Autosport 05/03/20

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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Autosport Media UK Ltd
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2 min
is red bull now mercedes’ closest f1 challenger?

As we showed last week, Mercedes emphatically‘won’ the first three days of pre-season Formula 1 testing. The second test was rather less clear-cut, though a competitive order did start to emerge. Mercedes is still ahead but, as Alex Kalinauckas shows in our analysis on page 18, Red Bull has been quietly going about its business and seems to have good underlying pace. More tricky is Ferrari. Is it really in as much trouble as it looks? Has the‘settlement’ with the FIA (p4) taken the edge off of its performance or are those two things unrelated? There’s a case to be made that Ferrari is trying to avoid the high expectations – quickly dashed when the cars arrived in Melbourne for the season opener – it had after testing last year. But it…

4 min
fia can’t confirm 2019 ferrari was legal

FORMULA 1 Mystery continues to linger in the Formula 1 paddock after the FIA announced last week that it had reached a “settlement” with Ferrari following an analysis of its 2019 engine. Powerplant performance across the four manufacturers had appeared to converge in recent years thanks to the maturity of the engine regulations, only for Ferrari to make a step forward in 2019 and display an impressive straightline speed. The team spent much of the season facing allegations that it was circumventing fuel-flow and oil-burn regulations to give its engine more power, resulting in multiple clampdowns by the FIA through the issuing of technical directives. Ferrari always stressed that its engine remained legal, only for the matter to come to a head at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, when the team was…

2 min
zandvoort banking work continues for dutch gp

FORMULA 1 The first images of Zandvoort’s completed banked turns have been revealed ahead of the return of the Dutch Grand Prix on 3 May. An extensive upgrade project has taken place at Zandvoort – which has been off the Formula 1 calendar since 1985 – including the modification of two corners to create banking. The final turn is now at an 18-degree angle, making it twice as steep as the banking at Indianapolis, which hosted the United States Grand Prix between 2000-07. Hugenholtzbocht, the third corner (below), features banking of 19 degrees. The first images of the completed banking construction project were released last Thursday. The completion of the banked sections comes following work by Italian track design company Dromo Circuit Design and Geobrugg, which installed the FIA-homologated debris fences. “We did something…

2 min
motogp season openers are latest coronavirus victims

CORONAVIRUS The MotoGP season-opening Qatar and Thai grands prix were the highest-profile motorsport victims of the coronavirus epidemic as Autosport closed for press this week. With the number of worldwide coronavirus cases exceeding 80,000, more countries are clamping down on travel to and from infection hotspots. Northern Italy’s increase in confirmed cases has led to Qatar imposing an immediate 14-day quarantine for all travellers from Italy. With a large proportion of the paddock hailing from Italy, MotoGP’s hand was forced. Plans had been put in place just days earlier to help those affected get across the Qatari border, but last weekend a sharp rise in confirmed coronavirus cases in Italy to 1700 led to the Qatari government cancelling the race. With the Moto2 and Moto3 teams (above) already at Qatar’s Losail circuit for…

1 min
alonso at indy with mclaren

INDIANAPOLIS 500 Fernando Alonso will reunite with McLaren for his third attempt at the Indianapolis 500 this May, and has hinted that he may drive the Chevrolet-engined #66 Arrow McLaren SP car at other races. The two-time Formula 1 world champion had seemed set to drive a sixth car for the Honda-powered Andretti Autosport squad but the deal fell through, which some believe is due to Honda’s lingering resentment over his public criticism of its early attempts at F1 hybrid engines. But Autosport sources suggest a bigger hang-up is Alonso’s now well-established association with Honda’s arch rival Toyota in the World Endurance Championship and Dakar Rally. The result is that Alonso, whose ambassadorial role for McLaren ended at the start of this year, became available to the team co-owned by Sam Schmidt and…

2 min
cassidy sets all-time formula e record on debut

FORMULA E Reigning Super Formula champion Nick Cassidy posted the quickest lap in Formula E history during the post-Marrakech E-Prix rookie test last Sunday. A 1m16.467s run was comfortably faster than the previous best recorded on the Circuit Moulay el Hassan – a 1m17.074s set by Nico Muller in the 2018 test. It was also 0.7s quicker than the previous day’s pole effort from eventual race victor Antonio Felix da Costa. Standing proud, though, was Cassidy’s average speed. Nothing to date in the series can live with his 86.9mph flier. Cassidy’s effort was outstanding, but it takes nothing away from the full-time FE drivers. The test took place in warmer conditions than qualifying, and there was much more rubber laid on the track. What’s more, around the calendar disruption caused by the COVID-19 coronavirus,…