VIDEO: World Series by Renault opener affected by huge crash

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The 2014 World Series by Renault season kicked off in Italy today at the historic Autodromo Nazionale Monza, with the series being acknowledged as one of Formula 1’s primary feeder series. All of the drivers lining up on the grid were keen on starting their years in style in the hopes of following in the footsteps of 2013 champion and McLaren driver Kevin Magnussen.

However, the year did not start as Marco Sørensen and Jazeman Jaafar (pictured) would have hoped. The two drivers were fighting for position down the main straight, but Sørensen – who is the leading light in Lotus F1 Team’s junior programme – seemed to misjudge where Jaafar was on track.

Sørensen began to squeeze Jaafar to the right hand side of the track, causing the two drivers to touch. The Lotus driver’s car flipped and collided into the pit wall with some force before travelling some distance on its side. The car eventually came to rest at pit exit. Jaafar went in the opposite direction and hit the wall with some force, albeit the right way up.

Remarkably, both drivers walked away unharmed despite this horror shunt. However, Sørensen was handed a five place grid penalty for causing the incident.

The race was won by Britain’s Will Stevens, who is a member of Caterham’s junior programme. Red Bull youngster Pierre Gasly finished third on his Formula Renault 3.5 debut, whilst Sauber’s Sergey Sirotkin finished in eighth place.

Formula One: Recapping the past week’s news

Photo: Getty Images
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While the FIA Formula 1 World Championship is still two months away from beginning its 2018 season, this past week did bring about news items that filled out the 2018 grid and shed some light on individual team and car launches as the season-opening Australian Grand Prix draws closer.

Below is a recap of F1 news from this past week:

Williams Signs Sirotkin for 2018 Drive, Names Kubica as Reserve Driver

The saga of the second seat at Williams Martini Racing was finally resolved early on in the week, with former Renault Sport F1 Team test driver Sergey Sirotkin officially confirmed as a teammate to the incumbent Lance Stroll in 2018.

The announcement concluded months of speculation that saw multiple drivers test for the team in an auditioning capacity. Most notably, Robert Kubica looked to be a main contender for the seat before Sirotkin emerged as the favorite.

However, Kubica, who has not raced in Formula 1 since a devastating rally accident in 2011 left him with brutal injuries to his right arm, was named as a reserve and development driver for the team.

This announcement also completes the 2018 Formula 1 driver lineup, with all 11 teams having their seats now filled. Among those who were left without F1 drives are Paul Di Resta, who drove for Williams at the Hungarian Grand Prix in relief of Felipe Massa and even tested with them during the Winter months, and Antonio Giovinazzi, who filled in for Pascal Wehrlein at the Australian and Chinese Grands Prix.

Former Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso driver Daniil Kvyat is also without a race seat for 2018, but did sign on with Scuderia Ferrari as a development driver.

Mercedes, McLaren Reveal Dates for Their 2018 Car Launches

While most teams have not yet released dates for when their 2018 cars will be publicly launched, three notables have.

Mercedes AMG Petronas will introduce its 2018 challenger on February 22nd, the same day Ferrari is doing so, while McLaren will unveil its car one day later on the 23rd.

Testing will commence on February 26th at Circuit de Catalunya.

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