Tag: wins

Bruce Anstey’s North West 200 podium run comes to an end

Bruce Anstey’s North West 200 podium run comes to an end

Bruce Anstey’s unique podium record has come to an end following this year’s North West 200.

Making his debut in 2002 and winning a race, Anstey has stood on the podium at every North West 200 since then. He has corresponding records at the Isle of Man TT and Ulster Grand Prix which are still ongoing but his North West streak has come to an end.

The Kiwi was running in a podium position in Saturday’s Superbike race but he came off his bike at Church, thankfully without injury. During that race he was also clocked at 209mph through the speedtrap – a record speed. He certainly looked like he would be on for a podium but when the second Superstock and feature Superbike race were cancelled he lost out the opportunity.

Bruce Anstey’s North West 200 record

  • 2002: Winner in Production class
  • 2003: Third in Supersport Race 2
  • 2004: Winner in Supersport Race 1; Winner in Production class
  • 2005: Third in Supersport Race 1; Second in Superstock; Winner in North West 200 Feature Race
  • 2006: Third in Supersport Race 1; Winner in Supersport Race 2; Winner in Superstock Race; Second in Superbike Race 1
  • 2007: Winner in Supersport Race 1; Winner in Supersport Race 2; Winner in Superstock Race; Second in Superbike Race 1
  • 2008: Second in Superstock Race
  • 2009: Second in Supersport Race; Second in Superbike Race
  • 2010: Third in Supersport Race 2
  • 2011: Third in Supersport Race
  • 2012: Second in Supersport Race
  • 2013: Second in Superstock Race; Second in Supersport Race
  • 2014: Winner in Supersport Race
  • 2015: Third in Superbike Race

He was even on the podium when just one race ran in 2011 due to a number of factors. It was by far my favourite record on the roads and I hope he can go on to the TT and Ulster Grand Prix and extend his records there!

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Felipe Massa: 200 GP and the Magic Formula

This weekend Williams Racing driver Felipe Massa will celebrate his 200th Grand Prix start. The Brazilian, who entered Formula One in 2002 with Sauber, is celebrating the milestone at the British Grand Prix where his team celebrated 600 GP a year ago. So here is a look at his magic formula.

12 years

Massa entered Formula One in 2002 when he drove for the Sauber team, having just won the Euro Formula 3000 championship in 2002. 12 years on, in 2014, Massa is still on the grid, albeit not for 12 seasons. He was replaced at Sauber at the end of 2002 and had a year on the sidelines before returning in 2014.

3 teams

Despite having quite a long Formula One career, Massa has only driven for three teams – Sauber, Ferrari and of course now Williams. Massa spent three years racing for Sauber but it is his Ferrari relationship that lasted the longest.

7 team-mates

Over the years Massa has driven with a number of high profile drivers. He started his career partnering Nick Heidfeld, before then racing alongside 1997 world champion Jacques Villeneuve, and Giancarlo Fisichella. When he was promoted to a Ferrari race seat in 2006 he partnered seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher before being joined by Kimi Raikkonen in 2007. Raikkonen departed at the end of 2009 and Massa’s next team-mate was Fernando Alonso. Following his departure from Ferrari, Massa has partnered Valtteri Bottas at Williams.

8 seasons at Ferrari

He made his debut in 2003 with Ferrari, spending the year as their test driver. Massa’s stint at Ferrari was a lengthy one and it saw him become one of only a handful of drivers to compete in more than 100 races for one team. At Brazil in 2011, Massa started his 100th team for the team and finished in fifth place. In 2012 and 2013 he added to his tally, and left the team with a grand total of 139 races for the Scuderia. He came close to winning the championship with them in 2008, but was narrowly pipped at the post. In his first season with the team he finished third in the championship.

2nd longest serving Ferrari driver

Massa is beaten only by Schumacher – who raced in 181 races for Ferrari – in terms of the amount of races for the Scuderia. With a total of 139 races, that puts him clear of fellow Brazilian Rubens Barrichello. It also makes Massa third in the all time list for most races with one team – between Mika Hakkinen’s 131 and David Coulthard’s 150, both for McLaren.

11 wins

Massa has 11 wins to his name in Formula One. His first was at the 2006 Turkish Grand Prix before going on to win his home Grand Prix that same year. Wins in Bahrain, Spain and again in Turkey in 2007 brought his tally to five, before winning six more times in 2008. His 2008 wins were at Bahrain, Turkey, France, the European Grand Prix, Belgium, and an emotional home victory which saw him nearly win the world championship. That win also happens to be his last in Formula One to date.

