Author Archives: brunabbrito01

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.

WOMEM CRUSH WEDNESDAY: WSERIES – THE 2021 GUIDE

Written by Bruna Brito, Edited by Tanishka Vashee

What’s W Series?

Defined as a “ free-to-enter championship, launched in October 2018, that provides equal opportunities for women and eliminates the financial barriers that have historically prevented them from progressing to the upper echelons of motorsport.” The mission is to provide acceptance that female and male racing drivers can compete with one another on equal terms when given the same opportunities.

Calendar

After the start of the pandemic, the 2020 championship was canceled, so now for 2021, we will have 8 rounds, starting with a double in the Red Bull Ring, with Alice Powell, as the very first winner of the season, and Jamie Chadwick in the second round. Followed by a win for Alice Powell again, in Silverstone.

This weekend we will have the return of the competition, in Hungaroring, in the city of Budapest for race number four of the season. The next ones will be Spa- Francorchamps, as the same weekend as F1, a favorite for many W Series drivers then Zandvoort, alongside Formula 1 again,  in September, Circuit of the Americas, first-ever race outside of Europe.

Finishing the season in Autodromo Hermanos Rodríguez, on 29 and 30th of October.

Drivers

Abbie Eaton – Escurie W (@AbbieEaton44  )

29 years old – British

She started at age 15 in a regional competition as a British GT and in 2018 started as a test driver for the Amazon’s The Grand Tour series.

This is her first year of the W Series.

Abbie Eaton

Abbi Pulling – Puma W Series Team (@AbbiPulling  )

18 years old – British

One of the youngest in the category, she made her debut at the race in Silverstone this year and finished in 8th place. Abbi is being mentored by Alice Powell, who is also a part of the W Series! She has competed in Ginetta Juniors, GT5, British F4, and Formula Renault.

Abbie Pulling

Alice Powell – Racing X (@alicepowell  )

28 years old – British

She was the youngest Formula Renault UK driver and the first woman to win the championship. The first woman to score in GP3. She participated in the 2020 season of Formula E as well as the W Series. She won the first race of that year in the W Series.

Alice Powell

Ayla Agren – M.Forbes Motosports (@AylaAgren  )

27 years old – Norwegian

She raced the Formula Ford-spec F1600 and Indy. After a few years, she was forced to stop her career due to lack of funding, currently, in addition to the W Series, she is a spotter for the Indy 500. This is the first time she will be participating in the series.

Ayla Agren

Beitske Viesser – M.Forbes Motosports (@beitskevisser  )

26 years old – Dutch

She raced in Formula Renault 3.5 and the European Le Mans Series where she was part of the only all-female team to race as Le Mans 24h.

Beitske Viesser

Belen Garcia – Scuderia W (@ beautifications)

27 years old – Spanish

She started her career relatively late compared to other drivers, at age 15, when she got her chance in Kart. She raced for Spanish F4 winning the Women’s F4 Championship. This is her first year at the W Series.

Belen Garcia

Bruna Tomasseli – Veloce Racing (@brunatomaselli  )

23 years old – Brazilian

She raced in the Brazilian Formula Jr. and in the South American F4. She moved to the US where she ran a USF2000 National Championship. An avid Ferrari fan, a Tifosa if you will. 

Bruna Tomasseli

Emma Kimilainen – Ecurie W (@EmmaKimilainen)

31 years old – Finnish

She started in Kart at age 3, that is, she learned to drive before speaking, and competed in the Formula Masters Series and Formula Palmer Audi. For financial reasons, she stayed away from the tracks for 4 years.

Emma Kimilainen

Fabienne Wohlwend – Bunker Racing (@FWohlwend5)

23 years old –  Liechtensteiner 

 Her family put the whole house on wheels so the girl could live her dreams, she participated in the Italian F4, Audi TT Cup, and European Ferrari Challenge.

Fabienne Wohlwend

Irina Sidorkova – Academy (@IraSidorkova   )

18 years old – Russian

Dubbed the baby of W Series, she competed in several national categories. She also raced F4 in Russia and Spain, took second place in the last race, a great performance for a rookie.

Irina Sidorkova

Jamie Chadwick – Veloce Racing (@JamieChadwick   )

24 years old – British

The 2019 W Series champion. She was also the first woman to win a British GT and a British BRDC F3. In 2020 she was announced as a development driver in F1 by the Williams team.

