No support for Red Bull in tire row

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Red Bull’s efforts to persuade Pirelli to revise its latest tires have failed to win support from rival teams.

Reports emerged during the Malaysian Grand Prix weekend that Red Bull had been urging Pirelli to change their tire compounds as they feel they are keeping them from running flat-out during races.

“You’ve got drive slow on these tires, we’re not pushing flat out as usual, all the leaders are driving very slow to save the tires,” said Mark Webber after the race.

But Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery says Red Bull are the only team to have complained: “It was only one critic really. Everyone else came and said they don’t know what they were talking about.”

Hembery added Pirelli were wary of disrupting a level playing field: “If you want to favor one team then the season is over. It would be finished by Monza.”

“Red Bull clearly have a lot of performance. Maybe they would like something else but I am sure other teams would like other things as well.”

Red Bull’s lobbying cannot have been helped by the fact their cars finished first and second in Sunday’s race, as Webber acknowledged:

“With what we had, probably not much of an idea that’s how the race would go for us today. I was surprised that other people were not with us, completely, people won’t believe that but that’s the case.”

Rebellion confirms LMP1 return, all-star line-up for WEC super season

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Rebellion Racing has confirmed it will return to the LMP1 class of the FIA World Endurance Championship for the 2018/19 ‘super season’ with an all-star line-up featuring Le Mans winners Neel Jani and Andre Lotterer.

Rebellion raced in LMP1 as a privateer between 2009 and 2016 before stepping down to LMP2 for the most recent season, capturing the class titles at the first attempt.

Following a push from the WEC and Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) to make LMP1 more appealing to privateer teams, Rebellion announced on Wednesday it would return to the premier class for the 2018/19 season with a two-car effort.

WEC LMP2 champion Bruno Senna will return with Rebellion next year, as will Mathias Beche, with the pair set to be joined by four new faces.

The most notable arrivals are Porsche factory drivers Lotterer and Jani, both of whom were left without an LMP1 drive following the closure of the German manufacturer’s program at the end of the season.

American racer Gustavo Menezes will also join Rebellion, stepping up after two years in LMP2, while outstanding 2017 rookie Thomas Laurent completes the Swiss team’s line-up.

“I am looking forward to coming back where my endurance career started nine years ago,” said Jani.

“Rebellion Racing played a huge role in my career and also helped me become a factory driver for Porsche. When Porsche stopped in LMP1, it was clear for me that I wanted to race again for Rebellion.

“With the new regulations, I hope we can reach the overall podium at Le Mans and with a bit of luck, maybe we can even grab some wins during the super season of WEC.”

“I am very happy to join the champion Rebellion team,” added three-time Le Mans winner Lotterer.

“The LMP1 project is very exciting and to be able to go on with the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the FIA WEC challenge is something I did not want to miss.

“I am motivated and looking forward to have a great time with great people there.”