The Founder of Wiliams Racing, Sir Frank Williams CBE, has sadly passed away. The prominent F1 figure’s death was confirmed by the team’s social media post, which didn’t point out his cause of death.
The full statement on his death by his family was quickly released to the press via the team website, stating:
“After being admitted to the hospital on Friday, Sir Frank passed away peacefully this morning surrounded by his family.
“Today we pay tribute to our much loved and inspirational figurehead. Frank will be sorely missed. We request that all friends and colleagues respect the Williams family’s wishes for privacy at this time.”
Sir Frank headed the iconic British team under his own name for nearly half a century–more than all of the current grid’s combined–and was still running the team up until the 2019 season, where he then passed the baton to his daughter, Claire for the remainder of the family’s ownership. The family left the sport late last season when the team was then sold to Dorilton Capital.
Formula 1 CEO, Stefano Domenicali stated:
“He was a true giant of our sport that overcame the most difficult challenges in life and battled every day to win on and off the track. We have lost a much loved and respected member of the F1 family and he will be hugely missed.”
Current Williams Team Principal, Jost Capito also shared his thoughts:
“His passing marks the end of an era for our team and for the sport of Formula 1. Our thoughts are with the Williams family at this difficult time.”
The statement further explains that although the team would welcome bouquets of flower to be placed in the team’s headquarters, they suggest that whoever wishes to pay a tribute to Sir Frank to make a donation to the Spinal Injuries Association, with details of his memorial service to be announced very soon.
On behalf of the Divebomb crew, we send out our condolences to the Williams family at this time. Sir Frank was a big icon in the world of Formula 1 and will most definitely be missed.
With the upcoming Indonesian round of the World Superbike Championship right around the corner, preparations are underway to ensure the smooth running of the event. Chassis shipment being one of the said preparations taking place in Mandalika.
However, not all was smooth sailing as one of the local organizers was caught to have ‘illegally opened’ one of the cargo crates containing the chassis of the Ducati Panigale V4R, which is set to be used in the later weeks of this month.
Citing Speedweek, it was reported that a local organizer opened the box containing a V4R chassis and tampered with the race-approved chassis. Although not rendering it useless, the incident surely made some minds, especially Ducati’s, uneasy as it could lead to espionage.
The local organizers have issued immediate termination to the individual responsible for illegally opening the cargo box. WSBK Executive Director, Gregorio Lavilla has acknowledged this occurrence and in turn has apologized to Ducati Corse that such an occurrence has had to happen
WSBK regulations dictate that, other than local customs and excise officers, only team personnel can purposefully open the box containing a bike chassis so, this occurrence was a massive letdown on the part of the Indonesian organizers and will most definitely cast a shadow of doubt with other racing series touted to race on the recently finished track, such as MotoGP and Formula 1.
The beaches and resorts of Sochi were once again witness to an exciting Russian Grand Prix. Qualifying didn’t go so well for title contender Lewis Hamilton, who had an absolutely torrid qualifying session. His W12 slid all over the place (even into the pit wall at one point), which only got him 4th place to start from. The front three is a surprise (but a welcome one, for sure) as Lando Norris takes home the first pole of his career, with former teammate Carlos Sainz in the scarlet red Ferrari lined up alongside. Hamilton’s future teammate, George Russell started from 3rd in his Williams and showed his quality and perseverance. Max Verstappen, who’s taking a brand-new power unit, started from dead last.
The start of the race is sure to be a talking point. Norris got away so quick, but Sainz was equal, if not quicker, than the young Briton. Sainz ended up leading the race coming into the first braking zone at turn 2 and retaining the lead for another 13 laps. Norris showed his excellent competitive maturity by snatching back the lead and extending it, getting away from Sainz who ended up pitting earlier in an attempt at an undercut.
