Sebastian Saavedra: Driver Breakdown

Sebastien Saavedra finished the 2014 IndyCar series Driver’s Championship in 21st place, only finishing in the top ten once this year.

We’ll be doing a statistical breakdown of all of the drivers who ran in the 2014 IndyCar season, starting from the back of the points standings and ending with the championship winner, Will Power.  To view all of the driver breakdowns, click here.  

The Year

Sebastien Saavedra had a season to forget in 2014, never finishing a race above ninth.  Saavedra did achieve one pole position start this year, which came at the Indianapolis G.P. (which he would crash out of on lap one). His best result came at Long Beach where he was able to put his KVAFS racing machine into the top ten and lead three lap during the race.  Birmingham was the only other track where he was able to lead laps in 2014 (14 in total).

Crashing and mechanical failures were both big troubles for the Colombian.  He crashed out in two of the races in 2014 and had mechanical failures in another three.  All but one of these DNF’s saw him finish outside of the top 20, causing him to lose valuable points.  

Sebastien Saavedra has no official plans or drive for 2015 yet, but his future in IndyCar is questionable after finishing outside 20th in the standings for the fifth year in a row.

Form Guide

Fong, Nissany, and Ocon Take Part in Valencia Test

Three promising young drivers, Adderly Fong, Roy Nissany, and Esteban Ocon, took part in a two day test in Valencia, Spain to test out the Lotus and Sauber F1 cars.

Fong and Nissany both did 99 laps in the Sauber C31 around the F1 circuit this week.  Fong has raced in championships in both Europe and Asia, this year focusing on the Audi R8 LMS cup.  

Fong talked about the experience after, saying “I am very happy that I had the opportunity to test the Sauber.  I have achieved my objective to complete 300 km without making any mistakes and at a good speed.”

“The car was fantastic to drive, it is a brilliant piece of machinery.  With so much horsepower and high downforce, it is a difficult car to learn, but I was able to improve lap by lap.”

“I really want to thank Sauber and Ferrari for providing me such a good package today,” he added.

Nissay drives in European F3 series, and said that the test “was and amazing day.  It was my first time driving a Formula One car, and it felt great.”

“I am very happy with today’s outcome, not just from my side, but also from my team’s side, as everyone works very professionally.”

Ocon, a member of Lotus’ junior team, described the test day as going “really well.”

Alan Permane, Lotus’ operations director, said Ocon, “drove exceptionally well over the course of the last two days, completing every task we asked of him.

“It’s clear he has a lot of talent as he was quickly up to speed and looked comfortable in the car.  His feedback and aptitude were very promising.”

“I’m sure we will see him in an F1 car again before too long.”

Hulkenberg to Stay with Force India for 2015

Nico Hulkenberg will drive for Force India in 2015, his team confirmed Monday morning via Twitter:

Hulkenberg is currently eighth in the drivers championship and is within striking distance of Jenson Button.  The German is having his best season to date with Sahara Force India, scoring points in all but three of the Grand Prix’s this year.

Vijay Mallya, Force India Team Princiapal, commented on the announcement, saying “Everybody in the team is delighted to see Nico remain a Sahara Force India driver for next season.  We rate him very highly and he has done a tremendous job this year by consistently picking up crucial championship points.

“He’s a true racer and he knows how to motivate the team,” he added.

2015 will be Nico’s fourth year at Force India, racing with the team in 2011, ’12 and ’14 so far. Hulkenberg moved over to Sauber in 2013 only to finish with a disappointing 51 points.  

Nico released a statement about his decision on Monday, saying “This is a team I know extremely well and we’ve enjoyed a great year together with some special results.  The team has big ambitions and I believe we can have a competitive package once again next year.”

Force India currently sits 20 points out from McLaren in the constructor’s championship with three races left.  

“I have a good feeling for 2015 and there is a lot to be excited about as we try to build on the results we have achieved this year.”


Pirelli Alter Tire Nomination for Brazil

The Pirelli tire options available for the 2014 Formula One season.

Pirelli, the tire supplier for Formula One, has changed their tire choices for the Grand Prix in Brazil after the Sao Paulo circuit was resurfaced.  

The compounds available for the 18th round will be the soft and medium compounds, originally the medium and hard sets were going to be used.  This decision comes after a heavily criticized Russian Grand Prix that saw Nico Rosberg do 52 laps on one set of medium tires.  

Pirelli’s director of motorsport Paul Hembery commented on the change in tire choice, saying “We’ve always said that we would be open to changes if they were required.”

“After further technical analysis of the impact of the revised circuit surface, together with a risk assessment suggesting a low probability of compounding overheating due to extreme track temperatures,” the change was issued.  

The decision was made “with the unanimous agreement of all 11 teams,” he added.  

F1 Driver’s Championship Tightens With Three Races Left

There are just three races left in the 2014 Formula 1 season, which leaves a maximum of 100 points left for any one driver to claim.  

Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg, and Daniel Ricciardo are the only three drivers left in the championship running.  Valtteri Bottas sits in P4 but is 42 points out from being able to contend for the championship.  

Lewis Hamilton
Hamilton is the current leader with a 17 point gap to his teammate, Rosberg.  It has been a late season run for Hamilton, winning the last four races and overtaking his Mercedes partner for the points lead at Singapore.  This was largely due to Rosberg’s DNF there as well as a fantastic drive himself.  

Constructor’s Championship
Since Singapore, there have been two more silver arrow one-twos to add on to the already dominant season.  With that lockout at Sochi, Mercedes F1 clinched the Constructor’s Championship with three races to go.  This is the first time Mercedes AMG has won this title in their time in modern1 Formula 1.

Nico Rosberg
If Rosberg hopes to secure his first Driver’s Championship this year, he’ll need near flawless appearances in the final three races.  If Mercedes continue their one-two finishes in the final three races, Rosberg will need to win all of them in order to secure the championship win.  But that task (obviously) isn’t going to be easy.  

Hamilton is on a run of good form this year and he is showing no signs of slowing down. Between his dominance in qualifying and race performance, it’s going to take a DNF or Hamilton screw up for Rosberg to have a shot.  

Ricciardo also needs Mercedes finishes outside the top ten in all of the remaining races for a shot at the title. 

Hamilton, Rosberg, and Ricciardo are the only drivers mathematically eligible to win the 2014 Championship.

1. Mercedes has been involved in racing since the 1900’s, but weren’t a full time constructor until 2010.  The team was an engine supplier throughout the 90’s and early 2000’s to Sauber and McLaren.  Nico Rosberg scored the team’s first win in their return to F1 in 2012 at the Chinese Grand Prix.