Tuesday, November 14, 2017

F1: Where Have The Brazilians Gone?

And are the Doors upon the Country's Gran Primo Drivers Factory about to Close?

Ah, once again, Felipe Massa has contested his Final-Final Home Grand Prix at Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace, better known to many simply as Interlagos - this past weekend in Sao Paolo.

Thus, it appears the once unthinkable possibility of No Brazilians being on the Formula 1 Grid next year will occur, albeit we got a taste of this in Budapest, when Massa became ill and an unexpecting Paul di Resta raced for Team Willy' at the Hungaroring this summer.

As we all know that Brazil's most famous driver is the late Ayrton Senna, one of the country's three world champions. As Senna and his Bosom Buddy Nelson Piquet both won three titles respectively. With Ayrton leading the wins tally with 41 W's, while Piquet collected 23 first place trophies.

But it was a youthful Mutton Chop EMMO', nee Emerson Fittipaldi becoming the country's debutante world champion in 1972 and won his second title two years later, also notching the first Grand Prix victory by a Brazilian Wayback in 1970 at Watkins Glen, before amassing 14 career wins.

As Massa and 'Rubino, aka Rubens Barrichello, the driver to start the most Grands Prix currently, are both tied with 11 Grands Prix victories apiece.
While the racetrack's namesake, Carlos Pace was a one-time winner, being victorious on home soil when triumphing aboard his Brabham BT44/Ford Cosworth at Interlagos in 1975, before his sudden death in an Aeroplane accident in '77.

But Brazil's next hope, the "Other Felipe," the forlorned ex-Sauber F1 driver Felipe Nasr has just signed to become JB's (João Barbosa) rookie team-mate in the Weathertech SportsCar Championship for 2018. Having fallen out of F1 at the end of 2016.

Whilst the Other Brazilian, Bruno Senna, who contested this year's endurance races for Scotty sharp's ESM Tequila Patron squad, along with some Kiwi' named Brendon Hartley, has left the team.

F2, GP3 Series
Hence, a perfunctory look thru the current GP3 and FIA F2 Feeder Series reveals two names I've never heard of, due to the appalling lack of media coverage here Stateside regarding European Feeder Series.

Bruno Baptista contested this year's GP3 Series for perennial title contenders DAMS, having moved up from EuroCup Formula Renault 2.0.

Yet the 20yr old Sao Paolo native's rookie GP3 campaign apparently wasn't overly mesmerizing, since I find nary a whiff upon his season's results. With Baptista's claim to fame so far being the 2014 Formula 4 Sudamericana Champion.

Sergio Sette Camara drove for MP Motorsport in this year's inaugural FIA Formula 2 Championship as the series youngest driver. And after a fairly rough first half rookie campaign, after the summer break notched his first win in the Sprint Race at the Mighty Spa Francorchamps. As the win was his first ever single seater victory.

Sergio has something in common with DK'; NO! Not Dairy King; Hya! But Daniil Kvyat - with both having been ousted from Red Bull's Driver Factory by 'der Helmet, nee Helmet Marco.

Set Camara first tasted F1 machinery when making a demonstration run at Motorland Aragon before properly debuting at the Formula 1 Young Drivers Test at Bloody Silverstone in 2016 for Scuderia Toro Rosso.

Yet the 19yr old teenager Young Gun' from Belo Horizonte was dropped from the Red Bull Junior Academy at the beginning of this year.

F3 European Championship
Wasn't aware that another Piquet was in the offing... Having discovered the name Pedro Piquet when perusing the FIA European F3 Championship Drivers roll.

Although not sure how far he'll go? As 60 races over two years with a best of 14th overall and no wins or poles in a Junior Feeder Series without any notable results isn't exactly Formula 1 material, Ci?

Joining Piquet at Van Amersfoort Racing is Felipe Drugovich, moving up from the ADAC and Italian F4 series. where the 17yr old teenager finished third overall in the ADAC Formula 4 championship this year. with a tally of seven wins, three poles and five fastest laps from 45 races over the 2016-2017 seasons. Along with notching a single win in the Italian series during six starts this year.

Future Generation...
Meanwhile, will History repeat itself once again in the future? When a second brace 'O Fittipaldi's appear in the Pinnacle of Motorsports, nee Formula 1? With the possible arrival of the Brothers Fittipaldi 2.0, i.e.; Pietro & Enzo, whom are both members of the vaunted Ferrari Drivers Academy...

Pietro, born in 1996, at age 21 is the older brother of Enzo, who's still a teenager, having been born in '01.As Emerson's Thar Gran Pappy, and their uncles are some Blokes named Christian Fittipaldi and Max Papis.

Pietro's currently contesting his second season of the mostly forgotten, now renamed World Series Formula V-8 3.5 series, having this year become a support series for the World Endurance Championship. (WEC)

Pietro tenuously leads the championship by 10-points ahead of Russian Matevos Isaakyan, (223-213) with 50-points on offer - utilizing Formula 1's current points scoring system for the Top-10 finishers.

Thus, with these two rounds remaining during the season's final weekend outing during the Six Hours of Bahrain WEC Sports Car race, Nov 17-18, the Top-5 drivers are still in the championship hunt.

As fellow Rooskie' Egor Orudzhev sits third with 198-points, Mexico's Alfonso Celis Jr. sits fourth with 192-points  and Austrian René Binder is P5 and mathematically alive with 174-points.

Meanwhile, younger brother Enzo's currently working his way up the Open Wheel Racing ladder, noted as a member of the vaunted Prima Racing's stable mates, currently competing in the Italian F4 series, having contested three races to date...