ferrucci Trident 1:45.522 2 Ralph Boschung MP Motorsport 1:45.664 Day Three Morning 1 Maximilian Günther BWT Arden 1:42.756 2 Louis Delétraz Charouz Racing System 1:43.058 Day Three Afternoon 1 Nirei Fukuzumi BWT Arden 1:43.430 2 Maximilian Günther BWT Arden 1:44.145

Photo: bossgp.com

BOSS GP reveals its F1 Six-Pack

BOSS GP have released their initial entry list for the 2018 season. The FIA sanctioned series, billed as ‘The fastest championship in Europe,’ has revealed that six drivers will race

ex-Formula One cars this year in the Formula Class. They join 14 former GP2 and World Series cars so far entered into the Open Class, with the possibility of more joining at select races through the year. Series champion Ingo Gerstl returns in his Top Speed run Torro Rosso STR1, with Florian Schnitzenbaumer also contesting some races for the squad. Penn Elcom driver Phil Stratford will race a Benetton B197 prepared by Mansell Motorsport, and Frits van Eerd will race a Minardi PS04b. Bernd Herndlhofer returns in an Arrows A22 and Wolfgang Jaksch brings his Super Aguri SA06 to the series again. The series kicks of at Hockenheim on the weekend of the 21-22nd of April at the Jim Clark Memorial meeting. The championship will then visit The Red Bull Ring, Monza, Assen and Brno before finishing the season in the south of France at Paul Ricard on the weekend of the 13-14th of October

Issue 2 Racing Edge 11


When Julius Caesar was assassinated on The Ides of March the Roman republic was turned upside down. New factions rose and rejected the status quo which instigated the creation of the Roman Empire. Almost 2,000 years later four men took on the established order in a similar, unpopular fashion. In the space of five months they formed a company and built a Grand Prix winning car. The March 701. Photography: Jim Culp Words: Mick Palmer


Right: Chris Amon in the works March 701 leads Jackie Stewart in the Tyrrell run example at the Belgian Grand Prix Photo; Jim Culp

H

ow long would it really take to design and build a Formula One car? It is a question I’ve been asked on many occasions, but it isn’t a question anyone can answer easily. It is pretty much a fluid task to design a car, often you will hear team personnel talk about initial planning beginning at a particular time, perhaps late spring or early summer. But is that really the start point? An F1car is always an evolution of its predecessor, even the revolutionary ones, even the ones that are failures. They all influence what comes next. When designers state that the knobs on the steering wheel, or the valve caps on wheels are the only carry over from a previous car, they might be telling the truth. The collated knowledge of years of development and experience determine what direction designers will head in even before they start the process. You cannot pinpoint an exact starting point. A start-up like Haas had to start from scratch, so day one of the process was the de facto beginning. But, it wasn’t, its design team already had prior experience at this level. A leaning towards particular design ideals were already going to be there. The manufacturing of a car 14 Racing Edge Issue 2

is an entirely different matter altogether, because if you cannot determine the start of a design process, you certainly can determine the end of it. Most teams start the design process in the summer months, so to hit a deadline for testing in February you could say seven months answers the question of “How long does it really take to design a Formula One car?’ What if I said that there is a case where a team went from absolute zero; no factory, no personnel, no money, no equipment - to putting a winning car on the test track within 5 months? Today you’d be right to say it’s impossible. That wasn’t always the case though. This is how four people bucked convention and upset the established order over the winter of 1969 and 1970. This is the birth of March. In the summer of 1969 the first March racing car appeared. A Formula Three chassis that had been manufactured and constructed in a shed. The collaborative team that created it were Max Mosley, Alan Rees, Graham Coaker and Robin Herd. The name March was created from their collective named initials. Mosley led the commercial side of the enterprise and Herd designed the car. Coaker built it, in the aforementioned shed and Rees was charged with the running

of the team. The F3 car made its debut at the Cadwell Park circuit in Lincolnshire with a young Swedish driver named Ronnie Peterson behind the wheel. The transition from a small team manufacturing their own backyard F3 car to a full works F1 team would normally grow naturally over time, but the quartet felt that seeing as though they had the knowledge, talent and drive to make the jump to F1, why wait? It was a simple decision, but not a simple undertaking. To make the numbers add up it was


decided that the newly formed March would not only continue in Formula Three beside its new F1 venture, the company decided to go for the hat-trick and unleash a Formula Two car too. Mosley announced to the motor racing press that March would enter Formula One in 1970, it was a statement which was met with quiet doubt and derision. Nobody believed that a brand new team with unproven management would be able to achieve the feat in such a small period of time. Behind closed doors the outward-

ly self-assured Mosley would have been confident, except for the fact that there were no doors to be confident behind. While Herd was charged with designing a car, Mosley had the job of finding investment and, of a rather high importance, some premises from which to base their operation. An initial investment of ÂŁ10,000 was raised between the four partners and some premises were found in Bicester in Oxfordshire. While the process of putting together a factory and designing a car was going ahead, time was

ticking away to the start of the 1970 F1 season. March made a move to try and sign Jochen Rindt for the upcoming season but, after considering a move, the Austrian decided to continue with Lotus where he had recently won his first Grand Prix. The team then made the brave move of approaching Chris Amon who had suffered a poor couple of years at Ferrari. With the Italian team at a low ebb, Amon gambled on March coming good and signed for their 1970 Formula One programme. Issue 2 Racing Edge 15


Below: Chris Amon took a punt on March and managed three podiums in 1970. Right: Chris Amon and Ronnie Peterson (in the Colin Crabbe entered 701) in the Spa-Francorchamps pitlane. Below right: Mario Andretti in the Andy Granatelli/STP car at Hockenheim. Photos: Jim Culp

March had planned to to take Peterson up from F3 to F1 but an opportunity too good to miss, in terms of both driver quality and finances, was presented to the team. Porsche wanted a Formula One drive for one of its leading sportscar racers, Jo Siffert. Having driven for a number of years in customer cars for Rob Walker Racing in the category beside his endurance commitments, Porsche wanted Siffert in a works F1 drive alongside his sportscar commitments. Ferrari had been sniffing around Siffert, wanting to tempt him into a dual F1/Sportscar deal, this prompted Porsche to head off the approach by placing him in a works machine. A deal with March halted the deal with Siffert joining Amon in the team. For March it was all good, they had a Grand Prix winner in their second car, a £30,000 cheque from Porsche, but they were still to roll out a machine. The hard work that Ken Tyrrell had put into the team 16 Racing Edge Issue 2

named after himself paid off in 1969. After finishing the previous season in second place with Jackie Stewart at the helm of his Ford Cosworth powered Matra, they’d gone one better by taking the title in 69. The French company now had its own engine for its chassis and was all set for Tyrrell to run the combo in 1970. Being strictly a Cosworth man, Tyrrell refused to run the new engine that was offered. He wanted the Matra chassis and Cosworth engine for a third season, the French company was not having any of that. The ultimatum served by Matra was that if he wanted the chassis, Tyrrell would have to take the engine too. It quickly became obvious to Ken that he was going to be left with engines and not a lot else if he stuck to his guns. None of his leading competitors were prepared to sell him a rolling chassis, and there was not enough time for the Tyrrell team to build a car for themselves.

In agreement with Ford, Tyrrell approached March to enquire about the possibility of purchasing three rolling chassis for the upcoming season, at a cost of £6,000 each. Not being one to turn away business, Mosley accepted. The bill was to be footed by Ford themselves, so the gang took a trip to see Walter Hayes at the company itself. Hayes had been steering motor racing programs for Ford and had been instrumental in the financing of the Cosworth DFV, the engine which had powered Stewart to the 1969 title, and that would continue to win in F1 over a 15 year period. In the meeting Hayes disagreed with the suggested cost of the cars that March were to provide and insisted on paying £9,000 per car, a three grand mark up. Hayes had enough business sense to realise that undercutting March in the price may have the company surviving on the brink, or even folding before delivering the goods. He reasoned that it


was better to pay over the odds to ensure that the Ford contracted Stewart remained in a new car instead of having him languishing in a second hand one, or worse, to be paying the world champion not to drive at all. The price was what March would subsequently charge for the new car to other customers. It was also a secure ÂŁ27,000 to put into the kitty to keep the company afloat. All that was needed now

was to deliver a car. That in itself was going to be a gargantuan task. Robin Herd had finished the design and was actively involved with the manufacturing, overseen by Croaker. The car was named the March 701, so alled by its year and category (1970 and Formula 1.) Like most British F1 cars of the time it utilised a number of off the shelf components. It had a distinctive wing like shaped body and a flat, squared nose. The front

of the car was the determining factor in the balance and handling due to it being front-heavy. The radiator, brake cylinders and a number of other essential components were ahead of the front bulkhead. The positioning of so many components over and in front of the front wheel line created its main characteristic, a sluggish turn-in. The fuel and oil tanks were not ideally positioned either. The Issue 2 Racing Edge 17


oil tank was positioned externally which came as a result of the tight time constraints that the team were working to. The fuel tank was too small to carry enough petrol for some of the races. At 48 gallons the team had to come up with a solution to bring the capacity up to the envisioned total of 60. Two extra tanks were fitted in the side pods to expand the capacity for the races that needed a few gallons more. The fibreglass side pods were shaped aerodynamically themselves in an attempt to gain some extra stability but their effect was negligible. To address the unorthodox sidepods the team explained that they were ‘low aspect-ratio wings�. On the 6th of February 1970 March unveiled their new car at Silverstone. The sceptical press, and F1 fraternity, had not been convinced that the team would succeed, but here they were. Barely five months after renting an empty factory unit here was the team with its own car ready for Chris Amon to test. A second

