Slow and steady progress for McLaren in Monaco

Leave a comment

McLaren’s rich history at Monaco may not be extended this weekend, but both Jenson Button and Sergio Perez are pleased to have made it through to Q3 for Formula One’s star event.

Perez led the team’s charge by qualifying 7th, and although he is disappointed to have not finished any higher, the young Mexican is pleased to have maximized the potential of the car.

“It’s not great to cross the finish line, feel like you’ve just done a mega lap, and find that you’re only 7th,” Perez explained in a team statement. “Still, I put in a really strong performance here today, and I felt like I’d really maximized the full potential of the car. We know we’re not quite there yet performance-wise, so we need to keep pushing.

“But the team has done a fantastic job so far this weekend, and I hope we can keep the momentum going tomorrow and score some good points. Anything can happen at Monaco on Sunday.”

For Button, a problem with the car cost him dearly in the final session, and he could only finish P9.

“I’m not sure what happened on my final lap in Q3. We had an issue with the car right at the end – I didn’t have any power, so I couldn’t post a quick lap. It’s a pity because, apart from that problem, which we also saw a sign of at the end of Q2, it had been a great qualifying session for me.

“The team did a great job in terms of putting me out on the right tires at the right time, while I felt I was driving well, making the most of the conditions. Tomorrow’s race will be difficult, starting from P9, but on this occasion there’s absolutely nothing I could have done about it.”

The team will be hoping to record another double-points score in Monaco in order to move ahead of Force India in the constructors’ championship.

Williams confirms Kubica and Sirotkin for Abu Dhabi F1 test

Getty Images
Leave a comment

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.