Author Archives: Aiden Hover

TBT: Fernando Alonso’s First Formula One Victory!

Written and Edited by Bruna Brito and Aiden Hover

F̶e̶l̶i̶z̶ ̶N̶a̶v̶i̶d̶a̶d̶ … Happy Birthday Fernando Alonso!

The two-times world champion is turning 40 today, and to celebrate his incredible career, we at DIVEBOMB decided to look back at his first-ever Formula One victory ahead of this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix at the same venue.

The Hungaroring is a great place for the statisticians: Jenson Button achieved his first win here in 2006, Heikki Kovalainen scored his first (and only) win here in 2008, Lewis Hamilton achieved his first of 78 victories with Mercedes, and young Mick Schumacher won his first Formula Two race in 2019. Today, however, we focus on Fernando Alonso’s debut Formula One win at the 2003 Hungarian Grand Prix!

On that day, Fernando Alonso became the youngest driver in history to win a championship Grand Prix. Already the youngest person to achieve a Formula One Pole position (achieved in Malaysia that March) he had enjoyed his 22nd birthday just 26 days before the Hungarian Grand Prix, and so, upon winning, beat Bruce McLaren’s record achieved at the 1959 US Grand Prix by 78 days.

The Two times champion is looking forward to returning to the track in which he scored his first win, 18-years ago!

“I’m looking forward to it. Obviously, it’s a circuit where there isn’t much time to breathe with lots of tight corners. It feels like a big go-kart circuit. We all love driving there because I think the driver has quite a bit more input than some circuits. I’ve had some good results in Hungary, most notably in 2003 when I took my first ever Formula 1 win. I’ve also scored a few podiums too and the pole position in 2009 was good. I feel like the team is improving all the time, especially after the performance at Silverstone where both cars finished in the points, so we’re hopeful of another good weekend,” 

Heading into the 2003 Hungarian Grand Prix, the young Spaniard lined up on pole. He had beaten out Juan Pablo Montoya by a surprising 0.492 seconds, crossing the racing line at 248.6 km/h to set an impressive time of a 1:21.688.

2003 was Fernando’s second season in Formula One (having served as a test driver during 2002) and the pole in Hungary served as only his second in his career whilst it was the 33rd for Renault as constructor and the 137th for Renault as engine supplier! 

Alonso started on the clear side of the track and led into the first corner. Behind, the two Williams drivers Ralf Schumacher and Montoya, who had started second and fourth respectively, began to squabble and fell backwards. Whilst Mark Webber, who had started 2nd, also seemed to struggle to match the Renault’s pace, allowing Alonso to pull out a 7-second gap by lap 13 when he came into the pits for fuel. Webber followed him into the box. Fernando re-joined the race not far behind the McLaren of Kimi Räikkönnen before the Finn pitted on lap 16, along with Rubens Barrichello and Montoya – regifting the lead to Alonso. 

Fernando continued to lead comfortably until his 2nd stop on lap 30, joined again by Mark Webber on lap 31 – though this time, the Spaniard’s advantage was great enough to allow him to rejoin ahead of Räikkönen whilst Webber dropped down to 9th

As the laps ticked down, Alonso seemed set to comfortably win following a dominant showing. He even lapped the reigning champion, Michael Schumacher – sending a message to the fans at home and in Spain that the guard was beginning to change. Further behind, Montoya spun and had to fend off his teammate to ensure his podium. 

After 70 laps, however, Fernando Alonso crossed the line to win a surely dominant race, and the first of his career – beating 2nd place Kimi Räikkönen by an impressive 16.8 seconds with Juan Pablo Montoya claiming 3rd and the fastest lap of the race!

Whilst this victory was his only in 2003, it cemented him in the record books as the youngest ever Grand Prix winner at the time and proved to the world the pure talent that the young Fernando Alonso possessed. It would be this pure talent that would eventually see him secure the 2005 and 2006 drivers championships as well as compete for many more. 

Alonso’s career is an extensive one with success throughout in many different categories, so perhaps here is maybe not the best place to summarise it. However, it is clear how much his honest personality and his remarkable attitude towards motor racing always allowed him to be true to himself and battle whatever came before him with a great passion. This passion took the hearts of a nation and was able to enchant the Spanish people into a trance that would last as long as Fernando Alonso was driving a fast car – wherever or whatever it may be. These Spanish fans support Fernando with such passion rivalled only by the Tifosi in Monza. The screams as he passes send chills to the bones and the love they give sends warmth to the heart as every single one of them aspires to be the fighter that Fernando Alonso had convinced them was possible. We rarely see a sportsman capture the hearts of so many and it is this innate ability that makes Fernando Alonso Días one of the greatest drivers of all time, along with Ayrton Senna and his loving Brazilian fans or Michael Schumacher and his die heart Tifosi Italian and German supporters.

Throughout 2021, Fernando Alonso has done incredibly well. Recovering from a road cycling accident that almost saw him miss pre-season testing, he has fought back to show the world and his adoring fans that he still has what it takes upon his Formula One return. He currently sits 11th in the standings and has played an integral role in Alpine’s 7th place as he has consistently demonstrated his insane overtaking and scoring ability.

With this, all that is left to be said is,

 Happy Birthday, Fernando, 

and thank you.

Hungry for Hungary! – Weekend Preview!