Jamie Chadwick

Jessica Hawkins – Racing X (@1JessicaHawkins   )

26 years old – British

At age 12 she started in British Karting and raced in several categories after that. Jessica is also a stunt driver, has recorded films such as Fast and Furious and 007. She is also part of the Aston Martin F1 team as an ambassador.

Jessica Hawkins

Marta Garcia – Puma W Series Team (@martarcing   )

20 years old – Spanish

She started karting at the age of 6, won the CIK-FIA Karting Academy Trophy and the Trofeo delle Industrie. She took a good amount of victories in the first-ever edition of the W Series and finished fourth in the standings.

Marta Garcia

Miki Koyama – Sirin Racing (@mkhouse001   )

23 years old – Japanese

Miki had to work hard to get into motorsport. She has been working since she was a teenager to make her racing career a reality. She raced in Japanese F4, and won 3 years in a row in the Kyojo Cup.

Miki Koyama

Nerea Marti – Academy (@nereamarti32)

19 years old – Spanish

Another baby! She was the first woman to win the Valencia Community Karting Championship in 2018. She also raced in the Rotax España Series and the Spanish F4.

Nerea Marti

Sabré Cook – Bunker Racing (@Sabre_Cook  )

27 years old – American

She started small in the kart and at the age of 13, the same year she had already taken the title of TAG Junior. She was the first woman to win the SKUSA Pro Tour National Championship.

Sabré Cook

Sarah Moore – Scuderia W (@ smgirlracer26)

27 years old – British

She raced and won titles at the Ginetta Junior Championship and several other categories in the UK. Sarah plays a very important role for the LGBTQ+ community within motorsport.

Sarah Moore

Vittoria Piria – Sirin Racing (@VickyPiria)

27 years old – Italian

 Vicky made history by being the first woman to race in GP3, she also raced in Euro F3 and other categories. She has been nicknamed the busiest W Series driver, for she makes a lot of television appearances and is Ferrari’s first ever driving instructor. 

Vittoria Piria

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Women Crush Wednesday’s: Charlotte Sefton

We’ve seen her in multiple interviews with Lando Norris this year, and she’s quickly becoming one of our favorite people in the paddock. That’s right, it’s Charlotte Sefton. Whether it’s making sure Lando Norris’s hair is on point or if his mask is on or off, Charlotte’s there taking care of the young McLaren driver (and full-time streamer).

Written by Esmée Koppius, Edited by Bruna Brito

Charlotte started working at McLaren almost 7 years ago in 2014 as a PR Officer. Today, she is a Communications Manager at the iconic team, meaning she’s the one that organized the car launch and all PR events. Before working at McLaren, she worked for Jardine (a motorsport event organizer). There’s little known of her, but that doesn’t mean what she has achieved isn’t impressive.

In her time at McLaren she has worked with Fernando Alonso, Stoffel Vandoorne, Carlos Sainz Jr ,and now Lando Norris as well as Daniel Ricciardo. She was also nominated for an award in 2019, which she sadly didn’t win.

Charlotte Sefton on Twitter: "Hard work, late nights and zero sleep, but we  SMASHED it 👊🏻. And still time for a #BackstageSelfie 📸. #OneTeamOneDream  #MCL32 Next stop: 🇪🇸.… https://t.co/uHH6PiM2uJ"

She has been doing an amazing job at McLaren, keeping Lando Norris happy and his hair and outfit on point (as seen in Norris’s interview in Austria a few weeks ago, where he told the interviewer she was his personal stylist). She’s also an example of hard work paying off, and she’s absolutely glowing.

charlotte sefton Tumblr posts - Tumbral.com

We at Divebomb wish her the best of luck for the future and what that brings.

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TBT: The day Michael Schumacher parked his car to secure pole in Monaco

At the 2006 Monaco Grand Prix, Michael Schumacher parked his car during a qualifying session to raise a yellow flag to hold off his rivals, preventing them from having the chance to do their fastest lap time. This episode became one of the seven-time world champion’s most famous controversies.

Written by Bruna Brito, Edited by Seow Hui Zhi, and Janvi Unni

After the incident in 1994, when Schumacher beat Damon Hill at the Australian GP to win the title that year, and also when he squeezed the british driver off the track, he was not considered the sportiest guy on the grid. But when the German dominated the sport in 2000-2004 with Ferrari, his image of him as a controversial driver supposedly changed. However, we all know that didn’t happen…

In 2005, Ferrari spent the year struggling, finishing with Fernando Alonso gaining his first world championship. In 2006, the Scuderia from Maranello recovered and returned to fight for the top positions. Before the Monaco GP, Schumacher was 2nd in the drivers championship, with a difference of 15 points to Alonso – remember that at the time the victory was worth 10 points.

