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Tag: Brendon Hartley

Jules BianchiFormula 1 testing concluded at Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours this afternoon following three trouble-free days for Scuderia Ferrari, MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS and Sahara Force India at the French venue.

Morning running was limited after light overnight rain left track conditions damp for the 9am start, though the teams were able to complete a number of medium-length runs before lunchtime.

And though dark clouds continued to linger above the track no further rain would fall, ensuring the remainder of the session took place on a dry circuit. In fact as running continued into the afternoon there were increasing expanses of blue sky and sunshine above, allowing the teams to up their workloads and add further mileage to that accumulated earlier in the week.

Of chief interest during the final day was Frenchman Jules Bianchi’s bid to complete a clean sweep of the test after topping the timesheets on both Tuesday and Wednesday.

The 23-year-old switched back to Scuderia Ferrari after spending yesterday aboard Sahara Force India’s VJM05 and once again proved unbeatable, recording a 1m16.985 late in the session to ensure his dominance of the test. Bianchi ran a total of 138 laps before quickly departing the circuit en-route to his crucial Formula Renault 3.5 race weekend in Hungary.

Second fastest was GP2 Series competitor Rodolfo Gonzalez who made his first appearance for the Sahara Force India outfit at Magny-Cours, though the Venezuelan could call upon previous Formula 1 testing experience as he acclimatised to his new equipment. The 26-year-old worked through 79 laps in the Mercedes-powered machine with a best effort of 1m18.018.

Completing Thursday’s runners was MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS driver Brendon Hartley with a lap of 1m18.671. It was a significant day for the 22-year-old New Zealand-born driver as he made his first appearance in an official test session for the German manufacturer, though like Gonzalez the Kiwi had prior seat-time in Formula 1 machinery ahead of his 87-lap programme.

Impressively, Thursday’s running was not interrupted by a single stoppage as all three drivers proved highly competent at the controls of Formula 1 equipment.

Jules Bianchi, Scuderia Ferrari: “After these three days of testing I feel ready to race in Formula 1. I grew up a lot and learned a great deal driving with Ferrari and Force India, so it has been a good experience all-round. As it was damp this morning we just ran checks. It was my first time on intermediate tyres, so I was familiarising myself with the track and car in those conditions. Driving in the wet was cool, though obviously there was not a lot of grip out there on the inters. Overall I think this has positive test for me and I feel even more prepared for Formula 1.”

Rodolfo Gonzalez, Sahara Force India: “Today has been a great experience. The conditions were quite difficult to begin with because of the wet start to the day, but it was good to try out the wet and intermediate tyres. The other main task was getting used to the control systems and building my speed and feel for the car. I’m quite happy with my pace today, although I think there was more to come because it was my first time driving at Magny-Cours and my first time in the car. The team did a great job of making me feel welcome and comfortable, and I really hope to get another chance to drive a Formula One car soon.”

Brendon Hartley, MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS: “It was an amazing feeling to be back driving a Formula One car today and I would like to thank the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS team for giving me this opportunity. The track was quite wet this morning so we lost some time but once it had dried out we were able to get on with the test programme, using mainly the hard tyre. It was a successful day for both me and the team, and we completed the programme, despite the weather.”

Day 3: Times/Laps/Distance covered
1. Jules Bianchi (Scuderia Ferrari) – 1m16.985 – 138 laps – 607.2km
2. Rodolfo Gonzalez (Sahara Force India) – 1m18.018 – 79 laps – 347.6km
3. Brendon Hartley (MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS) – 1m18.671 – 87 laps – 382.8km

You can keep up to date with the test by following @MagnyCoursTrack and liking the circuit’s Facebook page.

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British F3 champions Carlin join F3 teams from across the world this week, as the British squad make preparations ahead of the 56th Macau Grand Prix this weekend. Racing with Carlin in the most prestigious and challenging F3 race in the world, will be current British F3 champion Daniel Ricciardo, Max Chilton, Brendon Hartley and Henry Arundel.

The four drivers follow in the footsteps of F1 racers Jaime Alguersuari, Sebastian Vettel, Sebastien Buemi, Robert Kubica and Nico Rosberg who have all competed with Carlin in the Chinese enclave in recent years.

After an eventful race in Macau in 2008, Hartley took a podium finish for Carlin, despite having started from 20th position after an incident in the Qualification race. Chilton also benefits from knowledge of the Guia circuit, having raced here last year. This year’s Macau Grand Prix will be a new experience for reigning British F3 champion Ricciardo and also his first taste of a street circuit, while Arundel also make his Macau debut this year.

