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Our Writer’s picks for the best young talent in their countries

There are thousands of drivers who are all racing in junior formula with a hope of one day joining Formula One. Here at Divebomb 6 of us have chosen who we think is the best young driver from the countries we live in. 

Written by Olly Radley, Tanishka Vashee, Morgan Holiday, Thomas Bergamo, Daniil Jones, Janvi Unni.

Edited by Harshi Vashee 

Olly – The United Kingdom 

Why Oliver Bearman Is One Of Britain's Biggest Upcoming Racing Stars – F1  Feeder Series

I’ll start off then from the United Kingdom, a country steeped with rich motor racing history, I naturally have a good selection of young talents to choose from. Some would first look at drivers such as Dan Ticktum or Oli Caldwell, or even the recently crowned GB3 champion, Zak O’Sullivan. While all 3 are top talents with great chances of Formula One, the prospect of the kid I’ve gone for, far outweighs the others.

I’ve been shouting praise for Ollie Bearman for a while now but over the course of his F4 campaign he’s backed me up quite nicely. Ollie is at the latter-part of a very successful year in both ADAC and Italian F4. In Italy, he’s already the champion before they’ve even gone to the final round in Monza. ADAC F4 has also been a success so far, leading by 35 points going into the final 2 rounds at Hockenheim and the Nurburgring. 

Not only has he won or led these series, but he’s straight up dominated them. From the 2nd race at Misano to the 1st race at the Red Bull Ring (a span of 9 races), Ollie won 8 of them, and was disqualified after victory in the 9th. Add another 4 podiums to the mix and you get a phenomenal F4 season.

Not only has he impressed motorsport fans at home but it seems he has already caught the eye of Formula One. Recently, Ollie has been taking part in a Ferrari Driver Academy scouting camp. There are a few other candidates but having impressed in their own backyard, I’d say Bearman has a very strong chance of becoming the FDA’s newest young prospect. What stands out most with Ollie is the consistency and maturity he shows. At just 16 he is able to always be at the front or thereabouts throughout a whole season of racing. With his team, Van Amersfoort joining F3 in 2022, who knows, maybe we’ll see Ollie racing in Formula 3 next year.

Thomas – Italy

Colombo claims pole for second Eurocup race at Hockenheim

Italy has a central role in motorsport. The two races this year, and the three last year, can prove it. Apart from the drama, every Italian person dreams to be the next Micheal Schumacher. Indeed, many Italian talents are ready to launch themselves in a big competition (like Formula 2 or Formula 3) or, maybe, they already are into it. One of these “rising stars” is Lorenzo Colombo. 

Colombo’s first kart appearance goes back to 2009, when he took part in the Italian karting championship. In 2011 he took part in the EasyKart Italian championship, getting two fourth places and the third place in the general on his rookie season. The next year he won the EasyKart championship, re-taking what he lost  in the previous one. In the same year he decided to take part in the 60cc Italian karting championship. This championship benefited him to third place in the standings. Colombo, in 2012, had the opportunity to take part in the WSK, but the level of the world championship grew. Between 2013 and 2015, he fought in the “Malaguti Trophy ” getting two second places on the general standings. He got the same result in the italian kart championship, finishing only behind Alessandro Giardelli (currently an Italian Porsche Carrera CUP driver). 

2015 will be his last year on karts, before passing in the single-seaters. His journey starts with BVM Racing, which gets him the seat. In 2016, in his rookie season, he finished the championship in the 12th position. 2017 was a completely different season. He had to compete in three championships (Formula 4 Italian championship, ADAC Formula 4 and Euroformula Open) anc two different categories, for a total of 26 races to dispute. But Lorenzo, in that year, showed all of his potential. He got his first podium in Imola, a second place which had the taste of victory. Apart from this podium, he got two victories, eight podiums and three pole positions. In ADAC Formel 4 he runned only three races, with Bhaitech, and he raced only one race in Euroformula Open with Campos Racing, getting good results in both categories.

 The third place in the Italian Formula 4 championship standings benefited him a seat in JD Motorsport in Formula Renault Cup for the 2018 year. He surprised lots of fans by finishing four times on the podium, Monza (both race 1 and race 2), Hockenheim, and Red Bull Ring, and a fifth place in Catalunya. In 2019, with MP motosport, he made the quality jump, finishing fourth in the Formula Renault, behind Oscar Piastri by a hundred of points. In 2020, he was decided to win the championship. But his season start was disappointing. Constantly in the top 10, but he never had the rivals’ pace. But his season finale was surprising, winning three races and setting two fastest laps. 

After these results, Adrian Campos offered him a seat in Formula 3 with his own team: Campos Racing. Both Lorenzo and Mr. Campos released happy statements after the Italian signed the contract. A thing you must know about Lorenzo Colombo is that he’s a master in tricky conditions.

Thanks to his skills he won race 1 in Hungary (before getting penalized for exceeding track limits) that he dedicated to Adrian Campos, who has suddenly passed away. Adrian was a really important figure in the Italian’s career.

He was one of the firsts to believe in him and the Spaniard wanted Colombo in his team. But he showed in another race all of his skills: race 1 in Spa-Francorchamps. Indeed, he was able to run away from the other drivers and then he could manage an advantage of ten seconds, on his debut season. He finished this season in fifteenth place, with one victory and two fastest laps. 

He is one of the best italian talents and, maybe, we could see him next year in a top team, like Prema.   

Morgan – USA

Williams add US racer Logan Sargeant to their driver academy ranks

America is full of young driving talent, but most don’t make it far up the Formula 1 ladder. In the history of FIA Formula 2, only four drivers have raced under the American flag. One of those drivers was Indycar racer, Patricio O’Ward, who is of Mexican nationality and only competed in two races. The other three drivers, Juan Manuel Correa, Ryan Tveter, and Santino Ferrucci, also never competed in a full season, meaning that no American driver has ever completed a season of Formula 2. 

