Autosport 11/02/21

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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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Autosport Media UK Ltd

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1 min.
when – and how – will the mercedes f1 era come to an end?

What can stop the Mercedes steamroller? Red Bull? Rule changes? Lewis Hamilton deciding to leave Formula 1? The current Mercedes team is a truly remarkable one and has to go into the 2021 season as the favourite, yet again. But, as Alex Kalinauckas points out on page 18 – with the help of Mercedes technical director James Allison – there are things that could trip up the F1 giant. There are some tricky regulation changes to navigate, such as the new cost cap and windtunnel restrictions, which could hit Mercedes hardest, particularly with the 2022 rules on the way. Perhaps the most intriguing challenge is its driver line-up. Hamilton has now signed a new deal – but only for one year (p4). Is that merely a pragmatic response to the strange, coronavirus-influenced…

4 min.
hamilton deal raises questions over 2022

FORMULA 1 Mercedes put an end to speculation about Lewis Hamilton’s immediate Formula 1 future by announcing on Monday (8 February) that he had signed a new contract to stay at the team. But the seven-time world champion has only put pen to paper on a one-year deal, leading to questions regarding Hamilton and Mercedes for 2022 and beyond. Hamilton and Mercedes agreed last year to postpone any contract talks until after the championships were settled, only for a series of delays to follow their coronations in November. Plans for Hamilton to sit down with Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff between the two Bahrain races were then dashed when he contracted COVID-19. Wolff himself also suffered from the virus over the winter, causing further delays. In the end, a one-year deal was agreed…

1 min.
second bahrain gp poised to step in for portugal

FORMULA 1 Formula 1 could hold a second grand prix in Bahrain to start the season amid growing concerns over the planned Portuguese Grand Prix in May. F1 had intended to return to the Algarve Circuit on 2 May, taking the existing TBA slot as it awaited government approval, only for a spike in COVID-19 cases in the country to lead to fresh restrictions coming into force. The uncertainty over the race has prompted F1 to look at alternatives, including a second race in Bahrain that would likely take place on the outer loop (below) – just as it did towards the end of the 2020 season. “One of the possible Plan Bs could be a double race in Bahrain,” said F1 chief Stefano Domenicali. “But this is one plan and nothing is confirmed.…

1 min.
forest-threatening rio f1 track finally canned

FORMULA 1 Plans to build an Interlagos-replacing Formula 1 track on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro have officially been scrapped. F1 had agreed a deal to move the Brazilian Grand Prix from Sao Paulo to a new circuit in Rio from 2021, only for the project to come under fire when it emerged that it would require the felling of thousands of trees in the Camboata forest. With the proposal lacking government approval, F1 signed a new long-term deal to keep Interlagos on the calendar, representing the end of the Rio race project. Rio’s environment secretary has now confirmed that the track-build plans have been completely abandoned. “Rio is racing for a sustainable future: Camboata Forest shall not be supplanted by Rio international race track,” said Eduardo Cavaliere. “Under Mayor Eduardo Paes’s leadership…

3 min.
peugeot unveils its seven for le mans return

WEC Three former grand prix drivers, an outright winner of the Le Mans 24 Hours, and two up-and-comers. That’s the make-up of Peugeot’s driver line-up for its return to the top flight of sportscar racing some time over the course of the 2022 World Endurance Championship. The French manufacturer has named Kevin Magnussen, Paul di Resta, Jean-Eric Vergne, Loic Duval, Gustavo Menezes and Mikkel Jensen as the race drivers for its pair of Le Mans Hypercars next year. James Rossiter will act as reserve and simulator driver. Peugeot dipped into the pool of sportscar talent as it put together its driver roster. All bar Magnussen are established stars of the discipline, and, of course, the Dane is on his way to becoming one after his performance on his debut with the Chip Ganassi…

1 min.
ilott set for euro gt campaign

GT WORLD CHALLENGE EUROPE Ferrari Formula 1 test driver Callum Ilott looks set to race in the GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup with the Italian manufacturer in 2021. It has been announced that the Ferrari Driver Academy member and 2020 F2 runner-up will be given a GT programme go with his new F1 role. Ferrari’s statement only said that Ilott will be “taking part in a GT programme at the wheel of a Ferrari for some of the most famous sportscar races”. A spokesman clarified that the programme will be at the wheel of a GT3-spec 488, rather than a GTE car, and that an announcement will be made shortly. A seat with AF as its defends the GTWCE title won in dramatic style by Alessandro Pier Guidi at last year’s Paul…