Formula 1’s latest rookie Brendon Hartley collected a grid penalty before he had even stepped into his car for his debut at the United States Grand Prix on Friday.
The 27-year-old, taking the place of Frenchman Pierre Gasly at Toro Rosso, took to the track for the first free practice session knowing he will have a drop of at least 25 places on Sunday due to power unit changes.
Sonoma Raceway Ready To Re-Open After Area Fires Contained
As firefighters appear to have the devastating fires under control in California wine country, Sonoma Raceway appears ready to re-open. The track closed for more than a week after the fires broke out in Sonoma and Napa Counties. "We’re okay," said the track’s VP/Communications & Marketing Diana Brennan. The fire burned the hillside around the course, but Brennan noted the structures came through unscathed, and fortunately so did the staff. Brennan noted no staffers sustained any injuries, but some were evacuated from their homes. “We canceled a Tough Mudder event last weekend because of the (poor) air quality but we’re hoping to get back to business as usual,” Brennan said.
Lewis Hamilton again topped the 2nd practice for the USGP with a lap of 1m34.668s in his Aldo Costa Mercedes. Max Verstappen was 2nd for Red Bull 0.4 sec. behind.
Meanwhile Ferrari continues to choke as Vettel had limited running as his car sat in the garage most of the session. Despite his limited time on track Vettel still ended up 3rd quick 0.524 sec behind Hamilton.
Valtteri Bottas and Daniel Ricciardo rounded out the top-5 with Kimi Raikkonen in 6th.
The remaining top-ten places went to McLaren's Fernando Alonso, Williams' Felipe Massa, and Force India teammates Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon.
With the track having dried after this morning’s damp session, it was Bottas who initially set the pace, taking over from fast-starters Alonso and Ocon, but eventually Hamilton was comfortably faster on 1m 34.668s, as the Finn could not better 1m 35.279s, which left him fourth.
Verstappen popped in his 1m 35.065s lap shortly before Vettel posted 1m 35.192s. Of the leading four, the German had the toughest session. He was late getting out, and then had a huge slide off the road in Turn 15 when running on soft rubber. It was some time before the Ferrari emerged again, but as expected they clearly are not far off the pace here.
Ricciardo was fifth in the second Red Bull on 1m 35.514s, while Alonso stayed in play after his problems this morning and took a respectable seventh on 1m 36.304s. Massa was still up the sharp end for Williams, lapping his FW40 in 1m 36.460s to head the Force Indias, with Perez this time heading Ocon with 1m 36.481s to 1m 36.490s.
Just outside the top 10, Carlos Sainz narrowly headed Renault team mate Nico Hulkenberg, with 1m 36.529s to 1m 36.534s; the German spent some time in the garage with technical problems.
Further back, debutant Brendon Hartley still had some problems with aerodynamic lift on his helmet, and lapped in a 17th fastest 1m 37.987s compared to Toro Rosso team mate Daniil Kvyat’s 1m 36.761s, which left the Russian 13th.
Vettel third despite very few laps
Besides Vettel, both Haas drivers had early spins.
“It was a complicated afternoon” Vettel commented “and not an easy session, but the car is quick, so we don’t need to worry too much about it. The only lap I had was the one with the Ultrasofts. Before that, I made a mistake taking too much risk and pushing too early. The track was quite slippery and I lost the rear under braking. So, we lost a set of tires, and then again, towards the end of the session, I felt that something was not right with the car. So, we checked a couple of times and now we are looking at the car to see if we can find something. I need to find the rhythm tomorrow and make sure everything’s in order”.
“In the morning the weather was a bit tricky to start with, but all in all it was an ok day,” said Raikkonen. “Just a normal Friday, in which we tried different things and learned as much as possible. Every circuit can be tricky when you’re trying to go fast, and for sure there can always be an improvement; but it was only the first day of practice. We don’t know what the other teams were doing and obviously it’s too early to make any predictions. All we know is that tonight we have some work to do for tomorrow”.