Two weeks on from an extremely dramatic British Grand Prix, Formula One embarks on the tight twisty track of the Hungaroring for this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix! Will Max Verstappen be able to enact his revenge? Or will Lewis Hamilton win yet again at a track he loves so dearly?

Written by Aiden Hover, Edited by Tanishka Vashee 

The Hungaroring, located to the northeast of Budapest, became the venue of the first Grand Prix behind the ‘Iron Curtain’ in 1986 after Bernie Eccelstone failed to secure an event in the USSR. Since then, the Home of Hungarian motorsport has proven to be a true test for both driver and car. Often referred to as ‘Monaco without the walls,’ the 4.381-kilometre circuit boasts 14 storied and tricky turns with very few straights. This often forces teams to opt with high levels of downforce with minimal opportunity to reach top speeds on such a ‘go-kart’ style track. A track such as this poses a challenge that all the drivers relish with great enthusiasm as finding a smooth rhythm here is integral to a quick lap time.

A track as tricky as this one is sure to have played host to some iconic and truly legendary moments –  and the Hungaroring does not disappoint! With its difficulty, the track stands as a proving ground for some of F1’s greatest – awarding debut F1 victories to two-time champion Fernando Alonso and one-time champion Jenson Button in 2003 and 2006 respectively. It also marked the beginning of a new era in 2013, as Lewis Hamilton won his first Grand Prix with Mercedes, and we all know where that led to. 

The twisty flowing corners of the track also lends itself to some memorable wheel to wheel action; such as Ayrton Senna against Alain Prost in 1988, or, more recently, Lewis Hamilton against Max Verstappen in 2019 – featuring a strategic masterclass from Hamilton’s Mercedes team. Hamilton, who has won in Hungary a record-breaking 8 times, again features in Hungarian drama, this time in 2007! In the midst of a dramatic qualifying session in which Fernando Alonso sat on provisional pole, the two McLaren drivers were set to pit for fuel and a fresh set of tyres ahead of one final push for pole with Alonso scheduled to come in just ahead of his rookie teammate. Remarkably, however, Alonso chose not to leave his pit box upon being told to go as he instead opted to hold up his teammate and refuse him a final shot for pole! 

What can fans look forward to this year?

Having been on the losing end of a dramatic collision with Lewis Hamilton at Silverstone two weekends ago, Max Verstappen will be eager to enact his revenge and once again take the top spot. His teammate in Sergio Perez will also be eager to right the wrongs of Silverstone where he too scored zero points. Meanwhile, in the Mercedes camp, Sir Lewis Hamilton will be hoping to continue his storm back to the front of the championship whilst his teammate will be looking to follow in his footsteps.

The battle for best of the rest continues as Ferrari look to be strong once again in Hungary as it’s a style of track that seems to suit their car, similar to Monaco. McLaren’s Lando Norris will surely continue his streak of impressive points finishes after a near-miss of a podium last time out with Daniel Ricciardo achieving his best finish this season in Britain. Meanwhile, Aston Martin will be hoping to forget their Silverstone blues and come back swinging in Hungary!

Fernando Alonso returns to a track he loves so dearly off the back of an impressive showing in Silverstone, proving that both he and his Alpine still have what it takes to do well in this sport, along with his teammate in Esteban Ocon. Alpha Tauri also look strong heading into Hungary as their car suits the twisty nature of the circuit whilst their drivers, Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda, both seem to be gelling well with the car and team following a respectable performance in Britain – narrowly missing out on a double points finish.

Alfa Romeo will likely struggle in Hungary as their performance as of late hasn’t been anything to write home about, however, Antonio Giovinazzi scored points during their visit to Monaco several months ago. Williams, meanwhile, will be looking to continue their charge through the pack with George Russell looking to score his third consecutive Q3 appearance –  at the venue he scored his first-ever Q2 appearance in 2020. Haas, on the other hand, will see anything that’s not dead last as a victory as they must surely be looking forwards to the upcoming summer break.

With that then, be sure not to miss out on any of the action this weekend as well as any of the support events, such as the ever-exciting W-series!

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Formula One is Coming Home! – British GP Weekend Preview

Whilst it didn’t quite come home in last weekend’s Euro 2020 final, Formula One returns to its home as the paddock sets its sights on the British Grand Prix! Two weeks on from Max Verstappen’s dominant showing throughout an exhausting triple header, can he continue his supremacy or can Sir Lewis Hamilton retake his crown on home soil?

Written by Aiden Hover, Edited by Esmée Koppius

The Home of British Motor Racing, the Silverstone circuit, is an old fashioned fast-flowing race track. The fan favourite venue features several world-famous landmarks that help make up the 18 corners of its layout. Some of these include the car testing complex of ‘Maggots and Becketts,’ a series of fast-flowing, high-speed bends, as well as the twisty ‘Village’ complex followed by the ‘Loop’ that play a crucial role in a successful lap. The newly renamed ‘Hamilton Straight’ plays host to an iconic starting grid alongside the stunning ‘Silverstone Wing’ pit building and will be the centre of action come Sunday’s main race. I say main race as, for the first time ever, Silverstone will host a Sprint race on Saturday that will form the grid for Sunday and be another way for teams to earn points as the FIA attempt to liven up the action of a race weekend. The grid for the sprint race will be formed by use of traditional qualifying on Friday night as the teams have reduced practice time this weekend.

