Race with commentary
Race with commentary
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Issues at Hatena, but not the ones you might be imagining; Epona returning to their roots and more! This Grand Prix was a shocker! Read on and find out why!
Edward Parker, writing for formulaproc.com
Before we start, let’s discuss last week’s GP at Hungary (or rather the lack of it…)
Unless you’re living under a rock, you should by now have heard about Hatena Motor’s new technology. They have announced mass production will begin next year, all very exciting. But for some fans and teams, this new technology represents an unfair advantage and change for which they are not ready.
Fear is the common denominator, and fear can make some people do some very stupid things, like threaten to detonate a bomb in Hungary unless the Chamber of the Unseen declares the use of this technology illegal.
If you watch the news, you may know what happened next, if not… Well, let me tell you that FormulaProc being canceled last week was not because the Chamber was going to bend, but the other way around. No one knows who the members of the Chamber of the Unseen are, but they seem to be very well connected. After the weekend finished, 50 people were captured by Interpol, and their whereabouts are unknown.
This reporter tried to pry some information from high-ranking officials, but every single time I asked, I was met with stern looks and the same advice “Don’t look into it. Justice was served”.
Usually, I wouldn’t listen. Journalism ethics and all that. But I like my job and not looking behind my back, so I won’t ask any more questions and neither will you.
With that bitter business out of the way, let’s talk about the qualifying session!
As expected, Jochen and Biskup were hard at trying to beat each other’s time. This time it played in favor of Queenscape, netting them a pole position again at long last, and a third spot in the grid.
Gekinho showed us once more his natural talent using the PSAA (Plug Suite Aioros Alpha) technology and ate the other driver’s time with each corner, managing to almost snatching the pole, less than a second under the best time of the session.
His teammate, Denzi, managed to score a very good fourth place in the starting grid. An outstanding outcome especially taking into account how close we are to his last accident; it was just like in the episode “Shining soul” of his anime (“Black lines”, if you haven’t watched it, you should). His body may not be in the best shape right now, but his soul is that of a racer. It should also be noted that Hatena deployed all of their technology for this miracle to happen, installing a complete simulator at the hospital and letting him practice with his plug suit.
No wonder the cancelation of the Magyar Nagydíj also played in his favor, but you gotta be prepared and strong to take on the chances you are given.
Interestingly for Epona, Kisielewicz didn’t manage to score a quicker lap than Wichman, proving us there is still some potential on the Swedish driver (if only he managed to keep a cool head in the races themselves!).
Majeyaux had a terrible qualifiers session, with Simernino failing to master Eau Rouge and crashing (fortunately he didn’t suffer any injury), and Casalini barely managing to track 11 seconds after the pole.
Grand Prix at Spa
On to the main dish! Tensions were high. Even I was nervous but I have to admit Belgian chocolate helped.
The race had just started and already Wichman was doing what he does best: being reckless. Near La Source he understeer and allowed Zapata to get out of tenth place, while Casalini and Simernino got ahead, but not by much. Is Majeyaux resting on their laurels? Since France, we haven’t seen much action from the French team, and even if they are ahead by a lot, they shouldn’t rest easy. FormulaProc can be unpredictable and situations can change just as fast as the cars. Let’s hope this doesn’t become a trend.
Remember what I said about Jochen and Biskup fighting not being good for Queenscape? Well… Jochen was leading the race, and Biskup started to bump him from behind. Come Les Combes and Jochen decelerated before Biskup could predict it and lo and behold, Biskup may be trying to become an airplane pilot because of the way his car flew. He crashed spectacularly. Look… maybe I shouldn’t be making fun of a crash, but he’s ok, and let’s be honest… He deserved it.
With him out of the way, now the battle for the lead was between Jochen and Geckinho, with Kisielewicz and Denzi closely behind.
Fourth lap, near Pouhon! Yes, that was Jochen spinning! It wasn’t for a long time, but it was all the advantage Gekinho needed, and he took it alright! Kiselewicz fought for the rest of the race but didn’t manage to catch up with the leaders.
