Felipe Massa to Retire from F1
Sep 1 - After 15 years racing in Formula 1,
Brazillian Felipe Massa announced his retirement,
at the age of 35.
He said he will not race in the Brazillian stock car
series nor remain in F1 in some other capacity nor
become a reporter.
He said he may race in the DTM or Formula E
series, but hasn't decided if he'll race at all yet.
Massa was injured in 2010 when a spring off of a
crashing car flew up and hit him in the eye, nearly
blinding him. He returned the next year to
continue racing however.
He first drove for Sauber in 2004-05. He then
went to race for Ferrari, where he stayed until
2013 when he moved to Williams.
In 243 F1 starts, he won 11 races, 16 pole
positions and finished on the podium 41 times.
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U.S. F1 Car Improves for Singapore GP
Sep 13 - America's only Formula 1 team - Haas F1,
entered the sport just this year. They have had
surprising success for a new team so far. They got a
6th place finish in the very first race of the season,
followed by a 5th place in the next race! They have
consistently finished just out of the top 10 through
most other races this year.
The team will have a new front wing and a revised
floor, and will also have modified brake ducts with
which it hopes to improve aero efficiency.
Team boss Gunther Steiner said the upgrade is also
aimed at reducing corner sensitivity to make the car
"We finished developing this year's car completely more
than two months ago," said Steiner.
"These changes came from wind tunnel data and it took
a little bit of time to develop the parts.
"We took our time so we are better prepared for next
year. This is the last update for the 2016 car."
Despite introducing the updates so late in the season,
Steiner said the team has been working exclusively on the
development of the 2017 car for the last two months.
"We've been using a 60-percent scale model car in the
wind tunnel since February, but from February to June
we developed both cars (2016 and 2017)
simultaneously," he said.
"In the past two-and-a-half months, it's been all hands on
deck developing the 2017 car."
Season Championship Comes Down To
Sep 18 – 32 y/o Simon Pagenaud has held the IndyCar
points lead since the 2nd race of the season. He has had
his best season ever this year, entering the weekend with
4 wins and 6 poles. It has been his second year with
team Penske. Today he entered the last race of the
season with only one contender to challenging him for the
championship – his teammate Will Power who was 43
Pagenaud started the race at Sonoma from pole. Power
started in 4th , but moved into 2nd after the first round of
pit stops. Pagenaud was fast, real fast. Power was 11
seconds behind him on Lap 32, when his Penske Chevy
suffered an electrical failure. Power would return to the
race later, 8 laps down, to get more points and finish the
season in 2nd place in points. This is Power’s 4th time
coming in 2nd in the IndyCar championship. Power’s
only championship was in 2014.
Pagenaud led 76 of 85 laps. Midway through the race,
Graham Rahal moved into second and began gaining on
Pagenaud, but in the end, Pagenaud sailed to a
Juan Montoya finished in third, almost 15s further
back. Rumor is that Penske wants Montoya just for the
Indy 500 next season and Montoya wants to race the
entire IndyCar season. Further rumors are that Penske
looks to replace Montoya with Ed Carpenter Racing’s
Josef Newgarden, who is happy at ECR. Penske has
shown interest in rookie of the year and 2016 Indy 500
winner Alexander Rossi as well.
There was a little more excitement just behind the
Colombian, though. Rossi had been on target to finish
fourth, but ran out of fuel within sight of the finish line,
allowing Andretti teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay to sneak
past and steal the position. It was rather more costly for
the Indy 500 winner from a points standpoint – the lost
position dropped him from eighth to 11th in the final
The closest thing to a real battle played out a little further
back, where Newgarden spent the final stages of the race
working to keep Helio Castroneves at bay. Castroneves
was one of a handful of drivers to opt for a four-stopper,
which gave him all the fuel and tires he needed for the
final stint, but no clear track with which to use it.
|The Verizon IndyCar Championship would be decided
between Will Power and Simon Pagenaud.
Power, a three-time Sonoma winner, said, “It was
obviously disappointing to have that gearbox problem,
but it's a 1-2-3 for the team (in the championship),
which is really good, considering how it finished last
year. I think the team is really strong now. “I’ve raced
(Simon) for 10 years and I’m happy to see him win a
championship even though I finished second to him.”
Pagenaud’s win was the 10th by a Team Penske driver
in the 16 races this season and the 187th all-time in
Indy cars for the revered racing organization.
“There is so much emotion right now, to be honest,”
said Pagenaud, fighting back tears. “I can’t find the
words. My whole career has been about this, about
today and getting to this point and to this level.”
|Simon Pagenaud followed by Helio Castroneves
Although he was unable to find a way past Newgarden,
his seventh place was still enough to give him third in the
championship, completing a Penske 1-2-3 in the year of
the team's 50th anniversary.
Elsewhere, it was a tough afternoon for Ganassi's
frontliners, with Scott Dixon being forced to make an
extra stop to have his earpiece replaced, and Tony
Kanaan falling out of contention following a clash with
Mikhail Aleshin on the opening lap.