Back-to-back podiums have Wilson in title race After two podium finishes in the first three races of the 2011 Firestone Indy Lights championship, Stefan Wilson is almost where he wants to be.
Thanks to a third-place finish on the streets of Long Beach, Calif., the 21-year-old from Sheffield, England sits third in point standings, 20 points behind the series' new point leader Conor Daly.
It's a long way from Wilson's nightmare start in the St. Petersburg opener where he finished 16th after an early-race incident. And with Daly only contesting a limited schedule, Wilson finds himself only 10 points behind second-place driver Josef Newgarden as the series heads into its marquee event - the Firestone Freedom 100 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 27.
Andretti experiences thrill of victory, agony of defeat
Watching Ryan Hunter-Reay's car fade through the quick-paced pack on Lap 70 of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, Michael Andretti had that sinking feeling. The No. 28 Team DHL/Sun Drop Citrus Soda car started on the front row and was running second with 15 laps left, with Hunter-Reay primed to win for the second consecutive year on the 1.968-mile street circuit.
At that point, someone should have reminder the Andretti Autosport owner of the Yogi Berra malapropism "It isn’t over till it's over." It would have been clairvoyant.
"It was crazy and I've got to admit unexpected," Andretti said. "It's so difficult to pass here, so I was really happy to see Mike (Conway) up in the top six, and I thought that's not bad. At that point we were feeling good about where Ryan was and then all of a sudden Ryan has this (gearbox) problem. I was thinking, 'Oh, man, this is over.'
Video: Paul Newman & Sebastien Bourdais on the Late Night Show with Letterman The late great Paul Newman and Sebastien Bourdais on the Late Night Show with David Letterman in 2007 after Bourdais had clinched his third straight Champ Car title.
60 cars on provisional Spa 1000 KM entry list After the opening rounds at Sebring and Le Castellet a stunning 60 cars are on the provisional entry list for the 1000 KM of Spa-Francorchamps. 18 LMP1, 12 LMP2, 14 LM GTE Pro, 11 LM GTE Am and 5 FLM cars are set to race in round two of the Le Mans Series and the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup on Saturday May 7th.
With the 1000 KM of Spa-Francorchamps being the final test before the 24 Hours of Le Mans both Audi and Peugeot will bring three works cars. The six works entries will be joined by two Aston Martin AMR-One’s, the Sebring winning Oreca Peugeot 908 HDi FAP, two Rebellion Racing Lola’s and two OAK Racing Pescarolo’s as well as the Pescarolo Team Pescarolo Judd, the Quifel-ASM Team Zytek, the Hope Racing Oreca SwissHyTech Hybrid, the MIK Corse Zytek 09 Hybrid and the Guess Racing Europe Lola B09/80 Coupé.
It has been more than two years since Paul Newman died, and though the world lost a thespian, racing lost one of its biggest figures. He may have been an actor by trade, but he was a racer at heart.
And now, the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach serves as another reminder of Newman’s absence.
And his presence.
Newman was a competitor at heart. It's a trait he shared with co-owner Carl Haas of Newman Haas Racing, which has won Long Beach six times—more than any other team. “That spirit went through the team from top to bottom and carries on today,” said general manager Brian Lisles. “This is still Paul Newman and Carl Haas’ team, and always will be.”
Toro Rosso fined for lost Alguersuari wheel Formula 1 governing body the FIA has fined Scuderia Toro Rosso 10,000 euros for an unsafe pit release in Sunday’s Chinese Grand Prix. After Jaime Alguersuari became the race’s first pit-stopper at the end of Lap 9, the Spaniard was let back into the race despite a loose right-rear wheel.
The incident resulted in the wheel jettisoning itself from the car at Turn 2, with the Barcelona driver then having to retire in the middle sector.
The incident follows a similar situation for the team – then known as Minardi – and driver Gianmaria Bruni in the inaugural Shanghai Formula 1 event of 2004.
Toyota resumes production at all Japan plants Toyota Motor Corp. resumed car production at all of its plants in Japan today for the first time since the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, but said the factories will run at half capacity due to parts shortages.
The world's No. 1 automaker said it was still struggling to secure around 150 types of auto parts. The magnitude-9.0 earthquake and ensuing tsunami destroyed parts factories in northeastern Japan, causing severe shortages of components.
