Korean GP to be spared brunt of tropical storm

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The progress of Tropical Storm Fitow has occupied the attention of F1 weather-watchers in recent days as it originally looked to be on course to interfere with this weekend’s Korean Grand Prix.

However the latest weather models indicate the storm will veer to the west of South Korea, missing the area where the Korea International Circuit, venue of this weekend’s race, is situated.

The storm is expected to bring winds in excess of 75 knots (86mph) by Sunday which could have jeopardized the running of the race.

The first Korean Grand Prix in 2010 was affected by a heavy rain storm which soaked the circuit and forced the race to be suspended for over an hour. It eventually finished in darkness as the sun had set before the chequered flag fell.

Formula One has already been disrupted by rain this year which forced the partial postponement of qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix.

Tropical cyclones are most common in this part of the world. Severe weather has twice affected the running of the nearby Japanese Grand Prix in the last decade. Track activity was cancelled on the Saturday of the 2004 Japanese Grand Prix due to the approaching Typhoon Ma-on, and heavy rain caused qualifying to be postponed in 2010.

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.