Tales from the paddock: New lap record at the Nürburgring
Tales from the paddock: New lap record at the Nürburgring
Twice the usual racing action on the last Grand Prix weekend before the summer break
The last Grand Prix before the summer break took the Formula 1 teams and drivers to the time-honoured Spa-Francorchamps rollercoaster in the Belgian Ardennes last weekend.
Racing took place on both days, the Saturday contest being the third sprint event of the 2023 campaign.
Lewis Hamilton and George Russell qualified seventh and 10th in the rain-affected sprint shootout on Saturday morning.
The sprint race was itself delayed by the adverse weather conditions and eventually started behind the safety car.
Both drivers changed from full wet tyres to Intermediates early on.
Lewis was battling Sergio Perez for fourth place when there was contact between the two, for which Lewis received a five-second time penalty that dropped him to seventh.
This meant he finished the race just ahead of George in eighth who scored the single remaining championship point.
Lewis and George started Sunday’s Grand Prix from third and eighth respectively.
George was blocked behind the damaged McLaren of Oscar Piastri immediately after the start and dropped to 11th as a result.
He subsequently extended his stint on the medium tyres until lap 24, when he switched to the soft compound.
This was followed by a fightback from P16 to P6.
Lewis made his first pit stop on lap 12, switching from soft to medium tyres.
On lap 27, he attempted an undercut against Charles Leclerc and had another set of Softs fitted.
The move did not have the desired outcome, however, and he eventually finished fourth behind the Ferrari driver.
On the penultimate lap, Lewis stopped a third time to set the fastest race lap on new medium tyres and score the extra point.
After 12 of 22 races this season, the team is 51 points clear in second place in the constructors’ championship.
The next race is the Dutch Grand Prix on 27th August at Zandvoort.
Mercedes-AMG extends winning streak in GT World Challenge Europe and sets new lap record on Grand Prix circuit
In the penultimate race of the 2023 Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS Endurance Cup, the Mercedes-AMG GT3 once again showed its enormous potential over the distance.
The AKKODIS ASP trio of Timur Boguslavskiy (FIA), Jules Gounon (AND) and Raffaele Marciello (SUI) in the number 88 car produced a commanding lights-to-flag victory, setting a new record in the process: Boguslavskiy, Gounon and Marciello exceeded the previous distance record for a three-hour race on the Grand Prix circuit of the Nürburgring by no fewer than four laps.
The all-German AlManar Performance Team trio of Maro Engel, Fabian Schiller and Luca Stolz (who celebrated his 28th birthday on Saturday) finished the race in second position to make it yet another one-two for Mercedes-AMG, after the same result was delivered in the Circuit Paul Ricard 1000 Km at the beginning of June.
The two Mercedes-AMG GT3s were well matched, as only 1.9 seconds separated them at the finish line.
For Boguslavskiy and Marciello, it was their fourth win of the season in the GT World Challenge Europe.
This means that, in addition to their lead in the sprint and overall standings, they also take over the top position in the Endurance Cup.
Team-mate Jules Gounon, who is only competing in the Endurance Cup this year, is ranked separately in second place.
Gounon’s sixth career victory in the GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup also brings him level with record winner Maxime Martin (BEL).
The Mercedes-AMG Juniors were meanwhile also in the hunt for points and making podium appearances in their different classes.
Winward Racing Junior David Schumacher (GER) secured a class win in the Gold category while Haupt Racing Junior Arjun Maini (IND) celebrated a class podium in the Bronze Cup.
Both Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing outfits were grateful for the points and now find themselves well placed to challenge for the title in their respective classes.
The grand finale of the Endurance Cup will take place on 1st October at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
Three more rounds of the Sprint Cup are still to be held at Hockenheim, Valencia and Zandvoort.
News snippets: Results and Facts & Social Media News
DTM: Maro Engel, Arjun Maini, David Schumacher and Luca Stolz also used the opportunity presented by the three-hour GT World Challenge Europe race to prepare for their next race at the Nürburgring. The four Mercedes-AMG drivers will be joining Lucas Auer (AUT) and Jusuf Owega (GER) at the famous circuit in the Eifel Forest next weekend for rounds seven and eight of the 2023 DTM. Maro Engel, who drives for Mercedes-AMG Team MANN-FILTER, will travel to the event occupying fourth place overall. Due to the Mercedes-AMG brand’s long-standing association with this tradition-steeped circuit, the races there are always a highlight of the calendar. In the two one-hour contests, the Customer Racing teams will be aiming to deliver a second victory of the season.
Super Taikyu Series: ROOKIE Racing extended their lead in the ST-X championship with a victory at the Auto Polis International Racing Course in Hita, Japan. Naoya Gamou, Tatsuya Kataoka, Hibiki Taira and Ryuta Ukai (all JPN) sharing the cockpit of the number 14 Mercedes-AMG GT3 started the five-hour race from P2 on the grid and secured their second win of the season at the end of the 152-lap race distance. The crew of the number 23 Mercedes-AMG GT3 fielded by TKRI finished in third place to join them on the podium.
GT World Challenge Australia: The Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing teams recorded three podium finishes on the fourth weekend of the GT World Challenge Australia. Prince Jefri Ibrahim (MAS) and Richie Stanaway (NZL) in the number 888 GT3 of Triple Eight JMR took second place in Saturday’s race. They set the fastest race lap in the process and missed out on victory by less than four tenths of a second. Prince Abu Bakar Ibrahim (MAS) and Jamie Whincup (AUS) in the #88 sister car secured third place on Sunday behind Jayden Ojeda and Ross Poulakis (both AUS) in the #101 Harrolds Racing/Volante Rosso Motorsport GT3.
ADAC Motorsport weekend: Team équipe vitesse emerged victorious from three of the five races contested on a rainy ADAC Racing Weekend at the Motorsport Arena Oschersleben. They even managed to make it onto the podium in the two other races as well, claiming the runner-up spot in both. The GTC Race pairing of Marcel Marchewicz and Moritz Wiskirchen (both GER) in the #101 Mercedes-AMG GT3 first won the GT60 endurance race. Wiskirchen then came out on top in the first of the two sprint races. In the Special Touring Car Trophy, Kenneth Heyer and Josef Klüber (both GER) sharing the #15 Mercedes-AMG GT3 won Saturday’s race and then took the runner-up spot on Sunday.