The twin disasters forced Toyota to shut down all output in Japan except at three plants, which have been running at limited capacity since late March and early April to produce hot-selling Prius, Lexus and Corolla cars.
Talladega seats covered to hide drop in attendance Yesterday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Aaron's 499 drew an estimated crowd of 115,000 at Talladega Superspeedway. The grandstands, which normally have a capacity of about 130,000, "had been reduced to 118,000 because large sections" of seats "were covered with tarps" BIRMINGHAM NEWS.
The track "has experienced attendance declines in the past couple years," but this "might be the first time" seats have been covered in this way. The covered sections were in the upper deck near Turns 1 and 4 AL.com
Hans -Jorg Fischer Appointed as a New Executive Consultant of Moscow Raceway
Starting from April 2011 Hans-Jorg Fischer joined the Moscow Raceway team as a new Executive Consultant. Mr. Fischer joined the Moscow Raceway team as new Executive Consultant on March 27, 2011.
In his position Mr. Fisher will focus on preparing the operation side of the new circuit project, which is located 77 km to the west of Moscow. Among his primary tasks will be to set up the management team and to market the first season in 2012.
Hans -Jorg Fischer graduated from the University of Mannheim, Germany, Business Economics, in 1995 with honors.
Grand Prix caps another successful weekend in Long Beach It was poetically fitting that the 27-year-old driver from England, Mike Conway, who survived a horrific accident at last year's Indianapolis 500 and who was in 22nd place after 30 laps, would emerge victorious Sunday in the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.
After all, all sorts of other surprising developments also unfolded in this city's highest profile attraction that once again turned out to be a successful festival of racing, eating, drinking, laughing, cheering, frolicking and people-gazing.
For one thing, the weather, which had been clear and warm the previous two days, turned cool and marine layer gray until the sun finally broke through shortly after the proceedings commenced at 1:29.
Alas, that was too late for the parachutists -- their jump was canceled -- and even delayed the F-18 flyover about 10 minutes.
When the two jets finally appeared overhead under the cloud cover, they were no more than 800 feet above ground in an exciting close encounter for the shrieking turnout of 70,000 that upped the three-day total to around 175,000.
Video: Long Beach IZOD IndyCar Series Race Highlights Watch highlights from the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach and see first time winner, Mike Conway, march to the front and capture the checkered flag.
Penske Motorsports boss Tim Cindric (L) was not happy on Sunday
A reliable pair of ears in the Team Penske trailer in the Long Beach Grand Prix paddock described this conversation between Roger Penske, scion of auto racing, and rising star Will Power from Toowoomba, Australia.
Said Penske: "No one feels worse than Helio (Castroneves)."
Said Power: "I do."
Power sequestered himself in the Penske trailer Sunday after the 37 th running of the race, and he had every reason to seek solace. For the third straight year, he won the Grand Prix pole. And he was looking to win it after finishing second and third the previous two years.
Will Power sits against wall after his teammate, Helio Castroneves (R) punted him in Turn 1
Not one, but two drivers were done in on Sunday in Long Beach, California by Penske driver Helio Castroneves. They should have called AAA, Helio's sponsor, for a tow. On Lap 23, Helio Castroneves hit Justin Wilson from behind in the hairpin, which caused him to spin and the yellow flag came out on Lap 25.
Later he managed to take out his own teammate Will Power in Turn 1 while Power was battling for 1st place.
Chevrolet Sells 1.1 Million Vehicles in Best-Ever First Quarter Chevrolet sold 1.1 million vehicles worldwide in the first three months of 2011, a 15-percent increase over the first quarter of 2010 and the brand’s best first-quarter results ever.
"This is a great way to kick off Chevrolet’s Centennial year,” said Joel Ewanick, GM global chief marketing officer. “Our first-quarter results are a clear indication that consumers are responding to our new product line, which only happens when you truly listen to the customer. Chevrolet has developed strong connections with consumers in key markets across South America, Europe, and Asia. We look forward to strengthening those connections as we introduce Chevrolet to Korea, and as we introduce a growing lineup of global vehicles that build on the successful launch of the Chevrolet Cruze.”
A delighted Mark Webber was happy his teammate got beat
Mark Webber delighted in Red Bull team mate Sebastian Vettel's Chinese Grand Prix defeat on Sunday, even if the race winner was McLaren rival Lewis Hamilton.