Hosting the first-ever official Formula One race in 1950, Silverstone has seen history written and rewritten here over and over again. The Mansell Mania of the 1980s and 90s saw Nigel Mansell win on home soil an impressive 4 times at Silverstone, leading to the iconic scenes of fans swarming their home hero’s car as it completed its cool-down lap. This however will soon be outdone by Britain’s next home hero in Sir Lewis Hamilton who waltzed to his first victory at home during a rain-soaked race in 2008. Since then, he has won here a further 6 times, which makes Lewis Hamilton the driver with the most wins at a home Grand Prix with 7!

Besides impressive success, Silverstone’s modern layout has played host to some truly iconic racing moments, such as Mark Webber and Fernando Alonso’s epic wheel to wheel showdown in 2012 and Max Verstappen’s daring move on Nico Rosberg in 2016! Moving to 2018, fans witnessed a nail-biting multi-team battle for the lead as, following a safety car restart, Sebastian Vettel came out on top having battled hard against his Ferrari teammate as well as the four Mercedes and RedBull drivers. Only one year later, Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc would treat fans to a thrilling race-long battle before Sebastian Vettel would collect the RedBull driver as he violently locked his brakes. Last year, featuring two British Grand Prix, Sir Lewis Hamilton miraculously limped to victory on three wheels to beat out Max Verstappen – who himself would go on to win the 70th anniversary British Grand Prix only a week later!

What can fans look forward to this year?

This year’s Formula One Grid features three truly exceptional British drivers who will all be looking to make their mark at home. Sir Lewis Hamilton will be hoping that his Mercedes team can give him a chance to claw back some of the championship lead Max Verstappen has built on him. The Young Dutchman will be coming off the back of a truly dominant triple-header as his team look to make it a 6th RedBull win in a row this weekend. Lando Norris, having finished on the podium in Austria, will surely be confident that he can repeat this feat on home soil, whilst George Russell hopes to do one better than Austria to achieve his first points finish for Williams at home in a true fairy-tale manner. 

The British teams of McLaren, Aston Martin and Williams will be looking to perform well in front of many crucial investors at home – as will much of the paddock, who are based in Great Britain, such as the Austrian team of RedBull and the German team of Mercedes whose entire operations take place in Milton Keynes and Brackley respectfully. McLaren looks strong with the aforementioned podium of Lando Norris and a seemingly resurgent Daniel Ricciardo heading to Silverstone. Aston Martin, ahead of their first home Grand Prix in their current form, will be nervous following a disappointing Austrian Grand Prix, as will Williams who missed out on points yet again – though only narrowly.

Whilst they may have outdone us during the Euros, Italy’s Formula One showing will be slightly weaker than its Football. Ferrari has struggled with tyre wear in recent races, especially when battling close with other cars, though they seem to have good pace in the car that Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz can utilise. Alfa Romeo will once again swim on the fringes of the points as questions continue to surround the ageing Finn of Kimi Raikkonen following a foolish and dangerous mistake last time out. The final Italian team, Alpha Tauri, should perform well as Pierre Gasly continues to perform exceptionally and Yuki Tsunoda seems to finally be finding his footing.

The French team Alpine narrowly scored points in Austria and will be hoping to do so again with some more confidence in Britain. Finally, Haas F1 Team, America’s Formula One showing, will once again be lucky to avoid the back row in qualifying and will be hoping for all manners of calamities in both Saturday and Sunday’s races as they hope for some fortunate points.

Be sure not to miss Formula One’s inaugural sprint race this Saturday as well as all the other action taking place this weekend, such as W-series and Formula 2!

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Driver Predictions: Why Gasly’s performances cause a driver selection headache for AlphaTauri 

Written by Danny Jones, Edited by Aiden Hover

AlphaTauri is a unique team in the fact that their goal is not necessarily to win races and compete for championships, but instead to develop drivers to the point that they are good enough for Red Bull, which they have done brilliantly so in the past with Sebastian Vettel, Daniel Ricciardo and then Max Verstappen. In 2021, it seems they have 2 very talented drivers on the books, Yuki Tsunoda and Pierre Gasly. Gasly has established himself as one of F1’s top stars, after his dramatic 2019 demotion to Toro Rosso, whilst Tsunoda has shown flashes of brilliance in his rookie season but has been unable to fully live up to the hype he carried along from his excellent F2 season.

Tsunoda’s spectacular performance at the Bahrain Grand Prix, where he finished 9th on his debut, proved his talent behind the wheel, and how he was able to progress through the junior ranks so quickly. However, he has been plagued by lacklustre performances, up to the Austrian Grand Prix, bar an excellent 7th in Baku. However, Red Bull still seem invested in Tsunoda, and will want him to develop at AlphaTauri, suggested by the team moving Tsunoda to live in Italy. Red Bull do still believe that Tsunoda is a serious talent, and would be more likely to move to Red Bull than Gasly, should a seat open up within the next year or two. With the signing of Sergio Perez, it is unlikely he will have the same problems that Albon and Gasly did, and it is unlikely for him to be fast-tracked into the Red Bull seat, as Verstappen was in 2016. It is very likely Tsunoda will be at AlphaTauri in 2022 to continue with his development, and that Red Bull won’t make the same mistake that they did with Gasly, where someone was promoted when they were too inexperienced, but his performances will need to step up and show the promise that he suggested at the start of the season.

