Lauda wary of rivals growing stronger

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Mercedes non-executive director Niki Lauda is refusing to get complacent despite the German marque’s near-perfect start to the 2014 Formula 1 season.

Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg have claimed all of the wins on offer at the beginning of the new season, with the result being a Mercedes one-two in all races but the opening round in Australia where Hamilton was forced to retire. This has given the team 154/172 possible points in 2014, but Lauda believes that total domination for entire season would not be good for the sport.

“We do not want to win all the races. Such records don’t do Formula 1 any good,” he explained to Blick newspaper.

“What we want is to build a solid base for the next few years.”

Lauda believes that the results are the just desserts for the team following a lot of time and effort being put into the new regulations, but the rest of the field will catch up soon.

“What we are experiencing currently is the harvest of many months of work,” he said. “Especially in the area of the turbo engine.

“Four wins in a row and strong drivers, this is a great performance, but we do not think the current situation is normal as our opponents will certainly be getting stronger.”

In China, the team was once again dominant, but Ferrari and Red Bull do appear to have cut the gap slightly to the front-runners. The real opportunity will come at the next race in Spain, where all of the teams will be introducing the first major upgrade packages for their cars.

BMW confirms IMSA, WEC GTE line-ups for 2018

BMW Motorsport
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BMW has confirmed its driver line-ups for the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and 2018/19 FIA World Endurance Championship campaigns.

In an announcement made at its end-of-year Sports Trophy event on Friday night, BMW firmed up its roster across its factory WEC team and its customer RLL Racing IMSA squad.

Two of the 2018 BMW M8 GTEs will enter the WEC next year, joining a hotly-contested GTE-Pro class that already features Ferrari, Porsche, Aston Martin and Ford.

BMW factory drivers Antonio Felix da Costa, Nick Catsburg, Augusto Farfus and Martin Tomczyk will share the two cars across the 13-month ‘super season’.

The quartet will be joined by Tom Blomqvist, Alexander Sims and Philipp Eng for the 24 Hours of Le Mans

In IMSA, the RLL Racing team will once again field Sims and John Edwards, who will be joined by the incoming Connor De Phillippi and Jesse Krohn.

BMW also confirmed on Friday night that Tom Blomqvist would see out the Formula E season with its Andretti-affiliated team, having been benched for Kamui Kobayashi in Hong Kong.