Autosport 04/03/21

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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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1 min.
ferrari reveals its f1 plans – and, finally, a le mans return

There’s little doubt that Ferrari was the on-track disaster story of Formula 1 in 2020. From being Mercedes’ main rival and winning three races (which could have been more) in 2019, the famous Italian team slumped to sixth in the constructors’ championship. The reasons for that – the fallout from the engine controversy, a draggy car and Sebastian Vettel’s troubles – are well known, but solving them is rather harder. As Alex Kalinauckas explains on page 22, Mattia Binotto seems confident that the key problems have been solved. Ferrari won’t defeat Mercedes this season but, if it can recover to third in the constructors’ table while focusing on the new regulations due to arrive in 2022, it should give Charles Leclerc, Carlos Sainz Jr and fans some reasons to be cheerful. Probably…

4 min.
ferrari joins le mans hypercar ranks

LE MANS 24 HOURS/WEC Finally! Ferrari is returning to top-flight sportscar racing. The Italian manufacturer will make its first factory bid for outright Le Mans 24 Hours honours for half a century in 2023. Ferrari announced last week that it is developing a new Le Mans Hypercar for a step up to the top class of the World Endurance Championship in two years’ time. Its 2023 WEC entry will end a hiatus from the sportscar racing big time stretching back to the three-litre Group 6 312 PB of 1973 driven by, among others, Jacky Ickx, Carlos Pace and Brian Redman. The decision to build the first Ferrari prototype since the 333 SP was developed for privateers to race in IMSA’s World Sports Car class in 1994 follows what the manufacturer called “a period…

2 min.
f1 test driver ilott to bid for prancing horse gt title

GT WORLD CHALLENGE Ferrari Formula 1 test driver Callum Ilott will contest the GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup with the Iron Lynx team in 2021. The Briton (below) will be part of a two-car factory attack on the five-round endurance leg of the GTWCE in 2021 by Iron Lynx as Ferrari bids to repeat the drivers’ title it won last year with Alessandro Pier Guidi and the AF Corse team. Ilott will share one of the team’s two Ferrari 488 GT3s with Ferrari F1 development driver Antonio Fuoco. The two members of Ferrari’s Academy junior programme will be partnered by Davide Rigon, who has moved over from the marque’s World Endurance Championship GTE Pro line-up. Pier Guidi will be joined in the sister entry by fellow factory driver Nicklas Nielsen and Frenchman…

5 min.
hannu mikkola 1942-2021

OBITUARY Among the titans who put the World Rally Championship on the map through the 1970s and 1980s, few could challenge the versatility and leadership of 1983 title winner Hannu Mikkola, who has passed away at the age of 78 after a long illness. The first deluge of international success accrued by Nordic talent such as Rauno Aaltonen, Timo Makinen and Pauli Toivonen in the early 1960s helped pave the way for Mikkola to usher in a new generation on the cusp of the world championship era. Born in Joensuu in May 1942, Mikkola first entered a rally in 1963, and would remain on the national scene, balancing opportunities to compete with the demands of academic life. But after victory on the Tampere and Helsinki rallies of 1967, he elected to pursue an…

2 min.
silverstone ‘cautiously optimistic’ on brit gp crowd

FORMULA 1 Silverstone is hoping that spectators can attend the British Grand Prix in July following the latest UK government announcements. The government last week unveiled its roadmap for easing the current lockdown measures, including plans for spectators to attend live sporting events by the summer. Prime Minister Boris Johnson told parliament that “the turnstiles of our sports stadia will once again rotate” as he outlined the blueprint. Under the proposals, large outdoor seated venues will be permitted to allow up to 10,000 people or 25% of their total seat capacity – whichever is lower – from 17 May. This could be increased as early as 21 June, leading to suggestions that many of the UK’s major summer sports events, including the British Grand Prix, could enjoy capacity crowds amid the ongoing vaccination…

1 min.
glickenhaus on track in italy

WEC The new Glickenhaus Le Mans Hypercar is up and running – but not in time to be on the grid for the opening round of the World Endurance Championship opener at the Algarve Circuit next month. The US manufacturer has opted to miss the race to focus on testing and development. The Glickenhaus-Pipo 007LMH hit the track at Vallelunga last week, completing more than 100 laps with Romain Dumas and Franck Mailleux driving. That left little more than a month for development and then homologation of the car prior to the Portuguese event scheduled for 4 April. Marque boss Jim Glickenhaus explained that his team had “learned a lot” over the course of the two-day test. The focus on the opening day on Thursday was calibrating the car’s electronics, but on Friday…