Hamilton: More improvement needed from Mercedes

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Lewis Hamilton says more improvement is needed from Mercedes after taking his first pole position for the team last weekend.

Hamilton went on to score his second consecutive podium finish which put him fourth in the drivers’ championship standings, 12 points behind leader Sebastian Vettel.

Three races into his Mercedes career, Hamilton says he is getting used to his surroundings: “With each race, I am becoming more settled in the team and more comfortable in my car, and we were very happy with the pole and podium finish.”

“There are some areas where we need to improve to close that gap to the fastest cars and we’re working hard to identify and develop those.”

However he was cautious about the team’s prospects for this weekend’s race: “There’s a limit to what we can do before Bahrain but I’ll be talking to my engineers before we arrive at the circuit and seeing where we can improve in the short term.”

Team principal Ross Brawn said it was a sign of how much the team had progressed that they felt disappointed with third place in China:

“The performances so far have been pleasing and perhaps even beyond our pre-season expectations however there is work to be done,” said Brawn.

“We have two main areas to focus on; we must improve the reliability and we have to lift our performance to find that extra couple of tenths to our fastest competitors. And of course, that’s a moving target to make the challenge even tougher.”

“We’ve had a taste of success already this season and the slight feeling of disappointment with third place in China is our motivation,” he added.

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.”