Alongside him, Pierre Gasly will be entering his 5th season with the team in 2021. A 2nd call-up seems impossible for Gasly, particularly after comments from Helmut Marko, and Red Bull’s increased interest in Tsunoda, and Red Bull’s signing of Sergio Perez. Gasly’s 2021 performances have been worthy of a promotion, including a podium in Baku, and these performances mean it would be near impossible to drop him from the Red Bull programme. However, Red Bull may not want him clogging up a seat, due to the development in numbers they have going on in the lower formulas, and Red Bull senior management still have their Alex Albon card, with Marko stating interest to put him into a car for 2022, with AlphaTauri being the logical choice, to rebuild his confidence, so would be ready for a Red Bull seat if needed. This leaves Gasly in an awkward position, with Red Bull having no faith in him, but trusting reserve driver Albon, and their F2 candidates.

The emergence of Tsunoda would mean that Albon and Gasly would be behind Tsunoda in the pecking order for a Red Bull seat if one becomes available. But Verstappen’s long-term deal means that the earliest Albon or Gasly may realistically get a Red Bull seat is 2024, by which time Red Bull’s academy prospects may have developed to the point where they are ready to race for the senior team. If Red Bull is creating a long-term plan, they would need to consider the array of talents they have in F2 for promotion, in Liam Lawson, Juri Vips and Jehan Daruvala. 

Lawson enters his 1st season of F2, after a successful F3 campaign in 2020. The Kiwi impressed on his debut in Bahrain, finishing 1st in the 1st Sprint Race and 3rd in the Feature and was cruelly disqualified after a stunning win in Monaco. After the Baku round, Lawson lies 8th in the standings, but has been one of the most impressive drivers of the season, and looks promising for upcoming rounds. Alongside his F2 duties, Lawson is racing in DTM in 2021, alongside Albon, and similarly to F2, stunningly won on his debut. This may give him the edge over Daruvala and Vips, as it shows the extra commitment Red Bull have put into him under this programme, and if he continues to be competitive, it would show Red Bull bosses, that he may be the right person for the job and will be able to learn additional skills compared to Daruvala and Vips. 

Daruvala is another championship favourite, as he enters his 2nd F2 season, but has been somewhat underwhelming, for a driver of his pedigree. His improvement throughout his debut season was noticeable, with him achieving a win in Bahrain, in the final race of the season. His 2021 performances would need to improve, with Daruvala unable to win a round so far, despite lying a respectable 7th in the standings. If he would like to prove his superiority over Lawson and Vips, and his added experience may just give him the edge he needs, and start putting in performances to challenge for the F2 title if he wants a serious shot at the Alpha Tauri seat. 

The 3rd Red Bull F2 hopeful is Juri Vips. The Estonian enters his 1st full season in the category, after substituting for 4 rounds for the injured Sean Gelael, and picked up a sole podium in Mugello. His first outing in Bahrain was disappointing, strewn with penalties, and was unable to pick up any points, but a decent performance in Monaco, before a double race win in Baku, meant that Vips has put himself back into championship contention. Of the 3, Vips has the most experience, competing in various European categories since 2016. He also seems to have the largest trust of the Red Bull management, performing reserve duties toward the back end of last season, before taking part in the young driver tests. Should Gasly be booted fromAlphaTauri, and Red Bull management overlook Albon for the AlphaTauri seat, it seems to be a 3-way shootout between the F2 drivers, with the one finishing highest in the championship likely to get a seat, which could be an exciting prospect toward the end of the season.

However, it seems as Tsunoda’s undeniable talent means that Red Bull want to give him at least 1 more season, to prove the potential that he has. And Pierre Gasly’s performances over the last 2 seasons means that he would almost be certain to stay, as it would be difficult for a midfield team to drop such a quality driver. The only reason Red Bull bosses would like to remove Gasly is if Vips, Daruvala or Lawson could win the F2 championship, but with all 3 looking like it would be a stretch to win it in 2021, it seems as if AlphaTauri will stick with Gasly and Tsunoda.

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America’s Top Five F1 Drivers

Written by Morgan Holiday, Edited by Aiden Hover

For a country that boasts several world-renowned racing series’, America’s presence in Formula 1 has been severely lacking for, well, ever. Only 19 American Formula 1 drivers have started more than ten races and the reason for this phenomenon largely remains a mystery.

But while the United States’ presence in Formula 1 hasn’t been overwhelming, the country still boasts drivers with very impressive resumes. Since most of them are rarely recognized or remembered, let’s take a look at the best American drivers to ever race in Formula 1.

Mario Andretti

Italian born Mario Andretti is the most decorated American Formula 1 driver, with 12 wins accompanying his one driver’s championship. While his fascination with cars and racing began at a very young age, he didn’t officially start racing until 1964 when he started in the United States Auto Club stock car series – a series he won 3 times throughout his career. His first championship win was in 1965, just a year after he started racing. 

Andretti started competing in NASCAR in 1966. While he only raced in 14 races throughout four seasons, he managed to score a win in the Daytona 500 in 1967, driving with Holman Moody. He also had an extensive and successful Indycar career, racing in the series from 1979 to 1994. He only took the title once, in 1984 with Newman/Haas Racing.

Andretti made his Formula 1 debut at the United States Grand Prix in 1968 with Lotus. While it was the only race he competed in that season, he took pole position, retiring with a broken clutch 33 laps into the race. He continued to participate in occasional races throughout the 1969 and 1970 seasons, although he retired from all of them but the 1970 Spanish Grand Prix, where he finished on the podium.

