Damien Smith

Latest articles by Damien Smith


WTCR Vila Real: Urrutia beats Ehrlacher to pole in Cyan Lynk & Co 1-2

Santiago Urrutia landed his first World Touring Car Cup pole position of the season at Vila Real, as he beat fellow Cyan Lynk & Co driver Yann Ehrlacher by 0.049s.

WTCR Aragon: Magnus holds off Huff for Audi’s first win of 2022

Gilles Magnus soaked up pressure from Rob Huff to claim the second World Touring Car Cup win of his career and a first for Comtoyou Audi in 2022, as Mikel Azcona strengthened his grip on the title with victory in race two.

WTCR Aragon: Magnus snatches pole from Audi team-mate Berthon

Gilles Magnus set a stunning lap in the World Touring Car Cup's Q3 shootout at Motorland Aragon to snatch race-one pole from Comtoyou Audi team-mate Nathanael Berthon.

WTCR Hungaroring: Azcona claims WTCR points lead after Hungary win

Mikel Azcona stormed from pole position to win at the Hungaroring and surge into the lead of the World Touring Car Cup standings.

WTCR Hungaroring: Azcona claims first pole of 2022 for Hyundai

Mikel Azcona clinched his own and Hyundai’s first World Touring Car Cup pole position of 2022 by topping the Q3 shootout in qualifying at the Hungaroring.

Why the WTCR's Nurburgring cancellation was “the least worst decision”

The World Touring Car Cup hit the headlines for the wrong reasons last weekend. Both races at the Nurburgring Nordschleife were cancelled at the 11th hour amid concerns about the Goodyear tyres, after multiple failures in practice and qualifying. Here’s how events played out and what the next steps are for the series

WTCR Nurburgring Nordschleife races cancelled over Goodyear tyre failures

The World Touring Car Cup has cancelled its two races on the Nurburgring Nordschleife this weekend because of safety fears over Goodyear’s control tyres on the 15.77-mile circuit.

WTCR Nurburgring: Bennani snatches pole for Audi on the Nordschleife

Mehdi Bennani claimed a surprise World Touring Car Cup pole position on the Nurburgring Nordschleife as he and Audi team-mate Gilles Magnus knocked the Lynk & Cos of Santi Urrutia and Yann Ehrlacher off the front row.

WTCR Pau: Girolami and Guerrieri claim Honda 1-2, Azcona wins race two

Argentinian duo Nestor Girolami and Esteban Guerrieri claimed an uncontested 1-2 for Munnich Motorsport’s Hondas, as the World Touring Car Cup season kicked off on the streets of Pau.

WTCR Pau: Girolami pips Honda team-mate Guerrieri to pole

Nestor Girolami beat Munnich Motorsport Honda team-mate Esteban Guerrieri to earn pole position for the first World Touring Car Cup race of the season at Pau, as Thed Bjork walked away from a big accident in Q2.

How Audi took the Dakar by storm with its hybrid game-changer

Four stage wins and all three cars reaching the finish was no small achievement for Audi on its first attempt at motorsport’s toughest event with a brand-new car. The key men behind the RS Q e-tron project explain why it was such a momentous feat

Autosport 2021 Top 50: #45 Yann Ehrlacher

1st in FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR)

Ehrlacher crowned champion as Azcona and Huff win

Yann Ehrlacher secured his second consecutive World Touring Car Cup title in race one at a sodden Sochi, as Mikel Azcona and Rob Huff scored a brace of wins.

WTCR Sochi: Muller on pole for final round, Ehrlacher stretches gap

Yvan Muller scored his second pole position of the World Touring Car Cup season at Sochi as his nephew Yann Ehrlacher took another step closer to successfully defending his title.

WTCR Adria: Ehrlacher stretches WTCR points lead with first 2021 pole

Yann Ehrlacher extended his World Touring Car Cup championship lead by clinching his first pole position of 2021 and a maximum points haul in qualifying at the revamped Adria circuit.

WTCR France: Vernay keeps title hopes alive with victory

Jean-Karl Vernay reignited his World Touring Car Cup title hopes with a vital victory on home soil, beating fellow Frenchman Yvan Muller at Pau-Arnos.

Muller claims first WTCR pole position in two years at Pau-Arnos

Yvan Muller stormed to his first pole position for two years by beating Jean-Karl Vernay in World Touring Car Cup qualifying at the short 1.88-mile Pau-Arnos circuit in France.

Michelisz and Girolami share the WTCR spoils at Most

Norbert Michelisz and Nestor Girolami made it ten different winners from ten rounds as the World Touring Car Cup paid its first visit to Most in the Czech Republic.

WTCR Most: Azcona beats Michelisz to top qualifying for first pole of 2021

Spaniard Mikel Azcona will start race two from pole position after heading qualifying on the World Touring Car Cup’s first visit to the Most circuit in the Czech Republic.

