Maldonado feels a difference in tires

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Pastor Maldonado has revealed that he feels a noticeable difference in the new Pirelli tires that have been tested at Silverstone this week.

Following the fiasco that ensued at the British Grand Prix, Pirelli decided to re-introduce the 2012 tire constructions for the Hungarian Grand Prix, warranting the use of full-time drivers at the Young Drivers’ Test at Silverstone this week. With the size of the tire being slightly different, Maldonado has confirmed that he is feeling a difference.

“The tires feel quite different but we need to see how we compare against other cars on the track with the same compounds,” Maldonado explained in a team statement. “We didn’t get performance from the car with them so we need more time in Hungary as we couldn’t make any set-up changes today.”

However, the one-time grand prix winner was pleased to get back behind the wheel ahead of the race at the Hungaroring in ten days’ time.

“It was good to be back in the car though, in preparation for getting back to racing next week.”

Williams have made a poor start to the season, failing to score any points and currently lying in 9th place in the constructors’ championship. The British team will therefore be hoping to go into the summer break after Hungary with some points on the board ahead of the final stretch to Interlagos.

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.”