FORMULA 1

WILLIAMS MARTINI RACING Launches its 2018 Season with First Look at the FW41

WILLIAMS MARTINI RACING has revealed a first look of its 2018 Formula One challenger, the Williams Mercedes FW41, at the team’s season launch in London this evening.
The FW41 looks significantly different to its predecessor, the FW40, following input from the team’s Chief Technical Officer, Paddy Lowe, and Head of Aerodynamics, Dirk de Beer, who were both appointed at the beginning of last year, to join forces with Chief Designer Ed Wood.
Speaking ahead of the 2018 season, Claire Williams, Deputy Team Principal, said: “I am thrilled to be back and launching our new car, for a new season, with a new, exciting driver line-up. For many months, the team have put a tremendous amount of effort into the FW41 and I’m eager to see both Lance and Sergey take to the track later this month.
“Lance produced some impressive performances last year in what was a remarkably strong debut season, where he only just lost out to Felipe in the standings. His podium finish was the only one outside of the top three teams, and we aim to build on that this season.
“It’s also my pleasure to welcome Sergey and Robert to Williams, who have both displayed exceptional speed and qualities that I know will only strengthen the team. Sergey has impressed the technical team and it is great for us to be able to give him the opportunity to step up into a race seat. Robert, will also be working closely with the team, utilising his experience to help develop the car throughout the season.
“Our entire team have put a huge amount of effort into the development and production of this year’s car, and we’re all looking forward to seeing it on the track. I would also like to thank our partners and fans for all their confidence and support.”

F1Weekly podcast # 746

CLARK AND NASIR ARE NOT TOO HAPPY WITH THE HALO AND THE RIDICULOUS GRID GIRLS DECISION JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE! THEREFORE TO CHEER UP THE F1WEEKLY FAMILIA WE BRING YOU AN INTERVIEW WITH LANDO NORRIS AND WE HAVE LOOSH ON THE LOOSE WITH HIS 2017 SEASON REVIEW.

Britain’s rising motor racing star Lando Norris is to be McLaren’s official Formula 1 test and reserve driver in 2018. Norris, who celebrates only his 18th birthday one week today (13 Nov), will attend Grands Prix next season working closely with double World Champion Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne. Lando will also be involved with the engineering and marketing teams as he develops and expands his understanding of the role of a modern F1 driver. He will also attend and take part in the team’s 2018 testing programme, with active roles both on-track and in the simulator.

Norris has been a member of the McLaren Young Driver programme since February this year and his graduation is a clear sign that the Woking-based team have been impressed with the talented teenager’s undenied talent and work ethic. On-track this year, Lando has continued his meteoric rise up the motor racing “ladder” by becoming the youngest FIA Formula 3 European Champion in history – his first full season in the ultra-competitive category.

His latest success adds to the MSA Formula Championship (2015), Toyota Racing Series, Formula Renault Eurocup and Formula Renault Northern European Cup titles (all 2016) having won the 2013 World Karting Championship. In the 160 races Norris has contested since the beginning of 2015, he has achieved an incredible 99 podiums – winning 44 races.

In August Lando, who won the prestigious McLaren Autosport BRDC Young Driver Award last December, massively impressed in his first official F1 test, spending a day developing the MCL32 at the Hungaroring in August. Norris ultimately achieved the second fastest time of the day – denied the top-spot by four-time Formula One World Champion Sebastian Vettel. He has also attended Grands Prix as a guest of McLaren this year and has spent time in the F1 simulator at the McLaren Technology Centre.

[audio:http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/mp3.f1weekly.com/podcasts/02-12-18f1weekly746.mp3]

BLANCPAIN GT SERIES ASIA

KCMG CONFIRMS NISSAN SWITCH FOR BLANCPAIN GT SERIES ASIA GT3 ASSAULT

KCMG will enter two 2018-spec Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3s in Blancpain GT Series Asia this season as part of an exclusive new partnership with the Japanese manufacturer.

The Hong Kong-based outfit ran a pair of Audi R8 LMS GT3s in 2017 but has switched its focus to NISMO’s redeveloped GT-R, which makes its worldwide debut this season.