For the others, the start was quite eventful as we see Hamilton, starting from 4th, drop down to 7th just behind Daniel Ricciardo. Meanwhile, in the other Mercedes-powered car, Lance Stroll went up 3 places, effectively swapping places with Hamilton. Verstappen was having his attempt at the last-to-first challenge by some popular YouTubers in real life, starting from 20th and was 13th by lap 9. Mercedes’ plan to hold Verstappen back almost backfired since Valtteri Bottas didn’t put up a significant fight to keep the Dutchman at bay. He was overtaken by lap 6.
Almost all of the pit crew had a mare of slow pit stops, everyone from Sainz, Ricciardo, to even Sergio Perez experienced some sort of difficulty regarding the “green light” switch that needed to go on before the driver was allowed to get away.
About the tyre wear, some drivers complained about not having grip on the tarmac. Due to the heavy torrential rain the day before, the rubber raced surface of the track was wiped clean of all rubber. This created some difficulties for drivers to brake and gain traction, which is why Sainz locked up coming into the first braking zone at turn 2 on the start. But Norris, who initially reported graining, said that by lap 25, the graining was clearing up.
From lap 25, the race was pretty much dead, apart from a heated battle for 1st place by Norris (who is yet to win his first race) and Hamilton (who was looking for his 100th win). This would go on for some time until lap 46, when Russell reported rain at turn 5 and 6. Norris was asked for his opinion to change to intermediates, but the young lad refused and kept on going with his hard-compound tyres. Hamilton also refused to take intermediates but after further tactic-making by the team tactician, he pitted on lap 49 and took on intermediates as Norris went on to slip and slide like “Bambi on Ice,” said David Croft. Norris went on to lead the grand prix until lap 51, where he overshot the turn and went to the run-off, only for Hamilton, now on inters, to take him over. Meanwhile, Verstappen also took the poor young man and from that point on, his decision to not take inters would prove to be his downfall. He finished in 7th after leading the race for 38 laps.
The highlight of the race goes to Max Verstappen. Verstappen had an absolute overtaking masterclass in this race. The Dutchman started from dead last and finished second best, overtaking 18 drivers on the grid, including his own teammate, Perez.
Meanwhile, in the more controversial side of things, Lance Stroll came into contact with not one, but two drivers in the race. The two drivers being Pierre Gasly and Sebastian Vettel, who unsurprisingly didn’t finish in the points, placing 13th and 12th, respectively
Anyway, after a dramatic and exciting last couple of laps in Sochi, Lewis Hamilton wins the 100th race of his career and cements himself as one of the all-time greats of Formula 1 history. Max Verstappen, with a superb drive from last, will take home second and Carlos Sainz, the man who was signed as the second driver for Ferrari, takes the third place spot on the podium.
The Drivers’ Championship is heating up, with 6 races to go (subject to each country’s COVID policy). Currently, Lewis Hamilton leads Max Verstappen by 2 points. The Constructors’ Championship still got Mercedes leading the way, 33 points clear of Red Bull in second place. The fight for third is also picking up, as Ferrari hasn’t recovered from their loss back in Monza, where McLaren did a historic 1-2 for the first time since 2012 (back when Hamilton was still a McLaren driver).
Formula 1 will return next week in the skating rink that is the Istanbul Park. Until then, do watch other series like the British F4 Championship, which we recently covered, or the GB3 Championship and watch our star boy Roman Bilinski show his racecraft.
The brand-new powerboat racing series and the first electric powerboat racing series, the E1 Series, has very recently launched the RaceBird, a fixed chassis model that will be used by the teams to compete in the series, much like the chassis seen in other electric racing series such as Formula E and Extreme E. The presentation was hosted by the Yacht Club de Monaco and had the Union Internationale Motonautique (UIM) President, Raffaele Chiulli unveiling the year-long wait for the boat.
Specifications wise, the RaceBird is equipped with a 35kWh capacity battery and will have a peak power output of a whopping 150kW from the motors. It will utilize the widely-used hydrofoil technology to enable the boat to reach speeds of 93 km/h (50kn).
