McLaren passes FIA crash test with new nose design

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McLaren has confirmed that its new nose design for the MP4-30 car has passed the required FIA crash test and will debut at next weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix.

The British team has endured a tough start to the 2015 Formula 1 season after making the switch to Honda engines, scoring just four points in the opening seven races.

The team’s frustrations came to a head in Canada last weekend as Fernando Alonso said he appeared “amateur” when racing outside of the points before eventually retiring.

McLaren has long urged patience as its revival with Honda begins to gather steam, and it appears another positive step has been taken as the team confirmed last night that its new nose design has passed the FIA crash test.

Team racing director Eric Boullier recently paid tribute to both his drivers, the staff and its fans for supporting McLaren through this difficult time and continuing to dig deep, having experienced its worst ever start to an F1 season.

Perhaps the biggest saving grace for McLaren is that the car, when on the pace as we saw at Monaco, is capable of scoring points. The Honda power unit is still very much in its early stages, and by the time it has completed its development cycle and is up to speed with the likes of Renault, Ferrari and Mercedes, McLaren could yet be fighting back towards the front of the field.

A number of teams are expected to bring upgrades to the race in Austria next weekend including Toro Rosso, whilst Force India will debut its major update package at the British Grand Prix two weeks later.

Ken Roczen signs with HEP Progressive Ecstar Suzuki for 2023

Roczen Progressive Ecstar Suzuki
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ANAHEIM, California – Ken Roczen will make the move from HRC Honda to H.E.P. Motorsports with the Progressive Ecstar Suzuki team, ending a long and eventful offseason that saw his split from his longstanding team after he committed to running World Supercross (WSX).

“H.E.P. Motorsports is thrilled to announce that the team has signed Ken Roczen as its premier rider for the 2023 season,” the team announced on Instagram. “Former AMA Motocross champion Roczen will be aboard a Suzuki RM-Z450. Roczen, who won his most recent championship on a Suzuki, will be reunited with the brand and bring his exciting style, determination, and grit back to the RM Army.

“Ken Roczen will compete in the upcoming 2023 Supercross and Motocross Championship series which is set to start on January 7 at Anaheim Stadium in Southern California.”

For Roczen, it is a return to the bike of his youth and on which he had some of his greatest professional success.

“This thing has been going on for weeks and weeks and weeks in the making, but there was so much uncertainty,” Roczen told NBC Sports during Monster Energy Supercross Media Sessions. “It was a very unique situation. I just finally signed two nights ago, so it’s really only legit once the ink hits the paper. It’s been in the works for a long time, but there were just a lot of questions and a lot of input from a lot of other teams too.

“Good things take time, and I’m okay with that. I grew up riding Suzuki. Ot’s like a homecoming. It’s a special feeling”

Roczen won the 2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship on a Suzuki before making the move to Honda. That year he won nine of 12 Nationals and finished no worse than second as he easily outpaced Eli Tomac by 86 points. He finished third in his next Pro Motocross outing in 2018 after sitting out the outdoor season in 2017.

“I am beyond excited to reconnect with Suzuki for the 3rd time in my career. We’ve had a lot of success in the past and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish together in our future.” Roczen said in the Instagram post.