Indeed, it will be the first time that any iteration of ‘Godzilla’ or Nissan has contested the championship, which attracted nine different GT3 manufacturers during it maiden campaign last season.

While both driver crews remain under wraps for the time being, KCMG’s head of motorsport, Ryuji Doi, confirmed the team would be entering two strong pairings.

“I’m delighted to share this exciting news with everyone and we’re especially thrilled to be the exclusive team to unleash the new Godzilla in Blancpain GT Series Asia,” he said.

“It is such a massive honour for KCMG and we would like to thank NISMO for extending their confidence and trust in us. We are preparing a strong driver line-up, backed by a team of engineers and mechanics who have helped us in our successful three-year campaign in WEC, Le Mans and Blancpain GT Series Asia. With a strong package and a formidable team, we’re confident that we’re in for a top season ahead.”

Nissan becomes the fourth manufacturer confirmed for this year’s GT3 class, which currently includes Audi, Lamborghini and Porsche. Further announcements are expected in the coming days.

This season’s 12-race Blancpain GT Series Asia campaign kicks off at Sepang in Malaysia on April 14/15.

MOTORSPORTS MONDIAL

2018 RETROMOBILE SHOW: RENAULT CELEBRATES 120 YEARS OF ‘EASY LIFE’ MOTORING

Renault’s stand at the 2018 Retromobile Show – which runs at the Paris Porte de Versailles exhibition centre in Paris, France, from February 7-11 – will see Renault celebrate its 120th anniversary with a display of 20 vehicles that marked their respective eras by meeting the needs of motorists and making their lives easier.

Reinventing motoring
The annual Retromobile Show in the French capital is an eagerly awaited occasion for vintage and classic car enthusiasts. Throughout its long and rich history, Renault has always proposed innovative solutions that reinvent the use of the automobile. From interior driving to the invention of the minivan, Renault vehicles simplify and improve the lives of passengers.

Successive generations of ‘Easy Life’ Renaults
Visitors to the Renault stand can admire a selection of vehicles that embody Renault’s longstanding ‘Easy Life’ philosophy:

– An 1898 Type A (1898), the first Renault

– An 1899 Type B, believed by many to be the first model in automotive history to feature a fully closed-in driving position

– A 1909 Type BD postal van, incorporating a mobile post office counter

– A 1910 Type AG1 taxi, a favourite with fleet operators in the 1910s

– A 1923 Type KJ1, the ‘city car’ of the 1920s

– A 1927 Type PR coach, a popular vehicle for the transport of small groups in the 1920s

– A 1933 Vivastella PG7, a 1930s grand tourer

– A 1937 Juvaquatre, a popular 1940s model

– A 1947 4CV, the first Renault model to exceed one million sales

– A 1950 Colorale, Renault’s first SUV

– A 1959 Estafette ice-cream van, the 1960s equivalent of the Trafic

– A 1961 Renault 4, a symbol of the blue jeans era

– A 1964 Renault 8 Gordini, a car which turned the dream of competing in motorsport into an affordable reality for many

– A 1965 Renault 16, a model which combined a bold new vehicle architecture with an innovative modular cabin arrangement

– A 1974 electric Renault 5, a response to the first oil crisis

– A 1975 Renault 30, Renault’s high-end offering of the late 1970s

– A 1981 Renault 9, a model with a global calling

– Examples of Renault monoboxes: a 1984 Espace, a 1992 Twingo and a 1996 Scenic.

F1Weekly podcast # 745

NASIR RETURNS FROM THE DAYTONA 24 HOURS WITH A FULL GOODY BAG! WE WANT TO THANK BILL ENGLISH AND THE DIS FOR MAKING THIS POSSIBLE…THIS WEEKS SPECIAL INTERVIEW IS WITH McLAREN TEAM PRINCIPAL ZAK BROWN!!

Brown began his racing career in karting in 1986. Brown won 22 races in 5 seasons from 1986–1990. He moved to Europe where his first win was in Formula Ford 1600 at England’s Donington Park. Brown received his first accolade as a professional driver, earning recognition in 1992 from the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association. In the 1992 Benelux Open Lotus Series Brown turned in top-ten finishes in each of the series races. The following year Brown finished 4th.

