Getty Images

27 cars confirmed for WEC Prologue at Monza

Leave a comment

Officials from the FIA World Endurance Championship have released a 27-car entry list for the two day pre-season Prologue at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza on April 1-2.

Prior to the start of the new WEC season at Silverstone on April 16, drivers and teams will get a chance to take part in the collective test at Monza, one of the fastest circuits in Europe.

Following the publication of the full season and Le Mans entry lists last month, the WEC and Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) have now issued the roster for Monza.

All but one car confirmed to be racing full-time in the WEC this year will feature at Monza, the exception being the secondย CEFC Manor TRS Racing entry.

While there are a few blanks to be filled in on the driver front, two notable exceptions are Toyota drivers Sebastien Buemi and Jose Maria Lopez. Both will be at Monza for the launch of the 2017-spec TS050 Hybrid car on March 31 before dashing to Mexico for the Formula E race on April 1.

Curiously, DS Virgin Formula E driver Sam Bird does feature on the entry list in the No. 71 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE alongside teammate Davide Rigon.

You can see the entry list in full here.

Hamilton, Red Bull teammates both go to NASA before USGP

Photo: Red Bull Content Pool
Leave a comment

One of the more intriguing United States Grand Prix adventures occurred on Wednesday, as both Lewis Hamilton and the pair of Red Bull Racing teammates, Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen, all went to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston – in separate sessions – before heading onto Austin.

Hamilton posted on his Instagram story on Wednesday that he’d “quit his day job in a second” to work at NASA and become an astronaut, and the unbridled enthusiasm spoke to the three-time Formula 1 World Champion’s love of different life aspects entirely outside of racing.

“(I) had an incredible day yesterday, having a bit of a comedown today,” Hamilton said today at the FIA Press Conference. “I was just buzzed all day yesterday because itโ€™s always been something Iโ€™ve wanted to do. Itโ€™s always something Iโ€™ve been fascinated about, space and space travel particularly.

“So to actually go thereโ€ฆ and I had a million questions. Iโ€™m sure the guy got fed up with me. I asked a lot of questions and I got to see a lot of great things, some of the new technology they are working on and yeah, I want to go back.”

The Mercedes AMG Petronas team posted a gallery of Hamilton’s adventure on its website, linked here, and a few samples are below.

As for the Red Bull pair, the young duo of Ricciardo and Verstappen were equally awestruck by the experience.

“There really are a lot of similarities between this and F1, just the technology alone,” Ricciardo said. “I had a guest come to a race last year, when they got into the garage they were like: ‘this is like a space station’. We went to mission control here and it’s really like what we have in the Ops Room in Milton Keynes. Even the safety technology is similar. The astronauts go through the same measurements, a similar kind of HANS device etc. It’s really cool.”

Verstappen added,ย “There are quite a lot of comparisons, if you really want to talk about it we could go on for an hour! The control center looks pretty similar to ours. We share a lot of the same technology. It was really interesting for us to see that and I bet it would be the same if they could see ours.”

Here’s a link to Red Bull’s galleryย and some teaser shots below.