Formula 3, on the other hand, is a different matter. In the 2021 season, five drivers competed in at least two rounds of the series: Juan Manuel Correa, Jak Crawford, Kaylen Frederick, Hunter Yeany, and Logan Sargeant. Of those drivers, Logan Sargeant finished highest with seventh place in the championship standings, and has (arguably) the most talent.

Sargeant made headlines in 2015, when he became the first American to win an FIA Karting Championship since Lake Speed in 1978. From there he made his way up the Formula 1 feeder series ladder, eventually joining Formula 3 in 2019 with Carlin. While he finished 19th in the standings that year, he managed to impress with a podium at the Macau Grand Prix. The following season he signed with Prema Racing and narrowly missed out on winning the title, which went to Alpine junior driver Oscar Piastri.

For the 2021 season Sargeant remained in Formula 3, as he didn’t have the financial backing to progress up to Formula 2. He raced with Charouz, and finished seventh in the standings, giving the Czech team their first podium and race win in the series. Sargeant also scored 102 of the team’s 127 points and as a result, Charouz finished fifth in the team standings, a personal best. Sergeant’s ability to perform in both top teams and backmarkers and his ability to draw the maximum pace out of whatever he’s driving earns him my pick for the best young American racing talent.

     

Tanishka – India

Jehan Daruvala recalls transition from F3 to F2 | Sports News,The Indian  Express

2013 was the last time a Grand Prix was held in India, F1’s popularity peaked, fell and is once again gaining momentum. India boasts a growing audience for Formula One, and with young Indian talent just breaking into the world of motorsport, it is bound to increase.

My Pick for this piece is none other than Jehan Daruvala. The young driver from Mumbai is part of Red Bull’s Junior team and is seventh in the F2 standings, driving for Carlin Motorsport. Racing in India is not yet as massive and competitive as in the case of European countries. Jehan had the privilege of being able to turn his dreams into reality and started Karting in competitions globally at the age of 13. 

In 2015, he raced in Formula Renault 2.0 NEC, finishing fifth, he also made appearances in Formula Renault 2.0 Alps and Eurocup Formula 2.0. The following year he took part in the Toyota Racing Series and finished second. In 2017, he made a move to the European Formula 3 championship with Carlin Racing. He won a race at Norisring, outperforming all his teammates except for Lando Norris who went on to win the title. Jehan competed in the inaugural season of the FIA  Formula Three Championship in 2018, taking two wins, five other podiums and finishing third overall.

Jehan made it to Formula 2 with Carlin racing with Yuki Tsunoda as his teammate. Not only had he shown brilliance in the fight for the F3 title but he also found himself recruited by Red Bull’s young driver program. It took him a while to find his rhythm, after taking a win at the season finale, his confidence was back. 

2021 is shaping to be a good year for him, he raced for Mumbai Falcons in the F3 Asian Championship, got three wins and finished third in the standings. In his second season of Formula 2, he won the sprint race at Monza and the feature race at Sochi. These wins have been monumental in establishing him as the face of motorsport in India. 

Jehan has been candid about the level of competition and his expectations, he hopes to make it to F1 by 2023. Realistically speaking, seeing how he improves with every race, it’s within reach for him to make it to the pinnacle of motorsport. 

He brings younger audiences in India exposure to the world of racing. Watching him make it to the top will definitely grow the sport’s appeal to Indian viewers. 

Daniil – Russia 

Robert Shwartzman to compete in FIA Formula 2 in 2020

Motorsport in Russia was almost non-existent until the last decade. The arrival of Vitaly Petrov in 2010, followed by Daniil Kvyat, Sergey Sirotkin and Nikita Mazepin shows the growing interest in Russia. The Russian Grand Prix was held for the 1st time at the Sochi Autodrom, and in the last decade, the country has constructed 2 more Grade 1 circuits, in Moscow Raceway and Igora Drive, where F1 is set to relocate to in 2023.

The growing interest has promoted some talents, and my pick will be Robert Shwartzman. Despite Shwartzman being somewhat underwhelming in 2021, he still sits a respectable 3rd in the standings, and the championship is still not quite out of reach, as F2 heads to Jeddah and Yas Marina. Shwartzman is part of the Ferrari Driver Academy, and since he joined in 2017, has picked up titles in the Toyota Racing Series and FIA Formula 3.

He impressed us in his 1st F2 season too, 4 victories was the most of anyone on the grid in 2020 and consistency meant he finished 4th in the standings. He was unfortunate to miss out on an F1 seat too, after Alfa Romeo opted to stay with Giovinazzi and Haas chose Mazepin and Schumacher. Even though a title is still within grasp this year, the Alfa Romeo seat is near impossible for him, with Piastri, Zhou, Herta, de Vries and Giovinazzi all believed to be ahead in the pecking order.

Although his hopes are diminishing, an F1 seat will certainly not be impossible. It does remain to be seen whether he will do a 3rd F2 season. But, without doubt, he is an immense talent, and is highly rated by everyone in the paddock. Russian talent doesn’t stop there either, Alex Smolyar impressed in F3, whilst Nikita Bedrin and Kiril Smal are impressing in F4.

Is Shwartzman good enough for F1? Certainly. Will it happen? Time will tell.

Janvi – New Zealand

Hitech Grand Prix

F1 hasn’t had too many drivers from New Zealand, the most well-known being Bruce McLaren and Brendon Hartley. But one 19 year old from Hastings, New Zealand is waiting patiently among the vast number of eager talents in junior motorsport series. 