This Grand Prix was great for Hatena. Not only did Geckinho earn his first victory since his return to races, but Denzi managed to keep a good place on the grid despite his multiple lesions. This, dear readers is why I love FormulaProc. It’s not just about new technologies, or the best cars or who is the favorite; it’s about spirit and the constant fight for improvement, the constant fight to be the best, and Denzi embodies all those ideals.
And would you believe it… For Kisielewicz it was a great race too, even if he was behind the leaders by a lot, or at least he seemed to think it was a good race if we are to believe the huge smile he had. After the race he got out of the car as if he had springs instead of underpants and walked directly to Epona’s trailer, Wichman was denied entry until Kisielewicz left, again with a smile to visit other teams HQs.
What is happening inside Epona?
We need to talk of course about the strange happenings we are witnessing in the Italian team; there are for instance rumors that Kisielewicz is related to a member of the Chamber of the Unseen… would that somehow be related to the fact that we saw him smiling at Wichman before the race and that hasn’t happened for weeks?
It’s only rumors of course, but the word is Wichman may not have a place in racing for long, and Kisielewicz is supposedly making sure of that. Let’s remember Kisielewicz’s words have a lot of weight, not only because of his connections and abilities but because of his family’s history. Epona is a very traditional team, most of the top people there were pilots at some point and they took a chance when hiring Wichman, thinking that Epona needed some new fresh names, but clearly, it hasn’t worked out.
Just look at the standings and you’ll see Wichman failing almost every single time, and that for a new name… Well, they are not good news.
Finally, although it’s not official info, sources close to Wichman told us he has been complaining about his engine underperforming constantly, no matter what he does.
Hatena continues climbing
Now let’s talk about the Japanese team; with his victory, Geckinho’s standing in the tournament went up BY A LOT. He’s now behind Jochen by less than 10 points, and if he keeps it up as he has for the last two races, we think he might climb more than one place.
His victory also brought glory to Hatena, boosting their points by a lot. The Netherlands is our next stop next Sunday, I’m sure we’ll see more surprises from Hatena and I’m betting all my money on them taking Epona’s place. Italy’s horses should take care because Team White is biting their heels.
Slashware failing to make a splash
Let’s now talk about SLARA, they are in a weird position… it’s a new team composed of a completely new racer who happens to own the team and an ex-Epona racer who is turning out to be… a one-hit-wonder? Gaburi got her spotlight at Monaco when she earned third place, but how did she earn it? Some people are starting to think it was luck, a fluke, a glitch in the matrix. After all, she hasn’t been able to replicate it. She did come close at France earning fourth place, but comparing her to other racers… Well, only Wichman and Zapata are worse off.
And Zapata… well, at least he can be sure he’ll maintain ownership of his team when the season ends, but to be honest with you, I think he should be a manager, not a racer. He has earned points only two times this season, and not many. Maybe a change in SLARA is in order.
Providing there are no more cancelations, I will see you next weekend for the Dutch Grand Prix!
This weekend’s GP caused a lot of stir. The events that unfolded were so grandiose that they’ll affect every person in the world, even those who don’t follow FormulaProc. This was bigger than the first transistors! Am I being overly dramatic? My editor says “yes”. Read along to know what am I talking about!
Edward Parker, writing for formulaproc.com
Many fans were disappointed after the cancelation of the Austrian GP, especially given the extremely short notice. But we are happy to see the traditional race at Silverstone managed to survive the controversial security measures and we are back in action!
When I look back at the previous Grand Prix, it seems like we were all watching them blindfolded. Silverstone’21 changed everything as we can finally see the cars flying through the tracks!
The qualifier session was a meatgrinder. We were able to see how treacherous the Silverstone Circuit’s curves are. Silverstone showed that even if many nations tread on its borders, It’s a force of nature to be respected, just like the old British Empire.
