Reversal in fortunes for McLaren and Force India

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The German Grand Prix has marked a complete reversal in fortunes for both McLaren and Force India as the two teams go head-to-head for 5th place in the constructors’ championship.

Force India suffered a terrible performance in qualifying as Adrian Sutil lost out on a place in Q3 due to a DRS failure. However, Paul di Resta’s recent form suggested that this would not be an issue in the race, yet the team could only limp home in 11th and 13th as the drivers struggled to replicate their recent form at the Nurburgring. This was the first time since the Malaysian Grand Prix that the team failed to score any points.

For McLaren, it was a very different story. The team had seen its record-breaking 64 race run of scoring points come to a shattering end in Canada, only for them to fail to score again three weeks later at Silverstone. Therefore, a strong score at the German Grand Prix was sorely needed, making Jenson Button’s run to 6th and Sergio Perez’s P8 finish a welcome result for the British team. In fact, the drivers were running P5 and P6, only to lose out to Lewis Hamilton and Mark Webber who both fitted fresh tires late on.

In the constructors’ championship, McLaren have more than halved the gap to Force India, trailing by just 10 points now. Regardless, being 201 points behind Red Bull at this point is not what the team would have envisaged at the beginning of the season.

Kubica, di Resta complete Williams F1 tests in Hungary

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Robert Kubica and Paul di Resta have both completed one-day tests for Williams in a 2014-spec Formula 1 car as part of the team’s evaluation for its 2018 line-up.

Williams is known to be considering a number of drivers to partner Lance Stroll at the team next year, including existing racer Felipe Massa.

Massa is thought to be going up against Kubica and di Resta for the 2018 drive, with the latter duo taking part in a private test at the Hungaroring in Budapest this week to aid the team’s evaluation.

After missing out on a 2018 Renault drive due to lingering questions about his physical condition six years after his rally accident, Kubica tested for Williams at Silverstone last week before getting back behind the wheel of the 2014 FW36 car in Hungary on Tuesday.

Kubica’s test was called “productive” by Williams, with the Pole handing duties over to Mercedes DTM racer di Resta on Wednesday.

Di Resta raced in F1 with Force India between 2010 and 2013 before returning to DTM, but made a surprise return at this year’s Hungarian Grand Prix with Williams when Massa was taken ill. Di Resta impressed on short notice, putting himself in contention for a full-time return to F1 in 2018.

Williams has one of the few remaining seats on offer in F1 for 2018, with Massa’s future known to be in question after a quiet campaign thus far.

The Brazilian had been due to retire from F1 at the end of last year, only for Williams to recall him after Valtteri Bottas’ late move up to Mercedes following Nico Rosberg’s surprise retirement.

Massa has made clear he would like to keep racing in F1 next year, but only if the deal is right and if Williams is determined to keep him.

While Massa, Kubica and di Resta appear to be the three leading contenders for the seat, Williams technical chief Paddy Lowe made clear in Japan there was a “large range” of drivers under consideration.

“You’ve probably seen a number of names that are floating around that we’re looking at, but honestly, the range is almost unlimited,” Lowe said.

“We will consider all ideas. We’re not in a super hurry to do so, and we’ll just make sure we land the best line-up we can.”