Sainz Jr close to Caterham drive

Carlos Sainz Jr is in negotiations with Caterham about a possible drive this season, the Red Bull backed driver has spent the year dominating the FR3.5 series with 4 wins so far and a 33 point championship advantage over his nearest rival Pierre Gasly, It would appear that the young Spaniard has impressed new Caterham bosses enough for them to consider him for a drive.

It comes just a short time after the Caterham team was sold by Tony Fernandes to a consortium based in Switzerland and the Middle East which appointed Colin Kolles and Christian Albers as team bosses and it looks as if they haven’t wasted any time in ringing the changes.

So there must be a victim in all this, if Sainz is to take the step up to F1 then either Kamui Kobayashi or Marcus Ericsson will make way, judging by performances so far this season I would expect the Swede to be axed, for me personally I haven’t seen anything that has made me think he is ready and capable to compete in F1, that despite securing the teams best result at the Monaco GP though he was still beaten by Marussia rival Jules Bianchi.

Sainz has backing from Red Bull and was seen as a potential candidate to drive for Toro Rosso this season before the role was handed to Daniil Kvyat but they rate him highly at Red Bull and if he does get the Caterham drive then it will provide a similar way to analyse his performance as they did with Daniel Ricciardo when they put him in the HRT in 2011, Sainz will hope that his F1 career can follow that of Ricciardo and see him move into a position to compete for wins in F1

Interestingly a few points to take note of, Colin Kolles was in charge at HRT when Red Bull gave Ricciardo the chance to drive for them in 2011 and was key in allowing the deal to go through. Also with Caterham using Red Bull technology and also the Renault engines, there is certainly a realistic chance that Red Bull may want to use Caterham as a measuring point for Sainz Jr ahead of what may end up as a move to Toro Rosso in 2015, most likely to replace Jean Eric Vergne.

Sainz is a good racer, whether he is yet ready for the move up to F1 remains to be seen, if the talks do end up in a drive for him then it will be interesting to see how it pans out.


Australian GP – Qualifying Report

The first qualifying of the 2014 season provided an opportunity to see this years crop of cars out on track and perhaps a chance to establish an 
early pecking order, however it would turn out not to be the case, instead it would be a dramatic hour with rain set to cause mayhem and a few surprises thrown in.

Q1 was the only session that had any dry laps but that would change later in the session, as the rain that had been forecasted closed in on the track, it would be home favourite Daniel Ricciardo that would top the timesheet in the first session however the weekend continues to get worse for troubled Lotus as both Grosjean and Maldonado spent more time in the gravel traps than on the track which meant neither of them progressed to Q2, Caterham driver Kamui Kobayashi put in a great lap to sneak through into the second session, the same couldn’t be said for Esteban Gutierrez as he failed to get out of the bottom six, Max Chilton out qualifies his Marussia team-mate Jules Bianchi, something he failed to do too often last year.

Q2 was more affected by the worsening conditions with drivers struggling around the track, a number of spins and brushes with the barriers was the theme of this session and it would end with three world champions being knocked out therefore failing to reach the top 10 shootout for pole position, the first of these was Kimi Raikkonen of Ferrari, he had a spin which sent him into the wall which meant the end of his session and also the waving of the yellow flags, this meant that the drivers would be very unlikely to improve on their current lap times meaning that both Jenson Button and Sebastian Vettel would end up in the middle of the grid, in Vettels case it was to the joy of the Albert Park crowd as cheers were loud signalling his failure followed by boos as he walked back to the Red Bull garage, the top ten had a few surprise names, most notably the two Toro Rosso drivers Jean Eric Vergne but most impressive was the Russian rookie Daniil Kvyat.

The top ten battle started with the rain refusing to stop and getting worse it would be a tricky task for anyone to get a good clear lap, it would be a lottery, Mercedes outlined their pace that has been evident all weekend and had looked set for pole with Rosberg but then came a major shock when the sole remaining Red Bull RB10 of Ricciardo crossed the line to move into top spot, it seemed that they had pulled off the ultimate comeback after a difficult winter but there was still one man left to complete his lap.. That man was Lewis Hamilton, known for his ability in the rain and also as this years championship favourite, he showed exactly why as he took pole position by just over a tenth of a second.