18 Racing Edge Issue 2

car was also ready for Tyrrell and Jackie Stewart. Through a myriad of problems, and gambles, Mosley, Rees, Coakes and Herd had recruited a workforce, installed machinery and manufactured a Formula One car for the reigning world champion to test. The morning saw both Stewart and Amon set competitive and consistent times on two different tyres. March were running Firestone tyres while Tyrrell ran Dunlop, the car ran faultlessly on both. In the afternoon Siffert got his chance along with Johnny ServozGavin in the Tyrrell owned car. Ronnie Peterson got a short run in the works car, his first Formula One experience. Attending the session were Andy Granatelli and Mario Andretti. Granatelli was the boss of STP oil and had bankrolled the team that had taken Andretti to an Indy 500 victory the previous May. March were able to announce at Silverstone that the STP team were also buying a car to run for Andretti. There were to be a total of


Jackie Stewart leads Chris Amon with Pedro Rodriguez following. Note the different rear end that the leading Tyrrell 701 has compared to the second placed works car. Photo: Jim Culp

Issue 2 Racing Edge 19


five March 701 machines on the grid for the opening race of the season in South Africa. It was a shock to the system for the established order in F1, these young upstarts were becoming more of a thorn in the side than the freakshow that the other entrants had hoped they would be. After the test the cars were to be shipped to South Africa for some running ahead of the season opener in Kyalami. March prepared their works cars and the STP car for shipping. STP had also signed a deal with the works team which resulted in yet more funds going into the March coffers. Tyrrell assembled their cars themselves and incorporated a few modifications that they thought would help to alleviate some of the imbalance that appeared to be inherent to the benign and dull handling of the 701. The suspension and steering were altered on the Tyrrell cars as were some of the 20 Racing Edge Issue 2

aero devices. Fixtures, fittings and mounting points were also moved during the build to improve what Tyrrell saw as construction deficiencies. All three teams tested at Kyalami prior to the Grand Prix. Tweaks and improvements were made by both March and Tyrrell. For the STP car it was less successful in testing after Andretti had an off that required repairs that carried over into the practice sessions for the race. Both Chris Amon and Jackie Stewart were able to get the best out of the cars that their respective teams were running. The pair were more settled than their teammates, as with their smooth styles they were able negate the sluggish turn in of the car without losing speed through a turn. Even with different tyres the two drivers were able to match each other over a lap and both set exactly the same time, 1m 19.3, to gain the first two spots on the grid. Stewart took the pole on the basis that he’d set his time first. The March dream was coming true it would have appeared, but there was still a race to run. With Siffert in ninth, Andretti 11th and Servoz-Gavin in 17th. March expected at the very least some points. They weren’t to come from Amon whose race lasted two laps. After some contact at the start of the race the car overheated and Chris was off for an early bath. Siffert finished five laps down, Andretti and Servoz-Gavin


joined Amon on the sidelines, this left only Stewart in the race. His early pace matched that of the cars around him but problems with the heat affected his Dunlop tyres and he had to nurse the car home, coming home third, 17 seconds down on race winner Jack Brabham. In seven months the team had come from nothing to a pole position, leading a Grand Prix and a podium, and things were about to get better. March and Tyrrell returned to their bases in the UK before travelling to the second round in Spain on the 19th of April. In the intervening period The Race of Champions was held at Brands Hatch. The Formula One non-championship race was quickly becoming one of the top races on the British national calendar. Again Jackie Stewart was the man to beat in practice setting a 1m25.

In the 50 lap race he eased the car to victory ahead of Rindt, Denny Hulme, Jack Brabham and Graham Hill. In 1970 it was a large achievement, although the World Drivers Championship was an important crown, it wasn’t quite as important as it is today, these non championship races were as legitimate as the championship races themselves. It was a vindication for March who had been eyed with suspicion and veiled ridicule since their announcement that they were entering Formula One, but the real success was just around the corner. The Spanish Grand Prix on the 19th of April was a contentious affair where the presence of March did not sit well with the other teams. Although there were five cars at the event only three were considered as extras. Only a year earlier a grand total of 14 cars had entered the Spanish race

around the MontjuĂŻc circuit. For 1970 the organisers would only admit 16 car to the race itself. This led to some harsh words from some teams that felt they would be forced out of the race by these upstarts who had not yet earned their place amongst the elite. Tyrrell had the world champion driver and nobody would deny him his right to defend his crown, but the works cars and Andretti car were not welcome. The fact that 22 cars had turned up for the event was of no consequence to the other entrants, there was still some needle towards the team. The March cars hit the track and the company now had another reason to try to rub the other teams up the wrong way with their on-track performance. Jack Brabham qualified on pole ahead of Denny Hulme. Stewart was the best of the March contingent with a third place, Issue 2 Racing Edge 21


Amon was sixth , Servoz-Gavin was 14th ahead of Andretti in 16th while Siffert failed to qualify. Stewart put in a champions performance to win the race for Tyrrell. March, in only their second World Championship Grand Prix were now winning constructors. Andretti finished the race with his first F1 podium in third place and Servoz-Gavin came home fifth, Amon failed to finish but that was a point that could be overlooked on such a successful day. March headed back home with their car a legitimate contender in the hands of Stewart and Tyrrell, but the 22 Racing Edge Issue 2

works squad were trailing. One week later at Silverstone both March and Tyrell entered a car each into the BRDC International Trophy. Chris Amon took the win for March ahead of Stewart and Piers Courage. After four races in Formula One competiton the 701 had three wins. More chassis were constructed and sold. March encouraged Colin Crabbe to run their contracted driver Ronnie Peterson. The Swede made his debut in Monaco where he finished highest of all the March entries, although that was only a seventh place.

Three straight second places followed, Amon took the position in Belgium before Stewart finished second in Holland followed by Amon once again finishing runner up, in France. By the time the championship had wound its way to Germany for the Grand Prix at Hockenheim, the team had sold a car to another entrant. The total number of cars built by March that entered the German Grand Prix was seven. But this was to be one of the oddest moments of the season for the Bicester based squad. March led the constructors championship


and Stewart the led drivers standings after the Dutch Grand Prix, that was the best was to get all season. German gentleman driver Hubert Hanhe, who was partaking in his yearly jaunt in competitive racing at his home GP, decided that the March was the car to have. He failed to qualify being 26th fastest out of 27. The lawyer-come-racer was so incensed at his lack of pace that he decided to sue March. He contended that he’d been sold a car that was of lower quality than the other cars they’d built. In his mind there was no reason for him to be slower than the other drivers in

exactly the same car. As the March team traversed Germany on their way home the team had their trucks, equipment and cars impounded by the authorities while legal proceedings began. Being legally trained himself, and having served at the bar, Mosley was able to wangle the trucks, cars and equipment out of the hands of the authorities. The proviso was that March would take Hanhe to Silverstone and perform a back to back test on both his car and the Colin Crabbe run car to prove that there was no manufacturing defaults. In the presence of Hanhe, Peterson set a competitive time in the Crabbe car. Then he switched to the Hanhe car for the moment of truth. After a couple of laps around the former RAF airfield Peterson had lapped a further two seconds quicker than he had in his own regular car. Hanhe accepted that it wasn’t the car, dropped all legal action, then quietly retired from top level racing. With one customer lost (but the money in the bank) a second blow came when Tyrrell revealed that they had designed and built their own chassis, the 001, and were going to enter a single car for Stewart in the final three flyaway races in Canada, America and Mexico. March had been a stopgap for Tyrrell, and although early season success had been achieved, they were used to competing at the front and as the season went on the March slid down the grid. The 701 only picked up two podiums in the last 7 races of the season. Despite retiring from all of the last three races, Stewart had gained

two poles and another front row start in the 001. Tyrrell obviously knew how to build a fast car, and if they could make it reliable than a repeat order from Bicester would not be needed. The 701 finished the year with one championship win, seven podiums and two non-championship wins. Jackie Stewart had finished fifth in the drivers championship with Amon eighth. March finished third in the constructors championship on 48 points. Considering they were only topped by Lotus and Ferrari, it should have been considered a success, but after a lightning start it was a scant reward. The following season was a failure compared to the high standards set in 1970, the 711 “tea-tray” car disappointed in its performance. The second and final March victory would come in 1975 in Austria. The form of the team ebbed and flowed over the years until it faltered and closed down in the early 1990s. March had significant success in IndyCar racing with Five successive Indy 500 wins and a host of drivers and constructors championships through the eighties. It took a little more time to prepare and build those IndyCars than the 701, but the lessons learned in the intervening years served the team well in manufacturing cars for customers. The legacy of the 701 is one of a car that came literally from nowhere to winning a World Championship Grand Prix in a little under 8 months. Compared to what it takes to build a winner in current F1, March managed it in the blink of an eye. Issue 2 Racing Edge 23


History in m


motion?


