Williams rookie Valtteri Bottas had the chance to drive on most F1 circuits before racing on them this year. But this weekend’s race in Singapore will be one of few exceptions.
“I’ve never driven at Singapore in a lower category and it was one of the tracks that I didn’t drive in Friday practice last year for Williams,” said Bottas ahead of this weekend’s race.
However he believe he will be able to get to grips with the track quickly: “I will be doing a lot of simulator work ahead of the Grand Prix to get used to the layout because it has a lot of corners that come in quick succession.”
“I’m normally quite fast at learning new tracks though and showed in Montreal this year that I can quickly get up to speed.”
Team mate Pastor Maldonado starred at this race last year, qualifying second on the grid and running third until he suffered a hydraulic failure.
His chances of repeating his front row start this year are slim as the Williams FW35 is firmly at the rear of the midfield. But he believes he knows all the tricks to a quick lap around Singapore:
“I had a very strong qualifying here last year, finishing in second place,” he said, “so I feel like this layout suits my eye and I know how to squeeze every tenth out of the lap time.”
Three weeks after announcing his retirement from motorsport, Johnny Cecotto Jr. will return to racing this weekend at the GP2 round in Sochi, Russia.
Cecotto said on Twitter that “today my career ends” on September 17, announcing that he had lost his backing provided by the government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.
However, the GP2 veteran will return to racing this weekend with Trident, having last raced for the Italian team at Monza one month ago. He will partner Ferrari junior driver Raffaele Marciello once again.
Cecotto’s return is just one of a number of driver/team stories heading into the GP2 race weekend at Sochi:
- American driver Alexander Rossi returns to GP2 with Racing Engineering this weekend following his two-race stint in F1 with Manor. He will also take part in grands prix in the USA, Mexico and Brazil before returning to GP2 once again in Abu Dhabi.
- Julian Leal has announced his retirement from GP2, and is replaced by debutant Dean Stoneman at Carlin. Stoneman won at Sochi in GP3 last year en route to second place in the championship.S
- Sean Gelael will race for Carlin once again, having missed the round at Monza due to a Formula Renault 3.5 clash.
- Nicholas Latifi returns to GP2 this weekend with MP Motorsport, racing alongside Rene Binder.
- Nathanael Berthon also returns, racing for Team Lazarus.
- Hilmer Motorsport will miss the round in Sochi altogether, reducing the grid down to 24 cars.
The FIA Formula E Championship will add Hong Kong to its calendar for its third season, 2016-2017.
The race will take place on October 9, 2016 – exactly one year from now – around the city’s Central district. The 2km circuit will run between Lung Wo Road and the Star Ferry, with cars reaching speeds of up to 225kph (140mph).
The launch event today featured the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, the Honourable CY Leung; Mr. Gregory So, Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development; Mr. Alejandro Agag, CEO, Formula E Holdings; Mr. Lawrence Yu Kam-Kee, President of the Hong Kong Automobile Association; and reigining FE champion Nelson Piquet Jr.
“The Hong Kong ePrix will be one of the highlights on the FIA Formula E Championship calendar,” Agag said in a release. “As one of the most innovative, cutting-edge and fun-loving cities in the world, Hong Kong and Formula E share many of the same qualities. We look forward to bringing all the fun and entertainment of Formula E to this amazing city, and international motorsport back to Hong Kong.”
The track map is linked below.