Marussia stars in British GP qualifying with Bianchi 12th

1 Comment

Marussia will be celebrating at Silverstone tonight after the Anglo-Russian team secured its best ever qualifying result in Formula 1 ahead of tomorrow’s British Grand Prix.

Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton both made the most of the tricky conditions to get into Q2 with relative ease, and the minnow team saw its drivers even move into first place on the timesheets at points.

Come the checkered flag, Bianchi finished 12th with Chilton one place further back in 13th, although the Briton will drop to 18th due to a gearbox penalty.

The frenetic session at Silverstone saw a number of big names get caught out. Felipe Massa, Valtteri Bottas, Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen were all eliminated in Q1, marking Ferrari’s worst qualifying display since the 2010 Malaysian Grand Prix. Even with his penalty, Chilton will start ahead of both Alonso and Raikkonen at his home grand prix.

Marussia is currently enjoying its best ever season in F1, having debuted at the 2010 Australian Grand Prix. In Monaco, Bianchi scored the team’s first ever points in ninth place, and it appears to have pulled well clear of nearest rivals Caterham, whose drivers failed to qualify. They should be permitted to race, but will only do so at the stewards’ discretion.

Although points in normal conditions may still be unlikely for Marussia, Bianchi will be doing what he can to fight from P12 tomorrow, whilst Chilton will enjoy the thrill of seeing two Ferraris in his rear view mirrors on the grid.

Rebellion confirms LMP1 return, all-star line-up for WEC super season

Getty Images
Leave a comment

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.”