Ekstrom handed grid penalty after Glock clash

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Mattias Ekstrom has been handed a three-place grid penalty for Sunday’s DTM race at the Moscow Raceway.

The Swede clashed with BMW’s Timo Glock while battling for fourth position during Saturday’s opening race.

Ekstrom attempted a pass on the inside of the German into Turn 7, colliding with Glock and sending both cars spearing into the barriers, prompting a second safety car of the race.

While the pair were both eliminated from the race, Ekstrom’s title rival Pascal Wehrlein  claimed a second win of the season to pull eight points clear at the head of the championship standings.

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Cassidy joins Prema in European F3

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Japanese Formula 3 points leader Nick Cassidy will race for Prema Powerteam at the next two rounds of the European F3 Championship at Portimao and the Nurburgring.

Cassidy will replace Brandon Maisano at Prema after the Italian quit the team mid-event during the last round in Austria.

The 21-year-old, who scored a third place finish at Macau last year, last raced in European F3 in 2013.

“I would like to thank Prema Powerteam for this opportunity, one that I am really looking forward to,” said Cassidy.

“With their knowledge I am looking to learn as much as possible, to develop myself, with the aim of good results in these two race meetings.

“I am sure there will be a few little differences to racing in Japan, but I feel prepared, and am looking forward to the challenge.”

Prema team boss Rene Rosin added: “I am delighted to rely on Cassidy, a very quick and consistent driver who has not yet had the chance to show his real value at European level.

“I wish that, driving with Prema at Portimao, where two days of testing will be held before the race, and at Nurburgring, Nick will be able to score the results he deserves.”

Force India sits out second practice

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Hungarian Grand Prix - Practice Day - Budapest, Hungary

Force India will sit out second practice for the Hungarian Grand Prix, as investigations into Sergio Perez’s accident in the morning continue.

Perez crashed heavily at Turn 11 of the Hungaroring circuit during opening practice, rolling his Force India.

A suspected right-rear suspension failure pitted Perez into a spin, and into the barriers on the right-hand side of the track.

Perez’s front-right wheel then became trapped up the car, forcing the Force India into a roll, where it came to rest upside down.

The Mexican was unhurt in the accident, but Force India will not run again on Friday as a precaution.

“Sahara Force India will not take part in this afternoon’s second practice session at the Hungaroring as the team continues to investigate a suspension problem, which caused Sergio Perez to crash this morning,” reads a team statement.

“Sergio’s car suffered significant damage to the bodywork, wings and floor, and repairs are ongoing.

“As a precaution, the team has chosen not to run Nico Hulkenberg this afternoon.

“The team will work hard to fully understand the cause of the failure and find a resolution in order to be ready for Saturday’s free practice session.”

This article first appeared on Richland F1 – Image courtesy of Sahara Force India

Perez unhurt after heavy practice crash

Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM08. Hungarian Grand Prix, Friday 24th July 2015. Budapest, Hungary.

Sergio Perez walked away unhurt from a heavy accident in opening practice for the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Perez suffered a suspected right-rear suspension failure coming out of Turn 11, spinning across the track before hitting the barriers on the right-hand side of the circuit.

Perez’s right-front wheel then became trapped underneath the car, pitching the Force India into a roll, where it came to rest upside down.

As the Mexican clambered free of his broken car the session was immediately red flagged, with a medical car sent to the scene.

After a brief precautionary check at the circuit’s medical centre Perez returned to the pits, giving a wave to the onlooking crowd.

“It was a really bad accident, really unlucky,” he told Sky Sports F1.

“I went in at the wrong angle, which made the car roll over, but everything’s all right.

“It was a bit of a strange accident, I thought I was under control but I guess the Astroturf was very dirty and that’s why I went into the wall, but we have to check everything in detail.”

Perez’s accident comes just a week after the death of Jules Bianchi, who passed away on Friday from injuries sustained in a crash at last year’s Japanese Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton topped the interrupted opening session of the weekend at the Hungaroring, lapping a tenth clear of Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg.