3 wins at the Turkish Grand Prix

Massa took to the Turkish Grand Prix like a duck to water and won the race on three occasions – 2006, 2007 and 2008. He didn’t let anyone else have any of the fun on those three years as he also secured pole position for all three races.

5th Brazilian driver to win in Brazil

In 2006, Massa became the fifth Brazilian driver to win his home Grand Prix. He followed Emerson Fittipaldi (1973 & 1974), Carlos Pace (1975), Nelson Piquet (1983 & 1986) and Ayrton Senna (1991 & 1993).

36 podiums

Including his 11 wins, Massa has stood on the podium a grand total of 36 times. His first Formula One podium was at the 2006 European Grand Prix where he qualified in third and narrowly beat McLaren’s Raikkonen. His most recent podium was last year’s Spanish Grand Prix where he finished third.

16 pole positions

Massa’s first victory was preceded by his first pole position, at the 2006 Turkish Grand Prix. He out-qualified his team-mate by mere hundredths of a second but made it count, going on to win by over five seconds. Eight of his wins have come from pole positions, including the 2008 Brazilian Grand Prix where he also set the fastest lap of the race. His pole lap was emphatic, beating Jarno Trulli by four tenths of a second.

15 fastest laps

As well as his pole positions, wins, and podiums – Massa also has a number of fastest laps to his name. 15, to be precise. The 2006 Spanish Grand Prix was his first one, and the most recent was this year’s Canadian Grand Prix.

7th – average finishing position in championship

Massa’s average finishing position in the world championship is seventh. Finishing in the top three on two occasions, Massa has finished solidly in the top ten since his move to Ferrari. The one exception is 2009, when he finished 11th, but he was forced to miss half the season after a nasty accident during qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix saw him hit by a spring and sustaining life-threatening injuries. Thankfully he made a full recovery and was able to return to racing in 2010.

70% of finishes in points

Of his 199 starts, 119 of them have resulted in points finishes. That’s a 70% finishing record in the points. He has a finishing record of 84% from his 199 race starts thus far.

4th most experienced driver on the grid

Massa is the 4th most experienced driver on the grid, behind Jenson Button, Alonso, and Raikkonen. Fellow countryman Barrichello holds the record for most F1 starts, at 322.

1 point away

One point – all that stood between Massa and a world championship in 2008. So near, and yet so far…

So: 12 years + 3 teams + 7 team-mates + 8 seasons at Ferrari + 2nd longest serving Ferrari driver + 11 wins + 3 Turkish Grand Prix victories + 5th Brazilian driver to win Brazilian GP + 36 podiums + 16 pole positions + 15 fastest laps + 7th (average finishing position in the championship) + 70% finishes in points + 4th most experienced driver on grid + 1 point = 200 GP.

The passionate Brazilian impressed at the last race, the Austrian Grand Prix, when he qualified in pole position. He finished the race in fourth place but the Williams duo showed good pace, with Bottas finishing third behind the Mercedes duo. The team showed decent pre-season pace so they will no doubt be hoping to continue their Austrian form into this weekend’s British Grand Prix. Massa’s 100th Grand Prix start was the 2008 Belgian Grand Prix, a race which he won…

 

Jenson Button: 250 GP and the magic formula

Jenson Button is the most experienced driver on the current Formula One grid, and the fifth most experienced driver of all time. This weekend at the Bahrain Grand Prix he will celebrate his 250 Grand Prix start. Over the years he has enjoyed a number of wins, podiums, and a championship – just some of the numbers that make up his career. But what contributes to his magic formula?

7 teams

2014 is Jenson Button’s 15th season in Formula One and over that time he has raced for seven teams. He started his F1 career with Williams in 2000 and since then has spent time with Benetton, Renault, BAR, Honda, Brawn GP, and currently races for McLaren. While the records show that he has raced for seven teams, some are linked. Benetton was rebranded as Renault between 2001 and 2002 and Button remained with the outfit. BAR was bought by Honda at the end of 2005 and Button drove for Honda Racing until the team’s withdrawal from F1 at the end of 2008. The team was then bought out by Ross Brawn and so Brawn GP was born. Button then moved to McLaren for the 2010 season and is currently taking part in his fifth season for the team.

