Autosport 06/05/21

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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.
the little things lewis is getting right that max needs to address

Max Verstappen did the fastest laps in both qualifying and the race at the Algarve Circuit last weekend, but he didn’t start from pole position and he didn’t set fastest lap. And he didn’t win either. Red Bull and many fans are frustrated by the track limits rules, but it’s not a problem that’s going to go away. It’s irritating, but it’s a small price to pay for safer circuits. And they need to be policed so drivers don’t take advantage of them, which has happened many times before. As Alex Kalinauckas points out on page 14, Verstappen needs to cut out those sorts of errors. They’re minor but they have already cost him 15 points in his fight with Lewis Hamilton – the 14-point swing in Bahrain after he had to…

4 min.
penske to take on le mans with porsche

WORLD ENDURANCE CHAMPIONSHIP The news that Porsche is renewing its partnership with Penske for its forthcoming LMDh programme in 2023 is hardly a surprise. A link-up in the IMSA SportsCar Championship appeared to be on the cards once Team Penske’s arrangement with Acura came to an end last season. But the confirmation of the deal on Tuesday included another bit of news: Penske and Porsche will also be working together in the World Endurance Championship. Penske will run Porsche’s factory campaigns in both IMSA and the WEC when the German manufacturer’s LMP2-based LMDh contender comes on stream in 2023. A pair of cars will be fielded in each series under the Porsche Penske Motorsport banner for what was described in the announcement as “a number of years”. It will be the latest chapter…

2 min.
24 hours date is fixed, even if it’s closed to fans

LE MANS 24 HOURS The Le Mans 24 Hours will go ahead on its new August date, even if it is run behind closed doors for a second year in succession. But race organiser the Automobile Club de l’Ouest remains confident that it will be able to welcome a significant crowd. ACO president Pierre Fillon stated at last weekend’s Spa 6 Hours World Endurance Championship opener that there are no plans to push back this year’s blue-riband round of the series from 21-22 August to ensure that spectators can be accommodated. “Whatever happens Le Mans will not change [date], even if it is without spectators,” he said. “We have no choice: we have Fuji [round five of the 2021 WEC] in September.” Fillon stressed that he is convinced that this year’s 24 Hours,…

1 min.
alfa loses its raikkonen penalty appeal

FORMULA 1 Alfa Romeo’s bid to get Kimi Raikkonen’s quirky penalty from the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix overturned nearly two weeks later fell short when the stewards threw out the case last Sunday. Raikkonen lost his first points of the season after being handed a 30-second post-race penalty at Imola, causing him to drop from eighth to 13th in the results. He was penalised after going off behind the safety car and failing to return to his original position before the restart, with the rules stipulating that he should have entered the pitlane. Alfa Romeo lodged an appeal at last weekend’s Portuguese Grand Prix after bringing significant and relevant new evidence to light, resulting in a second hearing. But the penalty was upheld despite the stewards sympathising with the team, conceding there was…

2 min.
turkish gp replaces canada

FORMULA 1 The Turkish Grand Prix has joined the Formula 1 calendar for the 2021 season following the cancellation of next month’s Canadian GP in Montreal. F1 will return to Istanbul Park for the 11-13 June weekend after officials announced last week that the Canadian GP had been scrapped for a second straight year. The race was cancelled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but F1 had remained hopeful of returning after listing the race in Montreal on the initial calendar. But it emerged last month that Canada looked set to be cancelled amid tight entry restrictions, and Turkey has stepped in as a replacement. “Due to the ongoing international travel restrictions in place in Canada it became impossible for Formula 1 to enter the country without a mandatory 14-day quarantine,” read a…

2 min.
corvette hero gavin retires

SPORTSCARS Oliver Gavin hung up his helmet after climbing out of the solo Chevrolet Corvette C8.R racing in last weekend’s Spa round of the World Endurance Championship. The Briton, a five-time class winner at the Le Mans 24 Hours, revealed ahead of the race that it would be his final outing as a professional driver. The announcement last Thursday followed Gavin standing down from the full-time Corvette Racing line-up at the end of last season’s IMSA SportsCar Championship. At the same time he took the wraps off a new initiative called the Oliver Gavin Driving Academy based around the latest Chevrolet Corvette Stingray that goes on sale in Europe this year. “I’ve been working on the academy for the past three or four years, but last November I couldn’t announce it and at…