Telemetry upgrade set for Spanish GP

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The FIA has encountered problem after problem with its new telemetry system in 2013, but all of the issues look set to be resolved for the Spanish Grand Prix at the Circuit de Catalunya in ten days time.

“We’ve been told they’ve got an upgrade which is going to Barcelona and then it’ll be working from there,” former F1 driver Derek Warwick explained to Reuters.

After switching supplier for the new season, race control has been unable to send any information to drivers during the sessions. Usually, warning lights would denote yellow flag areas, and cars would be slowed down during safety car periods.

However, the failure prevented such aids from working, causing many drivers to come under investigation in the Chinese GP. None of the drivers were penalized due to the telemetry failure, with Warwick explaining how the FIA knew that leniency was only fair.

“You can’t blame a driver if we’ve messed up in terms of the support package. The FIA has asked us to be lighter on fines for the drivers, but we still have the same tools available to us for other punishments.”

The problems have blighted the start to the 2013 season as drivers have relied upon their engineers for information, although many purists would question just whether the aids are truly necessary.

Williams confirms Kubica and Sirotkin for Abu Dhabi F1 test

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Williams has confirmed that Robert Kubica will enjoy his third Formula 1 test outing with the team at the end-of-season running in Abu Dhabi next week as rumors grow regarding a possible race seat for 2018.

Almost seven years after his last F1 start, Kubica’s remarkable return from severe injuries sustained in a rally accident saw him enjoy two private tests with Renault before completing running with the team in a 2017-spec car in Hungary over the summer.

Reservations over Kubica’s capabilities prompted Renault to pass on giving him a seat, instead opting to hire Carlos Sainz Jr. for next year, only for Williams to become an alternative for the Pole.

Kubica tested a 2014-spec Williams at both Silverstone and the Hungaroring in recent months, and will now sample a 2017 car when he tests at Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina Circuit next Tuesday and Wednesday.

Kubica will share track time with regular Williams racer Lance Stroll and Russian youngster Sergey Sirotkin, who has worked with Renault over the past two years but also missed out on a 2018 seat.

“Williams Martini Racing is pleased to confirm it will run Robert Kubica and Sergey Sirotkin for the Abu Dhabi Pirelli tire test, alongside current race driver Lance Stroll,” a statement from the team reads.

“The Pirelli tire test will take place over two days at the Yas Marina circuit during the week following the 2017 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

“On day one Robert Kubica will drive the FW40 in the morning session, before Lance Stroll takes over in the afternoon.

“On day two Sergey Sirotkin will drive in the morning and afternoon sessions before handing over to Robert in the late afternoon.

“The test is aimed at evaluating 2018 candidate tires on behalf of the Formula 1 tire supplier Pirelli.

“Williams is excited to have this opportunity to assess the new tyres across such an interesting range of drivers: Lance, as confirmed race driver for 2018, Robert with his huge experience, and Sergey as a very promising young talent in Formula 1.”

Williams denied earlier this week it has signed Kubica to partner Stroll for 2018, but indications are the deal looks very likely to go ahead, subject to the relevant paperwork and contracts being finalized.