10 team-mates

During his time at those seven teams, Button has had ten different team-mates. His team-mate in his rookie year was Ralf Schumacher. In 2001 when he moved to Benetton he was partnered by Giancarlo Fisichella, who was replaced by Jarno Trulli in 2002. Button’s 2003 team-mate was 1997 world champion Jacques Villeneuve. Takuma Sato partnered Button at BAR for 2004 and 2005, being replaced at one race for Button’s fellow Brit Anthony Davidson. Rubens Barrichello joined Honda in 2006, following his departure from Ferrari, and was Button’s team-mate for four seasons, including the world championship year in 2009. Button partnered Lewis Hamilton at McLaren for three seasons before lining up alongside Sergio Perez in 2013. Button currently races with Kevin Magnussen at McLaren.

5 times

This is the number of times Button has been beaten by his team-mate in the drivers championship. In his rookie year he was beaten by team-mate R Schumacher by 12 points. Button was also beaten by Fisichella in 2001 this time by a smaller margin of six points. From 2002 to 2007 inclusive Button had the upper hand over his team-mates, beating Trulli, Villeneuve, Sato, and Barrichello. His advantage over Trulli was five points, it was 11 over Villeneuve and 51 over Sato in 2004. In 2005 his advantage was 36 points over Sato, and in his first year up against Barrichello Button out-scored him by 26 points. Barrichello got the better result in 2008, by eight points, but Button was obviously ahead in 2009 when he won the world championship. Button’s advantage then was 18 points over his team-mate. Hamilton outscored Button by 26 points in their first year as team-mates, but Button had the upper hand in 2011 by 43 points. Hamilton scored two more points than Button in 2012 while Button had the advantage over Perez in 2013 by 24 points. So, during his 14 years in F1, Button has finished ahead of his team-mate nine times.

15 victories

Since that memorable first victory in 2006, Button has won a further 14 times, bringing his win tally to 15. He had to wait six seasons before his first win and his second followed after two seasons of disappointment. After Honda withdrew from F1, Brawn GP rose from the ashes and dominated the first half of the season. Button won six of the first seven races, missing out on the top step of the podium in China but still finishing in third. He won again in Australia in 2010 and won in China that same year. He won a dramatic 2011 Canadian Grand Prix, where he dropped to the back of the field on more than one occasion and had contact with his team-mate. He fought up to second on the last lap and when Sebastian Vettel made an uncharacteristic mistake he took the advantage and won. He also won in Hungary again, and his adopted home race in Japan. In 2012 victories came in Australia, Belgium and Brazil. The 2012 Brazilian Grand Prix was his last victory to date. As well as 15 victories, Button has started on pole position eight times but only five of his wins came from pole.

8 races on current calendar not won

Button’s 15 victories have come at 12 different circuits. This means that he has won eleven of the races on the 2014 F1 calendar. He has not won in Austria (which makes its F1 return this year), his home race at Silverstone, in Germany, or Italy despite standing on the podium four times there. He is also yet to win in Singapore, Russia, Abu Dhabi and the USA.

50 podiums

Button’s 50th podium came at this year’s Australian Grand Prix although he didn’t actually stand on it as the result came after the disqualification of Daniel Ricciardo. His 50 podiums include his 15 aforementioned victories. Button has stood on the podium at 18 different races – from Australia to Brazil and many other races in between. Not including his victories, he has been on the podium the most times at the Italian Grand Prix – a total of four. Other multiple podium appearances have come at the Malaysian, German, Chinese, and Abu Dhabi Grand Prix (three times); and the Monaco, European, Canadian, Belgium, Brazilian, and Singapore Grand Prix (two times). He has been on the podium in Bahrain, San Marino, Japan, Turkey, Spain, India and Australia as well.

140 points finishes

Of the races that Button has finished, he has finished 140 times in the points (not including his two points finishes in 2014). This is from 199 finishes. Since 2000, Button has had an average of 5.6 DNFs per season.

6.8 average finishing position

Following on from Button’s 140 points finishes, his average finishing position is 6.8. This is taken from races he finished and not including the two in 2014.

 8th – average championship position

Over his 14 full seasons in F1 Button has finished an average eighth in the championship. His highest championship position was when he won it in 2009, his lowest was 18th in 2008 when Honda had a particularly dismal season. He finished third in 2004 and second in 2011.