Lewis Hamilton It's been an interesting day with lots of ups and downs in terms of how the track has moved around and how the car feels. But overall the car was feeling good. There are lots of areas we can improve on, but generally it feels like a solid platform and a solid start to the weekend. It was amazing to have so much support at the fan signing today and also arriving at the track yesterday. I seem to have a lot of support out here, which I am super grateful for. I'm excited to see everyone tomorrow.
Valtteri Bottas The first practice was compromised by the weather. We struggled to get many laps, and I also flat spotted at the tires in FP1 quite badly, so we had limited running. But in second practice we got a lot of running done, both short runs and long runs. So in the end, we got everything from today that we needed. Setup-wise I think we have the usual work to do. Overall, it has been a pretty normal day. I enjoyed today, but I'm hoping there is more to come tomorrow. Hopefully it stays dry over the weekend, it would be nicer for the teams and the fans.
James Allison That's a promising start to the weekend. We have plenty of areas to improve, but we are generally quite happy with the car on all the rubber and both fuel loads. However, we are also conscious that Ferrari had a bit of a troubled day today, so maybe we haven't yet really seen where the opposition are at. I'm sure Valtteri will settle into the car a bit more overnight and we'll get it more to his liking. The early promise is of a decent weekend.
Max Verstappen After a challenging year it’s a good feeling to sign a new contract and continue this strong relationship. I really believe in the team and they believe in me, we have a great working relationship and they gave me the chance to start a career in Formula One. We have had our ups and downs this year but I still feel really good in the team, you can see they have been working really hard to improve and today shows that we are again competitive. I enjoy being in this team which is very important for me so that’s why I decided to extend my contract. If we can learn from what happened this year I have no doubt that this team can build the best car on the grid and start 2018 competing at the front. I have learnt a lot this year after what has happened, which is definitely positive. Today we showed good pace both in long run simulation and short stints so I think we have the ability to achieve a good result here.
Daniel Ricciardo It was not that easy today actually. The grip on the circuit was really low for what we were expecting with lap times. It’s humid so the tyres were getting really hot and then you struggle to generate the desirable grip on the car. We have a few things we can obviously try for tomorrow, now that we understand a bit more from these sessions. We didn’t really have the ideal set up but I think with all those things considered we’re not a million miles off the pace and if we can get it right tomorrow we can still be up there. That’s our target and that’s realistic so we’ll work on that and hopefully you’ll see us amongst the top three tomorrow.
Lewis Hamilton clocked the fastest time around the Circuit of The Americas on Friday morning, as overcast conditions greeted the drivers for opening practice in the United States. Hamilton’s best lap put him half a second clear of Ferrari title rival Sebastian Vettel, with Mercedes team mate Valtteri Bottas taking third.
Max Verstappen was the leading Red Bull in fourth, ahead of McLaren’s Stoffel Vandoorne and Williams’ Felipe Massa. Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen was seventh fastest, followed by the Force Indias of Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez. Carlos Sainz, in his first outing for Renault, completed the top ten.
After a comprehensive review process by karting industry authority eKartingNews.com’s Publisher/Editor-in-Chief Rob Howden and Managing Editor David Cole, Mission Viejo, Calif., native Jake Craig, 19, emerged from a list of six finalists to earn a coveted ticket to the Mazda Road to Indy USF2000 $200K Scholarship Shootout. Howden and Cole were tasked with the difficult decision to select one up-and-coming karter to contest the Shootout at the Bondurant Racing School near Phoenix, Ariz., on December 9/10, which will see the champions of 17 series around the globe and three at-large entries vie for a Mazda Scholarship into the 2018 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda.
Andretti Autosport To Field Three At Seventh Annual Chris Griffis Memorial Open Test
Three drivers in the Mazda Road to Indy ladder series will have the opportunity to get behind the wheel of Andretti Autosport’s Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires Dallara IL-15 cars this weekend for the Chris Griffis Memorial Open Test.
