Mercedes make biggest gains since 2012, Williams lose most

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Having been the fifth-quickest team on average last year Mercedes have leaped to the front of the field on pure performance in 2013.

An analysis of the fastest lap times set by all the teams at every track on the calendar so far this year shows Mercedes set the quickest time at eight out of ten races. More often than not they delivered on that potential, setting seven pole positions so far.

On average Mercedes were just 0.05% off the quickest lap time set at every race so far this year. Red Bull are next quickest, 0.3% off, and there’s little to choose between Lotus and Ferrari who have both been 0.66% off the pace on average.

McLaren, who were the quickest team over a single lap on average last year, have slumped to sixth-quickest in terms of pure speed, even falling behind Force India.

But Williams have lost even more performance since last year. They have been almost 2.5% slower over a lap than the pace setters, gaining 1.5% since last year.

The table below shows how far away each team has been from the fastest lap time set at each race weekend this year, as a percentage, and how that has changed since last year:

Team 2013* 2012 Difference
Mercedes 0.05 0.87 -0.82
Red Bull 0.337 0.38 -0.043
Lotus 0.656 0.68 -0.024
Ferrari 0.657 0.75 -0.093
Force India 1.37 1.16 +0.21
McLaren 1.487 0.18 +1.307
Toro Rosso 1.608 1.82 -0.212
Sauber 2.014 1.15 +0.864
Williams 2.467 0.96 +1.507
Caterham 4.25 3.49 +0.76
Marussia 4.322 4.83 -0.508

*First ten races

See the full breakdown of how close to the pace each team has been at each track

MRTI: Telitz gets creative to help racing career

Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography
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To say that Belardi Auto Racing’s Aaron Telitz has endured a difficult start to the 2018 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires season would be an understatement. The Wisconsin native only completed four corners through the first three races – Races 1 and 2 at St. Petersburg, and Race 1 at Barber Motorsports Park – with St. Pete being especially problematic.

He took the pole for Race 1, but a crash during qualifying for Race 2 prevented him from actually starting. What’s more, the damage was so severe that the Belardi team needed a brand new chassis, with Telitz’s Dallara IL-15 damaged beyond repair.

They also had to borrow a car from Carlin for Race 2, but Telitz’s race ended after he got tangled up with Victor Franzoni in Turn 2 on Lap 1.

With the damage bill well into the six figures as a result, Telitz has taken to some unique, or rather, creative ways to raise money in the aftermath to help cover the costs. “Creative,” in this case, meaning Telitz is using his art skills.

An artist in his spare time, Telitz has begun selling his own original paintings to help raise money.

 “I’ve been to a lot of art shows and I see stuff and I go, ‘Holy cow, someone’s going to pay a thousand dollars for that thing?’” Telitz quipped in a story posted on the Milwaukee Journal.

In discussing his artistic abilities, Telitz added, “I’m working at getting better. I’d like to be able to paint some animals, those types of things. I got a request from Alexander Rossi to see if I could paint his dog. Unfortunately I can’t do that yet.”

Further, in a partnership with The Styled Garage, Telitz is selling his own merchandise, and accepting donations, to help his cause.

Telitz finished fourth in Race 2 at Barber on Sunday, and sits seventh in the Indy Lights championship, 59 points behind leader Pato O’Ward.

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