Jean-Eric Vergne Joins Ferrari as Test Driver In 2015

Jean-Eric Vergne drives around the Yas Marina Circuit during the 2014 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi. Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images Europe
Jean-Eric Vergne drives around the Yas Marina Circuit during the 2014 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi. Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images Europe

Former Toro Rosso driver Jean-Eric Vergne will be joining Ferrari as a development driver in 2015. He will replace Pedro de la Rosa, who is leaving the team at the end of 2014.

During the 2014 season with Toro Rosso, Vergne finished as high as sixth in the Singapore Grand Prix but will be replaced in 2015 by the duo of Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz, Jr. Vergne also competed in the Punta del Este ePrix with Andretti Autosport, taking pole position and doing well throughout the race, running as high as second until lap 30, when he slowed to a stop due to mechanical issues.

At Ferrari, Vergne will join Marc Gene and Davide Rigon as test drivers. Vergne will primarily be working in the simulator for the team, taking over de la Rosa’s position with the team. Vergne will round out the line-up of drivers at Ferrari for the 2015 season, joining Gene, Rigon, third driver Esteban Gutiérrez, and drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel.

Sebastien Buemi Wins In Uruguay

Sebastien Buemi takes a turn during a race. Photo by Robertus Pudyanto/Getty Images AsiaPac
Sebastien Buemi takes a turn during a race. Photo by Robertus Pudyanto/Getty Images AsiaPac

Formula E held its third round of the season in Punta del Este, Uruguay, where Sebastien Buemi took his first win in the series.

Nelson Piquet Jr took the early lead over pole sitter Jean-Eric Vergne, but a couple early safety car periods came quickly, slowing the race down for several laps. The first came on lap four when Sam Bird, the winner of the Malaysia race, hit the wall. Shortly after, on lap 10, the safety car came out again after Antonio Felix da Costa made contact with the wall. Then, the safety car came out yet again on lap 16 when Stephane Sarrazin crashed into the wall.

Soon after changing cars, Nick Heidfeld, who was leading the race at the time, was given a drive-through penalty for taking more than the allowed time for his car switch. Then, while running fourth, Nico Prost was given a drive-through penalty after his car went over its power limit.

The last safety car period of the race came on lap 27, when Matthew Brabham hit the wall. The race went green again with a few laps to go and on lap 30, Vergne, who was running second at the time and gaining on Buemi, slowed to a stop.

Buemi went on to win the race, with Piquet Jr, Lucas di Grassi, Jarno Trulli, and Jaime Alguersuari rounding out the top five.

Five Most Frequently Asked Questions to Female NASCAR Fans

Fans take a picture at Pocono Raceway prior to the Pocono 400.
Fans take a picture at Pocono Raceway prior to the Pocono 400.

Whenever people find out a woman likes to watch racing in any form, they usually ask the same questions over and over. And these questions keep getting asked by different people all the time. Here are the five most frequently asked questions to women who love racing.

 

1. “Do you like Danica Patrick?”

 

Whether it’s because they don’t know any other drivers or they assume we like the one famous woman who races cars, this question gets old pretty quickly. The first ten times are okay, but by the twentieth time, no way do we want to hear the question. I don’t mean to knock the ladies who do like her or say she’s a bad person, but for the rest of us whose favorite drivers are one of the guys, no mas por favor.

 

2. “Why do you like a sport where they just drive in circles?”

 

For some, it’s the atmosphere or the personalities. For others, it’s the strategies that come into play throughout the race. There are even some who enjoy learning how the cars work – think Ashley Parlett (@Just_AP), who’s a car chief for Turner Scott Motorsports. As you can tell, for many of us, it’s more than just driving in circles.

 

3.“Isn’t that a guy thing?”

 

Women make up 40 percent of the fan base, actually. Teams even sell merchandise for the female fans – and it’s not all of that pretty-girl stuff, either. There are even replica uniform shirts for women – see here and here. Plus, there are women who work in the media and the garages – Danielle Trotta, Kaitlyn Vincie, Jamie Little, Ashley Parlett, and Danica Patrick to name a few. While it used to be a guy thing, it isn’t anymore.

 

4. “That guy’s cute. Is he your favorite driver?”

 

Um, no. Come on, man. While I’m sure some women think one of their favorites is cute, or think a driver or two are cute, that is by no means the reasoning behind how we choose our favorites. It could be the driver’s personality, or their driving style, or their stories, or whatever else it might be about the driver.

 

5. “How did you even get into this?”

 

It’s for many of the same reasons guys do. Some families have been watching NASCAR for decades, so it’s normal for some women to watch every race. Other women grew up actually in the racing world, whether they themselves raced every weekend or another family member did. And others visited a track and just fell in love with everything about being at the track.

Sam Bird Wins In Malaysia

Sam Bird celebrates his win in Malaysia with Lucas di Grassi. Photo by Robertus Pudyanto/Getty Images AsiaPac
Sam Bird celebrates his win in Malaysia with Lucas di Grassi. Photo by Robertus Pudyanto/Getty Images AsiaPac

Formula E visited Putrajaya, Malaysia, for its second ever ePrix, with Sam Bird taking the win after leading for much of the race.

The safety car came out following the first lap following a collision between Katherine Legge and Michela Cerruti and a spin by Matthew Brabham. On the restart, Bird was able to pass pole sitter Oriol Servia for the lead.

