In the round-up: Aston Martin are determined not to slide any further down the championship order.
Aston Martin wants to hold off McLaren in points table
McLaren have talked up the potential of them eating Aston Martin to fourth in the constructors’ standings this season, and now the team that started 2023 as Red Bull’s closest rival has revealed their focus is on keeping McLaren at bay rather than rising back up the order.
Aston Martin’s team principal Mike Krack said the objective is “at least fourth” in the standings now. The team lies 64 points behind Ferrari in third and 49 ahead of McLaren in fifth – though the latter took 29 points out of Aston Martin at the previous round. There are six rounds to go, three of which are sprint events which pay out extra points.
“We are currently fourth in both championships and we should not forget we have had some amazing results and seven podiums this year. With every race we continue to learn and grow together as a team. We are in a fierce battle with some exceptional competitors, but we will not go down without a fight,” said Krack.
“Continuous development has been our philosophy all year. There are still some developments in the pipeline that will appear on the car all the way to Abu Dhabi – and with stable regulations for next year, these developments will feed into the new car. So we will not take our foot off the gas at all. We will keep pushing and we want to conclude the season strongly.”
Alfa Romeo failed “to put everything together when it mattered” in Japan
Alessandro Alunni Bravi admitted his Alfa Romeo team underperformed at last month’s Japanese Grand Prix given they had “decent pace”.
Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu both failed to progress past Q1. Bottas retired early on following damage from a collision while Zhou finished a lapped 13th.
“We had decent pace in Suzuka, and we were not too far from our direct competitors, as we learned more about the upgrade package we recently introduced,” said Alunni Bravi. “What we missed was to put everything together when it mattered and, as we head to Doha, this is what the entire team must work for.
“We have to be at the top of our performance from the only practice session on Friday onwards, even more crucial than usual with a sprint event. By putting our focus onto extracting more performance from our package, we’ll be able to make that extra step forward to get back into the top 10.”
F3 teams reveal their test line-ups
Teams in the FIA Formula 3 Championship have revealed who their drivers will be for the upcoming post-season tests.
Campos Racing will run 2022 Euroformula champion Oliver Goethe, 1999 CART champion Juan Pablo Montoya’s son Sebastian and Mari Boya, who is currently fighting for the title in the Formula Regional-based Eurocup-3 series. Jenzer Motorsport, meanwhile, have chosen Formula Ford Festival winner Max Esterson, 2021 British Formula 4 runner-up Matias Zagazeta and two-times Le Mans 24 Hours winner Alexander Wurz’s son Charlie.
MP Motorsport have only confirmed their drivers for this week’s Jerez test. They have gone with former Alpine junior and Formula Regional European Championship Hadrien David, FREC title contender Tim Tramnitz and two-times Formula 1 world champion Emerson Fittipaldi’s teenage son Emmo.
Other notable names on the entry list include, GB3 points leader Callum Voisin and McLaren junior Ugo Ugochukwu at Rodin Carlin. They will be joined by Zane Maloney, whose presence suggests he may be considering a tilt at the Macau Grand Prix. Williams junior Luke Browning will drive for Hitech GP, recently crowned Euroformula champion Noel Leon for Van Amersfoort Racing and Nyck de Vries’ protege Laurens van Hoepen at ART, who the former AlphaTauri driver won the Formula 2 title with four years ago.
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F1 Academy broadcast
The final round of the Formula 4-spec, all-female F1 Academy series, which will take place at the Circuit of the Americas on the support bill of the United States Grand Prix on 21st-22nd October, will be broadcast in at least 42 countries.
F1 has agreed terms with 18 international broadcasters, nine of which transmit to multiple countries, for live television coverage of the weekend’s track action. Previously those broadcasters only showed highlight packages.
In addition to an expanded TV presence, video feeds of the final two qualifying sessions and three races of the season will be shown (without geographical blocks) on several of F1’s social media channels. F1 also announced “a live pre-race show will also be aired” ahead of each race.
Marta Garcia leads the championship ahead of the COTA round, with Sauber junior Lena Buhler and Hamda Al Qubaisi seeking to beat her to the title.