Category Archives: Motor sport

Mercedes confidence is an ominous sign after Barcelona F1 testing | Giles Richards

Mercedes look like being the team to beat again, while Ferrari and McLaren both have much work to do

The dominant force in F1 for the past four years, Mercedes appear to show no sign of relinquishing their stranglehold. Last year’s championship-winning car, which was quick but temperamental, has undergone an evolution over the winter that looks alarming for their rivals. They clocked the most laps with 1,040 and, although only seventh on the time sheets, their pace in race simulations was relentlessly good, half a second a lap up on Ferrari and eight-tenths on Red Bull. The team chose not to run the car on the fastest hyper‑soft rubber, unconcerned about setting a single lap marker, and Lewis Hamilton, who concluded last season comfortably on top and is generally careful not to heighten expectations, declared they had made a significant step forward. Whether they have banished the diva characteristics of last season has yet to be seen but this quiet confidence is hugely ominous.

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Source: gad

Lewis Hamilton optimistic about new Mercedes after Barcelona testing

• Champion sets fastest time and says ‘so far it’s positive’
• Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel tips Mercedes as favourite for title

Lewis Hamilton is cautiously optimistic over the performance of his new Mercedes car having finally managed to achieve some meaningful running on the final day of Formula One’s opening test in Barcelona.

The four-times world champion, who will begin the defence of his title in Australia on 25 March, completed 69 laps and set the fastest time of the week.

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Source: gad

Red Bull’s Christian Horner lends support to F1 testing in Bahrain

• Snow in Barcelona means day of testing lost
• Horner: ‘Anywhere would be better than sitting in the snow’

Formula One lost a day of testing here because of the cold weather that has engulfed Europe. With only eight practice days to shake down the cars and for drivers to acclimatise to their new rides before the first round in Australia on 25 March, it is time that will be sorely missed and has led to further calls for testing to be moved out of Europe, potentially to Bahrain, which last hosted it in 2014.

Running was limited on Tuesday because of the low temperatures and on Wednesday several inches of snow had carpeted the Circuit de Catalunya. By the afternoon it had been replaced by persistent rain which, combined with the track temperature barely reaching 5C, meant the teams opted not to go out on track for anything but brief sighting laps.

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Source: gad

Toto Wolff defends putting Mercedes’ interests ahead of F1 competition

• Team director rejects Ecclestone’s claim on lack of close racing
• Claire Williams pledges support for financial balance

Toto Wolff has defended the Mercedes team’s recent dominance in Formula One as fulfilling his commitment to Mercedes and its personnel. The executive director insisted the team’s decision, criticised recently by Bernie Ecclestone, not to supply their rivals Red Bull with engines in 2015 had been correct. He sympathised with fans who wanted to see greater competition but stressed that his role was to look to the fortunes of Mercedes first.

Wolff was speaking on day two of the first test in Barcelona, where Mercedes are preparing to defend the drivers’ and constructors’ titles they have won for the past four seasons. Should they do so they will equal Ferrari’s record of taking the double five consecutive times, achieved with Michael Schumacher between 2000 and 2004.

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Source: gad

McLaren’s Zak Brown expects marked improvement with Renault engine

• Key opening test for MCL33 at Barcelona on Monday
• Fernando Alonso looking for step forward after poor season

As Formula One prepares to take to the track for the first time in 2018 at the opening test in Barcelona on Monday, Zak Brown, the executive director of McLaren, has insisted that anything less than a marked improvement in performance from the British team would be unacceptable.

McLaren have endured three woeful seasons with an unreliable and underpowered Honda engine. Having switched to Renault for this year they will be under intense scrutiny to prove at the Circuit de Catalunya that a return to the top end of the grid is possible from the very moment the MCL33 hits the track.

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Source: gad

Bernie Ecclestone urges Formula One to make bold switch to electric cars

• Former F1 chief executive urges new owners to make bold changes
• ‘Liberty would need the balls to do it. I think they will have to do it’

The former chief executive of Formula One Bernie Ecclestone has said he believes the sport needs to make a radical break with the past and embrace an all-electric-powered future. He has suggested F1 should make some fundamental changes, including no longer paying the teams for taking part. Ecclestone also warned that Ferrari’s threats to leave the sport should be taken seriously.

“We still own the name Formula One, we still have contracts with promoters, let’s make different types of cars, let’s speak to the manufacturers and start a new all-electric F1, a Formula One for the future,” he said.

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Source: gad

Roberta Cowell’s life shows speed demons can be any shape | Barney Ronay

Cowell competed in grands prix and, after becoming the first British person to have gender reassignment surgery, remained in motor racing

Here they come, hooves clopping, heavy artillery clanking on the cobbles, tall buckled hats flickering across the skyline like a row of early industrial chimneys. Yes, it’s the PC Brigade. And they’re here to ruin everything.

This time it’s Formula One’s grid girls the PC Brigade have ruined, women employed to usher decoratively at grands prix but who have this week been decommissioned for the coming season by the sport’s executive. Pretty much everyone has already had an opinion about this and as usual these have tended to be fairly absolute.

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Source: gad

The sporting year ahead: 18 dates for your diary in 2018

Russia’s ethical World Cup adventure, Nigeria’s bobsleigh stars at the Winter Olympics, and a welcome helping of London 2012 nostalgia

Russia 14 June – 15 July

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Source: gad

How Jann Mardenborough went from Gran Turismo on a PlayStation to being a racing driver

Racing driver Jann Mardenborough on how playing Gran Turismo was the launch pad to his career

Jann Mardenborough won the Nissan PlayStation GT Academy competition in 2011, earning the chance to take part in professional racing. Backed by Nissan, he has since competed extensively in sports car racing and completed one season in single seaters; he’s finished with a class podium at the Le Mans 24 Hours and as runner-up in the Toyota Racing Series in New Zealand.

As part of the Infiniti Red Bull Racing driver development programme, he will race for Arden International in this year’s GP3 Championship – one of the most important feeder series for Formula One.

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