breaking news


today is Mar 24, 2023

In the round-up: 1995 Canadian Grand Prix winner Jean Alesi takes on new role for 2023, IndyCar stars talk F1 plans.

In brief

Alesi becomes circuit president

Paul Ricard, the most recent venue of the French Grand Prix, has announced Jean Alesi as its new circuit president.

Victory for Ferrari in the 1995 Canadian Grand Prix marked the peak of Alesi’s 13-season Formula 1 career in which he also drove for Tyrrell, Benetton, Sauber, Prost and Jordan. Following that he was a race-winner in the DTM through the 2000s, and also raced in the 2012 Indianapolis 500. Prior to F1, Alesi had marked himself out as the next big French talent by winning the country’s Formula 3 and the International Formula 3000 championships.

“I am very happy and honoured by this nomination because this circuit is my life in motorsport,” Alesi said of his new job.

Alesi made his F1 debut at Paul Ricard in 1989 “It is running at full speed and we are working on it in a structured way. When I was younger, I saw my first French GP there and also the winter F1 tests which I attended as a spectator, listening to what was being said in the pits. The means of communication were less developed at the time and I remember the exchanges of Alain [Prost] or Ayrton [Senna] with their teams, that marked me for life.

“Above all, Paul Ricard is the venue for my very first grand prix in F1 in 1989. I had signed for a single race and I did 200 more. I can’t wait to start my mission.”

Paul Ricard has hosted the French GP 18 times but the event was not included on the 2023 F1 calendar.

Herta and O’Ward’s F1 plans on hold during IndyCar season

IndyCar race-winners Colton Herta and Pato O’Ward will have to wait until the IndyCar season ends to resume their F1 tests for McLaren.

O’Ward has been one of McLaren’s IndyCar drivers since 2020 and last year made his F1 practice debut with the team at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. “All the F1 stuff is more of an off-season project,” he explained. “My focus and all my attention will be in IndyCar for the next good amount of months.

“But obviously it’s been more than enjoyable [being in the F1 world]. It’s been fantastic. A big part of my off-season before going home, it was really focusing on the F1 stuff. I’m also excited to go back to IndyCar now because it always feels a little odd when you go from one car to the other. Take a few laps to get back into the sync of things, really feel it out.

“It will be an off-season kind of thing. During the season, the IndyCar schedule is so packed up where you can hurt yourself more trying to fit in some F1 test days there rather than helping yourself.”

Pato O'Ward, McLaren, Yas Marina, 2022 O’Ward tested for McLaren last year The IndyCar season runs from March to September, while F1’s calendar does not conclude until late November and includes eight grands prix that occur after IndyCar finishes its racing.

Herta races for the rival Andretti Autosport team in IndyCar, but also began testing with McLaren last year while being targeted by AlphaTauri for an F1 debut. A lack of an FIA superlicence undid those plans, and when asked at IndyCar’s pre-season ‘Content Day’ if discussions had begun with either of those teams about a testing role for 2023, he said “no, not at the moment”.

Andretti have their own ambitions to enter F1 and want to have the 22-year-old Herta as one of their drivers. McLaren has also signed Ganassi racer Alex Palou as one of its F1 reserve drivers in addition to Mick Schumacher.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and

Mercedes junior extends points lead in rookie campaign

Antonelli emerged from the murk to win race one Andrea Kimi Antonelli looks on course to win the Formula Regional Middle East title after winning two races out of three in this week’s round at Kuwait Motor Town.

The Mercedes junior took his Mumbai Falcons car to a first victory in race one on Tuesday (a scheduling quirk of racing in the Middle East), then he followed that up with a stunning tenth to first performance in race two on Wednesday.

Antonelli started that far back due to it being a reversed-grid race, and bided his time in eighth for half of the duration. He then moved up the order as others made mistakes, and inherited second when erstwhile leader Taylor Barnard’s car mysteriously slowed. After tracking down team mate Kirill Smal, Antonelli pulled away in the last two laps to win by 4.5 seconds.

Race three could have gone even better, as he made a three-wide move for the lead on lap one and sprinted away to lead by almost seven seconds. But his overtake was deemed to be illegal, earning him a five-second time penalty. He would have still been on course to win, but Barnard then hunted down and passed Antonelli for victory.