With over 40 drivers representing 12 countries in 2016’s test, Australian Anthony Martin, 2017 Pro Mazda Championship runner-up and 2016 USF2000 Championship winner, will join Colton Herta and Ryan Norman at the test, piloting Andretti Autosport’s Indy Lights machines around the 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course.
Ford Performance Director Dave Pericak, who helped unite Ford Racing, Team RS, and SVT under the singular Ford Performance banner and played a key role in launching the new Ford GT program, will leave his post effective December 1st. At that time, Pericak will become Ford’s Engineering Director for Unibody, while his motorsport leadership duties are delegated to Motorsports Engineering Manager Mark Rushbrook, and his road-car duties given to SVT Director Hermann Salenbauch.
Hamilton thinks Colin Kaepernick is the modern day Martin Luther King Jr.
Hamilton equates Kaepernick with Martin Luther King Jr. Oh my!
"I know Colin and I'm a big admirer of him," Hamilton said Thursday in Austin. "What he's started, no one has done that since Martin Luther King.
"It's crazy to think, when slavery was abolished that 100 years later you've still got the same problem. People are still divided and there's still racism and there's still discrimination.
"It's sickening to think that there's so much negativity when we should all be pulling together for equality and diversity. With Kaepernick, sacrificing his career for the greater good, just that alone is admirable. That puts me on the spot. 'What do I do?' To be continued."
Verstappen will stay with Red Bull until Vettel's and Hamilton's contracts expire
Red Bull Racing is delighted to announce that Max Verstappen, who enjoyed a dream debut with the team in 2016, winning his first grand prix and re-writing Formula One’s record books, has agreed an extended contract which will see him continue to race for The Bulls for a further three years.
The 20-year-old, who lit up the sport on becoming Formula One’s youngest ever grand prix winner at the Spanish Grand Prix last year, has extended his commitment to Red Bull Racing through the 2020 season.
Whincup clocks fastest ever lap time on the Gold Coast during practice
Jamie Whincup has signaled his championship intentions in emphatic style today, setting the fastest ever lap time on the streets of Surfers Paradise.
Red Bull Holden Racing’s Whincup holds the record for the most wins on the Gold Coast, with eight, and became the first ever driver to go under 1 min 10 seconds for a lap during the final practice session for this weekend’s Vodafone Gold Coast 600.
Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) went quickest on Day 1 of the Michelin Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix, mastering Phillip Island in FP2 to head the timesheets ahead of reigning Champion and points leader Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) – but not by much. It was only 0.005 seconds splitting the two men, with Marquez’ key title rival Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) in third and still within a tenth. The top on Day 1 was anything but lonely.
Truex on Charlotte road course test: 'It's not your typical road course' Martin Truex Jr. and Kurt Busch were among the drivers who participated in Wednesday's road course test at Charlotte Motor Speedway and expressed how it's different from other road courses they've driven. Comment
Video: US Grand Prix: Pre-Race Press Conference Fresh from signing a new McLaren contract, Fernando Alonso is among those facing the press ahead of the 2017 US Grand Prix, along with championship leader Lewis Hamilton. Comment
Brad Keselowski Racing, Mike Hillman Jr. Part Ways Brad Keselowski Racing announced today that crew chief Mike Hillman Jr. has left the organization, effective immediately. Buddy Sisco will serve as Chase Briscoe's crew chief for the remainder of the 2017 season.
The Hillman-Briscoe duo won one pole position and scored five top-five and eight top-10 finishes in 15 starts this season, earning a spot in the Round of 8 in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs. Briscoe, who was eliminated after the cutoff race at Talladega Superspeedway, currently sits seventh in the series championship standings.
SiriusXM & F-1 Ink Multi-Year Broadcast Deal SiriusXM and Formula One have entered into a multi-year agreement that makes SiriusXM the exclusive North American radio broadcaster of all Formula One races, starting with this weekend’s United States Grand Prix from Circuit of the Americas.
