In the round-up: Pierre Gasly said he thought he was on course for a much stronger result in the Belgian Grand Prix when rain arrived.
Gasly’s hopes dashed in Belgian GP
Gasly finished eighth, three places behind team mate Esteban Ocon at Spa, but at one point he looked on for a stronger result. After falling from 12th to 16th on lap one, he reached seventh once others started to pit, and extended his first stint when it became clear rain was coming.
But his hopes the rain would force his rivals to pit again did not materialise. “We were thinking it was going to rain,” said Gasly. “For three laps we thought we were the king of the race. And then after we realised we were nowhere.”
His eventual pit stop dropped him to 17th, but a swathe of second stops from rivals meant after two laps he was up to 11th. Knowing he would then lose all those positions if he pitted again, Gasly stuck with the one-stop strategy to the end. He was only 2.863 seconds off a points finish, but admitted “ultimately the one-stop was a bit ambitious.”
Formula E star Bird leaves Jaguar
Last weekend’s London EPrix marked Sam Bird’s final outing in Formula E with Jaguar after three seasons together.
Bird spent the first six seasons of FE driving for Virgin Racing, picking up nine wins in that time and coming third in the 2017-18 standings.
He joined Jaguar for 2021 and won on his second start with the team, with a second win later that year putting him sixth in the championship. After that he signed a two-year deal, and has since had two win-free seasons. The first one ended early as he broke his left hand in a crash, with a best finish of fourth from the year, and this season he had four podiums but missed two races again and ended up eighth in the points table.
“What a ride. What a team. To everyone at Jaguar Racing: thank you. I loved every second. Yes there were low points but also some amazing highs. We achieved some amazing things together. I’ll carry some of these memories forever,” said Bird.
Jaguar appeared to confirm Bird’s continued presence in the series, as the team thanked Bird for “three unforgettable seasons with amazing achievements” and said “we wish you all the best in your next FE chapter.”
Robin Frijns is also on the move, after spending less than a full season at Abt Cupra.
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Capacity increase for Miami GP
The Miami Grand Prix promoters have increased the spectator capacity at the race to 100,000 for the third running of the event next year.
Tickets are now on sale for the third edition of F1’s Miami Grand Prix, with prices for three-day grandstand tickets on 3rd-5th May 2024 starting at US $675 (£526). The cheapest tickets for seating on the pit straight to see practice, qualifying and the race are $1,600 (£1,247).
Post-season tests confirmed for F1’s support series
Formula 2 and FIA Formula 3, the two main feeder and support series to Formula 1, have announced their post-season test dates.
The F3 season concludes at the Italian Grand Prix in a month’s time, and following a one-month break teams will be back for three tests. The first is at Jerez (5th-6th October), a track last raced at in 2017 when the series was known as GP3, then there’s three days off before the next test at Barcelona (10th-11th October). The test action concludes at Imola (23rd-24th October), a track FIA F3 was supposed to race at this year before local flooding led to the round being cancelled.
F2 has two rounds after the summer break, then 12 weeks later concludes its season in Abu Dhabi. After two days off, there is then three days of testing there from 29th November to 1st December. F1 is expected to use the track for its post-season test, which several F2 stars will likely feature in, but is yet to confirm its post-season schedule.
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Happy birthday to Jack Lenox!
On this day in motorsport
- 25 years ago today a home win for Nick Heidfeld at the Hockenheimring brought him closer to F3000 points leader Juan Pablo Montoya