Following another safety car period for Nick Heidfeld making contact with the wall on lap 8, Bird was able to pull away from the pack to gain a seven-second lead over second-place runner Jarno Trulli. Bird was able to save energy until lap 19, when he had to swap cars.

Bird exited the pits in second behind Daniel Abt, who was the first to pit and had a bad start at the beginning of the race. Bird passed Abt for the lead on lap 25 and was able to keep his position until the checkered flag, gaining his first win of the season.

Lucas di Grassi, who won in the Beijing ePrix, was able to finish in second after starting in eighteenth. After clear sailing for much of the race, di Grassi picked up a couple spots after Trulli and Nelson Piquet Jr made contact with each other on lap 23. Then, towards the end of the race, teammate Abt started to run low on power, which allowed di Grassi to make his way into second.

Sebastien Buemi, Nicolas Prost, and Jerome d’Ambrosio rounded out the top five.

Kevin Harvick Wins Finale, 2014 Championship

Kevin Harvick celebrates his championship at Homestead. Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images
Kevin Harvick celebrates his championship at Homestead. Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images

NASCAR visited Homestead-Miami Speedway on Sunday for the season finale, where a first-time champion was crowned when the checkered flags waved.

Kevin Harvick was the one who was able to win both the battle and the war – not only did he take the race win, he was also able to earn his first Sprint Cup championship. And it came during the first year with his new team at Stewart-Haas Racing.

Fellow championship contender Denny Hamlin had a hold on the lead when a caution came with 20 laps to go. Harvick, along with contenders Joey Logano and Ryan Newman, decided to pit while Hamlin stayed out. Newman took two tires and Harvick took four. Logano had planned to take four, but his car fell off the jackstand during his pit stop, which severely damaged his championship hopes.

Then came yet another caution, which put Harvick in a good position with four fresh tires. He was able to make his way to the front after restarting 12th and was able to get past Hamlin and Newman for the race lead. Following one last caution, Harvick was able to pull away from Newman to grab the win.

Newman, who completed his first year with Richard Childress Racing this Sunday, came across the line in second in both the race and the championship. He was also the only contender in the championship four without a win during the season.

Hamlin finished third in season standings and Logano finished fourth in the points.

Kevin Harvick shares a moment with team owner Tony Stewart following the race. Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR
Kevin Harvick shares a moment with team owner Tony Stewart following the race. Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR

Kevin Harvick Wins In Phoenix

Kevin Harvick celebrates his Quicken Loans 500 win in Phoenix. Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images
Kevin Harvick celebrates his Quicken Loans 500 win in Phoenix. Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

NASCAR visited Phoenix International Raceway on Sunday, and the four drivers who will race for the championship were determined.

Kevin Harvick was able to take the win on Sunday after leading for most of the race, which automatically transferred him to the championship round. Joining him there will be Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, and Ryan Newman.

For much of the race, it looked like Hamlin, Logano, and Newman would be unable to advance to the next round of the Chase. Hamlin and Logano both had issues on pit road and went down a lap at least once during the race. Newman was not in a position to advance until the last lap, when he nudged rookie Kyle Larson out of the way for a pass. Hamlin was able to finish fifth, Logano came in sixth, and Newman crossed the line in 11th.

Not advancing to the next round are Jeff Gordon, Brad Keselowski, Matt Kenseth, and Carl Edwards, all of whom had a strong finish on Sunday. Gordon was the highest finisher of the four, coming in second, Keselowski finished in fourth, Kenseth came in third, and Edwards came in 15th.

Keselowski and Gordon have also had strong seasons this year. Keselowski has six wins this season, which is the highest this season. Gordon has four wins and led the points for much of the season.

There were 12 cautions during the race, most of which were for debris, which was a new record for the track. There was even a red flag to clean up debris following a lap 211 spin when Kyle Busch spun and made contact with Clint Bowyer and Cole Whitt.

Jimmie Johnson Wins in Wild Race in Texas

Jimmie Johnson celebrates his win in the AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. Photo by Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images
Jimmie Johnson celebrates his win in the AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. Photo by Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images

NASCAR visited Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday and tempers flared again, this time on pit road, in the race’s aftermath.

Most of the cautions throughout came from debris, but yellow fever arrived in force towards the end of the race. On lap 303, the caution came when Joey Logano spun after developing a flat tire. Then, on lap 313, Kasey Kahne spun and eventually made contact with Marcos Ambrose. Kahne spun again on lap 320, bringing the caution back out. Then came the first attempt at a green-white-checkers finish. Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon were racing for the lead when Brad Keselowski made an attempt to pass between the two in what he believed was an opening between Johnson and Gordon. Instead, Keselowski and Gordon made contact with each other, which sent Gordon spinning and out of contention for the win. This brought out a caution again, which meant a second attempt at a green-white-checkered finish. During the second green-white-checkered attempt, Johnson was able to take the lead and gain the win.

Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch, and Jamie McMurray rounded out the top five.

After the race, Gordon went to confront Keselowski about the incident but was held back by one of Keselowski’s crew members. As Keselowski started to walk away, Harvick entered the picture and pushed Keselowski back into the mix. Gordon then grabbed Keselowski and a fight between their crews broke out. NASCAR has since announced that they will be assessing and handing out penalties for the fight early this week.