Liam Lawson, mentored by 3-time NZ Grand Prix winner Ken Smith, has won on his debut in every category he’s raced in, barring F2: Formula First, Formula Ford, Formula 3 Asia and Toyota Racing Series; which he won overall in 2019 with 3 wins and 6 podiums. In 2017, he won the NZ F1600 Championship Series in his home country, New Zealand. In 2020, Lawson had a strong F3 season, winning in Austria and Italy. 

In 2021, Liam made the decision to race a dual campaign. He raced in DTM with AF Corse and finished the championship as runner-up in his rookie season. In Formula 2, he’s competing at Hitech GP with fellow RedBull academy driver Juri Vips. He’s won in Bahrain and Monaco, and currently sits 8th in the championship standings with 80 points. 

RedBull recently announced that Liam will be doing the young driver’s test with Alpha Tauri in Abu Dhabi at the end of the 2021 season. Although there are no seats available in F1 for 2022, Lawson has said that he’s ready to wait for another year or two for a shot at a seat in Formula One.  RedBull motorsports advisor Helmut Marko has confirmed that Liam will return to F2 in 2022. 

If all goes well and luck is in Liam’s favour, I’m sure we’ll see him following the footsteps of RedBull academy graduate Yuki Tsunoda, and make his way to the top in Formula One in another 2 or 3 years. 

Well that’s it from us then, let us know in the comments where you’re from and who your country’s best shot at F1 is! Until next time.

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Verstappen Extends Title Lead With Victory at Austin

Written by Morgan Holiday, Edited by Aiden Hover

Formula 1 has returned to America in style, and Max Verstappen took his eighth victory of the season ahead of title contender Lewis Hamilton. It would be easy to say the Dutch driver converted his pole position into a victory, but that doesn’t tell the story of the tense fight between the Red Bull driver and his Mercedes rival that went back and forth throughout the 56 laps at the Circuit Of The Americas.

As the lights went out, Hamilton in second got a better start than the pole sitter, and was ahead coming out of turn 1 as Verstappen went wide trying to cut him off. Perez in third managed to retain his position, and so at the end of the first lap the top three were Hamilton, Verstappen, and Perez. While there was no major action at the front, a little further down the field, the Ferrari and McLaren drivers were fighting for position. Leclerc managed to hold fourth place, while Ricciardo got past Sainz for fifth, and Norris remained in seventh. Even further down the field, Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll tangled with the Williams of Nicholas Latifi, knocking them both down the order.

Pit stops started early as most drivers pit for hard tyres before lap 15. Optimum strategy appeared to be starting on the medium tyre, pitting early for hards, and then making a second stop for another set of hards later in the race. Attempting an undercut to regain the lead of the race Verstappen pitted on lap 10, and by the time Hamilton followed on lap 13, he had successfully retaken the race lead. 

On lap 15 Pierre Gasly retired with a broken suspension, after facing pre-race drama on the grid with a sensor change. As the race progressed and the top ten settled into their positions, battles were being fought hard in the midfield. Alpine vs Alfa Romeo stirred up drama, as Raikkonen passed Alonso at a point that Alonso felt was outside track limits, and Alonso did the same to Giovinazzi several laps later. After a radio exchange between Alpine and Race Director Michael Masi, it was clarified that overtaking on the outside of the track was not allowed, and Alonso was ordered to give the place back to Giovinazzi by his team.

By lap 25, drivers were starting to come into the pits for their second set of hard tyres. After a brief VSC for a marshall clearing debris off the track, Verstappen came in on lap 29 to cover Hamilton, who didn’t pit for a second time until almost ten laps later. After his second stop, Verstappen was back in the lead, and it was a race till the end. On lap 41 Hamilton set the fastest lap of the race, a 1.38.485, and the chase was on. With the seven second gap between them drawing ever closer, the midfield fought for final positions. Perez and Leclerc sat calmly in third and fourth place, but behind them the battles raged on. Sainz in sixth drew closer to Ricciardo but couldn’t manage to get past, while behind him Bottas tried move after move to get around the Ferrari. 

Alpine struggled in the second stint of the race, with Ocon retiring from a mechanical issue on lap 42, and Alonso retiring with a rear wing problem ten laps later. Meanwhile up front, by lap 51 Hamilton had closed the gap to Verstappen to barely over one second. Their battle, as the race drew to a close, was not only with each other, but with the cars they had to lap along the way. A problem getting past Tsunoda cost Verstappen over four seconds to Hamilton, and headed into the final lap Haas’ Schumacher was also finding it hard to make way for the top pair. It was Schumacher though, in the end, that gave Verstappen DRS down the main straight going into the 56th and final lap, and helping him to keep Hamilton behind. As the nail biting race drew to a close and Bottas finally passed Sainz for sixth place, Verstappen crossed the line only 1.3 seconds ahead of Hamilton.

Verstappen now holds a 12 point lead in the driver’s championship over Hamilton, and Perez’s third place allowed Red Bull to close the gap in the Constructor’s to just 23 points behind Mercedes. Leclerc, Ricciardo, Bottas, Sainz, Norris, Tsunoda, and Vettel made up the final points finishers. With the sun setting on a dramatic weekend in Austin, the teams and drivers will now be looking ahead to Mexico, which is where they will be racing when Formula 1 returns.

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Max Verstappen takes pole position at the Circuit of Americas

Written by Byron Hale, Edited by Morgan Holiday

Qualifying has concluded in Austin! Verstappen took yet another well fought pole position ahead of the Mercedes duo who appear to have a long debrief ahead as they look to regain the performance which has seemingly disappeared over the course of the weekend.

There were penalties galore in Austin as many drivers will lose positions going into race day with Russell, Alonso, and Vettel all taking entirely new engines which will see them fall to the back of the grid. Bottas will also take a sixth internal combustion engine leaving him with a five place grid penalty. One must wonder where Mercedes are storing all these engines!

