Motorsport Week - All News Catch up on all F1 news, here at Motorsport Week RSS Feed! concludes Kimi Raikkonen's tyre failure caused by contactWed, 26 Jul 2017 17:45:49 GMT<p>Kimi R&auml;ikk&ouml;nen&#39;s British Grand Prix tyre failure was likely caused by contact with &quot;an external body&quot;, tyre supplier Pirelli has claimed.</p> <p>Ferrari&#39;s Sebastian Vettel and&nbsp;R&auml;ikk&ouml;nen both suffered tyre failures in the closing laps of the race, and whilst <a href="">Vettel&#39;s was caused by a slow puncture</a>, further investigation into the Finn&#39;s failure was needed.</p> <p>Pirelli has now concluded those investigations and found two areas of damage to the &quot;edge of the belt&quot;, which it claims is&nbsp;synonymous with the tyre making contact with an external body, such as another car or debris.</p> <p>&quot;The results of the analysis on Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen&rsquo;s front-left soft compound tyre, which experienced an issue at the end of the recent British Grand Prix, reveal specific damage in two places at the edge of the belt close to the internal shoulder area,&quot; confirmed a statement.</p> <p>&quot;This damage is not present throughout any other areas of the tyre whatsoever. Furthermore, the belt and the structure do not show any signs of fatigue.</p> <p>&quot;The possible initial cause of this damage is consistent with contact against an external body, leading to a partial separation of the belt from the carcass in the two affected areas. In one of these two places, as a logical consequence, part of the tread also became detached.</p> <p>&quot;This damage did not however compromise the actual tyre structure, with Raikkonen able to make his way safely back to the pits on an inflated tyre.&quot;</p> <p>Pirelli conducted further tests on tyres from other cars and found those with even less life showed no signs of damage.</p> <p>&quot;A number of detailed tests have since been carried out, both destructive and nondestructive, on other tyres used by frontrunners at the British Grand Prix with a similar or bigger distance on them compared to the set used by Raikkonen (for 25 laps). On no occasion was there any sign of fatigue, detachment or laceration &ndash; or even the beginning of such problems &ndash; that affected the structure of the tyre.</p> <p>&quot;In conclusion, Pirelli can confirm that no issues have emerged connected with the tyre itself.&quot;</p> us! We're looking for talented writers to join our teamWed, 26 Jul 2017 17:26:57 GMT<p>Motorsport Week and our sister weekly magazine Motorsport Monday are looking to expand our current team of talented reporters and features writers, both in the UK and around the world.</p> <p>If you&rsquo;re an experienced reporter or writer, or you&rsquo;ve simply just a passion for motorsport (and feel you can write), we&rsquo;d like to hear from you. We are currently seeking talented new team members who have a passion for their area of expertise in the following series: Formula 1, IndyCar, rallying and MotoGP. All positions are freelance with remuneration commensurate to talent and experience.</p> <p>Responsibilities may include weekend session and race reports, news items and features, for both Motorsport Week and Motorsport Monday. Importantly, you must have a good command of written English and a foreign language could be an advantage. Once established, we could be sending you to report live at some events.</p> <p>If you&rsquo;re interested in finding out more, please email us at <a href=""></a> with the following information;</p> <p>- Full Name<br /> -&nbsp;Location<br /> - Position (Formula 1, IndyCar, rallying, MotoGP)<br /> -&nbsp;Availability (Weekends/Weekdays)<br /> -&nbsp;Past Experience including an example of any published work<br /> -&nbsp;A CV (preferable)</p> <p>Closing date for responses is August 11.</p> Ferrucci switches to F2 with Trident for remainder of 2017Wed, 26 Jul 2017 16:10:38 GMT<p>Haas F1 development driver Santino Ferrucci will switch to Formula 2 with the Trident team for the remainder of the 2017 season.</p> <p>After finishing 12th in the GP3 standings with DAMS in 2016, the American decided to stick with the team and series for this season.</p> <p>However, after three GP3 rounds, he has now moved up to F2 from the Hungaroring round onwards, joining regular driver Nabil Jeffri.</p> <p>Sergio Canamasas, Raffaele Marciello and Callum Ilott have all made appearances racing the No.17 car for Trident so far this season.</p> <p>However, the seat has now been locked down for the remainder of the year. Ferrucci tested for Trident at last year&rsquo;s post-season GP3 test.</p> <p>He has been part of Haas F1&rsquo;s squad since last year, completing simulator work and attending tests and races, alongside completing two days of in-season test running at Silverstone.</p> <p>&ldquo;We are really proud to announce the agreement reached between Trident and Santino Ferrucci for the final five rounds of the FIA Formula 2 season,&rdquo; said Giacomo Ricci, team manager.</p> <p>&ldquo;The 19-year-old already had the chance to test one of our GP3 cars in last November&rsquo;s collective post-season test at Abu Dhabi.</p> <p>&ldquo;Back then, he impressed the team&rsquo;s staff, bringing home great results and keeping his name among the top-five at all times.</p> <p>&ldquo;He is now set to make his Formula 2 debut at Budapest, on the same track where he led the way in GP3 testing. I am sure that Santino has all the skills needed to adapt to a Formula 2 car very quickly.&rdquo;</p> Norris lands McLaren F1 test outing in HungaryWed, 26 Jul 2017 15:52:43 GMT<p>McLaren junior Lando Norris will drive the team&rsquo;s 2017 Formula 1 car at the post-Hungarian Grand Prix test.</p> <p>The British racer is currently racing in the European Formula 3 Championship with Carlin, and is third in the standings after scoring three race victories so far during his rookie season.</p> <p>In the previous two seasons, Norris took the British MSA Formula title, before clinching championships in Formula Renault 2.0&rsquo;s Eurocup and NEC categories, as well as the Toyota Racing Series.</p> <p>He joined McLaren&rsquo;s young driver programme at the start of 2017, having previously won the McLaren Autosport BRDC Award last year &ndash; which entitled him to an F1 test.</p> <p>The second in-season F1 test of the 2017 season takes place at the Hungaroring from August 1-2, following on from the Hungarian GP weekend.</p> <p>McLaren racer Stoffel Vandoorne will drive the MCL32 on day one, with Norris then taking over running on day two.</p> <p><a href="">TWEET: McLaren confirms driver line-up for Hungary test</a></p> <p>Vandoorne completed one day of driving at the first in-season test in Bahrain, with McLaren test driver Oliver Turvey also taking to the track for the team.</p> drivers impressed with 2018 car after debut testWed, 26 Jul 2017 13:10:12 GMT<p>Juan Pablo Montoya and Oriol Servia were both left with a positive impression of the new 2018 IndyCar following its first test this week at the&nbsp;Indianapolis Motor Speedway.</p> <p>The duo completed more than 100 laps apiece in the two chassis fitted with the new universal oval aero kit, with one supplied by Honda and the other by Chevrolet.</p> <p>&quot;From Lap 1, it just felt at home,&quot; said the 43-year-old Servia, who has driven Indy cars since 2000. &quot;The car felt great. I was flat on it out of the pits, which just says how good the car felt right away.</p> <p>&quot;I think it&#39;s going to be a fast, good racer.&quot;</p> <p>Montoya believes the decision to have one universal aero kit will have a positive impact on the racing and was impressed with the new car.</p> <p>&quot;It&#39;s exciting because, for the first time in the car, it drives really, really well,&quot; added the two-time Indy 500 winner.</p> <p>&quot;I think they addressed a lot of the things and the car looks great. I think having one aero kit for everybody is great for the sport. The car looks good and it drives really good.&quot;</p> <p>IndyCar had originally scheduled two days of testing, but with everything ticked off on Tuesday&nbsp;they didn&#39;t feel it was necessary to run a second day.</p> <p>&quot;Everything we had planned to do in two days, we already accomplished in the first day,&quot; Servia added. &quot;We did lots of laps, long runs, and the car feels good. The car feels very benign.&nbsp;</p> <p>&quot;It just feels right and we&#39;re not having any issues or moments out there. Very consistent. My second long run, I think, was one of my most consistent runs I&#39;ve done at this track in all of my years.&quot;</p> winning car next year will complicate things - Jos VerstappenWed, 26 Jul 2017 12:20:04 GMT<p>Max Verstappen&#39;s father Jos, says his son needs a winning car next year otherwise things will become complicated, referring to whether or not his son&nbsp;stays with Red Bull after 2018.</p> <p>Verstappen is contracted to Red Bull next year but it&#39;s believed he has the option to leave in 2019, and Jos Verstappen hinted that could be likely if he isn&#39;t provided with a car capable of regular race wins.</p> <p>&quot;Max wants to become a champion and he will do anything to win,&quot; Jos told&nbsp;<em>RTL.&nbsp;</em>&quot;Right now he does not have such an opportunity, but he uses this year to become stronger.&quot;</p> <p>The 19-year-old has had a string of reliability failures which has left him with half the points tally of his team-mate Daniel Ricciardo. Understandably frustrated, his father says things could be complicated further if the situation doesn&#39;t improve.</p> <p>&quot;Next year, it is clear what our goals are,&quot; he added. &quot;We want to win, and if this does not happen, the situation will become more complicated.</p> <p>&quot;At the moment Max cannot do anything. He is doing everything right, and he feels good in his skin, but he just wants to win.</p> <p>&quot;That&#39;s what you notice about Max. The disappointment that he cannot win, which is why he has had some problems. He has never experienced that before.&quot;</p> India 'not giving up on chasing Red Bull' - Vijay MallyaWed, 26 Jul 2017 11:40:47 GMT<p>Force India aren&#39;t giving up on beating Red Bull this season according to team boss Vijay Mallya, despite the growing gap between the two teams.</p> <p>The Silverstone based team is currently fourth in the championship standings with a strong 54-point buffer to Williams, but Mallya has set their targets higher this year and believes they can challenge Red Bull in the second half of the season, although overhauling them in the standings could prove difficult with 79 points separating them.</p> <p>&quot;We&#39;re up to 95 points in 10 races, we&#39;ve never had this kind of points tally in the history of the team that I can remember,&quot; said Mallya.</p> <p>&quot;We&#39;re 54 ahead of Williams, our nearest competitor, and slowly consolidating ourselves in fourth position.</p> <p>&quot;Let&#39;s see what opportunities the second half of the season throws up. I&#39;m not giving up on chasing Red Bull.</p> <p>&quot;It&#39;s always good to set our targets high. That allows you to really challenge yourself. Whether we get that or not, finishing fourth for a second consecutive year is a credible achievement.&quot;</p> <p>Assessing their first half of the&nbsp;2017 season,&nbsp;Mallya says he couldn&#39;t really ask for more from his two drivers, barring one incident in Baku.</p> <p>&quot;We should&#39;ve had nine [double points finishes] at least, but eight out of 10 is pretty good,&quot; added Mallya, referring to the contact between Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon which cost them a possible double podium.</p> <p>&quot;It&#39;s very satisfying to see two good, competitive drivers. I couldn&#39;t ask for more; two cars regularly in the points, it&#39;s what we need.&quot;</p> 1 ranked fastest growing sports brand on social media in 2017Tue, 25 Jul 2017 22:20:37 GMT<p>Formula 1&#39;s social media offering under Bernie Ecclestone left much to be desired, but with new owners Liberty Media taking control this season, that has changed with the sport&#39;s social media accounts ramping up engagement.</p> <p>It&#39;s been reported that F1 is the fastest growing sports brand on social media, with its follower base passing the ten million mark during the first half of the 2017 season &ndash;&nbsp;that&#39;s an overall increase of 56 per cent&nbsp;compared to the end of 2016.</p> <p>The sport has seen triple the growth compared to other leading sports series, such as the Champions League, MLB, Nascar, NBA and the Premier League.</p> <p>F1&#39;s YouTube account now has over 580,000 subscribers, an increase of 178 per cent, whilst its Instagram has seen a 104 per cent increase in followers to just under 3m.</p> <p>Video content has proven particularly popular, with video views on F1&#39;s official website up&nbsp;283 per cent, meanwhile a recent video post to Facebook following qualifying for the Canadian Grand Prix, in which Lewis Hamilton was given one of Ayrton Senna&#39;s helmets for matching his pole tally, is F1&#39;s most popular video ever, with more than 7.7 million visualisations.</p> <p>Frank Arthofer, F1&#39;s head of digital and new business, described the figures as &quot;encouraging&quot;.</p> <p>&quot;One of the objectives we set ourselves at the start of the season was to broaden the audience for Formula 1 on our online platforms. We have found that in some of our most avid markets our fanbases are a bit older: so aging down the audience is and will continue to be a priority,&quot; said&nbsp;Arthofer.</p> <p>&quot;The figures from the first part of the championship are very encouraging. We have increased the content on offer and fan engagement has been incredible. It means we are on the right path and, at the moment, Formula 1 is the fastest growing sports brand on social media. This is the type of success that this sport deserves.&quot;</p> Florida Racing switches from Riley to LigierTue, 25 Jul 2017 21:30:48 GMT<p><strong>Visit Florida Racing has confirmed the purchase of a Ligier JSP217 for use in the IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship.</strong></p> <p>The team will switch to the Onroak-made LMP2 chassis from its existing Riley Mk.30 which has so far struggled for pace this season.</p> <p>The new Gibson-powered Ligier will make its first appearance at the Road America round in early August.</p> <p>&quot;We have seen what the Ligier JS P217 is capable of, not only here in IMSA, but also in Europe as well, so we are eager to get to the track and learn about the JS P217 at Road America,&quot; said Visit Florida Racing team owner Troy Flis.</p> <p>&quot;I&rsquo;m impressed with the customer support that Onroak Automotive has in place, and I have known Max Crawford for a long time so that relationship is another key element for us and Visit Florida to make this commitment.&rdquo;</p> <p>Onroak Automotive CEO Jacques Nicolet added: &quot;We are very proud that Troy Flis chose our Ligier JS P217 to continue his team participation in the 2017 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.&quot;</p> <p>&quot;With more than 30 years of experience, of which 13 years in the Daytona Prototype category, Visit Florida Racing is a leading figure in the USA motorsport world.&quot;</p> <p>&quot;In establishing Onroak Automotive in Denver, North Carolina, under the management of Max Crawford, we are able to provide extended support to our teams and to make sure they have the best opportunity to meet the success they deserve with our Ligier JS P217.&quot;</p> <p>Having been an IMSA front-runner in recent years, Visit Florida Racing has faced a difficult to start to the 2017 season which saw the introduction of a new Prototype rule&nbsp;set.</p> <p>Despite finishing third at the season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona with its brand-new Riley, drivers Marc Goossens and Renger van der Zande have failed to return to the podium since and currently sit ninth in the standings.</p> <p>The most recent event in Canada saw the Riley stop multiple times on track with an electrical issue, before retiring.</p> <p>However, the pair&#39;s best results have come at the endurance rounds, meaning they sit joint third in the North American Endurance Cup table&nbsp;with only the 10-hour Petit Le Mans event remaining.</p> <p>After turning competitive laps for the first time at Road America, the Ligier will compete at Laguna Seca before heading to Atlanta for the season-ending enduro in October.</p> 1 must consult expert groups over 2021 engine noiseTue, 25 Jul 2017 14:24:09 GMT<p>Formula 1 must carefully consider a number of aspects before it settles on a definite 2021 engine&nbsp;formula, consulting various expert groups to ensure it gets things such as the noise right, according to Mercedes engine boss Andy Cowell.</p> <p>The sport is looking to replace the current hybrid V6 turbo power unit, that has been in existence since 2014, with a cheaper option.</p> <p>Meetings have been taking place with key stakeholders including the FIA, Liberty Media, all four current engine suppliers as well as new potential suppliers such as Audi, Porsche, Aston Martin and Cosworth.</p> <p>With just over three years until it is set to replace the current engine, manufacturers are keen to confirm the new specification as research and design will need to begin within the next year.</p> <p>Cowell says that decision can&#39;t be rushed and expert groups must be consulted to avoid running into the same problems as the current specification, such as its lack of noise and its high cost, as well as ensuring it is road related.</p> <p>&quot;Everybody&#39;s expressed their opinion on what 2021 should bring,&quot; said Cowell. &quot;We need to make sure that the technology that&#39;s introduced in Formula 1 in 2021 is ahead of the road car world in 2021 and perhaps mimicking what will be in the showrooms in 2026.</p> <p>&quot;But there&#39;s a whole load of other topics that need to be discussed and the conclusion of the second meeting&nbsp;is that we need to do some more work [on these].</p> <p>&quot;We need to break out into expert groups and that&#39;s not necessarily us, that&#39;s people from outside of F1 that understand about engine noise and how that brings pleasure to people that are hearing it, the musicality of it.</p> <p>&quot;Then [there are] more scientific studies that we will be involved in, like removing the MGU-H &ndash; [do] we have single turbo or twin turbos?&quot;</p> <p>Cowell says work on getting those experts together has already begun and is hopeful that a decision on what will power F1 after 2020 will be made before the end of the season.</p> <p>&quot;The FIA is going to chair several meetings, several working groups that conclude over the summer on that particular subject matter and then in September, bring that back together and try and condense that into one overall package.</p> <p>&quot;As ever, there will be compromise but I think if we come up with the best package for Formula 1, for the manufacturers, for the fans, for the drivers, for the chassis teams etc then it will be a good step.&quot;</p> Racing unveils fan-made 24 Hours of Spa liveryTue, 25 Jul 2017 12:45:22 GMT<p><strong>Strakka Racing has revealed the fan-made livery that will adorn one of its McLaren 650S GT3s at the 24 Hours of Spa this weekend.</strong></p> <p>The British team gave supporters the opportunity to win the unique prize of having their design wrapped onto the #58 car driven by Rob Bell, Come Ledogar and Ben Barnicoat.</p> <p>The social media&nbsp;competition, open to all ages, was won by Dutch enthusiast Jorrit van Dasselaar whose striking&nbsp;half-and-half scheme beat over 100 entries from both professional artists and amateurs.</p> <p>Focusing on the past and future of McLaren, the design features one side with reflective lightning bolts and the other in the traditional orange of the British manufacturer.</p> <p>The prize package also includes&nbsp;VIP guest access to the 24 Hours of Spa.</p> <p>Strakka Racing has four factory McLarens entered to the showpiece round of the&nbsp;Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup, with three cars vying for overall honours&nbsp;and one competing in the Pro-Am category.</p> confirms Luca Ghiotto for Hungary F1 testTue, 25 Jul 2017 09:16:51 GMT<p>Williams has confirmed that it will hand an F1 test debut to F2 racer Luca Ghiotto during next week&#39;s running at the Hungaroring.</p> <p>Formula 1 will stay on in Hungary for two days of in-season running, and Ghiotto will get behind the wheel of the FW40 at the test, with Felipe Massa also in action for the team.</p> <p>Ghiotto finished runner-up to Esteban Ocon in GP3 in 2015 and holds fifth place in the F2 standings.</p> <p>&quot;A big thanks to Williams for this opportunity,&quot; said Ghiotto.</p> <p>&quot;I think the first F1 test for any driver is a special moment, and to do it with such an historic team is even better so I&rsquo;m really excited.</p> <p>&quot;Of course, I also need to focus on the F2 weekend beforehand, but I&rsquo;m really looking forward to the test and I really hope it goes well.&quot;</p> <p>Claire Williams, the squad&#39;s Deputy Team Principal, added: &quot;This will be Luca&#39;s first opportunity of a Formula 1 outing.</p> <p>&quot;Our team has a strong track record for developing young talent, and we always enjoy seeing young drivers getting opportunities to demonstrate their ability. I look forward to seeing how he performs in the car next month.&quot;</p> unveils new-for-2018 universal aero kitMon, 24 Jul 2017 21:00:44 GMT<p>IndyCar has published the first official photos of its new-for-2018 universal aero kit, previously only seen in computer generated renders.</p> <p>The new look has been described as &quot;bolder, safer and more thrilling&quot; but remains based on the&nbsp;Dallara IR-12 introduced in 2012.</p> <p>Although the new kits, an oval-specific kit and a road and temporary street circuit kit, are less complex in terms of aerodynamics, the amount of downforce generated by the underside of the car has been increased by 19 per cent, meaning&nbsp;66 per cent of the cars downforce comes from the floor.</p> <p>It&#39;s hoped that will allow for closer racing without impacting cornerning and top speeds. In fact, a simulation done by IndyCar expects an increase in the top speed at many ovals due to the cars being lighter than before.</p> <p>A number of safety improvements have also been included.&nbsp;The car features reduced front and rear-wing main planes as well as a reduction in winglets and the such, decreasing the potential for debris.</p> <p>Increased side-impact protection has been added, which is now eight to ten inches wider at the driver&#39;s hips. The design has also allowed for a cockpit windscreen application, when one has been developed.</p> <p>The kits will be standard amongst all Honda and Chevrolet-powered cars.</p> <p>&quot;The [design] process started a year ago in April, and we took the input of our fans, drivers, teams, manufacturers, partners &ndash; everyone shares in this,&quot; said Jay Frye, president, INDYCAR competition and operations.&nbsp;</p> <p>&quot;There is a historical component to this design, and it comes with a very forward look and all the latest components. Although the design looked good on paper it looks even better in person. We couldn&rsquo;t be more excited to get this car on the track.&quot;</p> <p>The kits will undergo testing on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week at the&nbsp;Indianapolis Motor Speedway, followed by two further tests in August (Mid-Ohio and Iowa) and then one in September (Sebring).</p> <p><img alt="" height="520" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/IndyCar/16C_8934-11.png" width="800" /></p> <p><img alt="" height="520" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/IndyCar/16C_8925-1.png" width="800" /></p> <p><img alt="" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/IndyCar/16C_8893-1.png" /></p> <p><img alt="" height="520" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/IndyCar/16C_8661-1.png" width="800" /></p> <p><img alt="" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/IndyCar/16C_8632-1.png" /></p> <p><img alt="" height="520" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/IndyCar/16C_8842-1.png" width="800" /></p> <p><img alt="" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/IndyCar/16C_8669-1.png" /></p> confirms 2019/20 season six Formula E teamMon, 24 Jul 2017 19:03:13 GMT<p>Mercedes has confirmed its plans to join the Formula E grid for the 2019/20 season, delaying its debut by a year to Season 6 following its initial agreement with the all-electric series.</p> <p>The news comes on the same day the German marque <a href="">announced it would quit the DTM series</a>, as it looks to focus on its existing Formula 1 team and its new Formula E entry.</p> <p>&quot;In motorsport, like in every other area, we want to be the benchmark in the premium segment and also explore innovative new projects,&quot; said Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff.</p> <p>&quot;With Formula 1 and Formula E, we have achieved exactly this balance. Formula E is like an exciting start-up venture &ndash; it offers a brand new format, combining racing with a strong event character, in order to promote current and future technologies.</p> <p>&quot;Electrification is happening in the road car world and Formula E offers manufacturers an interesting platform to bring this technology to a new audience &ndash; and to do so with a completely new kind of racing, different to any other series.</p> <p>&quot;I&rsquo;m pleased that we were able to extend our entry option for one year to the 2019/20 season. This gives us time to properly understand the series and to prepare for our entry in the right way.&quot;</p> <p>Mercedes joins the likes of Audi, Jaguar and Renault, while BMW has confirmed its own manufacturer team for Season 5, in association with Andretti.</p> <p>Alejandro Agag, Founder and&nbsp;CEO of Formula E, added: &quot;Today is a great day as we welcome Mercedes to the Formula E family &ndash; adding to the increasing number of manufacturers joining the electric revolution.</p> <p>&quot;This shows how much the world is changing, not only in motorsport, but the whole automotive industry. We&rsquo;re witnessing a transformation that will first change our cities, and then our roads.</p> <p>&quot;Formula E is the championship that embodies that change, and together with all our teams and manufacturers we&rsquo;ll keep pushing for technologies, to have better and more affordable electric cars.&quot;</p> to quit DTM after 2018 to focus on Formula EMon, 24 Jul 2017 18:56:55 GMT<p>Mercedes has&nbsp;confirmed it will end its&nbsp;involvement in the DTM series after the 2018 season as the German marque looks to focus on its new Formula E programme, alongside its commitments to Formula 1.</p> <p>Mercedes has long been a core part of the DTM series since it relaunched in 2000 alongside German rival Audi, with BMW joining the ranks in 2012.</p> <p>The surprise decision came with <a href="">confirmation of Mercedes&#39; Formula E entry</a> for the 2019/20 season six, rather than the anticipated season five entry.</p> <p>&quot;Our years in the DTM will always be held high as a major chapter in the motorsport history of Mercedes,&quot; said Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff.</p> <p>&quot;I want to thank every team member whose fantastic work has helped to make Mercedes-Benz the most successful DTM manufacturer during that time.</p> <p>&quot;Although leaving is tough for all of us, we will be doing everything during this season and next to make sure we win as many DTM titles as possible before we go. We owe that to our fans and to ourselves.