ENVISION VIRGIN FIRST CARBON NEUTRAL FE TEAM

Yesterday,  Formula E’s very own Envision Virgin Racing was certified carbon neutral by The Carbon Trust, making them the “Greenest team on the greenest grid”.

Alice Powell, Envision Virgin Racing (Courtesy of Formula E)

In order to achieve this certification, a team needs to take out as much carbon as they are putting into the atmosphere and they have a number of different ways to do this. Not only did they team up with Arsenal’s Hector Bellerin (who promised to plant 3,000 trees every time his team won a match), but they  also use 100% renewable energy. Other initiatives they’ve used include: installing EV charging points at their headquarters in Silverstone, and their “zero tolerance” for the use of single-use plastics and consumption of red meats at events. Considering up to 37% of all greenhouse gas emissions come from food systems, this is a very promising initiative.

This announcement marks a huge step in Formula E’s drive to help tackle climate change. It comes as Envision Virgin become the first team on the grid to have been deemed carbon neutral across their operational facilities in Silverstone and London, as well as business travel for up to 40 personnel. Jennifer Babbington, Envision Virgin Racing’s Operations Director challenged the other teams to “follow suit and prove how sport and sustainability can co-exist”. She also stated “every single staff member is immensely proud of our achievement.”

Sam Bird (Envision Virgin Racing), Valencia pre-season testing – Credit: LAT/Formula E

John Newton, Associate Director of the Carbon Trust, added “The influence a sports team has in this space should never be underestimated and by demonstrating their own action on sustainability they can inspire others, whether businesses or fans, to also take action.”

Robin Frijns, Envision Virgin Racing (Courtesy of Formula E)

Undeniably, this is a very impressive achievement from Envision Virgin Racing and a big step in tackling climate change. The pressure is now on the other eleven teams on the grid to follow in their footsteps.

Feature image courtesy of Nick Cassidy, Envision Virgin Racing (Courtesy of Formula E)

Frederick On Top in British F3

image courtesy of British F3

Kaylen Frederick wins both Sunday races in dominant fashion.

Race One:

The third of the weekend’s British F3 races was won in emphatic fashion as Kaylen drove an excellent race to finish 8.6 seconds ahead of second place Nazim Azman and third Ulysse De Pauw. De Pauw was later disqualified from the race.

Louis Foster started on pole position but a cautious start following yesterday’s jump saw Frederick lead into turn one and did not look back.

Behind him there were several scraps with one between Varrone and Peixoto ending up with Varrone being forced into the gravel. He retired there and then.

Race 2:

This time it was Kaylan Frederick who started on pole and after a good get away lead from lights to flag, just a few seconds in front of Miami and Prior.

There was little to shout about in this race, with the two retirements of Horston and Varrone. Horston will be disappointed in his mechanical failure as he was running in the final podium place.

After that there was little action as Frederick continued his impressive driving to take his second win of the day. Already emerging as a title challenger.

Big Crash in GT’s as Race 2 Ends Under Safety Car

image courtesy of THEWFGAMER Instagram page.

The British GT season kicked off with a bang at Oulton Park this weekend.

Race 1:

Race one saw Lewis Proctor start from pole position and lead into the first turn for the GT3’s. Connor O’Brien looked to do a similar thing in the GT4 category.

There was close action before the pit stops as the World’s Fastest Gamer, James Baldwin, looked to pile the pressure on Angus Fender in third.

Following the stops, Mitchell had found his way into third with Oliver Wilkinson taking over from Lewis Proctor. Michael O’Brien replaced James Baldwin. In the GT4’s, Kibble, Connor O’Brien’s teammate, also lead.

However, after a charge from Michael O’Brien and a penalty for speeding in the pit lane for the leader, O’Brien and Baldwin took the lead, with the number 2 car seeing it out to the flag.

The Jensen team won the first race with James Baldwin winning his first ever British GT event. Behind Jensen, Wilkinson finished second and Macdonald rounded out the GT3 podium. It was a simple affair for Kibble in the GT4 as he took the chequered flag with Collard and Caroline behind.

Race 2:

Phil Keen was raring to go from pole in Race 2 and lead into the first corner. Contact on the opening lap for Race 1 winner Michael O’Brien saw him drop to the back of the field.

Neary and Griffin both suffered problems and the two retired a few laps into the race.

Little was happening  for much of the remainder of the race but an unfortunate incident between Jones and Connor O’Brien saw the race finish under a lengthy safety car. It appeared as if Jones was trying to lap O’Brien but contact was made and the two spun off the track, hitting Fender in the process.

So Balon took the flag in the GT3 category with Collard and De Haan just behind. Flewitt won in his category, followed by Vaughan and Maththiesen.

Not the best way for Keen (Balon’s teammate) to draw level with Jonny Adam on wins, but I‘m sure he won’t mind too much.

