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April 2014

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The Team

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  • David Phillips
    Editor And Chief
    David Phillips is a long-time contributor to print and electronic publications in the U.S. and abroad, including Racer, Autosport, AutoWeek, Motor Sport and SPEEDtv.com, oversees the daily updating of news stories and assigns, edits and contributes feature material for inRacingNews.com.
  • David Judson
    Contributor

    29 years old, Dave Judson lives in Mentor, Ohio. Dave has grown up with racing, watching his father win races and championships at the local go-kart track as a youngster and continuing his love of racing while watching NASCAR, Indycar, Formula 1 and sports cars.
    Judson has enjoyed a successful sim-racing career of his own in the IZOD Indycar iRacing Open and Fixed Setup Series. He has race wins to his credits as well as the Division 1 Championship of the Open Series in Season 1 of 2013 and the Overall Championship of the Fixed Series in Season 3 of 2013.
    Dave has a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from Cleveland State University and is looking to expand his horizons by writing for inRacingNews.

  • Matt A Kingsbury
    Contributor

    Kingsbury lives in Fairfield, Connecticut where he currently attends Sacred Heart University. He is a fan of any form of racing, from NASCAR to IndyCar, Formula 1, and especially endurance racing. The summer of 2013 saw Kingsbury attend IndyCar's return to Pocono Raceway as well as the ARCA race at Pocono which Corey Lajoie won and got some pictures (including the accompanying mug shot) in Victory Lane thanks to his aunt!

  • Raymond Kingsbury
    Contributor

    Ray Kingsbury is a motorsport enthusiast and full-time university student, born and raised in Connecticut. He started his own racing career in BMX, riding bicycles competitively on the state level. In eight years he claimed the state championship and was ranked nationally before moving away from the sport. This void of activities led him to rediscover sim-racing in the form of NASCAR Heat. After a championship in the game's most competitive league Kingsbury started focusing full-time on his involvement in Live for Speed. There he founded Last Lap Motorsports which today has more than 20 members worldwide.

    When a few Last Lap Motorsports members decided to give iRacing.com a chance to feed their desire for more oval racing, Ray teamed with his brother Matt, Nathan Lamothe and newcomer Jimmie Jones to enter the ETV! Live Team Series and claimed the title after a dominating performance at Watkins Glen. To this day the team continues in both Live for Speed and iRacing.com and Ray still takes much delight in his own sim-racing career. A reporter for his high school newspaper before moving to university, Kingsbury keeps-up his writing activities by contributing to iRacing News.

  • Jeff Jacobs
    Contributor

    Jeff Jacobs started autocrossing with the SCCA in 1990 while a student at the University of Florida. He has competed in the SCCA's National Tour and ProSolo series since 1995, winning a ProSolo National Championship in H-Stock in 2011 driving a 2010 MINI Cooper. Jeff completed his SCCA Club Racing drivers' school in 2012 at Roebling Road in a Spec Miata. He currently writes a column for the SCCA's Northeast Division in SportsCar Magazine and is the Region Executive of the Philadelphia Region SCCA.

    Jeff joined iRacing in October 2012. After starting with the MX-5 and SRF cars, he has been concentrating on the Ford Mustang FR500S, competing in the iRacing.com Mustang Cup series and the Continental Endurance Sports Car Series.

  • Jordan Hightower
    Contributor

    Jordan began sim-racing in 2005 with the NASCAR Racing 2003 Season sim and then joined the iRacing community in June of 2008. He hails from Fort Smith, Arkansas where he is currently enrolled at the University of Arkansas Fort Smith, after which he plans to attend the University of Arkansas to earn his MBA. Although he enjoys watching and playing basketball, most of Jordan's focus is on motorsports, particularly NASCAR: "Anything that burns gas and goes fast, I like."

