Alonso changes helmet, Williams alters livery, other minor changes for Abu Dhabi GP

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ABU DHABI – For this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, there have been a few subtle changes made to the liveries that we will see on the grid and the helmets that the drivers will sport under the lights at Yas Marina.

In order to come into line with alcohol laws in the United Arab Emirates, Williams has made a number of alterations to its livery that remove all references to its title sponsor, Martini.

The team faced a similar predicament in Bahrain earlier this year, but simply changed the word “Martini” to “racing” on all of its logos and kept the livery the same.

However, Williams has now opted to remove all of the red stripes from its livery for Abu Dhabi, leaving just the blue lines on the car. A similar move was taken for the team’s inclusion in the official Formula 1 video game, produced by Codemasters.

Similarly, Force India has had to remove all references to vodka company Smirnoff from its livery. Following a successful drive for fresh investment, Caterham is featuring a number of new sponsors on its car this weekend including Crowdcube and its administrators, Smith and Williamson. Toro Rosso will also be running with a promotional banner for the 2015 Austrian Grand Prix on its car for the race weekend.

Following the announcement of his departure from Ferrari at the end of the season, Fernando Alonso will be running with a special helmet to mark the occasion in Abu Dhabi.

“I’ll wear a helmet with a picture of a pit stop this year on one side, the Italian flag in the middle and the signatures of everybody in the team on the other side,” the Spaniard explained. “I just told them this morning that it’s the last time that I will jump in a Ferrari.

“I want to bring all of them with me because they were a part of this fantastic experience and I want to do my last race with them on the track.”

Predictably, Sebastian Vettel will be sporting another unique helmet for tomorrow’s race, and we’ll be sure to tweet out a picture of it on the @F1onNBCSports account once we have one.

IMSA results, points, stats package after Sunday at Road America

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Helio Castroneves and Ricky Taylor delivered Team Penske’s first victory this season in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, winning at Road America from the pole position Sunday and moving up to sixth in points after finishing no better than seventh in the first three races this season.

The Team Penske No. 7 Acura DPi led a race-high 48  of 63 laps, including the final four after Castroneves seized a restart to take first from Renger van der Zande, who finished second with Ryan Briscoe in the No. 10 Cadillac DPi.

Other class winners at the Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, road course were the No. 81 ORECA LMP2 07 of Henrik Hedman and Ben Hanley in LMP2, the No. 3 Corvette C8.R of Antonio Garcia and Jordan Taylor in GTLM and the No. 12 Lexus RC F GT3 of Townsend Bell and Frankie Montecalvo in GTD.

RAIN-SOAKED RELIEF: Castroneves delivers Penske’s first win with late pass

Here are the race stats, points and results from the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race at Road America:


RESULTS: Click here for the overall finishing order and here for the class breakdown.

POINTS: In the DPi standings, the No. 10 Cadillac of Briscoe and van der Zande leads by six points (124-118) over the No. 5 Cadillac of Joao Barbosa and Sebastien Bourdais.

The No. 3 Corvette of Antonio Garcia and Jordan Taylor leads the GTLM standings with 130 points, 10 more than the No. 912 Porsche of Earl Bamber and Laurens Vanthoor.

In GTD, the No. 12 Lexus of Bell and Montecalvo moved into the lead by four points (121-117) over AIM Vasser Sullivan teammates Jack Hawksworth and Aaron Telitz in the No. 14 Lexus.

The No. 38 of Performance Tech Motorsport leads in LMP2.

Click here for the points standings for drivers and teams after Road America.

STATS PACKAGE FOR ROAD AMERICA:

Fastest laps by driver

Fastest laps by driver after race

Fastest laps by driver and class after race

Fastest lap sequence

Leader sequence

Lap chart

Race analysis by lap

NEXT: The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s GT classes will race Aug. 21-22 at Virginia International Raceway.