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Red Bull announces partnership with ExxonMobil from 2017

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Red Bull Racing has announced the arrival of fuel and lubricants giant ExxonMobil as a team partner from the 2017 Formula 1 season.

ExxonMobil has been a long-standing partner of British marque McLaren, enjoying a relationship dating back over 20 years, but will now jump ship for 2017 and team up with Red Bull.

“As a team partner, official fuel partner, official lubricant partner, and official motor oil partner of the team in 2017, ExxonMobil will provide Red Bull Racing with leading-edge Mobil 1 lubricants and Synergy Race Fuels,” a statement from Red Bull reads.

“ExxonMobil will deliver engineering support to develop next-generation lubricants designed to improve race car engine and gearbox performance.

“The company’s Mobil 1 and Esso brands will feature on our cars, driver overalls and helmets, as well as being displayed at the Red Bull Racing Factory in Milton Keynes, and at trackside events.”

“Mobil 1 and Red Bull Racing are two global brands that share a passion for racing, performance and innovation,” Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner said.

“Mobil 1 has been an iconic brand in Formula One for more than 30 years and our new partnership provides us with a unique opportunity to tap into ExxonMobil’s world class expertise.”

Horner paid tribute to outgoing fuel partner TOTAL, whom Red Bull has worked with since the 2008 F1 season.

“I would like to extend my thanks and appreciation to the technical team at TOTAL, who have made a valuable contribution to our success in Formula 1 during our partnership,” Horner said.

Kubica, di Resta complete Williams F1 tests in Hungary

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Robert Kubica and Paul di Resta have both completed one-day tests for Williams in a 2014-spec Formula 1 car as part of the team’s evaluation for its 2018 line-up.

Williams is known to be considering a number of drivers to partner Lance Stroll at the team next year, including existing racer Felipe Massa.

Massa is thought to be going up against Kubica and di Resta for the 2018 drive, with the latter duo taking part in a private test at the Hungaroring in Budapest this week to aid the team’s evaluation.

After missing out on a 2018 Renault drive due to lingering questions about his physical condition six years after his rally accident, Kubica tested for Williams at Silverstone last week before getting back behind the wheel of the 2014 FW36 car in Hungary on Tuesday.

Kubica’s test was called “productive” by Williams, with the Pole handing duties over to Mercedes DTM racer di Resta on Wednesday.

Di Resta raced in F1 with Force India between 2010 and 2013 before returning to DTM, but made a surprise return at this year’s Hungarian Grand Prix with Williams when Massa was taken ill. Di Resta impressed on short notice, putting himself in contention for a full-time return to F1 in 2018.

Williams has one of the few remaining seats on offer in F1 for 2018, with Massa’s future known to be in question after a quiet campaign thus far.

The Brazilian had been due to retire from F1 at the end of last year, only for Williams to recall him after Valtteri Bottas’ late move up to Mercedes following Nico Rosberg’s surprise retirement.

Massa has made clear he would like to keep racing in F1 next year, but only if the deal is right and if Williams is determined to keep him.

While Massa, Kubica and di Resta appear to be the three leading contenders for the seat, Williams technical chief Paddy Lowe made clear in Japan there was a “large range” of drivers under consideration.

“You’ve probably seen a number of names that are floating around that we’re looking at, but honestly, the range is almost unlimited,” Lowe said.

“We will consider all ideas. We’re not in a super hurry to do so, and we’ll just make sure we land the best line-up we can.”