Round 18 of the season takes us to the Circuit of The Americas.

Driver’s Eye: Sergio Perez

Sergio: “Austin was my home race before the arrival of the Mexican Grand Prix and it’s still one of the best events on the calendar. All weekend long you can see plenty of Mexican fans and you feel all their love and support. It makes it a really special weekend for me and I also have my family and friends there as well, so it really is like the perfect race.

“Austin is a small town but the vibe is great. It’s a college town so you see a lot of young people and it’s a great environment to be in. The place comes alive at night and there are so many nice things to do and places to go, so I really like it.

“The Circuit of the Americas is very enjoyable. It’s a very interesting circuit and it has some very challenging parts, especially the first sector. Turn one is really unusual and it’s the corner I enjoy the most: it’s very hard to pick your braking point and not miss the blind apex. The Esses that follow make this sector really fun to drive. Last year was the first time we got to try it with the high downforce cars and I’m looking forward to having another go this weekend.

“The circuit layout has a bit of everything so a balanced set-up is the key to doing well. There are slow and fast corners, tough braking zones and you need a car you can trust. We have had this kind of great balance in the last few races, so I think we can be competitive and  pick up some good points.”


Driver’s Eye: Esteban Ocon

Esteban: “Austin is a fantastic track and it features lots of nice bits from other circuits combined into one. You have a first sector that looks like Suzuka and a tight section that reminds me of Mexico: it’s a good track for fighting, with some quick corners and some chances to overtake. Turn one and the left hander at the end of the back straight are quite good opportunities.

“The first sector is my favourite section. It’s very quick, very technical and in the Esses you need to position the car well otherwise you end up losing time in all the following corners. It’s good fun, but so tricky to get right. Setting the car up is a big challenge. You need a car you can trust in the quick sections and a good car in the slow section – not an easy compromise.

“What makes this weekend special is also the city of Austin. It’s such a cool place, with a lot of nice venues with live music. It has a very young vibe; it’s definitely an enjoyable place and it’s nice to stay there a bit longer to experience the town before going on to Mexico. There are lot of cool things to do and last year I went to enjoy a proper, big American steak. When I was a kid, one of my dreams was to travel to the United States and I didn’t come here until my first race in Austin in 2016, so I have a lot of catching up to do!”


Otmar Szafnauer, Team Principal and CEO

“The United States Grand Prix is a home race for me and it’s always a highlight of the year. The drivers love the track and Austin is a great place to go racing. It’s hugely important for the sport to have a home in America and you have to say Austin always puts on a really good show. They’ve done a wonderful job over the last six years.

“With just four races to go, we are getting to the business end of the season. We continue to score good points and we need more of the same this weekend. Our performance in Japan showed that we have great speed in the car on a very demanding track. I think we can be the fourth quickest team in Austin too.”





The Hype Energy eForce India squad brings you the second instalment in our "How to..." series.

With games getting more and more realistic, the line between reality and simulation becomes more and more blurred. With experts about racing, gaming and F1 simulators in our midst, we look at what these three have in common.

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Racing Point Force India reserve and test driver, Nicholas Latifi, will see plenty of free practice action in the final rounds of the 2018 championship with the young Canadian taking part in three further FP1 sessions before the end of the season.

Nicholas, who is currently competing in the FIA F2 Championship and has already been in the car for three FP1 sessions, will reprise his testing roles at the USA, Mexican and Brazilian events. He will be standing in for Esteban Ocon in Austin and Mexico City, while deputising for Sergio Perez in Interlagos.

Our team’s debut night in the world of F1 Esports saw the team clinch its first top-three finish and claim P4 in the Championship.

The 2018 F1 New Balance Esports Pro Series kicked off at the Gfinity Esports Arena as the first three rounds of the ten-race championship delivered exciting racing and a podium finish for Hype Energy eForce India.

Following a training camp and an in-depth evaluation held before the event to compare the drivers, Marcel Kiefer and Fabrizio Donoso Delgado had been picked to compete on the night of the first live show. Mads Sørensen, the third driver in our roster, remained in standby as a reserve driver for the night, providing support to the race team throughout the event.

The three races that kick-started the championship proved a tough challenge for the drivers, but the Hype Energy eForce India drivers showed pace and racecraft to score valuable points.