Overall a cracking way for the GT season to kick off.

Jump Starts Galore in the Opening Two Rounds of British F3

Images courtesy of BRDC British Formula 3 Championship.

By John Whittaker

Today the British F3 season kicked off in a strange fashion after the first race was decided by penalties. Saturday saw the opening two rounds of the series, with two more scheduled for tomorrow.

Race One:

Kaylen Frederick looked set to take an emphatic win in the first British F3 race at Oulton Park this weekend before a post-race penalty saw him demoted.

Louis Foster looked in a good position starting from pole after qualifying but a jump start and a subsequent ten second time penalty saw him cross the line second, before the penalty dropping him down to 14th.

Part way through the race Josh Mason found the barrier causing a rather lengthy safety car whilst they recovered the car and set about repairs. Whilst the ambulance was called out, Josh Mason walked away unhurt.

The safety car came in and Frederick completed his dominant display leading to the flag, setting multiple fastest laps in the process. An impressive drive from the young American. Or it would have been had he not also received a ten second time penalty (along with Manaf Hijawi) for a false start.

The post-race penalties saw Kiern Jewiss win the first British F3 of the year, with Ulysse De Pauw and Nazim Azman also on the podium.

Race 2:

In the second and final race of the day Piers Prior took a well managed victory leading from lights to flag.

It appears all the action was used up in the first race as the second was a rather dull affair with minimal overtaking around the technical track.

The main talking points from this race were the two retirements: first race pole man Foster and Manaf Hijawi, both mechanical DNFs on Lap 1 and Lap 7 respectively.

Other than that, the race left a lot to be desired with Prior taking his maiden British F3 victory, followed by Kush Maini, and Bart Horsten rounding out the podium.

Overall a decent first day of racing for the BRDC British F3 drivers.

Why you should watch Formula E’s Big Berlin Finale

Image: Courtesy of Formula E

Its no secret that Formula E divides the motorsport community, but here’s why you should watch the Berlin finale that kicks off in just under a fortnight’s time.

The championship:

Image courtesy of Formula E

Formula E is undoubtedly one of the most competitive open-wheeled series you will find. With five different winners in the opening five races, the championship is wide open. Antonio Felix Da Costa has a slender lead going into the final six races; only eleven points clear of Mitch Evans in second. Third is Alexander Sims just a further ten points behind. In fact, eight teams are represented by drivers in the top ten. Both championships are wide open: lots of wheel to wheel action is certain.

New Faces:

The return of Formula E on the fifth August also sees the return of many drivers. However, three drivers that will not be returning to the grid are Dragon’s Brendon Hartley, Nio’s Ma Qinghua, and Mahindra’s Pascal Wehrlein. This opens up spaces for two new drivers to enter the frame: Rene Rast, and Sergio Sette Camara. Following Audi’s dismissal of Daniel Abt earlier in lockdown, the German team announced that Rene Rast would take his seat, with Abt later being confirmed for Nio. At the time, the dropping of Abt caused much controversy and many thought it a shame that he did not have a seat on the grid. However, Nio picked the German up and he is ready and raring to get racing again. Pascal Wehrlein and Brendon Hartley also announced that they had parted ways with their teams; leaving a seat for Alex Lynn’s to make his return at Mahindra and Sette Camara to join Dragon. With all the fresh faces wanting to prove themselves, we are guaranteed to see an exciting end to the season.

Six Races, Nine Days:

Once the season gets underway again the races will come thick and fast with three double headers, all in the space of nine days. Despite all taking place at the same venue, the Berlin Tempelhof, Formula E decided that there will be three different variations of the track, one for each of the double headers. On the fifth and sixth August, the drivers will drive the reverse layout of the traditional circuit, followed by the normal way around two days later on the eighth and ninth. However, for the final two races, we will see a new track, with turns four to fourteen given a complete shake up. These new circuits will add an extra dimension to the day as drivers have have to learn their way around and then race, all on the same day. Entertainment is certain to ensue.

More Environmentally Friendly Than Ever:

One of Formula E’s biggest selling points (at least for me) is it’s significantly better impact on the environment compared to other forms of motorsport. Any form of racing is going to have a negative impact on the environment, but being all electric, Formula E is going to be much better than that of the likes of Formula One. With all the races being at the same venue, the teams will not have to travel between events, greatly reducing their carbon footprint. Not only that, but the lack of spectators means less food and less travelling, both being two of the biggest contributing factors to the Climate Crisis. For people who love racing, but are concerned by Climate Change, the Big Berlin Finale is almost perfect.

In short, there’s many things to be excited about. Lots of racing, new drivers, championships wide open. The final six races of ABB FIA Formula E Championship are poised to be some of the greatest days of not only Formula E’s history, but arguably the entirety of motorsport.