F1 Grand Prix of Germany

Bottas secures third straight podium finish in Germany

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Valtteri Bottas has extended his streak of podium finishes in Formula 1 to three today at the German Grand Prix after crossing the line in second place behind Nico Rosberg and ahead of Lewis Hamilton at Hockenheim.

The Finnish driver produced a great display on Sunday, managing his tires perfectly so that he only had to stop twice while the majority of the field came into the pits on three occasions.

Come the end of the race, his tires were over 40 laps old, yet he was able to fend off a charging Lewis Hamilton in the dying stages of the grand prix to match his best ever result in F1 with second place.

Bottas endured a difficult debut season in 2013, scoring just four points as he struggled to get to grips with the troublesome FW35 car. However, since then, he has flourished into one of the brightest talents in the sport, putting many of the more experienced drivers to shame.

Since securing his first podium finish in Austria, Bottas has not looked back. At Silverstone, he was knocked out in the first part of qualifying, but was able to find a way through the field to finish second behind Hamilton.

Today, he managed to keep out of trouble at turn one – unlike teammate Felipe Massa – to stay in second place through the first round of stops. The only time he came under real pressure for position was when Hamilton was catching in the dying embers of the race, but he remained composed and bagged another eighteen points for Williams.

With this result, Bottas remains fifth in the drivers’ championship, but is just six behind Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso. Williams has risen to its highest position in the constructors’ standings since 2003 with this result, passing Ferrari for third despite only having one car finish the race.

Although Bottas has set his sights on ascending to the top step of the podium in the future, he believes that second place was the best result Williams could manage today.

“We always aim for more,” the Finn said. “But for now we need to be happy with these points.

“I think today was the maximum result. We did everything perfectly, and managed to keep Lewis behind at the end which got us an extra few points, but in future, definitely we aim for more.”

IndyCar 2015 Driver Review: Gabby Chaves

Gabby Chaves
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MotorSportsTalk continues its run through the driver-by-driver field in the Verizon IndyCar Series. In 15th and the rookie-of-the-year for 2015, was Gabby Chaves.

Gabby Chaves, No. 98 Bryan Herta Autosport Honda

  • 2014: Indy Lights champion
  • 2015: 15th Place, Best Finish 9th, Best Start 12th, 0 Top-5, 2 Top-10, 31 Laps Led, 19.3 Avg. Start, 14.4 Avg. Finish

Some drivers finish better than their performances show. Some drivers have performances better than their results show. The latter statement applied to Gabby Chaves in his rookie year, in what was an impressive first season after making the step up from Indy Lights, which deservedly earned him rookie-of-the-year honors.

The best comparison I’d make for Gabby is of Josef Newgarden in 2012 with Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing, a first-year driver on a single-car, newish team to the series.

Chaves rarely dazzled in qualifying but that wasn’t his fault; he and engineer John Dick worked well together and Chaves recounted multiple times this year that a tweak here or tweak there, the wrong way, on the aero kit would send them down the wrong setup path.

Results in races didn’t measure up either but again that was through almost no fault of his own. The only time Chaves looked truly like a rookie was at St. Pete, when he had several collisions. Otherwise he was ahead of eventual winner James Hinchcliffe at NOLA before getting punted off, reliable through the month of May in Indianapolis, finally able to break through for a ninth place in Detroit race two, overachieving in Texas, 11th at Milwaukee after some great wheel-to-wheel racing with series winners and champions, and then phenomenal at Pocono as he was on course for a first career win or podium before late-race engine issues – his first DNF of the season.

For both Chaves and Herta, you’d love to see them together for another season, and the results and confidence for both parties will grow as a result. Those who’ve seen Newgarden’s rise over four years with Fisher and now CFH will note the long-term stability, and that’s what Chaves could do if he gets the time.

He planted the seed of being a great IndyCar driver, and he became pretty versatile during the year too with additional appearances in the DeltaWing prototype, a short-track midget and one of Herta’s Red Bull Global Rallycross cars. To boot, he’s a smart, great kid who is mature beyond his years, and someone you should be buying stock in now. Anyone who saw Chaves in the Mazda Road to Indy should not have been surprised by his rookie season in the big cars.

Off The Grid: Monza preview (premieres Saturday 10/10 on NBCSN)

F1 Grand Prix of Italy
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Having already taken you behind the scenes in Barcelona, Budapest, Singapore, Melbourne and Silverstone, Will Buxton and Jason Swales now head to one of Formula 1’s most iconic venues for the latest episode of Off The Grid.

Monza has appeared in all but one F1 season since the formation of the world championship in 1950, and is a firm favorite among drivers, teams and fans alike.

However, there is far more to the Italian Grand Prix than meets the eye, as we find out in Saturday’s premiere of Off The Grid: Monza at 9:30am ET (follows Russian GP qualifying).

Having honed his talents in go-karts as a kid, Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo is now trying to pass on his knowledge to the next generation of racers. But can he teach Will or Jason a thing or two?

We also catch up with Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg and get a feel for life on the road as he takes us for a tour of his lavish bus in which he travels in for the European F1 races.

Have you ever wondered just how the suits F1 drivers wear are made? We go behind the scenes at Alpine Stars’ factory in Italy and find out.

Off The Grid: Monza premieres on Saturday at 9:30am ET on NBCSN following Russian GP qualifying.