Lotus concerned by tire choices for Britain, Hungary

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Lotus F1 Team’s motorsport director Alan Permane has criticized Pirelli’s choice of tires for the British and Hungarian Grands Prix, believing that the compounds chosen will be too conservative for Silverstone and the Hungaroring respectively.

Pirelli confirmed earlier this week that they would be bringing the two hardest compounds (hard and medium) to the races, causing Permane some confusion after the wear patterns witnessed at last year’s races.

It’s unusual to take the same tires to Hungary as to Bahrain and Silverstone,” he told the BBC.

“We didn’t have those tires last year. We had medium and soft last year and people did two stops. So it absolutely doesn’t make sense – they’re too hard for that track.”

The BBC also reports that team principal Eric Boullier will be speaking to Pirelli over its choice of compounds.

Lotus have not spoken out against Pirelli over the 2013 tire design (which has sparked a protest from world champions Red Bull), with the British team appearing to manage their tires better than most, often differing their strategy as a result.

The Canadian GP appeared to see a return to the ‘regular’ number of pit stops, with most drivers stopping twice whilst still being able to push during their stints. However, you can expect the critics to emerge once again should these races become processional one-stop races.

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.”