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Wickens and Rossi 1-2 at Silverstone UPDATE #2
Rossi 3rd to soon to be F1 driver Daniel Ricciardo on Saturday, turned the table and beat him on Sunday, only to lose out after the race on an obscure technical infraction by his Fortec team
Fortec drivers Alexander Rossi and Cesar Ramos have been disqualified from Silverstone's second Formula Renault 3.5 race. In post-race technical checks both cars were found to have non-complying wheel nuts. A Renault-Sport spokesman said that the wheel nuts had been modified to improve the speed of the pitstops. Rossi, one of the stars of the race, had finished runner-up while Brazilian Ramos took the checkered flag in ninth.

"There's a problem with the grooves of the wheel nuts," said Rossi. "They said 'Okay, there are all there, but the thickness is not enough.' How can you remove me for that? The rules say you cannot modify the wheel nuts. We're in the process of appealing. The pitstop was quick, but that's because in the private test at Snetterton last week we did, like, 60 of them, that's why they were a bit worn - they weren't modified. It is not a question of safety but they're saying it's a performance advantage. It's disappointing, but other than that it was a good race. The grooves were not compliant, but the amount of grooves was all there. Obviously there was a reason why they were looking at them because it was quick stop. I know the whole length of the pitstop process was 27 seconds and the next best was 29 seconds, so it was pretty impressive. It is a shame as we had closed to 20 points behind JEV [Jean-Eric Vergne, in second position in the points] and we had a good opportunity to catch him."

ISR teammates Daniel Ricciardo and Nathanael Berthon are promoted to second and third as a result of the decision. Autosport

Robert Wickens takes his 2nd win of the weekend.  Note full grandstands
Diederik van der Laan / Dutch Photo Agency
How important is this series for a young driver who has F1 aspirations?  120,000 showed up over two days at Silverstone to watch the two World Series by Renault cars and drivers.  How fast are these cars?  About 6 seconds per lap slower than GP2 cars, but the new car next year will be much faster.  Not that it really matters.  What matters is that they perform at a very high level and you race against some of the best young drivers trying to make it to F1.  Rossi is only 19, has three less years experience than Wickens and Ricciardo, yet sometimes beats them both, so his future looks bright.  The ideal scenario will be for Rossi to make his F1 debut next November at the USA Grand Prix in Austin for Ferrari.  Recall that America's last world champion, Mario Andretti made his debut at the USGP at Watkins Glen for Lotus and put the car on pole. With next year's USGP slated to be very late in the season, Ferrari will be looking to push Massa, whose contract is up at the end of 2012, out early to give his replacement a look.

A happy Robert Wickens
08/21/11 As we told you two days ago, the next two North American drivers that will be in F1 will be 22-year old Robert Wickens of Canada and 19-year old Alexander Rossi of the USA.  Sunday Wickens completed a sweep of the Silverstone World Series by Renault weekend by winning pole and the race on Saturday and then repeating the feat on Sunday. 

Rossi, a rookie, was third on Saturday and then on Sunday finished just 2 seconds behind Wickens after starting 6th.  Racing for the lowly Fortec team Rossi beat Daniel Ricciardo easily.  Ricciardo finished third over 12 seconds behind Rossi after starting in front of him.  Ricciardo is highly regarded in F1 circles and will be in F1 next year for certain.

Which means if Wickens and Rossi have the measure of Ricciardo, they will soon join Sergio Perez (Mexico) and maybe the highly regarded Esteban Guerreri (GP2 from Mexico) in F1, giving North America four drivers in F1 in about a year from now.

Robert Wickens: “The day got off to a strange start. I spent more than an hour in the traffic on the way to the circuit, so I missed ten minutes of the qualifying session. It’s been a perfect weekend, and we capped it off by winning the Teams title. I now have a good lead, but I still need to win races. I’m confident ahead of Paul Ricard HTTT, as everything went well for us on the circuit in collective testing over the winter.”

Alexander Rossi “The start of the race was average. I was defending position from Korjus and was much quicker than Berthon on the opening couple of laps, but in the middle of cars only a few tenths apart you just have to sit tight and make some clear air. The team called me in early and did an unbelievable pit stop; it made such a difference. When I came out in front of Daniel I knew that we were in a good position and I was almost able to get Robert as well. We have had a near perfect weekend in terms of results and it’s all looking good going in to the next round.”

Daniel Ricciardo: “It’s a good all-round result for the team this weekend. We suffered a bit more out there today. I was up with the pace of the Carlin drivers at the start, but I felt the car’s performance drop little by little. He had a good pitstop which allowed us to finish on the podium, but it was a defensive race for us. We’ve won a lot of points and we’re moving forward, but now we have to win.”



Number Driver Team Laps Time Gap First
1 6 Robert WICKENS CARLIN 25 45:55.935 -
2 7 Alexander ROSSI FORTEC MOTORSPORTS 25 45:57.969 +2.034
3 3 Daniel RICCIARDO ISR 25 46:10.511 +14.576
4 4 Nathanael BERTHON ISR 25 46:11.768 +15.833
5 5 Jean Eric VERGNE CARLIN 25 46:12.145 +16.210
6 12 Albert COSTA EPIC RACING 25 46:12.950 +17.015
7 20 Jake ROSENZWEIG MOFAZ RACING 25 46:14.335 +18.400
8 28 Brendon HARTLEY GRAVITY - CHAROUZ 25 46:15.089 +19.154
9 8 Cesar RAMOS FORTEC MOTORSPORTS 25 46:15.637 +19.702
10 1 Kevin KORJUS TECH 1 RACING 25 46:18.862 +22.927
11 27 Jan CHAROUZ GRAVITY - CHAROUZ 25 46:19.653 +23.718
12 11 Sten PENTUS EPIC RACING 25 46:21.436 +25.501
13 23 Walter GRUBMULLER P1 MOTORSPORT 25 46:26.704 +30.769
14 17 Oliver WEBB PONS RACING 25 46:27.036 +31.101
15 25 Daniel ZAMPIERI BVM TARGET 25 46:37.757 +41.822
16 18 Nick YELLOLY PONS RACING 25 46:38.040 +42.105
17 21 Anton NEBYLITSKIY KMP RACING 25 46:46.788 +50.853
18 16 Andre NEGRAO INTERNATIONAL DRACO RACING 25 46:47.265 +51.330
19 22 Nelson PANCIATICI KMP RACING 25 46:48.200 +52.265
20 19 Fairuz FAUZY MOFAZ RACING 25 46:51.351 +55.416
21 26 Sergio CANAMASAS BVM TARGET 25 46:51.905 +55.970
22 15 Stephane RICHELMI INTERNATIONAL DRACO RACING 25 46:56.162 +1:00.227
23 2 Arthur PIC TECH 1 RACING 25 47:22.669 +1:26.734
24 DNF 24 Daniil MOVE P1 MOTORSPORT 21 47:08.934 -
25 DNF 10 Daniel DE JONG COMTEC RACING 10 19:31.031 -
26 DNF 9 Daniel MCKENZIE COMTEC RACING 1 2:31.395 -

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