In the weekend at Monte Carlo, the qualifying was intense – since a pole in Monaco is very valuable. In Q3, Schumacher got the pole by 0.082 seconds to Alonso, the second best at that time. All the drivers went to the pits to change tyres, and used the last minutes to achieve a better position. In the second part, Schumacher did +0.2 of his own time, and when he got into the Rascasse corner, the penultimate of the circuit, the German locked the wheels and stopped the car next to the guard-rail, provoking yellow flags in the area and affecting all the drivers beside Alonso, Webber and Kimi.

Alonso by the way, was coming to the fastest lap, by 0.3 seconds, but was obligated to slow down, finishing a 0.64 seconds to Schumacher, and qualified second.

The action immediately started to provoke comments from the media and staff. Flavio Briatore, Alonso’s boss at Renault, claimed “ He simply stopped the car like that! It is like this Ferrari acts!”

Jacques Villenueve also commented about the polemic. The Canadian said; “I was expecting that it was on purpose, because if that was a mistake, Schumacher should have had a super license point because it was a shameful movement even for Yuji Ide”, referring to the driver who was banned from F1 in the same month of 2006.

Alonso however, was planning a protest, some people talked to the media saying he was going to land in front of Schumacher’s car after the formation lap.

Schumacher defended saying: “Only who was in the car knows what happened”.

Nonetheless, the FIA decided to investigate Schumacher’s conduct on that move, the agency retrieved statements, analyzed the videos, and investigated the telemetry data, and the decision came later that night. Michael was considered guilty for parking his car on purpose, and provocating a late on other drivers times. The organization decided to delete all his times at the track, making the driver lose his pole, being obligated to start the race by the last position.

FIA claimed that Schumacher got into the corner in a velocity similar to the last corner, but unexpectedly braked the car in a ”improper, excessive and unusual” way.

So the commissars activated the F1 regulation number 112 , not giving the driver the chance to defend the decision.

According to the investigation of the case, Schumacher applied 50% more force on the brakes compared to the previous laps, staying for along 5 meters moving the wheel in a “unnecessary” way, losing the control of the car by 16 kilometres per hour, making the engine go off because of the long interval on changing the gears.

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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: GUANYU ZHOU ON F1 DEBUT AND MONACO WIN

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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breaking: Brazilian GP set to take place with ticket sales planned

Written by Bruna Brito and Hafiz Akbar, Edited by Haneen Abbas

With vaccination numbers in São Paulo steadily increasing by the day, the government has given event promoter, Alan Adler, the go ahead to start the sale of tickets for the 2021 Brazilian Grand Prix.

The organizers intend to start the sale of tickets as early as June 18th. The race itself is scheduled to take place late this season on November 7th. The event promoters expect a flurry of 40,000 people per day to attend the event in the world-famous Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace, better known as Interlagos. This will be the biggest event to be held in the circuit since the start of the pandemic back in early 2020. 

“F1 will be a symbol of the resumption of big events. There is no reason not to be. It is a sector that has all the conditions around the world to operate safely,” said the new race  promoter, Alan Adler, to the Folha Journal.

No aniversário de Interlagos, um mural em homenagem a Ayrton Senna | Exame

In case things go sideways, Liberty Media has prepared a replacement should the Brazilian Government decide to pull the plug and cancel the event altogether, with additional races set in place for replacement in the United States or Bahrain, citing German motorsports magazine,  AutoMotor und Sport.

After the Brazilian GP, Formula One will have a number of races to cap off the 2021 season, with races in Australia on November 21, followed two weeks later with a double header in Jeddah and Yas Marina, on December 5th and 12th respectively

This will mark the first race under the newest contract between the City of São Paulo and Formula One, which is worth around $20 million, paid for by the city, and will see Interlagos hosting Formula One races for the next 5 years.

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Mclaren confirm Extreme E for 2022

Written by Hafiz Akbar, Edited by Bruna Brito

Iconic British car maker and racing team, McLaren have announced their commitment to race in Extreme E from the 2022 season and onwards. 

The team with legendary status in the motorsports scene will open a new chapter in their quest to claim glory, having won the Formula 1 World Championship eight times. The Mclaren Extreme E team itself will be run by existing team members outside the Formula 1 scene.