At this point Brown was competing on both sides of the Atlantic, performing in North America’s Toyota Atlantic Series in addition to the Benelux Open Lotus Series and British Formula 3 Championship. Racing For America, Inc., named him as “America’s Most Promising Young Driving Star”. In the mid-90’s Brown added two new racing series to his resume, making his Indy Lights debut at Laguna Seca Raceway in 1995 and competing in a German Formula Three Championship race in 1996.

For the remainder of the decade, Brown primarily competed in America, finishing second in the GT2 category in the famous 24 Hours at Daytona endurance race in 1998, as one of the drivers in a factory Roock Porsche. He finished in second-place finish in the 1998 12 Hours of Sebring and had a third-place finish at Road Atlantain the same year.

[audio:http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/mp3.f1weekly.com/podcasts/01-31-18f1weekly745.mp3]

WEC

FERNANDO ALONSO JOINS WEC FOR SUPER SEASON

Two-time F1 World Champion Fernando Alonso will compete in the FIA World Endurance Championship Super Season with Toyota Gazoo Racing.

Two-time F1 World Champion Fernando Alonso will compete in the FIA World Endurance Championship Super Season with Toyota Gazoo Racing which will enter two hybrid-powered, 1000hp race cars as it targets victory in the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the WEC World Championships.

The driver line-ups for the two TS050 HYBRIDs are now confirmed, with the No.7 car competing with an unchanged line-up of Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and José María López.

The No.8 TS050 HYBRID features a revised driver line-up, with Sébastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima joined by Fernando Alonso.

Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari F14-T
TOYOTA GAZOO Racing.
World Endurance Championship. 6 Hours of Bahrain
19th November 2017
Bahrain International Circuit, Bahrain.

The Spaniard, 36, will make his LMP1 race debut at Spa-Francorchamps in May and will compete in all rounds of the 2018-19 season which do not conflict with his existing Formula 1 obligations. He tested the LMP1 car at the end of the 2017 season in Bahrain, and has just participated in his first endurance race at Daytona. Alonso joins several high profile former F1 names to take on the challenge of endurance racing, including Mark Webber, Alex Wurz and Allan McNish.

Anthony Davidson, who won five races in 2017 alongside Sébastien and Kazuki, will remain an important member of the team, bringing his World Championship-winning experience to a new role as Reserve and Development Driver.

Two-time Le Mans winner Alex Wurz will continue as Team Advisor and Ambassador having made a significant contribution since taking the position in 2016.

Fernando Alonso: “I am very excited to participate in the 24 Hours of Le Mans for the first time. It is a race which I have followed closely for a long time and it has always been an ambition of mine to participate. Endurance racing is a different discipline compared to single-seaters and it will be an interesting challenge. I am looking forward to working together with, and learning from, Sébastien and Kazuki, who are both very experienced endurance drivers. It will be a learning curve for me but I am ready for this challenge and I can’t wait to get started.”

Pierre Fillon, President of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest: “We are proud to welcome Fernando Alonso among us in Endurance racing. The participation in the 24 Hours of Le Mans but also in the FIA World Endurance Championship, from such a champion demonstrates the challenge that our event and our discipline represents for a driver. For several years now, Fernando had shown interest in our event and the FIA World Endurance Championship. The conditions are now in place for this desire to come to fruition. Le Mans and Endurance racing will shine under the spotlight that Fernando’s presence brings, just as our race and Endurance racing will also allow Fernando’s talent to shine. ”

Gérard Neveu, General Manager of the FIA World Endurance Championship: “Welcoming Fernando Alonso for the entire 2018-2019 WEC Super Season is an immense pleasure and honour. All our fans and the great Endurance racing family are looking forward to welcoming Fernando. He is one of the greatest motorsport drivers of all time. His participation in the WEC with Toyota in LMP1 ensures a superb show. The presence of such a champion confirms the influence and attractiveness of our discipline. ”

Fiona MILLER

The Premiere Motorsport Podcast