Mideast Bahrain Formula One

Cumulative Bahrain test stats breakdown and recap

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There was a bit more to draw from the four-day Bahrain test than the four-day Jerez test earlier this winter. For one, you had all 11 teams in Bahrain, and this test would ideally provide an opportunity for teams to sort out the initial niggles and move onto further race simulations and pit stop practice.

Some teams got there, and others did not. Let’s get to the numbers:

For the week, Mercedes-powered teams racked up nearly double the mileage of their two engine competitors. Combined, 2,322 laps were completed over four days:

  • Mercedes: 1,147 (238 Wednesday, 306 Thursday, 342 Friday, 261 Saturday)
  • Renault: 619 (95 Wednesday, 201 Thursday, 209 Friday, 114 Saturday)
  • Ferrari: 556 (149 Wednesday, 169 Thursday, 144 Friday, 94 Saturday)

However, a further look inside those numbers reveals Ferrari isn’t as behind as you’d think. While Mercedes runners swept the top five in times, Ferrari was best of the rest, and both Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen completed over 100 laps each. They were the only non-Mercedes team to have achieved that mark, as both Mercedes’ and McLaren’s pairs of drivers also hit the mark.

Ferrari’s cumulative numbers were also dragged down by the fact it only has three teams, compared to four for Renault and Mercedes. And one of the three for Ferrari, Marussia, completed only 29 laps in what was a seriously testing week for the Anglo-Russian team.

Here’s the team lap breakdown:

  • Williams-Mercedes: 323 (Valtteri Bottas 171, Felipe Nasr 87, Felipe Massa 65)
  • Mercedes: 315 (Nico Rosberg 174, Lewis Hamilton 141)
  • McLaren-Mercedes: 296 (Jenson Button 169, Kevin Magnussen 127)
  • Ferrari: 287 (Fernando Alonso 161, Kimi Raikkonen 126)
  • Caterham-Renault: 253 (Marcus Ericsson 102, Kamui Kobayashi 83, Robin Frijns 68)
  • Sauber-Ferrari: 240 (Esteban Gutierrez 151, Adrian Sutil 89)
  • Force India-Mercedes: 213 (Nico Hulkenberg 137, Sergio Perez 76)
  • Toro Rosso-Renault: 139 (Jean-Eric Vergne 77, Daniil Kvyat 62)
  • Red Bull-Renault: 116 (Sebastian Vettel 73, Daniel Ricciardo 43)
  • Lotus-Renault: 111 (Pastor Maldonado 85, Romain Grosjean 26)
  • Marussia-Ferrari: 29 (Max Chilton 21, Jules Bianchi 8 )

Williams led the overall combined lap chart, although those numbers are a bit skewed with Valtteri Bottas’ 55 laps on Friday counting only as in-and-out laps for pit stops, with no official time registered.

Still, the Finn’s 116 laps on Thursday were the most by any driver on one day over the course of the week, and coupled with third driver Felipe Nasr’s 87 laps Saturday, it turned into quite a successful test for Williams despite the fuel system issue that halted their Wednesday.

At Red Bull, the situation is in fact, bad. Lotus nearly outran the four-time defending champions in terms of total laps, and that’s after missing most of Wednesday and missing the Jerez test entirely. It seems that during this week’s test, more mechanical issues have halted Red Bull’s progress, and they’ll have a major thrash between now and Thursday in Bahrain.

When you shift to lap times, again, they don’t mean too much. But ordinarily you wouldn’t be seeing Sebastian Vettel, Adrian Sutil and Romain Grosjean as low as they are. They were among those with the lowest lap counts for drivers, and additionally ran earlier in the week, when less rubber had been laid down and times were at their slowest.

