Hawksworth: A “roller coaster ride” to get to IndyCar seat

Leave a comment

IndyCar’s newest 2014 rookie, Jack Hawksworth, has taken a moment to reflect on the last few months that has seen him move from unheralded prospect to a full-time race seat with Bryan Herta Autosport this year.

The 23-year-old Englishman from Bradford wrote a few words on his website, chronicling the run from the end of the Indy Lights season with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports to his first few IndyCar tests.

“Well what a rollercoaster ride this winter has been!” he wrote. “I have to say if you had asked me a month ago would I be racing in Indycar this season, I don’t think I would have bet a penny on it.

“A combination of a good test, a little momentum and a lot of hard work has landed me with a dream opportunity and I couldn’t be more anymore delighted.”

Hawksworth won a trio of Lights races, all on street courses, at St. Petersburg, Toronto and Baltimore. But while he won those three, he finished behind his two SPM teammates Sage Karam and Gabby Chaves in the points standings.

He then tested with Dale Coyne Racing in December and BHA in February prior to being named the BHA driver on Wednesday.

“Despite winning three races last season it was an extremely difficult year for a number of a reasons,” he admitted. “To have been rewarded for our persistence and strength in the face of adversity is fantastic and also a touch surprising!”

Hawksworth will have one more opportunity to test, at the series’ official preseason test at Barber Motorsports Park March 17-18.

Leclerc: No. 16 was third-choice for Formula 1 career

Getty Images
Leave a comment

2018 Formula 1 rookie Charles Leclerc has revealed No. 16 was his third-choice number to use through his grand prix career, with his preferred options having already been taken.

From 2014, drivers were given the chance to pick a number to use through their F1 careers instead of being assigned one depending on their team’s championship position.

Formula 2 champion and Ferrari junior Leclerc was announced in an Alfa Romeo Sauber race seat for 2018 earlier this month, picking No. 16 as his permanent number.

However, the Monegasque racer revealed last week that it was in fact his third choice, with both No. 7 and No. 10 already being taken by Kimi Raikkonen and Pierre Gasly respectively.

“It’s quite simple to be honest: I wanted number 7 first, but Kimi had it,” Leclerc said, as quoted by Crash.net.

“Then I chose 10, but Pierre came to F1 and chose number 10, so then I chose number 16.

“It’s just my date of birth and I could not find anything better. And 1 + 6 = 7, which is my favorite number.”

Leclerc will become the first driver hailing from Monaco to race in F1 since Olivier Beretta, who made nine grand prix starts in 1994 for Larrousse.