Bottas proves his brilliance with incredible fightback

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Whilst a number of drivers dropped out of today’s Australian Grand Prix with a mechanical problem, Williams’ Valtteri Bottas provided much of the entertainment with a quite remarkable display of overtaking.

The Finn, who begins his second season in 2014, qualified down in 10th place but was demoted five places after a gearbox change on Saturday afternoon. However, from P15, he quickly put his Williams FW36 to good use to move up into the points and as high as sixth place.

However, whilst chasing the Ferrari of Fernando Alonso, Bottas pushed too hard through turn ten and made contact with the wall on exit. This gave him a puncture, forcing him to pit for repairs whilst the safety car came out to recover the carcass of his tire.

From 16th place though, Bottas fought back once again. Gutierrez, Perez, Grosjean, Ericsson, Kvyat, Hulkenberg, Vergne and Raikkonen were just some of his victims, powerless to stop the advances of the flying Finn.

All in all, Bottas made up nineteen positions across the course of the race, and may have been in contention for a podium finish had he not had a puncture.

This result marks a coming of age for the Finnish youngster. Having been restricted by the difficult FW35 car last season, Bottas struggled to make much of an impact, but he did impress during qualifying for the Canadian GP and during the United States GP.

However, with eight points for P6, Bottas has already doubled his own total from the whole of 2013, as well as outscoring Williams’ entire 2013 effort.

Teammate Felipe Massa was less fortunate though, retiring on lap one after being hit by Kamui Kobayashi, who had suffered a brake failure.

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.”