Toro Rosso get to the bottom of Bahrain problems

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Toro Rosso believe they now understand the problems which held them back during the Bahrain Grand Prix weekend.

“Daniel Ricciardo’s very slow pace in Bahrain was quickly traced to a set-up error, rather than a design fault or failure with STR8,” said the team on its official website.

Ricciardo scored a career-best seventh place in the preceding Chinese Grand Prix but suffered slow pace in Bahrain. His quickest race lap was slower than the best set by the Caterham and Marussia drivers.

“I was losing a lot of time on braking,” said Ricciardo after the race. “We were really limited in terms of downforce.”

Toro Rosso said they will bring a “great number of technical updates” for the next race in Spain, which usually sees teams bringing their first major upgrade package of the season.

The STR8 marks a significant departure from their previous cars following the replacement of technical director Giorgio Ascanelli. James Key arrived at the team from Sauber during the off-season, joining fellow new hire Luca Furbatto from McLaren.

Having finished ninth in the constructors’ championship last year team principal Franz Tost set the target of reaching sixth this year. They are currently seventh on seven points.

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.”