Hungary WTCR: Urrutia becomes eighth different winner from eight races

Santiago Urrutia became the eighth different winner from eight races in the 2021 World Touring Car Cup with victory at the Hungaroring, which lifted him to second in the standings.

WTCR Hungary: Huff scores sensational pole for Zengo

Rob Huff put his troubled return to the World Touring Car Cup behind him by scoring a shock pole position at the Hungaroring to send Zengo Motorsport into rapture at the team’s home race.

WTCR Aragon: Vervisch delivers first win for new Audi

Frederic Vervisch won the second World Touring Car Cup race from pole at Aragon, while Gabriele Tarquini scored his first win in two years in the opening contest.

WTCR Aragon: Vervisch grabs Audi's first pole of 2021 from Bjork

Frederic Vervisch snatched the World Touring Car Cup race-two pole position from Thed Bjork on the final lap of the top five shootout at a sweltering Motorland Aragon in Spain.

WTCR Estoril: Tassi becomes youngest winner as loose bonnet costs Monteiro

Attila Tassi saved Honda’s blushes to score his first World Touring Car Cup victory after a loose bonnet cost Tiago Monteiro what had looked like a certain home win at Estoril.

WTCR Estoril: Guerrieri heads Honda 1-2-3 in qualifying

Esteban Guerrieri headed Munnich Motorsport team-mates Tiago Monteiro and Nestor Girolami in a dominant Honda 1-2-3 in qualifying at Estoril to secure pole position for the second World Touring Car Cup race.

WTCR Nurburgring: Vernay holds off Engstler for first Hyundai win

Jean-Karl Vernay headed new team-mate Luca Engstler to win on his debut for Hyundai at the Nurburgring Nordschleife, after Honda veteran Tiago Monteiro won the reversed-grid WTCR season opener.

Nurburgring WTCR: Girolami takes Nordschleife pole for second year in a row

Nestor Girolami claimed his second successive World Touring Car Cup pole position on the Nurburgring Nordschleife after topping a dry 40-minute session at the opening round of the 2021 season.

The key mistakes behind a lost Williams title Plus

The key mistakes behind a lost Williams title

Formula 1 history is full of should'ves, could'ves and would'ves, but it's easy to see 1991 as the greatest missed opportunity in the illustrious history of Williams, allowing Ayrton Senna to steal his last and perhaps greatest world championship title

Ehrlacher crowned World Touring Car Cup champion in Aragon

Yann Ehrlacher became the youngest ever FIA touring car champion at a global level on Sunday by clinching the World Touring Car Cup in Aragon

Vernay, Azcona and Bjork score first WTCR wins of 2020 at Aragon

Jean-Karl Vernay, Mikel Azcona and Thed Bjork all scored their first World Touring Car Cup victories of the year, as title rivals Yann Ehrlacher and Esteban Guerrieri struggled at Aragon

WTCR Hungary: Honda's Guerrieri launches title bid with double win

Honda driver Esteban Guerrieri claimed a double victory at the Hungaroring to push himself into World Touring Car Cup title contention, as points leader Yann Ehrlacher won the reversed-grid race

WTCR Slovakia: Coronel follows Berthon maiden win, Catsburg wins race 3

Tom Coronel claimed his first victory at world touring car level since 2016 as one of three first-time winners in the World Touring Car Cup at the Slovakia Ring

Nurburgring WTCR: Ehrlacher extends points lead with Girolami penalised

Yann Ehrlacher scored his second victory of the World Touring Car Cup season at a wet Nurburgring Nordschleife to extend his lead in the points standings

The Le Mans racer that turned an underdog's dream into reality Plus

The Le Mans racer that turned an underdog's dream into reality

Fifteen years ago, a privateer with little international pedigree led Le Mans in this Dallara. To mark the last hurrah of LMP1 cars at the 24 Hours, Autosport went along to see it blow off the cobwebs at Silverstone

Zolder WTCR: Ehrlacher takes first Cyan win and grabs early points lead

Yann Ehrlacher clinched a first victory for Cyan Racing's Lynk & Co team in the second of two races that kicked off the World Touring Car Cup season at Zolder

The heroism, horror and hurt of Lauda at Ferrari Plus

The heroism, horror and hurt of Lauda at Ferrari

Last year F1 Racing retold the incredible history of Ferrari with a series of in-depth features. As part of our tribute to the late Niki Lauda, here's another chance to read the chapter covering his extraordinarily dramatic time at Maranello

Promoted: Why F1 can't wait for its US visit to COTA

Formula 1 loves Circuit of The Americas. It has ever since the first US Grand Prix in Austin back in 2012 - and over the course of the past six years, the race has become a firm favourite for drivers, teams, the media and fans alike

How Schumacher joined F1's elite Plus

How Schumacher joined F1's elite

This weekend's Belgian Grand Prix marks 25 years since Michael Schumacher clinched his first Formula 1 victory - the first time he properly unleashed his sport-changing attributes on the watching world

Why Ferrari should sign Kubica Plus

Why Ferrari should sign Kubica

Renault claimed helping Robert Kubica return to a Formula 1 car was a favour to a much-loved driver. But there is more to it than that - and Ferrari should take advantage

Why go back to a 'fickle' and 'damaging' race? Plus

Why go back to a 'fickle' and 'damaging' race?