The E1 Series itself was launched just last year by Formula E co-founder, Alejandro Agag and former Red Bull Racing and Ferrari team member, Rodi Basso. The first season itself is set to take place by 2023 with 10 close-to-shore locations scattered throughout the world. It will see up to 12 teams tackling the various locations’ tight and technical circuits, with speeds up to 93 km/h.
Regarding its future calendar, E1 is currently in conversations with various government entities to hold the races, including potential races in the world-famous Danube River, just in front of the Hungarian Parliament Building and the Port of Rotterdam as part of the annual World Port Days festival.
The pinnacle of speed is back in the Temple of Speed. The Autodromo Nazionale di Monza has been home to some of the best races in Formula One history, with the latest one being Pierre Gasly’s shock win in 2020 with Scuderia Alpha Tauri.
As the race started, Daniel Ricciardo had a cracking start. He accelerated better from 0–200kmh than his former Red Bull teammate, Max Verstappen, who lined up next to him and earned himself his first ever race lead in a McLaren. Coming into the second chicane, Lewis Hamilton was alongside Verstappen but so far so good.
Antonio Giovinazzi tried to overtake Carlos Sainz but was ultimately unable to get past and went into the run-off area trying to get past Charles Leclerc coming into the second chicane. Giovinazzi ended up getting hit by Sainz’s Ferrari upon reentry. This resulted in the VSC going out.
Pierre Gasly, the winner of the 2020 Italian Grand Prix, had to come into the pit to retire after the VSC ended due to a mechanical failure. Meanwhile, his teammate Yuki Tsunoda didn’t have the chance to feature in this year’s Italian GP due to a hydraulics problem detected just before the race started. So it’s a no-points race for the Italian team, their first this season.
Meanwhile, in the iconic racing green Aston Martin, Sebastian Vettel fell back after his teammate Lance Stroll went past. He faded away from the race and ended up outside of the points.
Vettel was also involved in a collision with Esteban Ocon coming into the second chicane, with Ocon being handed a penalty.
The first (and last) pit stop for Ricciardo was on lap 21, whilst Hamilton got past the Australian’s teammate, Lando Norris in the same lap. The young Brit ended up pitting two laps later and exiting ahead of Verstappen. Meanwhile, it wasn’t the best of stops for Verstappen and Hamilton. Both were involved in a slow stop, which is unusual to see from the Red Bull pit crew but is certainly not something uncommon for the Mercedes pit crew (wink wink Monaco).
Hamilton ended up exiting ahead of the young Dutch and tried to cover him off for the first chicane as Verstappen went for the overtake from the outside and got punished by the sausage kerb. This launched the back shaft of Verstappen’s Red Bull to Hamilton’s W12, and flung Verstappen’s car atop of his, promptly ending both of their races. The safety car was called out.
Norris took the best out of the situation and used the safety car period to overtake Charles Leclerc, who quickly fell back behind the wing of Sergio Perez. Valtteri Bottas, who started from 20th, quickly surged through the field and was in 4th by lap 34, overtaking both Ferraris in their home turf.
Perez was given a 5-second time penalty due to going off-track and gaining an advantage to overtake Leclerc. Meanwhile, on the Ferrari-engined car of Haas, Nikita Mazepin was also given a 5-second time penalty after causing a collision with his teammate, Mick Schumacher.
One of the highlights of the race was the battle between Perez and Bottas on lap 44, where Bottas almost managed to finish the move but ended up fluffing his lines and letting Perez through again.
There was also a battle for 3rd between Bottas, Leclerc, and Sainz on lap 45 but it lasted no longer than Mazepin’s debut race. It was pretty much a dead race from this point onwards with no significant moves being done. Oh, and I almost forgot that Mazepin retired on lap 44 due to a failure.
