Tag: Nico Hulkenberg

F1: Barcelona Test 2, Day 3: Lewis Hamilton top for Mercedes

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton set the pace on the penultimate day of pre-season Formula 1 testing.

The world champion underlined the impression that Mercedes have a clear advantage by beating Williams’s Felipe Massa despite using slower tyres.

Hamilton was 0.24secs faster than Massa, who edged Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen by 0.014secs, using a tyre which is some 0.5-0.8secs slower a lap.

McLaren-Honda again had their running curtailed by a reliability problem.

Hamilton, who will not drive the car again until the first race of the season, said: “It wasn’t a spectacular day. The track seemed to have lost some grip to the last two days so it wasn’t the best in terms of feeling but we got some running done and I feel good in the car.”

Reserve driver Kevin Magnussen, standing for Fernando Alonso as the Spaniard recovers from concussion sustained in a crash last Sunday, managed only 38 laps before an oil leak in the engine ended the team’s day shortly after lunch.

The Dane was eighth fastest, 2.203secs off the pace, after a run on the soft tyre.

But despite the setback, Magnussen sounded optimistic about the team’s chances afterwards.

“Great to be back in the car today,” he said on Twitter.  “The McLaren-Honda feels great! Plenty more to come from this one.”

Racing director Eric Boullier said: “We won’t be as ready for the Melbourne as we would like, but we will do our best.”

Boullier added that “reliability is still a concern” and he said he expected the team to take until the fifth race of the season in Spain in May “to be more competitive”.

Final pre-season test. Day three, Circuit de Catalunya
1 Lewis Hamilton (GB) Mercedes 1:23.022
2 Felipe Massa (Brz) Williams-Mercedes 1:23.262
3 Kimi Raikkonen (Fin) Ferrari 1:23.276
4 Carlos Sainz (Spa) Toro Rosso-Renault 1:24.191
5 Romain Grosjean (Fra) Lotus-Mercedes 1:24.200
6 Marcus Ericsson (Swe) Sauber-Ferrari 1:24.477
7 Nico Hulkenberg (Ger) Force India-Mercedes 1:24.939
8 Kevin Magnussen (Den) McLaren-Honda 1:25.225
9 Daniel Ricciardo (Aus) Red Bull-Renault 1:25.742

Read more at BBC Sport

F1: Barcelona Test Day 4: Grosjean fastest as Mercedes starts to show potential

Romain Grosjean made it three out of four for Lotus at this week’s pre-season test in Barcelona as he topped an eventful day marked by Fernando Alonso’s unusual crash in the McLaren.

Half an hour before lunch, Alonso went off the circuit at the exit of Turn 3 and came to a stop on the run down to Turn 4. A lengthy delay followed and after being taken by ambulance to the medical centre a conscious Alonso was airlifted to hospital for precautionary checks. CT scans in the afternoon confirmed the Spaniard was uninjured, although he will be kept in hospital overnight.

Alonso completed just 19 laps before his accident and McLaren was not able to get the car back out on track in the afternoon when Jenson Button was scheduled to drive. It means McLaren finishes the second pre-season test with just 129 laps to show for its week in Barcelona and just one week of testing left to rectify its problems before the first race in Australia.

day4-alonso-crashes-out

Alonso’s accident was just one incident in an eventful final day at the Circuit de Catalunya, which saw four further red flags in the afternoon. First Nico Hulkenberg stopped on track under a cloud of smoke from his 2014 Force India. Carlos Sainz then spun off at Turn 4, snapping the Toro Rosso’s front wing on impact with the wall. The accident was heavy enough for him to have to pay a brief but routine trip to the medical centre for checks. Valtteri Bottas stopped in the same spot a few moments after the green flags came out and with ten minutes to go there was another red flag when Felipe Nasr pulled up with a problem with his Sauber.