They may have penalties but they all still set times, as whoever was ahead at the end of qualifying would start in 18th, as three drivers battled for the bottom few positions despite their engine woes.

Vettel would show the initial advantage as he slotted in P10 come the end of Q1 with Russell 12th and Alonso 14th; Q2 painted a similar picture as all three would be eliminated with Vettel 12th, Alonso 14th, and Russell 15th after he failed to set a lap time due to his lap times being deleted for track limits at turn 9, which has seen many drivers lose lap times.

Mclaren had shown strong pace over the course of the entire weekend as they comfortably got through Q1 and Q2 with little issue. Both cars got through on the medium compound tyre which puts them in an ideal position ahead of the 56 laps of the race tomorrow. In Q3 Mclaren would fall to 7th and 8th behind the Ferraris and Ahead of the Red Bull sister team AlphaTauri.

Alfa Romeo showed good pace at the start of the weekend, although this pace did seem to dissipate as the weekend progressed. This led to Kimi Raikonnen being eliminated in Q1 as he failed to make it through yet again. With his last Q2 appearance being Hungary, it remains to be seen as to what the Iceman can do in his final six F1 races as he retires at the end of the season.

Giovanazzi did make it through to the second part of qualifying as he got through in 15th place, and he out-qualified his more experienced teammate for the 11th time in 2021. He did not make it through to Q2 however, as he qualified 13th ahead of Alonso and Russell, who failed to set a valid time in the session.

Mercedes and Red Bull appeared to be the outright fastest cars as they duked it out for the top positions, with Red Bull appearing to have the initial pace as the sessions got underway. Mercedes looked weaker as they wound up P8 and P9 in Q1, which was a sub-par performance given Mercedes’ high standards.

As Q2 began, the mediums were strapped on for Both Red Bulls and Mercedes cars as they seemed the optimum strategy, and they sought a strategic advantage for the race. Verstappen set the initial pace and looked strong as he roped the chart by a third of a second ahead of championship rival Lewis Hamilton, who qualified easily into the next session. Bottas and Perez appeared to struggle on the Mediums, as the flying Finn would finish 5th in Q2 with the Mexican only 7th come the end of the session as the track continued to improve, allowing for other cars to go much faster.

With Q3 underway, it was a game of damage limitation for Bottas who looked to limit the penalty he picked up for his engine changes. Verstappen would look strong as he set the fastest time, but that would be short lived as Sergio Perez would shortly snatch provisional pole position from the Dutchman as he attempted to go to his home race as a first time pole sitter for Red Bull Racing. As the session  drew to a close, Verstappen would pull an astonishing lap out of the bag as he claimed pole position from Lewis Hamilton who was two tenths slower than the Red Bull of Max although still ahead of Segio Perez.

Bottas would perform some good damage limitation as he took 4th place, which will see him drop to 9th place for tomorrow’s grid. A strong showing from both Mercedes and Red Bull has seen the race set up for another dynamic duel amongst our championship protagonists as they seek to gain the edge as the season begins to draw to a close.

The Grand Prix starts at 8PM BST on Sunday and you will not want to miss this as Hamilton and Verstappen battle once again for the championship edge. We will see you on race day!

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An interview with British F4 title contender Matias Zagazeta

Interviewed by Tom Evans, Edited by Harshi Vashee 

First of all, who are you and in what series do you race?

I am Matias Zagazeta, I come from Peru and I race in the British F4 Championship.

When did you start to take an interest in Motorsport, and who were your favourite drivers?

I have been interested in Motorsport or cars in general since I can remember, watching it on the TV. I remember watching Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel, they were my favourite drivers.

Why did you choose your driver number?

I chose number 8 as my number mainly because I was 8 years old when I started racing and my birthday is the 8th of September. It was also the number of my favourite all time driver, Ayrton Senna. 

You started karting in 2011, being your first season in the sport were there any major obstacles for you to overcome?

My first Karting season in 2011 was full of learning as I started racing in Peru with a small grid of cars. Then, I started to race internationally first around South America then, the United States and finally coming to Europe in 2017.

When you started competing in the European IAME karting championship, what was the hardest, but most rewarding thing about moving to the UK?

Coming to live in the UK by myself in 2020 was very hard because I was away from my family, friends and home and here it is a very different culture so it took me some time to get used to it and adapt. This however helped me be a lot more responsible and take care of myself.

You took the step up to British F4 in 2020. Was adapting to single seater cars difficult or easier than you expected? 

For me personally, I found it very very hard to get used to single seaters. Coming from karting, I had a difficult first season where I just couldn’t adapt to the car and didn’t have confidence in it which was the biggest problem. 

But also in 2020 you competed in some major Esports competitions. Do you think Esports is a good alternative to actual racing for great drivers on a lower budget?

Yes, before the season, British F4 organized some IRACING races and I joined just to stay sharp and have some fun during the difficult times. I didn’t have the best simulator compared to the other drivers but I had good fun! I think Esports has proven to find a lot of talented people and I think it’s also a good alternative for drivers. 

In 2021, you’ve had a brilliant British F4 season. With 4 wins so far, you’ve had a brilliant fight for the championship with Matthew Rees. With one round to go, do you think you can claim the title? 

This season has been fantastic, still learning a lot but the most important thing was that we managed to find the confidence with the car. It’s going to be an interesting last round as there’s 4 drivers still in contention so we will turn up and do our best, like we have been doing all season and this is no different. Hopefully by the end of the weekend when we look at the results, we are champions but, we will stay focused and do what we have to do to perform at our best. 

And finally what are your hopes/ambitions for the future? 

In the short term hopefully to be the British F4 champion after this weekend and in the long term, to become a Formula 1 world champion. Many drivers say they want to get to Formula 1, but why not push it a bit more?

