FORMULA 1

DOMINATION CONTINUES WHILST FERRARI FUMBLE AGAIN

LCH beats Bottas to pole position for the Monaco Grand Prix with a brilliant last lap.

The British star saw off his team-mate by 0.086 seconds as Mercedes secured a front-row lockout. Red Bull driver Max Verstappen finished third ahead of Ferrari driver Vettel.

“That is what I am talking about!” yelled an emotional Hamilton before leaping out of his Mercedes car and on to the catch fencing in front of the fans at Rascasse.

“This is a race that every driver dreams about,” said Hamilton.

“We have arrived with a great car and it was a great battle with Valtteri. The pole means so much to me. I had to dig deeper than ever.

“The lap was beautiful. I feel amazing and super-grateful. When you take this car to the limit around here it is like wrestling a bull. We are on the limit the whole time.”

Ferrari had another miserable session on Saturday, Charles Leclerc failing to make it out of Q1 CREDIT: AFP

Charles Leclerc was a shock Q1 casualty in Monaco GP qualifying as the Ferrari driver endured a nightmare Saturday ahead of his home race.

Leclerc was left in the pits by Ferrari as other drivers improved in the first part of qualifying, and the disastrous result means he is set to start Sunday’s race from 16th.

“It’s a very difficult one to take,” Leclerc told Sky F1. “I need some explanations.”

The Monegasque, who set the pace in the final practice session in Monte Carlo, was eventually eliminated by team-mate Sebastian Vettel, who was also struggling in Q1 before posting a quick lap in the closing stages.

“I asked whether they were sure [to keep me in the pits], they told me we think we are,” Leclerc, who also nearly missed the weighbridge, added. “I asked again… but there were no real answers.

“We had plenty of time to go out again. The weighbridge was not a problem. We still had the fuel to go again, just had to change tyres. None of this was a problem. I need some explanations.”

FORMULA 2

DE VRIES TAKES BACK TO BACK WINS AT MONACO

There was no nip and tuck about Nyck De Vries’ victory in Monaco: the Dutch dynamo produced a flawless display to claim back-to-back FIA Formula 2 wins. The ART man led Luca Ghiotto from lights-to-flag, whilst Carlin’s Nobuharu Matsushita took third.
Callum Ilott suffered heartbreak after the formation lap: the Briton who was starting from P2 signalled an issue on the grid, which caused an aborted race start. He would later retire from the pits.
MONTE CARLO, MONACO – MAY 24: Luca Ghiotto (ITA, UNI VIRTUOSI), Race winner Nyck De Vries (NLD, ART GRAND PRIX) and Nobuharu Matsushita (JPN, CARLIN) on the podium with the trophy during the Monaco at Monte Carlo on May 24, 2019 in Monte Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Joe Portlock / LAT Images / FIA F2 Championship)
Polesitter De Vries appeared to be in an entirely different race when the lights went out: the Dutchman was unopposed off the line without anyone in P2 and quickly collected a comfortable lead. Ilott’s retirement also left Mick Schumacher with a clear run when the lights went out, but a poor getaway from the German allowed Anthoine Hubert to lunge ahead.
After his disappointing beginning, Schumacher would use the power of his PREMA to good effect and quickly reassumed his position in fourth thanks to a daring move on Hubert. On the option/prime strategy, the German was amongst the first drivers to switch to Soft compounds and would head the cars on the same strategy.
At the front, Ghiotto set the fastest lap in his pursuit of De Vries, but to little effect as the race leader was still able to build a 3s gap to the Italian who also had to check his mirrors as Sérgio Sette Câmara remained close.
De Vries’ race lead looked all the more lucrative given his Championship rival’s woes further back: Nicholas Latifi tried to make a move on Schumacher but made the jump too soon and attempted a tight move on the hairpin which resulted in a battered front wing, having found no room on the inside. This forced the Canadian into the pits and he re-joined in lowly 15th.
Trying to stay ahead of Louis Delétraz who was on the same strategy as him, Schumacher was desperate to overtake Tatiana Calderon (on the prime/option strategy). The German attempted to squeeze between the Colombian and the barrier at La Rascasse, but the room wasn’t there and he caught her tyre and spun the BWT Arden car. Delétraz had nowhere to go and came to a halt behind and the trio blocked the track, bringing out a red flag.

F1Weekly podcast # 790

CLARK IS COMPLETELY LIVID AND CAN’T BELIEVE THAT MCLAREN WOULD BE SO DAMNED INCOMPETENT WHILST NASIR TRIES TO CALM THE HOST WITH A FINE MOTORSPORTS MONDIAL AND A GOODY BAG OF FORMULA 1 HISTORY.

MEANWHILE…SERGIO PEREZ GIVES US HIS MONACO GRAND PRIX PREVIEW,

Sergio: “I love everything about Monaco. It’s so different from any other race weekend and I enjoy every moment. The location is beautiful with all the yachts in the harbour and I feel the same excitement every time I go back there. It’s the race everybody wants to go to and it’s one of those events where the fans can get close to the action. I think anybody who loves Formula One needs to go to Monaco and just experience the atmosphere during race week.

Sergio Perez

“The circuit is my favourite of the year because it’s difficult for the drivers. I’ve always enjoyed driving on street circuits and Monaco is the best of them all. When you go out of the pits on Thursday morning for the first time you can’t believe how narrow the track feels. There really is no room for errors and I think that’s what Formula One needs. If you make a mistake at some circuits, you get away with it, but in Monaco you really pay for it. It’s a different challenge and it tests you more than other circuits.

