Silverstone turns Pink for Papa in memory of John Button

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The Formula 1 grandstands and paddock at the British Grand Prix have turned a shade of pink today as the sport pays tribute to John Button.

The father of McLaren driver Jenson, John was the driving force behind his son’s passion for racing and career. He missed just a handful of his races in F1, and always wore his lucky pink shirt on race day. He was an amiable character with an endearing smile, and is sorely missed following his death in January at the age of 70.

In memory of John – nicknamed “Papa Smurf” – McLaren has been running a ‘Pink for Papa’ campaign that will see fans don pink shirts and fill the grandstands at Silverstone. In the paddock, a number of journalists and team members have also turned their shirts a shade of pink for the race today.

Button himself is sporting a pink liveried helmet this weekend, and it proved to be something of a lucky charm in qualifying as he put his McLaren third on the grid; his best result since Brazil 2012.

You can watch the British Grand Prix live on CNBC and Live Extra from 7:30am ET this morning.

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.”