Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel have both come away happy on Friday at Hockenheim after securing some solid top ten results during the first two practice sessions today.
In the first 90-minute session on Friday morning, Ricciardo and Vettel finished in fourth and sixth place respectively before going on to finish third and eighth in FP2, with Ricciardo leading once again.
The Australian’s time during the second session was only one-tenth of a second shy of that of Lewis Hamilton in the lead Mercedes, and he feels that Red Bull might be a bit closer to the leaders in Germany this weekend.
“I think tires and weather will define the race on Sunday,” Ricciardo said. “Today we were happy with our progress and it seems to be one of the closer gaps for a while, but it’s tomorrow when we’ll see how close we really are.
“I think we had a good car today and we extracted pretty much everything we could out of the practice today. Hopefully we can have more of a fight with the leaders this weekend.”
Vettel was also pleased with his performance on Friday, and did not feel too much of a difference when running without the now-banned FRIC suspension device.
“I think we can improve from there for tomorrow,” the German driver said. “I don’t think not having the FRIC suspension on the car made too much difference to us today, although I haven’t had a proper look at the other cars yet.
“I think it will be fairly close between the cars this weekend. It’s nice to be on track here near to where I grew up and I’m looking forward to the rest of the weekend.”
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.