Panis: Charles Pic is improving race by race

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Former Formula One driver Olivier Panis has praised Charles Pic following a solid start to the season for Caterham.

Panis, who acts as Pic’s manager, raced in Formula One between 1994 and 2004, attaining little success bar a shock win at the 1996 Monaco Grand Prix for Ligier when just three cars finished the race. However, he has high hopes for his compatriot seven races into the season.

“We’re in a positive position,” Panis said in a statement from Pic’s official website. “Caterham is a young team and its owner, Tony Fernandes, has the desire to make further progress. Many changes and much investment were made during the off-season and it takes time for things to come together.”

He also confirmed that Pic had settled in well at Caterham, which has been reflected on-track as the 23-year-old has bettered every single result from the corresponding GP in 2012.

“Charles has adapted well to his new environment and, as usual, has remained extremely motivated,” Panis continued to explain.

“He has definitely improved compared to 2012, especially in traffic. Managing the race while at the front is different to doing it when you’re at the back. That surprised him a bit last year but it’s an area he’s worked on and improved.

“He also has a better approach to races. Last year he was competing at most of the circuits for the first time but, now that he has experience of them all, he’s been less anxious. It’s a more positive approach.”

Although no driver is entirely happy to be finishing so far out of the points, Panis is confident that Pic has what it takes to become a star in Formula One.

“Charles has great motivation and works hard. I’m not worried about his career because he has great potential and the determination to succeed. His day will come.”

Pic enters his 28th grand prix weekend at Silverstone, and he will be hoping to break his point-less duck in the not-too distant future.

BMW confirms IMSA, WEC GTE line-ups for 2018

BMW Motorsport
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BMW has confirmed its driver line-ups for the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and 2018/19 FIA World Endurance Championship campaigns.

In an announcement made at its end-of-year Sports Trophy event on Friday night, BMW firmed up its roster across its factory WEC team and its customer RLL Racing IMSA squad.

Two of the 2018 BMW M8 GTEs will enter the WEC next year, joining a hotly-contested GTE-Pro class that already features Ferrari, Porsche, Aston Martin and Ford.

BMW factory drivers Antonio Felix da Costa, Nick Catsburg, Augusto Farfus and Martin Tomczyk will share the two cars across the 13-month ‘super season’.

The quartet will be joined by Tom Blomqvist, Alexander Sims and Philipp Eng for the 24 Hours of Le Mans

In IMSA, the RLL Racing team will once again field Sims and John Edwards, who will be joined by the incoming Connor De Phillippi and Jesse Krohn.

BMW also confirmed on Friday night that Tom Blomqvist would see out the Formula E season with its Andretti-affiliated team, having been benched for Kamui Kobayashi in Hong Kong.