The BOSS GP season kicks off at Hockenheim in Germany later this month. Penn Elcom driver Phil Stratford tells Racing Edge what is happening behind the scenes as the team prepare to race an ex-F1 Benneton B197. Words: Mick Palmer Images: boss.com

T

he sight, sound and smell of high powered single seater racing cars will return to Hockenheim in April to herald the beginning of the BOSS GP season. The FIA sanctioned championship will form the fastest series at the annual Jim Clark memorial meeting, fifty years after the double world champion lost his life in a Formula Two race at the circuit. Hockenheim has changed dramatically in the intervening years. It may have had chicanes installed before being sliced in half to formulate its current layout, but the undeniable history remains. Germany may struggle to fill the venue during World Championship weekends, but the flavour from afternoons from the days of Schumi mania still remain. It’s a must visit circuit for fans and drivers the world over. The championship will visit a further three circuits that appear on the 2018 Formula One calendar. The mix of former F1, Indy

26 Racing Edge Issue 2

and junior series cars will see drivers in the fastest European championship frenetically battling for position at the Red Bull Ring and the mighty Monza before hitting the Dutch TT circuit at Assen, the classic, challenging Brno track in the Czech Republic follows before rounding the year off at Paul Ricard in the South of France. In the lead up to the start of the season Penn Elcom driver Phil Stratford told us about the groundwork that both he and his team plan to build upon for the upcoming season. The physical regime, like that of a professional driver is punishing: “Preparations for 2018 are going well. I have been training 3 days per week and have now started to move away from general fitness to focus on my neck. Neck exercises include lifting 70kg 180 times per day.” Although BOSS GP regulations have no restrictions on testing, the teams don’t spend all of the off-season pacing cars around

the track. Any time the drivers can schedule a run is a bonus. Speaking in mid-March Phil was about to end his winter layoff, he said: “I will be back in a race car next week. This will be first time in a race car since the BOSS 2017 season ended last October and it will be the only seat time I get before the season opening race in Hockenheim next month!” The car, a Judd V10 powered Benetton B197 has been prepared by BOSS GP stalwarts Mansell Motorsport in Tamworth, Phil


said: “Our focus over the winter was to put the car on a diet as we were running considerably overweight last season. The Judd V10 engine has also undergone an upgrade with the main benefit expected to be improved mid-range power. “Last year was my first time running the B197 and with only three races under my belt in this car I still have a lot to learn. The first target I have for this season is to improve my lap times at Hockenheim, both to validate the

work we have done on the car and engine over the winter, but also as validation that the hard work I have been doing on improving my driving technique is paying off too.” One of those three 2017 races included a victory at Zolder. That in itself is no mean feat for an older car running in the series. The championship is two-tiered with the Open Class for Formula One machinery being the main draw above the Formula Class. But the B197 is more on par with

the contemporary machinery that has seen service in GP2, Auto GP, World Series and the Superleague formula in the last decade. Phil commented: “The mid nineties F1 cars in fact produce the same lap times as the GP2 cars that run in the Formula Class. The mid nineties F1 cars have a bit more power, but this is offset by the superior aero and therefore cornering speeds of the GP2 cars.” Fans of F1 bemoan the sound of the current generation of cars, many are vocal in their opinion

Issue 2 Racing Edge 27


“Last year was my first time running the B197 and with only three races under my belt in this car I still have a lot to learn.�


that the sport is lacking in character thanks to the shift to hybrid technology, but BOSS keeps some of those engines on track. The violence of a three litre V10 is a sound that still hits you like a frying pan to the face. In recent years Ingo Gerstl and Klaus Zwaart have competed in a Toro Rosso STR1 and Jaguar R1 respectively. The Cosworth engines in both cars have pushed them both to the top of the tree in the series. Phil told us: “The modern (2004 & later) F1 cars are much, much faster than the F1 cars from the mid nineties, on average 4 to 6 seconds per lap. Most F1 fans will know that the 2004 F1 cars held nearly all of the F1 lap records until last year’s cars came on the scene. As such, a 2004 or later modern F1 car is essential if you want to challenge for the

Open title.” With a tip at the overall title not a realistic proposition, Stratford isn’t just there to make up the numbers though: “As a gentleman driver, my goal for the 2018 season is to beat everybody that is not racing a modern F1 car. This will be quite a challenge as GP2 cars are very modern (last year’s Charles LeClerc GP2 Championship winning car is currently being prepared to run in this year’s BOSS Championship) and attract young semi-professional drivers, and very young drivers trying to become professional. As BOSS GP follows are likely aware, there are appearances from professional drivers, including the odd ex F1 driver!” The season is sure to see some hard fought battles throughout

the field, and spectators are going to have the chance to see some of the fastest racing in Europe, at the fraction of the cost of an F1 ticket, but what is it that catches the essence of the championship for a driver? “The highlight of course will be June’s race weekend at Monza. For me this is the holy grail, or temple of speed. It is the only track where even in our detuned spec cars we exceed 200mph three times per lap. We hope to achieve 209mph this year. Driving down pit lap and out on to the circuit for FP1 sends chills down your spine. You cannot help but feel the presence of every great driver the world has ever seen as they have all driven on the same piece of tarmac....wow ! It should be quite a year and I can’t wait for it to begin.”

Issue 2 Racing Edge 29


Impossible shapes

What does the future hold for moto Mick Palmer looks at what it curre fibre components and wonders w become the mainstay in t


s made possible?

orsport composite manufacturing? ently takes to manufacture carbon whether 3D printing could one day the construction process.


Photos: Top left Federico Mera Top right and middle: Red Bull Content Pool Lower left: Andrew and Alan Frost

R

educing cost, material and time are three aspects of manufacturing that Formula One teams are constantly striving towards. Over the last few decades innovations in manufacturing have often been seen at the forefront in international motorsports before being adapted by more mainstream industries. The experimental nature of what is essentially prototype manufacturing changes the face of Formula One an a yearly basis. In almost all of those cases the steps that we see have been steadily incremental. When you consider how far the rudimentary carbon composite monocoque of the first F1 car to utilise the material, the McLaren MP4/1, compares to the intricate designs seen on the grid today, you can trace that year-on-year progression in the lineage of F1 car design. The design tools and the bank of knowledge that teams now have mean that complex theories that were ahead of manufacturing capabilities a decade ago can now be translated into physical components. As Formula One delves deeper into exotic designs the skills and machinery used to produce those parts have barely kept 32 Racing Edge Issue 2

pace with what designers have envisioned. We have had 3D printing for quite a while now. As a tool in F1 it hasn’t really progressed beyond being used to produce components for wind-tunnel work. The reason has been the inability for a 3D printer to produce carbon composite components to the specifications required in terms of stress and strength. The advantage of laminating by hand is the ability to create parts with many layers of different-sized carbon fibre patterns in exactly the right places to ensure that components are constructed exactly as they are designed. This method was once considered a quick way to turnaround components, but as teams expand their knowledge base even further these techniques, especially for larger components, is now seen as a bottleneck in the process of a com-

plete car build. The other pieces of the puzzle are timed to fit around their construction, and if that bottleneck becomes clogged then the whole process stalls. The challenge is to reduce the entire time it takes to manufacture carbon composite pieces, preferably with a reduction in cost and material use. One company believes it has conquered all of these problems in one go with the development of an additive manufacturing 3D printer. Impossible Objects believe that they could revolutionise the production of carbon composite components. The introduction of 3D printing is not being taken to heart as quickly as one would think in the automotive and motorsport industries. The main reason has been material. Printing in three dimensions has been around for a while now, but it is only a recent


innovation to include carbon fibre as a possibility when it comes to the process. Machines like the new Model One, from Impossible Objects, incorporates all of these processes into one single operation. It is a literal game changer that could vastly reduce the turn around time for designs. From the moment the final specifications leave the office, to the end of the production cycle with a delivered component could be hugely reduced. It also allows for more exotic shapes to be produced, which expands the options for designers. This could mean that racing cars in the near future could carry components with greater curvature and complexity than is within the ability of current manufacturing limitations. Impossible Objects founder Robert Swartz stated: “Until now,

there was no way to print functional parts with the mechanical and material properties these companies need. The Model One is just the beginning. Our technology has the potential to transform manufacturing as we know it.” That view is echoed by some who work within the industry itself. George Papageorgiou, who first worked with motorsport composites over 25 years ago, has two views on what he sees as an inevitable shift in the manufacturing practice: “It will cost jobs in the long term. That’s bad news for us on the shop floors of constructors and suppliers around the world. It will, at some point, mean that people with crafting experience will be let go with nowhere to ply their skills. It’s not going to mean we all end up like roof thatchers though! “As far as the teams go, it could be manna from heaven. I

mean, look at the wages that they spend on skilled machinists and composite folk. When these guys are on well over £25 an hour, imagine the savings when you get rid of 10 guys working 60 hours a week and replace them with one machine. It would help in downsizing and, in theory, cost cutting. We all know though that teams will spend what they have! “From what I’ve seen coming through on an experimental level, the possibilities in terms of complex shapes is mind blowing. Printing parts will, one day, lead to a revolution in what racing cars will be capable of, not just in performance, but in safety too.” The onset of possible additive laced 3D printing as a major tool for motorsport manufacturing is still some way off. To understand how important this technology could affect composite construction, Issue 2 Racing Edge 33