World champion Vettel had arrived in Shanghai with four straight wins under his belt, two of them from the end of last season, and started the race on pole position for the fourth time in a row.
A two stop strategy, compared to Hamilton's three, proved his undoing - as well as a Kers (kinetic energy recovery system) that stopped working after the first stop - and the 23-year-old German had to settle for second best.
Newgarden crashes from lead handing Lights win to Daly
American Josef Newgarden led from the start but was under constant pressure from Sam Schmidt Motorsports teammate Conor Daly. But Newgarden appeared to be able to hold off Daly for the win but with two laps to go, Newgarden ran wide in the right-hand Turn 8 as Daly sped by into the lead and the win.
Justin Wilson's younger brother, Stefan Wilson, was 3rd behind polesitter Esteban Guerrieri.
Daly scored the biggest win of his career. Daly proved to be the fastest car on race day and in a display of speed, discipline and patience, he worked his way to the front from a fourth place starting position.
Starting 8th today for World Series by Renault in race two, American Alexander Rossi drove an impressive run through the field to finish 2nd at Motorland Aragon, Spain.
After a difficult qualifying session this morning, where Rossi struggled with traffic and building heat into his tires, Rossi lined his Fortec Motorsport car up in P8 on the grid.
Rossi made a great start, keeping on the inside of the main straight and moved up into P6 as he headed into turn one. He was immediately up close behind fifth placed Wickens and began looking for a way past.
Monras claims commanding maiden Formula Two win Miki Monras claimed a commanding maiden win in the final race at Silverstone, leading from pole position and making the most of a series of incidents behind him to establish an early lead which he never looked like surrendering.
Monras' fellow front-row starter Mirko Bortolotti bogged down and lost out to Will Bratt at the start. Bratt however was later handed a drive-through penalty for not respecting track limits, and after failing to come in was then black-flagged. He finished second on circuit but was demoted, handing Christopher Zanella - who started from tenth - a maiden F2 podium in third.
Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach Post-Qualifying Transcript THE MODERATOR: We're joined by several of today's Firestone fast six qualifiers for tomorrow's Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach; Ryan Hunter‑Reay of Andretti Autosport, also our defending race winner; Mike Conway, his teammate at Andretti Autosport; Oriol Servia of Newman/Haas Racing and Helio Castroneves of Team Penske.
Ryan, last year you qualified second here and won the race, so clearly starting second suits you well at Long Beach.
RYAN HUNTER‑REAY: Yeah, it was good afternoon. It's good to be back in Long Beach. Obviously I like this place. Pretty disappointed about the session with Will getting by by eight hundredths of a second. Kind of seems to tip his way lately. He's the man right now.
But the best thing is it's a repeat of last year; we're starting second, and we won from there last year, so hopefully we can repeat.
The guys can a great job preparing the cars. We've come with a little bit different of a car this year, developed it, and it's worked for us. It's been really good, and happy to see Mike up here, too. So things are heading in the right direction.
Korjus tops Rossi in race 2 in Spain Reigning Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup champion Kevin Korjus took victory in race two of the opening round of the Formula Renault 3.5 season at Motorland Aragon this afternoon.
The Estonian led home Saturday's race one winner Alexander Rossi by 1.7 seconds.
At 18 years, three months and eight days old, Korjus becomes the youngest ever winner of a 480-HP Formula Renault 3.5 race. He beats the record previously held by Charles Pic by two days.
BMW M3 wins GT class - see related story on our Home Page
The No. 56 M3 GT will be credited with the most laps led in the two hour contest, but not until the final minutes of the race were slowed by a caution flag was the outcome decided.
Hand started the race from the class pole and led for the opening laps, but lost the lead some twenty minutes into the race after an almost surreal set of circumstances. A few positions behind Hand, teammate Bill Auberlen, in the No. 55 M3 GT, was struck by a competitor and spun around 180 degrees in the tight confines of turn two. When he finally was able to get turned in the right direction Hand was back around and lost two positions as he avoided the accelerating Auberlen.
Miki Monras clinches maiden pole position on F2 debut weekend Series newcomer Miki Monras secured his maiden pole position in qualifying for round two of the FIA Formula Two Championship at Silverstone today (Sunday).
