Williams Formula One driver Valtteri Bottas of Finland looks on during the first practice session of the Malaysian F1 Grand Prix at Sepang International Circuit outside Kuala Lumpur

Bottas disappointed by uncompetitive Williams

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Formula One rookie Valtteri Bottas admits he is disappointed by Williams’ lapse in form over the off-season.

Bottas made his F1 debut in Australia for the team that won the Spanish Grand Prix last year and had the sixth-fastest car of 2012.

But the new FW35 has given the team a lot of trouble and is yet to score a point.

“Of course I was hoping to fight for better positions,” he told Autosport.

“The goal is to get higher and be consistently in the points. It’s what the team was hoping for and what I’m hoping for so of course it’s a bit disappointing.”

Williams’ struggle comes as a surprise after a competitive 2012 and a promising off-season. Bottas and team mate Pastor Maldonado sang the praises of the FW32 after driving it for the first time.

But the new exhaust package the team ran at the final test has failed to work as expected and technical director Mike Coughlan admitted they are considering reverting to last year’s design. Bottas added “some things were better in the car” the team ran last year.

The team’s 2013 campaign has also been struck by personal loss. Team founder Frank Williams’ wife Virginia passed away from cancer shortly before the start of the season.

Daughter Claire Williams was set to take over as deputy team principal but the personnel change was postponed following the team’s bereavement. The next round in China will be her first race in the new role which Coughlan filled in the interim.

Pippa Mann, breast cancer survivors paint IMS’ start/finish line pink

Photo: IndyCar
Photo: IndyCar
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We’ve written a fair bit on MotorSportsTalk about the efforts Pippa Mann has done in working with the Susan G. Komen Foundation for breast cancer awareness. Susan G. Komen has supported Mann’s last two runs at the Indianapolis 500, when she’s driven the No. 63 Honda for Dale Coyne Racing.

This being National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the awareness hit a new level with Mann working alongside breast cancer survivors to paint the start/finish line at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s iconic Yard of Bricks pink for the day.

IMS president Doug Boles also joined in the opportunity.

View a selection of photos and social posts below. More is linked here, via IndyCar.com.

Mercedes set to clinch F1 constructors’ championship in Russia

SOCHI, RUSSIA - OCTOBER 08:  Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP speaks with members of the media in the paddock during previews to the Formula One Grand Prix of Russia at Sochi Autodrom on October 8, 2015 in Sochi, Russia.  (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
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For the second year in a row, Mercedes is poised to wrap up the Formula 1 constructors’ championship in Sochi at this weekend’s Russian Grand Prix.

Mercedes won its first F1 teams’ title in Russia last year, having returned to the sport as a works constructor in 2010. When it last enjoyed such status in the 1950s, there was no championship for the teams.

Just as it did in 2014, Mercedes has dominated proceedings in F1 this season, winning all but three races and sweeping to eight one-two finishes to leave drivers Lewis Hamilton (pictured) and Nico Rosberg battling for the drivers’ title for the second straight year.

Now, Mercedes seeks the knock-out blow in the constructors’ title race by officially wrapping it up in Sochi this weekend.

To do so, the team must simply outscore rivals Ferrari by three points this weekend. The lead currently stands at 169 points, with 215 still on offer. After Sochi, there will be 172 remaining.

“We return to Russia with positive memories from last season, when the team sealed the first constructors’ title for Mercedes-Benz with a one-two finish,” team boss Toto Wolff said.

“A repeat performance in Sochi would be fantastic and this is absolutely the target – but we are under no illusions that it will come easy. The job is not done yet.”

The tire allocation for this weekend’s race could pose problems to Mercedes just as it did in Singapore, potentially allowing Ferrari to spoil the party and delay the victory celebrations at Brackley.

However, if the form book is to be trusted, Sochi could be playing host to another Mercedes party on Sunday night with a second world title in the bag for the Silver Arrows.