This marks a great stride towards McLaren’s goal of net-zero emissions while simultaneously reaching out to a new fanbase and help grow the McLaren name even bigger than it already is.

Extreme E itself is a new motorsports series, with its maiden season in the scene taking place this year and with no predictions and knowledge of what the teams are capable of, it can be an interesting series to keep your eyes on.

CEO of Extreme E, Alejandro Agag, stated:“We are absolutely thrilled to welcome Zak and the powerhouse McLaren Racing team to Extreme E, and it’s safe to say, we can’t wait to see how the team performs in its first off-road, electric racing debut. Season 2 just got very exciting!”

Meanwhile, Zak Brown, CEO of McLaren Racing commented: “From the moment Extreme E was announced we have been following the progress of the series closely. Our attention was immediately drawn by the innovative format of this motorsport platform, in particular the ability it gives us to accelerate and boost our own overarching sustainability agenda, which shares the same priorities of decarbonisation, waste reduction, diversity and equality.”

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WOMAN CRUSH WEDNESDAYS: ABBIE EATON

Born on the 2nd of January 1992 in Hull, England, Abigail Eaton is a popular guest on the very successful Amazon Original, ‘The Grand Tour,’ along with being a 2 times British Champion in Production Touring Cars and the Mazda MX-5 Supercup. As well as this, she is the first female driver in history to win a Blancpain Endurance class as she pushes her career to inspire millions!

Written by Bruna Brito, Edited by Esmée Koppius & Aiden Hover

Abbie says that her very first contact with the speed of a race track was at 10 years old:

 “My father used to race so I grew up around Motorsport. I started karting aged 10 and then progressed into cars aged 15.”

At 10, Abbie remembers being at a go-kart track with her parents and asking them if she could compete. However, they were busy doing other things. Determined, she picked up an old box and began walking through the pit boxes asking various team members to give her the money needed to compete. In this rather optimistic and comical act, she had shown her determination to her parents who decided to support her dream.

The start was not easy, however, with Abbie seemingly always getting into trouble with the boys as they would push her kart about on track and into the wall. She insists that those episodes simply made her the woman she is today and helped her build confidence within herself. From a young age, Abbie knew the passion required to do a good job and in this, she cultivated resilience and determination. Abbie knew she had to put herself in positions that others were unwilling to so that onlookers could have no doubt of her talent.

In 2007, Abbie joined her first professional race series – the Junior Saloon Car Trophy. Driving a Citroen Saxo VTR, she finished the championship in 4th position, with 3 podiums and 2 fastest laps.

In 2009, at 17 years old, Abbie entered the Production Touring Car Trophy, driving a Vauxhall Corsa VXR. Astonishingly, she would win the championship in her rookie season winning 15 out of 18 races with 2 pole positions a record 7 fastest laps!

Entirely self-funded by her family, despite being far from privileged, she went on to compete in the Mazda MX-5 Championship. This year would be incredibly difficult for the Briton as she would miss many races due to lack of sponsorship. She hit back strong in 2013 with 1 win, 7 podiums, and 1 fastest lap. Abbie would do even better in 2014, becoming the champion of the Mazda MX-5 Supercup!

Again in 2016, Abbie suffered a lack of sponsors. She has talked many times about how this was a problem throughout her career as, despite showing good results and consistency – the prejudice and difficulties followed her regardless of what championship she competed in.

“The MX-5 SuperCup will always be unforgettable for me. It was the last year I did anything in a family-run team. Dad built the car and did the set-up, and Mum was there supporting with bacon sarnies in the morning. It was a really tough year. Though my career has been quite long, I’ve only ever done the odd full season, and 2014 was the first full season I’d done in five or six years. We started well but three-quarters of the way through there was an incident in which someone hit me off track on purpose – there were so many highs and lows.”

Nonetheless, Abbie would earn the chance to compete in the Blancpain Endurance Series, driving a Ferrari 488 GT3, for a one of showing in 2017. Competing in a field of 52, she and her team would finish first in the AM Cup, making her the first female driver in history to win a class in the series.

Abbie Eaton later would become much loved as she played the role of test and stunt driver on the Amazon Original series, The Grand Tour.

“I think he was destined to fail, to be honest especially with UK viewers, I think probably it was set up that The Grand Tour is owned by Amazon, which is an American company and they wanted to just give it an American injection of humour.”

However, the show became a huge success, as it rose to one of Amazon’s most popular shows. Unfortunately, Abbie is no longer a part of the show.