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The craziest race ever: Indianapolis 2005

Written by Thomas Bergamo, Edited by Morgan Holiday

The 2005 year showed us many battles: Schumacher versus Alonso, Ferrari versus Renault, and of course, Michelin versus Bridgestone. Indeed, 2005 was called “the tyre war year”. Ferrari and Bridgestone, until 2005, dominated undisputed. But, with the 2005 regulation changes, Renault could get close to the Italian team. 

One of these changes was that the drivers couldn’t enter the pit lane to change their tyres. Bridgestone was a very fast tyre, but it didn’t last very long. In fact, Michael Schumacher won a race (Magny-Cours 2004) making four pit stops. Instead Michelin had a tyre that was a little bit slower than the Bridgestone one, but its duration was longer than its rival by far.

Now you may ask, why have you ever talked about tyre compounds? When Formula 1 arrived at Indianapolis all the paddock was thinking about a normal weekend, but during FP1 Riccardo Zonta, Toyota test driver, flattened his tyre on turn 7. Then, during FP2, Ralf Schumacher also flattened his tyre, but this time on turn 13, the last turn. Fortunately, the German driver could get out of the car without any consequence, but the doctors denied him from competing in the race. Another alarm bell was that Toyota engineers found a relevant tyre pressure drop. 

So Michelin gathered all the team principals from the teams who mounted their tyres for analyzing the datas. They found nothing “dangerous for drivers’ safety”. On Saturday, only two drivers who had mounted Michelin tyres, setted valid times. By the way, qualifyings gets on. Trulli set the pole position, the first one for Toyota. On Saturday evening arrived “the crack”: a Michelin statement which said “Following analysis of the Ralf Schumacher’s incident, we do not ensure our pneumatic energy.”

So the action moved from the track to inside the paddock. That evening, and the following morning, was only a mix of confusion. Nobody knew what to do. Then, at ten o’clock something changed. All the teams agreed on building a chicane instead of doing the last turn. But Ferrari strongly opposed it and they didn’t do anything. 

During the formation lap Coulthard said to the team “Guys, I want to race”. This little glimmer of hope was immediately turned off by another team radio, but this time from Flavio Briatore to his driver, Fernando Alonso. He said “Fernando we need to retire the car”. All the cars which mounted Michelin tyres re-entered into the pits to retire their cars. Only the Ferraris, the Minardis and the Jordans stayed on the track.

The public in the grandstands were furious, and they showed it by throwing everything on the track, including a plastic bottle which hit Rubens Barrichello. Another episode was when Michael Schumacher exited from the pits and almost crashed into his teammate. By the way, the race was won by the German driver, followed by Rubens Barrichello and Thiago Monteiro, who completed that podium. The drivers of the Italian constructor didn’t celebrate that win, but the Jordan driver celebrated his first podium. Michelin was forced by the FIA to reimburse the tickets of all the fans. In 2006 the Japanese tyre manufacturer left Formula 1.

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Women Crush Wednesdays: Kate Dalton

Written by Tanishka Vashee, edited by Esmée Koppius

Kate Dalton is Aston Martin F1 team’s Head of Brand strategy. She has been a fan of motorsport since she was young but has experience in the world of luxury fashion marketing. Kate has had the experience of working with brands like Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger. 

One might think it’s unusual for someone who’s worked in luxury fashion to end up at a Formula one team, but her story is a testament to the age old saying that hard work does pay off. To add to the challenge, Kate took up the new role while the world battled the pandemic- unusual was the new usual. 

Kate used her strengths, is a keen observer and has made sure the team delivers what fans want. Brand strategy is the essence to commercial success of a team, she has found ways to ensure that despite the distance, there’s an emotional connection between fans and the team. 

She has secured partnerships with organisations like Racing Pride UK, emphasising on the importance of making the world of racing a more diverse and inclusive space. Kate has also always encouraged F1 fans to dream and work towards building a career in Formula One. 

In an interview with Females in Motorsport, she spoke about how as an F1 fan one has intuition that could be built into a marketing skill. One would know insight such as the routine, favourite teams of the other fans and what channels they use and consume, this intuition can be transformed into a skill.

Kate is a great role model to look up to, she shows young people that with hard work and good understanding of your skill set, you can certainly achieve what you dream of.

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Andretti’s Plan to Enter F1

Formula 1 is returning to America this weekend, and it is bringing with it rumours of a new team. Throughout the past couple of weeks there have been whispers of Andretti Autosport looking to join Formula 1 as soon as 2022. While normally this wouldn’t be possible, as adding a new team to the sport would certainly take several years to plan and execute, the American racing team has a unique opportunity to bring the Andretti name back to Formula 1 without creating a whole new team.

Written by Morgan Holiday, Edited by Janvi Unni

Currently, Andretti Autosport races in Indycar, Indy Lights, IMSA, Formula E, Extreme E, and Supercars. It has been no secret that the team has had an interest in joining the top step of the motorsport ladder for some time now, but they didn’t seem to be pursuing it seriously until recently. While creating a completely new team is a daunting and expensive venture, the other way to join Formula 1 is to buy an existing team, which is Andretti’s current plan.

Michael Andretti, son of former Formula 1 World Champion Mario Andretti and owner of Andretti Autosport, is currently in talks to become a majority owner of Sauber. The deal would be with Islero Investments, the company that owns Sauber. His plan is to buy 80% of the company, which would give him ownership of them, along with Sauber Motorsports, and effectively make him the new team owner of Alfa Romeo’s Formula 1 team. This would give the team a chance to enter Formula 1 while escaping any entry fees or having to build a team and car from scratch.

