Friday, December 8, 2017

Alfa Romeo Partners With Sauber


ALFA ROMEO RETURNS TO F1 WITH SAUBER

    Sauber have officially partnered with Alfa Romeo in a long-term, multi-year agreement. They will now be known in F1 as the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team from 2018 onward.

    The Italian car manufacturer, founded in Milan back in 1910, has not been in Formula 1 since back in 1985.

    Their return is not only going to bring a new look for the Swiss team, but also the potential for a stronger success as well as the potential for more points and the possibility of their drivers finishing on the podium, something Sauber has not seen since 2012, when Sergio Perez drove alongside Kamui Kobayashi.

    Sauber only scored 5 points during the 2017, all of which were achieved by Pascal Wehrlein, who will not be returning with the team in 2018. Marcus Ericsson, however, will stay put and is partnered with new team-mate and recent 2017 Formula 2 Champion, Charles Leclerc.

    Alfa Romeo has achieved many great things in motorsport over the years and have not only been in Formula 1 but Formula 3 and Indycar as well, so their return is much anticipated and clearly welcomed by fans and the motorsport community.

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Article Written By: Amy Hawk
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Monday, December 4, 2017

Pirelli Reveals 2 New Compounds


PIRELLI REVEALS HYPER-SOFT AND SUPER-HARD COMPOUNDS

    Pirelli has extended its range of slick tyre options for the 2018 Formula 1 season with the introduction of hyper-soft and super-hard compounds.

    Seven different dry weather compounds will be available to teams next year, as well as the intermediate and wet tyres for wet conditions.

    All the compounds will be a step softer than their 2017 counterparts.

    “We realize that, under the unique circumstances of this year, some of our 2017 compounds were perhaps conservative,” said Pirelli’s Head of Car Racing, Mario Isola.

    “The tyres we have created for 2018 address this, in line with the objective of having around two pit stops at most races.

    However, the fundamental design concept of the tyres hasn’t changed next year, preserving the attributes that all drivers have appreciated this year and allowing them to push hard from the start to the finish of each sting."

    “The new range consists of faster tyres that should lead to even harder and more spectacular racing in 2018.”

    The hyper-soft tyre was designed for circuits like Monaco, where maximum mechanical grip is required. The super-hard compound, however, isn’t likely to be seen during a race next year, with some claiming the tyre will only be used for demonstration events.

    Teams got a chance to trial the new tyres during the post season tests last week.

    The colours of the tyres have been switched to make room for the new compounds. The super-hard tyre will be orange, which was used for the hard compound this season. The hard tyre will now be blue, while the medium, softs, super-softs, and ultra-softs remaining white, yellow, red, and purple respectively. The hyper-soft compound will be pink.

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Article Written By: Bethonie Waring
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New F1 Logo Revealed


F1 GETS LOGO REVAMP

    After 23 years, Formula 1 bosses have changed the iconic logo of the series to a simpler design.

    As the championship enters a new era under Liberty Media control, a full re-brand is expected, with the new logo taking centre stage.

    F1’s managing director of motorsport, Ross Brawn, said the redesign was essential as the simpler logo will be more effective on digital platforms.

    “It has impact,” he said in a newsletter after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. “The old logo was neither iconic or memorable.

    “It was important to let Formula 1 fans see that we are entering a new era."

    “Our sport is changing and must look to the future and also outside its own environment if it is to attract new fans, especially among the young."

    “We believe the logo exemplifies this desire: in a world where visual communication is ever more important, we must also move in this direction.”

    The design, which was revealed during the podium ceremony after the 2017 season finale, is supposed to represent two cars going around a circuit and crossing the finishing line.

    F1’s marketing head Ellie Norman said the logo is more flexible and versatile.

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Article Written By: Bethonie Waring
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Saturday, December 2, 2017

Sauber Confirm 2018 Line-Up

(Image Credit: Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team)

SAUBER CONFIRMS THEIR 2018 DRIVER LINE-UP & REVEAL CONCEPT LIVERY

    Sauber have confirmed their 2018 driver line-up after many rumours and much speculation about if both seats would need to be filled or if one of Sauber's 2017 drivers would stay put.
    