Photos: Below Impossible Objects, Top right Red Bull Contetn Pool, below right Federico Mera

we need to understand, in basic terms, what it takes to produce a composite component for an F1 car? When I made the transition from automotive to motorsport the techniques used in manufacturing race car components seemed quite simple and quick. As a CNC programmer and composite laminator/trimmer, I was privy to the manufacturing process from beginning to end. At the time it seemed easy, and it was thought, especially in comparison to automotive prototyping, that racing components had a quick turnaround time, nowadays the process seems slow and cumbersome. The design would come first to the CNC department in the form of a long series of numerical commands. These would have to go through a manual input terminal on a 5-axis CNC milling machine, where each command would determine exactly where the machine would cut into the 34 Racing Edge Issue 2

metal billet to create a component mould. The language used will vary from machine to machine (unless Hass can convert the entire industry to their CNC machines of course!) but the laborious process of programming the terminal is the same for all machines. Through the years this task has become easier, nowadays the program will be transferred from the initial CAD/CAM file. Thankfully, in place of a terminal that looks like a giant calculator, many CNC machines are now Microsoft windows based. These machines have become more of a loading, unloading and monitoring job for the operator. Working to fine tolerances means that each Individual machine usually needs to be offset, to be zeroed in to ensure that the finished product is within its designed tolerance. In imperial terms, this means within a few thousandths of an inch. Although they are impressive, most CNC

machines I’ve worked with have a distinct, often temperamental personality, which each operator develops an instinct for. Once the mould is machined, the part needs to go through lay up. First the carbon fibre sheets need to be cut to a pattern. This is an important process. At first, for me, it was by hand. Here you need to ensure that you have selected the correct grade of carbon fibre from frozen stores. Then your lay-up code will show the angle of cutting from the roll as some components need the fibres to lay in a particular direction to ensure it is strong enough. Depending on the component it could be five, or 50, or more individual pieces, none of which will give a clue to what the component will eventually look like. The use of pattern cutters have become fairly standard. They are simple machines that cut the pieces for you, it can turn two hour job into one that takes a matter of minutes.


Example of a 4-axis CNC milling programme: N5 G00 G54 G64 G90 G17 X-20 Y-20 Z50 N10 S450 M03 F250 D01 (12.5 MM DIA) N15 C0 N20 Z5 N25 G01 Z0 N30 Z-5 N35 G42 G91 X20 Y20 N40 X10 Y10 N45 X70 Y-10 N50 X20 Y20 N55 X-40 Y60 N60 X-20 N65 X-10 Y-25 N70 X-30 Y-15 N80 X0 Y-40 N85 G40 G90 X-20 Y-20 N90 G00 Z50 N95 Y100 N100 M30 But the use of hand cutting is still implemented in some cases. When the carbon fibre has been cut and the mould is ready, it is back to the lay-up code which shows the order, angle and position of each individual piece. One by one the pieces are put into the mould before bagging (If you’ve watched youtube videos of carbon components going through layup with the help of a hairdryer, I can tell ypu that this does sometimes actually happen!) Bagging sees the mould and carbon placed inside an impermeable bag from which the air is removed. The bagged item is placed inside an autoclave at a heat somewhere between 140-150 degrees Celsius with an atmospheric pressure of six or seven bars for a couple of hours. After monitoring for quality control during the autoclave curing process the component is removed from the bag. When touching raw carbon fibre with your hand you

“Untill now, there was no way to print functional parts with the mechanical and material properties these companies need. The Model One.� - Robert Schwartz

Left and above, nput and diagram of a simple G-Code CNCprogramme and what ot produces.

will usually feel a woven plastic pattern, but it will usually be sticky. This is from a pre-impregnated epoxy that hardens in the autoclave that helps to give the carbon composite component its strength. Some components will then be taken through non-destructive testing. This could be anything between having the piece go through an x-ray, all the way down to simple coin tapping, which is literally what it sounds like, tapping with a coin to determine audibly if any part of the component is too thin. Then its off to trim and fit, which is an entire story in itself. Even though a team produces a few examples of a modern F1 car, each one is different during the trimming and fitting process. No bonded component ever seems to fit exactly the same from chassis to chassis. Consider the effect if Formula One teams could begin manufacturing small items in this way before gradually expanding up the

ladder with larger components. Is it not feasible to suggest that the larger jobs, such as manufacturing the floor, monocoque, engine cover and major wing elements would still be a hands-on process with a reduced workforce? Although I am strongly against teams and suppliers having to reduce the number of skilled people in the industry, it seems inevitable that when this technology comes into being in a practicable and reliable fashion, that it will become an essential part of a motorsports manufacturing company. With the probable onset of a new form of cost control these machines would become a no-brainer. If companies such as Impossible Objects can provide machines such as the Model One in a successful manner, then not only will the face of motorsport manufacturing change, the sport as we know it will also be on the cusp of a metamorphosis in terms of its visual appearance. Issue 2 Racing Edge 35


Photo: Zak Mauge/FIA Formula Two

Ten Formula Two drivers to watch in 2018 Artem Markelov

to happen. Five wins and points picked up in 19 of 22 races in The Russian driver had a tough 2017 singled him out as one of the few drivers who could keep season when he entered the runaway champion Charles Lecategory in 2014. Racing in clerc within his sights. It could the midfield anonymously be argued that a fifth year in F2/ throughout the year, he folGP2 doesn’t look good on the lowed it up with a solid, if resume of a driver. In the case unspectacular, 2015 where a of Markelov it should be noted bagful of points finishes and a podium in Belgium allowed that he is still only 23 years old. It may be ancient in Verstaphim to finally settle into his pen/Stroll terms, but a good position. The first win came turn of speed and a huge bank in the feature race at Monaco of knowledge in the category in 2016, but the click didn’t should see him as one of the quite come, it took a fourth season in the category for that main title contenders. 36 Racing Edge Issue 2

Nyck de Vries A debut F2 season split between Rapax and Racing Engineering saw the 23-yearold Dutchman score a maiden win in Monaco, in addition to a handful of podiums. With a decent grounding and McLaren support, de Vries has consistently ran towards the front of the grid throughout his single seat career. Taking up a seat with the team that ran Charles Leclerc to the F2 crown last season won’t harm his chances at a title tilt.


Jack Aitken

George Russell

Lando Norris

Aitken makes his debut in F2 with ART Grand Prix under a huge spotlight. Apart from landing the Renault F1 reserve driver role, Aitken has been partnered with George Russell. The pair face off against Lando Norris as the British trio face intense pressure to make the jump into F1 alongside Lewis Hamilton. Aitken has an impressive record in the junior categories to date. With wins in seven different categories and second in the GP3 championship under his belt, he will be a contender for podiums in 2018.

As part two of the British trio hitting F2 this season, Russell will be under the microscope in the media to see if he has what it takes. The reigning GP3 champion has bagged the Mercedes reserve driver seat so he needs to prove his worth. It is a seat that many young drivers aspire to. A British F4 title and a number of wins in the European F3 championship, beside the GP3 crown, single him out as a serious contender for the title in his first year in F2. We should expect at least a win beside regular podiums in 2018.

Current Euro F3 champion, McLaren test driver and Autosport award winner. With 45 race wins, three titles and a bunch of karting crowns and he’s still only aged 18. To many Norris is the prince awaiting his coronation as king. He soaks up pressure with ease and looks ready for Formula Two. A toe dipping exercise in the Abu Dhabi race weekend last season didn’t offer anything in the way of results, but the speed and style was there. Anything less than wins and a shot at the championship will be viewed as a failure this season.

Photo: Zak Mauge/FIA Formula Two

Issue 2 Racing Edge 37


Maximilian Günther Günther was on the pace throughout the pre-season test in Bahrain finishing up with the fastest time on the third day of testing. Eschewing his ‘home’ from the last few seasons with Prema, the young German has landed at Arden for 2018. The team have not taken a title since their F3000 glories of 20022004, but Max could be the driver that they’ve been looking for to rekindle success. The 20-year-old has a series

38 Racing Edge Issue 2

of second and third places in championships behind him, but consistently winning adding to his immediate adaptation to F2 has him marked as a rookie to watch.

Nirei Fukuzumi

into racing in Europe quite well and should be pushing the title contenders at on at least a couple of weekends this year.

Luca Ghiotto

Experience is the key with Ghiotto. Decent enough The Japanese driver is landresults in Gp3 led to his deing at Arden alongside but in GP2 two seasons ago, Günther with two years of GP3 behind him. A couple of with a win to boot. A further wins in the championship last win last season as the series season bolsters a credible ca- switched to F2 saw him take a fourth place in the title reer in his homeland. Fukuzumi appears to have settled chase. He is in a key position


Photo: Zak Mauge/FIA Formula Two

with the knowledge of what it takes now becoming second nature. The travel and race weekend itinerary is water off the back of a duck to him. It is an extra string to his bow in terms of finding himself settled. Being able to solely focus on his racing should elevate him to more than one win this season, and probably a challenge for the overall top spot.

Flashes of speed and racecraft were evident last season, but the final ingredients in the mixing bowl did not seem to be forthcoming either. Off-track DelĂŠtraz seems to be an old head on young shoulders, and even though he was outperformed by some of his returning peers in the championship last season, he could be the dark horse to pick up a few victories.

Louis DelĂŠtraz

Antonio Fuoco

Louis has not yet set the world on fire in F2/GP2.

