F1’s Strategy Group could face legal challenge

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F1 teams have raised concerns over the new Strategy Group which is meeting for the first time today.

Changes in the composition of F1’s rulemaking bodies means the consent of just six of the eleven teams is required to bring in changes providing all FIA and FOM representatives are in agreement.

This has provoked concerns among smaller teams the Strategy Group will be used to bring in customer cars, something smaller teams have been fighting against, as it could place their business model in jeopardy.

McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh told Autosport it was possible the group’s decisions could face legal challenges from teams excluded from the rule making process.

“People are not choosing to legally challenge,” said Whitmarsh. “It’s running along, but at some point someone will become sufficiently agitated by an issue.”

“Any individual, I think, could really start to challenge this through some legal route, and I think the sport would then be very untidy indeed.”

Formula One Group CEO Bernie Ecclestone has been trying to introduce customers cars for several years. This would allow teams to run old chassis sold by other teams.

As car development accounts for a significant part of F1 teams’ budgets it would bring their cost of competition down, but could risk undermining constructors such as Sauber, Williams and Force India.

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.”