2022 would be an ideal time for Andretti to enter Formula 1, as the new regulations offer a big chance for midfield or backmarker teams to make large performance gains. While Alfa Romeo currently sits in 9th in the constructor’s standings and will likely finish there at the end of the season, the 2022 changes could see them climb up the grid, if they do everything correctly. Having an experienced racing team like Andretti to assist them through the regulation changes and add funding could increase their chances of a performance boost even more. 

In addition, Andretti being a team on the Formula 1 grid would be seen as a highly valuable asset for the sport, as there has been an increased effort in recent years to draw American viewers to the sport. A new American team, as well as possibly an American driver, is something Formula 1 has stated an interest in having, and is something Andretti would provide.

If Andretti succeeds in gaining control of Sauber, the American team could be seen on the Formula 1 grid as early as 2022. Valtteri Bottas has a contract with the (currently) Swiss team Alfa Romeo for 2022, but the second seat is still undecided. The main drivers in contention for that seat at the moment are current Alfa Romeo driver Antonio Giovinazzi, and Alpine junior drivers Guanyu Zhou and Oscar Piastri. Should Andretti take over, any of these drivers would still be options for that seat. However, with the team’s presence, Indycar’s Colton Herta could also be amongst those names in the running for a seat. 

Herta has been driving in Indycar for four seasons, and currently drives with Andretti Autosport. He is already a six time winner in the series, but the opportunity for a Formula 1 seat is one very few would say no to. While Herta does not currently possess enough points to be eligible for a super licence, the FIA has been more lenient with the super licence rules in the past year, and should Herta be seriously in the running for a seat at Andretti’s new team, it’s highly likely exceptions could be made.

Reportedly, the deal has been done and is expected to be announced sometime this weekend.

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Everything WRC has to offer if you are a fan of motorsports

Today at Divebomb we are going to be analyzing all there is to know about the WRC (World Rally Championship). If you are a general motorsport fan you will have likely heard of WRC at some stage. Whether it was through endless scrolling on social media platforms or through commentary during other motorsport events. Even if you have heard of WRC or not this article is for you. We are here to give you the full rundown of WRC between the weekend layout, the teams, drivers and co-drivers, engine specs we will cover it all. Let’s get straight into it!

Written by Megan Teahan, Edited by Mikaeel Ali

The Basics

The Championships this year consists of thirteen drivers and co-drivers across four different teams. The championship has a total of twelve rounds across eleven different countries. The season typically runs from January to November, this may seem like quite a long season, but a lot of the rallies have a gap of at least two weeks, with the Belgium rally and the following round after that in Greece seeing almost a one month “break” for everyone involved. Each Rally weekend features between fifteen to twenty-five timed sections or “special stages”. These stages take place on closed roads from the public, where each driver/co-driver competes alone on the section. Drivers go to and from each section adhering to local rules of the road of whichever country they are competing in. You may be wondering why there is a co-driver in the passenger seat and not just the driver alone in the car. A co-driver in WRC is just as important as the driver. The co-driver reads pace notes to the driver warning the driver of upcoming hazards. (We will touch back on co-drivers later). The timings from each section are taken to 1/10th of a second, added up after all sections are completed. Whoever completes all stages in the shortest accumulated time wins the rally. The top ten finishers receive points going from twenty-five, eighteen, fifteen, twelve, ten, eight, six, four, two and one. Extra points are also earned during the closing power stage, which gives points to the teams of the five fastest drivers.

A Rally Weekend

The rally itself takes place over three days. Two days before a rally begins the drivers/co-drivers practice the route of the different stages, where the time sections of the rally will take place. This gives the co-driver time to make pace notes and helps the driver to get used to the layout of each section. If you have ever watched an on-board video of a rally race you will hear a voice that is constantly speaking, this is the co-driver calling out pace notes. While to most these almost “cryptic” words mean nothing, to the driver they are everything. One wrong word from the co-driver can throw the driver completely off course and result in massive time loss. Here is an example of the pace notes the co-driver would have on his pace notes during a certain stage. “40 L5-/Cr 4+ -> !!!R4/BgJmp oc”. Can you decode this message? If not, the answer will be revealed at the end of the article!

The weekend begins with a “shakedown”. A shakedown gives drivers an opportunity to test out the cars and the type of terrain they will be driving on, each car must drive through the shakedown stage at least three times. The shakedown also allows for any final tweaks to be made to the car before the rally officially begins.

The rally race itself then takes place over three days; this is where the fifteen to twenty-five timed sections take place. During the three days of racing, you will hear the phrase “service park ”. This is essentially the WRC version of a pitstop. There are three service park sessions per day. Each session takes place at a predetermined time, during these times teams are allowed to perform mechanical work on the car and fix any damage the car may have incurred during the rally so far.  The first service park takes place in the morning before the opening stage of the rally, teams are given fifteen minutes for any last adjustments they would like to perform on the car. The second service park takes place midway through the rally, teams are given forty minutes. The final service park takes place at the end of the day where teams are given forty-five minutes to prepare the car for the following day. Service Park times are tightly monitored to make sure no team ends up spending more time on the car then they are allowed to. Rally racing takes place on different and constantly changing terrains therefore the car is bound to be subjected to damage at some stage of the rally. Therefore, the driver and co-driver are allowed to work on the car outside of service park times, using only tools and spare parts that are already in the car. If the car gets a puncture hallway through a stage, there is no “pit crew” following closely behind, you will see the driver and co-driver get out of the car to change the tire as quickly as possible. If the car sustains damage, the clock will not be stopped to allow time for the driver and co-driver to fix the damage. The clock will continue to run, and this will be taken into the final timings. Sometimes a car will be too damaged to continue with the race, resulting in retirement. Car retirements can restart the next day of the rally, granted the car is safe to drive but the driver will incur a ten-minute penalty for every stage they have missed. These time penalties will be added at the end. Time penalties will be incurred if drivers arrive late at control points for example, exiting the service park too late.