However Antonelli still holds a huge 44-point lead going into the final two rounds of his rookie campaign in FRegional cars.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and


Motor racing links of interest:

Houston Rockets accuse ex-sponsor Rokit of bankruptcy 'whac-a-mole' (Sportico)

'At issue is the relationship between Rokit’s global businesses and a handful of now-bankrupt marketing affiliates that entered into tens of millions of dollars’ worth of partnerships across the sports world, with entities like the Rockets, F1’s Williams Racing, and the NFL’s Las Vegas Raiders and San Diego Chargers. Rokit claims its defaulted subsidiaries have zero or de minimis assets, and are therefore unable to pay their creditors.'

  • Why a former Williams sponsor was told to pay the team £26 million

Wurz joins ART GP for 2023 FREC season (ART GP)

'ART Grand Prix is pleased to welcome Charlie Wurz to drive in the Formula Regional European Championship in 2023. This year, Charlie leads the FRegional Oceania series with two wins and four podiums.'

Grosjean on his new endurance racing gig, his last days with Haas, and turning his frightening F1 crash into something positive (GQ)

'Grosjean has been reborn as a few different things. These days, he is a Miami resident. He is an airplane pilot. He drives in IndyCar, the American series he used to tell his wife he’d never race in, for Andretti Autosport.'

20 cars to start 67th New Zealand GP (TGR NZ)

'Twenty drivers will line up this weekend on the international circuit at Hampton Downs Motorsport Park with each aiming to add their name to the list of motorsport legends who have won the New Zealand Grand Prix.'

Herta working to reverse the Andretti slide in 2023 (Racer)

'He’s 22, entering his fifth full season as an IndyCar driver, and on a mission to stop a two-year slide. Colton Herta, the series’ youngest race winner – in only his third IndyCar event – declared his intent to challenge the establishment.'

Button logs laps in NASCAR Garage 56 entry (Speedcafe)

'Jenson Button has completed his first laps in the NASCAR Garage 56 entry as he prepares to compete in this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans. Button turned laps in the Hendrick Motorsports-supported Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 test car at Daytona International Speedway as part of his preparations for the race – where he will share driving duties with seven-times NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson and 2010 Le Mans winner Mike Rockenfeller.'

Robb says Lundqvist deserves IndyCar seat and thought he was 'shoe-in' for DCR drive (Formula Scout)

'IndyCar rookie Sting Ray Robb says Linus Lundqvist, who beat him to last year’s Indy Nxt title, ‘deserves a seat’ in the series. Lundqvist looks set to become the first champion since Jean-Karl Vernay 2010 to not graduate into professional single-seater racing the following year, despite winning with HMD Motorsports that co-runs an IndyCar operation.'

We always endeavour to credit original sources. If you have a tip for a link relating to single-seater motorsport to feature in the next RaceFans round-up please send it to us via the contact form.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and

Social media

Notable posts from Twitter, Instagram and more:

Taking the MCL35M for some laps around Barcelona? Oh, go on then. 😁🙌@LandoNorris is back behind the wheel!

— McLaren (@McLarenF1) February 1, 2023

Fresh lid for the new season ✌️#AllAndretti // @DevlinDeFran

— Andretti Autosport (@FollowAndretti) January 31, 2023

It was a good day, it was a good DAY! ❤️ Let’s keep pushing! 👊@MumbaiFalcons #frmec #f4uae

— PREMA (@PREMA_Team) January 31, 2023

Ian "Diz" Smith, the much-loved co-ordinator of Formula Ford racing in the UK over several decades, has passed away:

— Formula Scout 1600 (@ff1600website) February 1, 2023

Black, white and a splash of red – the new @HaasF1Team livery definitely has a look of this nineties #F1 car which promised big things for one of the sport's great names but didn't quite deliver:

— RaceFans (@racefansdotnet) January 31, 2023

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and

  • Find more official F1 accounts to follow in the F1 Twitter Directory

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Invoke, Oliver Queisser, Sriram, Photozen, Cucamest, Michael Brown and Noah!

On this day in motorsport

  • On this day in 1998 Sauber’s new driver Jean Alesi crashed at the high-speed turn nine at the Circuit de Catalunya during his first run in the team’s new C17 chassis