Fuoco has been ticking all the boxes. Wins in Euro Formula

three, GP3 and F2 are already written down in the book. A two year tenure with Ferrari as an F1 development driver has given him insights into how the upper echelon of motor racing works, yet Ghiotto is still viewed as being somewhat erratic and inconsistent. That is an unfair observation. Five podiums at this level, including a feature race victory at his home circuit of Monza last year prove his credentials. He will be thereabouts all year, and if he strings results together....

Issue 2 Racing Edge 39


When two worlds collide

Photo: Toyota Gazoo Racing

Fernando Alonso the the WEC was big news over the winter. When the season opens at Spa in May, he’ll be following in the footsteps of other F1 drivers who pulled double duty at the track. Words: Rob Andrews When Fernando Alonso hits the track for World Endurance practice at the historic Spa-Francorchamps circuit in May, he’ll be following in the footsteps of several Formula One drivers who’ve done a double duty in both codes at the track in a single season. The Spaniard is stretching his legs, and instead of dipping his toes into the Belgian pool before an attempt at the Le Mans 24 hours, he’s jumping full force into the waves with a full season in WEC. The Spaniard is gazing at the triple-crown that has only ever been claimed by double world champi-

on Graham Hill. With two Monaco Grand Prix victories under his belt, Alonso is still three behind Hill on that score. What he wants to achieve, to equal ‘Mr Monaco’ is to take the laurels at the Indianapolis 500 and the fabled 24 hours of Le Mans. A crack at the 500 last season saw him impress all across the month of May through practice and qualifying. A decent show in the race itself saw him emerge as a realistic contender for victory before his Andretti-Autosport machine saw its Honda engine let go. The quest to conquer the Brickyard is on hold for the time being. After skip-

ping Monaco last year for an attempt on the crown, he’s committed to a revitalised McLaren for the full 2018 Formula One season. Instead he’s off to La Sarthe to try to add the endurance classic part of the triple-crown to his roster of racing victories. His tie-up with Toyota was not the best kept secret in F1 last season. A run in their LMP1 car at the post-season Bahrain test confirmed his interest. But instead of just committing to Le Mans and the traditional rehearsal at Spa, Alonso opted for most of the season, barring the Fuji round of the season. At least until the


41 Racing Edge Issue 2

The race in question was the Spa four hours, a round of the FIA GT Championship. In his debut year in Formula One, the younger Schumacher was farmed out to Mercedes to race a CLKGTR as partner to veteran Klaus Ludwig. The

topple his teammate in the Grand Prix. The 1997 Belgian Grand Prix is considered as one of the greatest drives by big brother Michael. For Ralf it was a weekend to forget. Outqualified by fellow Jordan driver

Giancarlo Fissichella, arrangeRalf crashed in wet condiment was part of a plan put tions on the way to the grid, together by his team boss then spun out of the race in Eddie Jordan. the spare car. To rub salt in The Irishman wanted the the wounds, Fisichella put then rookie F1 driver to get a in one of many stellar perbit more experience around formances that year to finish the circuit before he hit the second. place for Jordan. Across the early years A fifth placed finish in of Grand Prix racing it was a the race didn’t help him to natural course for drivers to

Photo: Tony Harrison

championship took the opportunity to re-arrange the race to fit in with his schedule. Given that the WEC are in a transient period of adjustment to start and end the season at Le Mans with its 2018/19 superseason, it is not clear what role Alonso will play in the plans of Toyota next year, if at all. The debut at Spa-Francorchamps means that Alonso will at least begin his race preparations on a familiar track. His only win in F3000 came at the track, and surprisingly, in 15 F1 races there, his best result is 2nd, in 2005 with Renault and 2013 with Ferrari. It’s a stark contrast to the last time an F1 driver took a part-time endurance role at the circuit. That was Ralf Schumacher in 1997.


took time away from his commitments at Alfa Romeo to race for the works Lancia team (He switched between two cars and took victory.) Martin Brundle, racing for Jaguar was a Tyrrell driver. Marc Surer was racing a part season for Brabham, Christian Danner and Johnathan Palmer were in and out of their Zakspeed seats across the year. All three turned up, although the Richard Lloyd 956 of Palmer failed to start after he’d been injured in a practice crash. Apart from those, Thierry Botsen and Stefan Bellof shared a car. Like F1 team-

mate Brundle, Bellof was a regular face in the championship and was the reigning champion. On the 78th lap of the race Bellof made a move on Jacky Ickx through Eau Rouge where they made contact. Both cars spun into the wall, the Bellof car head first. The German, after being removed from the car was pronounced dead at the circuit hospital. It was the beggining of the end for F1 drivers racing in other categories. Hopefully Alonso racing for Toyota may reverse that trend and encourage the current F1 field to give it a try. Photo@ Perrault

compete in F1 and sportscars in the same season. This continued through the 1980s. The powerful Group C monsters that prowled around the World Sportscar Championship in the decade saw drivers flit in and out between the two series year on year. The practice faded in the nineties, a decade where the consumate, professional driver would commit to one series alone. But back in the eighties names like Cheever and Warwick could be seen around both paddocks, but those two didn’t enter the Spa Six Hours in 1985. The entry list for that event read like a who’s who of mid-grid F1 drivers. No less than seven drivers that raced in F1 in 1985 rocked up to the Belgian track for the race. Riccardo Patrese

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CLASSIC SINGLE SEATER Panoz DP01

T

he Panoz DP01 could be considered as being a folly. It was introduced at a point in history where Champ Car wanted to make a statement and find its own path as far away from the Indy Racing League as possible. The two championships had been involved in a bitter rivalry since IndyCar was split in two ahead of the 1996 season. Initially, under the guise of CART, the ChampCar series was the more popular. Sure, the IRL had the Indy 500, but CART had the teams, the drivers and the big manufacturer backing. It also had the racing. It didn’t stay that way though, as fans drifted away from IndyCar racing as a whole, some of the bigger teams jumped ship to the IRL and CART began to shrink. In 2003 CART went bust and the series was taken over by Champ Car. The series ran a mixture of Lola and Reynard chassis that were at the end of their effective racing lives. The decision was made by Champ Car to put out to tender a contract for a bespoke, Cosworth powered spec-chassis in time for the 2007 season. The championship had decided to drop oval races and introduce standing starts, so the new car had very different demands to the outgoing Lola. The separation between the two codes of Indy type racing was at their furthest.

Photo: Don Francis

44 Racing Edge Issue 2

The unfortunate thing for Champ Car was the fact that the coffers were fast becoming empty, and the teams were struggling to raise finance. It is easy to question the wisdom of whether or not a new car should have been introduced at the time it was, but it was to be inevitable at some point. The car completed over 13,000 miles of testing through 2006 and into 2007 with reliability being an impressive trait. Designed and built by Elan Technologies, the car had more downforce than its predecessor. It was also safer, being the first Indy style car to be designed with the HANS device as a major consideration. The championship season of 14 races was in effect a benefit for Sebastien Bourdais who took his fourth consecutive championship before departing back to Europe to race for Toro Rosso in Formula One. The series returned to Europe for two races in an effort to expand, but this move, like the introduction of the new chassis, was considered another step too far. The costs all added up and ended with Champ Car folding at the end of the year and being absorbed into IndyCar. Because of contractual issues, the car had one single reprieve. The 2008 Long Beach Grand Prix had a solid contract that could not be moved while IndyCar raced in Japan, so the Champ Car teams went to California to give the car one last Hurrah.


J

CLASSIC RACE

Photos: Don Francis

ustin Wilson’s move to the United States after a truncated Formula One career delivered some superb performances. The Englishman had settled into American racing and in 2005 and 2006 had challenge for the title. 2007 had seen himpick up points consistently but through the first 11 races had not managed a win. Heading into the European double header, Wilson, and everybody else knew that a fourth title for Bourdais was a certainty. Having finished fifth in Zolder, Wilson put his RuSports run machine in second behind Bourdais in Assen for the Dutch round of the championship. Wilson stormed into the lead at turn one and only relinquished the lead to Bruno Junqueira due to an offset pit strategy. Bourdais lost his Push-to-Pass at the start, and due to problems down the field the decision was made to stop the drivers using the system. It didn’t stop any action though. Overtaking was rife all the way through the field as Wilson pulled away to come home the victor by a margin of 7.22 seconds.

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Photo: Red Bull Content Pool Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Grand Prix Report : Round 1

VETTEL HAMMERS HOME AFTER MERC MISTAKE

MERCEDES MISCALCULATION LEADS TO SURPRISE FERRARI VICTORY IN AUSTRALIA BY MICK PALMER

I

t does not appear to be a repeat of 2017 where Ferrari began the year on equal footing with Mercedes. With, or without, ‘party mode’ the Mercedes, at least in the hands of Lewis Hamilton, has a pure speed advantage. Only a glitch during a Virtual Safety Car period caused by Haas gave the Scuderia and Sebastian Vettel the chance to take the win. The 13.6 second gap between the two was calculated as being enough for Hamilton to retain his lead, it was in fact nearer 10. Confused as to what was going on, Hamilton queried the pitwall with a curt “how did that hap-

46 Racing Edge Issue 2

pen?” as the scarlet car headed into turn one ahead. Vettel was comfortable in the lead knowing that even though there is a Mercedes pace advantage, in race trim it wasn’t enough to make a difference in the tight confines of a race track that has a reputation for being difficult to overtake on. The slip in technology is easy to understand, the fact that Mercedes didn’t have a human number cruncher on the case is not. Considering the genesis of the team was overseen by Ross Brawn, a strategy guru at both Benetton and Ferrari, one must

surmise that the confidence in what can be achieved via automation has left Formula One teams lacking in reactive, and creative, solutions. The human side that does remain was riddled with frustration as the second half of the race played out. The standings give Formula One a false sense of security with two Ferrari machines finishing on the podium. The reputation that Mercedes have built in the last five years as a team that is in a consistent state of development and evolution must have the boffins in Maranello worried that the title race is already done.