The most treacherous curves during the qualifiers were Arena and Chapel. Please tell me you noted how Hatena’s cars were flying! Yes; maybe they ended up in predictable positions, but it’s my impression that they were just playing. How else would you explain what we saw during the GP? But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Jochen and Biskup were phenomenal. They seemed hell-bent on beating each other’s time. So hard was this internal competition that their qualifying times were EXACTLY the same down to the hundredth of second!. No regard for safety, no respect for the curves, just pure adrenaline. When they caught notice of each other’s time, tense gazes could be seen. Why? you might ask. Well, faithful followers of FormulaProc know this already, so please be patient with me while I let the newbies into this juicy drama.
Jochen had a high-school sweetheart called Carlina Weber. If the name rings a bell, that means you must like looking at lingerie catalogs from central Europe. Hers is the biggest name of German supermodels. They were together for 8 years! And all that ended last month when she was seen holding hands with no other than Biskup. If you want more details, go read the article!
The chamber of the Unseen deemed Biskup to take the pole position ahead of Jochen. Kisielewicz was no joke, ending virtually at the same time as the green bullets, followed by Wichman within less than a second. Simernino saved the day for Majeyaux, Denzi and Geckinho were able to top the Slaras, and Casalini showed a severe lack of focus and will start in the last position. (He was seen the past two weeks partying, no doubt celebrating his historical pole position in France. His lack of practice showed, however. Let’s hope he doesn’t start resting on his laurels now.)
Before we start with the summary of the race, I promised you something big and if you are reading this without having watched a recording of the GP, stop right now, watch the opening and come back.
We all saw Hatena debut their new pretty deep-blue cars in the past race; that, however, seemed like just a first step to their renewed applied technology. Let me tell you some insider information: the new cars seem to work in conjunction with the new Hatenas driver’s uniforms. According to my sources, the skin-thigh suit allows a connection between the driver and the car, anticipating the reactions of the drivers and giving them a huge advantage when steering.
Currently, this breaks no rules since there is no evidence of automated driving, but some teams have already argued this is an unfair advantage over the other drivers because it eliminates the reaction time factor while driving and after this race… Well, the results may not be perfect but it’s clear this new technology will revolutionize driving forever, regardless of what the Chamber of the Unseen decides on the legality of it.
I told you this was big. Lucky you if you have any stocks on Hatena!
Now, let’s talk about the GP race!
The race starts and immediately we saw results of Hatena’s new tech… with varying success. Denzi seemed to be having some issues getting adjusted, but Geckinho? He was a natural. Whenever his competitor got to “The Loop”, Geckinho left them eating dust! Both Wichman and Jochen tried to accelerate on the curve to impede Geckinho’s approach and that proved too much for them… both ended up almost crashing and losing their places!
Geckinho was dangerously close to Simernino when he was to turn on Booklands. His response to Geckinho? Step in the gas, carelessly. The images of his crash are still burned on my retinas. Luckily he was ok, but paramedics and technicians had to get him out of the car. He was unconscious and the car’s metal had twisted so much that the paramedics alone could not reach him.
Meanwhile, Kisielewics and Biskup were fighting for the first place, completely oblivious to what was going on behind them. This ended near Vale: Biskup left Kisielewicz behind and Geckinho started to get dangerously close to Biskup.
On the second lap, Arena takes another victim: Jochen dropped to eighth place after oversteering and losing control of his engine.
Let’s go back to Geckinho since he was the star of this GP. Between Maggots and Becketts Geckinho had a sudden burst of acceleration that caught Biskup by surprise. His reaction was to decelerate and antagonize Geckinho, who in return started to intimidate Biskup in the most dangerous way possible: bumping wheels. That was too much pressure for Geckinho and Biskup accepted second place for a while.
Geckinho won a lot of distance after a couple of laps, but during the fourth lap, near Luffield, something must have distracted him, or maybe the new tech failed because he ran out of the tracks. This allowed Kisielewicz to catch up with him, but not take the lead position from Geckinho.