Technical Specification of a WRC car

We are going to focus on the technical specification of the m-sport Ford Fiesta WRC pictured below. This year m-sport are running two cars with drivers Teemu Suninen, Adrian Fourmaux and Gus Greensmith and co-drivers Jarmo Lehtinen, Alexandre Coria and Chris Patterson.

Rally cars are based off road cars that you; ether drive yourself or more than likely drive past every day on the road. It is the specification of the cars in the world rally championship that make them different to the typical road car.

The m-sport Ford Fiesta produces 380bhp, 450nm of torque from its 1600cc direct injection engine. If the previous sentence makes no sense to you, let’s break it down. Bhp also known as horsepower is the amount of power an engine can produce, the higher the bhp the faster the car can run. For example, the average road car has 120phb, which is not fast in terms of rally cars. Torque is a crucial part of generating power from a car’s engine, the more torque the greater the acceleration on the car. All rally cars are subjected to at least 425nm and no more than 450nm for safety reasons. 1600cc is a 1.6-liter engine, a direct injection engine has more power and burns less fuel.

The next aspect of the WRC Ford Fiesta is a six-speed sequential gearbox, to explain what a six-speed sequential gearbox is we will compare it to the typical road car gear box. Both gear boxes are quite similar, with a typical road car gear box you would press the clutch before changing/or putting the car into the gear. Following a “H” pattern of first gear being top left, second gear being back left and so on. With a six-speed sequential gearbox, you hit a lever/or paddle to change through gears in order whether you are upshifting or downshifting. This type of gearbox would be seen on most race cars.

Another main aspect is the MacPherson struts, these are basically the front suspension of the car. When a rally car becomes air bound and almost bounces back down to the terrain this bounce comes from the MacPherson struts. These struts also work as shock absorbers during collisions or impacts back to the terrain. These struts allow for more extreme steering hence why they are used in the m-sport Ford Fiesta.

If you want to know more about the m-sport Ford Fiesta WRC head over to the m-sport website for the full breakdown.

If you did not end up decoding the pace notes here is the answer “Forty, left five minus over crest opens over 40, tightens four plus, into triple caution right four over big jump off camber”. If this still makes no sense, you are not alone.

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National Teams in F1 and how to develop it

Some weeks ago I discovered the country nation in motocross and I really enjoyed the mechanics and the drama of it. So I thought, will a competition similar to this be good in F1?  

Written by Thomas Bergamo, Edited by Janvi Unni

So, let’s start from the two most important things: the car and the lineup. The car used would be the same for everyone: same engine, same chassis. The only thing that can be personalized is the car setup. So the manufacturer would be the same for every team. Another important thing are the lineups. Drivers can have enough super-license points (50 at the moment) for racing in a Formula1 car. Drivers’ choice ought to be very important, because a single driver can decide the winning of this title. 

How many teams can enter in this competition? While I was reading the F1 rules book, my eye fell upon an interesting rule: the maximum drivers allowed in the grid is 26. So that means that we will have a maximum of thirteen teams. 

If there are more than thirteen teams, how can the FIA decide which team enters and which does not? In this case there would be semifinals and then, at the distance of months, the final. 

Which circuit will be chosen for hosting it and with which criteria? The circuit that will host the nations will be drawn before the starting of the season. Firstly, all the circuits that haven’t passed the A1 FIA graduation test are excluded. Secondly, the street circuits won’t host it, for not creating too much economic damage to the city. Third main criteria: before the draw, the representatives of the various circuits must show their desire to host it. If they are drawn, they can’t refuse. They can abort it only for major causes. 

The week-end structure will be almost the same as a normal week-end: Free Practices on Friday, Qualifyings and Race 1 on Saturday (45 minutes race) and Race 2 (normal race). Qualifying will determine the grid order of Race 2. Race 1 order, instead, will be composed of inverted TOP 10 qualifiers results.

The team who gets the pole will earn four points. Race 1 points system will be the same as a Formula 2 sprint race (top 8 will take points). Race 2, instead, will give the same points as a normal race. At the end, the team who will have more points will win. 

Country National points won’t count in the Formula 1 championship, because it’s a separate event.

Last but most importantly, I’ll tell you the 2021 line-ups:

Team England: Lewis Hamilton – George Russell.

Team Netherlands: Max Verstappen – Nyck De Vries.

Team Germany: Sebastian Vettel – Mick Schumacher.

Team México: Sergio Pérez – Patricio O’Ward.

Team Italy: Antonio Giovinazzi – Antonio Fuoco.

Team Spain: Carlos Sainz – Fernando Alonso.

Team Finland: Kimi Räikkönen – Valtteri Bottas.

Team Belgium: Stoffel Vandoorne – Lando Norris (he has Belgian citizenship).

Team FIA (because Russia has been Disqualified from WADA): Danil Kvyat – Robert Shwartzman.

Team France: Pierre Gasly – Jean-Eric Vergne.

Team Australia: Daniel Ricciardo – Oscar Piastri 

Team Canada: Lance Stroll – Nicholas Latifi.

Team Japan: Yuki Tsunoda – Kamui Kobayashi.

Team Brazil: Lucas Di Grassi – Felipe Drugovich (if he can reach top 5. If not the reserve driver would be Pietro Fittipaldi).

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Photo Credit: https://www.tim-holmes.com/

The Triple Crown of Motorsport: What is it and will it ever be achieved again?

Written by Danny Jones, Edited by Morgan Holiday

The Triple Crown of Motorsport is regarded as one of the biggest achievements in sport worldwide, in fact, it is so hard to achieve that only one man has ever done it. Motorsport is full of various categories and series, from stock cars to motorbikes, to some of the best engineering genius the world has ever seen. And some particular series and races stick out from the rest. The Bathurst 1000, the Dakar Rally, the Daytona 24, the Daytona 500, but none come close to the three events which make up the triple crown.

