Scott Speed, Gil de Ferran set to test Formula E for Andretti Autosport

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One racing legend and one driver who’s reinvigorated his career in new forms of motorsport will be testing in the newest form of motorsport, FIA Formula E, tomorrow and Friday. The drivers are Gil de Ferran and Scott Speed; the team is Andretti Autosport; the track is Donington Park.

The 2003 Indianapolis 500 winner and two-time CART champion de Ferran, who serves as an FIA Formula E ambassador, will have his first round of open-wheel track action since his retirement at the end of the 2003 IndyCar season. De Ferran also raced an Acura prototype in the American Le Mans Series in both 2008 and 2009, against Andretti’s operation.

“Being an Ambassador and strong supporter of Formula E, from day one I have been very curious and interested in how an electric-powered racing car would behave and handle,” de Ferran said. “I am highly interested in the technical side of motorsports so this has been a great curiosity for me. Obviously I haven’t driven anything feverishly for over five years, so it will be certainly a challenge but something that I am really looking forward to.”

Speed, meanwhile, currently leads the Red Bull Global Rallycross points standings driving a 7Up-backed entry for Andretti with wins in the first two rounds of the season (Round 1, 2). He also competed last weekend in Watkins Glen in a Luna-C backed Lamborghini in the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo series.

“I’m excited to get into a single-seater again,” said Speed, who is the most recent American race driver in Formula One (2006-2007 with Scuderia Toro Rosso). “I expect it to be a very steep learning curve seeing as I haven’t driven anything with downforce in seven years. The Andretti organization has been an amazing company to drive for, and I’m happy to grow my role as one of its drivers while helping out with the Formula E test.”

The team has already confirmed Franck Montagny as its first driver and its second could either be one single driver, or a combination of drivers to be rotated through.

Hamilton: Abu Dhabi ‘the last race with good-looking cars’ in F1

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Lewis Hamilton believes that this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will be remembered as the last race with good-looking Formula 1 cars ahead of the introduction of the ‘Halo’ cockpit protection for next year.

Officials from the FIA and F1 Strategy Group confirmed earlier this year that the Halo would be fitted to all cars from the 2018 season in a bid to improve safety standards, with the deaths of Justin Wilson and Jules Bianchi putting head protection high on the agenda for the series’ chiefs.

Hamilton has long made his opposition to the Halo clear, believing it will ruin the look of F1 cars, and echoed his thoughts ahead of the final Halo-less race in Abu Dhabi this weekend.

“It’s the last year of looking good I think in the cars. It’s the last race where the cars will look good,” Hamilton said.

“I think next year, it’s all downhill from there in terms of how they look.

“But safety will go up at least, and maybe it could be successful in some way.”

Hamilton’s F1 title rival Sebastian Vettel was less bothered about the change, believing the field will adjust and move on.

“The cars will look different next year. Everything I’ve seen so far looks different, but on the other hand it is something we all get used to,” Vettel said.

“But no doubt the cars look better now, but we’ll get used to it, and we’ll work on the aesthetics so it can be better. It is less of a big deal.”

Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo shared Vettel’s view, saying: “I don’t think it’s gonna be as dramatic as most people make it out to be.”