Let’s talk about the other drivers for now: how about Zapata? He was as always steady and modest, but according to after-race rumors, he got a little bit too excited during the fourth lap and tried to accelerate more than he could handle. He crashed near Copse… Not as bad as Simernino’s crash! But still strong enough to get him out of the race. The team owner is reportedly fine but might be considering seriously putting someone on his seat for next year.
And would you believe it? We had a third accident! Denzi struggled during all the race: he seemed stiff. We all heard his director screaming at him over the team radio: “You are a star! Act like one!” just before it happened. Near Becketts, he accelerated. Near Becketts, he crashed. Near Becketts… Blood.
“Mr. Denzi is ok. Pieces of metal punctured his body several times, but he is ok and stable. Luckily for him, the steel made mostly superficial wounds. Unluckily for him, it also punctured the radial artery. He is receiving the blood he needs and all the care he requires. He will be able to race next week as long as he rests and uses that new suit again. He shouldn’t move his wrist.” Said Dr. Taylor, manager of “The Divine Mercy” hospital in London.
FormulaProc is a dangerous sport dear readers. Thank the drivers who participate in it and be thankful for being able to enjoy this sport from the comfort of your own homes.
In a turn of events, Kisielewicz managed to snatch first place from Geckinho. Stakes were high. This was the final lap. What did Geckinho do? Push back a little. “I was aware of what happened to Denzi… that really got on me, and stressed me a lot! I just couldn’t force myself to keep pushing on. My mind was with him… we are a team, how could I remain unfazed? If you see this, Denzi, I’m sorry. I’ll visit you as soon as I can” said Geckinho after the race.
Thankfully this was the end of the race. I for one, couldn’t take more excitement. Kisielewicz stands atop of the podium for the second time in the season, and what a race for Geckinho! a couple weeks ago we had a surprise from Wichman too, what awaits for us in Hungary… will Gaburi get her first Grand Prix victory maybe?
Here are the final positions and the current ranks!
With Geckinho’s victory, Hatena recovers its honor over Slashware Racing and is not very far from Epona. The next race at Hungary might give us the surprise of them jumping to the third position, if Wichman continues failing to score big and their new technology becomes more reliable!
This year France brought us many unbelievable surprises, and one-of-a-kind events so, if you’re only going to read about one GP this season, make sure it’s this one!
During the qualifying session, there were not many surprises, except for Jochen’s performance (he almost crashed two times!). It seems it had been a rough week for Jochen, not only is the pressure high enough to burst anyone’s head after last week (Queenscape hasn’t been in their best moments lately), but also on a personal level, it shouldn’t be easy to see your 8 years long girlfriend walk hand in hand with none other than your teammate, especially when he is doing better than you in the tournament!
It is rumored that the teammates won’t even talk to each other, and it’s uncertain how this will affect Queenscape’s lineup for 2022.
But enough of Queenscape’s drama. As I was saying, Jochen’s performance earned him a tenth place in the qualifying grid. Epona had a great performance qualifying 1-3 with Kisielewicz flying on the track, and Biskup finished spoiling the party for the local team, Majeyaux, who will have to resort to a midfield start.
Now let’s talk about Sunday’s GP, you are in for a treat!
Jochen started the race driving aggressively from the back, and it seemed it would pay off as he climbed a lot of positions, but then he would run out of the track got near Camp, costing him all the progress he had made.
Meanwhile, Biskup and Kisielewicz fought like rabid dogs for the lead, touching tires numerous times. While this was happening, Casalini climbed positions and threatened Biskup’s position trying to take advantage of the situation.
It is worth noting that the French FormulaProc has never been won by a Frenchman. Could this be finally it? there was a lot of expectation for both the local team and their driver, Casalini, to have a good performance, but let’s first talk about their other driver: Simernino almost crashed and took a long time to recover, allowing every Hatena-powered car to climb up a little on the ladder. We all know they needed it.
