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Home   /   Motorsport Catch-up: Week 2

With no racing action happening over the past week, this is a prime opportunity for me to recap all the motorsport news that I haven’t been able to cover so far this season. Formula E has already completed 5 rounds of their championship and we seem to be finding out more and more information on the new racing series F1 Academy, so of course, that is something to be discussed throughout this week’s column, as well as previewing the Formula One and Formula 2 weekends taking place in Saudi Arabia.

Formula E

Round 1 of the Formula E campaign saw Jake Dennis take the win at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez circuit in Mexico City. This was the race that didn’t just kick off the season but also the new era for Formula E, the GEN3 era.

With a packed crowd, Pascal Wehrlein and Lucas Di Grassi also got to soak up the atmosphere on the podium with the former managing to make up four places in the race after starting in sixth and finishing in second.

It was the Avalanche Andretti Formula E team who came away looking the strongest from the first weekend with 38 points being added to their championship tally, allowing them to go into the second race at the top of the championship table.

On the 27th of January, we kicked off round 2 in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia. It was the first round’s second-place finisher Pascal Wehrlein who won this race. The TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team driver also went on to win the third-round race that took place the next day at the same venue. Under the lights, 38 laps were completed on the second night as we all watched Wehrlein become only the fifth person to win twice at an individual Formula E weekend.

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A brand-new racetrack for round 4 allowed all the teams and drivers to get a unique experience of competing around the streets of India at the Hyderabad Street Circuit. The race ended with a new winner for this season with the French driver Jean-Eric Vergne taking his 11th win in Formula E overall. A race that featured quite a bit of chaos, as six drivers failed to finish, involved a crazy moment where Sam Bird accidentally took out his teammate Mitch Evans after trying to overtake Sacha Fenestraz for fourth place. The Jaguar team were left with no points when before this contact they were in a position to possibly get both of their cars on the podium.

Moving onto the most recent race in Cape Town, it was Antonio Felix da Costa who started in 11th, but managed to complete some eye-catching overtakes to make sure he finished on the top step of the podium.

It is the man from Portugal’s first season with the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team so to achieve his first win for them in such an impressive manner is certainly a stand-out moment of the season so far.

With only a week to go until we see the Formula E cars back out on track excitement is building as we wait to see if championship leader Pascal Wehrlein can get back on track with his points-scoring run after failing to score any at the last race in Cape Town.

F1 Academy

Names are now being revealed to the fans as we start to discover whom the drivers taking part in the inaugural season of the F1 Academy are going to be.

So far, we have 12 drivers named with Carlin and Campos Racing naming three drivers for their teams.

This new series is such an important one to receive backing from the F1 paddock as this is a key opportunity to show that Formula 1 isn’t just a man’s sport, but accessible to anyone who is capable of showing the raw talent and pace that is needed.

W Series was the previous racing category that allowed women to show their talent and tried to take down the barriers that females face when trying to enter this sport. Now it is the F1 Academy’s turn to carry on this movement of empowering female racing drivers.

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Susie Wolff was announced a couple of weeks ago as the managing director of the series which I’m sure was news that many fans were delighted to hear. She has experience taking part in an F1 weekend as a development driver and also being a team principal for Venturi Racing in Formula E, so she comes into this role with already a massive amount of knowledge when it comes to motorsport.

We need to wait until the 28th of April to see the first race weekend of this new series, but with testing taking place at the well-known Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Spain in a couple of weeks all the teams, drivers and fans are starting to feel eager to get this new series underway.

F1 and F2 Preview

This weekend F1 and F2 are in Saudi Arabia. Many people have questioned the choices made which have led to races being held in countries like Saudi Arabia, which are surrounded by multiple human rights issues. It is very uncomfortable viewing for many fans to watch the race weekend at a track that multiple people feel shouldn’t be on the race calendar at all.

So far, we have only had the two F1 practice sessions and the F2 practice session and qualifying this weekend, but that can already give us a good idea of how the rest of the weekend is going to play out. Red Bull once again is looking the strongest with Max Verstappen not letting a stomach bug that he has had over the week affect his speed. He finished top of the table in the first and second practice sessions. In the F2 practice session, it was rookie Ollie Bearman who finished top, but he couldn’t quite replicate that in qualifying and ended up second with his fellow rookie and current Formula 3 drivers champion Victor Martins taking pole.

Tomorrow, we get into F1 qualifying and the F2 sprint race, but despite all this excitement for the racing action the over-riding feeling is still discomfort for many as Formula 1 and Formula 2 still proceed to race in a country that so many people are against.

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May 2024