SiriusXM‘s coverage of the Formula One United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas, will air live this Sunday exclusively on Sirius channel 132, XM channel 203 and channel 963 on the SiriusXM app. The channels will also carry qualifying on Saturday. Listeners will hear the BBC 5 Live radio broadcast for each race.
Vettel Q&A in Austin - someone please tell him it's over
Sebastian Vettel - it's over and he knows it
After a tough few races, Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel goes into this weekend’s US round knowing he has to produce a strong result to stay in title contention. Fail to do so and it could all be over on Sunday afternoon. So how is Vettel approaching this crunch Grand Prix? Here’s what he told the media in Austin on Thursday…
2018 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach Tickets On Sale Monday
LONG BEACH, Calif. – Next April 13-15, the bigger, better, bolder Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach is back as tickets for the 44th annual event go on sale Monday at 10 a.m. PT.
Featuring a variety of on- and off-track activities for the entire family, the Grand Prix will be headlined by the third round of the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series, expected to include celebrated drivers such as defending series champion Josef Newgarden and 2017 Long Beach winner James Hinchcliffe, along with past Long Beach winners Simon Pagenaud, Scott Dixon, Will Power and Ryan Hunter-Reay as well as Marco Andretti and Graham Rahal driving wheel-to-wheel on the famed 1.97-mile, 11-turn circuit through downtown Long Beach.
Leavine Family Racing Inks Deal With Rohto Jolt Leavine Family Racing has partnered with Rohto Jolt cooling eye drops for a multi-race deal through the remainder of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season.
Rohto Jolt provides immediate relief from dry and tired eyes. This is the newest eye drop from the Rohto family of products.
Brendon Hartley Prepares For His Debut F1 Race (2015 Interview) | M1TG WEC champion, Le Mans winner and now Scuderia Toro Rosso driver, Brendon Hartley is the latest Red Bull junior to make the step up to Formula One as he prepares for his debut race at Austin's Circuit of the Americas. In this feature – taken from 2015 – Porsche's Brendon Hartley discusses the differences between WEC and F1, and why his experience in single-seaters as a youngster will stand him in good stead for what will now be his first race in the series, the United States Grand Prix. Comment
Lewis Hamilton earns more than twice what the entire IndyCar grid earns combined
Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso have all made it into the top twenty of the 2017 Forbes highest earners in sport, this year’s highest earner being Cristiano Ronaldo.
In tenth place on the list is Mercedes driver Hamilton, the highest earning driver in Formula 1 and the whole of motorsport for that matter. In 2017, the Mercedes driver will bank $38-million thanks to his contract with the team, plus an extra $8-million for personal endorsements.
Ferrari paid Vettel $38-million for his services this year, the same amount as Hamilton earns from Mercedes. But the German only has $500,000 in personal endorsements which puts him 14th on the list, while earning several million dollars less than his English rival.
Given China's not-so-long-ago reliance on the bicycle, headlines around skyrocketing car sales are a mixed bag. But if you're going to sell a lot of cars, the news reported over at Cleantechnica that 59,000 of them were plug-ins--an 80% rise compared to the year before--is certainly an encouraging sign.
True, plug-in cars still represent a relatively small (1.8%) segment of the market. But its a segment that's growing fast, and with China looking to electric vehicles to challenge the incumbent, fossil fuel-invested European and North American auto giants, I suspect this trend will continue. Meanwhile, in other Cleantechnica news (yeah, I don't know what I'd do without them), ABB is bidding for a government tender to install 4,500 electric vehicle charging stations across India.
Formula E champions joined by home hero to launch Rome E-Prix
Formula E drivers in Rome
ROME, ITALY - The three champions of Formula E were joined by the newest addition on the grid, for a scenic drive on the streets of Rome to launch the inaugural race in the Italian capital on April 14.
Reigning FIA Formula E champion Lucas di Grassi drove in formation alongside Sebastien Buemi, Nelson Piquet Jr. and newly-signed NIO Formula E driver Luca Filippi through the Eternal City - making a pit-stop at Campidoglio, continuing past the iconic Colosseum and towards the Roma Convention Center La Nuvola in the contemporary district of EUR where the race will be held.
