Renault power still down for Maldonado

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Pastor Maldonado has explained how problems with the Renault power unit in his Lotus car are still hindering his pace and progress, despite the French engine manufacturer believing that it would be up to speed for this weekend’s race.

Earlier this week, Renault’s head of track said that Montreal would be “the first full opportunity to see where we are versus the competition”. However, Maldonado explained that he does not feel any difference in the engine this weekend after a tough day of practice for Lotus.

“Tough, very tough, a lot of problems in the car,” he explained. “To be honest, I was expecting something more extreme in terms of pace, but we are not far away from the top ten. We need to put everything together, and let’s see what we can do.

“I think it’s gonna be difficult to be there because of the lack of power. We are losing more than 10km/h on every straight, it’s quite a lot. We’ll see tomorrow. At the moment, it’s normal.”

The Venezuelan driver finished the second session down in 15th place, two-tenths down on teammate Romain Grosjean, who finished up in P11.

Maldonado also revealed that he was unaware of why Daniel Ricciardo got a reprimand for dangerously overtaking him in the pits.

“I don’t know,” he said, whilst shrugging his shoulders. “I don’t remember.”

The one-time grand prix winner has made a poor start to the season, and is currently last in the drivers’ championship. However, should everything come together for the team in Canada, he might be able to battle for the small points.

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.”