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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.

Marco Andretti confident that fewer tests won’t hurt Andretti Autosport

Photo: IndyCar
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A small point of debate around the 2018 aero kit has been the manufacturer test days that took place through the Fall of 2017 and into the beginning of 2018. Chiefly, the debate has centered around teams who hadn’t participated in those manufacturer test days and if they’re starting the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season at a disadvantage as a result.

Team Penske, Ed Carpenter Racing, and A.J. Foyt Racing completed test days for Chevrolet, with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and Chip Ganassi Racing doing so for Honda.

That left teams like Andretti Autosport out of the mix, with some voicing concerns as a result.

However, in a press conference during testing at ISM Raceway last weekend, Marco Andretti explained that he thinks Andretti Autosport should be able to catch up on development, citing the team’s resources – they’re the only IndyCar team with four full-time cars in their stable – and the fact that everyone is still adapting to the new kit.

“I feel like it’s early enough days that, yes, we can catch up,” Andretti said at ISM Raceway. “When there is anything new, a new car, new aero kit, at-track days are huge. We can sim all these things we want. To really get out there and confirm what we’re learning back at the shop is another thing.”

Ryan Hunter-Reay during testing at ISM Raceway. Photo: IndyCar

Andretti continued, “Yeah, I don’t think we should look at it like we’re behind the eight ball. With a four-car team, that’s where we can use it to our benefit. So far so good.”

Teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay, echoed Andretti’s sentiments, adding that while the situation is not perfect, they will need to adapt to it in order to remain competitive.

“Any time you have a new car, to put it into perspective, we’re on track three days on a road course before we get to (the season open in St. Petersburg). That’s a very short amount of time. It’s obviously not ideal, but we’re just going to lace up our boots and get on with it. That’s all you can do.”

Andretti Autosport will have one more team test, at Sebring International Raceway later on in February, before the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

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