Starting in sixth and eighth on the grid with Donoso and Kiefer respectively, the Australian Grand Prix was off to a difficult start when Marcel had to pit for a new wing at the end of lap one. Issues later in the race compromised Fabrizio’s strategy, and both our drivers finished in P11 and P13, just outside the points.

A rain-hit qualifying session in China saw an inspired call to set a lap early, resulting in Fabrizio and Marcel securing a second-row lockout. Strong races for both of them saw the drivers swap positions to the line, with Marcel Kiefer claiming the first ever podium finish for the team. It was a strong showing with plenty of positives from both drivers, who displayed good pace and highlighted their ability to battle at the front in an incident-free race.

The final race of the evening, in Baku, was off to a bad start with Fabrizio unable to set a laptime in qualifying. Starting at the back, with Marcel in P12, it was always going to be a difficult race but a long first stint and a strategy gamble to stop late paid off, the Chilean star coming home ninth to claim two championship points.

The results mean Hype Energy eForce India finished the night in fourth place in the constructors’ championship. In such a competitive series, the margins are small but the team has shown to have what it takes to battle at the sharp end of the grid. The next live event will take place on October 31st with the third and final live event on November 16th and 17th.


Relive the action from the first live event broadcast:

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Our Esports team will make its first appearance in the F1 New Balance Esports Pro Series on October 10th.

The Hype Energy eForce India team is ready to take on the challenge of the F1 New Balance Esports Pro Series as Formula One’s top esports competition begins in London on Wednesday, 10th October.

Following months of preparation, the team will make its debut in the first live event at The Gfinity Esports Arena, during which the nine participating Formula One teams will compete in the first three rounds of the season – Australia, China and Azerbaijan. The event will be streamed live on F1’s Facebook page.

With just two seats available for each team, Hype Energy eForce India will be fielding Marcel Kiefer and Fabrizio Donoso Delgado in the first event, with Mads Sørensen in standby as reserve driver. All three drivers displayed great pace during the course of our preparatory events, in which their pace on the three opening tracks was analysed in depth, giving the selectors a really tough choice when deciding on the team to field – a process that will be repeated for the following events.

The next F1 New Balance Esports Pro Series events will take place on October 31st and November 16th/17th at The Gfinity Esports Arena in Fulham, London. The  Series will feature 10 rounds on the circuits of the 2018 FIA Formula One Championship, as portrayed in the F1 2018 game by Codemasters; all races will be ran at 25% of the full length, with the exception of the final round in Abu Dhabi, which will be 50% of the full length with double points on offer.

To find out more about Hype Energy eForce India, visit

Racing Point Force India scored eight points in today’s Japanese Grand Prix with Sergio Perez racing to seventh place ahead of Esteban Ocon in ninth.

Sergio Perez

P7    Sergio Perez      Chassis 02

Strategy: Used SuperSoft (24 laps) – New Soft (29 laps)

Sergio: “Today we had a good result: the best I could realistically hope to achieve. After yesterday’s poor qualifying we made up a lot of positions and I feel we really got the maximum from the race. Our pace was strong and the team delivered a great strategy. We knew we had to be aggressive to beat the Haas and we nearly managed to undercut Grosjean at the pit-stop, but I lost a bit of time battling with Leclerc and I just fell short. At the VSC restart I managed to get really close to Grosjean and when I saw an opportunity I went for it. I am so excited about our performance today. We had to push hard and make some good overtakes: it was a fantastic race.”


Esteban Ocon

P9     Esteban Ocon   Chassis 03

Strategy: Used SuperSoft (26 laps) – New Medium (27 laps)

Esteban: “The team scored some good points today, but I’m not totally happy because our final result was dictated by the penalty yesterday. We have shown great speed all weekend – as the fourth quickest team – but if we don’t start higher up it’s difficult to show it in the race. There were some fun moments today and I had to make a lot of overtaking moves. When you had fresh tyres there was a big pace advantage and our strategy paid off in the end. I was close to catching Grosjean during the final few laps, but there wasn’t a chance to make a move.”


