Autosport 11/03/21

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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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2 min.
aston martin begins its strongest push for formula 1 success

Can Aston Martin really take on Formula 1’s big teams? The squad, previously known as Racing Point (among many other monikers), has long had a reputation for punching above its weight. And, with Lawrence Stroll’s financial clout behind it, that punch should soon have a lot more energy. Whatever you think of Stroll’s commitment to running son Lance in one car, and the move of the Aston Martin name away from its traditional home in endurance racing, it’s hard not to think that a beefed-up version of the slick Force India/Racing Point squad will be pretty effective. This season is too early to challenge Mercedes and Red Bull – Aston will surely be in the fight with Ferrari, McLaren and Alpine for third spot in the constructors’ championship – but the…

4 min.
le mans postponed to allow fans’ return

LE MANS 24 HOURS The hope that the Le Mans 24 Hours can welcome back spectators this year has resulted in the centrepiece round of the World Endurance Championship being pushed back to August. It will be only the third time in the history of the French enduro that the race has not taken place in May or June, after 1968 and last year. The new date of the 89th running of Le Mans is 21-22 August, which replaces the original 12-13 June calendar slot. It follows last year’s event being pushed back to September and held behind closed doors as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Pierre Fillon, president of Le Mans organiser and WEC promoter the Automobile Club de l’Ouest, said: “Although it was a tough decision to make, it is…

2 min.
portuguese government gives the nod for 2021 gp

FORMULA 1 Formula 1 has finalised its 23-race calendar for 2021 by announcing that the Portuguese Grand Prix will be held on 2 May. A rejig was forced by the postponement of the Australian GP, and the Chinese GP’s removal from the calendar in January. F1 had therefore planned a return to the Algarve Circuit, which stepped in to host a 2020 Portuguese GP, for its third round of the season following the Bahrain and Imola events. The race remained TBC until last week, when government approval was granted to ensure that F1 will return to Portugal. “We are thrilled to announce that Formula 1 will be racing again in Portimao after the huge success of the race last year,” said F1 CEO and president Stefano Domenicali. “We want to thank the promoter and…

1 min.
quartararo leads the way for yamaha in opening test

MOTOGP New factory Yamaha recruit Fabio Quartararo set the pace in the first of two Qatar pre-season tests ahead of the 2021 MotoGP campaign. The Frenchman, who has switched from the satellite Petronas SRT Yamaha squad, was “totally lost” readjusting to his YZR-M1 (above) on the opening day, but set the best time of the test late on the second day as he evaluated various new Yamaha bits. Yamaha’s 2021 chassis is meant to be closer to the 2019 version that Quartararo preferred, but he admitted that it was hard to truly evaluate the new frame against the old one so soon. Team-mate Maverick Vinales, who was seventh, opted to focus more on his riding style than work with the new chassis and was “surprised” by his pace. Meanwhile, Valentino Rossi got his first…

2 min.
haas proteges join kubica in p2

EUROPEAN LE MANS SERIES “Not a Plan B.” That’s how Louis Deletraz, a veteran of four seasons in Formula 2 and a former Haas Formula 1 simulator driver, is billing his switch of codes in 2021. The Swiss will contest his first full season of sportscar racing with the WRT LMP2 squad in the European Le Mans Series. Deletraz, who raced for the Rebellion LMP1 team at the 2020 Le Mans 24 Hours, was last week announced for WRT’s solo ELMS ORECA-Gibson 07 together with 2020 Euroformula Open and 2021 Asian Le Mans Series champion Yifei Ye. They will join Alfa Romeo F1 test and reserve Robert Kubica for the six-race series and Le Mans. “I love endurance and I loved making my Le Mans debut last year,” said Deletraz. “This is something…

2 min.
jota to run gt mclaren

GT WORLD CHALLENGE EUROPE Top LMP2 team Jota Sport will return to GT racing by fielding a McLaren 720S GT3 with an all-factory driver line-up in this year’s GT World Challenge Europe. The 2014 and 2017 Le Mans 24 Hours class-winning squad will enter the Sprint and Endurance series with Ben Barnicoat and Oliver Wilkinson, who achieves full factory status after a season as a ‘McLaren Professional Driver’ in British GT and GTWCE Endurance. The pair will be joined for the Endurance rounds by Rob Bell, who raced with Wilkinson at Optimum Motorsport in GTWCE last season. McLaren Customer Racing director Ian Morgan said: “It’s tremendously exciting for us to have Jota on board for 2021, with three McLaren factory drivers also involved in the programme. The team’s vast experience and success in…