&quot;</p> <p>Mercedes has won seven drivers&#39; and nine constructors&#39; championships since the relaunch of the DTM series in 2000.</p> Button almost rejoined Williams for the 2017 seasonMon, 24 Jul 2017 18:42:44 GMT<p>Jenson Button says he almost rejoined Williams for the 2017 season, which would have seen him replace Valtteri Bottas&nbsp;instead of Felipe Massa, who came out of retirement to partner Lance Stroll when Bottas got his late deal to race for Mercedes.</p> <p>Button began his career with the British outfit back in 2000&nbsp;where he finished eighth in the standings and he&nbsp;completed&nbsp;a single season before moving to Benetton, with a best finish of fifth in Germany.</p> <p>Speaking to&nbsp;<em>CNN,&nbsp;</em>Button revealed that he had several conversations with Williams throughout his career about a possible return, including the most recent one ahead of the current season when he stepped aside from his McLaren seat.</p> <p>Button, however, emphasised that the time was right to retire, following 17 consecutive seasons in the sport.</p> <p>&quot;I&rsquo;ve almost rejoined Williams I think three times, four times,&quot; said Button. &quot;I spoke to Williams about racing this year, a couple of times.</p> <p>&quot;I spoke to them last year and I spoke to them this year as well. It&rsquo;s a great team but just for me, it was time [to stop].&quot;</p> <p>When asked if he could replace Massa in 2018 if&nbsp;the Brazilian chose to re-retire, Button simply replied: &quot;No.&quot;</p> <p>Button made a one-off comeback at the Monaco GP this year when Fernando Alonso raced in the Indianapolis 500. Button retired from the race after contact with Pascal Wehrlein.</p> Ferrucci gets Haas F1 test days in HungaryMon, 24 Jul 2017 16:05:54 GMT<p>Haas development driver Santino Ferrucci will get behind the wheel of the VF-17 for next week&rsquo;s in-season test at the Hungaroring.</p> <p>Ferrucci, 19, joined Haas as its development driver in 2016 and received his first taste of Formula 1 machinery during the two-day group session at Silverstone.</p> <p>Haas has mirrored its 2016 schedule for the second 2017 mid-season running at the Hungaroring, with Ferrucci set to drive the car on Tuesday and Wednesday.</p> <p>Ferrucci currently occupies 14th position in the GP3 championship, his second season in the tertiary category.</p> <p>Gene Haas confirmed last week that Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen will continue to race for the outfit in 2018.</p> Wolff: Mercedes must anticipate a strong fight back from rivalsMon, 24 Jul 2017 15:56:59 GMT<p>Mercedes Formula 1 boss Toto Wolff has warned that his team mustn&#39;t get complacent with its points advantage and must anticipate a fight back from their rivals, namely Ferrari and Red Bull.</p> <p>The championship momentum seems to have swung into Mercedes favour recently, with the team winning four of the last three races &ndash; the other of which was won by Red Bull&#39;s Daniel Ricciardo thanks to a loose headrest for Baku race leader Lewis Hamilton.</p> <p>That&#39;s handed <a href="">Mercedes a 55-point lead over Ferrari</a> in the Constructors&#39; Championship, but with rivals Ferrari and Red Bull expected to bring big updates to the Hungarian Grand Prix this weekend, Wolff says Mercedes must be prepared for a &quot;fight back&quot;.</p> <p>&quot;We enjoyed a fantastic weekend in Silverstone but it is now something nice in the history books,&quot; said the Austrian.&nbsp;&quot;[Now] we head to Budapest for the final race before the summer break.</p> <p>&quot;We have to do the job again beginning with first practice in Hungary. Our rivals will be determined to fight back strongly &ndash; and we have to anticipate that.</p> <p>&quot;There is no complacency at all at Mercedes, just a resolute determination to get the job done.&quot;</p> <p>Despite the points advantage and Vettel&#39;s narrow one-point lead in the Drivers&#39; Standings, which was greatly reduced last time out, Wolff insists both titles remain &quot;in the balance&quot; and the team must remain focussed on the job at hand.</p> <p>&quot;We have reached the halfway point of the 2017 season and both championships are very much in the balance right now,&quot; he added.</p> <p>&quot;The points tables show that we have a small buffer in the Constructors&#39; race and a small deficit on the Drivers&#39; side. But that&#39;s not important at this stage &ndash; there are no prizes awarded for the half-time champions.</p> <p>&quot;Our approach is to take it weekend by weekend, to build our performance at each circuit in a calm and logical way and to keep pushing.</p> <p>&quot;The time for worrying about the points will come later.&quot;</p> presents best opportunity for strong result - McLarenMon, 24 Jul 2017 12:58:32 GMT<p>McLaren heads to Hungary in high spirits that the final race before the summer break could be the turning point in what has been a dreadful Formula 1 season for the British outfit.</p> <p>With just two points to its name courtesy of Fernando Alonso in Azerbaijan, the team is last in the standings and in need of an upturn in performance in order to move up the championship classification.</p> <p>Hungary presents the team with its best opportunity of the season so far to do just that, with the short straights and medium to high-speed corners encountered at the Hungaroring heavily dependent on a strong chassis over engine performance.</p> <p>&quot;On paper, the Hungaroring presents one of the best opportunities for us this year,&quot; commented Alonso.&nbsp;&quot;The short, twisty circuit means we are less reliant on outright power, and the drivers have to really depend on the capabilities of the chassis to get the best out of the lap.&nbsp;</p> <p>&quot;The temperatures are high and it&rsquo;s a testing weekend for the teams and drivers &ndash; especially since the summer break is so close, but a good result can be a great boost for everyone going into the shutdown period.&quot;</p> <p>Alonso is however cautious that reliability issues could always derail its targets this weekend, despite some recent upgrades from Honda.</p> <p>&quot;The important thing for us, as always, is reliability,&quot; he added. &quot;Even if our car could perform better in Hungary, we need to have a trouble-free weekend to take advantage of every opportunity for points.</p> <p>&quot;We made some big decisions in Silverstone in terms of taking grid penalties in preparation for this race, and hope that&rsquo;s paid off so we can put ourselves in the best possible position for points this weekend.&quot;</p> <p>Honda&#39;s Yusuke Hasegawa concurred that Hungary is McLaren and Honda&#39;s best chance at scoring big points.</p> <p>&quot;Despite showing improved competitiveness during the last few races, we&rsquo;re yet to translate this into on-track results. Having said that, we&rsquo;re pleased with our current development and we now head to Hungary feeling more positive about the race weekend.&nbsp;</p> <p>&quot;The Hungaroring is a unique twisty circuit that should give us one of our best opportunities this season. Though it is not a power-oriented track, it still requires precise energy management throughout every lap of the race. It is also a track where overtaking is extremely difficult, so qualifying will be enormously important for us,&quot; said Hasegawa.</p> <p>&quot;We know we&rsquo;re capable of a good result on this type of track, so our target is to reach Q3 and be in a good place to score points in the race. Fernando claimed his first Formula 1 victory at the Hungaroring, and Stoffel won there in GP2 in 2014, so our cars are in excellent hands.&quot;</p> Lotterer to make Audi return at Spa 24 HoursMon, 24 Jul 2017 11:07:07 GMT<p>Andre Lotterer will make his Audi Motorsport return at this weekend&#39;s Spa 24 Hours, with the 35-year-old standing in for Will Stevens.</p> <p>Lotterer will race the customer team #5 Audi Sport Team WRT car alongside&nbsp;Dries Vanthoor and Marcel Fassler, which makes up one of five Audi R8 LMS entries, with a total of ten Audi&#39;s in the 64-car field.</p> <p>The German originally joined Audi in 2010 as a factory driver where he took three overall victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans before Audi terminated its LMP1 project. Lotterer then moved to Porsche to join its LMP1 team.</p> <p>&quot;It&rsquo;s a nice surprise and I am very happy,&quot;&nbsp;he is quoted as saying by <em>Sportscar365</em>. &quot;When Vincent [Vosse] called me to check if the challenge could interest me, the answer has been immediate!</p> <p>&quot;To be in a lineup that aims at winning the Spa 24 Hours, and to be part of Team WRT and the Belgian Audi Club, is an offer you cannot refuse.</p> <p>&quot;On top, I will be again associated with my friend Marcel Fassler, and Benoit Treluyer will also be in the team, although on another car.</p> <p>&quot;I am very motivated and want to thank Porsche, my employer, for giving its go-ahead to this one-off with for a sister brand of the Volkswagen family.&quot;</p> engine boss expects Honda to 'come good pretty quicky'Mon, 24 Jul 2017 10:44:44 GMT<p>Mercedes engine boss Andy Cowell has warned against&nbsp;underestimating Honda, despite their current woes, and has tipped the Japanese manufacturer to &quot;come good pretty quickly&quot;.</p> <p>McLaren&#39;s engine supplier Honda has struggled to get on top of its performance and reliability issues this season, despite it being their third term since returning to the sport under the current power unit regulations.</p> <p>Cowell, who has been in charge of Mercedes&#39; engine development during their dominant period, says Honda and McLaren shouldn&#39;t be written off.</p> <p content="“I think collectively we’ve helped with convergence in Formula 1 in the opening season, performance development through the year,” Cowell said." data-reactid="22" type="text">&quot;I think collectively we&rsquo;ve helped with convergence in Formula 1 in the opening season, performance development through the year,&rdquo; said Cowell.</p> <p content="“But then the opportunity to do a big change with Honda coming in, we all agreed that Honda could have that same opportunity to change everything in the first year and then the request came from manufacturers in addition to Honda saying ‘please can we take this crazy token table away because it’s bad for the sport?’" data-reactid="23" type="text">&ldquo;But then the opportunity to do a big change with Honda coming in, we all agreed that Honda could have that same opportunity to change everything in the first year and then the request came from manufacturers in addition to Honda saying &lsquo;please can we take this crazy token table away because it&rsquo;s bad for the sport?&rsquo;</p> <p content="“It’s bad if somebody can’t train to get better and so we agreed, yeah, take the table away because it’s better for the sport because it means that you can innovate, you can introduce whatever you like." data-reactid="24" type="text">&ldquo;It&rsquo;s bad if somebody can&rsquo;t train to get better and so we agreed, yeah, take the table away because it&rsquo;s better for the sport because it means that you can innovate, you can introduce whatever you like.</p> <p content="“I think none of us should underestimate the technical prowess of Honda and of McLaren and I think my money is on that combination coming good and coming good pretty quickly. No pressure…”" data-reactid="25" type="text">&ldquo;I think none of us should underestimate the technical prowess of Honda and of McLaren and I think my money is on that combination coming good and coming good pretty quickly.&quot;</p> 225 of Motorsport Monday is out now – From Russia with LoveMon, 24 Jul 2017 09:50:55 GMT<p><strong>Issue 225&nbsp;of our free weekly magazine, Motorsport Monday, is online now and packed full of great content&nbsp;&ndash;&nbsp;<a href="">click here</a>&nbsp;or the&nbsp;link below to start reading.</strong></p> <p>To start with, we head to Russia for rounds 9 and 10 of the DTM Series from the Moscow Raceway. Read Phillip Horton&#39;s full race reports to get the lowdown on two dramatic events and how race 2 produced a surprise winner.</p> <p>Then it&#39;s across the pond to the constitution state of Connecticut in the United States, for the first of the two GT only IMSA WeatherTech&nbsp;Championship rounds at Lime Rock Park. And it turned out that one marque put on a dominant display all weekend. Find out which one did in Daniel Lloyds weekend report.</p> <p>After that it&#39;s over to Finland for Jerry Williams&#39; preview of next week&#39;s Finnish Grand Prix, or WRC Neste Rally Finland as we now have to call it. Read his preview and all the news from the teams ahead of the flat out race around the lakes near Jyv&auml;skyl&auml;.</p> <p>Jackie Chan may be a film star but did you know that he and his life-long friend David Cheng also love endurance racing. Daniel Lloyd sat down with team owner and star driver Cheng to find out how the Jackie Chan DC Racing team is coping after their Le Mans overall podium success.</p> <p>And to wrap up this week&#39;s edition, Joe Saward shares his invaluable insight from within the paddock; pontificating today about which team will run what engine next year. See if you agree with his predictions...</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" height="127" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/Magazine/click-to-read.png" width="800" /></a></p> Matsushita to get first F1 test run with SauberMon, 24 Jul 2017 09:17:50 GMT<p>Sauber has confirmed that it will run Honda-backed youngster Nobuharu Matsushita during next week&#39;s in-season post-race test session at the Hungaroring.</p> <p>Matsushita, 23, currently holds seventh place in the F2 standings, his third year in Formula 1&#39;s feeder series, having taken three wins during his time in the category.</p> <p>Matsushita will sample the C36-Ferrari during next Wednesday&#39;s running, taking over from F2 rival Gustav Malja, who will run on Tuesday.</p> <p>&quot;When I was four years old, I was fascinated by Michael Schumacher, watching him racing in Formula 1,&quot; said Matsushita.</p> <p>&quot;Since then my dream was to become a Formula 1 driver. I am very excited about my first Formula 1 test and I am really looking forward to driving the Sauber C36-Ferrari at the Hungaroring &ndash; it is a great opportunity for me.</p> <p>&quot;I hope it will be a productive day for the team as well as for myself, so that I can learn as much as possible. I would like to thank the Sauber F1 Team for making this happen.&quot;</p> confirms Robert Kubica for post-Hungarian GP testMon, 24 Jul 2017 08:24:46 GMT<p>Robert Kubica will test Renault&rsquo;s R.S.17 during next week&rsquo;s in-season group running at the Hungaroring, the team announced on Monday.</p> <p>Kubica competed in Formula 1 between 2006 and 2010, spending his last campaign with the French manufacturer, before he suffered serious arm injuries in a rally crash.</p> <p>Kubica returned to the cockpit of a Formula 1 car for the first time in six years when he sampled Renault&rsquo;s 2012-spec E20 during a private test at Valencia&rsquo;s Ricardo Tormo Circuit last month.</p> <p>Kubica was encouraged by his progress and Renault organised a second test in the same machinery, which took place at Paul Ricard.</p> <p>Renault has now given Kubica one day in its R.S.17, next Wednesday, in order to further assess his capabilities.</p> <p>&ldquo;The first two days of testing allowed both Robert and ourselves to gather a great amount of information,&rdquo; said Renault&rsquo;s Cyri Abiteboul.</p> <p>&ldquo;The upcoming session with the R.S.17 at the Hungaroring will allow us all to obtain detailed and precise data in a current car and representative conditions.</p> <p>&ldquo;After this test, we will carefully analyse the collected information to determine in what conditions it would be possible for Robert to return to competition in the upcoming years.&rdquo;</p> <p>Formula 2 racer Nicholas Latifi will drive on Tuesday&rsquo;s opening test day.</p> Engel takes maiden DTM win from 17th on gridSun, 23 Jul 2017 12:56:23 GMT<p>Maro Engel claimed victory from the back row of the grid during a thrilling DTM race at the Moscow Raceway, as he resisted late pressure from Mattias Ekstr&ouml;m.</p> <p>Engel started from 17th place, ahead only of Tom Blomqvist, and elected to make his mandatory pit stop at the end of the opening lap, a decision which proved crucial for his win.</p> <p>Engel &ndash; along with reigning champion Marco Wittmann &ndash; profited when the Safety Car was deployed, due to Maxime Martin suffering a brake failure, meaning they circulated outside the top 10, but effectively having gained a free stop.</p> <p>Engel jumped Loic Duval and Wittmann during the laps after restart, while up front Ekstr&ouml;m muscled his way past pole sitter and early leader Bruno Spengler.</p> <p>Ekstr&ouml;m pitted mid-distance and came out at the foot of the top 10, with a sizeable deficit to the group of drivers who had stopped early.</p> <p>However, Engel and Wittmann were baulked by the yet-to-pit Nico Muller, enabling Ekstr&ouml;m to surge onto the back of the group.</p> <p>Ekstr&ouml;m overhauled Duval and Blomqvist &ndash; who pitted on the opening lap &ndash; before sizing up Wittmann, as Muller finally ducked into the pit lane for his stop.</p> <p>Ekstr&ouml;m eventually found a way through Wittmann along the pit straight and sliced into Engel&rsquo;s advantage up front, but fell just 0.3s short of denying the Mercedes driver a maiden win.</p> <p>Spengler ultimately came home in third place after profiting in a frantic battle for the position, with Ren&eacute; Rast and Jamie Green close behind, as Wittmann dropped to sixth.</p> <p>Mike Rockenfeller took seventh, ahead of Blomqvist, who had initially taken pole position only to be excluded for failing to provide a sufficient fuel sample, while Lucas Auer and Robert Wickens completed the top 10. &nbsp;</p> Ocon quicker than I expected says Force India's Vijay MallyaSun, 23 Jul 2017 11:28:59 GMT<p>Esteban Ocon has impressed Force India team principal and co-owner Vijay Mallya during his rookie season with the team, with Mallya admitting the Frenchman&#39;s pace took him by surprise.</p> <p>Ocon has <a href="">scored 43 points in the opening ten races</a> of the season with a best fifth place finish at the Spanish Grand Prix.</p> <p>Ocon has failed to score in only one race, in Monaco, and sits just nine points behind his far more experienced team-mate, Sergio Perez.</p> <p>Mallya is therefore expecting a lot more from the 20-year-old as his experience grows over the coming races and seasons with Force India, having signed a multi-year deal, which Mallya says is the reward for taking a chance on the youngster.</p> <p>&quot;Esteban has come up to speed really well and is quicker than I thought &ndash; it&rsquo;s fantastic,&quot;&nbsp;said the 71-year-old team boss.</p> <p>&quot;We had a tough call to make over the winter about who our driver was going to be. There were only rookies available and I think we made the right choice.</p> <p>&quot;He&rsquo;s only going to mature and get better. You know that experience is hugely important, and the more experience he gets the better he&rsquo;s going to become.</p> <p>&quot;He has the talent, which has showed already. I&rsquo;m happy we have him signed up on a multi-year contract, so I&rsquo;m expecting regular point-scoring finishes from him.&quot;</p> Porsche 911 RSR takes maiden global victory at Lime Rock ParkSat, 22 Jul 2017 22:51:49 GMT<p><strong>Porsche clinched its first GTLM victory of the 2017 IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship with a dominant one-two result at Lime Rock Park.</strong></p> <p>Dirk Werner and Patrick Pilet delivered the maiden win for the new rear-engined 911 RSR, which made its international competition debut at the start of the year in IMSA and the World Endurance Championship.</p> <p>Pilet crossed the line 14.500&nbsp;seconds ahead of Laurens Vanthoor in the sister Porsche, which started from pole position in the hands of Gianmaria Bruni.</p> <p>Having started from the second row of the grid, Werner jumped the second-placed BMW M6 of John Edwards/Martin Tomczyk before setting off in pursuit of the Italian.</p> <p>The two Porsches switched around 50 minutes into the 2 hour&nbsp;40 minute contest when Bruni made a mistake and cut through the grass before pitting for minor repairs to the front bodywork.</p> <p>Werner stayed out an extra lap before bringing the #911 car in for Pilet, who commanded the remainder of the race to seal Porsche&#39;s first GTLM-class victory in 10 months.</p> <p>Tomczyk came through to finish third for BMW, 40 seconds off the leader, while championship leaders Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen took fourth in their Corvette C7.R.</p> <p>Ford GT driver&nbsp;Richard Westbrook was on course to take the final podium spot, only for the #67 car to pit with five minutes to go for a splash of fuel.</p> <p>Westbrook and team-mate Ryan Briscoe had been trying to run the race on one stop only, but the lack of a Full Course Caution period meant the pair fell just short of a perfect strategy call.</p> <p>The Chip Ganassi-run crew ultimately settled for fifth, ahead of the #25 BMW which finished a lap down.</p> <p>Alexander Sims and Bill Auberlen&#39;s result in their M6 means Garcia and Magnussen extend their points lead to six points with four rounds remaining.</p> <p>Corvette and Ford&#39;s sister cars were eliminated from contention early on when Tommy Milner lost control under braking and took out the Ford GT of Dirk Muller while the duo battled for fifth.</p> <p>Milner&#39;s car finished 30 laps down following lengthy suspension repairs, while Muller and Joey Hand recovered to finish sixth, albeit four laps in arrears.</p> <p><a href="">RESULT: IMSA WTSCC Lime Rock Park</a></p> <p>Porsche backed up its overall success with a triumph in the secondary GT Daytona category for GT3 cars, as Jorg Bergmeister and Patrick Lindsey earned a first win of the season for Park Place Motorsports.</p> <p>Having started sixth, Lindsey recovered from bodywork damage caused by contact with another car,&nbsp;to hand over to Porsche factory asset Bergmeister for the run to the flag.</p> <p>Bergmeister crossed the line 3.473 seconds ahead of Bryan Sellers in the&nbsp;Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3, which was started from pole by Madison Snow.</p> <p>Snow led the class from the getaway, but surrendered his advantage to the&nbsp;Daniel Morad/Patrick Long Porsche 35 minutes in when the Lamborghini driver became caught in traffic.</p> <p>Bergmeister cycled into the lead during the pit stops&nbsp;after a close battle between the three cars in the middle stint, sealing the manufacturer&#39;s&nbsp;second class win of the season&nbsp;and the first for the Park Place squad in almost two years.</p> <p>Morad and Long took third on their first weekend sharing the same car, while Lawson Aschenbach and Andrew Davis took fourth in the Stevenson Motorsports Audi R8.</p> <p>Championship leaders Christina Nielsen and Alessandro Balzan maintained their position with a sixth-place finish in their Ferrari 488, although the Scuderia Corsa pair failed to continue their streak of consecutive podium finishes extending back to the 12 Hours of Sebring in March.</p> the halfway house Halo - F1 needs closed cockpitsSat, 22 Jul 2017 16:10:32 GMT<p>Cockpit protection is the F1 issue that won&rsquo;t quit. To the point it&rsquo;s hard to recall a time that &lsquo;solutions&rsquo; did not linger in the background, appear in artists&rsquo; impressions, and turn up for real for the first few laps of the odd first Friday practice session.</p> <p>We can understand it too, as with the safety strides of recent years the exposed cockpit feels like the final frontier. These days it is the accidents wherein the exposed head gets near to debris, barriers or other cars that <em>really</em> make us wince &ndash; think among several others of Scott Dixon at the Indy 500 this year; Romain Grosjean barrelling over Fernando Alonso at Spa in 2012.</p> <p>Little wonder <a href="">the FIA spoke in recent days</a> of its &ldquo;priority to address this existing weak point.&rdquo;</p> <p>But now in F1 at least the phoney war is to end. Next season the &lsquo;Halo&rsquo; will feature over F1 cockpits, forced through by the FIA on safety grounds.</p> <p>And the dismay at the inelegant addition&rsquo;s confirmation has been about as long-in-preparation. The sport will be a laughing stock, they say. Fans will flock away. The safety &lsquo;solution&rsquo; isn&rsquo;t much of a solution in any case. It&rsquo;s the end of F1 as we know it. And we don&rsquo;t feel fine.</p> <p>That we&rsquo;ve got to this precise point was foreseeable though, and for beyond the reasons outlined. The FIA was determined to introduce <em>something</em> for next year; indeed postponed a similar effort 12 months ago. Postponing another year would, as Lawrence Barretto described it, have been &ldquo;a slap in the face&rdquo;. The teams needed the 2018 chassis spec confirmed pronto. And, crucially, the Halo is the only thing ready.</p> <blockquote> <p>That we&rsquo;ve got to this precise point was foreseeable. The FIA was determined to introduce <em>something</em> for next year; indeed postponed a similar effort 12 months ago.&nbsp;And, crucially, the Halo is the only thing ready.</p> </blockquote> <p>The other solutions, while having potential, clearly have a way to go. Taking the &lsquo;shield&rsquo; as one example, Sebastian Vettel had to park his Ferrari early in Silverstone last week due to the distortion it caused his vision. At the very least the Halo is a stop-gap, better than nothing, that will improve safety while other, better, solutions are finalised.</p> <p>As for aesthetics? Well for all the Halo&rsquo;s inelegance it&rsquo;s not nearly as hideous as the Ann Summers noses of 2014, and we somehow stopped noticing them within a few laps of pre-season testing (<a href="" target="_blank">this from the time written by someone who should know better may amuse</a>). I suspect strongly the same would happen here.</p> <p>We also can dismiss the inevitable &lsquo;F1 should be dangerous&rsquo; yelps audible at such moments. There are a number of counter arguments, but for now I&rsquo;ll leave only the words on safety of the late Denny Hulme, a man who knew more than most what it was to lose people to motor racing.</p> <p>&ldquo;We didn&rsquo;t know any better in the old days,&rdquo; Denny has said. &ldquo;Now we&rsquo;ve got the most incredibly hygienic circuits you have ever seen. Some people criticise them. They say it&rsquo;s terribly boring motor racing. Yes, compared to the old N&uuml;rburgring it is. But it&rsquo;s better than going to a funeral every Tuesday morning. &rdquo;</p> <p>The FIA also, as noted, can claim credibly the matter is hardly new; the implementation hardly knee-jerk. The issue&rsquo;s been acute indeed ever since Felipe Massa fought for his life after being hit on the head by a spring in Hungary in 2009 which was a few days after Henry Surtees&rsquo;s death in a similar incident in an F2 race. The FIA Institute has been investigating solutions since 2011.</p> <blockquote> <p>How many times have you looked at things including today and thought, that was lucky? One day it won&rsquo;t be lucky and we&#39;ll all be sitting there going: &lsquo;We should have done something about that - Paddy Lowe</p> </blockquote> <p>And <a href="" target="_blank">Paddy Lowe for one following the mentioned 2012 Spa crash</a> described even then additional cockpit protection as &ldquo;inevitable&rdquo;.