After that season he moved to Ferrari, where he won on debut with the team in South Africa. Eventually going back to Lotus, Andretti finally took the driver’s title in 1978. That season, which saw Andretti take six wins, would also be his last Formula 1 race win, and the last win for an American driver in Formula 1 to date.

Phil Hill

Phil Hill was the first American to win the Formula 1 driver’s championship, taking the title in 1961. Hailing from Santa Monica, California, Hill left college to pursue his racing career. He made his F1 debut in 1958 in the French Grand Prix with Maserati, driving for the Ecurie Bonnier racing team. He drove several more races that season, this time with Scuderia Ferrari, who signed him full time for the 1959 season. 

Hill finished 4th and 5th respectively in the driver’s standings the next two seasons with Ferrari, before becoming the first (and only) American born driver to win the World Driver’s Championship. Hill clinched the championship with a first-place at Ferrari’s home race that season. But the win was bittersweet, as his teammate Wolfgang Von Trips was killed that very race. The unfortunate accident combined with the fact that Ferrari had already taken both the driver’s and constructor’s championship lead to their decision not to participate in the final race of the season, the American Grand Prix. 

That win would sadly be Hill’s last in F1, although he went on to race for four more seasons. It is not, however, the end of his career highlights. Hill was also a three-time Le Mans winner with Ferrari, in 1958, 1961, and 1962. While Hill started the 24 Hours of Le Mans 14 times, he failed to finish the race 11 of those times. But in every race he finished, he won. Hill retired from racing in 1967 but remains the only American to win both Le Mans and the Formula 1 driver’s championship.

Dan Gurney

A staple of racing, as well as sports in general, is the podium celebration, where the top three athletes from the given event celebrate their victories, and these celebrations inevitably include the spraying of champagne. This widely practised and respected tradition has been in place since 1967 and was started by none other than America’s finest, Dan Gurney. It doesn’t get much cooler than that, does it?

Actually, it does. Starting the champagne spraying tradition is merely a footnote on Gurney’s impressive resume. Along with Mario Andretti and Juan Pablo Montoya, he is one of the three drivers to win races in Formula 1, NASCAR, Indycar, and Sportscars. He was also one of three drivers to win in Formula 1 with a car of their own design, along with Jack Brabham and Bruce Mclaren. If you’ve ever heard of the Gurney Flap, a part used on some racing cars, he invented that too. But while Gurney’s accomplishments could fill a book, let’s focus on his Formula 1 career.

To give an idea of the kind of driver Dan Gurney was, Jim Clark once stated that Gurney was the only driver he ever feared. He made his Formula 1 debut in 1959 with Ferrari. He bounced between teams for the next couple of seasons, before taking his maiden win in the 1962 French Grand Prix with Porsche. The following season, Gurney was the first driver signed to Jack Brabham’s racing team, Brabham Racing Organisation. He would go on to score the team’s first two Formula 1 wins in the 1964 season.

 However, Gurney’s most impressive Formula 1 win wouldn’t come till 1967, when he won the Belgian Grand Prix in a car he designed himself. The Anglo American Racers (or All American Racers) was a team founded by Gurney a Carrol Shelby, former racing rivals turned business partners. That same year he took his only win at Le Mans, driving for Ford and Shelby American. 

While Gurney never won the world championship, his four Formula 1 wins put him at the second most wins of any American driver. That, coupled with his many other achievements makes him one of America’s most impressive racing drivers, not just in Formula 1 but of all time.

Richie Ginther

Richie Ginther made his Formula 1 debut with Ferrari in the 1960 Monaco Grand Prix. Despite only racing in three races throughout the whole season, he scored points in every one of those races, with a best-placed finish of second in the Italian Grand Prix, and ended up 9th in the championship standings. In 1962 Ginther signed with Owen Racing Organisation (BRM), with whom he raced for the next three seasons. In 1963 he would score his best championship finish, ending in equal second place with his teammate Graham Hill.

Ginther stood on the podium 13 times before he finally made it to the top step in 1965, driving for Honda in the Mexican Grand Prix. Qualifying third behind Jim Clark and Dan Gurney, Clark retired with an engine problem and Ginther made it past Gurney to take his first and only Formula 1 win.

The Mexican Grand Prix would not only be Ginther’s last win, but also his last podium finish in Formula 1. He only started five races throughout the next two seasons and retired in 1967 following an accident in qualifying for the Indy 500. 

Peter Revson

Peter Revson’s racing career is somewhat sparse compared to the other drivers on this list. He didn’t begin racing full time until age 23 when he competed in Formula Junior. He made his Formula 1 debut in 1963 in the Gold Cup with Reg Parnell Racing. However, the team was not very successful, and Revson soon went back to America to race there.

He competed in the USAC championship for 8 years, taking one win despite never competing for a full season. In 1971 he scored a pole position in the Indy 500 with McLaren, finishing second in the race. 

The following season Revson went back to Formula 1, this time with McLaren. Throughout his two seasons with them he achieved eight podium finishes and two wins,  giving him the third-most wins of all time for an American Formula 1 driver. 

Among these five drivers stand others like them, but not many. America’s last Formula 1 driver was Alexander Rossi, who started five races in 2015 with Marussia. No American driver has won a Formula 1 race since 1978 when Mario Andretti won the Dutch Grand Prix. Until someone new makes the step up, we remember the talented, albeit few, people who have already achieved great things in motorsport’s top tier.