    In the end, Sauber chose to keep long-time driver, Marcus Ericsson, and bring in GP3 (2016) and F2 (2017) Champion, Charles Leclerc. The young talent from Monaco, has proven himself over the last few years and brought race-goers to their feet with his risky, yet precise and accomplished overtaking skills.

    Leclerc recently drove for Sauber in the post-Abu Dhabi GP test and also completed multiple Free Practice sessions during the 2017 season. 

    Sauber finished the 2017 Constructors Championship in 11th, but a new and recent partnership with Alfa Romeo may change things around for the Swiss team. The team also revealed their concept livery, although it won't be confirmed what their 2018 car will actually look like, the concept gives a good idea of what it could be. 

    The car displays a nearly all-white paint scheme, with a huge splash of pearlescent red along the top, where the Alfa Romeo logo has been placed.

    Along with the new concept livery and driver pairing, the team also signed Antonio Giovinazzi as their 2018 reserve driver.

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Article Written By: Amy Hawk
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Post-Season Test - Day #2 - Re-Cap & Times


POST-SEASON TEST - DAY #2 - RE-CAP & TIMES

    Lando Norris and Robert Kubica impressed in the final Formula 1 test of 2017.

    It was Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel at the top of the order, but the McLaren reserve driver and F1 race winner were the main attractions in Abu Dhabi.

    Kubica only completed a handful of laps, sharing testing duties for Williams with Sergey Sirotkin, a new addition to the list of drivers rumoured to be replacing the retiring Felipe Massa. Despite completing less than half as many laps as Sirotkin, Kubica was half a second quicker than the Renault reserve driver. His 1m39.485s lap time was also a tenth of a second faster than Lance Stroll’s best lap on Tuesday.

    McLaren’s Lando Norris also impressed in his first outing in an F1 car since being announced as the team’s reserve driver. He was completing the tyre test that was scheduled to take place after the Brazilian Grand Prix and finished 12th fastest, nearly two seconds slower than Stoffel Vandoorne, who finished eighth fastest in the other McLaren despite running into the tyre barriers in the first half of the day.

    Norris has been confirmed at Carlin’s Formula 2 team for the 2018 season.

    At the top of the order, Vettel set his best time of the day – a 1m37.551s – in the first hour of running. He put in 118 laps over the course of the day, but couldn’t better his time. Nobody else could even get close to it, though, with Mercedes Valtteri Bottas the next best and nearly a second slower.

    Max Verstappen was third quickest ahead of Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon, who shared testing duties for Force India.

    Just 0.41s faster than Kubica, Carlos Sainz Jnr was sixth quickest.

    Kevin Magnussen and Sirotkin rounded out the top 10.

    With news that Alfa Romeo would be sponsoring Sauber in 2018 breaking, Ferrari junior driver Charles Leclerc was in the car. He could only manage 11th quickest, but his 1m40.666s lap was more than a second faster than Marcus Ericsson’s best effort on Tuesday.

    Toro Rosso duo Brendon Hartley and Pierre Gasly completed the order.

TIMES: 

1. Sebastian Vettel - 1:37.551 / Ferrari-Ferrari / Germany / 118 Laps
2. Valtteri Bottas - 1:38.490 / Mercedes-Mercedes / Finland / 141 Laps
3. Max Verstappen - 1:38.736 / Red Bull-TAG-Heuer / Netherlands / 132 Laps
4. Sergio Perez (PM) - 1:38.818 / Force India-Mercedes / Mexico / 52 Laps
5. Esteban Ocon (AM) - 1:39.148 / Force India-Mercedes / France / 72 Laps
6. Carlos Sainz - 1:39.444 / Renault-Renault / Spain / 109 Laps
7. Robert Kubica (PM) - 1:39.485 / Williams-Mercedes / Poland / 28 Laps
8. Stoffel Vandoorne - 1:39.782 / McLaren-Honda / Belgium / 105 Laps*
9. Kevin Magnussen - 1:39.810 / Haas-Ferrari / Denmark / 124 Laps
10. Serge Sirotkin (AM & PM) - 1:39.947 / Williams-Mercedes / Russia / 86 Laps
11. Charles Leclerc - 1:40.666 / Sauber-Ferrari / Monaco / 148 Laps
12. Lando Norris - 1:41.714 / McLaren-Honda / Great Britain / 118 Laps*
13. Brendon Hartley (PM) - 1:43.345 / Toro Rosso-Renault / New Zealand / 61 Laps
14. Pierre Gasly (AM)  - 1:44.827 / Toro Rosso-Renault / France / 63 Laps

