Autosport 04/11/21

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
behind the scenes at one of modern f1’s greatest teams

Autosport always tries to bring insights from paddocks and circuits around the motorsport world, but sometimes we have the great privilege to get access to places and people that are usually much more hidden away. And two of the stories this week fall into that category. Our Formula 1 Reporter Luke Smith went behind the scenes at Mercedes, getting to experience some of the United States Grand Prix weekend in the Race Support Room at the multiple title-winning squad’s Brackley base (page 20). Such support away from the circuit has become essential for successful F1 teams, and Smith was able to gain some fascinating insights and speak to a few of those who rarely get their time in the spotlight. They could be the people who decide the title fight between…

4 min
more points, more races on cards for f1 sprints

FORMULA 1 Formula 1 wants more points to be up for grabs in sprint races next year as the championship edges closer to plans to host six Saturday races in 2022. Although only two of the three sprint qualifying trials of 2021 have taken place, with the last at this month’s Brazilian Grand Prix, F1 chiefs have already seen enough to be convinced that the format is a big hit with the majority of enthusiasts. While a final decision about the 2022 plans will be made in conjunction with teams and the FIA over the winter, F1 owner Liberty Media is working on its vision for what it thinks should change. F1 managing director of motorsport Ross Brawn has reiterated that six events is the target for 2022, with every race promoter having…

2 min
no regrets for davidson as he hangs up helmet

WEC Anthony Davidson is calling time on his racing career with few regrets. Perhaps most significantly, a driver who will make his last professional race start in this weekend’s World Endurance Championship finale in Bahrain with the Jota LMP2 team has come to terms with failing to win the Le Mans 24 Hours. Davidson, who announced his retirement last Sunday, revealed he now has positive memories of the 2016 race in which the Toyota TS050 HYBRID he shared with Sebastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima lost victory with six minutes remaining as the result of an engine issue. “It was heartbreaking at the time, one of the lowest moments of my career,” he said. “I don’t have the trophy at home, but in my mind I won that race in terms of the job…

2 min
alpine close to green light to race on in 2022

WEC Alpine looks all but certain to be back on the World Endurance Championship grid next season with its grandfathered ORECA LMP1 design. Philippe Sinault, whose Signatech squad runs the Renault brand’s sportscar programme, revealed that the team is close to confirming a return to the Hypercar class as it gears up for the arrival of an all-new LMDh in 2024. “We are considering strongly to continue in the WEC next year with the current car,” said Sinault. “We are all pushing in that direction.” His comments follow the FIA World Motor Sport Council’s decision last month to extend the racing life for one more year of P1 machinery such as the Alpine-Gibson A480 that formerly raced as the Rebellion R-13. That extension and an intent for Alpine to continue are almost…

2 min
all porsche faithful could come to ye

SPORTSCARS Stand-out sportscar rookie Yifei Ye has landed a factory deal with Porsche for next year. The Chinese LMP2 driver’s contract is with the German manufacturer’s Asia Pacific arm, but the firm aim of the link-up is to put the 21-year-old in contention for an LMDh seat for 2023. Ye, winner of the 2021 European and Asian Le Mans Series, has been announced as a Porsche Motorsport Asia Pacific-selected driver. It’s a kind of factory deal once removed, but one that crucially involves funding. The organisation’s first selected driver was Alessio Picariello. He was placed with the Dempsey-Proton Porsche team in the ELMS last year and made his debuts at the Le Mans and Nurburgring 24-hour races with the marque this year. Where Ye will race next year hasn’t been decided, according to Porsche…

1 min
euro nascar

Jacques Villeneuve’s Euro NASCAR adventure finally featured a race win at Vallelunga last Saturday, and the 1997 F1 world champion then took a second victory on Sunday. Villeneuve, 50, overcame a five-second penalty for a jumped start to win the opener in his Academy Motorsport/Alex Caffi Motorsport Chevrolet. In the second, he made a mid-race pass on Loris Hezemans to move in front. Second place for Hezemans assured the Dutchman of the title, and he has now set his sights on part-time programmes next season with his Team Hezeberg squad in the NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series. A crash put Vittorio Ghirelli out of contention for the title, leaving Hezemans to beat Gianmarco Ercoli.…