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Sebastian Vettel awarded a 3-place grid drop for impeding Fernando Alonso

Sebastian Vettel has been awarded a 3-place grid drop for impeding Fernando Alonso in Q2. After reviewing footage of the German’s actions, as well as calling him to speak in front of the stewards, a grid drop penalty was decided as well as an additional Penalty Point, leaving him with a total of 6 Penalty Points in a 12 month period.

Written by Esmée Koppius, Edited by Aiden Hover

At the same time, Valterri Bottas, who was also called to speak to the stewards was not awarded a penalty for the incident at turn 9 and 10 and has been cleared of the allegations made towards him. He allegedly drove too slow at turn 9 and 10, resulting in a queue including multiple cars.

Sebastian Vettel apologising to the Spaniard

Sebastian Vettel may feel hard done by his penalty as, in his eyes, the blame should lie with the cars ahead who were jumping the queue. Regardless of who’s to blame, this is certainly not how Vettel would have wanted to end his birthday.

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Super Max on Pole once again!

Max Verstappen takes pole position for the third weekend in a row as he looks to complete a clean sweep of Grand Prix’s in Austria! An ecstatic Lando Norris qualified second at the track where he scored his inaugural podium last year. He missed out his first-ever pole position by half a tenth of a second. Sergio Perez rounds out the top 3. It’s clear now that when Lando Norris told journalists that he could give Verstappen a run for his money – he was certainly not playing around!

Written by Aiden Hover, Edited by Tanishka Vashee

A disappointed Sir Lewis Hamilton will start 4th as both he and his 5th place Mercedes teammate, Valtteri Bottas struggled to match the pace of the RedBulls ahead. On the other hand, the Alpha Tauri team will be delighted with their drivers today as Pierre Gasly qualifies 6th once again whilst Yuki Tsunoda broke his qualifying rut to achieve 7th today. Birthday boy Sebastian Vettel drove well to achieve 8th on the grid for tomorrow with his teammate starting 10th. The main story, however, is Mr Qualifying himself George Russell, who drove the heart out of his Williams to not only achieve his first Q3 appearance as a Williams driver but to do so with a 9th place finish!

Following a dramatic Qualifying Two, Sebastian Vettel will be investigated after the session for severely impeding Fernando Alonso who had his final flying lap ruined and so qualified only 14th. Vettel will almost certainly receive a penalty for this mistake [not the birthday present that he would have wanted]. This does mean that we could see George Russell start 8th, to the delight of many fans. It was also a poor showing for both Ferrari drivers today as they only managed 11th and 12th, Carlos Sainz ahead of Charles Leclerc, however, both beat the struggling McLaren of Daniel Ricciardo. Antonio Giovinazzi set a time good enough to beat out the Alpine of Alonso but had his time deleted due to track limits which saw him last of the Q2 eliminations.

Qualifying One saw the elimination of Kimi Raikkonen who once again was comfortably beaten by his teammate – though the true loser of Qualifying One was Esteban Ocon who, for the second week in a row, lacked confidence throughout his lap and will begin tomorrow’s race in 17th. Nicholas Latifi rounds out the grid in 18th just ahead of the two Haas cars – Mick Schumacher ahead of Nikita Mazepin.

Be sure not to miss tomorrow’s race as it looks set to be a thriller with multiple teams looking good enough to challenge for the win!

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Lewis Hamilton to remain with Mercedes until the end of 2023!

The Seven-times World Champion has signed his first multi-year contract in quite some time as he seeks to secure his future within Mercedes. Clearly, Sir Lewis Hamilton feels his future is best placed with the Silver-Arrows as they approach the new 2022 regulations and beyond.

Written by Aiden Hover, Edited by Tanishka Vashee

Lewis Hamilton seems excited to continue his work with Mercedes, saying, “We’ve accomplished so much but we still have a lot to achieve, on and off the track. We’re entering a new era of cars which will be challenging and exciting – I can’t wait.”

The timing of this announcement is also important to note as it’s uncharacteristically early in the season for the Stevenage born driver to sort out his drive for the following year. Think back only to February this year when Hamilton announced his one-year deal with Mercedes as fans began to suspect he would retire from the sport. Fortunately, this never happened and his early announcement this time round is likely to allow him to fully focus on his championship fight with Max Verstappen and RedBull as well as to demonstrate his confidence in his Brackley-based team for next year’s aero shake-up. Verstappen himself has a contract until 2023 as both drivers want to keep their options open entering the new era.

Surely now that Hamilton is locked down within Mercedes, the second driver announcement will shortly follow. For months, fans have been predicting a Russell-Hamilton lineup or a Russell-Bottas lineup solely depending on whether Hamilton retires or not. However, we should not be so quick to assume George Russell will be given the promotion to Valtteri Bottas’ seat. Hamilton’s unusual two-year deal will likely allow him to have a say in his teammate and do we really think Hamilton wants to risk another Nico Rosberg teammate relationship? 

Whatever happens to that second seat, one thing is for sure: The World Champion is to remain in Formula One for at least two more years and we could not be more excited to see how many more records he can break and set! 

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Guanyu Zhou is a highly accomplished Formula 2 driver who is currently leading the championship. This weekend, Zhou will be making his Formula 1 debut during FP1 of the Austrian Grand Prix – temporarily taking the seat of Alpine’s Fernando Alonso.

