Bottas: Reliability a key strength for Williams in 2015

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Valtteri Bottas was quick to praise the reliability of the Williams FW37 car after enjoying a successful final day of pre-season testing in Barcelona.

The Finnish driver ended the day at the top of the timesheets, posting a fastest lap of 1:23.063 to finish four-tenths of a second clear of Sebastian Vettel in second place.

Williams has slowly come alive across the course of the winter, topping two of the final four days of testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

Bottas was pleased with his performance on Sunday, saying that it was the perfect way to close out the winter.

“It was a really good day and a great way to finish the test,” Bottas said. “One of the main points we have learned is that the FW37 is very reliable. The car we are taking to Melbourne is very competitive and should make for an interesting start to the season.

“We have made the most out of our time testing and I need to say a really big thanks to the team, not only trackside but also everyone back at the factory as they have produced a really quick and reliable car.”

Judging by the times in the final test, Williams heads to the opening race of the year in Australia as the second quickest team. Although its one-lap and race pace does not match that of defending champions Mercedes, the British team appears to have an edge on Ferrari and Red Bull in the battle to be ‘best of the rest’ in 2015.

The new season kicks off with practice for the Australian Grand Prix on March 13.

NEOM McLaren Formula E announces Jake Hughes will join Rene Rast for 2023 season

McLaren Formula E Hughes
McLaren Racing

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.