  • Scott Kelly
    Contributor

    Born and raised in the greater St. Louis, Missouri area, Scott Kelly has had a love for motorsports ever since his father did the right thing by introducing auto racing into his life. No longer able to quench his need for speed by spectating NASCAR races on TV and watching dirt track stars slide around local tracks, Kelly eventually picked-up sim racing in his teens, wheeling cars found in Ratbag Games' "Dirt Track Racing" and "World of Outlaws: Sprint Cars" while also becoming introduced into multiple Papyrus sim-racing series. Joining the iRacing ranks in late 2011, Kelly set his sights on the short track racing he was familiar with, focusing on the sprint car, while also driving the Legends and street stock in multiple iRacing.com leagues.

    Kelly brings not just his enthusiasm for racing to the highest-rated motorsports simulation, but also his B.A. degree in English; he covers the action seen in the iRacing.com Sprint Car Series, while also placing the spotlight on various leagues within the service. Enjoying his start to a career in motorsports journalism, Kelly also doesn't mind visiting victory lane from time-to-time.

  • George Wood
    Contributing Writer
    After beginning his racing career with go-karts at age seven, George then turned wrenches on street stocks until he could finally turn the wheel. Following the successes of his friends and family, George has since retired from real-world racing, where he is now a science and mathematics faculty member for several local community colleges. When George isn't grading laboratory reports or iRacing, he is performing at bluegrass festivals in the Northeast, making fishing lures, playing golf, and rooting for his beloved Baltimore Orioles.
  • Chris Hall
    iRacing.com Series Writer
    Chris Hall has been writing since the nineties and moved into motorsports reporting in 2005, covering series such as ALMS, British GT, FIA GT, Le Mans and 2CV racing for Full Throttle magazine, Motorsport.com, The-Paddock.net, GTGateway.com, L' Endurance and, of course, inRacingNews. During 2008 and 2009, he worked with the RSS Performance Porsche Carrera Cup Team (and former British GT(C) champions) as a data engineer for a variety of drivers and models of 997s.
  • Jason Lofing
    iRacing.com Series Writer
    Jason is 21 years old and was born and raised in Elk Grove. California. A big time NASCAR fan, he hasn’t missed a race on Sunday in years. Lofing is also a huge San Fransisco Giants fan and tries to take in at least a couple games a year. Other than sim racing, his biggest (and far more expensive!) hobby is photography. Although he is rather new to sim racing, Lofing has already accomplished some pretty impressive results, qualifying for the 2011 iRacing Oval Pro Series in Season 1, 2011, winning the inaugural Landon Cassill Qualifying Challenge and finishing runner-up in the second one.
  • Dylan Sharman
    Contributing Writer
    I was born in Adelaide and we moved-out for Angle Vale for a few years until I was about 7 years old, when we moved to the Barossa Valley where I live now. I'm 19 years old and currently traveling back and forth weekly as I'm studying for a Diploma of Furniture Design and Technology.

    I've always had a love for racing as my close family did some racing and we were always out at the local dirt track. I joined iRacing back in 2010 and slowly but surely got the hang of it as this is my first experience with sim racing and am loving it each time I race. I've won two SK Modified titles (almost had three in a row but finished P2 in 2011 S4), an iRacingNews Challenge championship (2012 S1 Mazda) and was also an AustralAsian Intel GT Series Finalist.
  • Katier Scott
    Contributing Writer
    I am a veteran sim racer who first started racing way back in 1993 on the SPRTSIMS section of Compuserve with a league who can trace themselves all the way to the present. Within that league I act as Chief Steward and try to bring the unique viewpoint that this experience gives me into my articles.
    I have a BA (Hons) in Journalism and Editorial design and have been writing for seven years and currently cover the Lotus 79 CTC and Radical series alongside my freelance work. Living in the UK, as well as motorsports I love Photography, Arts and Crafts and reading.
  • David Ifeguni
    Contributing Writer
    I was born in New Haven, Connecticut in 1988 and moved to Midland, Michigan when I was two years old. I stayed there until third grade when I moved to Farmington Hills, Michigan and now I currently live in Naperville, IL where I'm attending Metea Valley High School as a 9th grader. In the past, I have participated in soccer and this year I plan on joining swimming or water polo. My family includes my 15 year old sister, a 7 year old sister and my mom and dad. I have been writing since 6th grade and have participated in many writing contests in my school and have received several awards for writing.
    My fascination for motorsports began when I was nine. The first NASCAR race I watched on TV was the 2009 Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway, won by Kasey Kahne. My favorite NASCAR drivers are Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr, and Jimmie Johnson. I have watched all the races in the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series since 2010. I currently have three wins on iRacing, two of them in the Nationwide car at Daytona and one in the Street stocks at Charlotte. My favorite car and type of track on iRacing is the Nationwide Series (B Class) car and superspeedways.