Grosjean’s headline time of 1:24.067 was set on the super-soft tyre, and marked a day with 111 laps and a race simulation for Lotus. Mercedes added to its sizeable winter mileage count with 131 laps for Nico Rosberg as it continues to look for a step forward in reliability this season. In the final hour Rosberg put in an impressive 1:24.321, set on the medium tyre and just 0.254s off Grosjean’s time. The lap was roughly a second faster than Lewis Hamilton’s pole position time on medium tyres at last year’s Spanish Grand Prix, but unlike Hamilton’s was set on used tyres and most likely with a heavier fuel load.

After focusing on pit stops and race starts on Saturday, Williams spent the day focused on longer runs. Valtteri Bottas started a race simulation after lunch but it was interrupted by a visit to the Williams garage and Hulkenberg’s stoppage. He then continued the long run before stopping at Turn 4 himself, though it did not end his day. It was obvious Williams was not chasing times and his race simulation and 129 laps was an impressive way to round off the second test.

Sebastian Vettel’s second day this week in the Ferrari garnered a solid 76-lap haul, though his day was punctuated by several long spells in the garage. Ferrari still has plenty of reasons to be optimistic after eight solid days of testing so far. Felipe Nasr’s day was blighted by an early pit-lane stoppage which kept him in the garage for an extended period before lunch, though he did recover to record 73 laps. Sainz’s spin ended his day after 88 laps, while Hulkenberg finished his first F1 run of the year with 36 laps. Force India hopes to arrive at the third test with this season’s challenger but will have gained valuable 2015 tyre data from this week’s test.

Day 4 Times:
1. Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:24.067 111 laps
2. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:24.321 131 laps
3. Daniil Kvyat Red Bull 1:24.941 104 laps
4. Felipe Nasr Sauber 1:24.956 73 laps
5. Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:25.345 129 laps
6. Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso 1:25.605 88 laps
7. Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:26.312 76 laps
8. Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:26.591 36 laps
9. Fernando Alonso McLaren 1:27.956 20 laps

Read more at ESPN

Motorsport: Hulkenberg makes WEC Porsche test debut in Spain

Nico Hulkenberg has tested a Porsche 919 Hybrid for the first time ahead of his World Endurance Championship debut with the German manufacturer in 2015.

Hülkenberg sampled the 919 at MotorLand Aragón on Tuesday and is set to race a third car in the 6 Hours of Spa in May next year in preparation for the Le Mans 24 Hours in June, alongside his Force India F1 commitments.

However, doubt was cast over Hülkenberg’s plans last week after the release of the 2015 Formula 1 calendar featured a provisional return for the Korean Grand Prix on the same weekend as the race in Belgium.

Porsche has not yet confirmed the drivers who will race alongside Hülkenberg in the third 919 next year.

Ex-Red Bull driver Mark Webber switched to the WEC with Porsche for 2014, claiming three podium finishes alongside Timo Bernhard and Brendon Hartley in the #20 machine.

Read more at gpupdate.net

Le Mans: Alonso to join Hulkenberg at Le Mans – reports

Fernando Alonso could follow Nico Hulkenberg’s lead in splitting his F1 duties with a sensational debut at the fabled Le Mans 24 hours next year.

Last week, the sports car prototype manufacturer Porsche announced it has signed Force India’s Hulkenberg to race not only at Le Mans next June but also the Spa six hours.

It was said Hulkenberg would drive a third three-driver Porsche prototype in 2015. His teammates for the Le Mans entry were not announced.

This year, Porsche returned to prototype Le Mans competition with Mark Webber leading one of the two 919 Hybrid cars.

Now, Italy’s Autosprint is reporting that with Alonso now close to having his full-time F1 seat with McLaren finally announced, it could be followed by a shock round of extra news.

A complement
The publication cited sources close to the German marque as saying Spaniard Alonso, who famously officially started this year’s edition of the Le Mans 24 hours, could also sign up with Porsche for 2015.

“Porsche would not be an alternative to McLaren-Honda for Alonso,” agreed Spain’s El Mundo Deportivo, “but a complement.”

The report said Alonso would join Hulkenberg in the third Porsche entry, along with another unknown driver.

“Despite their friendship,” El Mundo Deportivo added, “Fernando would not race in the same car as Mark Webber.”