The combined times breakdown is below:

Combined times, total laps, best session:

1. Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, 1m 33.283s, 174 Laps, Session 4
2. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 1m 34.263s, 141, Session 3
3. Kevin Magnussen, McLaren-Mercedes, 1m 34.910s, 127, Session 2
4. Jenson Button, McLaren-Mercedes, 1m 34.957s, 169, Session 4
5. Nico Hulkenberg, Force India-Mercedes, 1m 36.455s, 137, Session 2
6. Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, 1m 36.516s, 161, Session 2
7. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 1m 36.718s, 126, Session 4
8. Felipe Massa, Williams-Mercedes, 1m 37.066s, 65, Session 3
9. Esteban Gutierrez, Sauber-Ferrari, 1m 37.180s, 151, Session 3
10. Valtteri Bottas, Williams-Mercedes, 1m 37.328s, 171, Session 2
11. Sergio Perez, Force India-Mercedes, 1m 37.367s, 76, Session 3
12. Felipe Nasr, Williams-Mercedes, 1m 37.569s, 87, Session 4
13. Pastor Maldonado, Lotus-Renault, 1m 38.707s, 85, Session 4
14. Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso-Renault, 1m 38.974s, 62, Session 3
15. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull-Renault, 1m 39.837s, 43, Session 4
16. Kamui Kobayashi, Caterham-Renault, 1m 39.855s, 83, Session 2
17. Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull-Renault, 1m 40.224, 73, Session 1
18. Adrian Sutil, Sauber-Ferrari, 1m 40.443s, 89, Session 1
19. Jean-Eric Vergne, Toro Rosso-Renault, 1m 40.472s, 77, Session 4
20. Romain Grosjean, Lotus-Renault, 1m 41.670s, 26, Session 2
21. Marcus Ericsson, Caterham-Renault, 1m 42.511s, 102, Session 2
22. Max Chilton, Marussia-Ferrari, 1m 42.511s, 21, Session 2
23. Robin Frijns, Caterham-Renault, 1m 42.534s, 68, Session 1
24. Jules Bianchi, Marussia-Ferrari, no time, 8, Session 4

Additionally, here’s a look at how many laps each driver did per day with their best time. All are 1 minute ahead of the number (i.e 1:33.283, 1:36.965, etc.):

TIMES (BY LAPS)
Driver  Saturday        Friday          Thursday        Wednesday       Laps
ROS	33.283	(85)			36.965	(89)			174
BOT			NT (55)	        37.328	(116)			171
BUT	34.957	(66)	34.976	(103)					169
ALO					36.516	(97)	37.879	(64)	161
GUT			37.180	(96)	40.717	(55)			151
HAM			34.263	(67)			37.908	(74)	141
HUL					36.455	(59)	36.880	(78)	137
MAG					34.910	(46)	38.295	(81)	127
RAI	36.718	(82)	37.476	(44)					126
ERI	45.094	(4)	42.130	(98)					102
SUT	NT (7)						40.443	(82)	89
NAS	37.569	(87)							87
MAL	38.707	(59)	39.642	(26)					85
KOB	43.027	(17)			39.855	(66)			83
VER	40.472	(19)			40.609	(58)			77
PER	39.258	(19)	37.367	(57)					76
VET					40.340	(59)	40.224	(14)	73
FRI							42.534	(68)	68
MAS			37.066	(60)			NT (5)		65
KVY			38.974	(57)	44.346	(5)			62
RIC	39.837	(15)	40.781	(43)					43
GRO					41.670 (18)	44.832	(8)	26
CHI			46.672 (4)	42.511	(17)			21
BIA	NT (5)						NT (3)		8

In case you missed anything from the week in Bahrain, here’s a link to all Bahrain test-related posts on MotorSportsTalk:

John Force Racing will ‘Advance’ with new sponsorship for Courtney Force

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Photos provided by John Force Racing
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BROWNSBURG, Indiana — John Force likes to use the word “advance” in discussing the long-term future of his four-car race team.

Friday morning, Force literally put “advance” into action, as he announced daughter Courtney Force’s Funny Car will be sponsored during the 2017 24-race NHRA schedule by Advance Auto Parts stores, beginning with the season-opening Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, California. The deal is for multiple seasons.

“This is all about building John Force Racing for the future,” Force told MotorSportsTalk. “We had a great run with Traxxas, they’ll be staying in the sport, which is great. And now we’re partnering with Advance Auto Parts, which we’re very excited about.”