</p> <p>&ldquo;How many times have you looked at things including today and thought, that was lucky?,&rdquo; said Lowe. &ldquo;One day it won&rsquo;t be lucky and we&#39;ll all be sitting there going: &lsquo;We should have done something about that.&rsquo;&rdquo;</p> <p>Subsequent crashes in F1 and beyond, some tragic, have re-stoked the issue at regular intervals.</p> <p>But this leads us to the counter-point, which in turn leads me to suspect that with the above I may have been giving the FIA too much credit. Which is given the FIA has been examining such things for the best part of a decade why has it only got one solution ready to go? And one that feels nothing like the final answer? That instead feels, as Ben Anderson described it, as &ldquo;a terrible hybrid&rdquo;?</p> <p>Even parking the &lsquo;unsightly&rsquo; argument against &ndash; and others such as its effect on the driver&rsquo;s vision &ndash; a major Halo drawback remains that it is helpful mainly for countering a <em>certain type</em> of accident &ndash; errant wheels and large debris. It has mere 17% effectiveness for smaller pieces.</p> <blockquote> <p>Given the FIA has been examining such things for the best part of a decade why has it only got one solution ready to go? And one that feels nothing like the final answer?</p> </blockquote> <p>Yet even so the FIA has over recent years had a strange, and exclusive, attachment to the Halo as its cockpit protection answer. &ldquo;Ever since the FIA first latched onto the concept, no other has genuinely been given a chance to prove itself,&rdquo; <a href=";limitstart=" target="_blank">said Will Buxton in the last few days</a>. &ldquo;The governing body pinned its colours to the mast in the very earliest iterations of Halo, and since then no other idea has had a look in.&rdquo;</p> <p>You could counter that alternatives like the shield are fairly new concepts, but so is the Halo, conceptualised by Mercedes only a couple of years back. While the fully enclosed cockpit (more of this anon) has been on the table from the start and yet years on has scarcely got beyond the artists&rsquo; impression stage. It has not been tested in anger as far as we can tell.</p> <p>Another problem outlined by Buxton is when the FIA postponed the Halo&rsquo;s introduction last year it said &ldquo;that another year of development could result in an even more complete solution.&rdquo; Yet what has there been since? Again nothing we&rsquo;re aware of.</p> <p>An auxiliary point too is that if the arguments in favour of the Halo are so plain &ndash; last year after a FIA presentation on its safety benefits the air was rich of virtually all drivers being converted &ndash; then why has the FIA only been able to convince <em>one</em> team to back it? At the very least it doesn&rsquo;t reflect well on the body&rsquo;s PR skills.</p> <p>Yet the biggest problem is that the Halo seems in any case like an interim and partial solution. And taking this to a logical conclusion I&rsquo;ve been of the view for a while that the final answer to this is the fully enclosed F1 cockpit. So why not put all efforts behind developing that rather than halfway houses?</p> <p>As Buxton for one has noted every F1 concept car of the future it seems has a closed cockpit, and I don&rsquo;t know about you but I think they look pretty good. Presumably it&rsquo;d be hard to make the &lsquo;wuss&rsquo; argument against them too given that would have to apply also to fighter pilots.</p> <blockquote> <p>Why bother have [just] this nod to it being open cockpit? If you want to have a shield then why not fully enclose it? - Edd Straw</p> </blockquote> <p>Yet as noted the F1 closed cockpit over a period of years barely has got off the runway in design and development. Maybe it reflects the attachment to F1 as an &lsquo;open cockpit formula&rsquo;, a resistance illustrated by Edd Straw observing that the shield seems a full cockpit canopy only with a hole cut in the top serving to keep the sport nominally open cockpit.</p> <p>&ldquo;Why bother have [just] this nod to it being open cockpit?,&rdquo; asked Straw, &ldquo;if you want to have a shield then why not fully enclose it?&rdquo;</p> <p>&ldquo;They want to have a closed cockpit solution without going closed cockpit,&rdquo; Anderson added.</p> <p>I am cynical generally about &lsquo;what F1 is&rsquo; claims, and my cynicism lingers with open cockpits. We&rsquo;ve all seen the <a href="" target="_blank">Protos F2 machine</a> from the 1960s with its bubble cockpit and slit for the driver to peer through. <a href="" target="_blank">McLaren also tested something like it</a>, hoping for an aerodynamic benefit, in 1985. F1&rsquo;s core principles contain very little other than cars racing each other to get to the end of a set distance first.</p> <p>Anderson summed the matter up. &ldquo;I think they should pause the whole thing and decide once and for all, do you want to stay open cockpit i.e. as we are? Or do we want to go properly closed cockpit for safety reasons and then come up with a serious, credible, proper solution, that can take Formula One in that direction?</p> <p>&ldquo;And stop having this half-arsed approach when you try to please all camps because it never works.&rdquo;</p> <p>Details about a closed cockpit would need to be resolved &ndash; vision, speed of extraction, what happens if fumes or similar get into the cockpit, and not least what happens when it rains&hellip; But these presumably are solvable; WEC has licked most of them, as have those who design fighter planes.</p> <p>And as the sage Anthony Davidson has explained, <em>all</em> of the solutions will have downsides (and that applies to doing nothing as well) so it is a matter of balancing off considerations. Maybe even of taking the least worst option.</p> <p>Not for the first time it seems a matter for deciding a direction and committing to it. But also not for the first time, it seems F1 falters at such moments.</p> Rast controls Moscow opener to take title advantageSat, 22 Jul 2017 14:07:36 GMT<p>Audi&#39;s Ren&eacute; Rast controlled proceedings at the Moscow Raceway to capture his second DTM victory of the campaign, propelling himself to the top of the standings in the process.</p> <p>Rast claimed pole position and resisted Audi counterpart Mike Rockenfeller off the line before keeping his rival at bay throughout the course of the 38-lap race.</p> <p>Rast came across the line 0.770s clear of Rockenfeller, whose deficit remained similar for the duration of the race, without getting close enough to launch a serious threat.</p> <p>Reigning champion Marco Wittmann prevailed in a scrap for third place with Robert Wickens and Timo Glock.</p> <p>Augusto Farfus had held the position during the early laps but in attempting to pass Rockenfeller, he was edged towards the pit entry, clipped a plastic bollard, and sustained damage.</p> <p>Wittmann thus inherited third, only for Glock to capture the position during the first stint but they swapped places once more shortly after the pit stop phase.</p> <p>Wickens stayed out slightly longer and jumped both, though Wickens used the cutback exiting the final corner to pass his opponent along the pit straight with seven laps remaining.</p> <p>Glock came home in fifth spot, while Lucas Auer made progress from a low-key 14th spot on the grid to finish sixth.</p> <p>Gary Paffett narrowly held off Mattias Ekstr&ouml;m on the run to the line, the latter having lost ground on the first lap following contact with Glock.</p> <p>Jamie Green and Maro Engel completed the top 10.</p> Colin's Crest - Rally Sweden's legendary jumpSat, 22 Jul 2017 13:48:12 GMT<p>Named after the inimitable World Rally legend Colin McRae, Rally Sweden&rsquo;s Colin&rsquo;s Crest has become something of a landmark on the WRC stage. Mobil 1 The Grid spoke to Kris Meeke, Jari-Matti Latvala, Craig Breen and Elfyn Evans to find out what makes the jump so special for drivers and rally fans alike.</p> defends Halo as 'best solution' for Formula 1Sat, 22 Jul 2017 12:02:01 GMT<p>Formula 1&#39;s governing body, the FIA, has labelled the &#39;Halo&#39; head protection device as the &quot;best solution&quot;, following its decision to implement the system in the sport next year.</p> <p>The FIA has strived to increase head protection in recent years and it announced on Wednesday that the halo will be mandatory in Formula 1 in 2018.</p> <p>On Saturday, the FIA published a lengthy statement explaining the process behind choosing the Halo, labelling it as the most viable option for 2018.</p> <p>It added that further work will be done to &quot;refine&quot; the design in cooperation with teams and drivers, before it&#39;s debut next season.</p> <p><strong><em>Full FIA statement:</em></strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><em>This week FIA confirmed the introduction of the Halo system for use in 2018 FIA Formula One World Championship. Let us recall the context of this process started several years ago.</em></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><em>Safety in motorsport is a paramount concern for the FIA and while great strides have been made in many areas of motor sport, head protection in single-seater competition has been an area of concern for many years.</em></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><em>Motor sport by its nature involves risk but it is the mission of the FIA, as the sport&rsquo;s governing body, to continually strive to minimise that risk through the constant pursuit of greater safety on the track through sound research and technological development.</em></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><em>Over the past decade motor sport has witnessed serious incidents that affected drivers. The severity of the incidents made it clear to the FIA that developing a solution to mitigate against frontal impact in the area of the cockpit is a research priority for the FIA&nbsp;to address this existing weak point. There&nbsp;were also a number of near misses that highlighted the need for action.</em></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><em>Following several incidents, the Grand Prix Drivers&rsquo; Association also expressed to FIA President Jean Todt in&nbsp;July&nbsp;2016 a request that some form of frontal cockpit protection be &ldquo;implemented as swiftly as possible&rdquo;.</em></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><em>A month later, following meetings of the F1 Strategy Group and the F1 Commission, the Commission confirmed a commitment to introduce &ldquo;some form of cockpit protection from the 2017 season&rdquo;, assuring that &ldquo;all stakeholders are working together to make this a reality, with the &lsquo;Halo&rsquo; concept currently the preferred option.&rdquo;</em></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><em>While static tests of the device continued, other solutions were simultaneously explored, particularly the &lsquo;Aeroscreen&rsquo;, a windshield mounted on twin pillars attached to the coaming on either side of the cockpit. The system was tested in free practice at the 2016 Russian Grand Prix but while it was successful in some areas, further testing raised concerns as to the effectiveness of the device.</em></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><em>By contrast, tests of the Halo continued to prove successful. Centreing on three significant major risk types, car-to-car contact, car-to-environment contact and external objects, tests revealed that in the case of car-to-car incidents the Halo was able to withstand 15x the static load of the full mass of the car and was able&nbsp;to significantly reduce the potential for injuries.</em></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><em>In car-to-environment tests it was established that the Halo was able to prevent helmet contact with a wall or a barrier in many cases, using a selection of previous incidents as a reference.</em></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><em>Finally, in the case of external objects the Halo was found to successfully deflect large objects away from the cockpit environment and also demonstrated an increased net level of protection against small debris.</em></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><em>Furthermore, feedback from extensive track testing revealed that visibility was substantially unaffected, and there was no significant visual obstruction due to the central strut. Track testing also revealed no issues regarding egress from the cockpit and multiple extrication tests were conducted with the Halo in place, with a revised&nbsp; procedure formulated to ensure safe extrication.</em></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><em>Despite the success, in July of 2016 the F1 Strategy Group agreed to defer introduction of a cockpit protection system in order to provide more time to conduct track testing with the Halo device and to explore emerging alternative solutions.</em></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><em>However, while implementation was deferred, the Strategy Group reaffirmed its commitment to the introduction of a protection system by stating it was &ldquo;agreed unanimously that the 2018 season will see the introduction of frontal cockpit protection for Formula One cars in order to significantly enhance the safety of drivers.&rdquo; The Halo remained the preferred option.</em></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><em>Intensive track tests took place across the second half of the 2016 Formula One season with a wide number of teams and drivers assessing the impact of the device on visibility. Simultaneously the FIA maintained its commitment to the introduction of a device for the 2018 season.</em></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><em>Following these track tests&nbsp;and analysis&nbsp;of emerging alternative systems the F1 Strategy Group and F1 Commission decided, in April of this year, to &ldquo;give priority to the transparent &lsquo;Shield&rsquo; family of systems. The FIA aims to carry out track tests of this system during this season in preparation for implementation in 2018.&rdquo;</em></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><em>After&nbsp;static testing, the Shield system was given a short track test at the 2017 British Grand Prix, with the device fitted to the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel. Feedback from this test concerned a number of limitations around such a system.</em></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><em>In light of this and cognisant of the successful deflection tests conducted with the Halo system, the multiple successful track tests conducted with a wide variety of drivers and teams in the latter half of the 2016 season, and the need to implement regulations for the desired deadline of the start of the 2018 season, the Halo system represents the best solution to the issue of frontal cockpit protection currently in existence.</em></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><em>The latest design of the Halo will now be further refined ahead of its introduction in 2018 in a joint effort between teams, drivers and FIA.</em></p> labels double points finish in Hungary 'critical'Sat, 22 Jul 2017 07:00:52 GMT<p>Renault&rsquo;s Managing Director Cyril Abiteboul says getting both cars into the points at the Hungarian Grand Prix is &ldquo;critical&rdquo;, in order to demonstrate the effectiveness of recent upgrades.</p> <p>Nico H&uuml;lkenberg ran with Renault&rsquo;s new floor in Britain and raced to sixth place, equalling his and the manufacturer&rsquo;s best result of the campaign.</p> <p>H&uuml;lkenberg&rsquo;s Renault team-mate, Jolyon Palmer, will receive the new floor at the Hungaroring, and Abiteboul insists the squad must now target a top 10 result on both sides of the garage.</p> <p>&ldquo;We have shown at Silverstone that we are continuing to improve,&rdquo; said Abiteboul.</p> <p>&ldquo;Chassis developments, in particular the new floor, proved to be positive exemplified from Nico&rsquo;s eight points and both cars showing strong qualifying pace.</p> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s critical to back up this improvement with both cars finishing in the top 10 in Hungary &ndash; we want to finish the first half of the season on a positive note.</p> <p>&ldquo;To achieve this, we need to put behind our reliability problems. We know our situation and the areas which require more attention.</p> <p>&ldquo;Our targets remain unchanged; we want to be sixth by the end of play on 30th July and fifth by the end of the season. A double-points finish is well within our reach.&rdquo;</p> <p>Renault, which holds eighth in the standings, seven points behind sixth-placed Toro Rosso, will evaluate updated front bodywork and a modified cooling package in Hungary.</p> 1 boss wants more German manufacturer teamsFri, 21 Jul 2017 23:05:21 GMT<p>Formula 1&nbsp;boss Chase Carey says he is keen to see more German manufacturers involved in the sport, particularly as the country has a rich history in motorsport as well as it&#39;s present success in F1.</p> <p>His comments come as Porsche is considering its future in the World Endurance Championship, with a belief that the supercar maker could switch to F1 as it offers far greater marketing opportunities than the endurance series.</p> <p>Meanwhile Porsche and sister company Audi were involved in a recent Power Unit Working Group meeting alongside current manufacturers Mercedes, Renault and Ferrari, to discuss the future direction of F1&#39;s engine.</p> <p>Carey would like to see them running teams in F1 and is hopeful that the future rule changes will be enough to attract them.</p> <p>&quot;Our goal is to have companies like that [Porsche, BMW, Audi] want to run teams in Formula 1,&quot; Carey told Germany&#39;s&nbsp;<em>Sport Bild</em>&nbsp;newspaper.</p> <p>&quot;It&#39;s why we are adjusting the technical and economic conditions.</p> <p>&quot;We have a German champion [Nico Rosberg], a German car as champion [Mercedes], a German fighting for the title this year [Sebastian Vettel] and we would like to have more German teams.&quot;</p> <p>Carey also mentioned the country&#39;s race as being important to the sport, adding: &quot;The German Grand Prix has a great history and we want to fight for it to continue.&quot;</p> confident current engine concept has potential to match MercedesFri, 21 Jul 2017 22:51:41 GMT<p>Honda believes its power unit concept, which was designed from the ground-up for the 2017 season, has the potential to match the leading power unit supplied by Mercedes, and therefore the manufacturer will stick with it and continue to develop it through 2018.</p> <p>Honda currently supply only McLaren and has struggled to get on top of the new engine rules, with seasons one and two proving disastrous for the team. Meanwhile their third season together hasn&#39;t gone much better, in fact they have less points than they did at the same point in 2016.</p> <p>But Honda chose to introduce an entirely new design concept this year, which Honda F1&#39;s head Yusuke Hasegawa compared to starting from scratch and considers this year to be &#39;Year One&#39; of the project, therefore performance gains will take time, but he is confident they&#39;re on the right path.</p> <p>&quot;We introduced a new power unit concept this year, so I would almost call this Year One again,&rdquo; said Hasegawa. &quot;But our aim is to develop the 2017 concept into the 2018 season and hopefully 2019 as well.</p> <p>&quot;So the engine weight, centre of gravity and the combustion concept is all going in the same direction as the other three engine manufacturers.</p> <p>&quot;It was good for us to do that. We can modify the specification of some of these parts to catch up with the other three engine manufacturers. Last year the engine concept was completely different, so with minor modifications we could not duplicate the same type of performance. That&rsquo;s why we really needed to change the whole engine concept this year.&quot;</p> <p>Hasegawa says he&#39;s confident they&#39;re beginning to close the gap to the leaders following the introduction of their &#39;Spec 3&#39; upgrade, meanwhile work continues on &#39;Spec 4&#39; &ndash; with everything carried over to next year, unlike last year when development had to stop because it wasn&#39;t relevant for the new engine concept.</p> <p>&quot;I am definitely confident that we are closing the gap to the leaders so, from that point of view, our speed of development is good. But at the same time it is natural for the follower because you have a target that you know is achievable.&quot;</p> <p>He added: &quot;We don&#39;t stop developing, we need to keep updating. Of course the performance and results are the most important things but it&rsquo;s all learning for the future too. Compared to last year we needed to modify the engine concept, but next year we will keep the same concept.</p> <p>&quot;It&rsquo;s good that we can use the same concept because this year&rsquo;s development and improvement is directly connected to next year. So that means we don&rsquo;t need to stop the current development, and from that point of view we have already started next year&rsquo;s design.&quot;</p> Bruni claims maiden Porsche pole at Lime Rock ParkFri, 21 Jul 2017 22:18:48 GMT<p><b>Gianmaria Bruni claimed his first pole position as a Porsche factory GT driver at the Lime Rock Park round of the IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship.</b></p> <p>Bruni, who signed on from Ferrari in the winter,&nbsp;gave the #912 Porsche&nbsp;its maiden pole of the year&nbsp;with a time of 50.404 seconds around the seven-turn, 1.5 mile circuit in Connecticut.</p> <p>The Italian&#39;s time - a 50.404s - also marked the third consecutive pole for the new-for-2017 911 RSR, following the Mosport IMSA round and last weekend&#39;s World Endurance Championship event at the Nurburgring.</p> <p>Bruni, who shares with former Audi driver Laurens Vanthoor,&nbsp;pipped Richard Westbrook in the #67 Ford GT by 0.136 seconds during a tight 15-minute GT Le Mans qualifying session.</p> <p>Dirk Werner qualified the sister Porsche third, two tenths off the benchmark, while John Edwards took fourth in the best of the BMW M6 GTLMs.</p> <p>Rounding out the top five for Saturday&#39;s 2&nbsp;hour 40 minute contest was the championship-leading Corvette driven by Tommy Milner.</p> <p>Pole position in the GT Daytona category went to the Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3, qualified by Madison Snow.</p> <p>After seven different manufacturers took pole in the first seven races, Snow broke the trend with a time that edged out Colin Braun&#39;s CORE Autosport Porsche 911 GT3-R by a tenth.</p> <p>Row two of the grid will be taken up by the Alegra Motorsports Porsche of Patrick Long (+0.328) and the 3GT Racing Lexus of Jack Hawksworth (+0.368s).</p> <p>This weekend&#39;s IMSA race features the two GT categories only, with the prototype classes on hiatus until the Road America round on August 6th.</p> <p><a href="">RESULT: IMSA Lime Rock Park qualifying</a></p> Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo on team chemistry at Red BullFri, 21 Jul 2017 16:50:00 GMT<p>Max Verstappen&rsquo;s arrival into F1 has seen Red Bull Racing enter something of a new era of late. And with 6 podiums between them in the opening ten races so far this season, Verstappen and teammate Daniel Ricciardo are brimming with confidence ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix, as Mobil 1 The Grid found out.&nbsp;</p> says Romain Grosjean, Kevin Magnussen will stay for 2018Fri, 21 Jul 2017 15:42:53 GMT<p>Gene Haas says his team will retain its current driver line-up of Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen for the 2018 Formula 1 season.</p> <p>Grosjean joined Haas for its maiden campaign last year and scored all of its 29 points as the squad claimed eighth in the standings.</p> <p>Magnussen, meanwhile, replaced Esteban Guti&eacute;rrez, following previous spells at McLaren and Renault.</p> <p>Haas holds seventh position in the standings and the 64-year-old says that Grosjean and Magnussen will remain as its driver pairing into 2018.</p> <p>&ldquo;We will run with the same drivers that we have this year again next year, that is a given,&rdquo; he told the official F1 website.</p> <p>&ldquo;And given the other continuity aspects, we should be better racers next season.</p> <p>&ldquo;[Magnussen] can score points and that was the key for bringing him on board.</p> <p>&ldquo;Kevin can grab points and Romain can too. We now have 29 points. Last year around this time we also had 29 points, but did not score for the rest of the season.</p> <p>&ldquo;So now if we can score another 29 points by Abu Dhabi, that would be a great position.&rdquo;</p> confirms cause of Vettel's British Grand Prix tyre failureFri, 21 Jul 2017 15:36:43 GMT<p>Pirelli has confirmed the reasons behind&nbsp;Sebastian Vettel&#39;s tyre failure during the final laps of the British Grand Prix, which cost the German a podium finish.</p> <p>Vettel had been in third place on the penultimate lap of the race before his front-left tyre failed, sending him wide through the right-hander at Luffield.</p> <p>As the failure happened during the opening half of the lap, Vettel lost significant time as he crawled back to the pit lane for repairs, dropping to seventh come the chequered flag, his title advantage over Lewis Hamilton cut to just one point.</p> <p>Pirelli, following an investigation into the cause of the problem, has revealed that a slow puncture was ultimately behind the failure.</p> <p>&quot;As appeared clear since Sunday afternoon, a full investigation has now confirmed that the original cause of the failure was a slow puncture,&quot; said Pirelli in a statement.&nbsp;&quot;The consequent driving back to the pits on an underinflated and then flat tyre led to the final failure.&quot;</p> <p>The cause of the slow puncture however isn&#39;t known, although there was debris on the circuit following a first lap crash between Daniil Kvyat and Carlos Sainz. Vettel also heavily flat-spotted his front-left during the race (pictured).</p> <p>Vettel&#39;s Ferrari team-mate Kimi R&auml;ikk&ouml;nen also suffered a tyre failure on the lap before the German, and Pirelli confirmed in the immediate aftermath that the two drivers had encountered different problems.</p> <p>Alongside the publication of its findings into Vettel&#39;s failure, Pirelli revealed that an investigation into the cause of the Finn&#39;s issue is still ongoing.</p> <p>&quot;Kimi R&auml;ikk&ouml;nen&rsquo;s damaged tyre shows less evidence of what occurred, so further tests and analysis are still ongoing in Pirelli&rsquo;s laboratories and indoor testing facilities.</p> <p>&quot;It will take a few more days to reach a definitive conclusion.&quot;</p> Spa: Renault champion Pieter Schothorst to replace Dean Stoneman at StrakkaFri, 21 Jul 2017 15:04:52 GMT<p><strong>Strakka Racing has revised its driver lineup for the 24 Hours of Spa, with Renault Sport Trophy champion Pieter Schothorst replacing&nbsp;Dean Stoneman, who has cut ties with the McLaren factory GT program.</strong></p> <p>Schothorst, who won the single-make Renault R.S.01 GT championship&nbsp;last year,&nbsp;will mark his first race apperance in McLaren machinery at the centrepiece round of the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup on July 29-30.</p> <p>The Dutch driver will share the #59 650S GT3 with Jazeman Jafaar and Andrew Watson, who are yet to score points in this year&#39;s endurance campaign after a tough start.</p> <p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m really looking forward to working with Strakka,&rdquo; said Schothorst.