Autosport 25/02/21

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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.
the new motorsport season starts to gather momentum

Formula 1 launches, the new Formula E season and the World Rally Championship heading to fresh (very fresh!) climes. Despite all the usual caveats and restrictions posed by you-know-what, the motorsport season is beginning to really get under way. As Red Bull (see page 12), AlphaTauri (p14) and Alfa Romeo (p16) launch their new machines, Sky F1 pundit Karun Chandhok gives his views on some of the key storylines that are likely to unfold this year in our traditional Big Questions piece (p24). Some of the answers might seem obvious, but others are more surprising. There are plenty of questions surrounding the seventh FE season too, and Matt Kew delves deep into the health of the all-electric series on p34, before being your guide on the the things to look out for…

3 min.
australians revise layout for passing

FORMULA 1 Track-layout changes to Melbourne’s Albert Park circuit are set to be completed in time for November’s 2021 Australian Grand Prix in a bid to increase overtaking and alleviate many of the long-standing complaints against the venue. Race organisers originally planned to complete track resurfacing and corner reprofiling following the 2021 race, initially scheduled for March, but have now opted to bring the changes forward following the event’s postponement to a late-season date. The first phase of the track work featured a widening of the pitlane by two metres, which could allow for the speed limit to be raised. Work has now begun on the second phase of the track changes, with the biggest alterations coming to the Turns 9-10 complex. What used to be a heavy braking zone into a tight right-hander…

2 min.
le mans invites won – but not all will be taken up

LE MANS 24 HOURS The Spa 24 Hours-winning GPX Racing squad and 2016 British GT Championship title winner Optimum Motorsport were two of the teams that gained automatic entries for this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours on the conclusion of the 2021 Asian Le Mans Series in the United Arab Emirates last Saturday. But only one of them will take up its guaranteed slot. GPX and Optimum won places on the Le Mans grid for respectively finishing second and fourth in the GT standings after the four races, two in Dubai and two in Abu Dhabi. The British Optimum squad has confirmed that it will be going to Le Mans for the first time this year, but Dubai-based GPX has revealed that it will not be doing likewise. The biggest problem facing the…

2 min.
leading team keeps bmw in dtm for series’ new era

DTM BMW will be represented from the start of the DTM’s new GT3 era, with 2018 Spa 24 Hours-winning team Walkenhorst Motorsport fielding at least one of the marque’s venerable M6 GT3 machines this season. BMW pledged support last year for the DTM’s GT3 future. While the Munich manufacturer warned that it won’t officially get involved in the series until its new M4 is homologated in September, it did state that customer teams are free to contest the 2021 season with the outgoing M6, which was introduced for 2016. Walkenhorst, which took victories in the Indianapolis 8 Hours and Kyalami 9 Hours last year during BMW’s title-winning Intercontinental GT Challenge programme, made no mention of how many cars it would enter or who will be a part of its driver line-up. It has…

1 min.
parity in place for gen3 era

FORMULA E Formula E and the FIA will boost performance parity for customer teams under the future Gen3 rules by mandating that their cars receive the same software upgrades as their respective manufacturer teams for each race. Longer-lasting generational rules cycles have allowed the hardware to converge around single-motor, longitudinal configurations, which has increased the emphasis on optimising data to improve efficiency. So far, it has not been mandatory for manufacturers to supply up-to-date software to their customers, although Audi currently does for Envision Virgin Racing (below). It will now be required on a race-by-race basis. FIA director of FE and innovative sports projects Frederic Bertrand said: “Up to now, the car from the manufacturer was delivered and then additionally the team could provide some software and updates on the performance side. This…

1 min.
russell gives new williams pre-launch runout

FORMULA 1 Williams completed a maiden shakedown of its new FW43B Formula 1 car at Silverstone last week. Williams announced earlier this month that it would launch its new car for the coming season on 5 March, but has opted to give it a first on-track test prior to its unveiling. In a teaser video posted to social media on Wednesday (17 February), Williams showed the FW43B running at Silverstone in damp conditions, making it the second team known to have conducted a shakedown with its 2021 car. McLaren held a shakedown with its 2021 car at Silverstone on Tuesday last week, the day after unveiling the MCL35M. Nicholas Latifiwas shown watching Williams team-mate George Russell (right) testing the FW43B, with teams limited to just 100km of running under the filmingday regulations, or equivalent…