Williams struggled to show their pace in the rain and Massa qualified 9th and Bottas 10th although the Finn will fall to 15th because of a penalty, they will be hoping for a dry race tomorrow, the surprise team must be Toro Rosso, the Red Bull juniors secured 6th with Vergne and a great debut from Kvyat that saw him get 8th, on that performance the young Russian looks set to have a long career in F1, after all he is only 19, however not the best rookie on the grid, that would be Kevin Magnussen, he had the pure pace over a lap and starts 4th hoping that he can follow Hamilton in getting a podium on his McLaren debut as the Brit did in 2007.

It is set up perfectly for a fascinating race tomorrow and with the problems that teams have had getting used to the new era in F1 along with the added prospect of rain it will be interesting to see how it all pans out, It should be a good one, Remember the race starts at 0600 GMT tomorrow morning, don’t miss it!



Q&A with Alexander Rossi

I am delighted to bring you all a big Q&A this time round, We are speaking to Alexander Rossi, Alex has been a reserve driver for the Caterham F1 Team and has spent the past number of years driving in GP2, I am very confident that we will see the American in F1 in the near future. Thanks must go to Alexander and his team for taking the time to sit down and run through my questions.

Q&A with Will Stevens

Today sees the latest instalment of my Q&A pieces with racing drivers, I really love doing this because it gives us all an idea of what life is like for a driver and hopefully there should be a few more drivers involved, This time we speak to Will Stevens, Will has been racing for the past few years in FR3.5 and is part of the Caterham F1 Driver Academy, as he is still only 22 he has age and of course the ability on his side we shouldn’t be surprised if he reaches F1 in the future. Hope you all enjoy.


Q1. Can you just tell us a little about your earliest memory of motorsport?
Will Stevens – My earliest memories were that my father raced in the Ferrari Challenge in the late 90’s for a few years and we used to go away as a family to those events which was really good. Through that I got introduced to karting by the guy who ran a Ferrari Challenge team at the time.

Q2. When did you first get involved in racing?
WS – I started racing at kart club meetings in 2002 at places like, Shenington, Buckmore Park, PFI and Wigan. We were racing almost every weekend somewhere and even from those early days I really knew that racing was what I wanted to do as a career.

Q3. What advice would you have for anyone thinking of starting a career in motorsport?
WS – I think I’d say, start out by simply doing it for fun and enjoyment. Don’t take it too seriously too early and learn as much as possible. When you think you understand it sufficiently to know if you want to progress and make what is a big commitment and of course you need the necessary backing financially, then make a plan and go about it in a balanced way.

Q4. So far in your career, what has been your best race and why?
WS – I’d say my best race was probably the second round of World Series by Renault 3.5 in Motorland Aragon in 2013. I didn’t qualify that well for the first race as qualifying was mixed up by the weather and I started P11. Our race pace was just great and I climbed to P2 with a succession of good overtaking moves. Also, back in 2007, qualifying pole, winning every heat and both finals at the European Karting Championships in 2007 was a pretty special weekend!

Q5. Do you have a favourite track that you particularly like for any reasons?
WS – I think for any driver that has raced on the iconic circuits then the answer would be the same, Monaco, Spa and Monza! The history of those tracks and the challenge they still present put them above the more modern tracks. If I had to go with one of those I’d say Monaco. I love a street circuit as ultimately it is the biggest challenge to a driver.

Q6. If you weren’t a racing driver, what would you be doing?
WS – I couldn’t imagine doing anything else now but if I had to choose an alternative, I’d be a professional golfer. I’m working on my game!! If I had to choose a non-sport profession, I think I’d like to be an architect.