* - Notes McLaren is running 2 cars during this test.

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Article Written By: Bethonie Waring
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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Post-Season Test - Day #2 - Line-Up


POST-SEASON TEST - DAY #2 - LINE-UP

Mercedes-Mercedes: Valtteri Bottas
Ferrari-Ferrari: Sebastian Vettel
Red Bull-TAG-Heuer: Max Verstappen
Williams-Mercedes: Sergey Sirotkin (AM & PM) / Robert Kubica (PM)*
Renault-Renault: Carlos Sainz
McLaren-Honda: Lando Norris & Stoffel Vandoorne**
Toro Rosso-Renault: Pierre Gasly (AM) / Brendon Hartley (PM)*
Force India-Mercedes: Esteban Ocon (AM) / Sergio Perez (PM)*
Sauber-Ferrari: Charles Leclerc
Haas-Ferrari: Kevin Magnussen

* - Notes drivers are sharing testing duties
** - Notes McLaren is running 2 cars during this test

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Article Written By: Amy Hawk
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Post-Season Test - Day #1 - Re-Cap & Times


POST-SEASON TEST - DAY #1 - RE-CAP & TIMES

   The first day of the last test of 2017 got underway on Tuesday with all teams running. Mostly all drivers stayed behind at the Yas Marina circuit to do testing for their teams and also for Pirelli, who have introduced 2 new compounds for 2018: The Hyper-Soft and Super-Hard compounds.

    Kimi Raikkonen topped the time sheets with a 1:37.768, while Ricciardo was close behind in the Red Bull with a 1:38.066. Hamilton, Grosjean and Stroll completed the top 5.

    McLaren decided to run 2 cars, following the post-Brazilian GP test cancellation. Alonso ran one car while long-time development driver and current Formula E driver, Oliver Turvey, ran the other. Alonso brought out the first red flag of the session after a crash he described as a 'kiss'. It was a small hit to the wall and he walked away unharmed. He was also able to get back out later on in the session and finished in 6th with a 1:39.762. Turvey finished last on the time-sheets with a 1:41.914.

    Williams opted to run Robert Kubica in the AM portion of the session and Stroll later on in the PM portion. Kubica, who many think will make an F1 return with the Williams team in 2018, finished in 9th and racked up a total of 100 laps. Fans were waiting in the stands, chanting and singing while waving banners and photos, showing their support for him and their obvious want to see him have a full-time seat next year. Lance Stroll finished up in 5th with a 1:39.580 and completed 29 laps.

    Sean Gelael ran for Toro Rosso, despite missing out on a seat with the team for 2018. Gelael was recently confirmed to drive for PREMA Racing team in Formula 2 next year, alongside Nyck de Vries. Gelael finished in 10th and managed to do 117 laps.

    Force India ran young Russian driver, Nikita Mazepin, who currently competes in European Formula 3. Mazepin finished in 8th with a 1:39.959 and completed 90 laps.

