In the round-up: Red Bull team principal Christian Horner expects Logan Sargeant prospects for success are too “limited” to have real impact on the sport’s popularity in the USA.
‘Imagine if there was an American Max Verstappen’ – Horner
Horner expressed doubt over how great an impact Sargeant will have at Williams, the team which finished last in the 2022 championship. “It’s great to have him there and he’s a talented young guy [but] he’s going to be limited in what he can do,” he told the New York Post.
The Red Bull team boss says America needs a driver in a competitive car to raise the sport’s popularity in the same way Fernando Alonso and Sergio Perez did in their home countries. “The problem is, if you’re finishing 14th or 15th it doesn’t really turn people on,” he explained.
“I think if he was fighting at the front in a competitive car, then you’d see [something like] what happened with Fernando in Spain, or Checo [Perez] and the reaction in Mexico.”
“Imagine if there was an American Max Verstappen,” he added. “What we need is a young, talented, competitive American driver.”
Aston Martin AMR23 to run today
The new Aston Martin AMR23 will be seen on track for the first time later today as Aston Martin crosses the road from its factory to shake down its 2023 F1 contender at Silverstone. Rivals Mercedes will also run at the track as they launch their new W14.
Lance Stroll and new team mate Alonso are expected to drive the Aston Martin, and the team will become the eighth to get their 2023 car on track. They will be the fifth to do a shakedown at Silverstone, with the two Italian teams having tested at local tracks and the Switzerland-based Alfa Romeo having travelled to Barcelona to debut their car.
Shwartzman to drive in two practice sessions in 2023
Ferrari’s new reserve driver Robert Shwartzman revealed at Ferrari’s SF-23 launch he will drive in two Formula 1 practice sessions for the team this season.
“It’s the best feeling ever [being here with the Tifosi],” he said a the team’s new car was unveiled.
“Coming back here as a new role, new challenge. It’s very interesting, there’s a lot of new things coming so I’m going to be travelling with the team this year. Obviously simulator work, very important, and also two FP1s with the SF-23. So I’m really looking forward to it.”
Shwartzman was supposed to make his F1 practice debut in 2020, but did not actually get the opportunity to drive an F1 car on a grand prix weekend until last October’s United States Grand Prix.
That appearance was with Ferrari, who he was a junior driver for at the time, and he then did another practice session at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix to complete the team’s required quota of giving up to two sessions across the season over to drivers with less than three F1 race starts.
F2 and F3 testing
Formula 2 and Formula 3 have already begun their pre-season testing in Bahrain, and each series got two sessions to kick things off on Tuesday.
ART Grand Prix was the team to beat in every session, with Gregoire Saucy setting the F3 pace and Theo Pourchaire going fastest in F2. Due to each driver only having a few sets of tyres for the three-day test, it meant track running was limited and few laps were set at a representative pace. There was also a red flag stoppage in the first F2 session.
Saucy was fastest by 0.044 seconds over Taylor Barnard (Jenzer Motorsport) in the morning, and improved in the afternoon to end the day with a 0.326s gap to nearest rival Paul Aron (Prema).
Pourchaire, the 2022 F2 runner-up, had a 0.348s gap to Jehan Daruvala (MP Motorsport) in the morning, then went faster by three seconds in the afternoon. In that session he was just 0.128s faster though than the next-best driver Richard Verschoor (Van Amersfoort Racing).
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Motor racing links of interest:
Paretta searching for new IndyCar partner team for 2023 (Racer)
‘Paretta Autosport team owner Beth Paretta wants nothing more than to finalise her plans for the upcoming IndyCar season, but as she’s found since the women-led team made its debut in 2021, very few things happen swiftly or with ease. Paretta aims to work with Ed Carpenter Racing again in the future, but due to a change in staffing availability, continuing the program with ECR in 2023 is not on the cards.’
Cassidy to test IndyCar for Ganassi (Speedcafe)
‘The 28-year-old New Zealander had a seat fitting with the Ganassi team late last year and comes fresh from a podium finish in the Hyderabad E-Prix.’
Karting starlet Harry Burgoyne Jr graduates to GB4 with Graham Brunton Racing (GB4)
‘Rising star Harry Burgoyne Jnr has been confirmed as Graham Brunton Racing’s first driver signing for the 2023 GB4 championship. The 15-year-old Scotsman is a highly decorated young karting contender, having claimed multiple titles and competed at world level in recent years.’
Hillspeed and Hitech start partnership in GB3 (GB3)
‘Hillspeed has confirmed a fresh driver line-up for its 2023 GB3 Championship campaign, with Chinese F4 champion Gerrard Xie and British F4 graduate Daniel Mavlyutov joining as the team links up with the Hitech GP Academy.’
Carrie Schreiner to drive with ART GP in F1 Academy (ART GP)
‘ART Grand Prix are pleased to announce German racer Carrie Schreiner will drive alongside Léna Büher in the brand new F1 Academy championship this season. Carrie participated in the British and German Formula 4 series before switching to GT and endurance championships in 2017. In 2021, Carrie finished 5th in Italian GT and has raced in the legendary Nürburgring 24h since 2019.’
Chatting with Charles Pic: 2023 season preview (DAMS)
’12 months ago, DAMS was taken over by ex-F1 driver Charles Pic. Although he doesn’t run the team directly on a day-to-day basis, Charles’ influence has been felt throughout the squad over the past year. Ahead of the 2023 season, Charles reflects on his time at DAMS so far and looks ahead to what could be in store for the upcoming campaign and beyond.’
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