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Steiner annoyed by lack of apology from race director

In the round-up: Haas team principal Guenther Steiner believes the team deserved an apology from the race director after last year’s United States Grand Prix.

In brief

Steiner annoyed by lack of apology from race director

Haas team principal Guenther Steiner is annoyed he did not receive an apology over a misunderstanding which led to a stewards’ decision going against his team at last year’s United States Grand Prix.

A penalty given to Fernando Alonso following a review instigated by Haas was overturned when Alpine pointed out Steiner’s team had submitted their appeal after the 30-minute deadline had passed. The stewards came down on Alpine’s side and restored Alonso to the points at the expense of Haas driver Kevin Magnussen.

Guenther Steiner, haas, Albert Park, 2023
Steiner’s protest was initially upheld – then overturned

The stewards noted Haas had mistakenly been told by an official in race control – which Steiner later said was the race director, Niels Wittich – they had one hour to submit their paperwork. “When the race director says you have an hour you take his word for it,” said Steiner in his forthcoming book.

“What really annoys me is that when we had a meeting about it the race director denied saying what we thought he’d said and wouldn’t even apologise. And he’s the race director, for fok’s sake! If he’d said, ‘okay guys, look, I’m afraid I foked up’, we’d have been okay about it.”

Bedrin the surprise pacesetter in F3 testing

The FIA Formula 3 championship started its second in-season test at Imola on Tuesday, and Nikita Bedrin was the surprise pacesetter in both sessions.

The Jenzer Motorsport driver is currently 23rd in the standings with a best finish of 15th, having stepped up from Formula Regional Middle East where he won two races at the start of this year.

Bedrin topped the morning session at Imola by just 0.024 seconds over Prema’s Mercedes junior Paul Aron, with Hitech GP’s Alpine junior Gabriele Mini a further 0.048s behind. Less than a second covered the top 18 drivers, and MP Motorsport’s Jonny Edgar was ninth fastest despite crashing.

His team mate Franco Colapinto was fastest for much of the afternoon session. Trident’s points leader Gabriel Bortoleto stopped with a technical problem but then returned to track and went fastest. A red flag period caused by his team mate Leonardo Fornaroli crashing left little time late on to set flying laps, but Bedrin maximised his opportunity to go faster than Bortoleto by 0.322s.

Pulling leads F1 Academy test

Pulling headed F1 Academy testing at Paul Ricard

Preparations continue for the first season of F1 Academy, a Formula 4 series that has been created by Formula 1 exclusively for female drivers.

After their first pre-season test at Barcelona earlier this month, the 15-car field was back on track at Paul Ricard on Tuesday. Both are tracks the series will race at later this year.

Alpine junior Abbi Pulling – driving for Rodin Carlin – set the fastest lap of the day, and topped two of the four sessions. A parallel F4 test also took place that was being run by France’s famous Winfield Racing School.

New Eurocup-3 series makes track debut

Eurocup-3, the new continental series based around modified Formula Regional chassis, made its track debut yesterday at Valencia’s permanent race track.

All five of the teams signed up to the series were in action, with 13 cars on track as testing began. MP’s Sebastian Ogaard topped the morning session by 0.152s over Campos Racing’s Esteban Masson, who led the way in the afternoon by 0.501s over Palou Motorsport’s Javier Sagrera. Every driver set their best lap in the second session.

The test also marked the track debut for Palou Motorsport, a team that has been launched by 2021 IndyCar champion Alex Palou. They ran two cars at Valencia, although are yet to announce any drivers for Eurocup-3’s inaugural season.

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On this day in motorsport

  • 20 years ago today Bjorn Wirdheim won the first race of the new Formula 3000 season at Imola

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