Alonso keen on dry qualifying in China

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Fernando Alonso is refusing to get ahead of himself despite an impressive performance in practice for the Chinese Grand Prix today, as a wet qualifying could leave Ferrari in the dark for the rest of the weekend.

The Spanish driver finished fastest in FP1 and in second place in FP2, and was the one driver who put up some kind of resistance to the all-dominant Mercedes cars. However, he is not willing to make any predictions with a wet qualifying forecast tomorrow.

“All Fridays are the same, a day when you especially need to test the tyres to adapt to the circuit and on this front, maybe it was less useful than usual, because the forecast for tomorrow suggests rain is on the way,” Alonso explained. “We have brought some small updates here, which we already tried at the Bahrain test. Everything worked well and that’s good news.”

Alonso issued a rally cry to the Ferrari team earlier this week following the departure of team principal Stefano Domenicali, and he once again underlined the importance of bringing upgrades to every race.

“Leaving aside the performance of the others, I am happy with what we have done today,” he said. “At every race, all the teams bring something new and we must try and make an additional step forward if we want to be competitive. This track is particularly tough on tyres, with the softs especially suffering from graining over a long run, so it will be important to work out the tire plan for Sunday.

“If it rains tomorrow, we will definitely have less information for the race and we will have to rely on guesswork. Let’s hope we make the right choices.”

Having won the race in 2013, Alonso is looking to become the first driver to successfully defend the Chinese Grand Prix, and with Mercedes’ advantage appearing to have shrunk, he might have more of a chance than we gave him credit for earlier this week.

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.”