Cars & Motorcycles

Autosport 09/07/20

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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in this issue

1 min.
formula 1 comes back with a bang – and makes a stand

Formula 1 finally kicked off, seven months after the previous grand prix, in Austria last weekend and what a dramatic race it was. Close racing, contact and – almost unheard of in the modern era – unreliability made for an unpredictable event. It was probably a bit too messy to be called a great race, but few would have predicted a Mercedes-Ferrari-McLaren top three before the weekend, or even after qualifying. The pace of the striking-looking Mercedes W11 was not a surprise, but Lewis Hamilton’s rather fraught race was (see page 16). The five-second penalty for the unfortunate contact with Alex Albon (surely the definition of a ‘racing incident’) was harsh, but did mean that Lando Norris scored a well-deserved first F1 podium. More important than that was that the drivers joined…

4 min.
f1 stars explain stances on show of unity

FORMULA 1 Formula 1 was vocal in its anti-racism messaging throughout last weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix as the season finally got under way, but not all drivers agreed to take a knee on the grid before the start of the race. F1 returned amid a vastly different global climate from the attempted season opener in March. Six-time world champion Lewis Hamilton has been leading F1’s voice in recent weeks, encouraging his peers to use their platforms to amplify the messages against racial injustice. He also confirmed plans to establish The Hamilton Commission, a project aimed at improving diversity in motorsport starting at a grassroots level by getting more BAME students into engineering. F1 itself announced its new ‘We Race As One’ campaign, focusing on aiding inclusivity and diversity in the sport. Mercedes switched…

2 min.
is alonso the ‘big name’ renault wants for 2021?

FORMULA 1 Renault Formula 1 boss Cyril Abiteboul has said that the French manufacturer is talking to “big names” as it seeks to fill the seat that will be vacated by Daniel Ricciardo at the end of 2020. Former world champions Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel have both been linked with the team since it was confirmed that Ricciardo will move to McLaren next year to replace Carlos Sainz Jr, who is off to Ferrari. At last weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix, Renault driver Esteban Ocon said he would welcome Alonso as a team-mate in 2021. Asked at the Red Bull Ring whether Vettel and Alonso were of interest to Renault, Abiteboul declined to comment on specifics, but did outline what the team wants from any signing. “We need first a driver for each car,”…

2 min.
open verdict on success of new pirelli 18-inch rubber

FORMULA 2 Formula 1’s future arrived in F2 last weekend at the Red Bull Ring when the series had its first race event with the new 18-inch wheels that will be introduced to the sport’s elite category in 2022. While there were some differences in set-up and driving style required, and the tyres offered vastly increased longevity, the picture was muddied because Italian supplier Pirelli brought a conservative choice of rubber to the first race weekend. Teams used the hard compound as the prime tyre, and the soft as the option, but for this weekend’s follow-up event at the same track it will be the medium and supersoft respectively, and teams are expecting to get a much clearer view. “It was very good to see the hard tyre – not the ideal choice for…

1 min.
aitken gets fp1 williams debut

FORMULA 1 Williams Formula 1 reserve Jack Aitken will get his first FP1 outing in George Russell’s car at this weekend’s Styrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring. With no in-season testing this year, opportunities for young drivers are rare, although one day has been set aside for them after the last race of the season. Williams is the first team to make a commitment to using an FP1 session for a protege in 2020. While Aitken, who will also race this weekend in the FIA Formula 2 Championship with Campos Racing, has not yet driven the current Williams, he has previously tested for Renault. He ran a full day at Barcelona in 2018, and then two more at the Spanish venue and in Bahrain in 2019. Williams head of vehicle performance Dave…

2 min.
rally estonia set for world championship restart

WRC The World Rally Championship has revealed a revised calendar for the coronavirus-halted 2020 season, with the campaign now set to resume in Estonia in September. The 2020 season was put on hold after just three rounds and several rallies have since been cancelled, including Finland, New Zealand and Rally GB. The FIA and WRC Promoter have revealed plans to host at least five events scheduled between September and November. Kicking off proceedings will be Rally Estonia, a new fixture on the WRC calendar, on 4-6 September, followed by events in Turkey and Germany. The news of Estonia’s debut on the WRC map was simultaneously announced at a press conference in the presence of prime minister Juri Ratas and WRC Promoter managing director Oliver Ciesla. Estonia will become the 33rd nation to host a championship…