</p> <p>&ldquo;I raced against the team in R.S.01 in 2016 and I was highly impressed by its approach, commitment and just the way it goes racing.&quot;</p> <p>&quot;This will be my third Spa 24 Hours and I want to bring some of my experience of the event to the team. A huge thanks to McLaren GT and Strakka for this opportunity.&rdquo;</p> <p>&ldquo;The car is a joy to drive, which is important in an endurance race like Spa,&quot; he added.</p> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s smooth and I found it agile in the twisty sections. I know my team mates are quick so I think we can all do good job.&rdquo;</p> <p>Schothorst replaces Stoneman, who will not continue as a member of the McLaren factory GT program following the #59 car&#39;s troubled start to 2017 that included a retirement at Monza and finishes outside the top-20 at Silverstone and Paul Ricard.</p> <p>The 2010 Formula 2 champion and 2014 GP3 Series runner up (to Alex Lynn)&nbsp;was signed on as a factory asset in March.</p> <p>However, poor results this season have prompted Strakka and McLaren&nbsp;to shake up their driver roster in the hope of retaining some of the lost ground.</p> <p>&quot;It&rsquo;s a regrettable decision, but the season just hasn&rsquo;t gone as I had hoped,&rdquo; said the 26-year-old.</p> <p>&ldquo;I will now regroup and examine all future opportunities.&rdquo;</p> <p>Strakka Racing team principal Jay Davenport added: &quot;We enjoyed working with Dean this season. We&rsquo;d like to thank him and wish him the best for the future.&rdquo;</p> <p>The 24 Hours of Spa will be a one-off for Schothorst, who raced a WRT-entered Audi R8 earlier in the season.</p> <p>Strakka Racing will wait until after Spa to announce another replacement driver for the 3 Hours of&nbsp;Barcelona season finale in October.</p> Ricciardo expects Hungary to be a physically demanding raceFri, 21 Jul 2017 14:02:33 GMT<p>Daniel Ricciardo is expecting the Hungarian Grand Prix to be one of the most physically demanding of the year, given there are lots of high-speed corners and few straights to rest on, and ambient temperatures can be extremely high.</p> <p>The 2017 cars are expected to easily set lap records at the circuit, which makes it a far more demanding challenge than in previous seasons, something Ricciardo is wary of and has been preparing himself for.</p> <p>&quot;The Hungarian Grand Prix is always at the point of the season where summer is approaching so I&rsquo;m always in a pretty good place and the car is normally getting better as well. It all kind of comes good by the end of July,&quot; said Ricciardo.</p> <p>&quot;We&rsquo;ve got lots more grip this year so it&rsquo;ll be a bit more fun. The second sector is going to be amazing. That&rsquo;s one of my favourite sectors in F1.</p> <p>&quot;If&nbsp;Sunday&nbsp;is hot it&rsquo;ll definitely be a physically demanding race, so I can&rsquo;t make the mistake again of eating too much meat&nbsp;on Saturday&nbsp;night,&quot;&nbsp;joked Ricciardo, as he tends to take his team out for a pre-summer break meal after qualifying.</p> <p>&quot;This track means elbows out for sure as there are three key places where you can overtake. I&rsquo;ve made some good moves in Turn 1 in the past. Turn 2 you can go inside or outside, as both lanes work and the hairpin is fun too.&quot;</p> <p>Team-mate Max Verstappen says the higher grip levels they&#39;re expecting means some corners may need to be approached differently.</p> <p>&quot;We do have more grip this year so maybe you have to do a few different lines compared to the previous year, but all in all that&rsquo;s manageable and quite straightforward,&quot; he added.</p> <p>&quot;It&rsquo;s always a bit too early to say how we&rsquo;ll do in Hungary but we&rsquo;re constantly improving, trying to get a better balance and more downforce on the car. Luckily there are not too many long straights.</p> <p>&quot;It&rsquo;s a great track, especially in an F1 car. It&rsquo;s actually quite narrow and with high speeds it&rsquo;s really fun to drive so I&rsquo;m very much looking forward to it. I wouldn&rsquo;t say it&rsquo;s Monaco without walls, but it&rsquo;s definitely a bit more narrow than other circuits we go to.&quot;</p> Verstappen doesn't take Sebastian Vettel's criticism seriouslyFri, 21 Jul 2017 11:47:09 GMT<p>Max Verstappen says he cannot take criticism from four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel seriously, because of the incidents the German has gotten himself into this and last season.</p> <p>Verstappen and Vettel found themselves locked in a battle for position during the recent British Grand Prix, with the pair making slight contact as the Ferrari driver attempted to pass the Dutchman at Vale and Club for fourth place.</p> <p>Vettel accused the Red Bull man of moving under braking and said he was &quot;a bit jumpy&quot; whilst defending.</p> <p>But Verstappen says he doesn&#39;t listen to Vettel&#39;s criticism, because he cannot take it seriously when it&#39;s coming from a driver who has been involved in multiple incidents, including deliberately driving into Lewis Hamilton during the Azerbaijan GP, for which he was handed three penalty points, taking him to nine &ndash; three shy of a race ban.*</p> <p>&quot;I don&#39;t take that [criticism] seriously,&quot; Verstappen is quoted as saying by <em>Eurosport</em>. &quot;Especially not after all the things he did. If you look at the penalty points that he&#39;s got...</p> <p>&quot;The fight with Sebastian was good. It was hard but fair, I think,&quot; added the 19-year-old. &quot;That little bit of contact maybe not, but for the rest everything was OK.&quot;</p> <p>Verstappen was disappointed with Red Bull&#39;s pace at Silverstone, which meant he was unable to stay with Vettel and Kimi R&auml;ikk&ouml;nen in the latter stages of the race, until both suffered tyre blowouts, but is hopeful of making gains at the next race in Hungary when Red Bull introduces its latest upgrades.</p> <p>&quot;We were still too slow, of course, but I think we did the maximum,&quot; he said. &quot;I think it was positive. We scored points. And now we need to improve the car.</p> <p>&quot;Hard to say,&quot; he replied when asked about his expectations for Hungary. &quot;We get a lot of updates, so we need to see how these work. We shall see.&quot;</p> <p>*Three of Vettel&#39;s penalty points expired after the British GP, taking his total down to six.</p> Kvyat wants quick decision on Red Bull/Toro Rosso futureFri, 21 Jul 2017 11:18:41 GMT<p>Daniil Kvyat says he would like a quick decision on his future with Red Bull junior team Toro Rosso, but sees no reason why the two parties wouldn&#39;t wish to continue working together in 2018.</p> <p>Red Bull have yet to take up an option on the Russian driver for next season, whilst Kvyat&#39;s team-mate Carlos Sainz has been told he will remain with the outfit for a fourth season.</p> <p>Kvyat has been at the centre of several incidents this season, including in the two most recent races in Austria and Britain, where he was involved in first lap incidents, the blame for both placed on his shoulders by the race stewards.</p> <p>Kvyat however believes he and the team are on a good level and wishes to remain at Toro Rosso for another year.</p> <p>&quot;I think our common trust is going back to a good level so I don&#39;t see any reason why I wouldn&#39;t want to collaborate,&quot; said Kvyat.</p> <p>&quot;They know everything about me and we already had some talks before, everyone is happy, I am happy with them, I think they&#39;re happy with me so I don&#39;t see any reason why we wouldn&#39;t want to collaborate.</p> <p>&quot;I need an answer as soon as possible because obviously it is getting to the part of the season that you want to know your future.&quot;</p> <p>Whilst Kvyat doesn&#39;t wish to push the team for a decision, he believes having his future secured will allow him to focus on racing and getting back to where he needs to be.</p> <p>&quot;It would be great to know as soon as possible but I don&#39;t see any reason why we wouldn&#39;t want to collaborate together. I&#39;m not a guy to give any deadlines, it is in their hands so why would I force it. But they know the better you are settled with your future, the more you can stay focused on your actual job.&quot;</p> <p>He added: &quot;I want to do my job. Red Bull have been taking care of me for the last seven, eight years. Whatever Dr Marko will decide, I will take the answer.&quot;</p> Lauda calls Halo decision an 'overreaction' by the FIAThu, 20 Jul 2017 21:41:09 GMT<p>Three-time Formula 1 world champion Niki Lauda has described the FIA&#39;s decision to push through the Halo head protection device an &quot;overreaction&quot; and one that the sport will &quot;regret later&quot;.</p> <p>The governing body has gone against an almost unanimous vote against its introduction &ndash; only Ferrari voted in favour &ndash; to push the device through on safety grounds.</p> <p>Lauda&#39;s Mercedes co-worker Toto Wolff admitted he isn&#39;t a fan of the Halo, but said the <a href="">FIA had no choice</a> but to act. Lauda meanwhile is strongly against the decision and says it&#39;s an overreaction to recent events and will destroy the DNA of the sport.</p> <p><font>&quot;There is no doubt that you have to improve safety where you can,&quot; the 68-year-old, who has been involved in life-threatening accidents during his F1 career, told <em>Auto Motor und Sport</em>.</font></p> <p><font>&quot;We tried the Halo, then the Aeroscreen from Red Bull and the Ferrari&nbsp;Shield.&nbsp;</font><font>No one is 100 per cent&nbsp;convinced [by these].&nbsp;</font><font>You have to make the right decision.&nbsp;</font><font>The Halo is the wrong one.&quot;</font></p> <p><font>Lauda believes F1 is now safer than ever and with the risk of flying wheels greatly reduced thanks to new stronger tethers, head protection isn&#39;t such a massive issue, particularly as the Halo wouldn&#39;t have helped Jules Bianchi and it&#39;s possible it wouldn&#39;t have helped Felipe Massa when a loose spring struck his head.</font></p> <p><font>&quot;The Halo destroys the DNA of a Formula 1 car,&quot; added Lauda.&nbsp;&quot;The FIA ​​has made F1 as safe as it gets.&nbsp;</font><font>Also the danger of flying wheels is largely stopped, because the wheels are now more firmly attached.&nbsp;</font><font>The risk to the drivers has become minimal.</font></p> <p><font>&quot;There is 100 per cent a better solution than the Halo, o</font><font>therwise we would not have tasted three [other] things.&nbsp;</font><font>If we find something that does not destroy the aesthetics, then it will be introduced in 2019.&nbsp;</font><font>It&#39;s as simple as that. There is no reason to do something we will regret later.&quot;</font></p> <p><font><font>He added: &quot;We&#39;re just [now] trying hard with [the introduction] of fast cars [to attract] new fans. T</font></font><font><font>his is destroyed by an overreaction.&quot;</font></font></p> had no choice over Halo introduction - Toto WolffThu, 20 Jul 2017 21:19:03 GMT<p>Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff believes the FIA had &quot;no choice&quot; but to push the Halo head protection device through for the 2018 season, despite strong opposition.</p> <p>Formula 1 has been looking to introduce greater head protection following a number of incidents in F1 and other motorsport categories recently. The Halo was a solution put forward by Mercedes, followed by the Red Bull Aeroscreen and then the Shield &ndash; which was mostly recently tested last weekend during the British Grand Prix.</p> <p>Sebastian Vettel completed&nbsp;just a single lap with the Shield fitted to his Ferrari after complaining of feeling &quot;dizzy&quot;, which put the brakes on further tests with the device until further development has taken place.</p> <p>Therefore the Halo has been chosen by the FIA as the most suitable option and despite a reported nine of the ten teams present at the Strategy Group meeting on Wednesday voting&nbsp;against its introduction, the FIA chose to push it through on safety grounds.</p> <p>Wolff believes they had no other choice but to&nbsp;act after already delaying its introduction by a year.</p> <p>&quot;I think that probably the FIA had no choice than to introduce the Halo,&quot; Wolff said on Thursday. &quot;It is the mandate of the FIA to increase the safety, we have looked at various systems and none of them really worked.</p> <p>&quot;The Halo was the only one that was just about right.&quot;</p> <p>Wolff admitted he wasn&#39;t a fan of how it looked, but said they must live with the FIA&#39;s decision.</p> <p>&quot;I don&#39;t like the look&nbsp;of it and the aesthetics, but the decision was made yesterday, now we have to make the best out of it.&quot;</p> Ogier says rallying still the best after Formula 1 outingThu, 20 Jul 2017 18:06:19 GMT<p>S&eacute;bastien Ogier says he won&#39;t be attempting to switch to Formula 1 anytime soon following his recent outing with the Red Bull team.</p> <p>The four-time World Rally Champion got to fulfil a childhood dream when he drove Red Bull&#39;s RB7 in Austria last week, lapping the Spielberg circuit 25 times under the watchful eye of David Coulthard.</p> <p>Although describing the opportunity as &quot;awesome&quot;, Ogier still believes the WRC to be the best form of motorsport.</p> <p>&quot;I think I have more chance to perform well in rally than Formula 1,&quot; he said.&nbsp;&quot;To be honest I think rally is the best. I love rally. It&#39;s so fantastic to drive all the different surfaces. I really enjoy it so much.</p> <p><strong>Video: <a href="">Watch Ogier take to the Red Bull Ring in the title-winning RB7</a></strong></p> <p>&quot;I&#39;m very, very thankful to Red Bull for giving me the opportunity to drive the Formula 1 [car]. It was awesome, but keeping my feet on the ground I know I have no chance to switch to another career - it was just pure fun.&quot;</p> <p>Ogier heads to Finland now for the next event&nbsp;on the calendar and says it&#39;ll take some time adjusting to the differences in speed and braking.</p> <p>&quot;I think I&#39;ll have to make a kind of reset and remember what the speeds and braking points are with my rally car, because if I try the same I&#39;m probably going to have some trouble,&quot;&nbsp;he added.</p> Wehrlein expects big performance boost from major Sauber upgradeThu, 20 Jul 2017 17:28:30 GMT<p>Sauber&#39;s Pascal Wehrlein says he is expecting their Hungarian Grand Prix development package to deliver a big performance boost, as almost the entire car will be upgraded for the race.</p> <p>The Swiss team is currently ninth in the standings, ahead of only McLaren which has two points to Sauber&#39;s five &ndash; all of which have been scored by Wehrlein thanks to his eighth place finish&nbsp;in Spain and tenth in Azerbaijan.</p> <p>Whilst Renault remain some way in the distance with 26 points, Sauber&#39;s aim is to finish ahead of McLaren, which will be a difficult task as both the Woking team and its engine supplier Honda are working hard on delievering race-by-race developments.</p> <p>But Wehrlein is confident of a boost in that fight at the next round in Hungary.</p> <p>&quot;For&nbsp;Budapest we are set for a big upgrade,&quot; he told the official Formula 1 website.&nbsp;&quot;Almost all the car &ndash; or all the aero side &ndash; will be new, so that should give us a good performance boost.</p> <p>&quot;If what the data shows really can materialise we could be on a good go. So the plan is to [move past]&nbsp;the Silverstone weekend and look forward to Budapest!&quot;</p> <p>Wehrlein admits that Sauber needs &quot;luck&quot; to score points this season, but says the team is working hard to change that, and with the recent signing of Frederic Vasseur as team boss, the German feels that progress isn&#39;t far off.</p> <p>&quot;The team wants to do better than we are doing now or did last season,&quot; added Wehrlein. &quot;So from now on we need &lsquo;lucky races&rsquo;.</p> <p>&quot;It is definitely a different situation now than it has been. The team wants to get back to where they were around five years ago. You can physically feel this desire in the team.</p> <p>&quot;I don&rsquo;t know how fast Fred can change things or how he can change them. He has so much experience in motorsport and in many other ventures outside racing. He is a very successful man. He could help Sauber. He could be very good for the team.&quot;</p> Vandoorne completes latest Pirelli wet-weather tyre testThu, 20 Jul 2017 15:09:36 GMT<p>Pirelli has concluded its latest in-season tyre test, with McLaren&#39;s Stoffel Vandoorne completing two-days of running at the former French Grand Prix venue, Magny Cours.</p> <p>Pirelli is allowed 25 days of in-season testing with 2017 cars this season, and the Formula 1 supplier chose to focus on improving its&nbsp;wet weather tyres, specifically the intermediate tyre, with the test taking place across&nbsp;Wednesday and Thursday.</p> <p>Vandoorne completed 135 laps of trouble-free running on Wednesday and a further 117 laps on Thursday, bringing the Belgian&#39;s total to 252, or 1,108km &ndash; just under four race distances.</p> <p>A second test also took place at Silverstone on Tuesday and Wednesday, with Williams&#39; Lance Stroll and Haas reserve Antonio Giovinazzi completing slick and wet tyre testing for Pirelli.</p> <p>Both tests were &#39;blind&#39;, which means the drivers and teams are unaware of what compound is being used, and whether it is a current or prototype construction. All the data collected is distributed by Pirelli to all 10 teams.</p> <p>The next tyre test is due to take place at the Hungaroring in August.</p> adds classic McLarens to F1 2017 gameThu, 20 Jul 2017 14:42:45 GMT<p>Codemasters have&nbsp;revealed the final classic cars which will be included in the latest edition of its official Formula 1 game, F1 2017, which comes out on August 25.</p> <p>The previously announced&nbsp;McLaren MP4/4 will be joined by the MP4/6, raced by Ayrton Senna and Gerhard Berger in 1991, with the former taking his third and final drivers&#39; title that year whilst the car would secure the constructors&#39; championship.</p> <p>The 1998 title winning MP4-13, driven by champion Mika H&auml;kkinen and David Coulthard will also be available, as will Lewis Hamilton&#39;s title-winning&nbsp;MP4-23, which was also driven by&nbsp;Heikki Kovalainen.</p> <p>&quot;It&#39;s&nbsp;pretty hard to pick just four significant McLaren Formula 1 cars &ndash; so all credit to the people at Codemasters for choosing these iconic, championship-winning machines,&quot; commented McLaren executive director Zak Brown.</p> <p>&quot;I don&rsquo;t think you&rsquo;d be able to get away without choosing 1988&rsquo;s MP4/4 &ndash; it&rsquo;s probably the most iconic F1 car of the last 40 years, a machine that looks as sleek and fast today as when it was first raced. And it&rsquo;s superbly complemented by another Senna car, the V12-engined MP4/6; Mika Hakkinen&rsquo;s beautiful, silver-liveried MP4-13, and Lewis Hamilton&rsquo;s jaw-droppingly complex MP4-23.</p> <p>&quot;If you&rsquo;re a gamer, or a McLaren fan of any era, then I think you&rsquo;re going to want to race these cars in Codemasters&rsquo; F1 2017.&quot;</p> <p>They join a list of already iconic classic&#39;s from the past, including the Williams FW14B, Ferrari 412, Renault R26 and the Red Bull RB6.</p> insider: John Hogan - Bringing the circus to townThu, 20 Jul 2017 11:29:50 GMT<p>Imagine the surroundings&hellip;</p> <p>I&rsquo;m perched at a beautiful round oak table sipping English Breakfast tea with soy milk from fine china with a magnificent grand chandelier to my left as John Hogan&rsquo;s mesmerising stories dance through my ears. I listen intently as the famed sponsorship guru, known as Formula 1&rsquo;s &lsquo;Marlboro Man&rsquo;, relays how he became one of the most prominent figures ever to grace motorsport. I&rsquo;m sure that the walls of the Monaco&rsquo;s iconic L&rsquo;Hotel Hermitage have heard many stories, but none like his&hellip;</p> <p>Having worked in F1 now for over 40 years there was definitely no shortage of conversation and there&rsquo;s no doubt the interview could have easily gone on for days.&nbsp;</p> <p>Humble, intriguing and still displaying a distinct sparkle in his eyes, Hogie kicked off the interview with his recollection of being on the inaugural flight on the Concorde with his &lsquo;mate&rsquo; Bernie Ecclestone, en route the Brazilian GP. On that same trip he even saw one of the Great Train robbers being arrested in his hotel - and that was just in the first five minutes of our chat.</p> <figure class="image" style="float:right"><img alt="" height="220" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/Features/IMG_3218.jpg" width="400" /> <figcaption>The setting: Monaco&rsquo;s iconic L&rsquo;Hotel Hermitage</figcaption> </figure> <p>This former Phillip Morris executive responsible for Marlboro and now Special Advisor to CSM, was the first man to plaster the tobacco giant&rsquo;s sticker on his good mate James Hunt&rsquo;s McLaren in the early 70s.&nbsp;</p> <p>That humble deed ignited a partnership that launched both brands to the highest heights of the sport for over 30 successful years and changed the course of sponsorship in motorsport!</p> <p>As a trusted voice, firstly the BRM F1 team, and then to Teddy Mayer&rsquo;s McLaren outfit, it was the spritely young Hogie who advised the latter to sit Hunt in the hot seat way back when, securing his step from F3 to F1.&nbsp;</p> <p>His stories of Hunt, which he relays with an affectionate gaze, made my jaw drop and my eyebrows rise to the hotel&rsquo;s intricately designed roof. Unfortunately for our readers, I promised John I wouldn&rsquo;t print any of those very entertaining tales, but man would I love to&hellip;</p> <p>After listening to one of the most incredible careers I have ever heard told, Hogie told me that he probably sees his greatest achievement in motorsport as being the role he played in helping to reform the McLaren team in the late 70s and early 80s.&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;Basically what had happened was they had fallen downhill,&rdquo; he explained. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s happened to a lot of teams out there now that it&rsquo;s happening [<i>to them</i>] again. This business is about people. I knew Ron Dennis, I knew what an awkward bugger he can be and I thought he&rsquo;s just the right person to turn the team around, which he did.&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;Essentially, he renewed the whole McLaren team, which was a good team but had just fallen on hard times,&rdquo; he continued. &ldquo;We paid for the hard times, and he turned them around. I&rsquo;m responsible for Ron Dennis! That&rsquo;s a big statement but totally true.&rdquo;<br /> Bringing his friend Ron and McLaren together proved to be a winning formula and one that John is unmistakably proud of. The blue eyes lighting up as the words spilled from his mouth, coated in that Aussie twang, Hogie took me back to where it all began...&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;We&rsquo;d started off with the BRM F1 team in 72; 73 wasn&rsquo;t particularly successful and we could see it wasn&rsquo;t going anywhere and then we moved to the McLaren team in 74&hellip; I&rsquo;ll tell you a story about that later on which you can&rsquo;t record,&rdquo; he added with a mischievous grin and a chuckle.&nbsp;</p> <figure class="image" style="float:right"><img alt="" height="220" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/Features/Even%20when%20Hogan%20hired%20Ron%20Dennis%20(right)%20to%20join%20Teddy%20Mayer's%20(centre)%20McLaren%20team%20with%20designer%20John%20Barnard%20(left)%2C%20Marlboro%20was%20front%20and%20centre.jpg" width="400" /> <figcaption>John Barnard, Teddy Mayer and Ron Dennis</figcaption> </figure> <p>&ldquo;We were with McLaren for 15-20 years which kind of proved the value of staying with what you&rsquo;ve got and improving on it rather that throwing it away and starting again,&rdquo; Hogie continued, making note of the team&rsquo;s current situation as a potential positive for sponsors.&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;The heritage and the value that we got out or the goodwill that we got from the press or the media for staying with McLaren and rebuilding them was enormous. I didn&rsquo;t get the blame for employing Ron Dennis at all,&rdquo; he added sarcastically.</p> <p>As I soon realised, there was no stopping Hogie&rsquo;s entertaining humorous streak creeping into the conversation every now and then. It&rsquo;s easy to see why the likes of Senna, Prost, Lauda, Hunt, Ecclestone and a long list of other legends of the sport called the quick-witted executive a friend and many still do.</p> <p>Another pot of tea was needed as John excitedly recalled memory after memory between bites of his omelette. Winning with McLaren on track and Marlboro off track was the aim of the game, a game both brands played very well, propelling them into a league of their own!</p> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s interesting, I didn&rsquo;t really interject because we were a tobacco company our activation was about getting the brand name shown, that was all, just get the name out there, get it up in lights,&rdquo; Hogie explained passionately. &ldquo;That&rsquo;s what you&rsquo;re selling - Marlboro was the biggest selling single brand in the world, think it still is.&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;That&rsquo;s where our desire to win came from because if you win, you get exposure and that&rsquo;s essentially what it was about,&rdquo; he mused. &ldquo;It was a totally different activation than it is now. The stuff that is called activation now we couldn&rsquo;t do anyway, contacting consumers directly putting product in their hand, we couldn&rsquo;t do that.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p> <p>It wasn&rsquo;t only winning that made Marlboro/McLaren a household name, their eye-candy activations were just as successful.</p> <p>There are many things that John will be remembered for in the industry forever and this is one of them. One of the most entertaining branding activities, especially for the men of the world, was the first Marlboro grid girls. Some of the most stunning ladies in Europe were hand-picked to promote the brand in what proved to be the best way possible.&nbsp;</p> <figure class="image" style="float:right"><img alt="" height="220" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/Features/Hogan's%20best%20mate%20James%20Hunt%20was%20an%20enthusiastic%20consumer%20of%20his%20sponsor's%20products.jpg" width="400" /> <figcaption>James Hunt, an avid consumer of Marlboro</figcaption> </figure> <p>And it was all John&rsquo;s brilliant idea. Hiring the top beauty queens of the world to be dressed in the Marlboro brand then interact with the public was sheer genius and so surprising that no one else had thought of it.</p> <p>&ldquo;The catch was &lsquo;how do we bring the circuit to town&rsquo;, I always had this picture, I&rsquo;m a bit of a picture thinker, and I&rsquo;d seen a film called the Four-ring Circus [<i>staring Kirk Douglas</i>]. It was all about bringing the circus to town - lions, tigers, the people. I thought, hang on, that&rsquo;s bringing the circus to town.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p> <p>Hogie&rsquo;s &ldquo;circus&rdquo; of Marlboro girls entertained, enthralled and stole the eyes of every passer-by, at the same time spreading the word of the Marlboro brand like wildfire.