Rosberg: Mercedes wary of Ferrari threat in 2015


Nico Rosberg believes that the rest of the Formula 1 field has made inroads into Mercedes’ pace advantage over the winter and can pose a greater threat to the German marque in 2015.

Last season, Mercedes swept to both championships by claiming a record-breaking 16 wins and 18 pole positions, leaving its rivals lagging far behind.

However, the Silver Arrows are yet to top a single day of testing so far in 2015, with Rosberg finishing in sixth place today behind teammate Lewis Hamilton.

Ferrari has been the team to beat over the winter, finishing fastest on three days and in second place on a further three occasions.

Speaking to the media on Friday, Rosberg said that Mercedes was surprised by the shrinking gap but well aware of the threat posed by Ferrari.

“It’s clear in the way the others have really stepped up their games,” Rosberg said. “The lap times are surprising to us. In relation it seems that Ferrari has made the biggest step at the moment.

When asked if Ferrari could rival Mercedes this year, Rosberg said: “For sure, yes. Definitely our eyes are wide open at the moment.”

Rosberg only took part in the morning session in Barcelona today after suffering a small neck injury. As a precaution, he was replaced by Hamilton for the afternoon, and the German explained how a change in seating position caused the problem to flare up.

“I liked it [the seating position] different,” he said. “But I can’t drive the one I like. My neck doesn’t like that one.

“I changed it in the winter. It’s incredible how a couple of millimetres change everything.”

Despite not topping the timesheets today, Mercedes was the quickest team to post its best lap time on the medium compound tire, suggesting that on a level playing field it may still be the team to beat.

Rosberg will be back in action for Mercedes on Sunday, with Hamilton enjoy a full day of running in Barcelona tomorrow.

SuperMotocross set to introduce Leader Lights beginning with the World Championship finals


In a continuing effort to help fans keep track of the on track action, SuperMotocross is in the process of developing and implementing leader lights for the unified series.

Currently Supercross (SMX) utilizes stanchions in the infield that are triggered manually by a race official. At least two stanchions are used in each race as a way to draw the eye to the leader, which is especially useful in the tight confines of the stadium series when lapping often begins before the halfway mark in the 22-bike field. This system has been in place for the past two decades.

Later this year, a fully automated system will move to the bike itself to replace the old system. At that point, fans will be able to identify the leader regardless of where he is on track.

The leader lights were tested in the second Anaheim round this year. An example can be seen at the 1:45 mark in the video above on the No. 69 bike.

“What we don’t want to do is move too fast, where it’s confusing to people,” said Mike Muye, senior director of operations for Supercross and SMX in a press release. “We’ve really just focused on the leader at this point with the thought that maybe down the road we’ll introduce others.”

Scheduled to debut with the first SuperMotocross World Championship race at zMax Dragway, located just outside the Charlotte Motor Speedway, a 3D carbon fiber-printed LED light will be affixed to each motorcycle. Ten timing loops positioned around the track will trigger the lights of the leader, which will turn green.

SMX’s partner LiveTime Scoring helped develop and implement the system that has been tested in some form or fashion since 2019.

When the leader lights are successfully deployed, SuperMotocross will explore expanding the system to identify the second- and third-place riders. Depending on need and fan acceptance, more positions could be added.

SuperMotocross is exploring future enhancements, including allowing for live fan interaction with the lights and ways to use the lighting system during the race’s opening ceremony.