Ferrari face disciplinary inquiry after tire test

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Ferrari may have been one of the first teams to raise concern over Mercedes’ secret test following the Spanish Grand Prix, but the Italian marque has now been drawn into the controversy after it transpired that they too completed laps at the Circuit de Catalunya after the Bahrain Grand Prix.

This test was completed with the Ferrari F150 Italia, their 2011 car, which the team believes makes the test legitimate and fair as they did not use the 2013 car nor their premier drivers, unlike Mercedes.

Regardless, the FIA has asked Ferrari to explain its actions in a statement released yesterday.

“The FIA has asked Team Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 and Scuderia Ferrari Team which have taken part in tire tests in the 2013 season to reply to a disciplinary inquiry in pursuance of the FIA Judicial and Disciplinary Rules.

“This follows the Stewards’ Report from the Monaco Grand Prix and represents supplementary information required by the FIA in the light of the replies received from Pirelli, who were asked for clarifications on Tuesday May 28th.”

Along with Red Bull, Ferrari had made a formal protest over Mercedes’ test with Pirelli, yet it appears that the tables could quickly turn should the FIA find them to be just as guilty. Pirelli did protest their innocence over the matter in a press conference yesterday, but the FIA will have the final say over the matter in the coming weeks.

NEOM McLaren Formula E announces Jake Hughes will join Rene Rast for 2023 season

McLaren Formula E Hughes
McLaren Racing
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Doubling down on their commitment to electric auto sports, McLaren Racing announced Jake Hughes will join Rene Rast to compete in the 2023 Formula E Series (FE), which completes their driver lineup.

The NEOM McLaren FE team was formed by the acquisition of the Mercedes-EQ Formula E team that won the 2021 and 2022 championships with Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck de Vries behind the wheel.

“Today’s announcement feels like a long time coming,” said Ian James, managing director of NEOM McLaren Electric Racing in a release. “Since May this year, when we first announced McLaren Racing’s entry into Formula E, we have been working tirelessly to get in place the best possible team and structure for sustainable success.

“On the one hand, we have been working on the retention of the amazing talent that already was in place before going into the transitional phase. I’m proud to say I think we’ve done a great job on that front.

“On the other hand, we have been focusing on putting in place new processes and new talent – and the latter includes the drivers.”

The driver lineup clasps the two hands together.

Hughes brings 10 years racing experience in single seater cars, including a role with the acquired Mercedes-EQ team as a reserve and development driver for the past two seasons. He is the 2013 BRDC Formula 4 champion and has multiple wins in Formula 2, including two in 2020.

Announced in August, Rast joins the team after earning two podium finishes and six top-fives in 22 career Formula E starts for Audi Sport ABT before returning to the DTM Series last year. Rast’s best finish in Formula E came in the Puebla E Prix when he finished second to teammate Lucas di Grassi by less than a half second.

McLaren’s commitment to Formula E comes one year after they entered the Extreme E rally series in 2022 with Tanner Foust and Emma Gilmour in the driver lineup. After a modest start to the season, the McLaren XE drivers crossed the finish line first in Round 4 in Chile, but were assessed a time penalty that dropped them to fifth. Last week in the season finale in Uruguay, they held onto a hard-earned second place finish.