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Autosport 17/09/20

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.
a fine circuit with one too many incidents in inaugural tuscan gp

Mugello proved a hit with the Formula 1 drivers last weekend and it was certainly nice to see a new (European) track on the schedule. It was surprisingly quick too – Lewis Hamilton averaged just over 156mph on his pole lap, quite something when you take a look at all the corners on the track map (see page 24). Everyone likes an unpredictable race – as the previous week’s Italian GP showed – but things got a little bit too chaotic during the Tuscan Grand Prix. The use of gravel traps and lack of asphalt runoff meant that cars got stuck. That’s fine in terms of drivers being punished for their mistakes, but it has two downsides for fans. The first is fewer cars to watch after an incident because cars…

4 min.
vettel joins aston martin to replace perez

FORMULA 1 Formula 1’s worst-kept secret was made official last Thursday morning ahead of the Tuscan Grand Prix – Sebastian Vettel is joining Aston Martin for 2021. And it was an even worse-kept secret since Sergio Perez, the man Vettel will replace, had announced the previous evening that he will be leaving the team currently named Racing Point at the end of this season. Vettel therefore moves from Ferrari, where he has become surplus to requirements since Charles Leclerc showed sensational form in his maiden season with the squad in 2019, to a team that feels it needs him and where he will partner Lance Stroll, the son of Racing Point/Aston F1 squad owner Lawrence Stroll. “It’s a new adventure for me with a truly legendary car company,” Vettel said in the team’s…

1 min.
mercedes backer linked with buy-in

FORMULA 1 Mercedes Formula 1 backer Ineos has been linked with taking a shareholding in the team, but a full takeover is believed to be unlikely. Former team owner Eddie Jordan fuelled the speculation in an interview with a Sunday newspaper in which he suggested that Ineos would launch a £700million buyout, with Mercedes retaining a 30% share but Toto Wolff standing down. Mercedes has been clear in recent months that it is fully committed to remaining in F1 as a works team. But what cannot be ruled out is Ineos increasing its involvement by buying a shareholding on the back of it becoming a major sponsor and technical partner earlier this year. Mercedes has yet to decide what will happen to the 10% of shares that were owned by Niki Lauda, and it…

2 min.
alpine to step up to wec top class with old rebellion

WEC The Renault-owned Alpine marque will return to its spiritual home at the top of the sportscar racing tree as well as competing in Formula 1 next year. The make that won the 1978 Le Mans 24 Hours will enter next year’s World Endurance Championship with the ORECA-Gibson LMP1 design currently racing as the Rebellion R-13. The French manufacturer and Signatech, its partner in LMP2 since 2013, will exploit what Alpine sales and competition director Regis Fricotte described as a “one-shot opportunity” to race the car next year. WEC rules will give existing P1 machinery a single year’s grace to compete against the new breed of Le Mans Hypercars that come on stream in 2021. No commitment has been made on continuing in the top division of the WEC beyond the end of…

1 min.
new teams to fork out $200m

FORMULA 1 New Formula 1 entrants must pay rival teams a total of $200million as part of a prize-money ‘dilution fund’ if they want to join the grid from 2021. As part of the arrangements that all teams have signed off with the new Concorde Agreement, special efforts have been made to ensure that the revenues of current entrants are protected. With a much fairer distribution of commercial rights income, there were concerns that new operations could end up diluting the revenues of more established teams by simply turning up and not contributing to the championship’s success. One of the consequences for the current teams would then be that the prize money fund could be split between 11 or 12 teams rather than the current 10. So in a bid to ensure that…

2 min.
piastri gives prema nine from 10

FORMULA 3 Renault F1 Junior Oscar Piastri plans to move up to Formula 2 for next season after clinching the FIA Formula 3 Championship title in a thrilling three-way final-round showdown at Mugello last weekend, in which he became Italian powerhouse Prema’s ninth champion in the past 10 years of top-flight F3 competition. Piastri (above), who struggled for pace on the Tuscan circuit and was carrying a grid penalty from the previous round at Monza, did just enough to edge out Prema team-mate Logan Sargeant and ART Grand Prix charger Theo Pourchaire. It was a rookie F3 crown for Australian Piastri, who came into the season as reigning Formula Renault Eurocup champion. Piastri, whose mentor is ex-Formula 1 race winner Mark Webber, said: “Providing everything goes well in the off-season, I think a…