The report said the biggest stumbling block to a Le Mans deal for Alonso is the fact that McLaren is a direct sports car-making rival of Porsche.

Read more at motorsport.com

F1: Hulkenberg to drive at 2015 Le Mans 24 Hours

Nico Hulkenberg will compete at the 2015 Le Mans 24 Hours for Porsche alongside his Formula One commitments with Force India.

The 2015 event will take place on June 13/14, the weekend before the Austrian Grand Prix. Hulkenberg will drive the team’s third LMP1 Porsche 919 entry and will also be fielded in May’s Spa round of the World Endurance Championship in preparation.

Hulkenberg has been given special permission to drive at the event by Force India and he said it was too good an opportunity to turn down.

“Porsche and Le Mans – this combination probably attracts every race driver,” said Hulkenberg. “I’ve been a Porsche fan for a long time and have been watching their return to the LMP1 class closely. The desire grew to drive that car at Le Mans. I am very pleased the 2015 Formula One calendar allows for it and I’m grateful to my Sahara Force India’s generosity to let me go for it. Now it’s up to me to work hard to satisfy both commitments.”

Ex-F1 driver Mark Webber is already signed up in one of Porsche’s two full-time WEC seats. The team is yet to announce the other two drivers who will partner Hulkenberg in his car.

Hulkenberg and Porsche both tweeted following the announcement.

hulkenberg-le-man-2015-tweet

Read more at ESPN

F1: Nico Rosberg beats Lewis Hamilton to Brazil win

Nico Rosberg held off Mercedes team-mate and title rival Lewis Hamilton to win a race-long battle at the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Hamilton fought back to close a seven-second margin after a spin at about one-third distance just as he appeared to be set to take the lead.

But Rosberg did just enough to hold him off in a tense final part of the race.

It reduces Hamilton’slead in the title race to 17 points, with 50 available in the final race in Abu Dhabi.

“I’m very happy with the whole weekend,” said Rosberg. “I’ve been feeling comfortable in the car and controlled the gap to Lewis in the race.”

Hamilton can win the title by finishing second to Rosberg in Abu Dhabi on 23 November, even though double points will be on offer.

But the Englishman may rue a half-spin on lap 28 which, as it turned out, decided the race in Brazil.

Rosberg had made his second pit stop on lap 26, with Hamilton less than two seconds behind him.

Hamilton stayed out. He set the fastest lap of the race to that point next time around, having set three sectors that were the fastest anyone had set up to that point.

The Mercedes engineers calculated that his first lap had not been enough to leapfrog him ahead and decided to keep him out for one more lap to give him extra time to build the advantage he needed.

But he dropped a wheel on to the white line on the entry to Turn Four, the Descido do Lago and ran wide into the run-off area, half-spinning.

Hamilton said: “Ultimately it cost me the win. I was a much quicker up to that point. I went a second quicker, thought I was going to pit on that lap, used all my tyres and on the next lap there was nothing left.

“I locked the rear and went wide. No-one’s mistake but mine.”

The incident cost Hamilton seven seconds, which he reduced to two over the course of their third stint.

Read more on BBC Sport

F1: Hulkenberg stays on with Force India

Nico Hulkenberg will remain with the Force India Formula 1 team for 2015, having rejoined the outfit at the start of this season.

The German is currently eighth in the drivers’ championship, having scored points in 13 races, and believes that he can deliver even more with the Silverstone-based squad in the future.

“It’s good to confirm my plans for next season,” he said. “This is a team I know extremely well and we’ve enjoyed a great year together with some special results.

“The team has big ambitions and I believe we can have a competitive package once again next year.

“We have a strong partner in Mercedes and everyone in the team is motivated and hungry for more success.

“I have a good feeling for 2015 and there is a lot to be excited about as we try to build on the results we have achieved this year.”

Team boss Vijay Mallya added: “We know him extremely well: he’s a true racer and he knows how to motivate the team.

“I am convinced he is one of the best talents on the grid and I am proud that he will continue to race in the colours of Sahara Force India.”

Team-mate Sergio Perez remains in discussions with Force India about securing a fresh deal for next season, but nothing has been signed yet.