After an amazing 53 laps, Daniel Ricciardo wins his first race for McLaren (and his first podium for the team, too!), with his teammate, Lando Norris, coming in second to make a McLaren one-two for the first time since Canada in 2010 and giving McLaren their first win in 9 years. Sergio Perez finished the race in 3rd but due to the penalty, Valtteri Bottas is in the podium and not him. George Russell in the Williams also gained points in Monza for the first time in a long while.
Looking back to the standings, the Drivers’ Championship didn’t change much since both championship contenders crashed out. Ricciardo did climb up a place, overtaking Gasly in 8th. In the Constructors’ Championship, Mercedes extended their lead over Red Bull by 18 points, while McLaren climbed up a ladder and is currently 13,5 points clear of Ferrari.
We’ll be back in two weeks as Formula One returns to Sochi for the VTB Russian Grand Prix. Until then, drink in the shoeey.
Formula One once again returns to the Nederland, home to the Circuit Zandvoort, which hosted the championship up until the last one in 1985. With an excellent qualifying session from the title contenders, both Max Verstappen and Sir Lewis Hamilton lined up in pole and second, respectively. Fellow Mercedes driver, Valtteri Bottas followed suit in third position, with Pierre Gasly in fourth, equalling his best ever start.
Shortly after the race started, Sebastian Vettel went spinning. Although managing to stay off the unforgiving barriers of Zandvoort, the German veteran is relegated to the back lot of the positions.
A surprising decision by the Mercedes strategists kept Bottas out for longer, whilst the two title contenders came in for a fresh set of tyres.
Mercedes’ strategists attempted an undercut on Verstappen by pitting Hamilton early but it didn’t work out since the out lap was filled with traffic, both those waiting to be lapped or wanting to unlap themselves.
Lance Stroll and George Russell were involved in quite the battle till just before pitting, where Russell was slapped with a 5-second time penalty for speeding in the pit lane.
Being in a midfield car competing against frontrunners meant this was a quiet race for Pierre Gasly. The Frenchman stayed put on his 4th place spot throughout the race with no one to contest him and ended up finishing in 4th place.
Esteban Ocon, feeling that his pace was significantly faster than Fernando Alonso, tried complaining to the team that Alonso’s pace was “not enough.” But shortly, Alonso started pulling clear of Ocon.
The Ferrari duo has shown their competitiveness, holding the 5th and 6th place spot till the last minute, where Alonso overtook Carlos Sainz. Charles Leclerc went on to finish 5th.
Lando Norris benefitted from the Stroll-Russell battle to pass both and enter the points, although he’d quickly lose the spot again during a battle with Sergio Perez, who started from the pit lane and surged up the field. The two banged tyres and flooring but managed to get out of it in the track (aka not crashing).
Speaking of crashing, we have two retirements from this week’s race, with Nikita Mazepin and Yuki Tsunoda both retiring due to some technical failure.
In the end, it was Max Verstappen winning his first ever home GP after almost 36 years of hiatus from the calendar. He is the first ever winner of a Formula One race in Zandvoort in this hybrid era (since the last one is in 1985).
King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands was there amongst the crowd, congratulating race winner Max Verstappen on his hard-fought win.
As for the standings, Max Verstappen passed Lewis Hamilton again and is clear by 3 points. Whereas the 3rd place spot was swapped between Valtteri Bottas and Lando Norris, which is currently placed 3rd and 4th, respectively.
The Constructors’ Championship remains the same, with Mercedes extending their lead, now over 10 points, over their championship rival, Red Bull Honda.
Formula One will be back next week in what could be named one of the most sacred places in motorsport history, Monza.
Recent comments on the possibility of Formula 1 races in Indonesia by the Mandalika Grand Prix Association CEO, Ricky Baheramsjah hints at Formula 1 expanding its available network of circuits to the West Nusa Tenggara island of Lombok.
Written by Hafiz Akbar, Edited by Daniel Yi
There have been rumours of talks between circuit officials and Formula 1 to incorporate the track to create a new tourism venture both in the vicinity of the circuit and the region, seeing as the mega tourism capital of Bali is just next door.