NBE a ‘match’ for engine rivals

April 21st, 2014

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The new Formula 3 engine from British tuner Neil Brown Engineering is a serious rival to Mercedes and Volkswagen, according to NBE’s Gavin Harrison. Only British team T-Sport is running the engine this season, with drivers Spike Goddard and Alexander Toril. Australian Goddard qualified 11th for the first race of the F3 European Championship at Silverstone, his best grid position since entering the series full-time at the beginning of 2013. He finished 14th, passing several cars after pitting for a new front wing following an early incident, and set the seventh fastest lap of the race. Spaniard Toril, making his debut in the series, set the eighth fastest lap in the third race, with Goddard ninth fastest, yet consistently among the quickest four in the last half of the race. [...]

Ocon sweeps to Euro F3 win

April 19th, 2014

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Esteban Ocon swept to a commanding victory in the second race of the Formula 3 European Championship’s opening round at Silverstone. From pole position, the Lotus F1 Junior showed incredible pace on cold tyres to build up a 2.0 second lead within two laps, and was never threatened. Nicholas Latifi and Antonio Fuoco chased Ocon home to make it a 1-2-3 for the Prema Powerteam Dallara-Mercedes squad, Ferrari protégé Fuoco taking advantage of his second excellent start of the weekend to vault Tom Blomqvist off the line and challenge Latifi for much of the race. Frenchman Ocon’s win moves him into the championship lead. “I was a bit disappointed with my start in race one, but I took a good one this race,” he said. “It was all about keeping [...]

Rookie Ocon nets double pole

April 18th, 2014

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Lotus F1 Junior Esteban Ocon took a brace of pole positions in the second qualifying session for this weekend’s Formula 3 European Championship opener at Silverstone. The French F3 rookie outpaced his team-mate at the Prema Powerteam squad, Nicholas Latifi, to claim the fastest time by 0.136 seconds. Ocon also set the best second-fastest time, securing pole for Sunday morning’s third race from another of his fellow Prema runners, Ferrari protege Antonio Fuoco. “This time I managed to put it all together,” said 17-year-old Ocon. “I did less mistakes and, although we still have to work for the races, I’m happy for the moment. “I really want to thank Prema for giving me such a good car and HWA for the Mercedes engine.” Canadian Latifi, on a track where he [...]

Sainz takes commanding Monza win

April 13th, 2014

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Carlos Sainz Jr took a dominant maiden Formula Renault 3.5 victory in the second race of the season at Monza. The Spaniard, who missed out on starting from pole position in race one when an electrical fault developed before the warm-up lap, led from start to finish on Sunday. Sainz made a clean getaway to leave fellow front row starter Marlon Stockinger behind at the off, and from there he set about building a lead that was more than 10 seconds by the chequered flag. Stockinger spent the entire race keeping Sauber F1 reserve Sergey Sirotkin at bay after the Russian had picked his way through some slow starters. Sirotkin was never quite close enough to mount an attack for second, and by the end of the race Stockinger had [...]