In only his first F2 race weekend, Monras edged out race one winner Mirko Bortolotti to set a fastest lap of 1:49.934 - becoming the only driver to dip below the 1m 50s barrier.
An early effort by Bortolotti was sufficient to secure a front row start, whilst Britons Alex Brundle and Will Bratt complete row two of the grid.
Robby Gordon MIA Robby Gordon was MIA at Talladega Superspeedway on Saturday, leaving Sam Hornish Jr. to qualify the #7 Fast Five/Speed Energy Dodge. Gordon was enjoying the scenery at the Long Beach Grand Prix in Southern California. Following qualifying, Hornish's time was disallowed when the car did not pass the height sticks in inspection for being too low in front. What was Robby Gordon Motorsports' penalty? The #7 Dodge will have to start from the back of the field. Not really a big deal. With Gordon not qualifying his own car, he was going to have to drop back at the start of the race regardless. Fox Sports
Mike Dillon returns to track This weekend has been the best medicine possible for Richard Childress Racing vice president of competition Mike Dillon, who's officially back at a NASCAR race track for the first time since early March. Dillon was sidelined, and briefly hospitalized, when a blood clot was discovered in one of his lungs, between the NASCAR weekends at Las Vegas and Bristol. He was released from the hospital March 19 and since then, life as he had known it hasn't existed. Dillon was hospitalized and had to go on blood thinners. In conjunction with that, doctors forbade him from traveling by air, due to sitting at length and the danger of clots forming at altitude. Talladega was Dillon's first full-fledged race trip since Las Vegas, March 4-6. The interesting fact was he and Tina traveled by motorhome -- something Dillon said he'll do "to everything that's within about eight hours" until he's once again cleared to fly. NASCAR.com
Only in NASCAR...... Over the years, NASCAR teams have done some pretty despicable antics just to keep their teams in the starting field. It was bad enough when teams were start and parking and not bothering to bring pit crews, as Phoenix Racing did at Rockingham back in 2004. It’s been painful to watch Darrell Waltrip, Bill Elliott, and Terry Labonte pimp out their past champion’s provisionals just to race, but this week-end at Talladega, NASCAR has hit an all-new low. Whitney Motorsports plans to have Bill Elliott qualify the car and J.J. Yeley will get in the car at some point during the race, more than likely, for the sole purpose of parking the car. Whitney Motorsports has, in fact, not finished a single race that they have attempted this year, so it is more likely than not going to be a start and park effort.
Follow Long Beach GP Sunday on Twitter You can follow all the action of Sunday's Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach IndyCar race by following AutoRacing1 on Twitter. Our Dan Maldonado will keep you up to date on all the action in case you cannot watch it live on TV (Versus).
Saturday IndyCar Notebook IZOD IndyCar Series driver Ryan Hunter-Reay was recently announced as the newest member of LIVESTRONG's Global Envoy program. As a LIVESTRONG Global Envoy, Hunter-Reay serves as a committed cancer advocate who connects with constituents and demonstrates extraordinary leadership in the global fight against cancer. Hunter-Reay gives a voice to the diagnosed who suffer in silence. He takes a stand against cultural stigma attached to cancer and helps to spur grassroots mobilization.
Guerrieri wins Long Beach Indy Lights pole Remember we told you before this year started that Argentinean Esteban Guerrieri was really, we mean really, good. Well he put his Indy Lights car on pole again today on the streets of Long Beach beating some pretty stout drivers in Peter Dempsey, Josef Newgarden and Conor Daly.
Daly, who briefly led the qualifying session for the Sonoco Pole award, missed practice yesterday because he was testing a GP3 car in Europe. Despite missing Friday, he did very well today.
Sam Schmidt's team took 3 of the top 4 spots with Guerrieri, Newgarden and Daly.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. calls two-car draft ‘silly,’ a ‘bunch of crap' “I don’t really like the two-car stuff, it’s just silly,” Earnhardt Jr. said prior to NASCAR Sprint qualifying Saturday at Talladega. “I don’t think that much into it. You’ve just got to find somebody to push and just push them. … I’m hoping this kind of racing goes away fast so we don’t have to talk about this no more. This is a bunch of crap.”
Fichtner and Gushi win LB Toyota Pro Celebrity race TV star William Fichtner won the 37th annual Toyota Pro/Celebrity race on the streets of Long Beach Saturday. While Fichtner won the celebrity crown, Ken Gushi of Drifting fame, won the professional class, almost catching Fichtner at the finish after starting 30 seconds back.