TIMES:

1. Kimi Raikkonen - 1:37.768 / Ferrari-Ferrari / Finland / 99 Laps
2. Daniel Ricciardo - 1:38.066 / Red Bull-TAG-Heuer / Australia / 109 Laps
3. Lewis Hamilton - 1:38.551 / Mercedes-Mercedes / Great Britain / 136 Laps
4. Romain Grosjean - 1:39.270 / Haas-Ferrari / France / 137 Laps
5. Lance Stroll (PM) - 1:39.580 / Williams-Mercedes / Canada / 29 Laps
6. Fernando Alonso - 1:39.762 / McLaren-Honda / Spain / 115 Laps*
7. Nico Hulkenberg - 1:39.803 / Renault-Renault / Germany / 85 Laps
8. Nikita Mazepin - 1:39.959 / Force India-Mercedes / Russia / 90 Laps
9. Robert Kubica (AM) - 1:41.296 / Williams-Mercedes / Poland / 100 Laps
10. Sean Gelael - 1:41.428 / Toro Rosso-Renault / Indonesia / 117 Laps
11. Marcus Ericsson - 1:41.681 / Sauber-Ferrari / Sweden / 97 Laps
12. Oliver Turvey - 1:41.914 / McLaren-Honda / Great Britain / 105 Laps*

* - Notes McLaren is running 2 cars during this test.

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Article Written By: Amy Hawk
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Post-Season Test - Day #1 - Line-Up


POST-SEASON TEST - DAY #1 - LINE-UP

Mercedes-Mercedes: Lewis Hamilton
Ferrari-Ferrari: Kimi Raikkonen 
Red Bull-TAG-Heuer: Daniel Ricciardo
Williams-Mercedes: Robert Kubica (AM) / Lance Stroll (PM)*
Renault-Renault: Nico Hulkenberg
McLaren-Honda: Fernando Alonso & Oliver Turvey**
Toro Rosso-Renault: Sean Gelael
Force India-Mercedes: Nikita Mazepin
Sauber-Ferrari: Marcus Ericsson
Haas-Ferrari: Romain Grosjean

* - Notes drivers are sharing testing duties
** - Notes McLaren is running 2 cars during this test

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Article Written By: Amy Hawk
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Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Abu Dhabi GP: Race - Re-Cap & Results


ABU DHABI GP - RACE - RE-CAP & RESULTS

    Valtteri Bottas claimed his third Formula 1 victory in the final Grand Prix of the 2017 season, finishing just ahead of team-mate Lewis Hamilton.

    Starting from pole position, Bottas held the position at the start of the race and slowly began to build up a gap before the midrace pit stops. Hamilton, with a fresher engine after a replacement during the Brazilian GP weekend, closed in in the second half of the race. The four-time world champion repeatedly cut the gap to his team-mate in the first two sectors of the Yas Marina circuit, only to fall away again in the twisty final sector.

    In the closing stages of the race, Bottas started to pump in fastest laps again and extended the gap to his more experienced team-mate to finish 3.899s clear of Hamilton.

    Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel rounded out the podium positions, but it was a quiet race for the once championship contender. Vettel made a strong start but claimed he had nowhere to go and couldn’t find a way past Hamilton.

    As the race went on, Vettel fell further and further away from the Mercedes duo, crossing the line 15 seconds after Hamilton. There was no pressure from behind, either, as team-mate Kimi Raikkonen was a further 26 seconds back.

    Having managed put his car on the second row of the grid in qualifying, Daniel Ricciardo was set to round off the season with one of his strongest results in the year. He spent the first stint with Raikkonen on his tail, but kept the Ferrari behind him before heading into the pits.

    Not long after the pit stop, though, it became clear there was a problem. Ricciardo ran off into the grass and was told to stop his Red Bull as the engineers had noticed a hydraulics problem. The retirement, his sixth of the season, allowed Raikkonen to take fourth position and secure fourth in the drivers’ championship.

    Carlos Sainz was the only other driver to suffer a retirement. The Renault driver had been battling with Fernando Alonso’s Honda before the pit stops, where his front left tyre wasn’t secured properly. He nearly crashed as he exited the pit lane, and then again at turn three, before coming to a stop.

    Team-mate Nico Hulkenberg also suffered a rocky race. After starting ahead of the two Force Indias, Hulkenberg had a poor start and fell back behind Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon on the opening lap.

    Though he managed to get ahead of Ocon without a problem, Hulkenberg cut a corner to get past Perez and was handed a five second penalty for the incident. The Renault driver managed to build up a gap to Perez though and didn’t lose the position in the pits. He finished sixth, behind Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.

