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Renault F1 announces BP as new fuel supplier for 2017

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Renault has announced a new partnership with BP and Castrol to become its new fuel and lubricant supplier ahead of the 2017 Formula 1 season.

Renault had worked with French supplier Total in recent years as part of its engine supply to customer teams Red Bull and Lotus.

Lotus was taken over by Renault at the end of 2015 to become a factory operation once again, with the switch to BP and Castrol, the oil company’s lubricant brand, being part of an extensive rebuild currently underway at Enstone.

“The return of BP and Castrol, brands with such strong heritage in motorsport, is very good news and opens new opportunities for our Formula 1 team,” Renault Sport Racing president Jerome Stoll said.

“BP’s commitment highlights the ongoing appeal of Formula 1 to major multinational companies. We are very proud and motivated to have a technical partner and sponsor of this caliber.”

“With the new aerodynamic regulations for the 2017 Formula 1 season, power sensitivity will increase,” Renault Sport managing director Cyril Abiteboul added.

“Therefore fuels and lubricants will make an even greater difference to the overall performance of the car than they have since the new power unit regulations have been introduced in 2014.

“The teams at BP and Castrol are very excited by the challenges offered by Formula 1 and we are confident they will help us achieve our ambitions for our new car in 2017 and beyond.”

McLaren is also expected to make the switch to BP and Castrol for 2017 following the end of its long-term partnership with ExxonMobil, with the brand jumping ship to Red Bull.

Alexander Rossi’s Grand Prix of Alabama gamble fails to pay off

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Alexander Rossi bobbled for the first time in 2018 with an 11th-place finish in the Honda IndyCar Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park.

And to add insult to injury, Rossi also lost the points lead as a result.

Rossi got off to about as great a start to the season as possible. He finished third at St. Petersburg and sat third in the standings. He finished third again at Phoenix and climbed to second in the points.

Rossi won the Long Beach Grand Prix after starting from the pole and leading 71 laps. That put him at the top of the standings after three races.

Then, as quickly as he climbed to the top, he got knocked down a spot after finishing off the podium for the first time in 2018.

Rossi not only missed the podium, he finished outside the top 10.

“We didn’t get the result that we wanted,” Rossi said after the race. “That remains a mystery. But at the end of the day it was about survival. We couldn’t make the tires last; we couldn’t really get a great fuel number.”

The biggest negative was the one factor that was mostly out of his control. Rossi gambled that he was facing only a brief shower when rain began to fall with about 15 minutes remaining. He was wrong.

“We tried to be pretty aggressive on the dry tires and stay out and survive the rain, hoping it would dry out,” Rossi said. “And it didn’t really work.

“Sometimes you’ll have those days.”