Daniel Juncadella set for FP1 run-out at Silverstone

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Force India reserve driver Daniel Juncadella will get back behind the wheel of a Formula 1 car when he takes part in practice for the British Grand Prix next weekend.

The Spanish youngster joined Force India at the beginning of the year as its reserve driver, working in tandem with a full campaign in the German DTM championship, where he is yet to score a point in 2014.

He drove for the team in pre-season testing and during the session following the Spanish Grand Prix in May. However, the chance to finally impress in front of the F1 paddock at a race weekend is something that the 23-year-old is very excited about.

“I am delighted and ready and I’d like to thank Sahara Force India for this opportunity,” Juncadella said. “This will be the first time I take part in an official grand prix weekend session, so it will be a very special day for me.

“Since the start of the year back in Jerez, where I got my first chance to drive the car, I’ve been working very hard together with the team and I’ve definitely learned a lot.

“My second outing at the test in Barcelona and all the hours we’ve spent together on the simulator have given me plenty of confidence. They were also the perfect way to get to know the team better, something which I think is always essential in order to do well.”

Having enjoyed a successful junior career, Juncadella is pushing to make the step up to Formula 1 in the near future. Although he faces stiff competition from a number of other talented young drivers, practice sessions such as this will only aid his cause for a seat.

Juncadella will be joined in FP1 by Williams test driver Susie Wolff, who will become the first woman to take part in an F1 weekend session in 22 years.

Marco Andretti confident that fewer tests won’t hurt Andretti Autosport

Photo: IndyCar
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A small point of debate around the 2018 aero kit has been the manufacturer test days that took place through the Fall of 2017 and into the beginning of 2018. Chiefly, the debate has centered around teams who hadn’t participated in those manufacturer test days and if they’re starting the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season at a disadvantage as a result.

Team Penske, Ed Carpenter Racing, and A.J. Foyt Racing completed test days for Chevrolet, with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and Chip Ganassi Racing doing so for Honda.

That left teams like Andretti Autosport out of the mix, with some voicing concerns as a result.

However, in a press conference during testing at ISM Raceway last weekend, Marco Andretti explained that he thinks Andretti Autosport should be able to catch up on development, citing the team’s resources – they’re the only IndyCar team with four full-time cars in their stable – and the fact that everyone is still adapting to the new kit.

“I feel like it’s early enough days that, yes, we can catch up,” Andretti said at ISM Raceway. “When there is anything new, a new car, new aero kit, at-track days are huge. We can sim all these things we want. To really get out there and confirm what we’re learning back at the shop is another thing.”

Ryan Hunter-Reay during testing at ISM Raceway. Photo: IndyCar

Andretti continued, “Yeah, I don’t think we should look at it like we’re behind the eight ball. With a four-car team, that’s where we can use it to our benefit. So far so good.”

Teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay, echoed Andretti’s sentiments, adding that while the situation is not perfect, they will need to adapt to it in order to remain competitive.

“Any time you have a new car, to put it into perspective, we’re on track three days on a road course before we get to (the season open in St. Petersburg). That’s a very short amount of time. It’s obviously not ideal, but we’re just going to lace up our boots and get on with it. That’s all you can do.”

Andretti Autosport will have one more team test, at Sebring International Raceway later on in February, before the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

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