F1 Grand Prix of Bahrain - Previews

Pastor Maldonado ready for Bahrain’s physical challenge

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Pastor Maldonado may have not scored any points so far this season, but his main focus this weekend appears to be on taming the physical challenge that the Bahrain Grand Prix poses.

Although rain is forecast for large parts of the race weekend, the heat in Bahrain usually makes endurance and composure just as much of a challenge as racing and overtaking.

“Because the Sakhir Circuit is in the desert the track conditions can change quite a lot during the weekend, especially with the sand being blown across the surface,” explained Maldonado.

“So the teams will have to be ready to react to the different conditions. The temperatures in the cockpit are also going to be very high so as a driver you have to be prepared both physically and mentally to deal with that and I’m expecting to lose between 2 and 3kg during the race.”

Maldonado also spoke about working with the Pirelli tires, which degraded very quickly in China to cause trouble for many of the teams. The Venezuelan driver is expecting the situation to be similar in Bahrain.

“Tire degradation is also expected to be quite high at this race which can always throw up some interesting challenges for the teams.”

Despite winning last year’s Spanish Grand Prix, Maldonado has failed to impress so far this season for Williams, and they are the only team yet to score alongside Marussia and Caterham. Both Maldonado and teammate Valtteri Bottas are struggling with the FW35 car, yet they could be in a position to open their 2013 accounts relying they can keep their cool in Bahrain.

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.