This article first appeared on Richland F1 – Image courtesy of Sahara Force India

Gasly: Formula 1 test debut was ‘something special’

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Pierre Gasly says his maiden Formula 1 test with Toro Rosso was a ‘special’ experience.

The Frenchman, currently racing with DAMS in GP2, completed 131 laps on route to seventh on the timehseets.

Gasly will drive for the senior Red Bull squad on Wednesday, as testing continues as the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

“It was a wonderful day,” he said. “This morning, getting into a Formula 1 car for the first time was something special.

“The feeling you get from the car is unbelievable. Everything is almost perfect, with elements like the power steering for example and of course there’s much more power than in the other formulas and you have more grip too.

“I really enjoyed the experience and I made the most of it, doing a lot of laps. All drivers dream of driving a Formula 1 car and having now done it, I am even more determined to reach my goal of racing in this category.

“It was awesome and I can’t wait to try it again. Thank you Red Bull and thank you Toro Rosso.”

Image courtesy of Scuderia Toro Rosso

Rosberg pleased with ‘great’ day of testing in Barcelona

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Nico Rosberg hailed a ‘great’ day of testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

The Spanish Grand Prix winner returned to the site of his win on Sunday for the opening day of the first in-season test.

Rosberg clocked the fastest time of the day with a 1:24.374, completing 146 laps, the most of any driver on Tuesday.

“Today was a great test day for sure,” he said. “The track was a little bit quicker than over the race weekend and we did many laps, so I’m a bit tired! But it’s my only test during the season so it’s important.

“Today, we tested a lot of different things – some more generally for the rest of the season and some for the next race.

“Monaco has very unique setup characteristics so we evaluated a few of those. The last sector here has a lot of tight corners – so it’s like Monaco in a way, which is useful.

“The car felt very good there so I’m feeling optimistic and ready for the next race. It’s in my home town, it’s a legendary circuit and it should be a good weekend so I’m really looking forward to it.”

Image courtesy of Daimler

Teams confirm Barcelona in-season test driver line-up

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Formula 1 teams will remain at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya for the two-day post-Spanish Grand Prix in-season test.

The first of two tests will kick off on Tuesday in Spain, with the second test set to follow next month’s Austrian Grand Prix.

Spanish Grand Prix winner Nico Rosberg will run for Mercedes on the opening day, before handing over to reserve driver Pascal Wehrlein, who last drove the W06 Hybrid at the Barcelona circuit during pre-season.

Wehrlein will also test for Force India on Tuesday, with GP2 racer Nick Yelloly set for his maiden Formula 1 outing with the team on day two.

Raffele Marciello will drive on day one for Ferrari, before fulfilling his role as Sauber reserve driver with the team on Wednesday, taking over from Marcus Ericsson.

Esteban Gutierrez will make his testing debut for Ferrari on day two, after two seasons spent racing for Sauber.

Reigning GP3 champion Alex Lynn will get his maiden outing for Williams on Wednesday, while rival Pierre Gasly will test a Formula 1 car for the first time with Toro Rosso on the opening day before handing over to Carlos Sainz Jr.

Gasly will return for the final day, taking over at the wheel of the Red Bull RB11 from Daniil Kvyat.

Pastor Maldonado and Jolyon Palmer both get a day each at Lotus, with Oliver Turvey splitting testing duties at McLaren with Jenson Button.

The Manor Marussia team confirmed last week that it will skip the test.

Team – Day 1 – Day 2

Mercedes – Nico Rosberg – Pascal Wehrlein

Red Bull – Daniil Kvyat – Pierre Gasly

Williams – Felipe Massa – Alex Lynn

Ferrari – Raffele Marciello – Esteban Gutierrez

McLaren – Oliver Turvey – Jenson Button

Force India – Pascal Wehrlein – Nick Yelloly

Toro Rosso – Pierre Gasly – Carlos Sainz Jr.

Lotus – Pastor Maldonado – Jolyon Palmer

Sauber – Marcus Ericsson – Raffaele Marciello