Wheldon to drive famed #98 William Rast car at Indy
Herta team unveils William Rast livery for Wheldon
Bryan Herta Autosport is proud to announce that its entry in this year’s centennial Indianapolis 500 piloted by 2005 race winner and IZOD IndyCar Series champion Dan Wheldon will fly the colors of three premier companies – globally-recognized fashion brand William Rast and record labels Curb and Big Machine. The BHA/Curb-Agajanian entry will feature the famed #98 which carried the Agajanian name to victory at the Brickyard both in 1952, when Troy Ruttman became the youngest-ever Indy 500 winner at age 22, and 1963, when Parnelli Jones triumphed in the legendary “Ol’ Calhoun” Watson Roadster.
“A couple of weeks ago we confirmed that Dan Wheldon – a good friend, former teammate and Indy 500 winner – would be driving our car at Indianapolis this year,” said Herta, who formed BHA with accomplished race engineer Steve Newey in 2009. “We made that announcement in Dan’s hometown of St. Petersburg, Fla., and here at my home race and William Rast’s backyard, we wanted to unveil our partnership lineup.
Ty Dillon Edges Frank Kimmel to Win 3 Amigos 250 Ty Dillon finished a dramatic pass over Frank Kimmel late in the final lap at Talladega Superspeedway to win the 3 Amigos 250, adding another success to his blistering start in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards. The victory is Dillon's first of 2011 and third in five career ARCA starts.
Dillon (No. 41 Xinergy/Richard Childress Racing Development Chevrolet) started on the pole, led 50 laps, and won by 0.038 second to become the 20th driver to win an ARCA Racing Series event at Talladega from the first position. As simple as that sounds, the rookie needed every last foot on the last of 94 laps around the 2.66-mile superspeedway to beat Kimmel (No. 44 Ansell/Menards Ford).
American Alexander Rossi drove a faultless race to take a commanding win in the opening round of the World Series by Renault at Motorland Aragon today.
Following a tightly contested qualifying session, the rookie driver lined his Fortec Motorsport car up on the grid in second place, just 0.02 seconds off the pole lap set by Wickens.
As the lights went green, Rossi had a bit of wheel spin off the grid but was able to maintain P2 as Wickens made a mistake heading into the first corner, which saw him drop to P3, while Move took P1.
Rossi spent the next 12 laps closed right up behind Move and looking for a way past. Rossi clearly with a quicker pace continued to attack race leader Move who was holding Rossi up and allowing Wickens to stay very close behind Rossi in 3rd.
American F1 hopeful Alexander Rossi won the opening Formula Renault 3.5 race of the season at Motorland Aragon. The Fortec driver fought a race long battle for the lead with Daniil Move, after polesitter Robert Wickens Carlin locked up his left-front wheel and ran wide into Turn 1 at the start.
In the end Rossi won going away from Wickens who recovered to pass Daniil Move for 2nd place but had nothing for Rossi who appears on track to be the next American in F1.
Move, from Russia and in his 5th year of the series, took first place at the start and was bidding to register his first victory in the series. He blocked Rossi's repeated attempts at an inside move into Motorland's Turn 1 and Turn 16 hairpins on repeated occasions.
North American drivers start 1-2 in Spain Canadian Robert Wickens took pole position at Motorland Aragon this morning on his return to Formula Renault 3.5 after two years away. The Canadian turned a fastest lap of 1m42.901s.
In a tightly contested session, American Alexander Rossi finished just 0.029 second behind Wickens in second place. The Fortec driver held the fastest time until being pipped by Wickens with just one minute of the half-hour session remaining.
Robert Wickens: “It was a very competitive session. I ran into traffic on my second set of tires so I was not able to take full advantage of them. I managed to cool them and I set the quickest time. It’s important to start the season with pole. It’s an important weekend as it gives an idea of the initial hierarchy. I have to win the first race!”
Alexander Rossi: “I just missed out on my first pole! We’re on the pace and we’ve got the speed to win the race. Our aim’s always to be first although starting the season with second place in qualifying isn’t too bad.”
Elliott Sadler wins Nationwide pole at Talladega Elliott Sadler won the pole Friday for the Nationwide Series Aaron’s 312 at Talladega Superspeedway.
