Drivers to be discouraged from offering lifts

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The FIA intends to discourage drivers from giving their competitors rides back to the pits.

Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber both picked up reprimands after the Singapore Grand Prix when Webber took a lift back to the pits on Alonso’s car.

Webber was reprimanded for going onto the track without a marshal’s permission and Alonso was penalized because he stopped his car in an unsafe place. The Mercedes drivers had to dodge around the Ferrari while Webber was climbing aboard it.

According to Autosport, drivers will discuss the matter at next week’s meeting ahead of the Korean Grand Prix. The FIA is understood to be concerned about the safety implications of drivers riding to the pits on each others’ cars.

However Jenson Button was critical of the punishments meted out to Webber and Alonso.

“Disappointed to see the penalties for [Webber] and [Alonso], act of sportsmanship should not really be punished,” he wrote on Twitter. “Maybe [Alonso] could have stopped in a slightly safer place but still think it’s a bit harsh,” he added.

By giving Webber a lift, Alonso was effectively returning a favor from the Nurburgring in 2011, when Webber stopped to pick him up after the race. Neither driver was penalized on that occasion.

Montoya: ‘Hopefully I get a chance to do Indy again’ (VIDEO)

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Juan Pablo Montoya is on site at this weekend’s United States Grand Prix, his latest trip in a summer and fall filled with a lot of international travel and a number of different race cars he’s been in.

Montoya is committed to a full season in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with Acura Team Penske in 2018, as he’ll share one of the team’s Acura ARX-05s with Dane Cameron.

However, the question of whether he’ll be able to race in the 102nd Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil remains.

Team Penske has said it plans to only run four cars next month of May, with Helio Castroneves as the fourth driver alongside the three full-time cars driven by Josef Newgarden, Simon Pagenaud and Will Power.

While Montoya has said elsewhere that he’s shopping offers and has talked with other teams, it’d be highly surprising to see the two-time Indianapolis 500 champion who developed the Chevrolet engine for IndyCar’s 2018 Dallara universal body kit in a Honda-powered IndyCar, although he is running Honda’s brand (Acura) in sports cars.

Montoya elaborated on his Indy 500 prospects in an interview with NBCSN pit reporter and insider Will Buxton at the Circuit of The Americas.

“Not full-time no,” Montoya told NBCSN of his IndyCar 2018 prospects. “Hopefully I get a chance to go to Indy, hopefully with Penske, (and) if not someone else. We’ll see.”

Photo: IndyCar

Montoya has extolled the early testing both on the 2018 IndyCar and on the Acura ARX-05.

The first Acura chassis has run at Road Atlanta and Sebring International Raceway thus far, and will be put through its paces at other venues over the next few months.

“It’s been good. We did a lot of work with INDYCAR on that car. Fans are gonna like it,” Montoya said of the 2018 kit.

“Going to IMSA with the Acura program, we’ve done a lot of testing. It’s a beauty to drive. It drives better than what it looks! I haven’t had that much fun driving a race car in a long time.”

Acura ARX-05 Daytona Prototype international (DPi) race car to be campaigned by Team Penske in 2018