Photot: Hass F1

It was a one versus two situation for the race though. Valtteri Bottas had wiped out his car in Q3, and with a five place penalty added for a change of gearbox, the Finn was realistically out of contention for a podium. Hamilton, on pole, had looked comfortable all weekend. The W09 had a perfect balance from the moment the car hit the track on Friday and it was a case of tweaking to get the perfect ride. The Ferrari pairing of Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen certainly had the legs over the Red Bulls, but it didn’t look like they could hang on to the coat-tails of the Mercedes. A touch more understeer for the Scuderia than what they would have liked was punishing them, as was the application of power on the exit of corners. It was enough to outpace Red Bull. Max Verstappen had shown a clean pair of heels to Daniel Ricciardo in qualifying, but the local lad did have a three place penalty hanging over his head after a faux pas under yellows. The Haas pair of Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean had confirmed their pre-season pace just ahead of Nico Hulkenberg and Carlos Sainz in the works Renault cars. Just outside of the top 10 was a placated Fernando Alonso, demonstrating the fact that McLaren were already moving on from a difficult winter testing programme, also powered by Renault. When the green lights snapped off Hamilton pressed the pole advantage on the run to turn one with Raikkonen also getting away clean

and maintaining his position. For a brief moment third placed Vettel looked like he could be challenged by Verstappen from fourth, but track position left him hanging out, ready to dry. Trapped on the outside and braking a smidgen early allowed Magnussen to sweep outside into fourth. Grosjean, Hulkenberg, Sainz, Ricciardo, Alonso and Vandoorne completed the top ten as the cars swept right then left down towards turn three. Raikkonen had a look at Hamilton but quickly calculated that a move would not pay off and slotted in behind. The field sped through the section heading towards the stadium where, in turn five, Ricciardo smoothly passed Sainz to move into eighth. Sainz was then harried by Alonso who got a run through the fast sweepers around the back of the circuit, Sainz rebuffed the move, showing that the Spanish master would not have an easy ride from the pupil. The only pressure on Hamilton was that applied by himself. He’d already, as expected, broken free of the Ferrari pair. Raikkonen and Vettel were already pacing one another protected from behind by the presence of Magnussen in the Haas. Unable to match the pace of the Italian machines over the opening laps Magnussen was holding up Verstappen.

Frustrated by a lack of overtaking opportunities behind a car with more grunt resulted in the Dutchman becoming desperate and ragged. Even when the DRS became available Max was unable to press a move. Bouncing across the kerbs with a car at an unworldy angle ended up damaging the diffuser and a loss of downforce. On lap six exiting the first corner Verstappen found himself doing a full rotation before being swamped and losing places. Magnussen now had a gap ahead and behind. Hamilton continued on building up a nice gap back to the Ferrari pair behind with the Mercedes pitwall keeping an eye on tyres. The worry was that Raikkonen and Vettel together could eat into the lead with some canny strategy. Kimi was called in on the 18th lap, Ferrari knew they could get him out in front of Magnussen in third with a clear road ahead. Vettel wasn’t quite there yet, so next time around Hamilton was in, slotting back in between the Ferrari pair. Magnussen was called in on lap 20, with Grosjean in fifth Ferrari were waiting for the optimum gap to pit Vettel, who up front was pressing on to try and pop past Raikkonen after the stop. The plans all were then thrown up in the air. An incorrectly mounted left rear wheel on the Haas caused the wheelnut

Issue 2 Racing Edge 47


Photo: Glenn Dunbar/Williams to cross thread. Magnussen was out. Haas, although distraught at the prospect of a major points haul falling through their fingers decided to bring in Grosjean in an attempt to undercut Ricciardo. It was almost a repeat, but this time with the left front, Grosjean navigated the pitlane, turn one and two then halted, race also over. The positioning of the abandoned Haas necessitated a Virtual Safety Car. Those few crucial miscalculated seconds now came into play. The 13.6 second gap that Hamilton needed to Vettel to regain the lead was safe, he was inside the target time. Ferrari serviced Vettel half a second quicker than Hamilton had been and there he was, exiting the pits, in the lead. Down the field Alonso made an even bigger gain under the VSC. Verstappen had already pitted, followed by the two Renaults. When Alonso rejoined the track Verstappen was narrowly ahead, but the stewards deemed that he’d passed under caution and had to surrender the position. Fifth behind Ricciardo was the reward for Alonso. For these two their finishing position was now cemented.

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The safety car was called out as the Hass was proving difficult to move which meant that the field closed up for the restart. With 27 laps left on the board Vettel made a clean getaway. There were looks down the field with only Valtteri Bottas pulling off a move passing Vandoorne for eighth. Positions four to ten were now settled for the run to the chequered flag. Vettel was comfortable up front. Hamilton behind, less so. The Mercedes has not been a car happy in the wake of others over the last few years. The W09 is no different. Keeping temperatures down was the key for Hamilton as he pushed and pressured the leader. The lead Ferrari driver was having none of it. On lap 47 Hamilton had a moment across the gravel losing almost two seconds, he was straight back on it but any chance to take the lead was effectively gone. The only action left was behind the Brit. Ricciardo was on it. Finally hooked up, the Red Bull was able to look at the Ferrari with the hope of getting by. Ricciardo set the fastest lap, but that wasn’t enough to get by Raikkonen, who had some decent fire in his bely.

Vettel took the flag, blowing the numbers from his pit board as the signature number one finger was raised in celebration. The victory should not have been his, but Mercedes not having an eye on the ball as a backup to algorithms cost the team a certain, and probably relaxing win. “I knew if there was anything to happen around the first stop then I needed to be right behind him to either put them under pressure, or have a chance to jump into the pits earlier to pass him through the stop,” said Vettel. “I think last year we had more pace in relative terms. Last year we were putting them under pressure. Even though Lewis was in the lead,” he continued when discussing the pecking order. “I think we managed to put him under pressure so yeah, I was forced to pit and we benefited from that.” The investigations into how Mercedes got it wrong will be a task that the Brackley team will have to look into with great depth. They’ve already proved that having a performance advantage in itself is not enough. Bahrain will hopefully clear the slate.


Race Result Team Ferrari Mercedes Ferrari Red Bull Renault McLaren Renault Red Bull Renault Renault Mercedes McLaren Renault Renault Force India Mercedes Force India Mercedes Sauber Ferrari Williams Mercedes Toro Rosso Honda Haas Ferrari Haas Ferrari Torro Rosso Honda Sauber Ferrari Williams Mercedes

Time 1:29:33.283 +5.036 +6.309 +7.069 +27.886 +28.945 +32.671 +34.339 +34.921 11 2 +45.722 9 1 +46.817 12 +1:00.278 14 +1:15.759 18 +1:18.288 13 +1 lap Wheelnut Wheelnut Engine Hydraulics Brakes

Photo: Robert Cianfflone/Getty/ Red Bull Content Pool

Pos Driver 1 Sebastian Vettel 2 Lewis Hamilton 3 Kimi Raikkonen 4 Daniel Ricciardo 5 Fernando Alonso 6 Max Verstappen 7 Nico Hulkenberg 8 Valtteri Bottas 9 Stoffel Vandoorne 10 Carlos Sainz 11 Sergio Perez 12 Esteban Ocon 13 Charles Leclerc 14 Lance Stroll 15 Brendon Hartley Ret Romain Grosjean Ret Kevin Magnussen Ret Pierre Gasly Ret Marcus Ericsson Ret Sergey Sirotkin

Standings

Grid Driver 1 Lewis Hamilton 2 Kimi Raikkonen 3 Sebastian Vettel 4 Max Verstappen 5 Kevin Magnussen 6 Romain Grosjean 7 Nico Hulkenberg 8 Daniel Ricciardo * 9 Carlos Sainz 10 Fernando Alonso 11 Stoffel Vandoorne 12 Sergio Perez 13 Lance Stroll 14 Esteban Ocon 15 Valtteri Bottas ** 16 Brendon Hartley 17 Marcus Ericsson 18 Charles Leclerc 19 Sergey Sirotkin 20 Pierre Gasly

Qualifying

Time 1:21.164 1:21.828 1:21.838 1:21.879 1:23.187 1:23.339 1:23.532 1:22.152 (3 place penalty) 1:23.577 1:23.692 1:23.853 1:24.005 1:24.230 1:24.786 Crash (5 place penalty) 1:24.532 1:24.556 1:24.636 1:24.992 1:25.295

Rain cleaned the Albert Park circuit on Saturday morning leaving the track surface with a little less grip for the afternoon qualifying session than the drivers would have liked. The odd slide here and there was an indicator that some teams hadn’t adjusted their cars quite enough in Q1 and were left chasing the optimum setup during proceedings. One driver who didn’t appear to be hindered by such problems was Lewis Hamilton. His W09 was sorted, turn in and exit were smooth and he was able to push harder and harder with each passing lap. Getting through the first two sessions with ease, he just kept on it in Q3. His pole lap was a full eight-tenths faster than his previous attempt and left the Ferrari of Raikkonen in his wake. For the second Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas that was not the case.