Quoted by Pitpass, Baheramsjah said, “Our circuit can be FIA Grade-1, which would accommodate Formula 1, and we’ve had discussions with Formula 1 on Lombok.
“They don’t like the gravel traps we need for MotoGP but that’s a minor issue since [the surface under] the gravel is just asphalt, so it can be shifted out.
“We may need a few more facilities, more five-star hotels, as MotoGP is a very broad market– from people on scooters to people on Bentleys. [The] Ticket pricing is also relatively more affordable compared to Formula 1.
“A destination like Lombok would be challenging for Formula 1, but once Mandalika is more developed then there’s a terrific chance for Formula 1 should it want to explore it [the option]. For now, though, we are fully focused on the races we have lined up.”
Since one of the requirements of hosting MotoGP is to have an FIM Grade-A circuit, Mandalika can be modified to fit the requirements for an FIA Grade-1 certification, which can be held for the next 3 years and can be renewed.
The Mandalika Street Circuit is set for its debut international motorsports event next year in the 2022 MotoGP season and with the massive MotoGP fanbase presence, the excitement is palpable among the Indonesian nationals to attend the race when it does come.
Formula One returned to the Hungaroring this past weekend. Having hosted the Hungarian Grand Prix for 39 times, this legendary circuit has been said to be a tough place to overtake, and it has bore witness to some of the best overtakes the sport have ever seen.
The grid lined up with Lewis Hamilton on pole and teammate Valtteri Bottas alongside him. They were followed by the provisional leader of the championship table, Max Verstappen. Sergio Perez lined up alongside the Dutchman in P4.
In a slightly wet Hungaroring, it’s lights out and away we go. Hamilton got off the line best as Bottas tried to hold off Norris from coming up at his right side. Verstappen went for Hamilton and overtook Bottas coming into turn 1. Bottas locked up and rear-ended Norris. Chaos ensued! Norris ended up in a hefty bump with Verstappen and the Dutchman was sent off the track with his right bargeboard completely destroyed, ending his podium chase. Norris, on the other hand, had to retire the car since the damage sustained to his floor was too extensive. After the lock up and rear-end collision with Norris, Bottas clattered into Perez and sent both of them off the track into an eventual DNF. Meanwhile, Stroll lost control of his car and crashed in to Leclerc, taking both of them out of the race. The race was then red-flagged with Hamilton in the lead.
Aftermath of the opening lap collision
After around 15 minutes of clean up, the drivers went out on a formation lap once again but all of them except for Hamilton dived into the pitlane just before the lap was completed. Meanwhile, Hamilton stayed out by himself and continued on the intermediate set of tyres when the others switched to medium slicks. George Russell even managed to snatch a few places in the pitlane.
The restart went very quiet indeed for Hamilton as he stood by himself on the grid, while the others lined up in the pit lane. He went on a full-on hammer time to create some time for a pitstop later that lap. As Hamilton pitted at the end of the lap, Esteban Ocon took over the lead, with teammate and former World Champion, Fernando Alonso right behind the young Frenchman.
Antonio Giovinazzi was then slapped with a 10 second stop and go penalty for speeding in the pitlane.
Lewis Hamilton had a lot of trouble with his brakes overheating and saying, “There’s no grip out here.” Meanwhile, Max Verstappen went wheel-to-wheel with Mick Schumacher as the Dutchman went round the outside to overtake the German.
More bad news for Alfa Romeo as Kimi Raikkonen was then given a 10 second time penalty for an unsafe release, which resulted in the Haas of Nikita Mazepin being eliminated from the race.
More trouble brewed for the reigning champion as he had difficulties going through the sea of cars in front of him. At this point in the race, he was at P14, last on the running grid. But with a clever strategy, the Mercedes crew went for the undercut on Verstappen and succeeded. Hamilton managed to go out just in front of Daniel Ricciardo, who was holding off Verstappen.