2008 third place man Brendon Hartley said, “I’m happy to be back in Macau after a podium last year. We had really good pace then, so I’m expecting that to continue this year. There’s always a bit of luck involved in getting a good result in Macau, its easy to get caught up in other people’s accidents, but then you have to create your own luck as well. I started at the back of the grid last year and finished on the podium but I think if you want to have a chance of winning, you need to qualify well here.”

British racer Max Chilton makes his second visit to Macau after a successful debut last year. “Macau is a fantastic circuit; it’s just so tight there isn’t any room for error. It’s great to come back here already knowing what to expect and knowing the circuit. I’m feeling confident after a strong finish to the British F3 season and I feel as though I’ve developed a lot as a driver since I was here last year. I’m aiming to finish my F3 career on a high with a strong result here this weekend.”

Having had his first look at the Guia circuit, British F3 champion Daniel Ricciardo commented, “The circuit looks incredible. It looks really challenging so I think it will be important to build up to it. Everyone says you need as much track time as possible to get the most out of the circuit and have the confidence to push to the limit. It’s tempting to just go all out and see what I can do, but I’ll have to just take it easy and build up to the ultimate pace. I can tell already that I’m going to love the circuit. ”

Also making his first trip to Macau, Henry Arundel added, “The circuit looks really fun but also a big challenge. We’ve seen in the past that anything can happen here, but I think the important thing will be to improve with every session. It looks like it could be the best circuit I’ve ever driven and certainly the most challenging. I can’t wait for the first session to get underway so I can see what it’s really like.”

The first practice session for the F3 drivers will take place at 10.30 local time on Thursday, followed by first qualifying at 14.00. Second practice and second qualifying will take place on Friday, with the qualification race on Saturday culminating in the 56th Macau Grand Prix on Sunday.

Carlin racer Brendon Hartley took a dominant victory at Brands Hatch today, to take his first win in the F3 Euro Series. Racing at Carlin’s home track, Hartley and team mate Jake Rosenzweig both enjoyed a competitive weekend, with Hartley driving a faultless race around the Brands Hatch Indy circuit to take victory for the British squad.

Having finished eighth in yesterday’s F3 Euro Series race, Hartley lined up on pole for today’s reverse grid race. The Red Bull racer kept his cool at the start with a perfect getaway and kept second placed man Sam Bird a safe distance behind. Team mate Rosenzweig meanwhile continued what was a strong weekend for him and moved up to eighth place from tenth on the grid. An accident on lap 19 brought out the safety car and closed up the field, but Hartley made the perfect restart to pull away from Bird. Rosenzweig meanwhile had been hit from behind which pushed him off track at Druids.

A second safety car period on lap 30 once again bunched up the field, but once again Hartley kept his cool to control the pace from now second placed man Alexander Sims. From then on Hartley did well to control the race to take the chequered flag and his first F3 Euro Series victory.

Speaking about his victory, Hartley said, “I’m so pleased to have won here, it’s been too long since my last really good result. I didn’t need to push; I just had to concentrate on controlling the race. I’m very happy, I’m really pleased for Carlin; they have worked very hard to get this result. I know this was a reverse grid race, but everyone in the top ten of this championship is good enough to win, so I’m happy to get this result.”

Team principal Trevor Carlin added, “Brendon drove an absolutely flawless race from the lights going out to the flag coming down; it was one of the best drives I’ve ever seen at Brands Hatch. He made the best start and coped very well with the pressure of two safety car restarts. The team have worked very hard to get this result and today everything came together for us, so I’d like to thank the whole team for their hard work.”

“I’ve been really impressed with Jake this weekend; he took his best ever qualifying result on Friday, to qualify seventh just ahead of Brendon and made up two places in the race today. Unfortunately he lost out following contact with another car, but we’re still delighted with his performance this weekend.”

The Carlin F3 Euro Series squad will be back on track in Barcelona from 18 – 20 September.

Jake Rosenzweig took his first podium finish in the F3 Euro Series today, following a brilliant weekend for the young American at the Zandvoort Circuit Park in the Netherlands. Following a strong seventh place in race one on Saturday, Rosenzweig lined up second for race two today and drove a stunning race to take third place in only his fourth event in the series. Team mate Brendon Hartley saw his weekend compromised early on by a accident in qualifying, which saw him qualify 20th for race one, but fought back with a 10th place in race one, and eighth in race two despite suffering from a mechanical problem.