</p> <p>&ldquo;Prior to every Grands Prix in Europe we used to have super cars, Lamborghinis, vans, they were staffed by attractive young girls who were all Miss Sweden, Miss Finland etc and they&rsquo;d go and blitz a town and give out stickers and posters and post cards [<i>saying</i>] come to the Grand Prix and that had a tremendous effect.</p> <p>&ldquo;It got photographers excited because they were attractive girls, they were dressed in tight red trousers, shorts because we were bringing the circus to town,&rdquo; he enthused further.&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;It was harmless fun at the end of the day, it did a great job for the brand, positioned the brand where we wanted it and without blowing one&rsquo;s own trumpet. I think it worked.&rdquo;</p> <p>Creative brilliance, boldness and no fear of failure proved supreme personality traits which led John throughout his career. Eventually the &lsquo;Marlboro Man&rsquo; became Vice President, Marketing of Phillip Morris International and ruled the motorsport sponsorship roost for many years.</p> <p>Looking back, the 74-year-old guru, with the energy of a 40-year-old credits his success to simply doing the right thing at the right time.</p> <p>Transforming from playful to wise, Hogie concludes: &ldquo;We had courage with our convictions, we were not afraid of anything. McLaren are struggling again at the moment, but they&rsquo;ve got the right man at the helm, in Zak, to turn things around.&rdquo;</p> <p>To the unaware Hogie could be mistaken for a sweet, care-free man with a surprising spring in his step. Little do they know this former member of the &lsquo;Piranha Club&rsquo; is an incredible vault of F1 knowledge, stories, and secrets!</p> <p>Probably too modest to admit it, as he offers for me to join him for club sandwich in the Hermitage&rsquo;s stunning dining room, John Hogan has influenced and shaped our sport like few others ever have before, and probably never will.</p> could run Robert Kubica at Hungary test as return beckonsThu, 20 Jul 2017 11:01:12 GMT<p>Renault are reportedly considering running Robert Kubica during one of its two test days following the Hungarian Grand Prix at the end of the month, as speculation about a possible return for the Pole mounts.</p> <p>Kubica has already completed two test days in a 2012 Lotus E20, both of which were organised by the Renault team. He impressed in both, completing a total of 210 laps without issue, prompting him to declare that the chance of returning to Formula 1 is <a href="">between 80 and 90 per cent</a>.</p> <p>Meanwhile Renault&#39;s Cyril Abiteboul said the team&nbsp;hadn&#39;t &quot;<a href="">seen any obvious roadblocks</a>&quot; that would stop him returning, but urged caution as they&#39;d yet to see Kubica drive a 2017-spec car, which are much more physically demanding.</p> <p>With Renault keen for a test to take place in their R.S.17, the post-Hungary test is the perfect opportunity for Kubica to try out a modern F1 car to properly assess whether a comeback in 2018 is a reality.</p> <p>But with the rules stipulating that a team must run a young driver &ndash; a driver with fewer than three F1 races under their belt &ndash; on at least two of the four in-season test days, therein is the problem for Renault as they have already run Nico Hulkenberg during one of those days in Bahrain, and&nbsp;Sergey Sirotkin on the other.</p> <p>That means they can only run an experienced driver on one of the two days in Hungary, with the other day going to a young driver &ndash; likely to be Sirotkin again.</p> <p>Do Renault run Kubica at the expense of current full-time driver Jolyon Palmer and risk denting the Briton&#39;s confidence further amid a string of poor races and reliability troubles,&nbsp;which has seen him score zero points to Hulkenberg&#39;s 26? Or do they run Palmer out of fairness, despite it seeming unlikely that he&#39;ll be with the team next year?</p> <p>There is however an alternative thanks to Article 10.5e of the Sporting Regulations, which says a team may carry out one additional day of testing, during the season, with a current spec car, if they&#39;re planning on substituting a current driver for another.</p> <p>However that test must not take place at a current circuit on the F1 calendar and is only eligible for drivers that haven&#39;t competed in F1 during the past two seasons. Kubica would therefore qualify, having last raced in 2010.</p> <p>So Renault could run Kubica outside of the Hungary in-season test during a private track day with their R.S.17, whilst still giving Palmer an outing.</p> <p>If Renault were to then substitute Palmer for Kubica for the remainder of the season after that test, they wouldn&#39;t face a penalty, but if they chose to retain Palmer, they would be docked a day of pre-season testing ahead of the 2018 season as a penalty.</p> <p>So to minimise the impact on Palmer&#39;s career, they could opt to run the acclimatisation later in the season, or even prior to the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi, meaning the Briton would miss just one race and Kubica could try out a 2017 car and race in Abu Dhabi before making a full comeback next year.</p> confirms 'Halo' will be introduced next seasonWed, 19 Jul 2017 18:37:38 GMT<p>Formula 1&rsquo;s governing body, the FIA, has confirmed that the &lsquo;Halo&rsquo; head protection device will be used in 2018, despite opposition from the majority of teams.</p> <p>Formula 1 has strived to increase head protection for drivers, with a number of options explored, and the Halo was trialled extensively in 2016.</p> <p>The Halo was originally scheduled to be introduced for 2017 but this was delayed by a year, while an alternative, the &lsquo;Shield&rsquo;, was explored.</p> <p>The Shield was trialled by Sebastian Vettel during practice at Silverstone but the Ferrari driver <a href="">commented that the device made him dizzy</a>, and it was removed from his car after one lap.</p> <p>On Wednesday, the FIA confirmed that it will push through the Halo for use in 2018.</p> <p>&ldquo;Following the unanimous agreement of the Strategy Group, in July 2016, to introduce additional frontal protection for Formula One and the repeated support from the drivers, the FIA confirms the introduction of the Halo for 2018,&rdquo; read a statement.</p> <p>&ldquo;With the support of the teams, certain features of its design will be further enhanced.</p> <p>&ldquo;Having developed and evaluated a large number of devices over the past five years, it had become clear that the Halo presents the best overall safety performance.&rdquo;</p> <p>All 10 teams were present during the Strategy Group meeting, with representatives from Renault, Toro Rosso, Sauber and Haas joining the regular members. It&#39;s believed the majority voted against the introduction of the Halo, but the FIA chose to override them on safety grounds.</p> <p>Other matters were discussed during the meeting, including the new power unit set to debut in 2021, with the FIA confirming that &quot;further analysis will be completed over the summer which will be reviewed at the next meeting of the Strategy Group in September.&quot;</p> <p>Cost control and improving&nbsp;the show were also tabled for discussion. The statement added that &quot;a new approach to cost control was presented and received unanimous support&quot;. Though no further details were given.</p> Nielsen appointed as Formula 1's Sporting DirectorWed, 19 Jul 2017 16:06:08 GMT<p>Steve Nielsen has been appointed as Formula 1&rsquo;s Sporting Director, and will report directly to Ross Brawn, with the Briton to take up his role at the start of August.</p> <p>Nielsen has worked in Team Manager and Sporting Director roles at various Formula 1 teams, most recently with Williams.</p> <p>Williams announced earlier in 2017 that Nielsen would step away at the end of July, citing his desire to reduce his travel commitments.</p> <p>Nielsen will now join Formula 1&rsquo;s team, which has been gradually expanded since Liberty Media&rsquo;s takeover of the sport earlier this year.</p> <p>&ldquo;I have known Steve for many years and have seen at first hand his skills and ability,&rdquo; commented Brawn.</p> <p>&ldquo;His appointment will strengthen the working group we are setting up to work with the FIA and the teams in defining a framework for the technical and sporting regulations for Formula 1&rsquo;s next phase.</p> <p>&ldquo;Steve&rsquo;s main responsibility will be related to sporting and organisational matters, for example by attending the meetings of the Sporting Working Group.&rdquo;</p> sportscar talent Ben Hanley looking to build on WEC one-offsWed, 19 Jul 2017 15:41:00 GMT<p><strong>Former Renault Formula 1 development driver Ben Hanley is hoping to turn his sporadic World Endurance Championship appearances into a more regular engagement following a successful start to 2017.</strong></p> <p>Hanley, 32, made his sportscar debut with European Le Mans Series LMP2 outfit DragonSpeed last year, but has also raced in the WEC as a guest driver.</p> <p>In May, the Brit joined TDS Racing for the 6 Hours of Spa, before making his 24 Hours of Le Mans debut with DragonSpeed.</p> <p>Last weekend&#39;s 6 Hours of the Nurburgring marked his&nbsp;third WEC appearance of the season with a return to the TDS fold, replacing Formula E-tied Alex Lynn behind the wheel of the team&rsquo;s G-Drive Racing sponsored ORECA 07-Gibson.</p> <p>Having reverted to karting when his single seater career stalled for financial reasons, Hanley is now looking to push for a full-time career in sportscars.</p> <p>&quot;Last year I got picked up to do the ELMS, and those performances have helped get me here in the WEC, so it&rsquo;s been a great 12 to 16 months,&rdquo; Hanley told <em>Motorsport</em>.</p> <p>&quot;With my ELMS campaign, plus Le Mans and Daytona,&nbsp;I&rsquo;ve had quite a lot of time in the ORECA.&rdquo;</p> <p>&quot;I feel very familiar with the car. I&rsquo;m comfortable with its details and the whole sportscar scene. This car seems to suit me better than last year&rsquo;s car [ORECA 05], so I&#39;m feeling really positive.&quot;</p> <p>&quot;Of course, it would be good to get a full-time drive. Last year was my first year in sportscars and endurance racing.&rdquo;</p> <p>&ldquo;This year&rsquo;s been going well and I&rsquo;ve already had some brilliant opportunities so it&rsquo;ll be good to continue that form.&quot;</p> <p>&ldquo;With 90% of the [WEC LMP2] teams choosing ORECA, it&rsquo;s practically a single-make category. You really do have to be at the top of your game to get the results.&rdquo;</p> <figure class="image" style="float:right"><img alt="" height="220" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/WEC/jm1714ju32.jpg" width="400" /> <figcaption>Sportscar switch led to a Le Mans drive with DragonSpeed.</figcaption> </figure> <p>So far, those results have made for good reading.</p> <p>In a dozen sportscar races, Hanley has accrued five ELMS podiums including one victory, and was one of&nbsp;the&nbsp;quickest drivers at the Nurburgring in a field that included the likes of Nicolas Lapierre, Oliver Jarvis and Bruno Senna.</p> <p>He even took pole at the German circuit, although a technical infringement meant he and team-mates Roman Rusinov and Pierre Thiriet had to recover from the back of the pack. With an additional three-minute penalty, the trio finished a respectable sixth.</p> <p><strong>An unconventional career</strong></p> <p>Hanley has taken an unusual route to sportscars.</p> <p>While most drivers seek a transition as soon as&nbsp;the Formula 1 dream becomes untenable, the Manchester native reverted to karting - typically the first step for any budding driver - as a way of continuing his motorsport career.</p> <p>After success in Formula Renault 2.0 and 3.5, Hanley reached as far as GP2 in 2008 before losing his backing from the Renault Driver Development scheme.</p> <p>After trying other open wheel&nbsp;championships including Superleague Formula and the F3000 Euroseries, he decided to abandon his plans and pursue the karting route with plenty of success.</p> <p>In 2013 he finished second in the CIK-FIA World KF Championship, before winning the European title two years later.</p> <p>The time away from the car racing cockpit meant his FIA driver rating had dropped to silver, but with none of his talent lost he became an ideal target for sportscar teams looking to fill the void for a lower-rated driver.</p> <p>&quot;Car racing is my priority, but I still love karting and I&rsquo;m still doing it,&quot; Hanley said.</p> <p>&quot;I&rsquo;m still learning all the time,&nbsp;even now. Despite competing for so long I still need to be open and willing to learn new things.&quot;</p> <p>&quot;Whether that&rsquo;s through racing, tyres, or a new car, the principle can be applied to all different types of racing and different styles of driving.&quot;</p> <p>&quot;I&rsquo;m probably one of the few people to still do both competitively: not many people look at doing karting alongside a car racing career.&rdquo;</p> <p>&ldquo;Physically it&rsquo;s really tough, and in terms of race craft it&rsquo;s really useful. Kart races are always super close with cars separated by a tenth or two, so it&rsquo;s not easy. It&rsquo;s very good for keeping me&nbsp;alert and busy.&quot;</p> <p>&quot;It&#39;s been a while since I raced at some of these [WEC and ELMS] tracks, but the corners and the lines are the same so it only takes a couple of laps to get back into the swing of things.&quot;</p> <p>In terms of where Hanley (now gold-rated) wants to be in the future, the book is open.</p> <p>LMP1 is a big target for many sportscar drivers despite being one of the most exclusive categories in motorsport, but GT racing has also piqued&nbsp;his&nbsp;interest.</p> <p>&quot;Anything can happen at the moment, and I&rsquo;d love to be in the LMP1 class, and tied to a manufacturer if possible,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m just continuing to work away and get the maximum every time in the car, to see where the work takes me.&quot;</p> <p>&quot;I&rsquo;d be interested in doing some GT racing, too,&nbsp;especially at&nbsp;races like the Spa 24 Hours.&nbsp;It&rsquo;s an event that every driver in endurance racing wants to do, and if I had the opportunity then I would definitely do it. I&rsquo;m not there next weekend, though!&rdquo;</p> <p>Hanley still has four ELMS races to run this year, plus a dozen or so karting events, but has no immediate plans to return to the WEC.</p> <p>However, strong performances to round out the season will only serve to raise his rapidly growing stock, and potentially lead to a permanent home in the world&#39;s premier sportscar series.</p> <p>For now, though, Hanley is maintaining a pragmatic stance until the right opportunity arrives.</p> <p>&quot;I don&rsquo;t think it&rsquo;s right to put too much pressure on a certain event or drive, because then you start to put too much pressure on yourself and mistakes are made,&quot; he said.</p> <p>&quot;I just need to keep my head down and keep pushing, and hopefully something will come along.&quot;</p> <p><em>Hanley&#39;s next race with DragonSpeed is the 4 Hours of the Red Bull Ring, on July 23rd.</em></p> Sebastien Ogier fulfils childhood dream with Red Bull RB7 driveWed, 19 Jul 2017 11:28:59 GMT<p>S&eacute;bastien Ogier realised a childhood dream thanks to Red Bull when he got the opportunity to drive the title-winning&nbsp;RB7 at the Red Bull Ring in Austria last week.</p> <p>The four-time&nbsp;FIA World Rally champion is currently&nbsp;engaged in a fierce fight with Belgian&nbsp;Thierry Neuville, the Hyundai driver&rsquo;s poor start allowing Ogier to build an 11-point lead with co-driver&nbsp;Julien Ingrassia&nbsp;heading into 67th Rally Finland from July 27-30.</p> <p>With the summer break allowing the WRC circuit a much needed pause, following a hectic first half of the year, Ogier travelled to Spielberg to get behind the wheel and fulfil a childhood dream of his.</p> <p>&quot;As a kid I was watching [Ayrton]&nbsp;Senna, he was my idol, and of course I was dreaming one day to try this kind of car.&nbsp;</p> <p>&quot;For a racing driver to have fun you need to be fast and a Formula One car is the fastest car you can drive, so of course every racing driver wants to feel that one day.&quot;</p> <p>Find out if M-Sport driver Ogier could master a car where top speeds hit 325km/h and the forces bearing down on a driver exceed 4.5G in the video above.</p> set for F1 return in 2021 under new engine rulesWed, 19 Jul 2017 09:16:21 GMT<p>Cosworth is set to return as an engine supplier to Formula 1 when the tweaked engine formula comes into force, which is expected to be in 2021.</p> <p>The Northampton-based company was last involved as an engine supplier in 2013 when it supplied the Marussia outfit &ndash; the sole survivor of the three new entrants which joined in 2010, before its own collapse last year under the Manor banner.</p> <p>Cosworth supplied all three at the time; Virgin, HRT and Lotus, as well as Williams, with a 2.4 litre V8 engine, but exited the sport when the current power unit was introduced, partly because of the development costs involved on the hybrid side, but also because it couldn&#39;t secure enough customer teams to make the project profitable.</p> <p>But with a simpler engine formula set to be introduced in 2021, Cosworth confirmed to&nbsp;<em></em>&nbsp;that it is exploring a return and has actively been involved in framing what the new engine will look like, alongside current manufacturers, and potentially interested new entrants including Porsche/Audi and Aston Martin.</p> <p>&quot;I think that we&#39;ve got sufficient support from the existing teams, and we&#39;ve had discussions with some, that enable us to make the commitment to proceed [with returning],&quot; said Hal Reisiger, CEO of Cosworth.</p> <p>Reisiger even confirmed that Cosworth has some agreements already in place to supply &quot;some existing and future teams&quot;, enough that &quot;would enable us to be a sustainable engine partner&quot;.</p> <p>With an expected debut in 2021, or even 2020,&nbsp;Reisiger says Cosworth will need to begin development and testing soon.</p> <p>&quot;We would typically start in 2018. I know there is some discussion about moving it ahead by a year, and that would mean working really soon,&quot; he added.</p> tyres preferred for Hungarian GPWed, 19 Jul 2017 08:06:02 GMT<p>Formula 1 teams have favoured the Supersoft tyres for next weekend&#39;s Hungarian Grand Prix, while the Medium compound has been rejected.</p> <p>Pirelli will bring the Supersoft (red), Soft (yellow) and Medium (white) compounds to the Hungaroring and, as per usual, drivers have been given free choice for 10 of their 13 allocated sets of tyres.</p> <p>On Wednesday morning, those choices were communicated, and every team but Haas has selected either nine or 10 sets of the Supersoft tyres, while conversely each driver will have just Pirelli&#39;s allocated set of Medium tyres available, with the compound not favoured.</p> <p>One set of Supersofts must be put aside for use only in Q3, while either the Softs or Mediums must be run for one stint of the 70-lap Grand Prix.</p> <p style="text-align:center"><img alt="" height="1200" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/Formula1/Britain/unnamed.jpg" width="849" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Brown: London GP would be a 'tall order', expects Silverstone to stayWed, 19 Jul 2017 07:01:14 GMT<p>McLaren chief Zak Brown believes Silverstone will remain the home of the British Grand Prix in Formula 1 beyond 2019, after labelling any proposed race in London as a &ldquo;tall order&rdquo;.</p> <p>Silverstone hosted the inaugural World Championship race in 1950 and has maintained an uninterrupted presence on the calendar since 1987.</p> <p>However, Silverstone&rsquo;s owners, the British Racing Drivers&rsquo; Club, last week triggered a break clause in its 17-year contract, signed in 2010, allowing it to drop hosting duties after 2019.</p> <p>Both Silverstone and Liberty Media have spoken of their respective desires to ensure the British Grand Prix continues to take place, although the latter body has not specified a location, with London mooted as a potential venue.</p> <p>&ldquo;I think it&rsquo;s a good way to test markets,&rdquo; Brown said of last week&rsquo;s F1 Live London event in the capital.</p> <p>&ldquo;Now people are taking about a London Grand Prix, which I think in this particular instance is a tall order and Silverstone will remain the home of Formula 1 racing in England.</p> <p>&ldquo;I think the infrastructure that would be required to put on a London Grand Prix would be unlike any other street race, unless you did it maybe around the Olympic Stadium.</p> <p>&ldquo;[But] I think it&rsquo;s a great race at Silverstone.&rdquo;</p> <p>Brown expects senior figures to thrash out a solution to ensure Silverstone remains on the Formula 1 calendar into the next decade.</p> <p>&ldquo;I think if you look around the track, sat down &ndash; which I&rsquo;m sure they [BRDC and Liberty] will do &ndash; and say &lsquo;we&rsquo;ve got a revenue gap here, how can we together generate revenue from the British Grand Prix... I think there&rsquo;s ways to do that,&rdquo; he commented.</p> and Joest Racing join forces for 2018 IMSA assaultTue, 18 Jul 2017 21:27:27 GMT<p>Joest Racing has teamed up with Mazda to compete in the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, running the&nbsp;RT24-P Prototypes under the Mazda Team Joest banner.</p> <p>The new partnership replaces SpeedSource, bringing an end to Mazda&#39;s current IMSA protoype programme with immediate effect.</p> <p>So&nbsp;far this season the two Mazda cars have finished on the podium three times and are sixth and seventh in the standings thus far. However they have struggled against the Cadillac and Nissan entries.</p> <p>In order to best prepare for the new season and to close the performance gap to their rivals, Mazda and Joest will use the next few months to run an extensive testing and evaluation program, to determine where improvements can be made, with much of that working taking place at Joest&#39;s European headquarters.</p> <p>John Doonan, director of motorsports for Mazda North America, thanked&nbsp;SpeedSource for their hard work and success, whilst also ushering in a &quot;once in a lifetime opportunity,&quot; to partner Joest Racing.</p> <p>&quot;I want to thank our long-time partners at SpeedSource Race Engineering and owner, Sylvain Tremblay,&quot;&nbsp;said Doonan.</p> <p>&quot;We accomplished a great deal with their organisation at all levels of the sport for more than two decades. They are a perfect example of a team that has grown through our Mazda system: from grassroots club racing, to Rolex 24 race-winning efforts in GT and then on to the Prototype program.&quot;</p> <p>He added: &quot;This is an important moment in Mazda Motorsports history as we align our brand&rsquo;s top-level sports car racing program with one of the best sports car teams of all time.</p> <p>&quot;What Mr. Joest, Ralf J&uuml;ttner and the entire Joest Racing organisation have accomplished is not likely to ever be matched. We are very excited to work with them to put Mazda in victory lane and to strive for more championship trophies, adding to the substantial Mazda and Joest Racing legacies in the years ahead.&quot;</p> <p>The new driver line-up has yet to be confirmed, but the news statement confirmed that the team&#39;s current line-up of&nbsp;Jonathan Bomarito/Tristan Nunez and Joel Miller/Tom Long, would &quot;participate in the testing and development&quot;.</p> Leclerc to drive for Ferrari at post-Hungarian GP testTue, 18 Jul 2017 15:17:37 GMT<p>Formula 2 championship leader Charles Leclerc will drive for Ferrari at the post-Hungarian Grand Prix in-season test next month.</p> <p>The Monegasque driver joined Ferrari&rsquo;s Driver Academy at the start of last year, before taking the GP3 title with ART Grand Prix.</p> <p>During the season, he also tested for Ferrari and completed several first practice runs for the Haas F1 team.</p> <p>This season, he is racing in F2 and has dominated so far, with six consecutive pole position and five victories &ndash; giving him a 67-point lead after six rounds.</p> <p>He confirmed on Twitter that he will be completing one day of running for the Ferrari F1 team at the Hungaroring test, which takes place from August 1-2.</p> <p><a href="">TWEET: Leclerc confirms Ferrari F1 test</a></p> <p>Leclerc will be at the wheel of Ferrari&rsquo;s 2017 car, the SF70-H. The team has yet to announce who will drive on the second day.</p> <p>Ferrari&rsquo;s reserve driver Antonio Giovinazzi &ndash; who had an FP1 outing with Haas at Silverstone &ndash; and championship leader Sebastian Vettel shared running at the first in-season test in Bahrain.</p> Newgarden hails Penske strategy after Toronto IndyCar winTue, 18 Jul 2017 15:05:11 GMT<p>Josef Newgarden has praised his Penske team&rsquo;s strategy call during the Toronto IndyCar race, after winning it for the second time in his career.</p> <p>His team-mate Helio Castroneves took early control of the race, but a well-timed caution promoted Newgarden to the lead.</p> <p>Penske pitted Newgarden one lap before the caution, a strategy that also helped fellow podium finishers Alexander Rossi and James Hinchcliffe.</p> <p>From there, he was able to control the race, feeling his car was &ldquo;very fast&rdquo;. Newgarden stayed out of trouble to take his second win of the 2017 IndyCar season.</p> <p>&quot;I think that is twice I have had good calls and got into the pits at the right time,&rdquo; he explained afterwards.</p> <p>&ldquo;Thank you to the guys and thank you to Tim (Cindric) for making that call. We got it right, but it was all about managing the race after that. I thought we had a very fast car.</p> <p>&ldquo;We got a pretty good start, and stayed out of the mayhem. Very, very happy for all of Penske, and this DeVilbiss Chevy was pretty bright, but it was pretty fast too.</p> <p>&ldquo;I am pumped for all the No. 2 car guys, they did an amazing job for Penske.&rdquo;</p> Valtteri Bottas for 2018 'almost a no-brainer' - Toto WolffTue, 18 Jul 2017 10:28:45 GMT<p>Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says keeping Valtteri Bottas at the team for the 2018 Formula 1 season is &ldquo;almost a no-brainer&rdquo;.</p> <p>The Finnish driver is only on a one-year contract after being drafted in to replace 2016 F1 champion Nico Rosberg, following his shock retirement.</p> <p>Bottas has edged closer to the title fight in recent races, following his wins in Russia and Austria, and charging drives to second place in Baku and Great Britain.</p> <p>However, Wolff wants to see how the driver market puzzle comes together before committing to anything, and is also focused on looking beyond 2018 too.</p> <p>Mercedes is also in no rush to make a decision and an agreement is not expected before the summer break.</p> <p>&ldquo;He&#39;s almost a no-brainer [for 2018],&rdquo; Wolff said after the British Grand Prix. &ldquo;I would just like to get the puzzle together, and it&#39;s not only about 2018, but I think it is logical.</p> <p>&quot;I think it&#39;s about looking forward and what happens in &#39;19 and &#39;20, the risk and opportunities.</p> <p>&ldquo;That&#39;s why after Budapest, and hopefully a good race again, I&#39;m going to contemplate on a beach about what&#39;s right and wrong for the team.&rdquo;</p> <p>F1 championship leader Sebastian Vettel now holds a one-point lead over Lewis Hamilton after the British GP, with Bottas 23 points behind the Ferrari driver.</p> Mazepin, Lucas Auer get Force India test chance in HungaryTue, 18 Jul 2017 09:38:02 GMT<p>Force India will hand test opportunities to Formula 3 racer Nikita Mazepin and DTM title contender Lucas Auer during next month&rsquo;s running at the Hungaroring.