As Alonso pitted for a set of hard tyres, the Alpine pit wall instructed Ocon, “Maximum push.” This proved fruitful as Ocon pitted the next lap with a sublime sub-2.5 second pit stop, with the pit wall instructing him, “Out lap is critical.”
Hamilton then had more problems with his tyres on lap 39 as he radioed in, expressing his dissent with his tyres. This proved true as Hamilton added, further in the race, on lap 43, “Rears are f***ed.” Five laps later, he pitted for mediums as he continued his quest to overtake Alonso up the road.
His battle with Alonso became one of the most entertaining highlights of the race, with the world champions having moves left, right and centre, going way back to the time when Hamilton just started out in McLaren. Eventually, Hamilton made it out of the shadow of Alonso and went for the kill on Carlos Sainz just ahead.
Alpine mechanics celebrating as Ocon crosses the finish line
After an interesting battle and a changing lead, Esteban Ocon, out of all the drivers, won the Formula One Rolex Magyar Nagydíj, with Sebastian Vettel trailing just a second behind the winner and Lewis Hamilton coming in third.
Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon celebrating his maiden win
As of post-race, Mercedes restored their lead of the standings by 10 points and Lewis Hamilton regained his championship lead over Verstappen by just 6 points.
This race had everything. Massive pile-ups resulting in DNF’s, feisty battles between old teammates, and an unexpected race winner (since all of our predictions fell a bit short) to add to that.
Every driver on the current Formula One grid has come from small beginnings and at one point was just an unknown young driver in the lower formula. Today, myself and three of Divebomb’s finest writers will be picking out our future Lewis Hamiltons and Michael Schumacher’s – the rising stars of the lower Formula.
Written by Olly Radley, Tanishka Vashee, Giuseppe Gaetano Dino, Hafiz Akbar. Edited by Tanishka Vashee
Ollie Bearman – Italian & ADAC F4
Formula 4 is a key part of a young driver’s journey to Formula 1 and is part of the FIA’s ladder to F1. The Italian F4 championship is one of the most competitive along with the ADAC F4 championship and is a proving ground for future stars. So much so that 3 drivers from the current F1 grid have passed through Italian F4, as well as half of the current F2 grid. At the moment, there is a big hotshot on the Italian F4 scene, by the name of Ollie Bearman.
The Brit was born in Chelmsford on the 8th May 2005 and began karting competitively in 2013 aged 8 in the Trent Valley Kart Club. His first taste of success came in the 2016 Super 1 National Honda Cadet Championship, placing 2nd in both 2016 and ‘17. In 2019 he made the step up to International karting in the IAME International Final in the X30 Junior category which he won. He also won the Euro Series and Winter Cup in the same category. Finally in 2020, Ollie made the jump to cars in the Italian and ADAC F4 championships. He focussed primarily on the ADAC championship competing in only 8 races of the Italian Championship, coming 10th ahead of many people who completed the whole season. In ADAC he completed the full season coming 7th overall with a win to his name.
Now in 2021, Ollie is dominating. In ADAC F4 he’s completed 6 races, so far, winning 4 of them and having a 40 point lead in the championship. In Italian F4, his success so far is almost unheard of. We’re in the 4th round of the championship and at the time of writing, and he is on a 8-race win streak. That’s right, 8 back to back wins in Italian F4 and a championship lead of 141 points. The youngster has put it on pole in 2 thirds of the season so far as well. The only other driver to pull off a similar feat was Dennis Hauger who went 5-races unbeaten back in 2019; Hauger is now the current F3 championship leader. Not even Lance Stroll could replicate this in his Italian F4 championship season, where he strolled to the title back in 2014.
No other young driver has ever shown this level of dominance at this level, especially in a series as competitive as the Italian F4 championship. In my eyes, Ollie Bearman has a long successful career ahead of him and definitely has it in him to go all the way to F1 someday.