    Perez and Ocon took seventh and eighth, ahead of Alonso, who made a strong pass past Felipe Massa on the run up to the first chicane midway through the race. A strong exit for the Spaniard meant Massa couldn’t stay within DRS range and the retiring Williams driver had to settle for 10th.

    After battling with Lance Stroll early in the race, Romain Grosjean claimed 11th, ahead of Stoffel Vandoorne and Kevin Magnussen.

    Pascal Wehrlein finished 14th, followed by Brendon Hartley, Pierre Gasly, and Marcus Ericsson. Stroll, in 18th, was the final finisher.

RESULTS:

1. Valtteri Bottas / Mercedes-Mercedes / Finland / + 25 Points
2. Lewis Hamilton / Mercedes-Mercedes / Great Britain / + 18 Points
3. Sebastian Vettel / Ferrari-Ferrari / Germany / + 15 Points
4. Kimi Raikkonen / Ferrari-Ferrari / Finland / + 12 Points
5. Max Verstappen / Red Bull-TAG-Heuer / Netherlands / + 10 Points
6. Nico Hulkenberg / Renault-Renault / Germany / + 8 Points
7. Sergio Perez / Force India-Mercedes / Mexico / + 6 Points
8. Esteban Ocon / Force India-Mercedes / France / + 4 Points
9. Fernando Alonso / McLaren-Honda / Spain / + 2 Points
10. Felipe Massa / Williams-Mercedes / Brazil / + 1 Point
11. Romain Grosjean / Haas-Ferrari / France
12. Stoffel Vandoorne / McLaren-Honda / Belgium
13. Kevin Magnussen / Haas-Ferrari / Denmark
14. Pascal Wehrlein / Sauber-Ferrari / Germany
15. Brendon Hartley / Toro Rosso-Renault / New Zealand
16. Pierre Gasly / Toro Rosso-Renault / France
17. Marcus Ericsson / Sauber-Ferrari / Sweden
18. Lance Stroll / Williams-Mercedes / Canada

RETIRED - Carlos Sainz / Renault-Renault / Spain / Loose Wheel
RETIRED - Daniel Ricciardo / Red Bull-TAG-Heuer / Australia / Hydraulics

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Article Written By: Bethonie Waring
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Formula 2 - ABU DHABI - Sprint Race - RESULTS


FORMULA 2 - SPRINT RACE - RESULTS - ABU DHABI

1. Charles Leclerc / PREMA Racing / Monaco / + 15 Points
2. Alexander Albon / ART Grand Prix / Thailand / + 12 Points
3. Nicholas Latifi / DAMS / Canada / + 10 Points + 2 Points (FL)
4. Nobuharu Matsushita / ART Grand Prix / Japan / + 8 Points
5. Luca Ghiotto / RUSSIAN TIME / Italy / + 6 Points
6. Artem Markelov / RUSSIAN TIME / Russia / + 4 Points
7. Oliver Rowland / DAMS / Great Britain / + 2 Points
8. Sergio Sette Camara / MP Motorsport / Brazil / + 1 Point
9. Nyck de Vries / Racing Engineering / Netherlands
10. Roberto Merhi / Rapax / Spain
11. Antonio Fuoco / PREMA Racing / Italy
12. Alex Palou / Campos Racing / Spain*
13. Lando Norris / Campos Racing / Great Britain**
14. Sean Gelael / Pertamina Arden / Indonesia 
15. Santino Ferrucci / Trident / USA
16. Nabil Jeffri / Trident / Malaysia
17. Gustav Malja / Racing Engineering / Sweden
18. Norman Nato / Pertamina Arden / France / DNF / Mechanical***

RETIRED - Louis Deletraz / Rapax / Switzerland / Collision Damage
RETIRED - Jordan King / MP Motorsport / Great Britain / Puncture

* - Notes Palou is replacing Visoiu during the Abu Dhabi GP Weekend
** - Notes Norris is replacing Boschung during the Abu Dhabi GP Weekend
*** - Notes Nato retired but had completed over 90% of the race distance and qualified as finished.

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Article Written By: Amy Hawk
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