By this point, Kisielewicz, the all-time favorite, appeared to be the sure winner of the race, but then he took a close call at Montréal. I swear I saw one of his wheels pop out a little bit there, but my boss told me I should go easy on the energy drinks when I watch the races. But what does he know? The bottom line is, Kisielewicz would drop to the fifth position and from there, only further disgrace would follow. Simernino took this opportunity and left Kisielewicz eating dust, and us, the fans of the Polish wonderboy; disappointed.
Lap 4, and Casalini and Biskup had been dangerously close for a while now, fighting for the lead. Finally, Biskup’s wheels touched Casalini’s, and the German lost control of his car, spinning and getting out of the track. Lucky for him, he wouldn’t be out of the race, not even of the podium.
The public erupted in joy, as Casalini was now leading the race… history was being made in front of our eyes!
Gaburi had been making steady progress during the race, and she was now in third place. Her national, Denzi, was not doing so great at the seventh place… maybe she’s more deserving of her own anime show? This sadly would not last. Biskup was adamant about getting his points, and stole third place from her during the final lap, crushing her expectations for a second podium in the 2021 tournament.
The race was finishing and if you have been paying attention to past events, you must be wondering. “What about Wichman? How did he mess it up this time?” Well, he would wind up getting second place. That’s right folks! Wichman was super conservative on this race, and it paid off! Rumors of him getting fired disappeared in a poof of smoke since Sunday and his smile is as radiant as Jochen’s frown is steep!
The best news for the race, however, was Casalini winning the Picard Grand Prix trophy! For the first time EVER, the France GP is won by a Frenchman! Casalini dropped in tears at the end of the race and his teammates and nationals didn’t leave him for a second after the race so we couldn’t ask for an interview. But maybe that’s ok. Let him enjoy this triumph! Casalini just wrote history.
Before we close this event, we should take a look at the overall results:
Kisielewicz inconsistency has caused him to drop from third place to fourth in the tournament with Biskup taking his place and putting Queenscape back in the picture. After his streak of no points during the six races of the entire season so far, Wichman climbed TWO positions with his podium finish. This opens the question of how will he perform in the latest half of the tournament, will he get on par with his teammate?
Regarding the teams, Hatena is in no great position, doesn’t matter how you look at it. Both teams powered by Hatena units stand at the bottom of the table, but even worse is the fact that, with Gaburi’s performance, their motorsports team was surpassed by the rookie Colombian team SLARA (their scores are tied but Slashware has better point-less performance). Stocks have dropped for Hatena. This hasn’t been a good season for them.
See you next time folks, I, for one, am not going to miss the next race!
Drama at Hatena’s HQ, Queenscape drops ranks, wonderboy Kisielewicz fails and Zapata finally showers in champagne. Read along to know more.
This weekend’s qualifier session ran to the rhythm of the solemn and nostalgic anthem of Azerbaijan, one couldn’t help but imagine yurts, old soviet castles, and images of a hard, solemn land. Tradition is the name! And yet, Azerbaijan brought winds of change. Let’s first talk about the qualifiers!
From the beginning of the session, Kisielewicz started climbing places making one great lap over the other, running just like a bat out of hell. His laps were a bit slow before the first curve, but the superior grip of his Epona allowed him to produce one great time after the other.
Biskup drove bravely and even led the times in the first sector, but after Sahil Park, Kisielewicz already had secured his pole position, and no one would be able to take it from him.
But just as Kisielewicz climbed and stood first for most of the race, all the drivers with Hatena engines were stuck with the last four places. Only Zapata managed to maintain a slight advantage over Jochen during the last lap of his qualifiers, but it wouldn’t last long.
Of all Hatena’s engines drivers, Gaburi had the slowest time, qualifying with over nine seconds after Kisielewicz’. This was because she oversteered at the start of her second lap, almost crashing, and she would never be able to recover. A shame for the Japanese driver who is recently gathering a lot of attention especially from female fans all around the world.
What is happening with Hatena? Since their new team composition was announced, made up of celebrities that many fans argue are just “has-beens”, and them selling engines to other teams for the first time in decades; rumors have abounded, ranging from the company going through a full process of reinvention, to the fact that they are boycotting themselves in favor of higher corporate interests.
