Cars & Motorcycles

Autosport 13/08/20

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.
dominant mercedes defeated by tyres and a tenacious verstappen

The sheer pace of the Mercedes W11 – and the truncated nature of the 2020 Formula 1 campaign – had raised the prospect of a clean sweep of the season’s races by the black cars. McLaren famously only lost one race in 1988, Ferrari won 15 out of 17 grands prix in 2002, and Mercedes also lost twice in the 21-race 2016 championship. In terms of absolute speed – normally best seen in qualifying, depending on the weather – so far this season Mercedes has an average advantage of 1.019%. That is the biggest margin since the Williams FW15C was 1.706% clear of the opposition in 1993. But, fortunately for neutrals, racing throws up many more variables. As Alex Kalinauckas shows in our report on page 16, last weekend’s shock Silverstone result…

4 min.
racing point rivals furious over ‘copycat’ penalty

FORMULA 1 The Racing Point Formula 1 team has been hit with a points penalty and a fine after it was deemed to have copied the design of Mercedes’ 2019 brake ducts for its 2020 RP20. But the case is subject to appeals from five teams on both sides of the argument, and the saga looks set to drag out for a long time to come. Racing Point came under fire after basing the design of its 2020 car on the 2019 title-winning Mercedes W10, prompting Renault to lodge a protest after the Styrian, Hungarian and British Grands Prix. The protest focused on the design of the RP20’s rear-brake ducts, which were found by the FIA stewards to have been principally designed by Mercedes and that Racing Point’s design approach was like…

1 min.
no more f1 cloning, says the fia

FORMULA 1 Formula 1 plans to outlaw copycat designs from next year to prevent any more teams following Racing Point’s lead and cloning a rival’s concept. Stewards announced that they felt Racing Point had breached F1’s sporting regulations in using a rear-brake design that was not its own, and the FIA has revealed that further action is to be taken for next season. FIA single-seater head Nikolas Tombazis (below) said that the governing body and F1’s commercial rights holders have agreed that teams should no longer be allowed to clone cars. “We do plan with very short notice to introduce some amendments to the 2021 sporting regulations that will prevent this becoming the norm,” said Tombazis. “This will prevent teams from using extensive parts of photos to copy whole portions of other cars in…

2 min.
mercedes stalling over new concorde agreement

FORMULA 1 Mercedes and Formula 1 are in a stand-off over the new Concorde Agreement that is set to revise the teams’ commercial terms next year. F1 commercial rights holder Liberty Media has been in talks with teams for a long time over the revised terms from 2021, aiming for a more equitable distribution of income between teams and a revised governance structure. But while many teams have said they are ready to put pen to paper on the new deal, Mercedes chief Toto Wolff made clear he was unhappy with the current proposals. “We are, I would say, the biggest victim in terms of prize-fund loss,” said Wolff. “I feel that Mercedes has contributed to the sport over the last years. Apart from being competitive on track, we have the driver that…

1 min.
le mans behind closed doors

LE MANS 24 HOURS The Le Mans 24 Hours will take place without a crowd this year. Race organiser the Automobile Club de l’Ouest has been forced to reverse its plan to allow a limited number of spectators in the face of an increase in COVID-19 infections in France. The decision to hold the double-points round of the World Endurance Championship round on 19-20 September behind closed doors was made in conjunction with the local government – the Prefecture de la Sarthe – and health authorities. ACO president Pierre Fillon explained that there are “still too many question marks regarding health and safety” for even a small crowd to be permitted. “Over the past few weeks, we have looked at many ways in which we could hold our event in September with fans…

1 min.
no crowd after all for indy 500

INDIANAPOLIS 500 The Indianapolis 500 will take place next week behind closed doors for the first time in its 104-race history due to the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. IndyCar and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway were initially hoping the race could run at 50% crowd capacity, which was further reduced to 25% last month. It was announced last week that the 23 August event, rescheduled from its traditional late-May date on 24 May, would not be open to the public. The IMS statement said the decision to run the event without fans had been made “following careful consideration and extensive consultation with state and city leadership. As dedicated as we were to running the race this year with 25% attendance at our large outdoor facility, even with meaningful and careful precautions implemented by…