Wickens was part of the Mercedes DTM team for 6 years
Rob, when you look back on the last six years, what is your best memory of the DTM? Robert Wickens: I honestly think that the best memory in the last three years was really finding my groove in DTM and becoming more of a title contender. It's been a real pleasure. In the first year, I had to learn the ropes of the DTM, and then joining HWA was a big honor. Also getting my first ever DTM win at the Nurburgring in 2013 was an amazing feeling, because I know how much of a struggle it can be for formula car drivers or ex-Formula 1 drivers when they come into the DTM. So the fact that I got a win so quickly was a big relief for me. I had some amazing drives and team results, so it's hard to pick just one, but I would definitely say it's the last three years taken together that I will remember the most.
Mazda Road to Indy Teams and Drivers Begin 2018 Preparations
Indy Lights action
PALMETTO, Fla. – A little more than a month after the conclusion of a hard-fought 2017 season, teams and drivers from all three levels of the Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires will officially begin preparations for the 2018 campaign this weekend. At least 40 drivers representing more than 16 nations and 11 different teams will grasp an opportunity to drive on the 2.439-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway Grand Prix road course located in Speedway, Ind., during the seventh annual Chris Griffis Memorial Test on October 21/22. The two-day test is held in honor of the well respected former team manager of Schmidt Peterson Motorsports who died unexpectedly at the age of 46 in 2011.
Video: Red Bull's Ricciardo & Verstappen On F1 Race Preparation
From the days leading up to the start of a race to the checkered flag on a Sunday afternoon, elite performance is crucial at every stage of a Formula One season.
As part of Mobil 1 & Esso’s Energy to Perform campaign, Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen spoke to Mobil 1 The Grid to provide an insight on driver fitness, training and the work that goes on both in the gym and back at the factory to ensure that the team extracts the very maximum from the car during the course of a Grand Prix. Esso’s David Tsurusaki also features.
United Autosports have confirmed that Paul di Resta will join the team for the 2018 running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona in January.
Di Resta is best known for racing in the Formula One World Championship from 2010 to 2013 for the Force India F1 Team. After a two-year absence from the sport, he returned in 2016 to become the Williams F1 Team reserve driver, a position the Scot retained for 2017. At the Hungarian Grand Prix this year, he stood in last minute for regular Williams F1 driver, Filipe Massa, for qualifying and the race. He is also part of the Sky Sports F1 commentary team, reporting alongside Martin Brundle, who has also raced for United Autosports at special events over the years.
New title sponsor confirmed for Craig Lowndes in 2018
Craig Lowndes’ no. 888 Holden will bear a fresh look for the 2018 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship season as long-time sponsor Autobarn confirms its position as naming-rights partner.
Autobarn came on board as a team partner with Triple Eight Race Engineering in 2013 and the increased sponsorship of the no. 888 Commodore is a natural development of a positive and fruitful relationship over the last five years.
The Team will be known as Autobarn Lowndes Racing as part of the two-year agreement, which carries an option to extend for further seasons.
ACO has to play games with rules to even LMP2 playing field The Ligier JS P217 and Dallara P217 cars have been granted aero updates only in the LMP2 ‘Joker’ allowance, according to ACO Sporting Director Vincent Beaumesnil.
The ACO confirmed last weekend that the Ligier, Dallara and Riley Mk. 30 will be permitted performance evolutions for next year, in order to bring them up to the level of the Oreca 07, which has served as the category’s baseline.
It will result in varying degrees up updates, which have yet to be fully defined from each constructor.
“All the cars are not at the same level of performance gap, so we will not allow the same thing for each car,” Beaumesnil told Sportscar365.
“Everybody will have a specific development allowed based on the technical discussion between the technical guys with the target of a gain.
“Only Riley will be allowed to work on the car. Dallara and Ligier will only be aero.”
