Ferrari a top overtaker thus far in 2013

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Ferrari has crunched the numbers from the first seven Grands Prix of the 2013 Formula One season and determined it has been one of the top overtaking teams this year.

That highlights the team’s qualifying gap to Red Bull and Mercedes this year – Ferrari is yet to take a pole position – but nonetheless proves the overtaking prowess of its two drivers, Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa.

In combined overtakes, Lotus leads the field on 46 with Ferrari just one back at 45 (Massa 25, Alonso 20). There have been 308 recorded passing moves in 2013, thanks to the combination of tire degradation, DRS, KERS and, when driver aids aren’t present on the opening couple laps, bravery.

In terms of most places gained from start to finish, Ferrari leads that chart with 34, one ahead of Lotus.

Without DRS enabled, Ferrari has been a fast mover on the opening lap. It’s gained 12 positions from the lights going out to the end of Lap 1 this season, a mark two clear of McLaren and Caterham.

It’s good to see the drivers have taken advantage in races from poor grid positions, but still is a sign of how far Ferrari will need to come in the rest of the season if it wants to close the gap in either championship.

Fernando Alonso completes first test with United Autosports

Photo: United Autosports
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Two-time Formula 1 World Champion Fernando Alonso enjoyed his first outing with United Autosports, with whom he will contest the 2018 Rolex 24 at Daytona, in their Ligier JS P217 LMP2 chassis.

The McLaren Formula 1 driver completed the test at Motorland Aragon in Spain alongside co-driver Phil Hanson, who will be a teammate with Alonso at next year’s 24-hour Daytona enduro. Filipe Albuquerque, a former GT class winner at the Rolex 24, was also on hand to help Alonso and the team ahead of Alonso’s first run in an LMP2 car, which comes only a couple days after he made his LMP1 testing debut with Toyota. Albuquerque races with Mustang Sampling Racing in IMSA, but will return to United’s European Le Mans Series program for all but one race in 2018.

“I had a great first test with United Autosports. Obviously, we are on a really tight schedule between now and Daytona, but it was nice to jump in the car for the first time,” said Alonso, who will rejoin the team at the official Roar Before the 24 test on January 5-7.

Alonso added, “There’s quite a few switches and things to study so it was important to do this initial shakedown before Daytona, so I could fully learn about the car. I’m happy with everything – the car felt great and the team were fantastic. The atmosphere here is wonderful, like a big family, so today has been amazing. I cannot wait for Daytona.”

Team owner Zak Brown, who also serves as executive director of McLaren Technology Group and helps lead the McLaren Formula 1 effort, shared Alonso’s enthusiasm and was not surprised he was able to acclimate himself relatively quickly.

“Fernando’s first test with United Autosports went awesome as expected. He is a world champion and it is a pleasure to have him in our car,” he said of Alonso’s debut with the team.

Alonso is currently schedule to contest the Rolex 24 with the aforementioned Hanson and McLaren test driver Lando Norris.