“The key to Monaco is building your confidence. It’s important to have a smooth lead up to qualifying because you need to feel totally comfortable in the car by the time qualifying begins. There’s always big track evolution so you need to be on track at the right time too. Q1 is always a a lottery because there are so many cars on track and it’s not easy to find space to complete a clean lap. If we can get good track position for Sunday then I think we’ve got a good chance to score points.”

Play Podcast: 05-21-19f1weekly790.mp3

FORMULA 1

NIKI LAUDA DIES AT 70

Three-time world champion Jackie Stewart told BBC Radio Four’s Today programme: “During that accident he died twice and was resuscitated.

“Recovering from that accident, he came to Monza [for the Italian Grand Prix], which I was doing commentary for. He shouldn’t have been there but wanted to get back to racing.

“I will never forget him putting his helmet on and he was suffering so much pain. When he came out from driving at the end I was there and the blood was running down out of his helmet.

“It’s very sad news. I’ve known Niki for a long time and he was just entering grand prix racing when I was retiring. We had a season together. He always had great integrity and was one the smoothest, best drivers I’ve ever seen.”

Team principal Toto Wolff said: “First of all, on behalf of the team and all at Mercedes, I wish to send our deepest condolences to Birgit, Niki’s children, his family and close friends.

“Niki will always remain one of the greatest legends of our sport – he combined heroism, humanity and honesty inside and outside the cockpit.

“His passing leaves a void in Formula 1. We haven’t just lost a hero who staged the most remarkable comeback ever seen, but also a man who brought precious clarity and candour to modern Formula 1. He will be greatly missed as our voice of common sense.

“Our Mercedes team has also lost a guiding light.

“As a team-mate over the past six and a half years, Niki was always brutally honest – and utterly loyal. It was a privilege to count him among our team and moving to witness just how much it meant to him to be part of the team’s success.”

Nico Rosberg, who won the world title in 2016 with Mercedes, tweeted: “Dear Niki. Thank you for everything that you did for me. I learned so much from you.

“Your passion, your fighting spirit, to never give up, you belief that you always meet twice in life, and even your patience with us youngsters.

“Myself and all of your 100 million fans around the world whom you also so strongly inspired to never give up in the hardest of times are thinking of you and your family and wish that you rest in peace.”

EUROFORMULA OPEN

MONGER GRABS HIS FIRST SINGLE-SEATER VICTORY AT PAU

Billy Monger took a remarkable first single-seater win in the 78° Grand Prix de Pau, gambling on wet tyres and overtaking nearly the whole grid on the way to victory.

The Briton, who is a double amputee below the knees after being injured in a racing crash two years ago, qualified 11th on slick tyres but peeled into the pits at the end of the warm-up lap for wets.

He was followed in by several others, but none made the progress Monger did, who was in the lead before the halfway point of the race.

Those last two positions were gained after the leading slick-shod Motopark drivers Julian Hanses and Liam Lawson clashed, a result of Lawson trying to force a move at the tight Turn 13.

That crash also led to safety car, wiping out Monger’s lead advantage, but he handled the restart well and then pulled away to take victory over Carlin team-mate Nicolai Kjaergaard.

Like Monger, Kjaergaard has also pitted for wets early on, and he came under late pressure from Motopark’s Yuki Tsunoda. After his team-mates crashed, Motopark finally called in Tsunoda to pit, and on the fresh rubber he came from the bottom of the top 10 to the top two’s tails in the small number of laps he had available.

Teo Martin Motorsport’s Lukas Dunner also left his change to wet tyres too late, but did fastest lap on the way to fourth.

Christian Hahn was fifth for Carlin, ahead of Marino Sato (Motopark), Teppei Natori (Carlin) and the slick-shod Cameron Das, who did a impressive job for Fortec Motorsports staying out of the barriers despite being on the wrong tyres for a wet track.

Lawson’s retirement meants Sato has closed the gap between the pair in the standings to six points.

Many drivers crashed in the race, with Linus Lundqvist causing a three-car pile-up with two of the Teo Martin cars after misjudging the tightness of a corner. Incredibly the marshals cleared the cars without the need of a safety car intervention.

INDYCAR

PAGENAUD TAKES POLE FERNANDO TAKES FLIGHT BACK TO OVIEDO

INDIANAPOLIS (Sunday, May 19, 2019) – Simon Pagenaud continued on his roll this May, winning the pole position for the upcoming 103rd Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge. Two-time Formula 1 champion Fernando Alonso, however, will be a spectator for the May 26 race after failing to successfully qualify.

In a drama-filled Sunday afternoon that featured separate qualifying sessions to fill opposite ends of the 33-car starting grid, Pagenaud completed a four-lap Fast Nine Shootout qualification run on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway superspeedway at 229.992 mph to earn the NTT P1 Award, the 11th pole position of his 11-year Indy car career and first at the Indy 500.

Meanwhile, Sage Karam, James Hinchcliffe and Kyle Kaiser drove their way into the field with the best qualifying efforts in the Last Row Shootout, with Alonso among those whose runs came up short on speed.

FERNANDO ALONSO (No. 66 McLaren Racing Chevrolet): “Well, I didn’t spend much time with the team yet. I’ve been only in my motorhome and talking with friends or family and following the Fast Nine Shootout. Once you are not anymore in, you try to start relaxing a little bit. It has been a very long qualifying, nearly 56 hours of qualifying from yesterday morning. Yesterday, we were 31st instead of 30th. Today, 34th instead of 33rd by a very small margin, and unfortunately, not fast enough in any or both days.

I’m disappointed now. Obviously, it would be nice to be in the race next Sunday. We came here to race and to challenge ourselves and we were not quick enough. I congratulate all the other guys that did a better job, and hopefully, we’ll see a nice show next Sunday, with everyone safe. I will be enjoying from the TV, unfortunately.”

The Premiere Motorsport Podcast