Caterham cleared to race, confirms Leal for Silverstone test

Leave a comment

The FIA stewards have cleared Kamui Kobayashi and Marcus Ericsson to take part in the British Grand Prix tomorrow despite neither driver posting a time within the required 107% limit.

In a rule brought back to F1 in 2011, drivers must lap within 107% of the time set by the fastest driver in Q1. It has only been used twice in the past four seasons, with HRT missing both the 2011 and 2012 Australian Grands Prix because of the rule.

In qualifying today, Kobayashi and Ericsson could only post a time that was around 109% of Rosberg’s, meaning that they failed to make the cut. However, this rule is only enforced when the drivers are too slow in the dry, and the wet session meant that the times were far from representative – as exemplified by Williams and Ferrari.

The stewards confirmed that the drivers had “set satisfactory times in practice at this event”, and both will be able to race on Sunday.

Caterham has also confirmed this evening that GP2 driver Julian Leal will take part in next week’s test session at the British Grand Prix alongside Rio Haryanto and Will Stevens.

“I am very excited about my first Formula 1 test and I would like to thank Caterham F1 Team and everyone who has helped make this opportunity possible,” the Colombian said. “I’m having a good weekend at Silverstone already and am now fifth in the GP2 Championship after a strong race on Saturday.

“As I’m racing on the same circuit this weekend as I’ll test on next week that’s obviously a benefit but there is clearly a big step up to F1 from GP2, particularly in terms of the infrastructure I will be working with on track.

“With that in mind my main goal is to learn as much as I possibly can and help the team work through the program they set – I know I will be given all the help and advice I need, now I just want to get started!”

Lewis Hamilton receives Daytona 500 invitation from Bubba Wallace

Lewis Hamilton Bubba Wallace
Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Lewis Hamilton is a fan of the new NASCAR Cup Series team formed by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan to field a car for Bubba Wallace.

Will the six-time Formula One champion also be a fan in person at a NASCAR race in the near future?

Wallace is hoping so.

After Hamilton tweeted his support Tuesday morning about the news of a Hamlin-Jordan-Wallace team making its debut with the 2021 season, Wallace responded with a sly invitation to the Daytona 500.

Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

But it would seem fitting given that Hamilton and Wallace have been two of the world’s most outspoken Black athletes about the quest for diversity and racial justice. Hamilton recently reaffirmed his commitment to activism after his donning a Breonna Taylor shirt sparked an FIA inquiry.

The idea of Hamilton attending the season opener already had legs, too. The Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 driver has expressed a desire to race the Daytona 500 after he has retired from Formula One.

He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.

Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it only would be fitting if Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — spent some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.

Jeff Gordon was flanked by Mario Andretti and Lewis Hamilton before the 2015 Cup season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images).