Gabriele Miní – Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine (FRECA)
Speaking of Formula 4, the young man I’ve decided to talk about is certainly well known among junior formulas’ followers from last year: he is, in fact, the reigning Italian F4 Champion, having taken part with Prema Powerteam in a very prolific 2020 season.
Miní was born in Palermo, Italy, on March 20th 2005. He started racing in karting in 2012, with his first successes coming in 2016, winning the Italian Championship 60 Mini and coming third in the WSK Super Master Series 60 Mini. He replicated his success the following year, winning again the Italian Championship 60 Mini and the WSK Super Master Series 60 Mini, and finishing runner up in the WSK Champions Cup 60 Mini. In 2018 Miní took part in five international championships, classifying second in four of them and winning the WSK Super Master Series OKJ. 2019 would be his last year in karting, with no championship titles, but two great second places in the WSK Champions Cup and the FIA Karting European Championship, also winning the CIK-FIA Rookie of the Year.
Miní debuted in the Italian F4 in 2020 taking pole position in all three of the qualifying sessions at the inaugural round in Misano, and winning the first out of the three races. He went on to dominate the championship, winning the title by 74 points, not by taking a huge amount of wins (4 out of 20 races), but because of his consistency, scoring points in every race but one, in which he had to retire. He ended the season with 4 wins, 9 pole positions and 16 podiums. Miní also took part in six races in the ADAC Formula 4 Championship, winning on his debut at the Nurburgring, and then taking 2 pole positions and 4 podiums on his way to 10th in the final standings, only 9 points behind the last of the full time drivers in that series Kirill Smal.
After his successes in Formula 4, Gabriele signed with ART Grand Prix to take part in FRECA for the 2021 season. Now, 12 races in, he sits 4th in the standings, 1st of the rookies, still yet to take his first race win or pole position in the series, but with four podiums to his name. He has once again shown some great consistency at the top and, undoubtedly, if he goes on performing like this, a first race win is on the cards in the last 8 races of the season.
Despite not having signed for any Young Driver Academy, I’m sure he will soon draw the attention of the big F1 teams, and hopefully become Italy’s next star in motorsport racing.
Juju Noda- Danish F4
Juju drove her first ever Go-kart at the age of 3 and made her racing debut at the age of 4. She won in the 30cc as well 40cc karting categories. At the age of six she was able to acquire permission to compete in the 100cc Cadet Class. Mind you, most people start karting at the age of 7! She won three out of the four races she took part in. The following year, she progressed to competing in the SS category, which means most of her competition was aged eleven years old at the time.
Under the Guidance of her father, Hedeki Noda’s guidance, Juju has been doing pretty well. She made headlines in 2016, it’s not everyday that a nine year old girl starts driving F4 spec cars and competing in 125cc shifter KZ karts. She competed in one race and took the win. Juju became the world’s youngest person in the world to drive an F4car at race pace.
At the young age of 11, she broke the F4 lap record at Okayama International circuit with a time of 1:32.8, to add to its grandeur she won her debut race. She graduated to competing in Formula 4 U17 category in Japan, in true Juju fashion, she dominated the season and reaped in all the wins.
Last year, Juju and her father decided to move to Europe for her racing career. She started competing in the Danish F4 and took a win from the pole at her first ever race abroad. She finished sixth in the driver’s standings and had quite a good season.
This year, she was supposed to compete at F4 in the United States but pulled out for reasons that have not been stated. Juju has rejoined Danish F4, she has had a shaky start so far but there’s no doubt about her talent. The pace she shows and the progress she has made at such a young age proves the talent she possesses. She just needs to find her rhythm and build on the momentum.
Young talent has always attracted attention from the F1 paddock and has, on multiple occasions, redeemed itself. Max Verstappen, Lando Norris, Sebastian Vettel, the list goes on, are great examples of young sparks that have honed their skill to make a mark. Juju has that bright spark in her and has what it takes to rise through the categories, watching her fulfil her dreams of becoming the first asian woman to make it to F1 or Formula E would be gratifying.
