Bianchi and Ferrari close out Silverstone test fastest

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Jules Bianchi has finished fastest on the second and final day of testing at Silverstone after jumping into the Ferrari F14 T for today’s session.

Full-time driver Kimi Raikkonen was due to take part, but the team instead chose to rest him and allow him to fully recover from a 47g impact at the British Grand Prix last weekend. Bianchi drives for Marussia, and ran for the Anglo-Russian team yesterday at Silverstone, but is also a member of the Ferrari Driver Academy.

His lap of 1:35.252 went unbeaten at the top of the standings, finishing ahead of Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat and McLaren’s Kevin Magnussen. Kvyat led for much of the day before being toppled by the Frenchman.

Giedo van der Garde finished fourth for Sauber, while Lewis Hamilton bounced back from a spin in the first 30 minutes of the day to finish fifth ahead of Williams’ Valtteri Bottas. Max Chilton continued Marussia’s good form to finish seventh, with Force India’s Daniel Juncadella in P8. Defending world champion Sebastian Vettel finished ninth for Red Bull.

Charles Pic may only have finished tenth fastest, but his laps were important. For the first time, Pirelli’s concept 18-inch rimmed tires were tested, and gained widespread approval in the paddock.

Caterham’s day did not go to plan as Julian Leal’s car came to a halt just one lap into his run. It was later diagnosed as being an electrical problem which took the team several hours to fix. The team had planned to run GP2 driver Rio Haryanto in the afternoon, but instead kept Leal behind the wheel to make up for his lost running in the morning.

The test came to an end with 20 minutes left in the day after Giedo van der Garde crashed hard, damaging the barrier. The teams will now turn their attention to the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim in eleven days’ time.

BMW confirms IMSA, WEC GTE line-ups for 2018

BMW Motorsport
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BMW has confirmed its driver line-ups for the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and 2018/19 FIA World Endurance Championship campaigns.

In an announcement made at its end-of-year Sports Trophy event on Friday night, BMW firmed up its roster across its factory WEC team and its customer RLL Racing IMSA squad.

Two of the 2018 BMW M8 GTEs will enter the WEC next year, joining a hotly-contested GTE-Pro class that already features Ferrari, Porsche, Aston Martin and Ford.

BMW factory drivers Antonio Felix da Costa, Nick Catsburg, Augusto Farfus and Martin Tomczyk will share the two cars across the 13-month ‘super season’.

The quartet will be joined by Tom Blomqvist, Alexander Sims and Philipp Eng for the 24 Hours of Le Mans

In IMSA, the RLL Racing team will once again field Sims and John Edwards, who will be joined by the incoming Connor De Phillippi and Jesse Krohn.

BMW also confirmed on Friday night that Tom Blomqvist would see out the Formula E season with its Andretti-affiliated team, having been benched for Kamui Kobayashi in Hong Kong.