Drivers Vettel Hamilton Raikkonen Ricciardo Alonso Verstappen Hulkenberg Bottas Vandoorne Sainz Perez Ocon Leclerc Stroll Hartley Grosjean Magnussen Gasly Ericsson Sirotkin

Points 25 18 15 12 10 8 6 4 2 1

Constructors Ferrari Mercedes Red Bull McLaren Renault Force India Sauber Williams Toro Rosso Haas

Points 40 22 20 12 7

Fumbling around the first session before hanging on for third fastest in Q2 saw the Finn struggling with the change of direction compared to Hamilton. An unsettled car helped him to spin it into the wall exiting T1 to halt the final session. The Ferrari pair of Raikkonen and Vettel were challenged by the Red Bull of Verstappen when the clocks stopped, but homeboy Daniel Ricciardo, already carrying a three place grid penalty for a yellow flag infringement in free practice, couldn’t make the extra stretch clocking in two-tenths behind. Haas and Renault filled out the top ten edging out a resurrected Fernando Alonso in his Renault powered McLaren. Haas appear to have an advantage right now, but it’ll be hard to imagine Renault and McLaren not closing that gap across the year.

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Photo: Dale Coyne Racing

IndyCar Review

ROUND 1 ST PETERSBURG

Bourda-is back

“It’s been bumpy, it’s been tough, it’s been everything in between,” was what Sebastien Bourdais had to say about his surprise victory around the streets of St Petersburg in the opening round of the 2018 Verizon IndyCar season. One year ago Bourdais also pulled off a surprise victory at the venue, jumping from last to first with an inspired pit strategy, but the relief of victory this year has more to do with off track travails than those encountered on it. After suffering multiple injuries in qualifying for the 2017 Indianapolis 500 in May, Bourdais miraculously returned to the fold in late August at Gateway. A long offseason and a refreshed start to the year served the Frenchman well in Florida. Bourdais said: “I’ve gotten a lot of support. It’s been pretty hard for myself but also for the people around me, especially for my wife. It’s quite an achieve-

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ment to be able to restart the season and settle that right away and get back on the horse and win another one.” The win though wasn’t on the cards until a green flag restart two laps from the end. In the closing stages Bourdais had not been able to keep pace with leaders Robert Wickens and Alexander Rossi, a coming together between the pair handed victory to the Dale Coyne driver. The weekend had been a dream for former DTM racer Robert Wickens. A convincing pole position was transferred into dominance during the race itself. From the get-go the Canadian debutant controlled the pace and did not look under threat as he threaded his Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Dallara-Honda through the streets of the city. A slew of yellow flag periods were followed by convincingly executed restarts and he was also on his marks in the pits. Andretti-Autosport

racer Rossi was the only realistic threat during the course of the afternoon, but his last gasp attempt seemed to some a little desperate. With two laps to go and the track under yellow, the clerk of the course opted for a quick green flag in an attempt to have a racing finish. There was some confusion as the safety car continued around the track with its lights on before pulling into the pits after exiting the final turn. Post-race IndyCar made a statement saying that they had informed the drivers by radio that the green flag was dropping, but acknowledged that the lights, as per convention, hadn’t been turned off. Added to that, push-to-pass was for some reason enabled too. All of this seemed to catch Wickens off-guard. A slightly sluggish restart saw Rossi dipping outside to the right of him. There seemed to be enough room there for a clean pass if both drivers co-operated as they headed


to turn one. But they made sure that there wasn’t and the inevitable collision ensued. Under braking Rossi slid on the dirty inside line, something that had been evident on all of the restarts and clattered into the right hand sidepod of Wickens, sending him spinning into the wall. Bourdais and Rahal got through as Rossi sorted himself out to finish in third. A frustrated Wickens said: “I defended a little bit, but then I realised that if I went any further, it would’ve been blocking. I opened up and let him take the inside. In my opinion, he went too deep, locked up the rears and slid into me. There’s really no other explanation to it. The only pity is he carried on to the podium and I ended up in the fence.” As with almost all motor racing squabbles. the account from Rossi didn’t match up with his rival: “He defended the position, which he has the right to do. But in doing so, in moving the reaction, he put me into the marbles pretty late into the corner,” said Rossi. “It’s difficult with these cars and with how much we’re sliding around in the first place, even on the racing line. When you’re put in the marbles, it’s hairy. I feel bad because I feel like I could have won and he

Time 2h17m48.4954s +0.1269s +0.7109s +1.5175s +1.9907s +2.2716s +3.3842s +4.2992s +4.8363s +6.1272s +6.5176s +7.4005s +7.9903s +9.2272s -1 lap -1 lap -1 lap 108 laps-accident -2 laps -3 laps -3 laps 100 laps-accident 38 laps-accident 16 laps-accident

ers, the series is very, very competitive, just very good guys everywhere,” Power said. “You make a mistake and you’re going to suffer for it, as you saw today.” It wasn’t the old timers who found the weekend a challenge either. Carlin have a reputation of being specialists in single-seat series with Dallara chassis, and they realise the challenges that lie ahead for the team in its first IndyCar season. Max Chilton was happy with what the team learned, despite the fact that he and teammate Charlie Kimball came home in 19th and 20th a couple of laps of the pace. “When the tires were in, we had good performance,” said Chilton. “We made gains throughout the weekend. Considering this was Carlin’s first IndyCar race, I’d say it wasn’t a bad showing at all. We definitely have work to do and we aren’t where we want to be yet. I think all-around we did a good job.” The next round takes place on the oval in Pheonix, where once again an improvement in wheel-to-wheel action is expected. The pecking order is in transition and another unexpected victor is a strong possibility, as Bourdais said about St Petersburg: “It was a crazy day, l would never have imagined that happening.” But he any one of the 24 drivers could be in that position next time out.

Photo: Dale Coyne Racing

Driver 1 Sebastien Bourdais 2 Graham Rahal 3 Alexander Rossi 4 James Hinchcliffe 5 Ryan Hunter-Reay 6 Scott Dixon 7 Josef Newgarden 8 Ed Jones 9 Marco Andretti 10 Will Power 11 Tony Kannan 12 Takuma Sato 13 Simon Pagenaud 14 Gabby Chaves 15 Spencer Pigot 16 Zach Veach 17 Zachary Claman DeMelo 18 Robert Wickens 19 Max Chilton 20 Charlie Kimball 21 Jordan King 22 Rene Binder 23 Jack Harvey 24 Matheus Leist

could have gotten second.” The instability of the cars in their debut with a new aero package may have had an influence in the way the race was won. The effect of the development saw a vast increase in the amount of overtaking throughout the field, and on a street course no less. The racing was wild as the loose cars were able to trail each other closely and attack under braking, all of which bodes well for the road and street courses on the calendar. Bourdais’ boss Daly Coyne said of the new package: “It’s going to be a pretty interesting year. It’s going to be a tight field. Qualifying is going to be how you hit the sweet spot with your tires and track and traffic, all in the same moment. You’ve got one minute to hit that right. I think there are going to be a lot of things left to chance, but that will make for a lot of mixedup fields, which will make for tight grids everywhere.” While Coyne, Schmidt and Andretti enjoyed the challenge of the new cars, the now traditional powerhouse pairing of Penske and Ganassi didn’t find form across the weekend. Scott Dixon and Ed Jones came in sixth and Eighth for Ganassi with Josef Newgarden and Will Power being the top finishers for Penske in seventh and 10th. Power’s 10th came after having his rear wing replaced thanks to a first lap contact contact with the wall after avoiding Wickens, he didn’t put it down to some kind of power shifting amongst the established order: “I just think for start-

Round 1 St Petersburg 110 Laps

1.8 miles 14 turns

Pole Position: Robert Wickens 1m 01.6664 s

Fastest Lap Alexander Rossi 1m 01.7244s

Issue 2 Racing Edge 51


Grand Prix Preview: Bahrain

Photo: Habeed Hameed

Last Year

Valtteri Bottas claimed his first Formula One Pole position, and the third of the season for the team, as Mercedes tried to stamp its authority on the sport. A rare moment of gamesmanship from their world champion Lewis Hamilton handed vistory to Ferrari rival Sebastien Vettel. Under a safety car period Hamliton, who was running behind Bottas, slowed down to avoid stacking in the pits in an attempt to stay ahead of Red Bull driver

Daniel Ricciardo. The move cost Hamilton with the stewards handing him a five second penalty. The fallout saw Vettel romp home ahead of Hamilton by a margin of six seconds, with Bottas a further 14 behind in third. The Honda fiasco continued for McLaren with Alonso suffering power loss in his engine, and Vandoorne not even making the start. Red Bull saw Verstappen end up in the wall with brake failure

Is it safe to party the day before a race? If you are Mercedes then it would appear so. Or not. It might be muddied waters around the engine mapping from the World Champions, but does it matter at the moment? It’s obvious to all that Mercedes have enough of an advantage in qualifying without turning up the wick that only one man is likely to take pole. The teammate, Bottas, had a tough weekend in Australia as the forgotten man after binning 52 Racing Edge Issue 2

Circuit Name First Grand Prix Track Length Number of Laps Lap Record Most Wins (Driver) Most Wins (Team) Last Year Pole Time Last Year Winner Last Year Second Last Year Third

it in qualifying. Even with his lacklustre race performance Toto Wolff and company are publicly offering their support to ease any pressure build up. It isn’t beyond the realms of possibility that Hamilton would have made the podium if their roles were reversed. Bahrain should see the Brackley boys retain their advantage over Ferrari. Sebastien Vettel had the race fall into his lap in Melbourne, and the Ferrari looks handy, but his battle will likely

: Bahrain Int Circuit : 2004 : 3.363 miles : 57 laps : 1:32.798 (2017) : Alonso/Vettel (3) : Ferrari (5) : 1:28.769 : Vettel : Hamilton : Bottas

stretch to a fight for second place with Bottas and teammate Raikkonen. The Finn put in a blinding qualifying effort but was strategically wrong footed in the race. Red Bull did not threaten at all in the race and must be looking over their shoulder at Haas after the first round. The American team could once again challenge for serious points in Bahrain as they have in the last two years and will be looking to equal their highest F1 result to date of fifth.


