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GP2/WSR 2014 Silly Season Updates

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We don’t spend a ton of time at MotorSportsTalk focusing on the GP2 Series and/or World Series by Renault, but considering they’re the two top feeder series into Formula One, we do want to recap who’s lining up where at this stage in the offseason before their 2014 seasons start.

Starting with GP2, some of the F1 aspirational names already confirmed for the 2014 season include McLaren reserve Stoffel Vandoorne and Caterham reserve Alexander Rossi. I spoke to Rossi about his hopes for this year at the Rolex 24 at Daytona, when he raced in the DeltaWing prototype.

“I think you always have a shot (to advance), but the best kind of B-plan option is GP2 for another year and I’m quite pleased with that,” said Rossi, who won his first GP2 race at Abu Dhabi in November. “With the same team, keeping the continuity is a positive thing. We have very high expectations for the next year.”

Here’s the quick rundown of confirmed team/driver combinations in GP2:

  • Carlin: 3-Julian Leal
  • DAMS: 7-Jolyon Palmer, 8-Stephane Richelmi
  • ART Grand Prix: 9-Stoffel Vandoorne, 10-Takuya Izawa
  • Hilmer Motorsport: 11-Daniel Abt
  • Rapax: 14-Simon Trummer
  • Arden International: 16-Rene Binder, 17-Andre Negrao
  • EQ8 Caterham Racing: 18-Rio Haryanto, 19-Alexander Rossi
  • MP Motorsport: 20-Daniel De Jong
  • Campos Racing: 26-Arthur Pic

Those seats not confirmed include both seats at Russian Time (Nos. 1, 2), Racing Engineering (Nos. 5, 6), Trident Racing (Nos. 22, 23), Venezuela GP Lazarus (Nos. 24, 25) and second seats at Carlin (No. 4), Hilmer (No. 12), Rapax (No. 15), MP (No. 21) and Campos (No. 27).

The 2013 champion, Fabio Leimer, does not have his plans set for 2014; series runner-up Sam Bird will run selected TUDOR United SportsCar Championship races with Starworks Motorsport in North America. The GP2 season begins April 5-6 at Bahrain.

Meanwhile in WSR, the series won by new McLaren recruit Kevin Magnussen last year, there’s still more seats to be filled before its first test Feb. 25-27 at Motorland Aragon. Confirmed team/driver combinations are below:

Teams (country): 

  • Arden Motorsport (GBR): William Buller, Pierre Gasly
  • DAMS (FRA): Norman Nato, Carlos Sainz Jr.
  • Fortec Motorsports (GBR): Oliver Rowland, Sergey Sirotkin
  • International Draco Racing (ITA): Pietro Fantin
  • ISR (CZE): Jazeman Jaafar
  • Lotus (CZE): Matthieu Vaxiviere
  • Strakka Racing (GBR): Will Stevens, Matias Laine

Teams still needing to confirm both seats are:  AV Formula (ESP), Carlin (GBR), Comtec Racing (GBR), Pons Racing (ESP), Tech 1 Racing (FRA) and Zeta Corse (ITA). Draco, ISR and Lotus still have to confirm their second seats. The WSR race season opens April 12-13 at Monza.

Pippa Mann, breast cancer survivors paint IMS’ start/finish line pink

Photo: IndyCar
Photo: IndyCar
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We’ve written a fair bit on MotorSportsTalk about the efforts Pippa Mann has done in working with the Susan G. Komen Foundation for breast cancer awareness. Susan G. Komen has supported Mann’s last two runs at the Indianapolis 500, when she’s driven the No. 63 Honda for Dale Coyne Racing.

This being National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the awareness hit a new level with Mann working alongside breast cancer survivors to paint the start/finish line at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s iconic Yard of Bricks pink for the day.

IMS president Doug Boles also joined in the opportunity.

View a selection of photos and social posts below. More is linked here, via IndyCar.com.

Mercedes set to clinch F1 constructors’ championship in Russia

SOCHI, RUSSIA - OCTOBER 08:  Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP speaks with members of the media in the paddock during previews to the Formula One Grand Prix of Russia at Sochi Autodrom on October 8, 2015 in Sochi, Russia.  (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
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For the second year in a row, Mercedes is poised to wrap up the Formula 1 constructors’ championship in Sochi at this weekend’s Russian Grand Prix.

Mercedes won its first F1 teams’ title in Russia last year, having returned to the sport as a works constructor in 2010. When it last enjoyed such status in the 1950s, there was no championship for the teams.

Just as it did in 2014, Mercedes has dominated proceedings in F1 this season, winning all but three races and sweeping to eight one-two finishes to leave drivers Lewis Hamilton (pictured) and Nico Rosberg battling for the drivers’ title for the second straight year.

Now, Mercedes seeks the knock-out blow in the constructors’ title race by officially wrapping it up in Sochi this weekend.

To do so, the team must simply outscore rivals Ferrari by three points this weekend. The lead currently stands at 169 points, with 215 still on offer. After Sochi, there will be 172 remaining.

“We return to Russia with positive memories from last season, when the team sealed the first constructors’ title for Mercedes-Benz with a one-two finish,” team boss Toto Wolff said.

“A repeat performance in Sochi would be fantastic and this is absolutely the target – but we are under no illusions that it will come easy. The job is not done yet.”

The tire allocation for this weekend’s race could pose problems to Mercedes just as it did in Singapore, potentially allowing Ferrari to spoil the party and delay the victory celebrations at Brackley.

However, if the form book is to be trusted, Sochi could be playing host to another Mercedes party on Sunday night with a second world title in the bag for the Silver Arrows.