Lapierre and Berthon to test for Team Aguri at Donington Park next week

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Nicolas Lapierre and Nathanael Berthon will take part in next week’s FIA Formula E test at Donington Park for Team Aguri.

The Japanese team enjoyed a successful outing at the first public pre-season test earlier this week as Salvador Duran and Tom Dillmann shared driving duties.

However, neither driver will take part in next week’s second test at Donington Park, and will instead be replaced by Lapierre and Berthon, as confirmed to MotorSportsTalk by a team spokesperson on Friday.

Lapierre has enjoyed a successful career in sportscars over the past eight years since turning his attention away from single seaters, racing for Toyota’s LMP1 team between 2012 and 2014.

The Frenchman left the team last fall before joining KCMG in LMP2, with whom he played a part in one of the most dominant class victories in recent memory at Le Mans this year.

Now, Lapierre will get a chance to sample a Formula E car for the first time with Team Aguri, testing alongside fellow countryman Berthon.

Berthon currently races in GP2 with Team Lazarus, and also raced at Le Mans earlier this year with Murphy Prototypes, finishing fifth in the LMP2 class.

MotorSportsTalk understands that although both drivers are testing for Team Aguri, the team is yet to make any firm decision about its drive line-up for season two, which starts in Beijing on October 17.

Duran and Dillmann both put in impressive displays at Donington Park earlier this week, whilst Sakon Yamamoto is also known to still have ties with the Japanese team and is set to take part in a show run later this month.

The second Formula E pre-season test takes place at Donington Park on August 17 and 18.

Valtteri Bottas wins chaotic season-opening F1 Austrian Grand Prix

Mark Thompson/Getty Images
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SPIELBERG, Austria — Valtteri Bottas won a chaotic season-opening F1 Austrian Grand Prix while six-time series champion Lewis Hamilton finished fourth after getting a late time penalty Sunday.

The Formula One race was interrupted three times by a safety car, and nine of 20 drivers abandoned, including both Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Alexander Albon – who tried to overtake Hamilton on the outside with 10 laps left, touched wheels and flew off track.

Hamilton was given a 5-second time penalty for causing the collision, having earlier been hit with a three-place grid penalty after an incident in Saturday’s qualifying was reviewed by stewards.

SHOW OF SUPPORT: Drivers take knee before race

Bottas led all 71 laps in the eighth victory of his career. It was the second consecutive victory in the season opener for the Finn, though he won four months earlier in 2019 after this season’s start was delayed by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Lando Norris of McLaren F1 celebrates after his first podium finish (Mark Thompson/Getty Images).

Bottas started from pole position and Hamilton from fifth, but it looked like a straight fight between the two Mercedes drivers as has been the case so often in recent years.

But late drama in Spielberg ensured otherwise and Hamilton’s time penalty meant Charles Leclerc took second place for Ferrari, and Lando Norris sent McLaren’s garage into raptures – and threw all social distancing rules out of the window amid the euphoria – with third place.

It was the 20-year-old British driver’s first career podium, and his superb final lap was the fastest of a dramatic season opener.

Norris became the youngest British driver to secure a podium finish and the third-youngest ever in Formula One.

Valtteri Bottas leads Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton during the Formula One Grand Prix of Austria (Mark Thompson/Getty Images).