Grand Prix Preview: China

Photo: Derrick Noh

Last Year

Smog. Clouds. Rain. Indoor playtime. The mixture of the above in China meant that Friday practice wasn’t that at all. It was more of a 20 minute dawdle with a day spent sitting around waiting for the conditions to improve, which they didn’t. Saturday was back to normality as Hamilton and Vettel claimed the front row of the grid. Hamilton had the start, and had the win, easily outpacing Vettel when the race began in damp, but drying

conditions. Max Verstappen was the star of the afternoon climbing on the podium from the 16th placed grid slot. Overtaking nine drivers in the first couple of laps made the Dutchman appear to be racing like he was on a Playstation once again. Ricciardo came home in fourth having been outgunned by his Red Bull rival, but ahead of the Finns Bottas and Raikkonen. Valtteri had spun under an early safety car.

Management of the front left tyre has been an important facet for teams in Shanghai since the circuit joined the F1 circus. The Tilke designed track instils the need to be wary of the understeer inducing corners that chip away at the tyres lap after lap. As ever there will always be the chance of difficult weather across the weekend. It’s a venue where the crossover from wet to dry or vice versa is hard to calculate and can only

Circuit Name First Grand Prix Track Length Number of Laps Lap Record Most Wins (Driver) Most Wins (Team) Last Year Pole Time Last Year Winner Last Year Second Last Year Third

really be judged by the backside of the driver. Long runs on intermediates are not unheard of. The constant loading in the long sweeping middle section is where the Red Bull normally looks elegant and planted. But over the last few years it’s superior aero when changing direction hasn’t helped out much on the long back straight. Mercedes and Ferrari will duke it out at the front judging

: Shanghai Circuit : 2004 : 3.387 miles : 56 laps : 1:35.378 (2017) : Hamilton (5) : Mercedes (5) : 1:31.678 : Hamilton : Vettel : Verstappen

by current form, and throughout the rest of the field it could be a two by two battle as the circuit tends to play to the weakness and strengths of each car. This is a track where the intra-team battles may rule the day, if it stays dry. 2012 was the first victory for the resurrected Mercedes F1 team, having last won in 1955. Alonso grabbed a win in 2013, but since then it has been all about the three pointed star of the silver arrows. Issue 2 Racing Edge 53


Grand Prix Preview: Azerbaijan

Photo: Red Bull Content Pool/Mark Thompson/Getty

Last Year

Daniel Ricciardo picked up his only win of the season after an action packed race. The talking point was a wheel banging incident under safety car conditions where Sebastien Vettel drove into race leader Lewis Hamilton after mistakenly believing that the Mercedes driver had brake-tested him. A trip to the pits to serve a penalty ended any hopes of victory, but Hamilton was to fare no better. A loose cockpit surround meant an unscheduled pit stop also dropped

him down the order. A potential race win for Force India was taken away when Ocon barrelled into Perez, with the latter exiting with steering damage. Lance Stroll became the youngest ever driver to step on the podium with third place. The Canadian was running in second for Williams until a run down the pit straight on the very last lap saw Valtteri Bottas pull out of his slipstream and slice past as the pair crossed the finish line.

Baku has delivered a rather staid debut race in 2016 and a classic Formula One cracker in 2017. As a street circuit it should be giving more of the former, with tight ninety degree corners and a crazy, thin run through the old town, it has all the ingredients of a typical, processional event. The difference between Baku and other street circuits that host contemporary formula cars is the straights. The start/finish run is the perfect example of where DRS 54 Racing Edge Issue 2

Circuit Name First Grand Prix Track Length Number of Laps Lap Record Most Wins (Driver) Most Wins (Team) Last Year Pole Time Last Year Winner Last Year Second Last Year Third

should work a treat. Nice and wide, leading into a tight left hander has seen some action in the last couple of seasons, and we should see more of that through the field this year. Up front though? That’s where the pecking order will negate any of those shenanigans. Mercedes have had the upper hand here over the last two seasons and it’s hard to see how that could differ this year. That long run will allow them to open the pipes on the Merc powerplant, and the corners will give

: Baku : 2016 : 3.730 miles : 51 laps : 1:43.441 (2017) : Hamilton/Ricciardo - 1 : Red Bull/Mercedes - 1 : 1:40.593 : Ricciardo : Bottas : Stroll

them the chance to show off the perfect balance of the W09. It’ll be hard for Ferrari to equal that. It will also be hard for those behind the Prancing Horse to match their pace. With the greatest will in the world, Red Bull won’t be a contender here unless the race can repeat 2017. The Haas team gave a decent account of themselves in Melbourne, if they can maintain their speed (and sort out their wheelguns) they might have a chance of outperforming all of the Renault engined teams.


Review

The yearly end of season review delivered by Duke Video has become a staple gift to give to F1 fans the world over. You would think it’s quality was entirely dependent upon the season that it covers, but that isn’t true these days. The tried and tested formula of race highlights, on-board laps and narration by seasoned F1 commentator Ben Edwards is a formula that ensure you know, year on year what you’re getting. The biggest downfall for F1 fans today watching season reviews today, compared to the reviews of the nineties and the eighties is that the chances are, you’ve seen it all before. Once upon a time the season review would provide angles never seen by the general public before. With the wall to wall coverage provided by TV companies today, every incident is replayed time and again from numerous angles so there isn’t anything we’ve not seen before.

Mini features provided by media centre stalwart James Allen add to the knowledge base of fans who maybe don’t invest themselves heavily in the sport. But could be tiresome to those who spend most days obsessing over F1. Running at over 5 hours (including special features) it isn’t quite as bite-sized as reviews from years past. It isn’t a sit down and watch in one go experience, which may leave some losing interest. The formulaic nature of the event by event coverage makes it easy to drop in and drop out of the two disc volume. Those bonus features include on-board footage from each race, with some action. Long gone are the days of the on-board footage simply being the pole lap from each event. For example the Silverstone section puts you in a rear facing position as Sebastien Vettel chases you down and has a few shots at an overtake. Compelling stuff indeed, a solid addition to the review collection. 8/10 MP

Laugh along with Jenson, there are parts of this book that should really be called that. Our Jense takes us on a journey from an awkward childhood to Formula One World Champion and beyond in an open, honest, funny, sad and at times brutally honest account of his rise to fame. He opens up and bares some of his own insecurities and shortcomings both on and off track. He shares interesting anecdotes about his relationships with teammates and team bosses from all across his career, making it compelling reading when certain people come up (We won’t mention Ralf Schumacher shall we?) A number of quotes flew in the media when the promotion for the book began in earnest, and I’m afraid to say that some of the more “newsworthy” ones are not quite as scandalous when read in context (we won’t mention Lewis Hamilton here,) but on the other hand some make the people in the story seem even more detached from reality than you’d first think (not mentionng Richard

Branson.) The story of the championship year has been pored over time and again, but it is just as fresh as the season where it happened such is the enthusiasm of Jenson in recounting the year. The on track battles and the off-track politics from his point of view bring an unheard perspective to 2009. The title was of course a proud moment for who, in reality, is the main character in his rise to the top. John Button. Anyone who watched Jenson in his career back in the grainy days of Eurosport broadcasting international karting in 1996 through Formula Ford and F3 and into F1 knew that the relationship between the pair was a bond unmatched in the paddock. The tale of Button Sr making comments when returning from a Karting race when Jenson was on the ropes is a theme that carries all the way through. The sad story of his passing is one of the hardest parts to read, but it’s a worthwhile addition to your F1 library. 9/10 MP Issue 2 Racing Edge 55


THE BACK PAGE

James Hunt celebrates his first F1 victory, Holland 1975. Photo: Dutch National Archive

Racing Edge Magazine Issue 2 April 2018  

Is Marchionne really going to split F1? The future of F1 manufacturing. The creation of the March 701. F2 preview.

Racing Edge Magazine Issue 2 April 2018  

Is Marchionne really going to split F1? The future of F1 manufacturing. The creation of the March 701. F2 preview.

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