Alonso targeting third place in both F1 championships

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Fernando Alonso has set his sights on finishing third in the Formula 1 drivers’ championship behind the two Mercedes drivers, and is also hoping to help Ferrari fend off Williams to secure the same position in the constructors’ standings.

The team is currently enduring a difficult season after struggling to adapt to the new technical regulations for 2014. However, Alonso has continued to lead the team, and is just sixteen points behind Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo for third place in the drivers’ standings.

Although he knows it will be tough, he hopes to secure a top three finish in both tables come the end of the season.

“The priority is to help the team and to get in the fight for third place in the championship that we lost to Williams in Germany and recovered in Hungary,” Alonso explained on Thursday in Belgium. “I think it will be a close fight until the end.

“We have two races now that are a little bit in favor of Williams’ characteristics, so we need to deliver good results over the next two weekends to score good points. In the drivers’ championship, I’d like to finish third, fighting with Ricciardo.

“I know that this is quite an ambitious target so we’ll see what we can do.”

Alonso also reacted to claims from team principal Marco Mattiacci that Ferrari must become more prepared to take risk and be more aggressive. The Spaniard feels that this has been the philosophy at Maranello for some time.

“From the end of 2011, we had more or less the same message,” he said. “We took risks and were quite aggressive with the design of the 2012 car, with the pull rod at the front and the different concept of the exhaust. I don’t think that we were not aggressive enough.

“We just need to put some things together, we need to keep improving the car, the factory, the facilities, and be a stronger team with new ideas and new people coming in.”

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.”