All photos: Jamey Price

F1 2017 preview: Through Jamey Price’s lens (PHOTOS)

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Editor’s note: One of the most talented photographers shooting a variety of motorsports series, with a number of different clients, is Jamey Price. Jamey and I met a few years ago as his career took foot, and it’s only grown in stature and ability since. Jamey was at this year’s Formula 1 preseason tests in Barcelona, and here’s a roundup of some of his favorite shots from testing as we prepare for the start of the season in Melbourne this weekend. You can follow more of Jamey’s portfolio on Instagram, at @JameyPricePhoto, at Twitter at @JameyPricePhoto, on Facebook at Jamey Price Photographer, or on his website at jameypricephoto.com. Without further adieu, here’s Jamey… 

F1 pre-season testing. It may not be the most exciting stuff on Earth, but for photographers, it gives us a chance to see the new cars and play with light we normally would never see during a regular season. Having grown up as an F1 fan, I was always in awe watching them take corners at insane speeds with ear shattering noise. For the past few years, F1 cars haven’t exactly brought anyone to their feet with excitement.

But thankfully, that may change. The noise may not be what it used to be, but the speeds are definitely back. Watching the cars through the fast Turn 9 right-hander in Barcelona was not only exhilarating but also very interesting. It’s pretty clear to the naked eye which teams have a chassis that will take them somewhere this season, and which ones don’t.

If I was a betting man, I think it might be time to start backing the Ferrari’s of Vettel and Raikkonen again. We can all only hope they give Lewis and his new teammate Valtteri a run for their money. And don’t believe all you hear about there not being any passing this year. It will probably be harder, and less common than the last few years, but that’s a good thing in my book. I want to be impressed when a driver makes a move on a rival and makes it stick. It’s time we revered F1 drivers as the heroes they are again.

March 7-10, 2017: Circuit de Catalunya. Daniel Ricciardo (AUS), Red Bull Racing, RB13
February 26, 2017: Circuit de Catalunya. Sebastian Vettel (GER), Scuderia Ferrari, SF70H
February 26, 2017: Circuit de Catalunya. Lewis Hamilton (GBR), Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport, F1 W08
February 26, 2017: Circuit de Catalunya. Max Verstappen (DEU), Red Bull Racing, RB13
March 7-10, 2017: Circuit de Catalunya. Daniel Ricciardo (AUS), Red Bull Racing, RB13
March 7-10, 2017: Circuit de Catalunya. Sebastian Vettel (GER), Scuderia Ferrari, SF70H
March 7-10, 2017: Circuit de Catalunya. Nico Hulkenberg (GER), Renault Sport Formula One Team, R.S.17
February 26, 2017: Circuit de Catalunya. Antonio Giovinazzi, Sauber F1 development driver
March 7-10, 2017: Circuit de Catalunya. Lance Stroll (CAN), Williams Martini Racing, FW40
March 7-10, 2017: Circuit de Catalunya. Scuderia Toro Rosso, STR12
March 7-10, 2017: Circuit de Catalunya. Max Verstappen (DEU), Red Bull Racing, RB13, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport, F1 W08
March 7-10, 2017: Circuit de Catalunya. Lewis Hamilton (GBR), Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport, F1 W08
March 7-10, 2017: Circuit de Catalunya. Max Verstappen (DEU), Red Bull Racing, RB13

 

Sebastien Ogier in driver’s seat for sixth straight World Rally Championship title

Sebastien Ogier leads the way in the WRC title chase. Photo: Getty Images
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COFFS HARBOUR, Australia (AP) — Thierry Neuville finished the sixth stage of Rally Australia on Friday without a rear left tire, damaging his chances of catching five-time defending champion Sebastien Ogier for the World Rally Championship title.

The Belgian driver entered the rally just three points behind Ogier in the closest title fight in 15 years.

He held the upper hand on his French rival, building a near-10 second gap through the first five stages at Coffs Harbour before hitting a chicane and finishing the stage with only three tires on his Hyundai.

Neuville was fortunate the puncture occurred late enough in the day to finish all six forestry stages and avoid a retirement. But the mistake cost him 40 seconds and gave Ogier, who is 33 seconds ahead of him, a clear run at his sixth straight championship.

In his last start with Ford before a move to Citroen next year, Ogier struggled as the first to drive the dusty, slippery forest routes.

“I pushed like crazy, I was on the limit over the jump and everywhere, I can’t do (any) more,” Ogier said. “I was on the limit.”

With Ogier on sweeping duties the back markers flourished, and Mads Ostberg took the lead in his return to the series.

Ostberg was forced to miss the previous round in Spain to make way for rally winner and nine-time world champion Sebastien Loeb, who was making the last of his three guest appearances for Citroen.

Now back in the seat, Ostberg leads Jari-Matti Latvala by 6.8 seconds in the Australian rally, with sixth-stage winner Craig Breen in third.

Ogier was seventh, 38.2 seconds off the pace, but only needs to finish ahead of Neuville to claim the championship title. Neuville is in 10th place after six stages.

Roles will reverse on Saturday, with Ogier to start further back in the field and do his best on cleaner roads to make up the day-one deficit before Sunday’s final stages.

Andreas Mikkelsen, the 2016 Rally Australia champion, was an early dropout after rolling into a ditch in his Hyundai. Mikkelsen had only just avoided a tractor that had found its way onto the course.

Former winner Molly Taylor and co-driver Malcolm Read were also forced out of their event when their Subaru hit a hay bale at high speed on the morning’s second stage. Both reported soreness but suffered no serious injuries.

The 24-stage rally totals 319 kilometers (197 miles). Ten stages are scheduled Saturday with the final six on Sunday, most of them through forests on the New South Wales state’s north coast about 530 kilometers (325 miles) north of Sydney.