</p> <p>Formula 1 testing will take place in Hungary on August 1/2, with Mazepin and Auer scheduled to run for half a day each on both the Tuesday and Wednesday.</p> <p>Mazepin, 14th in this year&rsquo;s F3 standings, tested for Force India at Silverstone last year, while the run in the VJM10 will be Auer&rsquo;s first chance to get behind the wheel of a Formula 1 car.</p> <p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m really looking forward to testing with Force India again,&rdquo; said Mazepin.</p> <p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;ve been working with the team for over a year and it&rsquo;s great to get another chance to drive the car.</p> <p>&ldquo;The last time I drove an F1 car was in 2016 so it&rsquo;s going to be interesting to make a comparison with the new 2017 regulations.</p> <p>&ldquo;I learned so much from the last test and it&rsquo;s an important part of my development as a driver.</p> <p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;ve been doing lots of simulator work to get ready for the test and I&rsquo;m working hard to make sure I deliver everything the team expects from me.&quot;</p> <p>Auer, currently second in the DTM title race, added: &ldquo;It&rsquo;s really exciting news &ndash; the most beautiful moment of my life. For me, it&#39;s a childhood dream come true to drive an F1 car for the first time.</p> <p>&ldquo;I&#39;m particularly proud that this will happen with Force India &ndash; a top Formula 1 team.</p> <p>&ldquo;I must say thank you to everybody who has worked to make this possible, especially to the team at Force India who have given me this opportunity.</p> <p>&ldquo;I will be aiming to make the most of the test - and, of course, I&#39;ll be savouring every second of it.&quot;</p> reveals cause of #7 car trouble at 6H NurburgringTue, 18 Jul 2017 08:33:44 GMT<p><strong>Toyota has revealed that damage to the #7 car&#39;s aerodynamic profile led to a drop in pace for Kamui Kobayashi, Jose Maria Lopez and Mike Conway&nbsp;at the 6 Hours of the Nurburgring.</strong></p> <p>After leading the first two hours, the pole-sitting&nbsp;TS050 Hybrid lost around 20 seconds to the pair of Porsche 919s during the double-stints.</p> <p>That gap multiplied over the remaining four hours, with the Toyota crew&nbsp;finishing third and over a minute behind the winning #2 Porsche of Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley and Earl Bamber.</p> <p>The sister Toyota finished five laps down following a fuel pump malfunction on the formation lap, on a weekend that saw Porsche extend its World Endurance Championship points lead in both the drivers&#39; and manufacturers&#39; stakes.</p> <p>After a post-race evaluation, the Toyota team found that the #7 car had suffered from an issue with &quot;aerodynamic balance migration.&quot;</p> <p>A statement issued by the team confirmed that the upset in balance was caused by damage to the underfloor of the TS050.</p> <p>&quot;Post-race investigation has revealed significant damage to the underfloor of the #7 car as well as a hole in the rear wing, which caused cracks in the main plane during the race,&quot; it said.</p> <p>&quot;The team believes this damage was caused by kerb riding for the underfloor and by unidentified flying debris which struck the leading edge of the rear wing main plane.&quot;</p> <p>Kobayashi, Lopez and Conway left the Nurburgring fifth in the WEC drivers&#39; championship, 71.5 points off the Bernhard/Hartley/Bamber Porsche crew.</p> <p>The sister Toyota, driven by Sebastien Buemi, Anthony Davidson and Kazuki Nakajima, sits second in the table and 30 points adrift following its recovery drive to fourth place on Sunday.</p> Bite: Red Bull's updated British GP front-wingTue, 18 Jul 2017 08:14:54 GMT<p>The RB13&rsquo;s steady evolution continued at Silverstone as Adrian Newey&rsquo;s re-involvement in the team is beginning to show its influence.</p> <p>Red Bull were one of the first teams in the modern era of Formula 1 to look at how the mechanical and aerodynamic performance of the car can work cohesively, which is why we rarely see a huge visual upgrade for one particular race, or indeed an overall transformation of the car over the year &ndash; it is the summation of small incremental tweaks that inch the car&rsquo;s pace forward race by race.&nbsp;</p> <p>For the British Grand Prix we saw a new front-wing with subtle revisions to the outboard section.</p> <p>Previously the wing was divided into six distinctive elements but now the trailing three have been subdivided in two (see arrow). This means that eight individual aerofoils are controlling the flow of the air around the front tyre, the highest number we have seen in F1 for a few years.</p> <p>More slot gaps allows the introduction of airflow along the wing&rsquo;s curvature, decreasing the chances of flow detachment and allowing the wing to turn the air more aggressively.</p> Hamilton says 'there's no current reason' to retire from F1Tue, 18 Jul 2017 08:01:02 GMT<p>Lewis Hamilton says he plans to see out his current Mercedes contract, which expires at the end of the 2018 season, and says there&#39;s no current reason that would make him want to retire earlier than that, amid speculation about his future.</p> <p>The Briton has been the subject of much speculation recently, which some believing he has thought about hanging up his racing boots to focus on other projects, but Hamilton insists he&#39;s &quot;loving racing&quot; and&nbsp;will be in F1 with Mercedes next season.</p> <p>&quot;At the moment I&rsquo;m loving driving,&quot; said Hamilton.&nbsp;&quot;I feel like I&rsquo;m at my prime. I feel like I&rsquo;m driving better than ever and I&rsquo;m loving driving with this team.</p> <p>&quot;So I can&rsquo;t imagine&hellip;there is no current reason to want to have to stop.</p> <p>&quot;I&rsquo;m still enjoying it and I still have a contract with the team for at least a year so I plan to see that out at the moment.&quot;</p> <p>Even adding a fourth title, which would see him match the likes of Sebastian Vettel and Alain Prost, wouldn&#39;t encourage Hamilton to quit as the hunger to add more titles will always exist &ndash; which is in stark contrast to his former team-mate Nico Rosberg who retired days after winning his first title.</p> <p>&quot;Even getting another championship, it won&rsquo;t be a case of hanging up my gloves,&quot; added the 32-year-old. &quot;I will always want to get more.&quot;</p> <p>However&nbsp;nothing is impossible and Hamilton hinted that he could change his mind&nbsp;should&nbsp;circumstances drastically change in the next few months.</p> <p>&quot;I can&rsquo;t really say what is going to happen six months from now, except to say I am loving racing.</p> <p>&ldquo;I don&rsquo;t know what is going to happen, I love driving and you could say it&rsquo;s unlikely [I would retire], but you can&rsquo;t say what frame of mind I will be in at Christmas.&quot;</p> adamant Jolyon Palmer/Carlos Sainz rumours aren't trueMon, 17 Jul 2017 17:07:16 GMT<p>Renault has rubbished media speculation linking Carlos Sainz Jr. with a mid-season switch to replace Jolyon Palmer at the Enstone-based outfit.</p> <p>Reports surfaced in French media publications claiming Sainz Jr. would step in for Palmer at the Hungarian Grand Prix, with the Spaniard&#39;s Toro Rosso seat consequently taken by Red Bull junior and reigning GP2 champion Pierre Gasly.</p> <p>However Renault team boss Cyril Abiteboul moved to dispel such rumours, telling Palmer directly on the Sunday morning of the British Grand Prix that his seat is safe, despite the Britain&#39;s recent struggles.</p> <p>&quot;I have completely dismissed speculation of him being replaced in Budapest,&quot; Abiteboul told&nbsp;<em>Autosport.</em></p> <p>&quot;It&#39;s not good [such rumours], particularly on Sunday morning [before a race].</p> <p>&quot;When I found out,&nbsp;I made it clear to everyone that there was absolutely nothing true in that, and I told that to Jo directly.</p> <p>&quot;I wanted to clear that off his mind before the start.&quot;</p> <p>Palmer has yet to score a single point this season while team-mate Nico Hulkenberg has 26 to his name, but much of Palmer&#39;s recent struggles have been down to poor reliability &ndash; he retired on the formation lap of his home race at the weekend with a hydraulic problem.</p> retirement 'less painful' than others - Fernando AlonsoMon, 17 Jul 2017 16:19:21 GMT<p>Fernando Alonso says his retirement from the British Grand Prix at Silverstone was &ldquo;less painful&rdquo; than others, because he does not think a top 10 result was possible.</p> <p>Engine component changes left the Spaniard with a 30-place grid penalty, meaning the McLaren driver lined up last for the race.</p> <p>He steadily made up ground through the early stages, but a fuel pressure problem on lap 35 cost him a race finish.</p> <p>His team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne finished just outside the top 10, so Alonso believes nabbing a point or two was not possible at Silverstone.</p> <p>&ldquo;It was a difficult weekend for us, starting last with the penalties; then in the race, when I was following a group of cars, I had another issue,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p>&ldquo;Hopefully, it hasn&rsquo;t done any damage to the engine and we&rsquo;ll be able to keep using it in the future.</p> <p>&ldquo;Stoffel was 11th, so I think we weren&rsquo;t quick enough to be in the points and I think I could have ended up 13th or 14th, so the retirement is a little bit less painful than it would be if we&rsquo;d lost a points finish.</p> <p>&ldquo;Now I&rsquo;m looking ahead to Hungary, which should be a better weekend for us.&rdquo;</p> Gasly: Formula E debut in New York 'very positive'Mon, 17 Jul 2017 16:17:48 GMT<p>Pierre Gasly says his Formula E debut in New York, filling in for the absent Sebastien Buemi, was &ldquo;very positive&rdquo; after scoring points in both races.</p> <p>The French driver was picked to fill the vacant seat at Renault e.dams for the Brooklyn double-header, while Buemi was racing in the FIA World Endurance Championship at the Nurburgring.</p> <p>Gasly missed Friday&rsquo;s shakedown while he was travelling to New York and struggled in qualifying on Saturday, but finished seventh in the race.</p> <p>Last year&rsquo;s GP2 champion then qualified fourth for Sunday&rsquo;s final race, and retained his position &ndash; although he hit the wall as he took the chequered flag, while battling Nick Heidfeld.</p> <p>&quot;This weekend was very positive because it was my first experience in Formula E and I didn&rsquo;t really know what to expect,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p>&ldquo;We had a very busy schedule, especially with me arriving later on during the event. There was a lot to learn but we did great.</p> <p>&ldquo;We scored important points for the team. I didn&rsquo;t expect to be in Super Pole after only one day spent in the car.</p> <p>&ldquo;Furthermore, having to learn how to manage the battery and dealing with this in addition to driving.</p> <p>&ldquo;It was a great opportunity to discover a new discipline and I enjoyed the challenge very much. I would like to thank the team for this great weekend and I hope they will win in Montreal.&rdquo;</p> Hulkenberg admits sixth at Silverstone 'a big success' for RenaultMon, 17 Jul 2017 16:15:32 GMT<p>Nico Hulkenberg says sixth place at the British Grand Prix is a &ldquo;big success&rdquo; for Renault, adding the team&rsquo;s new upgrades are &ldquo;working well&rdquo;.</p> <p>The German driver set quick times in the mixed conditions during qualifying, taking sixth on the grid &ndash; which then became fifth, due to Valtteri Bottas&rsquo; demotion for an unscheduled gearbox change.</p> <p>He lost out to Bottas in the early laps but continued to pull away from the chasing pack, which included the Force India drivers.</p> <p>A leak around the exhaust in the closing laps caused him to gradually lose power and this allowed Daniel Ricciardo to sneak ahead, but he then gained a spot with Sebastian Vettel&rsquo;s late puncture.</p> <p>&ldquo;We are very happy with the race result,&rdquo; he explained. &ldquo;P6 is a big success for the team.</p> <p>&ldquo;We were able to get a good lap in qualifying and then to carry it through to the race. We had a strong race pace, and were able to keep ahead of both Force Indias, which is really positive.</p> <p>&ldquo;We lost some power at the end, especially down the straights, which made it easier for Daniel to pass me, but then we gained back a position from Seb [Vettel] when he had his problem.</p> <p>&ldquo;Overall this is a very positive result. The new upgrades worked really well, we were able to push the car and I&rsquo;m really pleased for the team.&rdquo;</p> <p>His team-mate Jolyon Palmer failed to make the race start after a hydraulics issue on the formation lap.</p> Tost: British GP 'worst scenario' for Toro Rosso after clashMon, 17 Jul 2017 15:17:55 GMT<p>Toro Rosso Team Principal Franz Tost labelled the outcome of the British Grand Prix as the &ldquo;worst scenario&rdquo; for the team, after its drivers collided on the opening lap.</p> <p>Daniil Kvyat and Carlos Sainz Jr. battled for position, though Kvyat drifted wide through Becketts, and collected Sainz Jr. as the pair rounded the left-hander.</p> <p>Sainz Jr. retired on the spot while Kvyat pitted for repairs and was penalised for re-joining the track in an unsafe manner, which triggered the collision.</p> <p>Kvyat <a href="">disputed his drive-through penalty</a> and suggested Sainz Jr. should have been more aware, while the Spaniard declined to offer his opinion.</p> <p>Tost, though, was circumspect, and believes the pair&rsquo;s actions robbed Toro Rosso of a potential top 10 finish.</p> <p>&ldquo;It was a big disappointment for the team because the worst scenario that can ever happen is the collision between teammates on the first lap of the race,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p>&ldquo;This should not have happened.</p> <p>&ldquo;From a performance point of view, the car would&rsquo;ve been able to finish within the top 10 &ndash; Daniil&rsquo;s lap times were quite competitive, although the floor was damaged, as well as other parts on the car.</p> <p>&ldquo;We had to call him in to change the front wing and in parallel to this, we also changed the tyres to the Soft compound.&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;We thought that he could maybe stay out longer, but then we had to do another pit-stop for the Supersoft.</p> <p>&ldquo;At the end we finished the race in P15, so with no points, but all we can do is forget about this race weekend and prepare ourselves in the best possible way for Hungary.&rdquo;</p> <p>Toro Rosso still holds sixth in the Constructors&rsquo; championship, albeit only four points clear of Haas, with Renault just a further three behind. &nbsp;</p> Bautista to remain with Aspar MotoGP team in 2018Mon, 17 Jul 2017 13:03:21 GMT<p>&Aacute;lvaro Bautista will remain with Aspar in MotoGP next season, the team confirmed on Monday.</p> <p>The Spaniard reunited with Aspar this season in the premier class, having riden for the squad in the 125cc and 250cc classes &ndash; he claimed the 125cc title in 2006.</p> <p>Bautista currently&nbsp;holds 11th in the&nbsp;standings this year, with fourth place his best finish in Argentina. He&nbsp;will continue to ride for the team next year.</p> <p>Jorge Mart&iacute;nez, Aspar team general manager, says the deal shows their belief in the 32-year-old.</p> <p>&quot;It is good news for the Pull&amp;Bear Aspar Team that we have reached this agreement with &Aacute;lvaro Bautista;&nbsp;we believe in him and we are enjoying a very strong season.</p> <p>&quot;We also have a lot of faith in Ducati, we get great support from the factory and through extending this relationship, together we can improve even more. I hope this year still holds many more high points like the ones we have enjoyed already, and that next season holds even more still.&quot;</p> <p>Bautista added:&nbsp;&quot;I am happy to be spending another season as part of the Pull&amp;Bear Aspar Team family. It is a union that can help both the team and myself to grow.</p> <p>&quot;We are having a strong season, I have a good relationship with the team and I feel very comfortable on the Ducati and with the support from the factory. I think we can continue to improve and achieve good results.&quot;</p> di Grassi 'satisfied' to make up ground in New YorkMon, 17 Jul 2017 10:08:51 GMT<p>Abt Audi Sport driver and Formula E title contender Lucas di Grassi says he was &ldquo;satisfied&rdquo; to make up ground in the championship fight and not let the New York ePrix weekend go to waste.</p> <p>The Brazilian driver was presented with a unique opportunity to claw back points on run-away leader Sebastien Buemi, with the Renault e.dams driver absent in Brooklyn.</p> <p>With Buemi in Germany competing in the FIA World Endurance Championship, di Grassi cut the gap in the standings to just 10 points with fourth and fifth in the two New York races.</p> <p>He struggled more in qualifying and was unable to secure a podium, but still picked up useful points ahead of the double-header finale in Montreal.</p> <p>&ldquo;We have to analyse the data and make sure that we are in a better position again for the finale in Montreal,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p>&ldquo;We weren&rsquo;t fast enough in New York to be able to win. With a little more luck it could have been two podiums, but not more.</p> <p>&ldquo;We did what we could and under the circumstances I&rsquo;m very satisfied with the results. After all I made up 22 points.</p> <p>&ldquo;It wasn&rsquo;t a wasted weekend. We are still in the thick of the title battle and will try to make the best of the situation.&rdquo;</p> <p>On his title chances in Canada, he added: &ldquo;It&rsquo;ll be difficult, but we&rsquo;ll try everything.</p> <p>&ldquo;It is psychologically important that I can win through my own efforts in Montreal: if I win both races I&rsquo;m champion. Then there&rsquo;s no need to worry about the mathematical chances. This is exactly what we&rsquo;ll try to do.&rdquo;</p> Race highlights from the second New York ePrixMon, 17 Jul 2017 10:01:03 GMT<p>Watch race highlights from Formula E&#39;s second New York ePrix, around the Brooklyn Street Circuit. Sam Bird made it a clean sweep in New York, with victory in race two for DS Virgin Racing.</p> Newgarden cruises to second Toronto IndyCar victoryMon, 17 Jul 2017 09:54:27 GMT<p>Penske driver Josef Newgarden claimed his second IndyCar victory in Toronto with a controlled performance, finishing ahead of Andretti&rsquo;s Alexander Rossi.</p> <p>Having previously won the Canadian race back in 2015, Newgarden has a good track record and was quick throughout the race, and benefitted from a well-timed caution to take the lead.</p> <p>He pitted just one lap before the caution came out, with Rossi and home favourite James Hinchcliffe &ndash; who finished third on home soil &ndash; also pulling off similar strategies.</p> <p>The yellow was for Tony Kanaan, who locked up his Chip Ganassi car and crashed into the barrier at Turn 1 around a quarter of the way through the race.</p> <p>Newgarden&rsquo;s team-mate Helio Castroneves was leading at the time after a strong opening lap, but his grip on the race loosened when he had to pit under yellow and dropped back.</p> <p>Taking over the lead, Newgarden was able to keep a consistent gap to those chasing him for the remainder of the race, and finished 1.8 seconds clear of Rossi.</p> <p>Hinchcliffe was third at his home event, while Marco Andretti showed improved form in fourth, ahead of reigning champion Simon Pagenaud and Ryan Hunter-Reay.</p> <p>Former F1 driver Max Chilton sustained a late challenge from Castroneves to secure seventh, with Graham Rahal ninth and championship leader Scott Dixon in 10th.</p> <p>He recovered from a collision with Penske&rsquo;s Will Power on the opening lap, which required Dixon to pit for repairs (before he was then awarded a drive-through) and fall to the back of the pack.</p> <p>Dixon retains his title advantage over Castroneves, but the gap has been cut to just three points.</p> 224 of Motorsport Monday is out now – High five HamiltonMon, 17 Jul 2017 08:33:10 GMT<p><strong>Issue 224&nbsp;of our free weekly magazine, Motorsport Monday, is online now and packed full of great content&nbsp;&ndash;&nbsp;<a href="">click here</a>&nbsp;or the&nbsp;link below to start reading.</strong></p> <p>What a weekend of motorsport it was on both sides of the pond! Silverstone hosted a thrilling British Grand Prix, and although the victory was a dominant display by the local favourite, guessing the other two podium slots was an impossible as task as the result changed several times in the closing laps. Formula 1&#39;s support races, Formula 2 and GP3, were also in action.</p> <p>Then it is over to the N&uuml;rburgring in Germany for round 4 of the World Endurance Championship where&nbsp;the action was all about Toyota and Porsche duelling it out for 6 Hours&nbsp;in the LMP1 class.</p> <p>Meanwhile on the opposite side of the Atlantic it was New York City&#39;s first ever Formula E race - and a double header at that. With Sebastien Buemi on WEC duties in Germany, did title rival Lucas di Grassi make the most of the opportunity to close the gap? And how did the Frenchman&#39;s stand-in Pierre Gasly perform on his debut?</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" height="127" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/Magazine/click-to-read.png" width="800" /></a></p> Bird takes Brooklyn clean sweep with race two winSun, 16 Jul 2017 18:22:04 GMT<p>DS Virgin Racing&rsquo;s Sam Bird ruled supreme on the Brooklyn Street Circuit to make it a clean-sweep of wins in New York.</p> <p>Having won Saturday&rsquo;s race in controlled style, Bird went one further with a dominant display in Sunday&rsquo;s second race, having taken pole position earlier in the day.</p> <p>Mahindra&rsquo;s Felix Rosenqvist started alongside him on the front row and got the better start, taking the lead with the inside line into the first corner.</p> <p>Despite opening up a small lead in the early laps, Bird kept Rosenqvist close and was right behind him when the full course yellow came out on lap nine for Mitch Evans&rsquo; stopped car.</p> <p>He made his move shortly after the restart at Turn 6, in a brave dive up the inside of Rosenqvist. However, another full course yellow looked set to cost him the lead.</p> <p>His team-mate Alex Lynn stopped on the track just before the half-way mark, which prompted several drivers to change cars under FCY. DS Virgin, however, kept Bird out.</p> <p>The Briton dived into the pits on the next lap, just coming out before the green flag running resumed, just emerging ahead of Rosenqvist.</p> <p>Through the final stint, Bird was able to finish over 11 seconds clear to claim his second victory of the season and the weekend.</p> <p>Rosenqvist and fellow Mahindra racer Nick Heidfeld swapped places late on, only for Heidfeld to give second place back to his team-mate (and distant title-contender) with two laps to go.</p> <p>So, it was Rosenqvist claiming second, while Heidfeld had to fend off Renault e.dams Pierre Gasly into the final corner. Gasly, replacing Sebastien Buemi, ended up in the wall.</p> <p>However, the Frenchman still limped across the line in fourth, with title challenger Lucas di Grassi a slightly distant fifth after making up ground in the opening stint &ndash; now 10 points behind Buemi.</p> <p>Nicolas Prost also had a lonely final part of the race in sixth, ahead of Tom Dillmann and Jean-Eric Vergne &ndash; who dropped from third to last early on after pitting to repair damage.</p> <p>Techeetah then left Vergne and team-mate Stephane Sarrazin out in the second FCY and swapped cars under green flag conditions, costing them time.</p> <p>Robin Frijns was ninth, after an intense midfield scrap that included numerous clashes and plenty of frantic battles, while Jerome d&rsquo;Ambrosio completed the top 10.</p> lands 1-2 at 6 Hours of NurburgringSun, 16 Jul 2017 17:06:10 GMT<p><strong>Porsche extended its lead in the World Endurance drivers&#39; and manufacturers&#39; championships with a one-two result at the 6 Hours of the Nurburgring.</strong></p> <p>Earl Bamber, Timo Bernhard and Brendon Hartley beat the identical 919 Hybrid&nbsp;driven by Andre Lotterer, Nick Tandy and Neel Jani&nbsp;by a margin of 1.606 seocnds.</p> <p>The pair of Porsches dominated round four of the WEC, with the nearest Toyota TS050 Hybrid finishing over a minute back on the lead lap.</p> <p>Hartley took the lead from Jose Maria Lopez in the pole-sitting #7 Toyota during the second hour with a well-timed lunge down the inside at turn one, before Jani slipped into second shortly after.</p> <p>From there, the German manufacturer never looked back, extending its lead with superior outright pace throughout the contest.</p> <p>The two Porsches briefly switched positions when Earl Bamber overtook Nick Tandy on lap 111, but reverted to their long-standing order when Bamber needed to take avoiding action against a spinning LMP2 car at the chicane.</p> <p>With the #1 car placed higher in the championship than the #2, Porsche took the decision to switch the two at the final round of pit stops with 15 minutes to go, sealing a result that&nbsp;marks the extension of Bernhard, Bamber and Hartley&#39;s points lead over the #8 Toyota crew from 17 to 30&nbsp;points.</p> <p>It also signaled the first one-two for Porsche since the 6 Hours of Shanghai in 2015.</p> <p>Toyota&#39;s lead car finished third, 1m 4.768 seconds down, while the team&#39;s siter car&nbsp;came through in fourth and six laps adrift after suffering a fuel pump failure on the formation lap.</p> <p>LMP2 class honours went to the Jackie Chan DC Racing ORECA-Gibson that finished second overall at the 24 Hours of Le Mans last month.</p> <p>Oliver Jarvis, Ho-Pin Tung and Thomas Laurent resisted an early challenge from the pair of Vaillante Rebellion ORECAs to increase their championship lead with a third win of the year.</p> <p>Jarvis dropped behind the two Rebellions at the start, but reclaimed second place in the pits before overtaking Bruno Senna for the lead in the second hour.</p> <p>The Jackie Chan crew held the lead from that point onward, with Tung taking the chequered flag one lap&nbsp;clear&nbsp;of Senna&#39;s #31 co-driven by Julien Canal and David Heienemeier Hansson.</p> <p>Signatech Alpine pipped the other Rebellion to third after a thrilling race-long battle between the two crews, as Nicolas Lapierre found four seconds of daylight to shut out Mathias Beche.</p> <p>Rounding out the top five in class was the #37 Jackie Chan DC Racing entry, piloted by Alex Brundle, David Cheng and Tristan Gommendy.</p> <p>In GTE-Pro, Alessandro Pier Guidi and James Calado gave the AF Corse Ferrari squad its second victory of the campaign, and the first for the #51 488 Italia.</p> <p>After a tight opening stint involving all four manufacturers, the Ferrari emerged on top through a combination of outright pace and an ability to run longer on its Michelin tyres.</p> <p>Pier Guidi crossed the line with 49 seconds between himself and the second-placed Porsche of Richard Lietz and Frederic Makowiecki, which Calado passed for the lead at the start of the fourth hour.</p> <p>Kevin Estre and Michael Christensen completed the podium in their pole-sitting 911 RSR, while Aston Martin&#39;s Nicki Thiim held off Harry Tincknell (who recovered from a spin induced by one of the LMP1 Porsches) in the battle for fourth.