F1 2014 Driver Review: Andre Lotterer

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Andre Lotterer

Team: Caterham F1 Team
Car No.: 45
Races: 1
Wins: 0
Podiums (excluding wins): 0
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 0
Laps Led: 0
Championship Position: 24th

Luke Smith (@LukeSmithF1)

Andre Lotterer’s debut certainly came out of left field, given that he last piloted an F1 car in 2003 and he had since made his name in sportscars with Audi, but it was refreshing to see someone from another discipline try his hand in Formula 1.

With Caterham, Lotterer didn’t stand a great chance of making a huge impression, but he did manage to outqualify Marcus Ericsson despite the Swede having 11 races in the Caterham car under his belt up to that point. It was an impressive result, even if his race lasted just a single lap due to a problem on the car.

Lotterer was offered more races, but turned them down. He had made his F1 debut and tried his hand in the top single seater series – it was all he needed to do.

Tony DiZinno (@tonydizinno)

Andre Lotterer certainly didn’t need to make his F1 debut to add to his glowing resume in Le Mans lore and in Super Formula in Japan, but when asked if he was up for it at Spa, he jumped at the chance. Granted, Caterham’s financial waters were starting to seem murky at the time and Lotterer really had nothing to gain from the experience, but he seized the moment. The German outqualified teammate Marcus Ericsson by nearly a second and didn’t get to finish ahead of him afterwards as his car quit on him on his opening lap. But he had enjoyed the weekend.

Much had changed for the German in-between when he was on the doorstep of an F1 career in 2002 and 2003, with Jaguar, and where he is today. Who knows whether Jaguar would have ever given him an opportunity, and where that might have led given the team’s evolution into the Red Bull juggernaut. But Lotterer can now say he’s started a Grand Prix, and can add that stat to a career that has became so successful in other disciplines.

Top Fuel driver Austin Prock earns 2019 NHRA top rookie honors

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Having just completed a promising first year in NHRA Top Fuel competition, Austin Prock is on the road to even greater drag racing success in his career.

That’s why it’s not surprising that Prock was named the winner of the 2019 Auto Club Road to the Future Award during Monday night’s annual NHRA Awards dinner at the Ray Dolby Theater in Hollywood, California.

The Road to the Future Award is NHRA’s version of Rookie of the Year, and Prock was among the brightest young stars on the circuit this past season, including winning his first national event at the Northwest Nationals at Pacific Raceways in suburban Seattle, the 16th race on the 24-race schedule.

What made that first win all the more sweeter is it came at the same event that his boss, legendary 16-time Funny Car champion John Force, captured his milestone 150th career win.

One month ago, Prock set a personal best run of 3.688 seconds at 334.40 mph over veteran driver Doug Kalitta in the first round of eliminations at the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals three weeks ago in Ennis, Texas (suburban Dallas).

“I am proud of the season this Montana Brand / Rocky Mountain Twist team put together,” Prock said in a media release. “My guys worked their asses off all season long to give me the opportunity to win the Auto Club Road the Future Award. I couldn’t have done it without them.

“I would have never been here without John Force and Robert Hight (president of John Force Racing). They gave me the opportunity to fulfill my dream and I owe the world to them. I hope I made them proud.”

Prock became only the 10th rookie in the history of the NHRA pro ranks to both win a race in their first season and also go on to win the Road to the Future award. He also was the 13th rookie in the sport’s history to qualify for the Countdown to the Championship, NHRA’s six race playoffs.

Prock becomes the sixth John Force Racing driver to earn the Road to the Future Award, joining Tony Pedregon (1996), Hight (2005), Ashley Force-Hood (2007), Mike Neff (2008), Courtney Force (2012) and Brittany Force (2013).

Austin Prock is the son of veteran crew chief Jimmy Prock, who tuned Hight to his third career NHRA Funny Car championship this past Sunday.

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