For 2021, Abbie is set to compete in the second ever season of the ground-breaking W-Series:

“I’m determined and I’m quick – I just need bum-in-seat practice time – so I’m very grateful for the opportunity W Series is giving me. I’m focused on giving it my all – I think most of the girls are. Being in a male-dominated sport, you have to be hungrier and more aggressive on track to get what you want. You have to prove you’re not going to get messed about. I think that’s why racing in a female championship is going to be harder than in a mixed one. Our collective determination is so much more potent.”

Abbie came out as a lesbian and as a part of the LGBTQ+ community at the age of 17. As we celebrate Pride Month this June, we hope you enjoyed this article and wish Abbie well as she continues to inspire young people all around the world with her story!

Love is Love <3

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Fun Facts about Baku

To everyone’s joy, Formula One returns to Azerbaijan this weekend. The Baku City Circuit has become famous over its short history for its many quirks and interesting facts – as well as amazing racing. At first, the Baku City Circuit didn’t even host the Azerbaijan Grand Prix as, for its first race in 2016, it hosted the European Grand Prix!

Written by Bruna Brito, Edited by Aiden Hover

Baku itself, the capital of Azerbaijan, is the lowest capital city in the world as it sits 28 meters (91.8 ft)  below sea level. This feat only adds to the drama of the track as it boasts a top speed of 350 km/h and plenty of overtakes to suit – averaging around 50% more than most races in any given season. Despite the two super long DRS (Drag Reduction System) zones, much of the overtaking takes place at different points of the track due to its wide range of corners.

Nearby to the circuit is the location of the record-breaking national flag square. Standing at over 162 meters (531 ft)  tall, it has a Guinness world record marking it as the third tallest flagpole in the world as it stands proud next to the beautiful Casiapn sea.

The narrowest point of the Baku City Circuit is a nail-biting 7.6 meters wide (25 ft) as it twists through the tight castle section around the Old City. This point has become synonymous amongst F1 fans, thanks in no small part to Charles Leclerc. It was here where the young Monegasque driver uttered the famous phrase, ‘I am stupid,’ as he threw away a major shot at Pole Position in 2019. This narrow section of the track is in stark contrast to the whopping 2.2km straight that helps form the 6.003km circuit – making it the second-longest track on the calendar.

Aside from the strange quirks of such a wild street circuit, Baku holds some very strange statistics with regards to its Grand Prix finishing order. Despite having only competed in one race in Baku, Nico Roberg has led the most laps around the track with 51. Valtteri Bottas is second on that list with 49. This goes to show how dominant Mercedes has been around this venue, winning three out of the four races held. They won in 2016, 2018 and 2019. Meanwhile, Daniel Ricciardo, the only non-Mercedes winner, won the 2017 Azerbaijan Grand Prix from 10th on the grid, the lowest starting position of any previous winner. Furthermore, the two titans of the modern era, Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel are the only two drivers to have scored on every visit to the track – despite their controversial collision in 2017.

In a different vein, at least one Russian driver has competed in every race here – yet not one has finished the race. Can Nikita Mazepin be the first? Find out this Sunday for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

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Azerbaijan Grand Prix – Weekend Preview

Fans have been spoiled in recent weeks as motorsport’s famous ‘Month of May’ concluded last weekend with the legendary Indy 500 and the revolutionary Ocean X-Prix. The racing action is not yet over, however, as June kicks off with a bang in Azerbaijan as the Formula One circus descends on the narrow streets of Baku for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix!

Written by Aiden Hover, Edited by Bruna Brito

The Baku City Circuit, located on the picturesque coast of the Caspian Sea, winds itself through the narrow streets of modern Baku before looping back on itself through the historic Icheri Sheher. At its narrowest point, the circuit is a scary 7.6 metres (25ft) wide as it threads itself between the Old Town’s medieval walls. Before long, however, the cars embark on a whopping 2.2-kilometre (1.4 miles) straight stretch along Neftchilar Avenue, allowing them to reach a frightening top speed of 360 km/h. The rest of the 6.003-kilometre (3.730 miles) circuit is made up of 20 precision perfect, often 90°, turns that require an awe-inspiring amount of skill to navigate – particularly as the barriers are ever-waiting to claim their victim. The 2019 pole time of a 1:40.495s set by Valtteri Bottas will be difficult to beat, but all 20 of the determined Formula One drivers will be sure to risk it all to prove themselves as the best of the best.