</p> <p>GTE-Am victory went the way of the Proton Competition Porsche 911 RSR driven by Christian Ried, Marvin Dienst and factory junior Matteo Cairoli.</p> Kvyat disputes penalty, Carlos Sainz Jr. remains tight-lippedSun, 16 Jul 2017 16:30:24 GMT<p>Daniil Kvyat disputed the penalty he received during the British Grand Prix, while Toro Rosso team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr. remained coy, after the pair collided on the opening lap.</p> <p>Kvyat and Sainz Jr. battled on the first lap at Silverstone before coming to blows through Becketts, with Sainz Jr. spinning into retirement as a result.</p> <p>Kvyat was handed a drive-through penalty, and two penalty points, after stewards deemed he &ldquo;left the track and rejoined in an unsafe manner, causing a collision with Sainz.&rdquo;</p> <p>The Russian went on to finish in 15th position but was angry with the manner of his sanction, and believed Sainz Jr. also played a part in the collision.</p> <p>&ldquo;I knew already I wouldn&rsquo;t be on the perfect line for Turn 12, where the collision happened, since Turn 10, because you commit to the corner very fast,&rdquo; said Kvyat.</p> <p>&ldquo;Second of all I didn&rsquo;t leave the track, me and the team both agreed, because the punishment was for leaving the track, we need to understand it.</p> <p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m narrowly [off], but within the track limits, we believe the penalty was too harsh.</p> <p>&ldquo;I believe between racing driver and racing driver, not normal people and journalists, [but] a racing driver knows when he sees what happens to me, that you&rsquo;re never going to be at a perfect line for Turn 12.</p> <p>&ldquo;So when you put yourself there you know the collision is 90 per cent unavoidable.</p> <p>&ldquo;I believe had the other car been a bit more anticipating about it, he would have been trying to get me back on the next straight.</p> <p>&ldquo;It didn&rsquo;t happen, just put yourself there, and just say to your team-mate &lsquo;okay, you crash in me&rsquo;.</p> <p>&ldquo;That&rsquo;s what I believe happened, I completely disagree with penalty; yes of course there&rsquo;s responsibility on me also, but I think we both should be feeling responsible for what happened.&rdquo;</p> <p>Sainz Jr. was repeatedly asked about the incident during his post-race media session but declined to offer his full opinion.</p> <p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m not going to give any opinion about it as I think it&rsquo;s something to keep internally and analyse internally,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p>&ldquo;But I think the images speaks for themselves, so I&rsquo;m not going to comment about it.</p> <p>&ldquo;We were battling for sure, giving each other quite a lot of room, going into fast corners, until I think one car lost control and hit the other one.&rdquo;</p> <p>When asked what he now expected from &ldquo;the other one&rdquo;, Sainz Jr. replied: &ldquo;I don&rsquo;t know and I don&rsquo;t really mind, you know, it&rsquo;s something that will be discussed inside the team.</p> <p>&ldquo;I don&rsquo;t want to generate any polemics as I think the team has enough with two cars crashing out in the first lap to now have someone talking about the other one.&rdquo;</p> Vettel and Raikkonen tyre issues 'totally different'Sun, 16 Jul 2017 16:01:32 GMT<p>Formula 1 tyre supplier Pirelli has confirmed that &ldquo;totally different&rdquo; tyre issues affected Kimi R&auml;ikk&ouml;nen and Sebastian Vettel during the closing stages of the British Grand Prix.</p> <p>R&auml;ikk&ouml;nen, running in second, slowed with a problematic front-tyre, and toured back to the pits, with his delay promoting Valtteri Bottas into second and Vettel third.</p> <p>However, Vettel suffered a puncture one lap later and dropped down to seventh position, elevating&nbsp;R&auml;ikk&ouml;nen back into third, and the German&#39;s title advantage over Lewis Hamilton was cut to one point as a result.</p> <p>Both R&auml;ikk&ouml;nen and Vettel were running on the Soft tyre during the closing laps, having both started on the Supersoft compound, but Pirelli says the issues were unrelated.</p> <p>&ldquo;Two totally different troubles, totally, totally different,&rdquo; said a Pirelli spokesperson post-race.</p> <p>&ldquo;Sebastian got a fail, a puncture, he was very much in the end. From what? We don&#39;t know exactly.</p> <p>&ldquo;For sure, he flat-spotted when he was fighting with Bottas.</p> <p>&ldquo;Maybe he was fighting sometimes on the kerb, because he was defending a position and so on. But he was simply making his job.</p> <p>&ldquo;The difference with Kimi is that when he came to the pits, the tyre was totally inflated, he was not having a total failure to the tyre &ndash; it was worn out, of course.</p> <p>&ldquo;With Kimi, the tyre is inflated, and you see all the tread worn out, starting to show the cable.</p> <p>&ldquo;With Vettel, you see the tyre worn out, which was broken on the inside, because of a puncture.&rdquo;</p> <p>Pirelli will conduct a thorough investigation into the respective problems in the coming week.</p> Bull 'played it safe' after Raikkonen tyre dramasSun, 16 Jul 2017 15:53:50 GMT<p>Max Verstappen says Red Bull elected to &ldquo;play it safe&rdquo; and make a precautionary additional stop, rather than risk a tyre failure, during the closing stages of the British Grand Prix.</p> <p>Verstappen held fifth position, but was poised to move into fourth position after Kimi R&auml;ikk&ouml;nen suffered a tyre failure in the final few laps.</p> <p>Verstappen pitted on the same lap as R&auml;ikk&ouml;nen, remaining behind the Finn, and remained in fifth, but moved up to fourth when Sebastian Vettel also encountered problems late on.</p> <p>&ldquo;It is a positive day, I am happy to finish the race and get some solid points once again,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p>&ldquo;We got a bit lucky with Seb&rsquo;s puncture at the end and I pitted to be safe as I knew I had enough room behind me.</p> <p>&ldquo;The front left didn&rsquo;t feel great and having seen what happened to the Ferrari we played it safe.</p> <p>&ldquo;If I had seen Kimi pit at the end I may have stayed out to try and get a jump on him but we made the precautionary stop to make sure we finished.</p> <p>&ldquo;With a lot of fast rights here it takes its toll on the front left so we knew there would be issues late on.&rdquo;</p> <p>Verstappen earlier ran in third position for Red Bull after moving ahead of Vettel on the opening lap, and defended against the Ferrari driver, before ultimately being overhauled through the pit phase.</p> <p>&ldquo;At the beginning I knew I was quite a bit slower than Seb so I just did my best to stay in front and have some fun,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p>&ldquo;It was the only thing I could do and luckily he didn&rsquo;t manage to pass me on track, after that little battle my race became a bit lonely.</p> <p>&ldquo;Fourth is a good result, probably one place better than we expected which is always nice.</p> <p>&ldquo;We have some upgrades coming in Hungary which I am hoping will make some steps towards being able to fight with the top two teams.&rdquo;</p> Hamilton hails 'faultless' Mercedes after British GP victorySun, 16 Jul 2017 15:26:05 GMT<p>Lewis Hamilton has described his Mercedes team as &ldquo;faultless&rdquo; during the British Grand Prix, after winning the race for the fifth time in his F1 career.</p> <p>The British driver started from pole position on home soil and had a good start, to lead the field on the opening lap at Silverstone.</p> <p>Having negotiated the early safety car, he was able to open up a considerable gap over Ferrari&rsquo;s Kimi Raikkonen, eventually finishing 14 seconds clear.</p> <p>It was his fourth consecutive triumph at the race and Hamilton admitted Mercedes did not put a foot wrong on Sunday.</p> <p>&ldquo;The team did an exceptional job this weekend, the car felt great and the team really were generally faultless,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m so proud of everyone at the factory. Valtteri did an exceptional job to come back from all the way in ninth - a perfect weekend for us in the team.</p> <p>&ldquo;I was up front, got a good start, after that I was able to manage the gap between myself and Kimi, and just bit by bit extended it.</p> <p>&ldquo;I could see on TV screens a few places around the track Valtteri&rsquo;s race so I could see a bit, then I heard at the end there were some tyre blowouts.</p> <p>&ldquo;I had graining and some vibration on mine so the last couple of laps I took it easy, as I knew that others were having trouble.</p> <p>&ldquo;When I crossed the line, I could have kept going, we really had the legs this weekend, you saw the crowd&hellip;</p> <p>&ldquo;The support has been immense, I&#39;m glad the rain held off. The amount of flags, the amount of support, the energy was tremendous.&quot;</p> Bottas admits he 'got lucky' to take second at SilverstoneSun, 16 Jul 2017 15:16:25 GMT<p>Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas has admitted he &ldquo;got lucky&rdquo; to take second place at the 2017 British Grand Prix.</p> <p>The Finn started from ninth on the grid after a gearbox change penalty, but made a good start to move up several places.</p> <p>He was involved in some intense battles throughout the race, making his way ahead of Sebastian Vettel later in the race and into third place.</p> <p>Bottas was then promoted to second when Kimi Raikkonen suffered a puncture with just a few laps to go, giving Mercedes a 1-2 finish.</p> <p>&quot;For us as a team it was really a perfect weekend for the circumstances,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;How we started today from ninth, it&#39;s just amazing what we&#39;ve done today.</p> <p>&ldquo;The car was so good to drive, it was really quick, the team did perfect strategy for both of us, me and Lewis.</p> <p>&ldquo;I started the race with soft tyres, I had to run really long and we actually extended the first stint quite a bit because everything was still looking good.</p> <p>&ldquo;Towards the end on supersofts the pace was good with the fresh tyres. I got through on Sebastian, and was closing on Kimi, but I think realistically he was too far away for me to get P2, so I got lucky.</p> <p>&ldquo;On the other hand he got unlucky to lose his second place in the end, but a 1-2 is perfect.&rdquo;</p> Bird beats Felix Rosenqvist to pole for second New York raceSun, 16 Jul 2017 14:30:28 GMT<p>DS Virgin Racing&rsquo;s Sam Bird has secured pole position for the second part of Formula E&rsquo;s double-header in Brooklyn, New York.</p> <p>The British racer took victory in Saturday&rsquo;s first race and set the pace during final practice earlier on Sunday, before easily progressing to Super Pole.</p> <p>Bird put in a 1:02.285 to take pole position by an incredibly narrow margin, with just a 0.037 second lead over Felix Rosenqvist.</p> <p>Mahindra&rsquo;s Rosenqvist had to settle for second, keen to make up for a tough race one, with Saturday&rsquo;s runner-up Jean-Eric Vergne third quickest for Techeetah.</p> <p>Sebastien Buemi&rsquo;s Renault e.dams replacement Pierre Gasly struggled in qualifying on Saturday but showed improved form on Sunday, to take P4 on the grid &ndash; even with a mistake.</p> <p>Nick Heidfeld completed the top five after a scruffy lap, with Maro Engel the first unable to get into Super Pole. He was sixth, ahead of Oliver Turvey and Daniel Abt.</p> <p>Title contender Lucas di Grassi was only ninth, ahead of Tom Dillmann. Robin Frijns (with a grid penalty for a gearbox change) and Stephane Sarrazin &ndash; who glanced the wall at the final corner &ndash; were next up.</p> <p>Mitch Evans was 13th, ahead of Jerome d&rsquo;Ambrosio and Nicolas Prost. Nelson Piquet Jr. was 16th, while race one polesitter Alex Lynn could only manage 17th.</p> Ricciardo awarded Driver of the Day for British GPSun, 16 Jul 2017 14:17:07 GMT<p>Red Bull Racing&rsquo;s Daniel Ricciardo has won the Driver of the Day award for the British Grand Prix after his drive from the back row to fifth.</p> <p>Problems in the first segment of qualifying saw him finish the session 20th, but despite gearbox and engine component change penalties, he started the race 19th.</p> <p>That was due to Fernando Alonso&rsquo;s huge 30-place grid penalty for power unit component changes, elevating him one position.</p> <p>However, that did not stop Ricciardo from a charging recovery drive to fifth place, despite a few setbacks along the way.</p> <p>Having made up ground early on, Ricciardo was shuffled back a few spots when he was forced wide at Luffield, dropping to 18th and last place.</p> <p><a href="">WATCH: F1 reveals British GP Driver of the Day</a></p> <p>The Australian bounced back by gradually moving up the field and benefitted from the late drama, with Sebastian Vettel falling to seventh with a puncture, to claim fifth.</p> <p>After some brilliant battles and a feisty performance, he finished a few seconds behind his team-mate Max Verstappen and was voted Driver of the Day by the fans.</p> <p>F1 supporters can vote for Driver of the Day from the mid-way point of the race and Ricciardo received the most.</p> <p>It is his first time winning the award this year, <strong>here&rsquo;s a look at who has won at each race so far in 2017</strong>:</p> <p>Australia &ndash; Vettel<br /> China &ndash; Verstappen<br /> Bahrain &ndash; Vettel<br /> Russia &ndash; Bottas<br /> Spain &ndash; Vettel<br /> Monaco &ndash; Vettel<br /> Canada &ndash; Vettel<br /> Azerbaijan &ndash; Stroll<br /> Austria &ndash; Bottas<br /> Britain - Ricciardo</p> leads 6 Hours of Nurburgring at halfwaySun, 16 Jul 2017 14:16:50 GMT<p><strong>Porsche held first and second place at the Nurburgring as the fourth round of the World Endurance Championship reached its three-hour point.</strong></p> <p>Having just completed the third round of LMP1 pit stops, Nick Tandy held a 5.796s&nbsp;advantage over Earl Bamber in the sister 919 Hybrid.</p> <p>The pair recently took over from Neel Jani and Brendon Hartley respectively, who battled for the lead during the second hour.</p> <p>Jani overtook Hartley on lap 69 following the second round of stops, breaking the order of the two cars that had stood since the start of the race.</p> <p>Jose Maria Lopez led in the pole-sitting Toyota until lap 41, when Hartley made a clean lunge down the inside at the sharp first corner.</p> <p>Lopez, who took over from the #7 car&#39;s starting driver&nbsp;Kamui Kobayashi, then fell back to third behind the now-leading Porsche before handing over to Mike Conway.</p> <p>At the close of hour three, Conway was 27 seconds off the lead.</p> <p>The sister Toyota, started by Sebastien Buemi, had a nightmarish start when it suffered a fuel pressure problem on the formation lap.</p> <p>Buemi managed to nurse the car back to the pits but lost six laps in repairs, before recovering through the LMP2 field.</p> <p>Anthony Davidson was at the helm as the halfway mark passed, with the #8 car circulating four laps adrift.</p> <p><a href="">Result: 6 Hours of Nurburgring after three hours</a></p> <p>In LMP2, Ho-Pin Tung led for the Jackie Chan DC Racing outfit with a 50 second lead to the sister car driven by Tristan Gommendy.</p> <p>Despite losing the lead to the pair of Vaillante Rebellion ORECAs at the start, Tung&#39;s team-mate Oliver Jarvis recovered to pass Mathias Beche (#13) in the pits and Bruno Senna (#31) on the run down to the final chicane during hour two.</p> <p>Gommendy emerged at the front of a terrific battle between his #38 Jackie Chan car, the #36 Signatech Alpine, and the pair of Rebellions, which partly allowed Tung to build such a large gap.</p> <p>Porsche&#39;s pole-sitting 911 RSR of Kevin Estre and Michael Christensen led the GTE-Pro race into its second half, with the #51 Ferrari close behind.</p> <p>Aston Martin fronted the class field initially after Christensen locked up at the first corner, allowing Marco Sorensen to move ahead, but waning grip levels on the AMR Vantage&#39;s tyres enabled the Porsche crew to regain the ascendancy.</p> <p>Porsche also held sway in GTE-Am, after Matteo Cairoli (Proton Competition 911 RSR) overtook Mathias Lauda in the #98 Aston Martin that had commanded the race since the start.</p> Raikkonen: 'Unlucky situations keep following us'Sun, 16 Jul 2017 14:15:48 GMT<p>Kimi R&auml;ikk&ouml;nen rued some bad luck during the British Grand Prix as a late puncture cost him second place, though the Finn still finished third after his team-mate Sebastian Vettel also suffered the same fate.</p> <p>With R&auml;ikk&ouml;nen stopping on lap 49 of 51, he dropped from second to fourth&nbsp;behind Valtteri Bottas and Vettel, but the German then suffered a puncture on the penultimate lap, handing the third back to R&auml;ikk&ouml;nen.</p> <p>He was left disappointed to lose second place, but believes he got the most out of his car.</p> <p>&quot;I think we got more or less the most out of the car in the race, they [Mercedes] were just a bit faster today,&quot; explained&nbsp;R&auml;ikk&ouml;nen.</p> <p>&quot;I was struggling in some points a little bit too go faster.</p> <p>&quot;Then unfortunately these&nbsp;unlucky situations keep&nbsp;following us and for whatever reason the front left, not really exploded, but the canvas came off the tyre,&quot; he added.&nbsp;&quot;Luckily I could get back in one piece.</p> <p>&quot;Unfortunately Seb had, a lap later, the same thing so not happy but better than nothing.&quot;</p> Hamilton dominates British GP as puncture costs Sebastian Vettel podium finishSun, 16 Jul 2017 13:38:01 GMT<p>Lewis Hamilton claimed a fourth consecutive British Grand Prix victory as he dominated from lights out to the chequered flag, while Sebastian Vettel hit late tyre troubles, costing the German a podium finish.</p> <p>The Mercedes man led from start to finish at his home event, never relinquishing the lead, to close the championship gap to leader Vettel down to just a single point at the halfway mark of the season, after the German took only seventh.</p> <p>Valtteri Bottas claimed second, 14 seconds adrift of his team-mate; Kimi Raikkonen had been running second, but a puncture on lap 49 of 51 handed the position to Bottas and allowed Mercedes to extend its championship lead.</p> <p>Raikkonen would go on to finish third thanks to his team-mate&#39;s puncture, whilst Max Verstappen, who at the time was right behind the Finn, chose to pit on the same lap as he complained of high tyre wear &ndash; however staying out would have handed the Dutchman a podium place. He finished fourth.</p> <p>Daniel Ricciardo was fifth for Red Bull, coming through from P19 on the grid, gaining a place on the last lap, demoting Renault&#39;s Nico Hulkenberg to sixth, with Vettel seventh and the two Force Indias in eighth and ninth, with Esteban Ocon leading Sergio Perez.</p> <p>Williams&#39; Felipe Massa completed the top ten, with McLaren&#39;s Stoffel Vandoorne narrowly missing out on the points in P11.</p> <p>The race began with an aborted start as Renault&#39;s Jolyon Palmer suffered a hydraulic issue on the formation lap, forcing his retirement before the race had even begun.</p> <p>Hamilton got a strong start to stay ahead of Raikkonen, whilst Vettel came under pressure from Verstappen as the pair switched places at Turn 1. Vettel would get back past Verstappen through the Loop before switching places again during a dramatic opening lap.</p> <p>Daniil Kvyat and team-mate Carlos Sainz tussled through Becketts with the Russian running wide, as he rejoined the circuit, he collided with Sainz and the pair span. Damage to Sainz&#39;s car saw him retire and the Safety Car deployed.&nbsp;</p> <p>Kvyat was hit with a drive-through penalty for yet another opening lap incident and now has 9 points on his license &ndash; with another three forcing a race ban.</p> <p>Both Fernando Alonso and Ricciardo made quick progress in the opening laps, climbing several positions before Ricciardo ran wide at Woodcote and dropped back down to last place.</p> <p>Alonso later retired from the race with a loss of fuel pressure and then a loss of power as a result.</p> <p>The result looked settled under drama broke out with two laps remaining as both Ferrari cars suffered punctures, costing them&nbsp;second and fourth places.</p> Bird quickest in Sunday's New York practiceSun, 16 Jul 2017 12:12:01 GMT<p>DS Virgin Racing&rsquo;s Sam Bird finished Sunday&rsquo;s practice session for the second New York ePrix at the top of the timesheets.</p> <p>Bird won Saturday&rsquo;s first race and put in the best time of 1:02.209 during a disrupted session, which featured several red flags.</p> <p>The session was stopped due to Tom Dillmann making contact with the wall and stopping on track, before a crash for Robin Frijns also brought out the red flag.</p> <p>The first New York ePrix&rsquo;s runner-up Jean-Eric Vergne was second, ahead of Venturi&rsquo;s Maro Engel and the NextEV NIO car of Oliver Turvey.</p> <p>Due to the interuptions, several drivers failed to put in 200kW laps. Nelson Piquet Jr. was fifth fastest, with Dillmann finishing sixth.</p> <p>Alex Lynn, on his debut for DS Virgin, kept up his impressive pace in seventh. Title contender Lucas di Grassi was eighth.</p> <p>Jerome d&rsquo;Ambrosio and Nick Heidfeld completed the top 10, with race one podium finisher Stephane Sarrazin 12th.</p> <p>Pierre Gasly, also competing in his first Formula E weekend, was 18th fastest after his points finish in race one. His Renault e.dams team-mate Nicolas Prost was down in 20th.</p> starting grid for the 2017 British Grand PrixSun, 16 Jul 2017 11:00:26 GMT<p>A number of penalties has slightly reshuffled the grid for Sunday&#39;s British Grand Prix. Although the top three remain the same from qualifying, things change a little behind as Valtteri Bottas, Fernando Alonso and Daniel Ricciardo share a total grid drop of 50 places between them, the majority of which belong to the McLaren driver.</p> <p>Lewis Hamilton retains his pole position despite the threat of a penalty from the stewards for&nbsp;blocking Romain Grosjean, but the Briton was later cleared of any wrongdoing, much to Grosjean&#39;s anger as <a href="">he suggested the title fight was the reason</a> for that.</p> <p>Hamilton&#39;s team-mate Bottas drops from fourth to ninth thanks to a gearbox penalty &ndash; the same problem that hit Hamilton in Austria and saw him start eighth. That moves Max Verstappen, Nico Hulkenberg, Sergio Perez, Esteban Ocon and Stoffel Vandoorne a place higher each.</p> <p>Daniel Ricciardo starts from 19th after taking a gearbox penalty (+5) and then a new MGU-H (+10). He was however slowest in qualifying after a turbo failure, so actually gains a position thanks to Alonso&#39;s mammoth 30-place grid drop.</p> <p>The Spaniard took on several new engine components for this race, meaning he starts last after qualifying 13th, pushing a number of drivers up the grid.</p></div> <p><strong>Starting Grid for the 2017 British Grand Prix</strong></p> <table class="pure-table practice-table"> <tbody> <tr> <td class="driver_pos">Pos</td> <td class="driver_name">Driver</td> <td class="driver_team">Team</td> <td class="driver_icon">&nbsp;</td> <td class="driver_gap">+/-</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="driver_pos">1</td> <td class="driver_name"><img alt="Flag" class="driver_flag" src="" />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Lewis Hamilton</td> <td class="driver_team">Mercedes</td> <td class="driver_team"><img alt="Car Icon" class="driver_flag" height="20" src="" /></td> <td class="driver_gap">&nbsp;</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="driver_pos">2</td> <td class="driver_name"><img alt="Flag" class="driver_flag" src="" />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Kimi Raikkonen</td> <td class="driver_team">Ferrari</td> <td class="driver_team"><img alt="Car Icon" class="driver_flag" height="20" src="" /></td> <td class="driver_gap">&nbsp;</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="driver_pos">3</td> <td class="driver_name"><img alt="Flag" class="driver_flag" src="" />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Sebastian Vettel</td> <td class="driver_team">Ferrari</td> <td class="driver_team"><img alt="Car Icon" class="driver_flag" height="20" src="" /></td> <td class="driver_gap">&nbsp;</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="driver_pos">4</td> <td class="driver_name"><img alt="Flag" class="driver_flag" src="" />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Max Verstappen</td> <td class="driver_team">Red Bull</td> <td class="driver_team"><img alt="Car Icon" class="driver_flag" height="20" src="" /></td> <td class="driver_gap">-1</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="driver_pos">5</td> <td class="driver_name"><img alt="Flag" class="driver_flag" src="" />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Nico Hulkenberg</td> <td class="driver_team">Renault</td> <td class="driver_team"><img alt="Car Icon" class="driver_flag" height="20" src="" /></td> <td class="driver_gap">-1</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="driver_pos">6</td> <td class="driver_name"><img alt="Flag" class="driver_flag" src="" />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Sergio Perez</td> <td class="driver_team">Force India</td> <td class="driver_team"><img alt="Car Icon" class="driver_flag" height="20" src="" /></td> <td class="driver_gap">-1</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="driver_pos">7</td> <td class="driver_name"><img alt="Flag" class="driver_flag" src="" />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Esteban Ocon</td> <td class="driver_team">Force India</td> <td class="driver_team"><img alt="Car Icon" class="driver_flag" height="20" src="" /></td> <td class="driver_gap">-1</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="driver_pos">8</td> <td class="driver_name"><img alt="Flag" class="driver_flag" src="" />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Stoffel Vandoorne</td> <td class="driver_team">McLaren</td> <td class="driver_team"><img alt="Car Icon" class="driver_flag" height="20" src="" /></td> <td class="driver_gap">-1</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="driver_pos">9</td> <td class="driver_name"><img alt="Flag" class="driver_flag" src="" />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Valtteri Bottas</td> <td class="driver_team">Mercedes</td> <td class="driver_team"><img alt="Car Icon" class="driver_flag" height="20" src="" /></td> <td class="driver_gap">+5</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="driver_pos">10</td> <td class="driver_name"><img alt="Flag" class="driver_flag" src="" />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Romain Grosjean</td> <td class="driver_team">Haas</td> <td class="driver_team"><img alt="Car Icon" class="driver_flag" height="20" src="" /></td> <td class="driver_gap">&nbsp;</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="driver_pos">11</td> <td class="driver_name"><img alt="Flag" class="driver_flag" src="" />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Jolyon Palmer</td> <td class="driver_team">Renault</td> <td class="driver_team"><img alt="Car Icon" class="driver_flag" height="20" src="" /></td> <td class="driver_gap">&nbsp;</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="driver_pos">12</td> <td class="driver_name"><img alt="Flag" class="driver_flag" src="" />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Daniil Kvyat</td> <td class="driver_team">Toro Rosso</td> <td class="driver_team"><img alt="Car Icon" class="driver_flag" height="20" src="" /></td> <td class="driver_gap">&nbsp;</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="driver_pos">13</td> <td class="driver_name"><img alt="Flag" class="driver_flag" src="" />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Carlos Sainz</td> <td class="driver_team">Toro Rosso</td> <td class="driver_team"><img alt="Car Icon" class="driver_flag" height="20" src="" /></td> <td class="driver_gap">-1</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="driver_pos">14</td> <td class="driver_name"><img alt="Flag" class="driver_flag" src="" />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Felipe Massa</td> <td class="driver_team">Williams</td> <td class="driver_team"><img alt="Car Icon" class="driver_flag" height="20" src="" /></td> <td class="driver_gap">-1</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="driver_pos">15</td> <td class="driver_name"><img alt="Flag" class="driver_flag" src="" />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Lance Stroll</td> <td class="driver_team">Williams</td> <td class="driver_team"><img alt="Car Icon" class="driver_flag" height="20" src="" /></td> <td class="driver_gap">-1</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="driver_pos">16</td> <td class="driver_name"><img alt="Flag" class="driver_flag" src="" />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Kevin Magnussen</td> <td class="driver_team">Haas</td> <td class="driver_team"><img alt="Car Icon" class="driver_flag" height="20" src="" /></td> <td class="driver_gap">-1</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="driver_pos">17</td> <td class="driver_name"><img alt="Flag" class="driver_flag" src="" />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Pascal Wehrlein</td> <td class="driver_team">Sauber</td> <td class="driver_team"><img alt="Car Icon" class="driver_flag" height="20" src="" /></td> <td class="driver_gap">-1</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="driver_pos">18</td> <td class="driver_name"><img alt="Flag" class="driver_flag" src="" />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Marcus Ericsson</td> <td class="driver_team">Sauber</td> <td class="driver_team"><img alt="Car Icon" class="driver_flag" height="20" src="" /></td> <td class="driver_gap">-1</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="driver_pos">19</td> <td class="driver_name"><img alt="Flag" class="driver_flag" src="" />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Daniel Ricciardo</td> <td class="driver_team">Red Bull</td> <td class="driver_team"><img alt="Car Icon" class="driver_flag" height="20" src="" /></td> <td class="driver_gap">+15</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="driver_pos">20</td> <td class="driver_name"><img alt="Flag" class="driver_flag" src="" />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Fernando Alonso</td> <td class="driver_team">McLaren</td> <td class="driver_team"><img alt="Car Icon" class="driver_flag" height="20" src="" /></td> <td class="driver_gap">+30</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> Ricciardo to get new power unit for British Grand PrixSun, 16 Jul 2017 10:39:39 GMT<p>Red Bull have elected to fit Daniel Ricciardo&#39;s RB13 with a new power unit for the British Grand Prix, after the Australian&#39;s retirement from qualifying on Saturday means he will start from the back row of the grid.