F1 Grand Prix of Bahrain - Race

Red Bull interested in Pirelli tire test

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Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner has confirmed that he is interested in holding a tire test with Pirelli using the team’s 2011 car in order to keep within the regulations.

When news of Mercedes’ own tire test following the Spanish Grand Prix broke, Horner was among the first to condemn their actions and push for a penalty from the FIA. The sport’s governing body eventually banned Mercedes from the upcoming Young Drivers’ Test for infringing the rules by using their 2013 car, unlike Ferrari who used their 2011 car and remained within the regulations. Now, Red Bull are keen on having a similar test.

When asked whether he would be interested in such a test, Horner told Press Association: “We will see. It is something we have to discuss with Pirelli.

“Whatever happens it has to be done transparently. We don’t want people sneaking off behind closed doors and wearing nondescript helmets.”

The major sticking point with Mercedes’ test was that they did not alert any of the other teams nor the FIA about their running. Horner has made it clear that if Red Bull were to undertake any running, the other teams and the FIA would be made aware of the test and the 2011 RB7 car would be used in order to keep within the regulations.

Dean Stoneman set for GP2 debut this weekend in Sochi with Carlin

Young Driver F1 Testing
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Talented young British driver Dean Stoneman will make his GP2 Series debut this weekend at Sochi, driving alongside Sean Gelael at the Carlin team.

Stoneman is a GP3 and Formula Renault 3.5 Series veteran. He starred at Sochi last year with a win and a podium in the second race.

“I’m excited; this will be a new challenge for me to get into a GP2 car,” Stoneman said, via the official GP2 website. “I’m not going to know what to expect really until I get out there and get a feel of the car.  It’s going to be a great experience though and I’m going out to do a good job.

“It’s nice to go back to a track I have good memories of; last year in GP3 was a great weekend for me, winning from pole in the first race and then second in the second race so I’m looking forward to going there again.”

IndyCar 2015 Driver Review: Juan Pablo Montoya

Juan Pablo Montoya
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MotorSportsTalk looks through the Verizon IndyCar Series field, driver-by-driver, after the conclusion of the 2015 season.

Next up is the runner-up, Juan Pablo Montoya.

Juan Pablo Montoya, No. 2 Team Penske Chevrolet

  • 2014: 4th Place, 1 Win, 1 Pole, 4 Podiums, 8 Top-5, 9 Top-10, 167 Laps Led, 10.7 Avg. Start, 9.7 Avg. Finish
  • 2015: 2nd Place, 2 Wins, 0 Poles (started first twice via qualifying rainouts), 5 Podiums, 9 Top-5, 13 Top-10, 145 Laps Led, 6.4 Avg. Start, 6.9 Avg. Finish

It probably could have been Juan Pablo Montoya’s championship, and should have been if simply one more race result at any point over 16 races would have come good. Montoya’s frequently uttered line of “is it what it is,” while cliché, is probably a good way of describing his 2015 season.

What can you say of Montoya’s excellent car control and strategic defense in the opening six races of the year? It is what it is. Anyone who’s followed Montoya’s career since his arrival in CART as a then-23-year-old fresh-faced rookie in 1999 will know watching his on-boards is simply a joy to behold. His comeback, then defense against Will Power at this year’s Indianapolis 500 is going to be something you remember for a long time.

His qualifying this year? It is what it is, which is to say much better than it was in 2014. Montoya improved from a 10.6 average grid position to 6.4 this year, and that made the job so much easier on Sundays.

His consistent, if less than impressive string of results post-the Indianapolis 500? It is what it is. Six straight results between fourth and 10th from Detroit through Milwaukee were never dynamic drives, but always good enough to bank his points lead and get it north of 40 points.

His luck going bad in the final four races? It is what it is. Every one of the title contenders had some sort of rut during the season and Montoya’s came at the worst possible time, with a suspension failure at Iowa, getting caught out on a yellow at Mid-Ohio, and then his infamous coming-together with Will Power at Sonoma all coming when he had little to no chance of recovering.

His attitude at Sonoma and then the night after at the championship banquet? It is what it is. JPM’s infamous “Dixon had a (expletive) season” line in the Sonoma press conference came off poorly, but he course corrected rather nicely with his comments during the championship celebration Monday night.

Was it good to see Montoya back in title-contending form? Yes, it certainly was. Overall, I’m fairly certain he doesn’t care what we think of him, because is it what it is.