Marussia will be celebrating at Silverstone tonight after the Anglo-Russian team secured its best ever qualifying result in Formula 1 ahead of tomorrow’s British Grand Prix.
Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton both made the most of the tricky conditions to get into Q2 with relative ease, and the minnow team saw its drivers even move into first place on the timesheets at points.
Come the checkered flag, Bianchi finished 12th with Chilton one place further back in 13th, although the Briton will drop to 18th due to a gearbox penalty.
The frenetic session at Silverstone saw a number of big names get caught out. Felipe Massa, Valtteri Bottas, Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen were all eliminated in Q1, marking Ferrari’s worst qualifying display since the 2010 Malaysian Grand Prix. Even with his penalty, Chilton will start ahead of both Alonso and Raikkonen at his home grand prix.
Marussia is currently enjoying its best ever season in F1, having debuted at the 2010 Australian Grand Prix. In Monaco, Bianchi scored the team’s first ever points in ninth place, and it appears to have pulled well clear of nearest rivals Caterham, whose drivers failed to qualify. They should be permitted to race, but will only do so at the stewards’ discretion.
Although points in normal conditions may still be unlikely for Marussia, Bianchi will be doing what he can to fight from P12 tomorrow, whilst Chilton will enjoy the thrill of seeing two Ferraris in his rear view mirrors on the grid.
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.
Prema Powerteam has confirmed that it will enter GP2 for the first time in 2016, taking over the entry of Team Lazarus.
Prema has established itself as one of the most formidable teams in junior motorsport over the past 30 years, winning countless championships – including the last five FIA F3 titles – and helping to launch the careers of Ryan Briscoe, Roberto Merhi and Esteban Ocon (pictured).
In 2016, it will enter GP2 – Formula 1’s feeder series – for the very first time, taking over Lazarus’ entry as its four-year association with the series comes to an end.
“We are delighted to line-up for this exciting new adventure in the GP2 Series,” Prema manager Rene Rosin said. “Prema always followed the evolution of the GP2 concept as an interested spectator, and it is now finally time to join the game in first person.
“The move to the GP2 Series is a logical step for Prema, following the successful experiences in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship and in the Italian and the German Formula 4 Championships, which will continue with the same level of commitment.”
Series CEO Bruno Michel was pleased to welcome Prema to GP2, and believes that it will adapt quickly to life in the championship thanks to its impressive racing record.
“I am very pleased to welcome Prema to the GP2 Series,” Michel said. “Their remarkable track record makes me believe that they should be able to adapt quickly to our category.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank [Lazarus team principal] Tancredi Pagiaro and his team for their hard work and dedication for the past four seasons. I wish them the best for the future.”