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Autosport 25/04/19

The UK’s ‘must-read’ motorsport magazine AUTOSPORT is revered by fans and industry personnel alike as the ultimate source of motorsport news and analysis. The magazine’s expert editorial covers all aspects of the sport, from major international series such as Formula 1, Sports Car racing and the World Rally Championship, to the less glamorous but hugely important grassroots events in UK club motorsport

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Autosport Media UK Ltd
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senna: a driver who divided yet united the world of motorsport

If there was ever a racing driver who divided the racing community during his lifetime, yet united it in grief in his death, it was Ayrton Senna. Chances are that most of you over the age of 30 can remember exactly where you were when his Williams crashed into the wall at Imola’s sweeping Tamburello curve on 1 May 1994 (in this writer’s case, at a scorching hot Snetterton to report on the BTCC-supporting junior single-seater championships). On the 25th anniversary of that tragic weekend at the San Marino Grand Prix, Autosport takes a look back at what made Senna so special – and also what made him such a controversial figure. Edd Straw’s assessment of his legacy on p26 strips away the veneer of what you could almost call quasi-holiness,…

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kubica: williams crisis deeper than lowe

FORMULA 1 Chief technical officer Paddy Lowe’s split with Williams does not mean that the team’s slump to the back of the Formula 1 grid should be attributed to a one-man problem, according to Robert Kubica, who says that it has left everybody a “victim”. Lowe joined Williams from Mercedes early in 2017, but the two cars designed and built under his technical leadership have been the slowest on the grid, and the 2019 Williams is even less competitive than its predecessor. The FW42 was also late to testing and required design changes to be legal for the season opener, which led to Lowe taking a leave of absence for “personal reasons” before the first race in Australia. Autosport understands that there is still no change in Lowe’s position, while team co-founder Patrick Head…

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alonso closes on toyota exit as hartley stands by

WORLD ENDURANCE It appears that we can say with certainty that Fernando Alonso won’t be driving for Toyota when the 2019-20 World Endurance Championship season kicks of in September. What we don’t know is why. Is it a case of mission accomplished after his Le Mans 24 Hours victory last June, or is he keeping his options open for 2020? Toyota isn’t denying speculation that the Spaniard will not continue beyond the end of the 2018-19 superseason. It will only say that it expects “to announce its drivers for next season relatively soon”. It has to. The first season of the WEC run to the winter-series format is little more than four months away, less if you include the official pre-season ‘prologue’ test. Decisions have to be made. Two-time F1 world champion Alonso hasn’t…

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frijns on top as audi blitzes dtm running

DTM Audi topped the times on all four days of last week’s official pre-season DTM test at the Lausitzring, but the big talking point was the form of the Aston Martins. Robin Frijns geared up for his sophomore DTM season with the quickest time overall for Audi, as the series moves into a new era with turbocharged four-cylinder engines pushing out over 610bhp. Frijns’s time, set on Wednesday, edged out the Monday topper set by Mike Rockenfeller by 0.021 seconds. Loic Duval was quickest on Tuesday, ditto Nico Muller on Thursday, while Jamie Green and Rene Rast were second fastest on two days apiece. “Experience has shown that no one puts all their cards on the table in preseason testing,” said Audi sports boss Dieter Gass. “Even so, it’s nice to see all…

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astons given dispensation for tests

DTM The R-Motorsport Aston Martin squad has obtained permission to catch up on its allocation of test days during the DTM season. While Audi and BMW both debuted their turbo Class 1 challengers for the 2019 season last year, the new Vantage DTM only made its on-track debut in March at Jerez before racking up further miles at a private test at Estoril. That meant R-Motorsport had six days of running under its belt ahead of the official pre-season test at the Lausitzring, three fewer than Audi and BMW. The team canvassed its rival manufacturers as well as series promoter ITR to be granted an exception to the rule that bans any testing during the season. “I have the agreement of the other two manufacturers that we can do the test during the season,” team…

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will the ‘real’ f3 stand up?

EUROFORMULA OPEN With the arrival of the new FIA Formula 3 Championship, the retuning of the Formula Renault Eurocup and the introduction of the near-identical Formula Regional European and W Series, Europe has never been so awash with continental F3 championships. But what about what many regard as the ‘real’ F3? The departure of the DTM-supporting Formula European Masters has meant that Euroformula Open is flourishing the most, unsurprising given that it has introduced open-engine regulations for the ever-popular Dallara F312 chassis and has taken the Pau Grand Prix slot. Mercedes, Volkswagen/Spiess and Toyota-sourced engines will all be in use, with parity ensured by a GT-style Balance of Performance. A 20-car grid is expected for this weekend’s season opener at Paul Ricard, with some familiar names from FEM. The biggest coup has been the…