Sainz recovers with dominant pole

April 13th, 2014

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Carlos Sainz Jr bounced back from a disappointing Formula Renault 3.5 season-opener at Monza to take a dominant pole position for race two on Sunday. The Spaniard, whose DAMS car had to be pushed off the grid in race one with an electrical problem when he was supposed to start from pole, moved to the top of the times with five minutes remaining. From then on he never appeared under threat, finishing the session with a margin of seven tenths of a second over his nearest challenger. That honour went to Lotus junior driver Marlon Stockinger, who bumped Jazeman Jaafar off the front row as the chequered flag came out. Will Buller had to settle for fourth after making a mistake at the first chicane on his final lap, and [...]

Sorensen blamed for aerial crash

April 12th, 2014

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Lotus F1 junior Marco Sorensen has been given a five-place grid penalty for causing the crash that flipped his car over in the Formula Renault 3.5 season opener at Monza. The Dane’s car was sent upside down into the pitwall at high speed when he touched wheels with Jazeman Jaafar at the end of the first lap. The incident was investigated by the stewards, who decided that Sorensen was responsible for the crash as he moved over on Jaafar. Sorensen told AUTOSPORT that he disagreed with the decision, and explained that he was following the slipstream of the car ahead. “I was quite a bit in front,” he said. “I was just following the slipstream, so I moved a bit inside. “There was plenty of space for another car, and [...]

Stevens claims first win at Monza

April 12th, 2014

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Will Stevens took a dominant maiden victory in the Formula Renault 3.5 season opener at Monza, as several of his frontrunning rivals hit trouble early on. The Briton, who qualified fourth, led from the first corner as all three of the drivers ahead of him had dramas. Polesitter Carlos Sainz Jr was wheeled off the grid at the start of the formation lap as his DAMS team worked on an electrical problem, while a fast-starting Stevens was then able to catapult himself into the lead as Will Buller and Luca Ghiotto struggled off the line when the lights went out. Stevens was never headed after that, as he set about gradually increasing his lead over ex-DTM racer Roberto Merhi throughout the race. Merhi took a relatively comfortable second ahead of [...]

Sainz takes pole for Monza opener

April 12th, 2014

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Carlos Sainz Jr took pole position for the Formula Renault 3.5 season opener at Monza on Saturday with a commanding performance throughout qualifying. The Red Bull junior, who set the pace during Friday’s running as well, was in control of the battle for pole for the majority of the session. Sainz was quickest when all the cars came in at the halfway stage for a second set of tyres, and he increased his margin to nearly half a second before some of his rivals started to catch up. Will Buller, who was also near the front throughout the session, won the battle for best of the rest to join the Spaniard on the front row, while rookie Luca Ghiotto continued his form from free practice to take third. Fourth place [...]

Sainz fastest in FR3.5 practice

April 11th, 2014

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Carlos Sainz Jr topped both free practice sessions ahead of the Formula Renault 3.5 season opener at Monza this weekend. The Red Bull-backed Spaniard, who has taken over 2013 champion Kevin Magnussen’s seat at DAMS for this year, set the fastest time of the day with just four minutes remaining in the afternoon session. That lap came during a final flurry of activity as the session restarted for 10 minutes after Matias Laine caused a red flag by spinning. Almost every driver in the field improved at the end, but it was Sainz who came out on top to complete a sweep of Friday’s running, having also been fastest in the morning session. In both sessions, the pacesetter’s closest challengers were not necessarily those expected to be fighting for the [...]

Verstappen leads final Euro F3 test

April 9th, 2014

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Max Verstappen topped the final day of pre-season European Formula 3 Championship testing at Zeltweg on Wednesday. The son of 1990s Formula 1 driver Jos Verstappen is stepping straight into F3 from karts with Van Amersfoort Racing this season, with Ferrari’s Florida Winter Series his only car racing experience so far. Despite being a frontrunner throughout testing, 16-year-old Verstappen played down his chances in the European F3 opener at Silverstone later this month. “Even though I did quite well in testing, that doesn’t mean that I will be winning races at Silverstone right away,” he said. “I still have some things to learn, but I reckon that I am heading into the right direction.” AUTOSPORT takes on Verstappen at Sebring Tom Blomqvist was second quickest for Carlin as he made [...]

