Gutierrez shares peaks and valleys in latest F1 rookie diary

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Life hasn’t been easy for Sauber rookie Esteban Gutierrez this season. In his latest rookie diary for the official Formula One website, he shared some of the peaks and valleys he has hit.

We should note that was written before the Canadian Grand Prix weekend, and the tragedy that struck the race with the loss of the corner marshal while retrieving Gutierrez’s car.

In looking at the events prior to Montreal, Gutierrez admitted his best weekend thus far came in Spain, where he finished 11th, one spot outside of the points.

“To be consistent and make no mistakes and at the same time be competitive – that was something that I felt was a significant personal achievement,” he wrote. “So, it wasn’t a race win, but the impression of having fully ‘inhaled’ Formula One. That was a very special feeling.”

The biggest area where he needs to improve, he admitted, is qualifying. He’s shaded more experienced and highly rated teammate Nico Hulkenberg on Saturday all year.

“What I can say is that I have to improve in qualifying,” he wrote. “Getting a perfect lap – that is something I still have to work on. In the race it hasn’t been that bad – the speed has actually been pretty good. When I spoke of balance before, getting the right balance between qualifying and race is high on my agenda.”

SMP Racing unveils BR1 LMP1 car in Bahrain ahead of WEC entry

SMP Racing
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SMP Racing has publicly unveiled its new BR1 LMP1 car that will enter the FIA World Endurance Championship from 2018.

SMP Racing opted to pull out of racing full-time in the WEC for 2017 in order to focus on its preparations for an LMP1 entry the following year, with the decision being taken long in advance of Porsche’s exit announcement.

Officials from the Russian-backed SMP Racing, as well as drivers including recent IndyCar racer Mikhail Aleshin (sporting a broken arm in a sling), Vitaly Petrov and Sergey Sirotkin were all on hand to unveil the car on Friday in the Bahrain International Circuit paddock ahead of this weekend’s WEC finale.

The BR Engineering BR1 features a Dallara chassis and an AER engine, and has completed over 2,000 km in private testing, with further running set to be completed in the coming weeks.

SMP Racing plans to field two cars in the WEC’s LMP1 class next year, and is keen to get as many Russian drivers as possible in the seats from its wide pool of talent.

Even with Porsche’s departure from LMP1, the class is set to feature a bigger field thanks to the increased number of privateers moving up, with Toyota set to remain the sole manufacturer in the class.