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Ricciardo: Singapore one of Red Bull’s best chances to win again in 2017

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Daniel Ricciardo believes next weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix represents one of Red Bull’s best chances to win another Formula 1 race this season, with the Australian keen to move one step up the podium after finishing second at Marina Bay in 2015 and 2016.

Red Bull has been marooned as the third-fastest team for much of the 2017 season, with Ricciardo taking a opportunistic victory in a crazy Azerbaijan Grand Prix back in June.

After trailing behind Mercedes and Ferrari in recent races, Red Bull heads to Singapore expecting to be closer given the tight and twisting nature of the street course, with the strength of the RB13 chassis expected to give the team a boost.

“I believe Singapore won’t be our only chance, but is one of our best chances of a win in the second half of the season,” Ricciardo said.

“I’ve started second and finished second at this track in the last two years, with fastest lap both times, so my aim this year is definitely to start on pole and try to go one better in the race.”

Singapore presents a number of unique challenges, with the night race forcing all drivers to stay on European time zones while also managing their fitness and nutritional regime for one of the hottest races of the year.

“I always prepare for the race with some acclimatization training. You feel the heat when you’re in the car,
but when you stop after the race and the adrenaline decreases you feel it even more,” Ricciardo said.

“After the race, I will easily sink five liters of water to rehydrate before I go to bed.”

Pirelli reveals new super-hard, hyper-soft F1 tires in Abu Dhabi

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Pirelli has confirmed it will add two new tires to its range for the 2018 Formula 1 season, launching the ‘super-hard’ and ‘hyper-soft’ compounds in Abu Dhabi on Thursday.

Pirelli currently makes three of its five dry compounds available to teams for each race weekend, and despite varying selections across the course of the season has struggled to offer much in terms of strategy options, with one-stop races being the norm.

The hope is that the addition of two new tire compounds and a re-alignment of their durability will offer teams more choices in races.

Pirelli confirmed plans to introduce a new softest tire below the current ultra-soft earlier this month, inviting fans to pick a name.

The pink-colored compound will be known as the ‘hyper-soft’ from next year, with the arrival of a new ‘super-hard’ (colored ‘ice blue’) also being confirmed at a launch event in Abu Dhabi on Thursday.

“Compared to this year, when the tires grew by 25% to fit a brand-new generation of cars, the changes for next year are less far-reaching,” Pirelli head of car racing Mario Isola said.

“However, we’re pleased to present some important innovations with softer and faster compounds across the range: including the new hypersoft.

“We realized that, under the unique circumstances of this year, some of our 2017 compounds were perhaps conservative: the tires we have created for 2018 addresses this, in line with the objective of having around two pit stops at most races.

“However, the fundamental design concept of the tires hasn’t changed next year, preserving the attributes that all drivers have appreciated this year and allowing them to push hard from the start to the finish of each stint.

“The new range consists of faster tires that should lead to even harder and more spectacular racing in 2018.”

Besides the seven dry compounds made available, there will be the two rain tires – wet and intermediate – taking it to a total of nine for the 2018 season.