1 world championship

Last but by no means least Button has won the world championship. This was in 2009 when he dominated the first half of the season, winning six of the first seven races. It was a long time coming for the British driver, but he eventually got there and made sure his name was in the history books.

So, there we have it. 7 teams + 10 team-mates + 5 times + 15 victories + 8 races on current calendar not won + 50 podiums + 140 points finishes + 6(.8) average finishing position + 8th average championship position + 1 world championship = 250 GP.

Button is regarded as a smooth driver who is particularly good in wet/dry conditions. He revealed on the McLaren website that the nicest thing someone ever said to him was something his late father John Button said: “You might not be the quickest driver in the world… but you’re the best.”

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2014: Malaysian Grand Prix Preview

Two weeks after the Australian Grand Prix, teams have traveled to Malaysia for round two of the Formula One championship. Nico Rosberg threw down the gauntlet in the opening round, winning the race in a dominating and comfortable style, finishing ahead of Daniel Ricciardo and rookie Kevin Magnussen. Ricciardo was subsequently disqualified due to fuel flow irregularities however this decision is set to be appealed by Red Bull on April 14. The results mean that Rosberg has taken the early lead in the drivers championship with McLaren leading the constructors. As suspected there were reliability issues in Melbourne but what will the score be at the Sepang International Circuit?

Circuit: Sepang International Circuit
Number of Laps: 56
Circuit Length: 5.543km
Number of Corners: 15
Lap Record: 1:34.223 JP Montoya (2004)
Previous Australian Grand Prix winners still on the grid: Sebastian Vettel (2013, 2011, & 2010), Fernando Alonso (2012, 2007, & 2005), Kimi Räikkönen (2003 & 2008), and Jenson Button (2009)
Most Successful Team: Ferrari (6 wins)
DRS Zones: 2    
Pirelli Tyres: Hard and Medium

The Malaysian Grand Prix comes with its own unique challenges. A lot of teams have struggled with cooling – most noticeably Red Bull – and this issue will only be magnified in the heat and humidity. It’s not just the cars that the heat is an issue for as drivers can face temperatures of 50 degrees in the cockpit. A track characterised by long straights and high speed corners, as well as it being incredibly wide at some points, will only add further challenges for them. The race was first held at the Herman Tilke designed track in 1999 and has been won nine times by drivers still on the grid. Michael Schumacher, Fernando Alonso, and Sebastian Vettel are the most successful drivers at the track with three wins each. It is a special track for Kimi Räikkönen who took his first ever race victory  in 2003 as well as Jenson Button who took his first of 50 F1 podiums in 2004.

Tyre degradation is also a focal point on Malaysian Grand Prix, as it is particularly high. There is a long run to the first corner from the grid – the second longest on the current calendar – and plenty of overtaking opportunities. There are rarely safety cars at the race due to the wide run off areas. Generally, safety cars are deployed due to the heavy rain quite often seen. In 2009 the race was called off after 31 laps and half points were awarded, due to the horrible weather conditions affecting visibility.

Rosberg’s dominating win at the Australian Grand Prix confirmed the fears of the chasing teams that Mercedes have a significant advantage. There were promising signs for Red Bull who, despite having problems with Sebastian Vettel’s car, got a driver on the podium (only for him to be later disqualified). The Malaysian Grand Prix will be an interesting one for the reigning world champions who have struggled with cooling. McLaren seem to have put last years’ woes behind them, finishing with two cars on the podium (Button was promoted to third) and leading the constructors championship. While it is early days, and they do not have the outright pace that Mercedes have, it is definitely a much more solid foundation than what they had last year. Lewis Hamilton will be hoping to bounce back after an engine misfire brought an end to his Australian Grand Prix after only a few laps. Valtteri Bottas had a strong race for Williams after he clouted the wall and had to pit after picking up a puncture. He finished solidly in the top ten. His team-mate Felipe Massa was taken out at the first corner by Kamui Kobayashi, who had rear brake failure, so will be hoping to prove what his Williams car can do in Malaysia. Ferrari finished with both cars in the top ten in a solid but unspectacular result. Both Toro Rossos had a promising start to their 2014 campaign with Daniil Kvyat becoming the youngest ever driver to score points in Formula One.