Starting on the outside of the front row for the race Saturday will be Sadler’s Kevin Harvick Inc. teammate Clint Bowyer. Sadler turned a lap of 179.558 mph while Bowyer went 179.373 mph – 19 mph slower than the fastest times in the draft in practice Thursday.
JR Motorsports’ Dale Earnhardt Jr. will start third with Phoenix Racing’s Jamie McMurray fourth and Roush Fenway Racing’s Trevor Bayne fifth.
Bortolotti wins Silverstone season opener Italy's Mirko Bortolotti converted his maiden pole position to a commanding victory in the opening round of the 2011 FIA Formula Two Championship at Silverstone today (Saturday).
Bortolotti made a perfect start, as fellow front row qualifier Spain's Miki Monras lost a position to Briton Will Bratt after getting bogged down off the line. By the end of the opening lap, Mirko had created a commanding lead of more than a second of the pair, who tussled for position in the early stages of the race.
As Bortolotti put in a series of consistent laps, a locked wheel from Monras allowed Bratt to build a small breathing space in his bid to maintain second position. The British driver - who lives just a stone's throw from the circuit in Banbury - cemented his podium place by posting a flying lap in the closing stages of the race, but not before Bortolotti demonstrated his supreme pace by setting the fastest lap of the race on his penultimate encounter of the Silverstone Arena circuit.
Vettel team leader and Webber number two - Berger (GMM) Sebastian Vettel continues to grow while Mark Webber is slipping into a subordinate role at Red Bull.
That is the view of Gerhard Berger, who was 23-year-old reigning world champion and championship leader Vettel's first F1 team boss at Toro Rosso a few years ago.
"He wanted to be the youngest champion, the first for Red Bull, he wanted to be better than his teammate Mark Webber -- he has succeeded on all counts," the Austrian ten-time grand prix winner Berger told Welt newspaper.
SPEED to Air Rescheduled ARCA Race from Talladega SPEED will present live coverage of the rescheduled ARCA Racing Series race from Talladega Superspeedway Saturday at 9 a.m. ET. The race, originally scheduled for Friday at 5 p.m. ET, was postponed due to severe weather in the vicinity of the race track. Rick Allen, Phil Parsons and Ken Schrader host the network’s coverage with Ray Dunlap and Bob Dillner patrolling the pits. SPEED will continue its live coverage from Talladega following the ARCA race with live presentation of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series qualifying at 11:30 a.m. ET.
Bortolotti takes first pole position of the season at Silverstone
Mirko Bortolotti clinched the first pole position of the 2011 FIA Formula Two Championship in the opening qualifying session at Silverstone today (Saturday).
After joining the session slightly late due to a problem with his seat belt, the Italian driver - who returns to F2 in 2011 following a season in GP3 - quickly rose to the top of the timesheets deposing Briton Will Bratt, who set the pace in the early stages.
The pair briefly traded times until Bortolotti became the first driver to dip below the 1m50s barrier with a quickest lap of 1:50.834s, which ultimately proved unassailable - and the Italian felt sufficiently confident to end his qualifying effort with five minutes of the session still remaining.
Fernando Alonso admitted that Ferrari could manage no more than third row grid slots in Shanghai Saturday because this year's car is simply too slow, again. Starting fifth, just ahead of teammate Felipe Massa, the 2005 Chinese Grand Prix winner missed pole position by 1.4 seconds.
“I had not expected much more than this from qualifying,” the Spaniard began. “Fifth and sixth places represent the maximum we can aspire to in our current situation. We already knew all about Red Bull and McLaren, but here we saw an improvement from Mercedes, so the situation is now even more difficult.
Michael Schumacher’s lowly grid position in Shanghai has been explained, with the German having suffered a DRS issue for the second consecutive qualifying session. Whereas Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg managed fourth position, without an issue this time, the seven-time World Champion is ten places further back.
“What a shame for me today, as we have clearly demonstrated this weekend that as a team we have improved a lot,” said Schumacher. “Nico proved that strongly with his fourth place which was our realistic target.
“I didn't quite get my lap together in Q2 and since then we have found out that my rear wing was not functioning correctly as I was braking into Turn 14. I am obviously hoping to have a strong start and that we have good race pace tomorrow so I can hopefully make up some positions.”
