Front row the target for Alonso in qualifying

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Fernando Alonso is looking to improve his qualifying form having set himself the target of a front row start for the Malaysian Grand Prix.

“On my lap on the medium tires, I did not have the right balance,” Alonso said. “Otherwise I could have managed to improve, as I did on the hards and I could probably have been on the front row.”

Alonso finished fourth in both practice sessions on Friday, and the Ferrari driver believes that the team can learn more from this weekend than they did in Australia.

“Today the car worked well in all conditions and that is very good news for us. This circuit is more representative than Australia for evaluating the car’s performance and so it was important to understand here today if the positive feelings from the winter were not just an illusion.”

Many drivers and teams are hoping that the forecast rain will not interrupt proceedings in Malaysia after last weekend’s race faced long delays. The race is held in monsoon season, making showers likely, and Alonso was aware of the changeable conditions.

“We must see how tomorrow goes, when it could rain at any moment and on a track where tire degradation is much higher than in Melbourne.”

Ferrari showed impressive pace in Australia, and Alonso finished a strong P2 after qualifying fifth. If he is able to qualify strongly in Malaysia, he will certainly be in the running to repeat his victory from last year at the Sepang International Circuit. His qualifying form was the weak link in his 2012 championship challenge, having claimed just two pole positions, and he has not started on the front row since the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.

Andretti United team names drivers for inaugural Extreme E season

Extreme E drivers Andretti
Extreme E
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The Extreme E team formed by Andretti Autosport and United Autosports named Catie Munnings and Timmy Hansen as its drivers Monday for the series’ inaugural 2021 season.

Munnings is a successful veteran of rally series. Hansen is a past winner and champion in the World Rallycross Championship.

They both will race in the environmentally conscious electric SUV series that will hold events in five areas around the world that are threatened by climate change. Chip Ganassi Racing and six-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton also are fielding cars in Extreme E, which will feature male and female co-drivers on every team.

Catie Munnings

“I’m so excited to join Andretti United Extreme E,” Munnings said in a release. ““I was really intrigued when I first heard about Extreme E, I just knew I had to be involved. The male / female racing partnership is a fantastic and exciting new concept. The season has incredible locations and the racing will be very exciting. It will be a new challenge for the teams and drivers, and I’m so thrilled to be working with such a strong team.

“The championship is a really innovative concept, it’s combining motorsport and science and will produce an important legacy in each race location. Bringing the platform that motorsport has in line with the awareness that the planet needs right now is awesome and a really important message.”

Timmy Hansen

Said Hansen: “Going into the Extreme E will be a new chapter in my career, one that I am extremely excited about. It is something brand new, not only for me, but the whole of motorsport. The format is something

we’ve never seen before. I’m also delighted to be able to carry the message of something bigger – talking about the environment and doing something good for the world – that’s something that really drives me. It’s going to be a big adventure in life to see these locations and I’m going to do my best in carrying this responsibility and hopefully making people aware of the challenges we have in the world, together with our passion for racing.”