As a member of the Alpine driver academy since 2019, Zhou has worked his way up from development driver to test driver. Currently in his third season of Formula 2 with UNI-Virtuosi racing, Zhou has won at Monaco (one of the most fabled and historic venues in all of motorsport) and is making great strides towards racing full time in Formula 1. On the verge of creating history, our founder Sage sat down with Guanyu Zhou for an exclusive interview.

Read on as Zhou talks about his inspirations, influences, words of advice, the win at Monaco and his F1 debut at Austria:

Zhou gets a run in the 2017 Renault F1 Car at the Red Bull Ring

Sage: How old were you when you were introduced to the motorsport world and who were your biggest influences?

Zhou: Since I was a young kid, around five to six years old, I loved playing around with my toy cars – watching cartoon movies about cars as well. So all that stuff got me my first opportunity to jump in a go-kart at 7 years old, and I absolutely loved it the first time I tried it. At 8 years old, my family bought me my first-ever go-kart to start doing proper racing in Shanghai. That’s how we started. My father himself loves cars, but as a young kid, they gave me the choice to do what I like, and I just love the noise and love the speed going around corners.

Zhou taking a win at the Super One Rotax Series

Sage: Are there any specific lessons or words of advice you learned during these times go-karting that you still live by today? Maybe a life’s motto?

Zhou: Yeah definitely. The one I remember most from karting days, first of all, is that my first ever go-kart race, at the age of eight, and basically, one guy behind me misjudged his braking point and flew past me [hitting] my shoulder and my helmet. I had a mechanical failure, so I had to retire from the race. When I took off my suit, my right shoulder was completely bleeding and was hurting a lot. So I had to go to the hospital to get a few stitches, and that’s the day when my family asked me whether I want to continue because it was quite dangerous. And I still replied yes while doing the stitches. So that’s something I remember a lot. And another thing is back to when I was racing in Europe in 2013, I won my championship at the very last round, so I learnt from that never give up and do the best you can.

Sage: In 2012 you moved to the UK, looking for a more competitive racing environment. What, if any, were the greatest challenges you faced during this time?

Zhou: In 2012 when I moved to the UK, the level of the drivers was a lot higher, and the pack was a lot closer. 0.2s you could be from P1 to P15. I was facing a lot of challenges because I tried to learn as much as I could. As a rookie, I always take it as motivation, try to put as much effort as I could into my testing, and in one years time, I went from a top 15 runner to a top 5 runner. So that was quite a good step I made forward, but there’s a lot of effort I have to put in behind the scenes.

Kartcom Euro Challenge Castelletto: Zhou on pole in Seniors

Sage: The people who you once beat in go-karts, such as Lando Norris, are now the people doing great things in Formula One. Does this affect you in any way? And how determined are you to beat them once again?

Zhou: Yeah definitely. Having raced with a lot of people, I mean, I raced with Lando when I was in my karting days and most of my formula single-seater career. Seeing him doing well in Formula One, proves that the level of go-karts, of motorsports and formula racing I’m taking, is the best way possible to prepare to be great or the fastest Formula One driver in the future, so actually it gives me a lot of motivation, so I know I have to do well in each series I’m in. I’m trying to come out as an even better driver. And on the other hand, I think it proves that every category I’m driving in is the most competitive category possible, so that can actually help improve your driving skills a lot.

Sage: Thinking back to 2015, you showed great consistency, scoring many podiums in the Italian Formula 4 championship on your way to becoming vice-champion, how did you manage to maintain this consistency? – Especially whilst racing the likes of Shwartzman and Beckmann.

Zhou: Back in 2015, my first year in formula cars, it wasn’t an easy year as a rookie driver, but you know, we showed our speed. We had the potential to win the Italian Championship, but I had one big incident, which forced me to use my spare engine for the rest of the season. So I was behind a little bit. But the whole season was quite consistent, we were scoring podiums every round, to be always possible fighting for pole positions as well. There’s nothing special rather than just to keep my focus, keep my momentum on every track we go, no matter if it’s a new track or an old one. I try to analyse what’s the best way or the best lane to take, and I try to be fast from the beginning.

Zhou’s 3rd win out of 3 in Italian F4

Sage: As a ‘professional athlete’ as well as an inspiration to many, I’m sure the pressure of these expectations can become a strain on your mental health. Do you have any advice as to how you deal with this extra pressure and stress?

Zhou: Obviously as a professional driver, there’s a lot of stress going on, particularly at each race start, safety car restart and in a qualifying lap, especially in Formula Two, you only have one lap to do your qualifying, and it’s so important to qualify in the top ten. There’s a lot going on, like mental stress obviously. Firstly, you have to have the experience, the other thing is that you have to always trust yourself, you can’t think of something that you are a little bit weak too much, you have to always find a way to go through this tough moment. Once you’re through it, you’ll feel confident and quite a lot stronger. And every start you try to give it maximum focus. Before the race, I only focus on the start, and during the race, I only focus on making no mistakes.

Sage: In scoring your first pole position in Formula Two, you also became the first Chinese driver to do so. How does this monumental achievement feel to you and how much more does this mean because you are representing China?

Zhou: To represent China, to be the only Chinese driver in Formula Two in these five years at least, and to be doing well, showing the world that as a Chinese driver, I prove myself to be a title contender, I can be a race winner. That gives me a lot of boosts to show all my potential for reaching my ultimate dream, becoming a Formula One driver. And it shows all the work I’ve done in the past has paid off as well. I just have to keep working hard, to keep achieving more and more, and making my country more proud.