Sebastian Montoya – Italian and ADAC F4 Championship
Having made his jump from the speed demons that were shifter karts in 2020, Sebastian Montoya is currently racing in the first ladder of the lower formula, the Italian F4 Championship, which is where current Formula 1 driver Lance Stroll started his baby steps into the formula cars series.
So far this 2021 season of the Italian F4 series, Montoya has earned himself 4 podiums in 9 races, with 1 pole position and 1 fastest lap. He is currently sitting 5th in the Drivers’ Championship and is Prema’s second highest to Kirill Smal in 4th. He’s surely doing a good job keeping his teammates at bay as his other teammates, Hamda Al-Qubaisi and Conrad Laursen in 10th and 14th, respectively. This is very much an improvement from last season when he finished 17th in the Italian F4 Championship with 10 points, which indicates his sheer improvement in racecraft.
In the ADAC F4 Championship, he is totally ripping the field in half with a sensational season, having two podiums in four races. So far, he’s racked up 72 points, placing him second in the standings, second only to Oliver Bearman who got a 40-point lead over the Columbian-American driver.
His father, former F1 driver and current McLaren Arrow driver Juan Pablo Montoya, have been a big part of his quest to conquer the ladders of the lower formulae with a set goal of reaching the top flight, Formula 1.
His own style of racing, combined with the mentor that is his own father and the support of the Prema Powerteam could make him a better driver than he is today. He’s shown an improvement over the points he scored this season both in the Italian and the ADAC F4 Championship and is bound to display more of the same in the coming seasons and hopefully we’ll see him in Formula 3 in the near future. Who knows? He might be the second coming of his father in Formula 1.
Well there are our picks for the top rising stars in the lower formula, let us know what you think; if you agree or disagree but from me, it’s bye for now.
Following a very dominant display in the first-ever F1 Sprint yesterday, Max Verstappen lined up on a pole. Following just behind the Dutchman is Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas started the race from third on the grid. Sergio Perez, having to change up some of his parts, started from the pitlane on hards, while the rest of the field opted for mediums.
Written by Hafiz Akbar, Edited by Haneen Abbas
At the start, Hamilton is again out dragged by Verstappen, who was so quick off the line both yesterday and today. He kept Hamilton at bay for most of his race as he was involved in a lap one tangle with Hamilton in Copse, who tapped Verstappen quite hard and sent his car straight towards the tyre barrier. Max walked out of the 30+ G crash alive and well, although some reports suggest he was feeling a bit dizzy after he got out of the car. He was then rushed to the track medical center before being taken to a nearby hospital for a reported CT-Scan. The race was red-flagged and after an investigation from the stewards, Hamilton was awarded a 10-second time penalty which he served during his one and only pit stop.
The race restarted with a standing start. Charles Leclerc didn’t let the chance of overtaking Lewis just after the incident goes to waste. The Monegasque swooped from the inside line in Copse and overtook the reigning champion. He managed his restart very well and sped away from Hamilton in the second, spreading a gap of over one second by the first lap after the restart. Bottas, on the other hand, was overtaken by Lando Norris on the restart.
Pierre Gasly was warned by a black and white flag for exceeding track limits. A slew of slow pit stops followed just shortly after, with Norris, Alonso, and Sainz having slow stops.
Nearing the end of the race, due to Mercedes team orders, Hamilton was let through by Bottas to chase after Leclerc. Hamilton finalized the overtake on Leclerc on lap 50 after Leclerc led the whole race. He ended up winning the race with Leclerc in second and Bottas in third. This closes the gap for both the Constructors’ Championship, for Mercedes, and the Drivers’ Championship for Hamilton.
We’ll meet again on August 1st at the Hungarian Grand Prix. Will we see Hamilton win again or will Verstappen step up his game and take claim to his dominance on the table? We’ll see. For the moment, we can say that the championship has taken a sharp and very eventful turn.