Photo: IndyCar

Carlin breaks new ground in IndyCar with Chilton, Kimball

Leave a comment

Carlin is among the most accomplished racing operations you’ll find anywhere in the world. But, with the majority of their exploits being in Europe, and in junior series at that, many in the U.S. may not be familiar with their prowess.

A quick glance at their resume will reveal a small powerhouse of sorts. They currently compete in seven championships, five in Europe – the FIA Formula 2 Championship, FIA Formula 3 European Championship, F4 British Championship, and Euroformula Open Championship – and two in the U.S. – the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires (they’re not entered at St. Petersburg this weekend, but expectations are that they’ll grace the Indy Lights grid in more of a part-time capacity this year) and a new, two-car entry in the Verizon IndyCar Series with Max Chilton and Charlie Kimball.

Carlin has fielded entires for such notable drivers as Formula 1 champions Nico Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel, along with a number of other F1 stars, like Daniel Ricciardo and Kevin Magnussen. Even current IndyCar champion Josef Newgarden has raced with Carlin previously, along with the aforementioned Kimball and 2018 IndyCar rookie Robert Wickens.

Carlin has also won championships in European Formula 3, British Formula 4, and Indy Lights, and has taken victory at the prestigious Macau Grand Prix.

And now, they look to begin a new chapter in entering the Verizon IndyCar Series, their first venture in a headlining open wheel championship.

Both Chilton and Kimball, now IndyCar veterans entering their third and eighth seasons respectively, join the newly formed effort in hopes of quickly turning the program into an IndyCar frontrunner.

Max Chilton looks to start off on a high note with Carlin. Photo: IndyCar

“I have 100 percent confidence in what Carlin can do as a team, and I’m just glad to be back on board with them for the 2018 season,” said Chilton, who competed with Carlin in Indy Lights in 2015. “St. Pete is such a great street circuit that really offers top-notch racing for both the drivers and the fans, and it doesn’t hurt that the city itself is so welcoming. I’m looking forward to getting the No. 59 Gallagher Chevrolet back out on track in St. Pete and hopefully bringing a good result back to Carlin for their first Indy car race.”

Kimball, who joins Carlin after spending seven years with Chip Ganassi Racing, is also optimistic about their prospects ahead of the 2018 season and asserted that, if all goes according to plan, the team has all the potential to be up front from the getgo.

Charlie Kimball joins Carlin. Photo: IndyCar

“We had a few test days last week and while time is always limited, I think the No. 23 Tresiba Chevrolet will be in the mix once we hit the track this weekend,” Kimball detailed. “I’ve set high expectations for myself, and I know (team principal) Trevor (Carlin) and the team didn’t join the Verizon IndyCar Series just to make up the numbers-they want to win, too.”


Mercedes: F1 teams need to work together to avoid split

Getty Images
Leave a comment

MELBOURNE, Australia — Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said Friday that Formula One teams have a responsibility to try to overcome their differences over the future of the sport in the face of a threat by Ferrari to quit because of a number of proposed changes.

Bernie Ecclestone, who ran F1 for 40 years before being replaced by new owners Liberty Media last year, has raised the possibility that Ferrari chairman Sergio Marchionne could walk away from F1 and form a breakaway series over Liberty’s future vision for the sport.

Ferrari is unhappy with Liberty’s proposal to simplify engines and redistribute prize money among F1 teams after the current contract with teams expires at the end of 2020.

Ferrari team boss Maurizio Arrivabene would not comment on the specifics of Marchionne’s previous comments at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix on Friday, but said: “My only suggestion, please take him seriously.”

Wolff is also taking the possibility of Ferrari walking away seriously. He told Britain’s Press Association before the Australian GP that he agreed with Marchionne’s concerns and that Formula One can’t afford to alienate Ferrari or lose the team.

“Don’t mess with Sergio Marchionne,” he said. “Formula One needs Ferrari much more than Ferrari needs Formula One.”

Wolff was more diplomatic on Friday, saying he hopes all sides could come together for the good of the sport.

“I think this as much a battle on track as much as it is a fight off track for an advantage,” he said. “It is clear the current governance and how the rules are being made is not very functional. There’s too much different opinions and agendas on the table and we need to sort it for 2021 for the best interest of the sport.”

Red Bull boss Christian Horner agreed there are too many competing agendas, suggesting that the FIA-Formula One’s governing body-and Liberty Media come together to decide on a set of regulations and financial framework for the next contract and the teams can then decide if they want to accept it or not.

“Trying to get a consensus between teams that have varying objectives, different set-ups, is going to be impossible,” he said. “It’s history repeating itself. It happens every five or six years, every time the Concorde Agreement comes up for renewal.”

Tempers also flared during Friday’s media conference over another issue of contention between the teams – Ferrari’s recent hiring of FIA’s ex-safety director, Laurent Mekies.

Horner believes Ferrari broke an agreement among teams at a recent meeting to institute a 12-month waiting period for any former employee of FIA or FOM (Formula One Management) to be able to start working for one of F1’s teams. The concern is that former FIA staff who go to work for a specific team could share secrets from other teams.

“Certain teams were pushing for that period to be three years, but in the end it was agreed upon being 12 months,” he said. “It almost makes those meetings pointless if we can’t agree on something and action it.”

Arrivabene defended Ferrari’s move, saying Mekies would not join its team until after a six-month “gardening leave” period.

“There is nothing wrong with that because we were absolutely respecting the local law, the Swiss local law where Laurent was hired,” he said.