Indycar’s Finale and Justin Wilson Tribute

With a championship on the line, the IndyCar family has arrived in California both mindful and respectful of the passing of one of it’s brothers and ambassadors in the sport.  Less than a week after Justin Wilson’s fatal accident at Pocono Raceway, Indycar will compete at Sonoma Raceway in a double points season finale.

IndyCar tribute to Justin Wilson on the Golden Gate Bridge Image: Kurt Dahlstrom

IndyCar tribute to Justin Wilson on the Golden Gate Bridge Image: Kurt Dahlstrom

Yesterday, Marco Andretti, Will Power, Josef Newgarden, Graham Rahal and James Hinchcliffe drove in close formation drove across the Golden Gate Bridge in tribute to Wilson on a rare beautiful clear day.  Their simple and powerful presence on the span paid high respects to fallen friend, team mate and competitor.

Astor Cup

The Astor Cup by the Golden Gate Bridge, August 27, 2015

After the drive from San Francisco to Marin, Marco gave respects to his teammate and friend, sharing his thoughts on the crossing and what lies ahead as he and the grid get ready for the season finale and the crowning of a new champion on Sunday:

“The bridge crossing was definitely an honor to represent Justin, and while nobody feels super great we’re all very focused, because we know Justin would want us to stay focused on our craft and do a good job this weekend.”

Bodywork on the 25 car this weekend will run in tribute to Justin Wilson

Bodywork on the 25 car this weekend will run in tribute to Justin Wilson

Oriol Servia will be driving the Andretti Racing 25 car this weekend, and donations to Wilson’s children can be made at WilsonChildrensFund.com

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Jules Bianchi 1989 – 2015

Jules Bianchi: 1989-2015 Credit: Getty Images

Jules Bianchi: 1989-2015 Credit: Getty Images

In an update this evening via twitter, Jules Bianchi’s family released the following statement following his long battle for consciousness after the French driver’s tragic collision in September during the Japanese Grand Prix:

Nice, France

Saturday 18 July 2015
02.45hrs France │ 01.45hrs UK

It is with deep sadness that the parents of Jules Bianchi, Philippe and Christine, his brother Tom and sister Mélanie, wish to make it known that Jules passed away last night at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire (CHU) in Nice, (France) where he was admitted following the accident of 5th October 2014 at Suzuka Circuit during the Japanese Formula 1 Grand Prix.

“Jules fought right to the very end, as he always did, but today his battle came to an end,” said the Bianchi family. “The pain we feel is immense and indescribable. We wish to thank the medical staff at Nice’s CHU who looked after him with love and dedication. We also thank the staff of the General Medical Center in the Mie Prefecture (Japan) who looked after Jules immediately after the accident, as well as all the other doctors who have been involved with his care over the past months.

“Furthermore, we thank Jules’ colleagues, friends, fans and everyone who has demonstrated their affection for him over these past months, which gave us great strength and helped us deal with such difficult times. Listening to and reading the many messages made us realise just how much Jules had touched the hearts and minds of so many people all over the world.

“We would like to ask that our privacy is respected during this difficult time, while we try to come to terms with the loss of Jules.”

Our thoughts and best wishes go to his family at this time.

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Q&A with Haas F1 Team Principal, Gunther Steiner

08 – October – 2014 – Guenther Steiner at Stewart-Haas Racing (Photographer: HHP/Garry Eller)

With a 2016 season launch on the way, Haas F1 Team recently announced that they plan to name their two drivers by September of this year.  Meanwhile, a lot of work has been happening behind the scenes to bring their maiden entry to life.  To give a clearer idea of the team’s progress and what America’s newest Formula 1 team has set out to do, principal Gunther Steiner today sat down to give an update on where the team is in their development of the car, and to share his focus on bringing the right people on board Haas F1 Team:

GS:  We have all main our technical people in place now, the logistics people are based in England and in Italy we have the chief designer in place where we are developing the car.  In the United States we have got the CFD group working, and have begun production of metal parts.  The administration for the team is also in North Carolina, where the headquarters for Haas F1 Team are located.

Having set up new teams in NASCAR and F1 in the past, does one set of experiences stand out as more of a help in your current role than another?

GS:  In the end it’s always about people, and finding the right people. Equipment you can buy, and you need to know your lead times.  Finding the right people is always the key to any organization, and it’s very similar to either [NASCAR or Formula 1].

How would you explain to potential sponsors what Haas F1 Team is about?

GS:  I think that the most difficult thing to explain to somebody is how are you going to be successful when the last four [Amercian F1 team] attempts have stalled or failed.  We have a different approach with a strong partner in Ferrari, and the change in regulations has made it so we can now buy components from another constructor while we develop our own chassis and bodywork.  We will not be faced with [starting a team] as a complete unknown because we have a good mechanical partner [in Haas CNC].

We can’t forget that Haas CNC is a successful company, and if we don’t find a sponsor next year it’s not like we can’t pay our team salaries.  Gene Haas understands motorsport, and like every business if you have been in it for a while, you know what you are doing, if you’ve not been in it, you make mistakes.  I think there’s a lot of key ingredients with Gene, who has motorsport experience from his championship winning NASCAR team and a very successful machine tool company, so it’s not like we’re starting from nothing.

What are the team’s goals for the first few seasons?

GS:  We want to be respectable.  You always set your goals high, and we want to be in the points.  If you don’t dream of it, you don’t achieve it.

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