Heading on track for qualifying on Friday afternoon, both Carlin drivers had high hopes following promising pace in free qualifying. Any hopes of a strong weekend for Red Bull racer Brendon Hartley were soon dashed however, as the New Zealander clashed with Sam Bird who was warming his tyres, leaving Hartley with severe damage and consequently a 20th placed grid slot. Team mate Rosenzweig was on the pace though, taking by far his best qualifying result of the season in 12th place in his Volkswagen powered Dallara.

At the start of race one on Saturday, both drivers made a good start with Rosenzweig and Hartley moving up to ninth and 16th respectively. A determined Hartley was on the move, quickly passing Matteo Chinosi for 14th place, while Rosenzweig moving up to eighth following a drive through penalty for Roberto Merhi. Despite racing in only his fourth F3 event, Rosenzweig stayed calm under pressure, keeping the experienced Bird behind him and moved up to seventh when Christopher Zanella was penalised for a jump start. Rosenzweig held onto seventh to take home two points, while Hartley confirmed his impressive race pace to finish 10th, having made up 10 places from his starting position.

With the top eight from race one reversed for race two of the weekend, Rosenzweig lined up second for race two today. The young racer coped well with the pressure, making a good start to challenge Bird in the run down to the first corner, although lost out to Henkie Waldschmidt on the first lap. Still running in third place, Rosenzweig was passed by a flying Jules Bianchi, who went on to take his second victory of the weekend.

With Waldschmidt handed a drive through penalty for a jump start, Rosenzweig’s fourth place became third, which the American fought hard to maintain, despite constant pressure from the experienced Christian Vietoris behind. Team mate Hartley meanwhile was suffering with a mechanical problem, but demonstrated great resolve to keep hold of ninth place.

Speaking about his first F3 podium, Rosenzweig said, “I’m so pleased to have taken away two good results and of course to have finished on the podium for the first time in F3. I made a good start today and was running close to Sam [Bird], but had to back off to avoid contact. There was no way I could keep Bianchi behind me; he was just too quick, but I managed to defend from Vietoris who had a look round the outside once but couldn’t pass me. We had really great pace today, so thanks to the team for a good job. It’s a great result for us this weekend; so hopefully we can aim for more podiums in the remainder of the season.”

Team Principal Trevor Carlin added, “Jake has done brilliantly this weekend, he’s taken two solid points finishes and of course his first podium in F3 Euro Series, despite not being very well. He dealt very well with pressure from much more experienced drivers and most importantly his race pace showed than he more than deserved his place on the podium. Congratulations to the engineers as well, who have worked so hard to make improvements since our disappointing pace at the Zandvoort Masters just last month. Brendon’s bad luck seems to have continued in Zandvoort this weekend, but we more than believe he is capable of fighting for wins. Hopefully we can build on our results this weekend and see both drivers regularly finishing among the front runners in the future.”

Oliver Turvey did the double for Carlin Motorsport today, as the team competed in round 18 of the 2008 British F3 International Series. The Racing Steps Foundation driver took the lead at the start as team mate Brendon Hartley struggled away from the line. Turvey went on to control the race and take his fourth victory of the season, as well as a nine point lead in the championship. Team mate Sam Abay suffered massive last lap disappointment, having looked certain to get his first podium of the season until a last lap incident put him out of the race. Jaime Alguersuari came home in sixth place, while Hartley finished ninth.

In a reverse of race one, it was Hartley on pole, with Oliver Turvey lining up second on the grid. As the lights went out, Hartley seemed to struggle to get away, allowing several cars to pass him off the line. Turvey meanwhile was leading the field to the first corner, with Marcus Ericsson closing in behind him in second.

Sam Abay made a lightening start from his sixth placed grid slot and was third by the end of lap one, while Jaime Alguersuari had made up one place in seventh. Having lost out badly at the start, Hartley was 11th as the field completed the first lap. With overtaking difficult around the 2.2 mile track, Hartley had little chance to make up further positions, but managed to pass Max Chilton for tenth place on lap three.

At the front of the field, Turvey had Ericsson just 0.5 seconds behind him, but withstood the pressure brilliantly to hold his position and set the fastest lap of the race on lap eight. Sam Abay was also under pressure, with Nick Tandy close behind challenging for the final podium spot. The 20 year-old Australian kept Tandy at bay, but on the final lap as the two jostled for position, Abay was tagged and spun off.