Advance Auto Parts replaces Traxxas, which produces radio-controlled race cars, and which had sponsored Courtney Force for the past five seasons. Traxxas will remain involved in the sport as sponsor of the Traxxas Shootout, a special race-within-a-race for both Funny Cars and Top Fuel dragsters contested during the annual U.S. Nationals in Brownsburg.

Advance Auto Parts, which has nearly 5,400 retail stores across the country, is no stranger to John Force Racing. The auto parts supplier sponsored John Force’s PEAK Chevrolet Camaro at several events during the 2016 season, including a victory in the NHRA Carolina Nationals, which kicked off the six-race NHRA Countdown to the Championship playoffs.

“The opportunity came to grow the deal and they were interested in Courtney so it was a perfect match,” John Force said. “I have done shows with Advance Auto Parts in the past and am looking forward to working with them again.”

Both John and Courtney Force will be featured in several upcoming advertising and marketing campaigns for the company.

 

Follow @JerryBonkowski

Gustav Malja joins Racing Engineering for 2017 GP2 season

2016 GP2 Series Test 3
Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Wednesday 30 November 2016.
Gustav Malja (SWE, Racing Engineering) 
Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.
ref: Digital Image _SLB2993_1
© GP2 Series
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Racing Engineering has announced the signing of Gustav Malja for the 2017 GP2 Series season following the Swede’s rookie campaign.

Malja, 21, made his GP2 debut in 2015 before embarking on his first full campaign in the Formula 1 support series with Rapax.

Malja scored points in the opening round of the year in Spain, finishing ninth, before highlighting his season with a run of top-10 finishes from Hockenheim to Sepang.

The run saw Malja finish second in the Spa sprint race and third at Monza in the feature event, enough to give him 13th in the final standings.

Malja will now move up to Racing Engineering for 2017, the team having worked with Norman Nato and Jordan King for the past season.

“I’m excited to join Racing Engineering for the 2017 GP2 season. We began getting to know each other in Abu Dhabi last week, and I immediately felt very much at home,” Malja said.

“It’s a team with a long and successful history in GP2, and I’m convinced it’s the ideal place for my continued development as a driver.

“I’m also very pleased to have everything in place at such an early stage. It will ease preparations this winter and give us all some peace of mind.”

Malja is the fourth driver to confirm his entry to GP2 for 2017, joining Sergio Sette Camara (MP Motorsport), Charles Leclerc and Antonio Fuoco (both Prema Racing) on the grid.

Repsol extends MotoGP title sponsorship with Honda Racing Corporation

VALENCIA, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 11:  Marc Marquez of Spain and Repsol Honda Team rounds the bend during the MotoGP of Valencia - Free Practice at Ricardo Tormo Circuit on November 11, 2016 in Valencia, Spain.  (Photo by Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images)
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Spanish energy company Repsol has extended its title sponsorship agreement with Honda Racing Corporation (HRC) in MotoGP, the premier class of motorcycle racing.

Repsol and Honda have worked together since 1995, with the extended contract now set to run to the end of the 2018 season.

Repsol and Honda have won 12 rider world championships during their time together, the latest coming in 2016 courtesy of Marc Marquez.

“We are very proud to be part of this team and to renew an alliance that has borne so much fruit in the fields of sports and technology,” Repsol’s Begona Elices said.

“We have two exceptional riders in Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa, who perfectly represent Repsol’s values such as teamwork and the spirit of improvement.

“High competition is the best incentive to improve as a global company, to research and develop state-of-the-art fuels and lubricants, and to achieve the goals we set for ourselves.”

Both Marquez and Pedrosa are contracted to race for Repsol Honda to the end of the 2018 season, matching the length of the sponsorship agreement.

They’re back for more: ‘Dinner with Racers’ 2 kicks off today

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Photo courtesy Dinner with Racers
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The second season of “Dinner with Racers,” presented by Continental Tire, drops its first batch of episodes today.

