Losing one-two the only regret on Red Bull’s greatest day

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Red Bull team principal Christian Horner had much to celebrate on Sunday.

His team, still only in its ninth year of competition, won the constructors’ championship for the fourth time. And Sebastian Vettel had romped to an emphatic win which gave him a fourth consecutive drivers’ championship.

But it wasn’t quite the perfect result for the team. With over half the race gone they looked on course for a one-two finish when Mark Webber hit trouble.

“The most disappointing thing today was obviously the failure on Mark’s car when we were set for a one-two finish,” said Horner. “We had a sudden alternator failure, but sometimes that’s racing.”

“It was just desperately disappointing to happen while we were on course to achieve a one-two finish.”

Red Bull had a series of alternator failures last year which caused several retirements and cost Sebastian Vettel a likely win in the European Grand Prix. Since then the team has changed its supplier for the part.

“Obviously I’m pretty disappointed with today’s race, but there is not much I can do, the alternator went wrong with very short notice so we had to stop straight away,” said Webber.

“It’s tough because we did a lot of things right this weekend, but I’ve got a smile on my face as I could not have done any more.”

Webber added his congratulations to Vettel and the rest of the team: “Well done to Seb on his championship and also to all the team; to get a fourth title is amazing.”

“It’s been a great job by the whole team to achieve the title four years on the trot and it has once again set itself as the benchmark for the others.”

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.