For the rookies it was an impressive start in Australia. The next challenge is to maintain the standards they set for themselves. Kevin Magnussen was on the podium, Kvyat was in the points and Marcus Ericsson was impressing with his racing until his car retired due to a technical fault. Both Sauber drivers finished the race but down in 11th and 12th and a lap down. It was a dire weekend for Lotus who will be hoping to complete a race distance with at least one of their cars in Malaysia. The Marussia duo of Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton both finished after initially stalling on the grid while both Caterhams retired. It is all to play for in Malaysia but as always, anything can happen and it probably will!

 

2014: A New Era for McLaren

Ahead of a brand new season which comes with its own host of technical changes, including the return of turbos and whole new Power Units, McLaren have announced a number of changes to their team as they themselves enter a new era.

They recently launched a moderately redesigned website, removing any reference to Vodafone after the team’s partnership came to an end with the telecommunications company at the end of 2013 after seven seasons together. They had been expected to announce a new title sponsor at their car launch, which takes place online tomorrow, but they have since revealed this will not be the case. They will be going forward without a title sponsor (as yet), something which is mirrored in the previews released of their 2014 merchandise.

2014 will also see the end of another long-standing relationship, as McLaren part ways with Mercedes after a partnership spanning twenty years. Mercedes started providing engines to the team in 1995 and together they have won 77 races, two constructors championships and two drivers championship. McLaren will be returning to Honda, with whom they enjoyed the ‘glory days’ of the late 80s early 90s.

It’s not all ending relationships, however, as McLaren have announced a new partnership with Norton Rose Fulbright, becoming the first partnership of its kind in Formula 1 between a team and a global legal practice. Norton Rose Fulbright will also become global legal advisor to the McLaren Group.

“This is an exciting partnership,” Peter Martyr, global chief executive of Norton Rose Fulbright said. “McLaren Mercedes is a leading brand, as is Norton Rose Fulbright. By becoming a corporate partner and providing worldwide legal services to McLaren Group, we aim to reinforce the importance that we place on our people’s commitment to teamwork and excellence. We have already committed to developing a joint CSR project.”

As well as their new partnership, McLaren have confirmed a renewed partnership with Santander. “Santander and McLaren have formed a long term partnership and together we have set new standards in sports marketing,” Keith Moor, Chief Marketing Officer of Santander, said. “Our decision to renew that relationship is not something that we have taken lightly, but it is based upon a proven track record of achievement and we are pleased to continue to be in partnership with one of the most iconic brands in global sport”.

McLaren have also been looking to the future with the announcement that Stoffel Vandoorne has becoming the team’s official reserve driver for 2014, as well as competing in GP2. Vandoorne, who lost out on the World Series by Renault 3.5 series title to Kevin Magnussen, says that he is “thrilled and honoured” to have been selected to be McLaren’s reserve driver. Both Vandoorne and Magnussen have been part of McLaren’s Young Driver Programme, and towards the end of last season the team announced that they would be replacing Sergio Perez for the upcoming season with Magnussen. Both are young drivers who have shown incredible speed and potential in their careers so far.

Furthermore, there have been changes at the helm of McLaren, with Ron Dennis regaining control after being reinstated as CEO of the McLaren Group. This has led to intense speculation surrounding the future of Martin Whitmarsh, who previously held the role as well as Team Principal. Dennis offered some powerful words on his reinstatement, saying: “There will be changes – we will win again”. The move comes after one of McLaren’s worst seasons in the sport with no wins or podiums and a middling fifth place in the championship. Whether or not Whitmarsh continues as team principal reans to be seen, but with the season just around the corner no doubt McLaren will confirm their structure soon.

McLaren have made some positive strides as they move into the 2014 season with the desire to put 2013 well and truly behind them. After some initial concerns that the team had failed the mandatory crash tests, they seem to be back on track after confirming they had passed all of them and will be on track in Jerez. The world’s eyes will be on the team tomorrow as they become the first team to officially launch their car (Force India and Williams have revealed pictures) before testing commences on Tuesday.

Conor Cummins signs for Honda

Honda Motor Europe have confirmed that John McGuinness and Conor Cummins will compete on the roads for them in 2014. Cummins, who raced for Milwaukee Yamaha this season, joined McGuinness on the main stage at Motorcycle Live at the NEC in Birmingham for their first appearance together as team-mates.

