Vettel: Not much difference in tires

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Despite Pastor Maldonado yesterday claiming that there was a noticeable difference in the new Pirelli tires, defending world champion Sebastian Vettel claims that he has not felt much of a change.

Following the issues that occurred at the British Grand Prix last month, Pirelli have opted to re-introduce the tire constructions used last season in order to ensure the safety of the drivers. With the design being slightly different, many (like Maldonado) have had to get used to the tires once again, but Vettel believes that the difference is negligible.

“Obviously, we were very limited on what we could do, but for me there is not that much difference with the tires,” Vettel said in a statement from Red Bull following today’s sessions. “It was good to get in some laps though, good to get a feeling for them and it’s always nice to drive at Silverstone.”

Looking ahead to the next race in Hungary, Vettel is keen on winning for the first time in Budapest.

“Hungary has some interesting memories for me. It was my first F1 race with the Red Bull family; let’s hope I can add to my memories by winning there for the first time before I go on holiday.”

If Vettel were to win at the Hungaroring, he would have won every race on the calendar besides the United States Grand Prix.

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.”