The triple crown is made up of the three most iconic motor races in the world, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Monaco Grand Prix and the Indianapolis 500. The 24 Hours of Le Mans has been held since 1923, and is the most iconic sports car race in the world, so big it is bigger than the series it is in, the World Endurance Championship. Three drivers take turns to hustle one car around the iconic Circuit de la Sarthe for 24 consecutive hours, whilst team personnel are always on standby to make sure the car is in pristine condition. The circuit itself is gruelling enough, only the Nurburgring Nordschleife is a longer circuit currently in use, which contains the iconic Mulsanne straight with a long complex of esses towards the end of the lap. What makes it so tough is the night stints, where drivers only have their small headlights to guide themselves through the blackness, and one small mistake means game over. Tom Kristensen has nine separate Le Mans wins, three clear of the next best, Jacky Ickx, and is regarded as the greatest sports car racer of all time.

The Monaco Grand Prix is the crown jewel of the F1 calendar. Although it regularly comes under criticism for its lack of overtaking opportunities or excitement, it takes nothing away from the accolade of the achievement. Held on the narrow Monte Carlo streets since 1929, the Monaco Grand Prix has drivers on edge all the time, with barriers either side of the driver, with one small mistake meaning certain disaster. It is also the one ‘the drivers want to win’ due to the prestige of Monaco, where celebrities like to play, and is the gem of the F1 season. Monaco is considered the toughest to win of the three, it is hard enough to enter F1, it is even harder to get into a team capable of winning such an event. Ayrton Senna is the most successful driver round the tricky Monaco streets, winning it six times, including in five consecutive seasons.

The final event that makes up the triple crown is the Indianapolis 500. The Indianapolis 500 is so big, that winning the race is a bigger accolade than winning the IndyCar series. The oval race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has been held since 1911, and strangely was once part of the F1 World Championship. The Indianapolis 500 features the fastest cars in the world, capable of reaching up to 240mph, with drivers barely dipping below 225mph on their qualifying runs. They can do 2.5 miles in less than 38 seconds. The 500 mile event regularly lasts up to three hours, and with walls waiting to be collided with for 200 laps, it is a tough mental challenge for the drivers, particularly those fighting it out for the win with just ten laps to go. Helio Castroneves joined Rick Mears, Al Unser and AJ Foyt as the elusive four-time 500 winners in 2021. The question is, will the ‘spiderman’ be able to make history in the coming years?

How close have people gotten, and can it be achieved again?

The Triple Crown is prestigious for the variety of races needed to complete it. The toughest sports car race in the world, the toughest F1 race, and the toughest oval race on the planet. Famously, Graham Hill is the only man to have won all three, winning the Monaco Grand Prix in 1963, 1964, 1965, 1968 and 1969, winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1972 and the Indianapolis 500 in 1966. 

The closest man to ever challenge Graham Hill is Fernando Alonso. The Spaniard won the Monaco Grand Prix in 2006 and 2007, before winning Le Mans in 2018 and 2019. Alonso has been so invested in the triple crown, he sat out the Monaco Grand Prix to compete in the Indianapolis 500 in 2017, something a driver hadn’t done for over 30 years. And after his ‘retirement’ in Abu Dhabi 2018, some of the first words said over the radio to Alonso were: ‘Let’s go win the Triple Crown.’ Alonso came agonisingly close in 2017, leading 27 laps, and running in a good position with just 21 laps to go, before his Honda engine blew out. In 2019, he embarrassingly failed to qualify, being knocked out by the unfancied Kyle Kaiser, before a lackluster result in 2020. The question remains if Alonso will want to return to the Indy 500 after his second F1 spell. With Helio Castroneves winning it at 46 years old this year, maybe it gives hope for Alonso in the future.

Juan Pablo Montoya is the only other active driver to complete two of the Triple Crown, winning the Monaco Grand Prix in 2003 and the Indy 500 in 2000 and 2015. Montoya competed in Le Mans for the first time in 2015, but in the LMP2 class. Debatably Montoya has got a better chance than Alonso if he can secure an LMH drive, but with more manufacturers competing and his interest in the Triple Crown much lower than Alonso’s, he may never be able to fulfill it.

However, the Triple Crown looks even harder to complete now, and there is no guaranteed method to achieve it. A driver would have to progress up the junior categories successfully, and then be able to get into a team capable of winning a Grand Prix, and after all that win at Monaco. Most successful drivers used to be able to get their way into a winning Le Mans team, as there was such little competition, but with 8 manufacturers in the premier class in 2022, the Le Mans challenge will be harder. And with the Indy 500 always conflicting with F1 schedule, a driver is unlikely to be able to do so until their later careers, where they may face some of the best oval racers in the world.

However, the growing links between IndyCar and F1 give a hint of an opportunity to some. Andretti’s growing rumours of F1 give Colton Herta a potential shot, as Andretti would easily allow him to take a seat in both the Indy 500 and F1. However, it seems it would take a while for Andretti to be an F1 frontrunner. Herta has also said he would like to do Le Mans later down the line, something not many teams would deny such a talent of. Pato O’Ward was in the running to win his maiden Indy 500 crown with McLaren this year, and with a F1 test coming up in Abu Dhabi, O’Ward would have the potential get a F1 seat for the future, particularly if he could win the Indy 500 and IndyCar championship, according to Zak Brown.

The Triple Crown will always remain the most difficult thing to achieve in motorsports, maybe even in sports altogether. For one driver to be so successful in three varieties of cars takes some talent, and with it getting harder to achieve, we may never see a triple crown winner again, unless Alonso can miraculously win the Indy 500 after his second F1 stint. Time will tell if it can be done again.

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