Toyota's last-gasp disaster in 2016 has entered Le Mans 24 Hours legend already. How does a star driver still chasing a first Le Mans win cope with that memory with the 2017 race looming?

Fernando Alonso's Indy 500 Honda failure 'shocking' - Zak Brown

Fernando Alonso's Indianapolis 500 ending in a Honda engine failure was "just shocking but not surprising", according to McLaren executive director Zak Brown

Why Button's F1 return is confusing Plus

Why Button's F1 return is confusing

Formula 1 will welcome back one of its favourite sons of the modern era when Jenson Button returns for the Monaco Grand Prix in place of Fernando Alonso. But there's an air of doubt around F1's latest driver comeback

How Formula 1 has lost its humanity Plus

How Formula 1 has lost its humanity

Formula 1 is trying to recapture some of its lost swashbuckling image in 2017. A man who lived through its most gladiatorial era thinks there's a different spark which needs to be ignited

John Surtees obituary: 1934-2017

John Surtees, who has died at the age of 83, will be remembered quite simply as one of the true greats of motor racing history

McLaren F1 team has bigger budget for 2017 despite no title sponsor

The McLaren Formula 1 team has a bigger budget for 2017 despite the continuing lack of a title sponsor, executive director Zak Brown revealed at the launch of the MCL32

A five-point plan to change Formula 1 Plus

A five-point plan to change Formula 1

Formula 1's hierarchy is undergoing change - but will the way it operates remain the same? Grand prix racing has a real opportunity to get itself out of the mire, and there are several ways it can go about it

The Observer Plus

The Observer

As Autosport's much loved editor in chief Damien Smith bids farewell to the magazine and this column, he reflects on the changes the motor racing weekly experienced over the years...

The Observer Plus

The Observer

Honda pulled off a masterstroke in convincing Ross Brawn to get on board as team principal. But Damien Smith is wondering whether the news could also make Honda a late player for Fernando Alonso's signature...

The Observer Plus

The Observer

Three decades after retiring as a driver, Jackie Stewart's life still moves at a breakneck pace - as Damien Smith discovered when he sat down for a chat about the Scot's new autobiography

Stewart: Hamilton can afford to lose title

Former world champion Jackie Stewart reckons Lewis Hamilton could actually benefit from losing this year's title

The Observer Plus

The Observer

As anticipation builds ahead of this weekend's championship decider, Damien Smith finds himself getting in touch with his 'inner 12-year-old'...

The Observer Plus

The Observer

After a torrid 2007 season full of controversy at McLaren, Fernando Alonso needs a change. Damien Smith explains why

The Observer Plus

The Observer

Commentating may seem easy to those sitting at home on the couch, but as Damien Smith found out, actually doing it is another matter. Especially when 50 million people are tuning in...

The Observer Plus

The Observer

The last Grand Prix was at one of the newest tracks on the calendar. This week, Formula One visits one of the oldest. Damien Smith delves into the archives and discovers that even in Formula One, some things never change...

The Observer Plus

The Observer

The Champ Cars are about to return to Europe. Pleased as he is to welcome them back, Damien Smith can't help but feel they're visiting the wrong tracks

Briatore: I was misquoted on spy scandal

Renault team principal Flavio Briatore has clarified comments he made to the Italian media on Friday at the Hungaroring regarding the Formula One spy scandal, stating that his words had been inaccurately reported

Webber: perfect time for Bourdais in F1

Red Bull driver Mark Webber believes Champ Car champion Sebastien Bourdais has picked the perfect time to make the switch to Formula One - if he lands a drive with Scuderia Toro Rosso for 2008

The Observer Plus

The Observer

Damien Smith is concerned that Michael Schumacher is getting bored, and wonders if the most successful driver in F1 history shouldn't just give in to his natural urges - and get back behind the wheel...

Red Bull boosted by Nurburgring result

Red Bull Racing team boss Christian Horner says the result of the European Grand Prix will be a morale boost for the whole outfit

Dennis slams affidavit leaks

Ron Dennis criticised today recent reports allegedly quoting from chief designer Mike Coughlan's affidavit, but the McLaren team chief refused to be drawn into discussing details of the affair