Ricciardo still baffled by penalty

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Daniel Ricciardo admits he is still at a loss to understand why he was handed a drive-through penalty while overtaking Adrian Sutil during the Japanese Grand Prix.

Ricciardo said he did not gain an advantage by doing so.

Reflecting on the race yesterday Ricciardo said he was proud of the move: “Passing Sutil around the outside at 130R was a brilliant sensation.”

“Maybe that corner doesn’t hold the terrors it once did but trust me, there was definitely clenching going on. In fact if the on-board footage emerges you’ll see me having a little fist-pump as soon as I was through the chicane and in the clear.”

“I was really jacked-up. It was cool. Shame I got clobbered for it.”

“I was and am genuinely surprised that the stewards penalized me for the pass on Sutil,” he added, “When my engineer told me I’d picked up a penalty, it never crossed my mind it was for that.”

“Earlier in the race when I was out-of-sequence on the hard tire I’d collected a big train of cars behind me so I thought perhaps I’d done something dirty then.

“I thought possibly I’d weaved when I was defending from Hulkenberg, or maybe cut him off without noticing. I didn’t think I had but it’s difficult to judge with the mirrors. When I heard what it was actually for… as I say, surprised.”

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.”