This reporter will not contribute to these rumors, but I will tell you something: Hatena changed their colors from white to blue for this GP, without any previous announcement. Their stocks went up, by a lot. And after this GP, they have maintained the price, so you make your own assumptions.
Fast forward to Sunday afternoon at Baku!
Kisielewicz started the race as a meteorite leaving everyone behind without much trouble. Gaburi and Denzi fought like bitter enemies for the ninth place, but during that first lap, Gaburi not only snatched the ninth but also the eighth place! Leaving Hatena’s team with the last places for a while.
Wichman started his routine of being too reckless. One would think he’d realized by now that he should be a little more careful and conservative.
The second lap would bring a disappointing event… near the Philarmonic Hall, Kisielewicz lost control of his car and started spinning, and by what we can only consider luck, he managed to save his own life and his car. Not so much his leading position in the race, as he dropped to the third position before managing to get back into the track.
Near that same curve; the next one, in fact, Azneft; Geckinho does a “Kisielewicz” and tries to dance ballet with his car. He was already in tenth place, but with this? His last place was now secured barring a miracle. On the other extreme, Simernino was on the lead with his teammate Casalini in a close second!
Kisielewicz started to recover and seemed very close to the second position, but near the House of Government, on lap 4, he lost traction and dropped to seventh place, ouch! This was just what Zapata needed… the Colombian upstart had been steadily climbing places, but this far into the race he was slowing down, he probably didn’t want to risk a good place by doing a Wichman, but he saw this chance and took it!
The Swedish driver, by the way, was now in ninth place after several small accidents, but he still had something on hold for the show: near white fountain park, his recklessness made him almost crash. What was he thinking? This race hadn’t been good for Epona, and Wichman didn’t make it any better.
This was a great day for Majeyaux and Slashware Racing. Zapata got his first podium! The smiles from his team are testament enough to their feelings.
“The race started great, but when I got to the fourth place I didn’t want to risk it. I’ll be honest and say that I’m not yet confident enough. This is my team’s first season after all, and we’re competing against some of the biggest names of the sport! But after Kisielewicz’s issue near the House of Government I chose to risk it and by god did it pay up!” Said Zapata.
Although they didn’t finish in terrible places, Queenscape’s performance has steadily declined. They are now behind Majeyaux by almost 40 points and this is the third race where they score no points at all. We haven’t seen this since before FormulaProc was formalized and Queenscape was a British team still.
And since we are talking about lack of points… Wichman. What’s going on with the Swedish starlet? He hasn’t managed to score a single point this season, and by his looks, the pressure is getting to him. Kisielewicz and Wichman have been seen fighting numerous times now; this could explain the surprising lack of performance from Kisielewicz, and this may very well be the breaking point for the team unless Wichman straightens up. Alessandro Ricci, Epona’s spokesman refused to comment. Wichman and Kisielewicz also refused to comment.
We’ll see you next week! Don’t miss out on another exciting race!
After the qualifying race, everyone thought that the favorite, Kisielewicz, would maintain the pole position and win the race, but after the ten laps and a constant wheel-to-wheel between the Majeyaux drivers leading the race, it was Casalini atop the podium. Read on to know more!
Monaco’s qualifiers left us with a familiar view; the highest-ranking drivers at the top, and Hatena’s engines at the lower half. Such potent engines having poor performances is making people talk, are the drivers at fault?
The Epona team had a great qualifiers race and was able to get the pole position and the second spot. They seem to be having a lot of fun on this track.
Other than that, there weren’t many surprises during the qualifying race, except that Casalini was out of the top positions. We, just as you, have grown accustomed to seeing the French driver leading, but his times at the fourth quickest time for most of the track and he was only able to steal the third position from Biskup in the last segment of it.
Now let’s talk about the GP!