</p> <p>Ricciardo had been quickest in qualifying during Q1 before a turbo failure saw him grind to a halt on the circuit, bringing out the red flags and pausing the session.</p> <p>After a short stoppage, the session resumed and times began to fall as the damp track dried, pushing Ricciardo to the bottom of the time sheets, meaning he would start the race from last place, though he picks up a position thanks to Fernando Alonso&#39;s 30-place grid penalty, putting the Australian 19th on the grid.</p> <p>With such a lowly grid position, Red Bull have opted to fit a&nbsp;new internal combustion engine, turbocharger, MGU-H and MGU-K to Ricciardo&#39;s car for the race.</p> <p>The only one of those components to exceed the allocation of four per season is the MGU-H, which adds an additional ten places to Ricciardo&#39;s gearbox penalty from earlier in the weekend. However he remains 19th, thanks to Alonso&#39;s much larger penalty.</p> Latifi secures maiden F2 victory in Silverstone sprintSun, 16 Jul 2017 09:12:30 GMT<p>DAMS racer Nicholas Latifi took a controlled first Formula 2 win in the Silverstone sprint race, holding off Luca Ghiotto.</p> <p>The Canadian racer and Renault F1 test driver lined up on pole position and he led into the first corner after a strong start, before opening up a gap to those behind.</p> <p>However, Russian Time&rsquo;s Ghiotto, who had a good launch from the grid to take second on the opening lap, kept in touch before a late safety car.</p> <p>Ralph Boschung attempted a move on Alexander Albon on the Hangar Straight but went onto the grass, spinning across the track and into the wall.</p> <p>His car was cleared in enough time for a one-lap shootout to the chequered flag, where Latifi held off Ghiotto to claim the win.</p> <p>Ghiotto was just 1.7 seconds further back, with Artem Markelov a slightly distant third after a tactic from Oliver Rowland on the restart.</p> <p>Rowland was given a five-second time penalty earlier in the race for forcing Markelov onto the grass on the first lap, and held third on the restart.</p> <p>He tried to back the pack up, so he could then open a gap on the final lap, but he instead got passed by Markelov and crossed the line in fourth.</p> <p>The penalty dropped him to 10th, elevating Sergio Canamasas and Charles Leclerc, who swapped places on the last lap at Vale. Norman Nato was sixth, ahead of Nyck de Vries.</p> <p>The Rapax driver made a storming start from last and was up to 11th by lap five, before continuing to make up ground. Nobuharu Matsushita and Gustav Malja were next up, also moving up a spot thanks to Rowland.</p> <p>Albon also jumped up quite a few positions on lap one to take 11th, while Sean Gelael lost a possible top 10 result with a spin on the restart. Jordan King was an early retirement after contact with Rowland on lap one.</p> Estre predicting 'very open' GTE fight despite Porsche paceSun, 16 Jul 2017 09:02:07 GMT<p><strong>Porsche GT factory driver Kevin Estre believes there is no way of predicting the GTE-Pro battle at this weekend&#39;s Nurburgring round of the World Endurance Championship, despite scoring pole for the German manufacturer.</strong></p> <p>Estre and team-mate Michael Christensen gave the new-for-2017 Porsche 911 RSR its maiden WEC pole position on Saturday afternoon, beating the #95 Aston Martin Vantage of Nicki Thiim and Marco Sorensen by three tenths of a second.</p> <p>The sister Porsche will start from the row behind, after Richard Lietz and Frederic Makowiecki qualified third.</p> <p>However, Estre is refusing to believe that the qualifying result can tell anything about how Sunday afternoon&#39;s six-hour contest will pan out.</p> <p>&quot;We knew we would be quick and challenging for pole, but we didn&rsquo;t do any runs on low fuel on new tyres, so we didn&rsquo;t know what our grip level would be,&quot; Estre told <em>Motorsport</em>.</p> <p>&quot;The circuit grip improved for qualifying, but it was still a big question mark if we could get pole so we&rsquo;re really happy because it&rsquo;s something we&rsquo;ve been waiting for.&quot;</p> <p>&quot;In qualifying they [Aston] were strong, but in the race it&rsquo;s going to be different because they have Dunlop tyres rather than the rest who run on Michelins.&quot;</p> <p>&quot;It&rsquo;s a little easier to know how Ford and Ferrari will do because we know about their tyres and can try to match what they are doing.&quot;</p> <p>&quot;Aston has been quite far off in WEC so far &ndash; they did well at Le Mans because of the specific sets of tyres that are used there &ndash; so it&rsquo;s difficult to know where they will be on the long runs.&quot;</p> <p>&quot;In practice we can&rsquo;t tell what tyres other teams are using. I think it&rsquo;s going to be very open, and tyre management will be a big key because we don&rsquo;t really know how the Dunlops are going to react to the conditions.&quot;</p> <p>Pole position at the Nurburgring was Estre and Christensen&#39;s best result of 2017, following a fruitless start to the year that included a sixth-place finish at Spa sandwiched by retirements at Silverstone and Le Mans.</p> <p>The pair currently sit 12th in the GT Drivers&#39; World Championship, behind two GTE-Am crews, so a good result at the Nurburgring is required to re-inject some purpose into their full-season campaign.</p> <p>&quot;We&rsquo;re not in the top half of the points, so for us we can&rsquo;t say that the championship is over but it would be really tough to come back,&quot; said Estre.</p> <p>&quot;The sister car isn&rsquo;t in a great position either but they are slightly higher in the points so I think they can still achieve something if they have a really strong second half of the season. &quot;</p> <p>&quot;At the moment there are no team orders or anything&hellip;everyone is just trying to do their job and trying to get the best result out of the performance we have.&quot;</p> <p>&quot;In our car, we are not thinking aboout the championship &ndash; we are doing it race by race, and that means we can risk it a little bit more because we have a bigger gap to bridge than the others.&quot;</p> <p>Porsche&#39;s latest 911 RSR program revolves around a car with the engine positioned slightly behind the driver, rather than the typical rear-engine setup.</p> <p>Variations of&nbsp;the car run in both&nbsp;the WEC and the North American IMSA championship, where the US-based Porsche team claimed its first global global position last week at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.</p> <p>Estre took part in the first three races of the IMSA season before handing his seat to Gianmaria Bruni, so has been involved in the development of the package on both sides of the Atlantic.</p> <p>&quot;We had a good base for the first race at Daytona where we competitive and had one car finish second,&quot; he said.</p> <p>&quot;We have shown from the start of both seasons that our race pace is good, but we have seen lots of good progression in our qualifying results.&quot;</p> <p>&quot;It&rsquo;s great to have both the US and WEC cars doing well at the same time. We can benefit from what the IMSA team learn and vice versa. They&rsquo;ve had more testing time in the US because we have had to take lots of time to focus on Le Mans.&quot;</p> <p>&quot;We have a really close connection between both teams in the US and here, so that helps us a lot. To have two poles in a row is great, but they couldn&rsquo;t manage to get the victory last week&nbsp;so we are hoping to get it here.&quot;</p> <p>Round four of the World Endurance Championship is set to get underway at 13:00 (CEST) on Sunday, July 16th.</p> Alesi scores first GP3 win in second Silverstone raceSun, 16 Jul 2017 08:09:51 GMT<p>Trident driver Giuliano Alesi, son of ex-F1 driver Jean, held off the challenges of ART Grand Prix&rsquo;s Jack Aitken to score victory in the second Silverstone GP3 race.</p> <p>The Ferrari-backed youngster took his maiden GP3 win after lining up at the front of the grid, with Dorian Boccolacci failing to take up pole position.</p> <p>Alesi led the field into the first corner and quickly opened up a small gap, but Aitken started to close in, after jumping Niko Kari at the start and passing Arjun Maini at Village.</p> <p>However, while there was action further back, Alesi kept his cool at the front of the field, holding off Aitken, Kari and George Russell &ndash; who both closed in towards the end of the race.</p> <p>Alesi crossed the line in first place, with Aitken a close second and Kari picking up his first GP3 podium in third place for Arden.</p> <p>Race one winner Russell was fourth to extend his championship lead, having made progress early on, ahead of Maini and Alessio Lorandi.</p> <p>Kevin Joerg was next up, while race one runner-up Anthoine Hubert was eighth after being forced wide by Lorandi.</p> <p>The race featured an early safety car after Julien Falchero and Steijn Schothorst found themselves in the gravel at Turn 1 after three laps.</p> Pagenaud claims Honda Indy Toronto pole and lap recordSat, 15 Jul 2017 21:52:47 GMT<p>Team Penske driver Simon Pagenaud claimed his first pole position of the year, taking top honours on Saturday for the Honda Indy Toronto race, setting a new lap record in the process.</p> <p>Pagenaud&#39;s 58.9124 second lap with an average speed of 109.138mph bettered the previous lap record around the temporary 11-turn street circuit by just over eight-tenths, which was set by&nbsp;Will Power in 2016.</p> <p>It&#39;s&nbsp;Pagenaud&#39;s tenth career pole and&nbsp;Team Penske&#39;s eighth this season.</p> <p>Graham Rahal qualified second for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing with a lap of 59.2245 seconds (108.563 mph), three-tenths adrift of pole.</p> <p>A pair of Pagenaud&rsquo;s team-mates at Team Penske, Helio Castroneves and Power, locked up the second row in qualifying. Castroneves was third fastest in the #3 car with defending race winner Power fourth in the #12.</p> <p>Championship leader Scott Dixon was fifth with a time of 59.7970 seconds. The Chip Ganassi Racing driver has advanced to the Firestone Fast Six, the third and final round of knockout qualifying, at every road- and street-course race where it has been contested this season.</p> <p>The final spot in the Firestone Fast Six went to hometown favorite James Hinchcliffe, who equaled his best Toronto qualifying effort of sixth with a lap of 1:00.14145&nbsp;in the #5 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda.</p> <p>Two incidents in earlier qualifying rounds affected drivers Esteban Gutierrez and JR Hildebrand.</p> <p>Rookie Gutierrez will start last in the 21-car field after he made hard contact with the wall at the exit of Turn 11 at the conclusion of Segment 1, Group 1 qualifying. The Dale Coyne Racing entry sustained significant right-side and rear damage in the incident.</p> <p>Hildebrand slid into the wall at the exit of Turn 8 in Segment 2 qualifying, when his car jumped the curb on the inside of the corner and slid straight into the barrier. The Ed Carpenter Racing driver will start 12th in Sunday&rsquo;s race.</p> <p><em><a href="">Click here</a> for full qualifying results.</em></p> Bird wins inaugural New York Formula E race for DS VirginSat, 15 Jul 2017 21:35:26 GMT<p>Sam Bird took his and DS Virgin Racing&#39;s first win of the 2016/17 season at the first ever New York ePrix on Saturday, whilst championship contender Lucas di Grassi finished fourth to close the gap to leader S&eacute;bastien Buemi &ndash; who isn&#39;t present this weekend &ndash; to just 20&nbsp;points.</p> <p>Techeetah&#39;s Jean-Eric Vergne and St&eacute;phane Sarrazin completed the podium positions in second and third respectively, handing the team their highest points total from a race so far.</p> <p>The start of the race saw surprise polesitter Alex Lynn, who made his Formula E debut this weekend, drop back to second as Audi&#39;s Daniel Abt charged to the front, with Bird taking up third as he passed Vergne.</p> <p>Bird quickly got&nbsp;past team-mate Lynn thanks to some team orders and then Abt to take the lead before the mid-race car swaps.</p> <p>Vergne also past Abt before his stop, whilst Lynn slipped down the order and then retired with a driveshaft problem.</p> <p>A safety car during the second phase of the race bunched the field up and put Vergne right on Bird&#39;s tail, but the Briton streaked clear at the restart and won the race without trouble, leaving Vergne to finish second, whilst Abt battled with Sarrazin for the final podium place.</p> <p>Abt would throw away his third-place finish on the final lap with a small error and retired from the race a few corners later.</p> <p>Loci Duval finished fifth two seconds behind Di Grassi, with Oliver Turvey sixth and debutant Pierre Gasly seventh. Nicolas Prost was eighth ahead of Andretti&#39;s Robin Frijns and Jaguar&#39;s Adam Carroll completing&nbsp;the top ten.</p> <p>Nick Heidfeld was the cause of the safety car as he clipped a kerb and caused damage to his rear, forcing him to stop on circuit.</p> Racing loses 6H Nurburgring LMP2 poleSat, 15 Jul 2017 18:11:37 GMT<p><strong>The G-Drive Racing ORECA-Gibson that clinched pole position for the Nurburgring round of the World Endurance Championship has been demoted to the back of the prototype grid, following a scrutineering decision.</strong></p> <p>Referring to article 3.5.6 d of the LMP2 technical regulations, the car&#39;s front skid block deflected more than the maximum 5mm allowance.</p> <p>Ben Hanley and Pierre Thiriet had put the #26 car on pole position with an average time of 1:45.001s, but the infringement means all their laps have been deleted.</p> <p>That promotes the championship-leading #38 Jackie Chan DC Racing ORECA-Gibson of Oliver Jarvis, Thomas Laurent and Ho-Pin Tung&nbsp;to the front spot on the class grid.</p> <p>The pair of Vaillante Rebellion ORECAs move up to second and third, whilst the #35 Signatech Alpine slots into fourth place.</p> <p>The stewards&#39; decision marks another major blow for the G-Drive Racing team, which must observe a three-minute stop and hold penalty during the race in reparation for a crash caused by Roman Rusinov at last month&#39;s 24 Hours of Le Mans.</p> Lynn snatches pole on Formula E debut for first New York raceSat, 15 Jul 2017 17:08:57 GMT<p>DS Virgin Racing driver Alex Lynn has secured pole position for the first of this weekend&rsquo;s two New York races, on his Formula E debut.</p> <p>The British racer, replacing Jose Maria Lopez due to clashing FIA World Endurance Championship commitments, easily progressed through to Super Pole.</p> <p>Practice one pacesetter Lynn then finished Super Pole with the best time after an aggressive lap, putting in a 1:03.296. He finished just 0.238 seconds clear of Daniel Abt.</p> <p>Jean-Eric Vergne was third fastest in Super Pole for Techeetah, while Lynn&rsquo;s DS Virgin team-mate Sam Bird had a scruffy run to fourth.</p> <p>Jerome d&rsquo;Ambrosio impressed in the qualifying group rounds but he made a mistake early in his Super Pole run, also complaining his car was not in qualifying mode.</p> <p>Mahindra&rsquo;s Nick Heidfeld just missed out on a spot in the top five shootout and was sixth, ahead of NextEV NIO&rsquo;s Nelson Piquet Jr. and Oliver Turvey.</p> <p>Nicolas Prost was the lead Renault e.dams, while title contender Lucas di Grassi struggled and was 10th, his lap being set after Maro Engel stopped on the circuit.</p> <p>Stephane Sarrazin was 11th fastest, ahead of Loic Duval, Adam Carroll and Mitch Evans. Tom Dillmann was 15th for Venturi.</p> <p>Felix Rosenqvist found himself down in 17th after a mistake early in his lap, while Pierre Gasly &ndash; replacing Sebastien Buemi, who is racing in the WEC, at e.dams &ndash; was 19th.</p> Grosjean: Lewis Hamilton escaped penalty because of title fightSat, 15 Jul 2017 17:04:12 GMT<p>Romain Grosjean believes Lewis Hamilton escaped a penalty for blocking during qualifying because he is involed in a close championship battle with Sebastian Vettel, and the stewards were reluctant to interfere.</p> <p>Hamilton was investigated during qualifying after Grosjean complained he was held up by the Mercedes driver at Club corner during Q3.</p> <p>The <a href="">stewards chose not to penalise the Briton</a>, who claimed a dominant pole in front of his home crowd, as they didn&#39;t believe Grosjean was &quot;impeded&quot;.</p> <p>&quot;Surprised by the wording: &#39;the driver behind has not been impeded&#39;,&quot; Grosjean said. &quot;If losing 0.35-0.4 seconds in one corner is not being impeded, I am very surprised.</p> <p>&quot;I think it opens room for messy qualifying and the rules are pretty clear.&quot;</p> <p>Grosjean then hinted that the title fight could be the reason the stewards backed off from penalising Hamilton.</p> <p>&quot;I know there is a world title going on at the front but we are in a position where we actually fight as hard as the boys at the front and I was impeded today.</p> <p>&quot;How can I put it? Maybe if it was another driver there would have been something. It does feel sometimes that there are two types of decision.&quot;</p> 'surprised' by Porsche's high-downforce performanceSat, 15 Jul 2017 16:59:05 GMT<p><strong>Porsche LMP1 driver Nick Tandy says he is pleasantly surprised at the showing of the team&#39;s new high-downforce aero configuration, which makes its World Endurance Championship debut at the Nurburgring this weekend.</strong></p> <p>Tandy, who co-drives the #1 Porsche 919 Hybrid with Andre Lotterer and Neel Jani, reckons the car will be stronger in the&nbsp;low-speed corner combinations than previously expected.</p> <p>Porsche led Friday practice for the fourth round of the WEC, before Toyota snatched pole position on Saturday afternoon, although the 919s have been closer to their TS050 rivals than they were at the opening two rounds.</p> <p>The German manufacturer opted to use its Le Mans-style low-downforce aero kit at Silverstone and Spa, to maximise&nbsp;the development time of the high-downforce kit which is traditionally reserved for the six-hour contests.</p> <p>Having tested the new bodywork for the first time on Friday, Tandy believes the delay was worth the step up in performance.</p> <p>&quot;I&rsquo;m surprised how much of a step it is.&quot; Tandy told <em>Motorsport</em>.</p> <p>&quot;Normally you&rsquo;d expect to really feel the aerodynamics in the high-speed corners, but what we&rsquo;re seeing is that it&rsquo;s actually working really well in the medium and slow speed ones.&quot;</p> <p>&quot;That&rsquo;s where we&rsquo;re gaining extra lap times at the moment. It&#39;s a real positive, because attaining the top-end speed figures&nbsp;in the faster corners is one thing, but to get &lsquo;usable&rsquo; aero in the slow-speed zones is probably more important. So it&rsquo;s good, it&rsquo;s working well.&quot;</p> <p>The high-downforce kit was tested for the first time at the Circuit de Catalunya shortly after Le Mans, although none of the #1 car&nbsp;drivers were present.</p> <p>Nevertheless, Tandy and his team-mates have been closely monitoring the process of development, and have noticed substantial improvements in the wind tunnel readings leading up to the Nurburgring event.</p> <p>&quot;At the first test of the high-downforce kit the results weren&rsquo;t quite correlating, so they went back to the tunnel and did a bit more work, and what&rsquo;s come out this time is actually quite well simulated,&quot; said Tandy.</p> <figure class="image" style="float:right"><img alt="" height="220" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/WEC/M17_3516_fine.jpg" width="400" /> <figcaption>Early signs indicate the new-look Porsche will be strong. (Porsche)</figcaption> </figure> <p>&quot;The information that&#39;s been&nbsp;simulated in the wind tunnel is being accurately reflected on the track.&quot;</p> <p>&quot;That&rsquo;s a positive because when you&rsquo;re trying to develop things in the tunnel, you want to be able to change things in the same way that you&rsquo;d hope to change them out on the circuit.&quot;</p> <p>With its high-downforce aero kit locked in for the remainder of the nine-race WEC season, Porsche has the final tool it will use to fight for a third consecutive World Manufacturers&#39; Championship.</p> <p>However, with the variations in circuit layouts over the remaining six events, the team is wary that its performance will be highly dependent on how the high-downforce kit is set up at each round.</p> <p>&quot;There will be some variation between circuits,&quot; said Tandy.</p> <p>&quot;The obvious downside is drag. Places like Fuji and Mexico&nbsp;have big, long straights, so how we work our aero package against the competition is going to be one of the keys on each weekend.&quot;</p> <p>&quot;Here it&rsquo;s a bit more simple because the straights are so short and the corners are so dominant that you just pile on as much downforce as you can get.&quot;</p> <p>Porsche will start second and third at the Nurburgring, following a close-knit qualifying session.</p> <p>Both 919 Hybrids opted to use two sets of tyres during the shootout, although the team doesn&#39;t expect that decision to affect its durability during the race.</p> <p>As Tandy explains, tyre management will be paramount to putting in a winning performance, even if it means taking on an extra set during the timed runs.</p> <p>&quot;[Changing tyres in qualifying] conditions the tyres for the longer runs, but I think we see the starting position as more important than saving a lap on the tyres during the race,&quot; he explained.</p> <p>&quot;I think a stint is going to be around 36 laps or so, so if you&rsquo;re double stinting that&rsquo;s nearly 70 laps or one hour and 40 minutes on a single set of tyres, which is crucial.&quot;</p> <p>&quot;As we found out at Silverstone and Spa, if you can&rsquo;t keep your pace up in the double stint, you win or lose races.&quot;</p> Verstappen focused on finish after recent troublesSat, 15 Jul 2017 16:53:35 GMT<p>Red Bull&rsquo;s Max Verstappen says he is &ldquo;realistic&rdquo; over his prospects and wants to halt his run of misfortune during Sunday&rsquo;s British Grand Prix at Silverstone</p> <p>Verstappen qualified in fifth place, substantially behind the Mercedes and Ferrari drivers, but clear of the midfield pack, and will move up to fourth on the grid as a result of Valtteri Bottas&rsquo; penalty.</p> <p>Verstappen, though, is keeping level-headed, heaving retired from five of the past seven Grands Prix due to an array of issues, and is hoping to kick-start his flailing campaign.</p> <p>&ldquo;It was a lonely qualifying for me and we ended up pretty much exactly where I expected,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p>&ldquo;We were lacking the speed and therefore unable to get close to the Mercedes and Ferraris but the car still felt good so I had fun out there. Fifth was the best we could have done today and I achieved that.</p> <p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;ll start tomorrow in fourth which of course is better but I never like to rely on penalties for other people to help, I wish I was there just on pace.</p> <p>&ldquo;We shall wait and see what the weather brings tomorrow, hopefully some rain as I think I have a better chance of challenging for a podium in the wet.</p> <p>&ldquo;I want to be realistic and not dream so I&rsquo;m hoping my luck has changed and I can have a good, fun race tomorrow and bring the car home.</p> <p>&ldquo;I am not talking about podiums or winning for now. If something happens to the cars in front then we can challenge for a better result.&rdquo;</p> <p>Team-mate Daniel Ricciardo led the way during the damp phase of Q1 but halted on track due to a suspected turbo failure and was unable to partake in the remainder of the session.</p> <p>As conditions improved, Ricciardo slipped through the order and was eliminated from contention, and will line up from 19th place on the grid.</p> <p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m just disappointed not to show more of what we could do in qualifying as these conditions should have given us a bit more of an opportunity,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p>&ldquo;We were quick straight out of the box today and I was P1 before the failure, so we look pretty good on the intermediate tyre.</p> <p>&ldquo;Tomorrow is where the points are, we&rsquo;ve got to work hard to get back in there but it is what it is.&rdquo;</p>