Zhou became the first Chinese Driver to score a pole position in Formula 2 at the British GP ’19

Sage: Is there something you want to say to your fans and supporters? Do you constantly feel the love of the Chinese community following you?

Zhou: To all my fans, I have to say big thanks for all the support. Guys who follow me since I was young in Formula Four, huge thanks to all of you. The other people who just start following me since Formula Two these days, I have to say thank you as well. And all this support means a lot to me, giving me a lot of boost and motivation. To all the people who believe one day that I could be in Formula One as well. In the end, I have to say that I hope everyone can support people that are chasing their dream, especially myself to represent China is not easy in Europe. I’m trying to do my best, so hopefully one day my dream can come true, making you proud of me.

Sage: This season is your third season in Formula 2, and there is most likely a chip on your shoulder that you have to win the championship this year to have an opportunity in F1. You’re doing great right now sitting in first in the driver’s championship, but has this extra pressure affected you in any way?

Zhou: I mean this year it’s actually good so far. Looking at the rounds [in] Monaco and Baku, I didn’t expect to be leading the championship so far. So that’s actually a good start because all the tracks after I am really comfortable with. On the other hand, this pressure on my shoulder, as I had in Asian F3 early season, a car I [had never driven] before, everybody expects me to win, but it wasn’t easy for me, I have to really work hard for it because other drivers know the car better than me. And for this year, I have to do well, have to show my potential, which we already did so far, and I have to continue this momentum. And also I think winning the championship gives me [a good] opportunity to jump in Formula One, but to be in the top three, I think I still have a chance to try to find a seat in Formula One. But what I focus on right now is getting that F2 championship.

Zhou winning at Monaco ’21

Sage: How does it feel to win in Monaco?

Zhou: To win in Monaco is so special. I think it’s one of my most unforgettable or happiest victories ever. It’s such a special place, such a special area that every driver would love to step on the special podium. And on the Monaco track, you cannot make any mistake, you have to be 100% accurate, 100% focused for the whole distance. I just feel so happy that I achieved the win in Monaco.

Sage: How do you feel about getting the opportunity to drive Fernando’s car in Austria? Do you think you’re ready for the big stage?

Zhou: It’s going to be a great stage for me and I’m super excited to jump in the Formula One car as I have [worked very hard] for this opportunity. My plan is to enjoy the moment and to complete all the targets the team has set for me. I will prove myself as much as I can to show my pace and momentum.

We thank Zhou for his time and hope that he has a great weekend and a successful season of racing ahead. Be sure not to miss him drive his first laps in a Formula One car at the Red Bull Ring at 10:30 am BST this Friday!

Also a huge thank you to Bruna Brito, Aiden Hover and Tanishka Vashee for helping to make this interview happen! As well as the whole DIVEBOMB team!

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Max Verstappen on pole once again!

Written by Aiden Hover, edited By Tansihka Vashee

Max Verstappen will start tomorrow’s race in pole position for the second weekend on the trot following a dominant showing in qualifying today! He will be joined by title rival, Sir Lewis Hamilton on the front row – which is sure to lead to some drama tomorrow. Lando Norris repeats his 2020 feat and will start 3rd on the grid having had great pace all day. Valtteri Bottas, who qualified 2nd but was awarded a three-place grid penalty for his pitlane spin during practice, will start 5th.

Sergio Perez will start 4th on the grid, having struggled to keep up with his Dutch teammate all weekend. Pierre Gasly, having topped Q2 for much of the session, will be very pleased with 6th for tomorrow’s race as he once again harnesses all the pace from his Alpha Tauri. Yuki Tsunoda, his teammate, managed to break his qualifying rut with a P8 in today’s session. The young Japanese driver, however, is under investigation for impeding Valtteri Bottas and so may receive a grid penalty. Lining up 7th is Charles Leclerc who overperformed in his Ferrari, out-qualifying his teammate by some margin. Fernando Alonso has truly come alive at this point of the season by qualifying 9th just ahead of the Aston Martin of Lance Stroll who rounds out the top 10.

Qualifying Two was headlined by the struggles of Lewis Hamilton. The Brit seemed to lack pace on the medium tyres with a horrendous lockup forcing him to put extra laps onto his race starting set. Meanwhile, multiple drivers suffered from track limits violations with the two Aston Martins having their final times deleted – causing the razor thin escape from Lance Stroll and the elimination of Sebastian Vettel who will start 14th tomorrow. George Russell narrowly missed out on his first Q3 appearance as a Williams driver by only 0.008 seconds as he proved once again why we call him Mr Saturday and will line up 11th with a free choice of tyres tomorrow. A disappointing session from Carlos Sainz and Daniel Ricciardo, we will see  them start 12th and 13th with Antonio Giovinazzi setting the slowest time of the session in 15th.

Qualifying One saw the elimination of Nicholas Latifi who, despite setting a stunning lap good enough for P8 at the time, was unable to take advantage of the improving track conditions and will line up 16th tomorrow. He was joined by Esteban Ocon in being eliminated who himself has seemed to struggle ever since his contract extension with Alpine was announced, and will start 17th just ahead of Kimi Raikkonen in 18th. The back row tomorrow will be occupied by the two Haas cars, Mick Schumacher just ahead of Nikita Mazepin.

Be sure not to miss tomorrow’s race, as well as all the action from this weekend – including round 1 of the 2021 W-series season!

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