Just ahead, Turvey crossed the line to take his fourth victory of the season and take a nine point lead in the championship. The 21 year-old also sealed victory in the British F3 Challenge Cup, his point lead sufficient to hand him the title with four races remaining.

New championship leader Turvey said, “It’s been an almost perfect weekend, we have continued the form we had at Spa; we came here with a good car and found a good set up straight away. Carlin and my mechanics have done a great job so I have to thank them. To win both races here makes up for the disappointment of the second race at Spa. Brendon is usually very quick at the start so I’m not sure what happened to him, all I know is that I was into the first corner first and was able to control the race from there. Hopefully we can hold on to the championship lead for the last few races and win the championship in my first year.”

Team Principal Trevor Carlin had mixed feelings about the team’s performance adding, “Obviously Oliver did a fantastic job, he has driven brilliantly all weekend and is the man on form at the moment. It’s a great shame for Sam who drove an awesome race but was tagged by Tandy on the last lap, which took away what would have been his first podium. Brendon was unable to show his potential after a poor start, but I think both he and Jaime will be even more determined to win at Bucharest next weekend.”

Carlin Motorsport will take drivers from both its British F3 team and F3 Euro Series team to the RTL GP Masters of F3 Zolder this weekend. The British based squad, who are the only team to run cars in both the British and European championships, will be represented in Zolder by Red Bull duo Brendon Hartley and Jaime Alguersuari and Euro Series racers Rodolfo Gonzalez and Richard Philippe.

Hartley and Alguersuari have been two of the front runners in this year’s British F3 series, taking six wins between them so far this season. Hartley will be one of the only drivers in the field to have experience of both the British and European championships, having raced at the Nürburgring round of the Euro Series last month. It will also be the young Kiwi’s second visit to the Masters, following a successful debut last year that saw Hartley come home in an impressive fourth place.

Spain’s Jaime Alguersuari makes his debut in the F3 Masters this year, but has experience of the Zolder track from his time in Formula Renault Eurocup. The 18 year-old rookie has been one of the revelations of the 2008 season in Britain, taking a race victory in his first ever F3 event. Alguersuari’s consistent string of results means he currently leads the British F3 Series and is a strong contender for a podium finish at Zolder.

Carlin’s F3 Euro Series drivers will also be heading to Belgium next weekend, but it will be a new experience for both Richard Philippe and Rodolfo Gonzalez, who will make their first visit to both the Masters and the Zolder circuit.

F3 Euro Series driver Rodolfo Gonzalez said, “I’m really looking forward to this weekend, it should be interesting to see how we compare to the British guys. It’s my first time at the Masters, and I’m pleased to be taking part this year. I’ve never been to Zolder before, but I’ve heard that the track is very quick in some parts and technical in others, but I think we have enough time to get to grips with the track in practice. The team already have experience at Zolder so I’m feeling quite confident.”

British F3 racer Brendon Hartley added, “To be honest I’ve got quite high expectations this year, last year I finished fourth, so I’m aiming to improve and be on podium this year. The Masters is normally a real challenge for the British teams, but I think with the knowledge gained through Carlin’s Euro Series team and the way the team is performing in the British Series at the moment, we will be pretty strong.”

Team Principal Trevor Carlin added, “We want to measure ourselves against the best in Europe and the F3 Masters is still the premier European event at this level. For the first time this year, the team will be represented by cars from the British and the European championships. The F3 Masters is an extremely competitive event, which pitches the best drivers and teams against each other, but we are hoping to gain some advantage due to the work and knowledge gained through our F3 Euro Series team. The British squad are on a high after some fantastic results at Spa and by bringing together the knowledge of both the British and European teams, we will be aiming for the podium.”

Carlin Motorsport took a second victory at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium today, as Red Bull racer Brendon Hartley drove a stunning race to take his fourth victory of the season. The F3 rookie stormed to victory having dropped to fifth place at the end of one. Pole sitter and race one winner Oliver Turvey saw a flawless weekend come to an early conclusion when an engine problem left him stranded on the grid. Jaime Alguersuari completed a strong weekend to take fourth place while a first lap incident put Sam Abay into early retirement.

