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Autosport 19/11/20

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.
hamilton leads group of fine 2020 champions

“I’ve never been that emotional at the end of a race.” Lewis Hamilton has tried to play down the various records he has been approaching over the past couple of seasons but, as he has broken them, his true feelings have come out. And matching Michael Schumacher’s tally of seven Formula 1 drivers’ titles is a particularly special feat. The way he clinched the 2020 crown was fitting, too. As Alex Kalinauckas shows in our Turkish Grand Prix report on page 18, on a day when Mercedes didn’t have its usual advantage, Hamilton showed the perfect blend of patience, speed and guile to pull out another win. It was a ‘driver’s win’, not a car’s win. There were several deserving champions crowned last weekend. Mike Conway has been one of Britain’s unsung…

4 min.
champion hamilton confident on 2021 deal

FORMULA 1 Newly crowned seven-time Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton and his Mercedes team are set to turn their attentions to high-stake contract talks in the coming weeks, as a deal is still not in place for the Briton to continue with the team in 2021. Hamilton has less than two months to run on his existing Mercedes F1 contract, but both he and the team had agreed not to sit down and open talks over a new deal until both titles were wrapped up in 2020. With the drivers’ and constructors’ championships now sewn up, Hamilton said negotiations were “definitely something that we need to get onto” as he looks to extend his stay at Mercedes, which began after he switched from McLaren for 2013. “I just always think through the…

2 min.
interlagos set for five years, and drops ‘brazil’

FORMULA 1 Interlagos is set to keep Brazil’s round of the Formula 1 World Championship until at least 2025, with officials in Sao Paulo announcing last week that they are poised to sign a new deal. Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro, who is at odds with the Sao Paulo government, has been pushing to hold a race in Rio from 2021, but a provisional calendar issued by F1 declared that the country’s race next year would take place at Interlagos. The decision to remain at Interlagos for next year came after the promoters in Rio failed to get the required approvals to build a circuit and go ahead with the grand prix in time. And it now looks as though the Rio project could be doomed in the medium term, with the likelihood that…

2 min.
toyota holds hands up to flaw in handicap system

WEC The system of success handicaps that robbed the 2019-20 World Endurance Championship of a battle between the Toyotas incorporated a “conceptual mistake”. That’s the conclusion of its architect, Toyota Gazoo Racing Europe technical director Pascal Vasselon. He believes that the performance penalties should have been applied across the entries of a team rather than separately to each car. “Then,” he said, “we would have had a fight between our two cars at every race.” “We made a conceptual mistake when putting in place the system,” admitted Vasselon. “The system should have applied per team and not per car: this is probably the biggest mistake we have made.” One of the major criticisms of the system designed to give privateers the chance to win races in front of the Toyota TS050 HYBRIDs, and keep…

1 min.
hill could race new car in 2021

BTCC Highly rated British Touring Car Championship racer Jake Hill will remain at Mark Blundell’s team for the 2021 season, but the AmD-run MB Motorsport squad could switch to a new car. Hill’s deal was announced on the eve of last weekend’s 2020 finale at Brands Hatch, where he rose to seventh in the standings in MB’s old-spec FK2 Honda Civic Type R and scored his sixth podium finish of the season. That came after a qualifying error, which put him lightly into the barriers at Paddock Hill Bend (below) and caused a red flag, preventing him from challenging for pole position. It also completed a fine recovery from 2oth in the points following the first two rounds, after a series of engine failures. AmD boss Shaun Hollamby admitted to Autosport that it’s “fifty-fifty”…

2 min.
crutchlow steps back to take yamaha test role

MOTOGP Three-time MotoGP race winner Cal Crutchlow will step down from full-time racing next season to replace Jorge Lorenzo as Yamaha’s official test rider. Crutchlow won the 2009 World Supersport title with Yamaha, and raced the marque’s bikes in his first three MotoGP seasons in 2011-13 with Tech3. After a year at Ducati he joined LCR Honda in 2o15, but is making way next season for Alex Marquez, who is being replaced at the works Honda team by Pol Espargaro. The Briton cited a number of factors for his decision to become Yamaha’s test rider, including injury and a desire to spend more time with family, and his move was welcomed by Yamaha riders. “It was something I was very interested to do, a project that I believed works very well for me,” Crutchlow…