FIA set up new Drivers’ Commission

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The FIA has confirmed the creation of a new body, the Drivers’ Commission.

At the meeting of the World Motor Sport Council in Geneva today, the decision was made to set up the body which will represent the rights and interests of drivers in many different disciplines including single seater racing, touring cars and rallying.

The single seater panel includes drivers all with Formula One experience.

Nigel Mansell won the 1992 world championship with Williams, and he is widely regarded as being one of the greatest British drivers to have raced in Formula One. He is also the most recent Briton to drive for Ferrari, where he received the nickname Il leone.

Karun Chandhok spent just one season in Formula One in 2010 with the now-defunct HRT F1 Team. Despite not scoring any points, he instantly became one of the most likable members of the paddock, and Chandhok was a great advocate of his home race, the Indian Grand Prix. Most recently, he has been racing in endurance series.

Maria de Villota tested for Marussia last season, but an accident in a straight line test resulted in the loss of her right eye, ending her career.

Besides the members of the panel, two time world champion Emerson Fittipaldi has been named President of the Drivers’ Commission.

The new body will help drivers in all forms of motorsport to be more vocal, and it will be interesting to see what the Drivers’ Commission achieves over the coming season.

Josef Newgarden wins pole for Grand Prix of Alabama

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With time running off the clock, Josef Newgarden lapped Barber Motorsports Park with a speed of 122.773 mph to win his third career pole and first on this track in the Grand Prix of Alabama.

Newgarden was .0128 seconds faster than teammate Scott Dixon in second.

Newgarden has two previous wins at Barber. He won last year’s edition of this race after starting seventh and in 2015 from fifth.

“I didn’t know if that was going to be enough,” Newgarden said after winning the pole.

“Team Chevy has done a good job,” Newgarden said. “They’ve really given us good power this weekend – good driveability. We’re going to need some fuel mileage tomorrow, which I think we’ll have. But it’s going to get mixed up with the rain.”

Dixon’s lap of 122.750 mph was not quite enough.

“I’m sure you could pick out a number of different things on a lap when it’s that close,” Power said about what made the slight difference between him and Newgarden. “A little mistake out of 9; a little lift here or there.”

Sebastien Bourdais (122.605 mph) qualified third, with Ryan Hunter-Reay (122.159) and James Hinchliffe (121.859) rounding out the top five.

Scott Dixon was the last driver in the top six.

Fast 12

Newgarden topped this chart with a speed of 123.475 mph.

He brought Power, James Hinchcliffe, Scott Dixon, Ryan Hunter-Reay, and Sebastien Bourdais along with him to the Fast 6.

Marco Andretti (122.480), Alexander Rossi (122.216), Simon Pagenaud (122.050), Robert Wickens (122.042), Zach Veach (121.784) and Ed Jones (120.984) failed to advance.

Round 1, Group 1

Newgarden posted the fastest single lap in round one, group one of qualification for the Grand Prix of Alabama with a speed of 122.550 mph.

Hunter-Reay, Hinchcliffe, Wickens, and Andretti also advance to the fast 12.

Taking the final slot was Jones with a speed of 119.835 mph after an off-course excursion in final practice.

This was Andretti’s first advancement to the fast 12 for the first time since 2014.

Round 1, Group 2

Power had the fastest lap of 121.570 mph.

Bourdais, Veach (who is battling food poisoning-like symptoms), Rossi, and Pagenaud grabbed positions 2-4.

Scott Dixon had an uncharacteristically slow lap of 121.006, but managed to advance to the fast 12 when the session was red-flagged for an incident involving Tony Kanaan.

With three minutes remaining, Kanaan spun into the tire barriers while leaving pit road. Since he brought out the red flag, he lost his qualification time of 119.996 mph.

Takuma Sato had slipped off-course midway through the session and posted only the Ninth-fastest speed of 120.789 mph.