Everybody was excited as to what the race would bring to the Epona team; both pilots started quick but in the first 600 meters, Wichman had a slip-up and lost traction on Saint Devote. Such an early mistake allowed Simernino and Casalini to steal second and third place respectively and start chasing Kisielewicz.
Gaburi K. kept tailing Casalini and this would continue for the whole race, never dropping below the fourth position. She put up a great show which we hope will silence the few voices that remain clamoring for the creation of a female-only league.
Saint Devote would prove to be a tough spot, when Biskup also lost traction on it during the second lap, dropping from the sixth position to the tenth. Meanwhile, Simernino and Casalini appeared to be in a personal competition, both being (overly?) aggressive with Casalini constantly striking at Simernino for the second place, is this maybe a sign of internal competition in the Red Rockets? it may at points seem that Casalini is not willing to be considered the second driver to the veteran Italian pilot…
While both Majeyaux struggled, it seemed impossible to keep up, not to mention surpass Kisielewicz at this point.
The second lap was a gift that would keep on giving for those who love the excitement of FormulaProc, as Geckinho saved his life and car, just barely when going through the tunnel! We have to confess we did close our eyes! How did you fare? It ended up well, however, only costing him several positions that he could never recover in the track.
And then during the same lap, a miracle for Majeyaux! Kisielewicz lost traction as he kept trying to perfect his lap times. This was what Casalini and Simernino needed, and it seems they finally decided to stop competing between themselves and left Kisielewicz behind!
Third lap! And we start it up with Wichman not calculating risks and running off the track at Rascasse! This would cost him any chance to score in the race for Epona.
As the race went to its midpoint, there were three groups running over the track; leading far ahead we had Casalini and Simernino with their friendly sparring, followed by Gaburi and Jochen, who was trying to get some points for Queenscape. Then we had Denzi and Kisielewicz, who managed to fight back a couple of positions, and Biskup driving alone trying to catch up with them without great success. Finally, we had Zapata (with a mediocre performance), Wichman, and Geckinho in the last positions.
But more surprises awaited us! The dogfight between the Majeyaux would finally produce some problems as Simernino nearly crashed trying to grow some distance between him and Casalini near Saint Devote on lap 6. This allowed Gaburi and Jochen to get past him, and for Casalini to claim first place. Then we had a terrible scare as Wichman crashed near Mirebeau. Luckily, he managed to get out of the Epona car in one piece, but he remains unable to score and his future in the Italian team grows more uncertain every time.
We can’t be sure of it, but we believe this caused at least some tensions in the team as Kisielewicz seemed to throw his helmet to Wichman at the end of the race. Maybe he is feeling the lack of a reliable partner in the track? Wichman refused to comment, and the official word from Epona was not very convincing. “Kisielewicz was angry indeed, and threw his helmet, but not at Wichman! He just didn’t see his teammate. Epona’s drivers are all team players!” said Alessandro Ricci, Epona’s spokesman.
The split into groups saved Gaburi’s performance as she almost crashed near Rascasse. How did she manage to get back on track we have no idea, but such was her distance ahead of Kisielewicz that she managed to break, breathe and resume driving again and not lose her position! Even with his own mediocre performance on the track, Zapata must be happy for managing to snatch her up for his team.
Kisielewicz looked like the fastest driver on the track, but it seems he had a lot of pressure over him leading him to make small mistakes here and there, and after Wichman’s crash the nerves finally got to him leading him to lose the third position and only managing to rescue one point for Epona over Casalini at the finish line.
Casalini’s victory made him advance two positions in the table, and now leads the drivers’ championship pushing Kisielewicz and Simernino one position downwards. Gaburi was the biggest winner of the weekend, jumping to rank #7 after her first podium.
There were no movements in the ranks of the teams’ table, but the gap between Epona and Queenscape continues growing and may soon be out of reach with Wichman’s disappointing results. Queenscape had a good race too, almost placing both drivers on the podium, with Kisielewicz taking Casalini out of the scoring ranks in the final segment of the track they continue closing the gap to Majeyaux.
This was a thrilling race, we can’t wait for what comes next in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix!