Three-stop strategy necessary for Webber – Horner

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Red Bull team principal Christian Horner says it was necessary to switch Mark Webber to a three-stop strategy because of his relatively short first stint and the rate he was using his tires.

Webber’s strategy ultimately helped him get past the Lotus of Romain Grosjean but he lost out to team mate Sebastian Vettel who only pitted twice.

Horner told Sky: “Mark went through the tire a little bit quicker than Sebastian [in the first stint] and therefore didn’t have the range.”

“So we had to pit Mark and that put an awful lot of pressure and doubt on the two-stop. So when the window opened up to do a three-stop it was the only option we could see to get our way past Romain.”

Horner expected a closer race between his drivers in the final laps but as Vettel passed Grosjean more quickly than Webber did, that never happened.

“We were expecting our drivers to be right together over the last four or five laps,” said Horner, “But Sebastian went past Grosjean quicker than we expected and Mark just took a few more laps with the traffic and the backmarkers that were in the way.”

Webber finished the race seven seconds behind his team mate.

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.