“We’re pleased to announce our 2014 line-up for the roads and very happy to welcome Conor Cummins to the team,” team boss Neil Tuxworth said. “He’s an Isle of Man lad whose father and uncle have raced on the island so the TT is in his blood. He has a great work ethic and a determination to succeed and I have a lot of admiration for him. He’s back to full fighting fitness following his 2010 crash and as one of the fastest men ever around the mountain course, he definitely has the ability to win races”.

Cummins made his debut at the international road races in 2006 when he instantly made an impact as fastest newcomer at both the Isle of Man TT and the North West 200. He has an impressive record at the Isle of Man in particular, securing four podiums since 2009 and is the third fastest rider in the history of the event. He also holds the record for the fastest lap from a standing start at 131.5mph.

His new team-mate John McGuiness said: “It’s great news that Conor will be joining the team. I have a lot of respect for him – he’s young, he’s hungry for it and he has so much passion for racing. It will be a pleasure to be his team-mate.”

McGuinness is also no slouch on the roads. With six North West 200 victories to his name, McGuinness also has an enviable record around the Isle of Man TT. Victory in the Senior race at this year’s TT was win number 20th around the island and his 41st podium.

“The relationship between John and Honda is well-established and proven to bring results,” Tuxworth continued. “He is by far the most successful current TT rider in terms of wins and podiums and he showed at this year’s event that he is still the quickest rider around the Isle of Man. We are of course very happy to have him with us again. With John and Conor on board, I believe we are in a very strong position for the 2014 road racing events.”

Cummins himself is also excited about the move. “I am thrilled to bits to be with Honda in 2014,” he said. “In my eyes this is the absolute pinnacle of road racing. Riding for a team like Honda has been something I’ve been aiming for my whole career so for me this is a huge deal. The team has so much experience and I just want to make the most of the opportunity I have been given. I’m really looking forward to racing the new Honda Fireblade and hopefully bringing home some good results”.

Williams confirm Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa for 2014

Williams have announced that Felipe Massa will join them for 2014, replacing Pastor Maldonado as they retain Valtteri Bottas for a second season.

Massa had faced uncertainty about his future after it was revealed that Kimi Raikkonen would be returning to Ferrari to partner Fernando Alonso. After being linked with a number of teams and expressing his desire to continue racing in Formula One, although in a competitive car, Massa will still be on the grid for 2014 after agreeing a contract with Williams.

Team Principal Frank Williams said of Massa, on the official Williams website: “We are delighted to be able to confirm our 2014 driver line-up and welcome Felipe into the Williams family. He is an exceptional talent and a real fighter on the race track; he also brings a wealth of experience as we begin a new chapter in our story”. After a disappointing 2013 campaign, which sees the team lying in ninth place with a solitary point, Williams are determined to bring success back to the team.

Massa’s Formula One career started over a decade ago when he joined Sauber in 2002. He spent 2003 testing for Ferrari, before returning to a race seat in 2004 and 2005 with Sauber. In 2006 he joined Ferrari as a race driver and partnered the likes of Michael Schumacher, Raikkonen and Alonso. He came close to winning the world championship in 2008 and has taken a number of race wins, pole positions, and podiums. With 138 race starts for Ferrari under his belt, only Schumacher has started more for the Scuderia. During his time with Ferrari he has also become part of a well loved friendship with race engineer Rob Smedley, who is rumoured to be heading to Williams as well.

Massa said: “Williams is one of the most successful and important teams of all times in Formula One. When I was a kid, I always dreamed about racing for Williams, Ferrari or McLaren and I’m glad to be signing with another icon of the sport following my time at Ferrari. It is also nice to remember that some of the best Brazilian drivers raced for Williams and cemented a strong national link with the team. I’m highly motivated to start working hard from the very beginning in what is an exciting new challenge in my career.”

Massa will be partnering Bottas for the 2014 season. The Finn joined Williams as a race driver in 2013, after a year of being their test driver. There was a lot of anticipation surrounding his arrival, after impressing in practice and testing. However, the car has been disappointing this year and he has not been able to shine as much as it was thought. He said of his second year at Williams: “I’m very happy to be staying with the team as I embark on my second season in Formula One. I have known everyone here for many years, firstly as a test driver and now as a race driver, so it feels like home. I have faith in Williams and I know we can do so much better in the future than our current performance shows.”

Outgoing driver Pastor Maldonado has been linked with Lotus. In the line-up announcement, the team thanked him for his contribution over the past three seasons, particularly his win at the 2012 Spanish Grand Prix.