Otmar Szafnauer, Team Principal & CEO

“I think we made the most of our opportunities this afternoon. We had to fight all the way to the flag to score eight important points. Our strategy required both cars to pull off various overtaking moves to come back through the field, but it worked out well. Sergio made a fantastic move on Grosjean to finish as the ‘best of the rest’. Considering our starting positions, we recovered well today and the team did an excellent job with the strategy calls. We have unlocked some significant performance recently and we just need to keep up this points-scoring momentum in the final few races.”

Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez qualified on the fourth and fifth row of the grid respectively in a mixed-weather session in Suzuka.

Esteban Ocon

P8      Esteban Ocon              Chassis 03

Q1: 1:29.899
Q2: 1:29.538
Q3: 1:30.126

Esteban: “Eighth place is okay, but I’m not satisfied because we didn’t maximise our potential today. Our approach to Q3 meant we fuelled up for a few laps because we felt the track would dry up and keep improving. In reality the track was already quite dry right from the start of Q3 and that’s when the track was at its best, but we were heavy on fuel. Then, by the time we started our second run, the rain was getting heavier. Well done to the others who judged it better than us – that’s what can happen in those wet sessions. So I think we had the potential for more and I know we can be strong in the race. Let’s see what we can do tomorrow.”


Sergio Perez

P10      Sergio Perez                Chassis 02

Q1: 1:30.247
Q2: 1:29.567
Q3: 1:37.229

Sergio: “I am not very happy with my qualifying result because I think I should have been in front of quite a few other cars. It was a difficult session from the beginning of Q1. I was completing my lap when the red flag for Ericsson’s crash came out: I was just metres away from the line but I didn’t get a lap and I had to go again. In Q3 I went wide and lost a lot of time on my first lap when the track was at its best so there is definitely the feeling I could have done a lot more today. We need to make up some ground tomorrow. We start in the top ten and we have good pace so good points are achievable.”


Otmar Szafnauer, Team Principal and CEO

“The weather made for quite a tricky qualifying session. In one sense it’s good to have both cars in the top ten, but at the same time in Q3 we didn’t show our true speed. We sent both cars out with enough fuel to complete a few laps, but the first lap was the only one that counted in the end. Esteban’s lap was clean and tidy, but Checo made a mistake that cost him a few seconds. Our long run pace yesterday means we should be optimistic for the race, but overtaking here is very difficult and this will place even more importance on the timing of the pit stops.”

A positive day to mark the start of the Suzuka weekend.

Sergio Perez

Sergio Perez                Chassis 02

FP1: 1:31.272                P13                  29 laps
FP2: 1:30.510                P11                  28 laps

Sergio: “It’s a super feeling to be driving at Suzuka in these cars. It’s one of the greatest tracks and every lap, even in practice, is really enjoyable. The day was pretty normal in terms of the work we did, but there is more to be done to make sure I feel comfortable with the car. We tried quite a lot of things with the set-up and we saw that Esteban was quite competitive so there is already a good baseline for tomorrow. Qualifying is going to be crucial. Putting together the perfect lap isn’t easy and I really want us to be up there as best of the rest tomorrow. The weather is uncertain, but we will just take it as it comes.”


Esteban Ocon

Esteban Ocon              Chassis 03

FP1: 1:30.591                P7                    28 laps
FP2: 1:30.035                P7                    32 laps

Esteban: “It was a solid day of work to start our Suzuka weekend and I am happy with what we achieved. I am particularly excited because I think there’s still a bit more to come from our side and we can improve the car balance ahead of qualifying. This is a very difficult track to get right when it comes to the set-up, so it will be a challenge for us to get all the details right. The track is mega quick, even more so than last year. It’s very enjoyable to drive. Precision is very important as it’s very easy to make mistakes. You need to be at one with the car, which is never easy, but it’s so rewarding when you get it right.”


Otmar Szafnauer, Team Principal and CEO

“Despite an overcast sky the rain held off, but it was a cool day with low track temperatures. We split the test programme across both cars in FP1 and after that we focussed on race performance – mainly understanding the tyres compounds. We had a fuel system issue on Sergio’s car this afternoon, which cost us some track time, but on the whole the day ran smoothly. There is still some work to be done on the balance tomorrow morning to make sure we come out on top of a very tight midfield fight in qualifying.”

Hype Energy eforce India driver Marcel Kiefer takes us on a hotlap of the Suzuka International Racing Course

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