(Photo: Rising Star Racing)

2015 Pro Mazda runner-up Alberico joins Carlin for Indy Lights

Leave a comment

Last year’s Pro Mazda Championship runner-up Neil Alberico will move up to the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires circuit and drive for upstart team Carlin this season.

“Carlin came to the U.S. and immediately proved they could win races,” the 23-year-old Alberico said in a team media release. “They have a winning formula for success, so of course I am happy to be part of that for 2016.

“There will be challenges to adapt to as I learn the nuances of the new car, but driving alongside a pair of experienced teammates will help accelerate the learning process.”

Carlin enters its second season in Indy Lights.

“Neil was a driver who immediately caught our eye least season,” team principal Trevor Carlin said in the release. “From the outset, he looked like one of the drivers to beat and throughout the year he handled himself very well both in and out of the car.”

Alberico, who will team with Ed Jones and Felix Serralles with Carlin, recorded four wins and two poles last season in the Pro Mazda circuit.

“Neil has impressed us already in the small amount of testing he has done with the team,” Carlin said. “We’re really looking forward to seeing him race alongside Ed and Felix in what we believe is a very strong driver line-up.”

Like last season, Alberico – a native of Los Gatos, California – will once again be supported by Rising Star Racing.

“I’m very proud of Neil (Alberico) for taking this next step in his career, and the RSR mission certainly receives a lift when we can work with talented individuals like him,” said Rising Star principal Art Wilmes. “At the end of the day, however, it is our sponsors that make it all happen. Without their interest in motorsports, our drivers would be sitting on the sidelines.”

Alberico and his new teammates will test Tuesday at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Follow @JerryBonkowski

Sergio Perez still has coronavirus; will miss second consecutive F1 race

F1 Sergio Perez out
Laurent Charniaux/Pool via Getty Images
Leave a comment

SILVERSTONE, England — Sergio Perez will be out for a second F1 race at Silverstone this week after again testing positive for the coronavirus.

The Mexican driver had hoped to return to Formula One after spending seven days in quarantine, but his Racing Point team said this morning he had tested positive.

“He is physically well and recovering,” the team said. “The whole team wishes Sergio and his family well and we look forward to his return.”

That means German veteran Nico Hulkenberg again fills in for Sunday’s 70th Anniversary Grand Prix after having also replaced Sergio Perez when he was out for the F1 British Grand Prix at the same venue last week. Hulkenberg did not start that race because of an engine problem.

There are two consecutive weekends of racing at Silverstone as Formula One tries to pack in races following the pandemic-delayed start to the season.

Perez became the first Formula One driver to test positive for coronavirus, and it had been unclear whether he would be available to drive after the period of quarantine was extended to 10 days.

Racing Point also was in the news Friday after being hit with a 15-point penalty in the Formula One constructors’ championship and fined 400,000 euros ($470,000) Friday for using brake ducts based on those from last year’s Mercedes cars.

The stewards ruled that Mercedes was the “principal designer” of the parts, and that Racing Point made only minor changes to computer design data it received from Mercedes.

Rival team Renault filed protests about the legality of the brake ducts, which were added to the “listed parts” under F1 rules for 2020. That means teams must design their own. Racing Point argued it was merely using information about the Mercedes parts to inform its own design.

Racing Point uses customer engines from Mercedes and has admitted basing its 2020 car design on photographs of last year’s Mercedes car. The similarities led to the Racing Point being nicknamed the “pink Mercedes” when it was first seen in testing ahead of the season.

Racing Point can appeal the ruling. The points deduction drops the team from fifth to sixth in the standings, below Renault. The ruling doesn’t affect the points totals for Racing Point’s drivers.