The 28-episode season follows the first 28 episodes released last year. This year, podcast hosts and sports car veterans Sean Heckman and Ryan Eversley saddled up in a Honda Odyssey minivan for the cross-country tour, while riding on Continental Tires.

There’s some great guests and details. Here’s the full breakdown, plus a video, below:

One year after the successful debut of the motorsport podcast series “Dinner with Racers,” the antics of Ryan Eversley and Sean Heckman have returned for the binge release of “Season Two,” launching today. Following their 2015 debut that featured a month-long road trip recording 26 conversations “over dinner” with some of the most interesting characters in motorsports, the duo will launch another 28 recordings for their 2016 adventure. The second season will be released in two waves, with “Release One” launching the first 14 recordings immediately, and “Release Two” featuring an additional 14 recordings slated to release on December 16. All episodes can be found at www.dinnerwithracers.com or via iTunes.

Traveling for 40 days across 29 states, and covering 12,000 miles in 2016, the trip was made possible in part by the Honda Odyssey that was lent to the team by American Honda Motor Co., Inc, and most importantly thanks to a continuing title partnership with Continental Tire, who not only provided Cross Contact LX20 tires for the trip but covered the team’s expenses, as well as every meal.

Continuing the same theme from the debut season, #DWR2 follows a nearly identical format. A factory racing driver for Acura in the World Challenge series, Ryan Eversley makes up half of the hosting lineup, with motorsport marketing / creative content veteran Sean Heckman completing the duo. Using their unique blend of humor, insight, experience, as well as genuine love of the sport, Eversley and Heckman pick up right where they left off in Season One, exposing some of the most unique and entertaining stories from their variety of guests.

Meeting up with 28 different characters “over dinner,” listeners will exposed to a variety of personalities, everything from NASCAR and IndyCar star drivers, to some of the most respected engineers and mechanics, journalists, and broadcasters in the business. Stories cover everything from what it was like to be the first woman to qualify for the Indianapolis 500 and then Daytona 500, to giving up a contract worth over $2mil just to be a “good guy,” to turning a satiric twitter account in to a full-time job, as well as enjoying life after nearly three decades in prison. Topics include everything from a transgender pig, to being given dead cat whiskers as a good luck charm, to having guns pulled in the middle of a race shop, and even buying a race track in the hopes of laundering money through it.

For Ryan Eversley, a chance to continue the series was a welcome one.

“I know it’s a cliché, but It truly is such an honor and a privilege to be able to do this,” stated Eversley. “Both Sean and I were truly blown away by the fan support from Season One, it’s honestly something we weren’t expecting. It really meant a lot to get so many nice comments, and that kept us very motivated for Season Two. I think our genuine love of the sport translates when people listen, because we really enjoy hearing the real back stories in what makes everyone so unique. This season did not disappoint us at all. This show lives and dies by its guests, and we couldn’t have been luckier to have such a great group who were not only engaging and interesting, but also incredibly gracious with their time. It’s an absolute blast doing this, and we really appreciate Continental for continuing their support, as well as Honda for giving us an incredibly comfortable car for such a long trip.”

For Sean Heckman, a similar sentiment is shared.

“What he said,” stated Heckman.

Additionally, the series will continue to support less exposed musical acts, with each episode promoting a variety of musicians and bands at the close of every episode.

THE FULL GUEST LIST

RELEASE ONE (available now):
Johnny O’Connell
John Eversley
Calvin Fish
Joey Hand
Janet Guthrie
Brad Kettler
Mike Shank
Marc Miller
Landon Cassill
Dan Binks
Kenny Wallace
Kevin “Rocket” Blanch
Mike Hull
Ed Carpenter

RELEASE TWO (coming soon):
NASCARCASM
Matt Hardigree
Justin Marks
Marty Smith
Max Jones
David Hobbs
Hurley Haywood
Don Whittington
Randy Lanier
Eddie Gossage
PD Cunningham
Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. (with Kyle Larson and Ryan Blaney)
Brendan Gaughan
Alex Gurney