Taking his place in pole position for the second time, Racing Steps Foundation driver Oliver Turvey looked in good shape to repeat his race one victory, but as the lights went out Turvey’s car failed to get away, forcing all the cars behind him to taking avoiding action. From his third place grid slot, Sam Abay just managed to avoid Turvey and found himself immediately in a battle with Marcus Ericsson. Contact between the two at the first corner resulted in a puncture for Abay, who had a long drive back to the pits. Returning to the track with a new tyre, Abay’s race was effectively over, but the young Australian later showed his potential by setting the second quickest lap of the race.

Jaime Alguersuari had made a lightening start from his seventh place grid slot and was up to third by the end of lap one. Meanwhile behind him, having avoided the incident between Abay and Ericsson, Hartley had dropped to fifth place. Hartley was determined to make up the positions however, and had already passed Ericsson by the end of lap two. Next in Hartley’s sights was team mate Alguersuari, who he managed to pass for third place on lap five. Nick Tandy was the next driver ahead, and after a close battle, Hartley found a way through on lap eight.

By lap nine, the battle for the lead was between Hartley and Sergio Perez. As the duo crossed the line at the end of lap 10, the gap was down to 0.9 seconds, and as the cars came across the line to start the final lap, Hartley had closed the gap to just 0.2 seconds. With only half a lap remaining, Hartley stole the lead with a move around the outside into Les Combes to take the victory. Jaime Alguersuari added to his points tally with a fourth place.

Commenting on his fourth race win of the season, Hartley said, “Sam and Marcus had a bit of a coming together into the first corner, and I lost a lot of places trying to avoid that, but then I had the car to be able to push and get the places back. I worked really hard with my engineer after the first race and the car felt great today, I have to say the car was doing all the work for me. I have to thank the team, they’ve worked so hard since the last race at Brands Hatch and the car has been fantastic all weekend. I really enjoyed racing with Sergio, he’s a very fair racer and left me just enough room to make the move. I’m pleased to have put myself back in the running for the title. I think there will be probably be four or five drivers in with a chance of winning, so it’s going to be an exciting end to the season.”

Carlin director Martin Stone added, “This was a great result for Brendon, who raced very well and maturely to claw his way through the field to take a well deserved victory. It was a great pity for Oliver who has driven flawlessly all weekend that his race was ended through no fault of his own. Jaime also had a strong weekend and now leads the championship. Once again, we’ve seen the points standings close up, and the championship is still wide open.

Carlin’s British F3 team will next be in action for rounds 17 and 18 at Silverstone from 15 – 16 September.

CarlinCarlin Motorsport took a 1-2-3 finish at the team’s home race of the season at Thruxton today, in round 12 of the 2008 British F3 Series. Brendon Hartley drove a flawless race to take his second victory of the day, leading home Oliver Turvey in second place and Jaime Alguersuari in third. Sam Abay crossed the line in ninth place. In the National Class Andy Meyrick made his way through the field to take third place, just ahead of team mate Kristjan Einar in fourth.

It was an all Carlin front row as the lights went out, with Hartley on pole ahead of Racing Steps Foundation driver Turvey. Both drivers made a good getaway, with Turvey challenging for the lead into the first corner. Hartley held his ground however to lead the field across the line for the first time. By lap two, the order was Hartley first, Turvey second with Alguersuari third, while Sam Abay had made a great start to move up to ninth from his 11th placed grid slot. In the National Class, Andy Meyrick was flying, having moved up to third place from the back of the grid.

Hartley saw his 1.6 second lead evaporate on lap 15, as the first and only safety car of the weekend came out following an incident involving Atte Mustonen. As racing recommenced on lap 18, Hartley found himself under pressure from second placed man Turvey, while Alguersuari had Sergio Perez challenging for third. As the cars came round to complete lap 19 all three drivers had maintained their positions, which they held to the chequered flag to take Carlin’s fifth 1-2-3 finish in British F3.

Speaking about his second win of the day, Hartley said, “I’m really pleased to have taken two wins this weekend, it means I’m back in contention for the championship. I made a good start and managed to pull out a bit of a gap on Oliver. The restart was quite difficult, it’s so hard to keep people behind you here and stop them getting a slip stream past, so I was really pleased to keep the lead at the restart. The team have done a fantastic job to give us a great car this weekend. I think all the drivers have worked together very well over the last few weeks to develop a really good set up and it paid off today.”

Team principal Trevor Carlin added, “Obviously it’s a dream weekend for the team. It’s a great result for the technical team back at our factory in Chessington who have done a lot of hard work to help get the cars bang on the pace. I was very impressed with the way the top three drivers raced; they gave nothing away but raced fairly. Hopefully we can build on this at the next race at Brands Hatch.”