West-Tec’s Serralles tops Euro F3 test

April 8th, 2014

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Felix Serralles put European Formula 3 Championship newcomer West-Tec on top of the times as the second pre-season test began at Zeltweg on Tuesday. The squad, which has graduated from British F3 and the former European F3 Open series, and its Puerto Rican driver set a best time of 1m25.244s in the afternoon session at the Austrian Grand Prix Formula 1 venue. Antonio Giovinazzi continued his strong form from last week’s Hungaroring test in second place for Carlin. Morning pacesetter Riccardo Agostini of Eurointernational ended up third overall. Title favourite Felix Rosenqvist was fourth ahead of Giovinazzi’s team-mate Ed Jones. Rookies Esteban Ocon and Max Verstappen were Agostini’s closest challengers in the morning, slipping to seventh and eighth behind Nicholas Latifi in the combined standings. Jordan King and Ferrari protege [...]

MacLeod joins British F3 grid

April 7th, 2014

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Formula Renault BARC race winner Sam MacLeod is to contest the British Formula 3 International Series with Fortec Motorsport. The 19-year-old will combine British F3 with a programme in the German F3 Cup with Van Amersfoort Racing, which AUTOSPORT understands will take precedence over his UK campaign due to sponsor wishes. While MacLeod will definitely be on the grid for the opening British F3 round at Rockingham in early May, he has to skip this Tuesday’s media day at Donington Park due to a clashing German F3 test. His Dallara-Mercedes F312 will be driven at Donington by 16-year-old Alex Gill, who was a race winner at last weekend’s FRenault BARC opener with Fortec. Gill could replace MacLeod in the Fortec F3 team for the races where MacLeod is not available. [...]

Palmer takes points lead with win

April 6th, 2014

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Jolyon Palmer took the lead of the GP2 Series in Bahrain on Sunday by winning the sprint race for DAMS. After polesitter Felipe Nasr made a terrible start, Simon Trummer leapt into the lead in his Rapax machine. From sixth on the grid, Palmer took advantage of Stefano Coletti stalling ahead of him to jump up to second at the first corner. A lap later, Palmer passed Trummer for the lead, and he controlled that to the finish, winning by 0.8s in a race of tyre management in 28C desert heat. “I’m absolutely delighted,” said Palmer. “We did a lot of homework last night on starts and tyre deg and we nailed them both.” Trummer held off Carlin’s Julian Leal for second, which was his first podium in the series. [...]

Rosenqvist heads F3 opposition

April 5th, 2014

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Category veteran Felix Rosenqvist emerged with the fastest time over the two days of the Formula 3 European Championship’s pre-season Hungaroring test. The Saturday morning session was the fastest of the four, and Rosenqvist’s Mucke Motorsport Dallara-Mercedes finished this one just over a tenth of a second clear to prove his title-favourite credentials. The closest opponent to the Swede was Antonio Giovinazzi, who backed up his Friday form to go second fastest in his Jagonya Ayam/Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen. Friday pacesetter Max Verstappen was third quickest in his Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara-VW, ahead of Carlin racer Jake Dennis. Quickest in the afternoon was another Jagonya Ayam/Carlin runner, Tom Blomqvist, whose time propelled him up the overall order to fifth ahead of Lotus protege Esteban Ocon and Jules Szymkowiak, who backed up team-mate [...]

Nasr hit by Bahrain grid penalty

April 5th, 2014

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Just hours after making his Formula 1 weekend debut driving for Williams in free practice, GP2 pre-season favourite Felipe Nasr was penalised by stewards after qualifying in Bahrain. The Brazilian Carlin driver was handed a three-place penalty for “making an abnormal change of direction alongside another driver whilst negotiating Turn 4″. His onboard camera showed him gesticulating at Johnny Cecotto Jr, who Nasr felt had impeded the start of his final lap, although Cecotto received no penalty. Nasr will start from 11th rather than P8, and his penalty promotes Ferrari junior Raffaele Marciello, Arthur Pic and Jon Lancaster ahead of him. Besides Nasr’s penalty, the main talking point going into today’s opening race of the season is tyre degradation. The race will start during the hottest point of the day [...]