While significant mechanical and aero updates are in the works by Multimatic for the Riley LMP2, aimed to improve the Mazda RT24-P DPi, both the Ligier and Dallara will roll out with Evos as well, but to a lesser extent.
Performance targets were communicated to the constructors in a meeting earlier this month.
“We have some information and targets and it’s under the finalization on what we will exactly be done on the car,” Beaumesnil said.
“Once we communicate the target, they have to propose exactly what they will do on the car.”
Beaumesnil said the updates will be validated at the Windshear wind tunnel in Concord N.C. next month, in cooperation with IMSA, which has organized a Balance of Performance test at Daytona in early December that will likely see the first on-track running.
“It’s a tight timeline but it will all be controlled before the end of the year,” he said.
The updates, which has been contended by ORECA as penalizing the French constructor’s success, are aimed to bring the rest of the LMP2 field up to the level, and not surpass it, according to Beaumesnil.
“If the gain is higher than what we allow, it will have to be changed,” he said.
“We cannot leave people having open development that will overshoot ORECA and put them in front of ORECA. It would be just nonsense. We have to respect this.
“It’s just to help bring them back in the game.”
Per LMP2 regulations, Beaumesnil said the constructors will be required to provide the updates to all cars, free of charge.
Joker Updates “Not Balance of Performance”
Beaumesnil has insisted the updates are not a method of Balance of Performance, which doesn’t exist in the LMP2 regulations.
“Balance of Performance is taking into account the performance of each race weekend and balancing cars race by race over a complete period,” he explained.
“The model of P2 is to really provide a business case for the constructors and also to be competitive in terms of price for the teams.
“This is why we we’re going to have the same cars for four years, and only four constructors because it allows the constructors to sell more cars, to have better prices and provide better service.
“If some cars are uncompetitive, it would create an issue on LMP2 market.
“We just want to make sure we don’t [put] the paddocks in a bad situation where they all want to get rid of their cars.”
Strategy Mercedes used in Malaysian & Japanese Grands Prix Time for a double whammy Pure Pit Wall race debrief as the Mercedes F1 team reflect on both the 2017 Malaysian and Japanese Grands Prix. In Malaysia, how did the pace of the Red Bulls and the threat of Sebastian Vettel charging through the field affect the team's strategy? And in Suzuka, what were the reasons behind decisions made on the pit wall after the Safety Car and VSC early on in the race? Time to find out... Comment
MotoGP officials have outlined the regulations over testing, with the number of pre-season sessions set to be reduced for 2019.
Under current regulations, official testing takes place for two days following the Valencia finale, with three lots of three-day gatherings held across January, February and March, prior to the start of the campaign.
Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Announces 2018 IndyCar lineup Schmidt Peterson Motorsports announced today its lineup for the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season. Oakville, Ontario native James Hinchcliffe has renewed his contract with the Indianapolis-based team in a multi-year extension, and the 2011 IndyCar Rookie of the Year’s teammate will be countryman and friend Robert Wickens, a native of Guelph. The duo marks the first all-Canadian lineup in North American open-wheel racing since 2004 (Champ Car; Forsythe Racing: Paul Tracy, Patrick Carpentier).
Mercedes says Goodbye to Robert Wickens in move to IndyCar series
Robert Wickens is leaving the DTM and will debut in the IndyCar series next year.
A fond farewell from Mercedes to mark the end of the DTM season. Robert Wickens took part in his last DTM race last Sunday at the season finale in Hockenheim. The Canadian will move to the IndyCar series next season when he will make his race debut with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.
Robert Wickens will make his IndyCar debut in 2018 after signing a deal to race for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.
Wickens has competed for Mercedes in DTM since 2012, taking six wins and a best of fourth in the championship, off the back of the 2011 Formula Renault 3.5 title.
Wickens, following a promotional seat swap test with James Hinchcliffe in early 2017, substituted for Mikhail Aleshin at SPM during IndyCar practice at Road America, when the Russian was delayed due to Visa issues.
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