Q7. Who is the best driver you’ve raced against?
WS – Throughout my career I’ve raced against most of the top juniors, a couple of whom are now in F1 and a number, like myself on the verge of F1 in various roles. Again if I had to choose one, I’d say Kevin Magnussen. We were team mates in our first year in World Series and I raced against him in different teams in 2013. Our race at Barcelona in 2013 in the last round was close and I’d like to think I gave him a hard time especially in race 1. He’s obviously now at McLaren and I hope to race against him in F1 next year.

Q8. Away from racing for a minute, do you like any other sports, if so who do you support?
WS – I’m a very keen golfer and I’m an Arsenal fan.

Q9. Do you do much in your spare time away from the track?
WS – My career is very important to me so away from the track I still have a lot to do in motorsport. I have commitments at Caterham F1, like simulator work, as part of my participation in their Racing Academy and I spend a lot of time working on my fitness. I try to play golf as often as I can and find time to relax and spend time with my friends and family.

Q10. As a racing driver you must visit all sorts of places, anywhere particular that stood out for you?
WS – I’m very lucky that I get to travel a lot and go to a lot of great places. I don’t always get time to spend a lot of time away from the track as race weekends are pretty full on but I always try to enjoy the cities I go to. This year will be my third year racing at Monaco and that is the place that really stands out. The atmosphere on the GP weekend is something really special.

Q11. Finally, What are your targets for this season and also for the future?
WS – My sole objective for 2014 is to win the World Series by Renault 3.5 Championship. My longer term objective is F1 and hopefully I can make that a reality in 2015.


I would like to thank Will and his management for getting back to me with answers and wish him the best of luck in 2014.

Will’s Twitter –

Will’s Website –

2nd Bahrain Test – Day Four Times


1. Hamilton, Mercedes, 1.33.278 (70 laps)
2. Bottas, Williams, 1.33.987 (108 laps)
3. Alonso, Ferrari, 1.34.280 (74 laps)
4. Hulkenberg, Force India, 1.35.577 (74 laps)
5. Vergne, Toro Rosso, 1.35.701 (74 laps)
6. Sutil, Sauber, 1.36.467 (91 laps)
7. Chilton, Marussia, 1.36.835 (61 laps)
8. Gutierrez, Sauber, 1.37.303 (86 laps)
9. Vettel, Red Bull, 1.37.468 (77 laps)
10. Button, McLaren, 1.38.111 (22 laps)
11. Kobayashi, Caterham, 1.38.391 (106 laps)
12. Grosjean, Lotus, 1.39.302 (32 laps)

2nd Bahrain Test – Day Three Times

1. Massa, Williams – 1.33.258 (99 laps)
2. Rosberg, Mercedes – 1.33.484 (103 laps)
3. Raikkonen, Ferrari – 1.35.426 (87 laps)
4. Magnussen, McLaren – 1.35.894 (88 laps)
5. Kvyat, Toro Rosso – 1.36.113 (81 laps)
6. Hulkenberg, Force India – 1.36.205 (115 laps)
7. Bianchi, Marussia – 1.37.087 (78 laps)
8. Ericsson, Caterham – 1.38.083 (117 laps)
9. Grosjean, Lotus – 1.42.166 (33 laps)
10. Sutil, Sauber – No time (1 lap)
11. Vettel, Red Bull – No time (0 laps)

2nd Bahrain Test – Day Two Times

1. Perez, Force India, 1.35.570 (108 laps)
2. Alonso, Ferrari, 1.35.634 (122 laps)
3. Ricciardo, Red Bull, 1.35.743 (66 laps)
4. Massa, Williams, 1.36.507 (103 laps)
5. Button, McLaren, 1.36.901 (52 laps)
6. Bianchi, Marussia, 1.38.092 (75 laps)
7. Hamilton, Mercedes, 1.39.041 (89 laps)
8. Vergne, Toro Rosso, 1.39.636 (61 laps)
9. Gutierrez, Sauber, 1.39.976 (106 laps)
10. Maldonado, Lotus, 1.41.613 (31 laps)
11. Ericsson, Caterham, 1.42.516 (55 laps)