Palmer beats Vandoorne to pole

April 4th, 2014

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Jolyon Palmer started the GP2 season in the best possible manner by setting pole position for the Bahrain opener, although McLaren junior driver Stoffel Vandoorne ran him close. DAMS driver Palmer lapped the Sakhir track in 1m38.865s, just 0.03s quicker than ART Grand Prix’s Vandoorne after a thrilling qualifying session. The top spot changed hands a number of times between a succession of drivers, but Palmer delivered the lap time when it mattered most after a brief red flag interruption to retrieve Artem Markelov’s spun car. The key to Palmer’s pole was his fastest middle sector of the lap, as he gave away a tenth to Vandoorne in the final element. The result was Palmer’s second pole in GP2. Daniel Abt will start third for Hilmer, having topped the times [...]

Verstappen tops Euro F3 test

April 4th, 2014

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World karting champion Max Verstappen surprised the Formula 3 European Championship opposition by topping the times on the first official pre-season test day at the Hungaroring. The 16-year-old son of former F1 driver Jos Verstappen was one of a group of drivers to improve their times right at the end of the day to put his Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara-Volkswagen at the top of the heap. Reigning British F3 champion Jordan King’s morning time was good enough to be fastest overall for the day until three minutes before the end of the afternoon running, when Verstappen eclipsed it. Verstappen was then on an even faster lap, before losing time in the final sector. King did little running in the afternoon due to a small technical problem, but headed a 2-3-4 [...]

Evans tops first practice of 2014

April 4th, 2014

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Mitch Evans began the 2014 GP2 Series by setting the fastest time in Friday’s practice for Russian Time, heading two Formula 1 proteges from McLaren and Ferrari in the process. Free practice has been extended by 15 minutes to 45 for 2014, with an extra set of the prime (hard) tyre available, although the additional track time was shunned by many in the early stages as one of the three-day pre-season tests was held in Bahrain. When the serious running did get underway, rookie Arthur Pic set the initial pace on the return of the Campos Racing name to the series, before Evans topped the times for the iSport-run Russian Time squad with a 1m42.062s which would remain the fastest lap until the end of the session. The Formula 1 [...]

Renault F3 engine passes shakedown

April 3rd, 2014

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The new Renault engine came through a successful shakedown ahead of the start of official pre-season European Formula 3 Championship testing this week. The engine, built to new regulations that come into force in Europe this year by ORECA in France, completed the shakedown in the Signature team’s pair of Dallaras at Nogaro last week with Oscar Tunjo and Tatiana Calderon driving. Signature boss Philippe Sinault, whose team is returning to F3 after a two-year absence, said: “Everything was OK, but it was really just a first run. “We were focused on the installation, the cooling and the exhaust system – it was a big shakedown.” Sinault said he was upbeat about the prospects of the engine, which will take on the new powerplants from Mercedes, Volkswagen and Neil Brown [...]

Fantin tops final day of FR3.5 test

March 26th, 2014

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Pietro Fantin topped the final day of Formula Renault 3.5 pre-season testing at Jerez on Wednesday. The Brazilian, who endured a tough rookie season with Arden alongside Antonio Felix da Costa in 2013, led the way for Draco during the morning running when the track was at its quickest. Fantin headed regular pre-season frontrunners Sergey Sirtotkin and Pierre Gasly, as every driver set their best time in the morning and the top 16 were covered by just half a second. “I’m thrilled to finish the test like this because we didn’t make a very good start,” said Fantin. “We had a lot of understeer before making good progress yesterday. The changes we made helped us get back to our true level.” Sauber Formula 1 reserve driver Sirotkin was fastest in [...]