The Baku City Circuit is a relatively new addition to the Formula One calendar, however, it has already played host to several incredible moments of racing history. The track’s inaugural event in 2016, playing host to the European Grand Prix, saw a rare mistake from Sir Lewis Hamilton as he crashed out in qualifying and was forced to fight back through on Sunday whilst his teammate and championship rival, Nico Rosberg, went on to claim a crucial win before going on to win that year’s title. For the first Azerbaijan Grand Prix, in 2017, the track would treat us to yet more controversy as Hamilton was once again involved with championship drama as his rival that year, Sebastian Vettel deliberately crashed into the Brit’s Mercedes behind the safety car. This earned the German a time penalty, but the drama was not over there as Hamilton himself was forced to make an extra stop to fix a loose headrest! This race also saw collisions between the two Force India drivers of Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon, resulting in damage to both ‘Pink Panthers.’ Meanwhile, Daniel Ricciardo would pull off an incredible three-car overtake on his way to win the race whilst Lance Stroll claimed his first podium result for Williams after a photo finish with the Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas – who himself had fought back from being a lap down after a lap one incident with Kimi Raikkonen.

Ricciardo’s joy of 2017 was quickly forgotten in 2018 as the Australian came together with his RedBull teammate Max Verstappen following a race-long battle. With the two RedBulls out of the race, Valtteri Bottas looked set to comfortably win the Azerbaijan Grand Prix until heartbreak occurred with a late-race puncture, giving the win to Lewis Hamilton. Further back through the field, Fernando Alonso impressively limped back to the pits with only two wheels following a lap one incident and yet would still achieve 7th place come the checkered flag. Esteban Ocon and Kimi Raikkonen also came together to bring out the safety car in a dramatic fashion. This race was also the host of the famous ‘I think Ericsson hit us’ team radio line as Romain Grosjean crashed behind the Safety Car on his own accord. Valtteri Bottas’ bad omens were amended in 2019 as the Finn finally reigned supreme with a stunning lights to flag victory.

What can we look forward to this year, however? As Formula One returns to Baku for the first time since 2019, the fight looks to be between the RedBull of Max Verstappen and the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton, yet again. Two weeks on from a disastrous Monaco Grand Prix for the two Silver Arrows, a race that resulted in Max Verstappen and RedBull taking over the championship lead, they will be hoping for much more this weekend. With Hamilton finishing P7 and placing blame mostly on his team, tensions will surely be high within Mercedes. Although, their Monaco weekend wasn’t a total waste as they set yet another record – the longest ever pitstop, at 43 hours and 15 minutes. Bottas was forced to retire due to a stuck wheel nut that couldn’t be removed until the car had been returned to Britain. RedBull, after a dominant win last time out, will be looking to continue its form as Sergio Perez is finally stepping up to his role following a masterfully performed strategy that allowed him to finish P4.

Both Ferrari and McLaren showed strong pace in Monaco with Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris both finishing on the podium. Their respective teammates, however, both failed to score with Daniel Ricciardo being lapped by his younger teammate. Charles Leclerc didn’t even make the start due to damage received in a qualifying session that saw him take pole position. The two teams will want to capitalise on their strong pace with both cars this time out to cement their fight for P3 in the championship. 

The midfield also looks particularly strong following good finishes for a number of drivers. A double points finish for Aston Martin puts them in good stead for Baku with Sebastian Vettel looking to have returned to form. Pierre Gasly drove well in Monaco to fend off the Mercedes of Hamilton to finish P6 – something he’ll be hoping to replicate on Sunday. His Alpha Tauri teammate of Yuki Tsunoda struggled in Monaco and will be wanting to improve in Baku just as will Fernando Alonso who was beaten by his Alpine teammate Esteban Ocon.

Alfa Romeo performed exceptionally well last time out with Antonio Giovinazzi scoring the team’s first points with Raikkonen narrowly missing out. They look strong heading into Azerbaijan – as do Williams who, whilst celebrating their 750th Grand Prix as a team, beat out their nearest rivals in Haas as well as Yuki Tsunoda. Baku also looks to be a circuit that will suit the Williams car as it favours engine power. The less said about the Haas F1 team the better as both cars were lapped three times around the Monaco street circuit and Baku does not seem like it will be any better for them.

Be sure not to miss any of the action this weekend with lights out at 13:00 BST on Sunday! All that can be said for now, however, is ‘Well done Baku.’

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