Pirelli announces tire compounds for next three races Formula 1 tire manufacturer Pirelli has announced the compounds which will be made available to the teams and drivers during the upcoming Turkish, Spanish and Monaco Grands Prix. The Hard and Soft tire are to be used at Istanbul Park and the Circuit de Catalunya, while the Soft and Super Soft will be taken to the street of Monte-Carlo.
Pirelli Motorsport Director Paul Hembery explained the reasons behind the Italian company’s latest choices: "We’ve considered carefully all the circuit characteristics in order to help provide races as exciting as all the Grands Prix we have seen so far this year."
Michael Waltrip to race at Le Mans Michael Waltrip will drive a Ferrari for the Italian team of AF Corse in the 24 Hours of Le Mans on June 11-12. Waltrip, Michael Waltrip Racing co-owner Rob Kauffman and Rui Aguas will compete in the GTE Pro Class. Waltrip plans to test next weekend at the Le Mans course in France. He also tested at the Paul Ricard Circuit in France in March. ESPN.com
France sues ex-wife, alleges extortion attempt NASCAR chairman Brian France has sued his former wife, accusing her of tape recording telephone conversations to extort money from him. In a lawsuit filed Friday, Brian France claims his ex-wife, Megan France, has recorded multiple telephone conversations with him without his consent. He is asking a federal judge to issue an injunction barring Megan France from engaging in additional "intercepts of wire communications" between the two and distributing the contents of the recordings. Brian France alleges his ex-wife has offered not to disclose the recordings - keeping them private - if he pays her "substantial sums of money." Megan France's lawyers could not be reached for comment. Charlotte Observer
Oh Danica A reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1.com, I passed by the IndyCar autograph session on Friday here in Long Beach and spotted Danica Patrick, sitting with the other drivers with a huge scowl on her face. All the other drivers, and we walked the whole deal, were great - smiling, engaging with the fans - as it should be. And there was the ice princess, scowling. clearly with no understanding who makes it possible for her to make a bloody fortune. And sadly she has the longest line of fans. Mordichai Rosen, Los Angeles, CA.
The Long Beach Grand Prix Tribute Assembled by AutoRacing1.com contributor Alistair Fannell, this film is a short memory lane of one of the most popular racing events in the world, The Long Beach Grand Prix, which hosted its first race with Formula 5000 in 1975. One year later Formula One raced at Long Beach and ran from 1976-1983. In 1984 Indy Car started racing at Long Beach under different sanctioning bodies - CART Indy Car from 1984-2003, Champ Car from 2004-2008 and now the Indy Racing League's Indy Car Series.
Chinese GP: Vettel on top in practice 3 Sebastian Vettel did it again Saturday morning in Shanghai, China. The Red Bull driver turned the fastest lap in the third free practice session to make a clean sweep of the China practice sessions.
The Red Bull driver, was so fast that each time he ran in the session, he set a fastest lap time.
Jenson Button got closest to Vettel with a lap just 0.208s slower, while Lewis Hamilton moved up to third position in the closing stages.
Nico Rosberg was a promising fourth fastest, Fernando Alonso was 6th behind Ferrari teammate Felipe Massa.
(GMM) Jenson Button sounds less than confident about challenging Red Bull for pole in China.
Before back-to-back polesitter and winner Sebastian Vettel again went fastest in the last practice session before qualifying, Button was asked if McLaren has drawn level with Red Bull after a closer race in Malaysia a week ago.
"No, not at all at the moment," the Briton said in Shanghai. "I'd be surprised if we can fight them for pole. They're so fast."
Ferrari's Felipe Massa agreed: "They (Red Bull) put the car on track and easily make the time, so I don't think that this race it will be too much different from the last one."
Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone has been questioned by state prosecutors in Munich, Germany, as part of an investigation into irregular payments made during the sale of the sport's commercial rights.
Ecclestone, 80, was quizzed on April 6 as part of the investigation into payments worth 38 million euros ($50m) made to a German banker during F1's commercial rights sale five years ago, reports the Sueddeutsche Zeitung in Saturday's edition.
Ecclestone's questioning came after the arrest in January of Gerhard Gribkowsky, the boss of Bavarian bank BayernLB, which had a stake in F1 up until to 2006.
British billionaire Ecclestone, the CEO and president of F1's governing body, has said that he will continue to cooperate fully with the German prosecutors.
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