Ricciardo: “Great relief” to beat Gutierrez for point

Leave a comment

Daniel Ricciardo said he only just managed to keep Esteban Gutierrez behind for tenth place – and a point – in the Spanish Grand Prix.

“We had to really scramble to hold on to tenth,” he told Toro Rosso’s website.

“I wasn’t happy with the balance of the car in that first stint – in fact I was angry because I knew the car had more potential and we just weren’t using it,” he explained.

“Then, the next two stints were really good. The car started working better, I was passing people instead of being passed. At that point I thought we were looking like scoring quite heavily. Then on the last two stints the pace dropped away again.”

He came under attack from the Sauber driver in the final laps of the race: “With a few laps left, the team said Gutierrez was about three seconds behind me – but a couple of corners later he was right on my gearbox. Three seconds! Where did that go?”

“Initially, because he caught me so quickly, I thought he’d be able to walk around me – but I was able to just tick the laps off one-by-one and cover him in the areas where he might be able to pass.

“I just got it – but that last lap was tight. Coming out of turn ten he got nearly alongside me and we were both sideways out of there. I was desperately trying to hold on to it. It was a great relief when I crossed the line in front.”

Rebellion confirms LMP1 return, all-star line-up for WEC super season

Getty Images
Leave a comment

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.”