Mercedes reveals full studio shots of new W07 F1 car

© Mercedes AMG Petronas
0 Comments

Mercedes has released the full studio shots of its new car for the 2016 Formula 1 season, the W07.

After winning back-to-back drivers’  and constructors’ championships in 2014 and 2015, Mercedes enters the new season chasing a third set for titles.

Lewis Hamilton will be looking to become just the fifth driver in the history of F1 to become a four-time world champion, while teammate Nico Rosberg continues to search for his maiden title.

After winning 16 races in 2015, improving on the W06 is a big ask for Mercedes, but technical boss Paddy Lowe is confident that the team has made up ground in some of its weakest areas with the new car.

“After a highly successful season all round in 2015, our priority has been to identify the areas in which we were weakest and to try to improve on those,” Lowe said.

“Our objective is excellence in all areas and, while we had some fantastic results last year, there are many areas in which we can still be much better. That’s the kind of culture we try to instill throughout the whole organization – one of constantly striving to reach something better.

“We had a number of races that didn’t go to plan in 2015 – Singapore in particular – so there were a lot of things that needed improving for 2016. We are seeking optimization absolutely everywhere.”

Much of Mercedes’ strength has been down to its power unit, but powertrain managing director Andy Cowell believes that there was still ground to be made up over the winter, particularly with its reliability.

“To get the performance out of this new generation of Power Units, you need to chase efficiency. That’s both combustion efficiency and efficiency in the various energy transition steps – i.e. MGU-H, MGU-K, turbocharger, power electronics and batteries,” Cowell said.

“We’re constantly working on every single piece of the puzzle to improve performance at the crankshaft, while also seeking to ensure we don’t suffer any of the problems we had last year with reliability.

“So, it’s about getting down to the root cause of issues and making sure that everything is robust across our whole process, as much as extracting performance.”

Hamilton will be the first to publicly run the Mercedes W07 with the beginning of pre-season testing in Barcelona on Monday morning.

Jack Miller wins the MotoGP Japanese Grand Prix as Fabio Quartararo stops his downward points’ slide

0 Comments

Jack Miller ran away with the MotoGP Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi as Fabio Quartararo stopped his downward slide in the championship when a last-lap accident from his closest rival in the standings caused Francesco Bagnaia to score zero points.

Starting seventh, Miller quickly made his way forward. He was second at the end of two laps. One lap later, he grabbed the lead from Jorge Martin. Once in the lead, Miller posted three consecutive fastest laps and was never seriously challenged. It was Australian native Miller’s first race win of the season and his sixth podium finish.

The proximity to his home turf was not lost.

“I can ride a motorcycle sometimes,” Miller said in NBC Sports’ post-race coverage. “I felt amazing all weekend since I rolled out on the first practice. It feels so awesome to be racing on this side of the world.

“What an amazing day. It’s awesome; we have the home Grand Prix coming up shortly. Wedding coming up in a couple of weeks. I’m over the moon; can’t thank everyone enough.”

Miller beat Brad Binder to the line by 3.4 seconds with third-place Jorge Martin finishing about one second behind.

But the center of the storm was located just inside the top 10 as both Quartararo and Bagnaia started deep in the field.

Quartararo was on the outside of row three in ninth with Bagnaia one row behind in 12th. Neither rider moved up significantly, but the championship continued to be of primary importance as Bagnaia put in a patented late-race charge to settle onto Quartararo’s back tire, which would have allowed the championship leader to gain only a single point.

On the final lap, Bagnaia charged just a little too hard and crashed under heavy braking, throwing away the seven points he would have earned for a ninth-place finish.

The day was even more dramatic for the rider who entered the MotoGP Japanese Grand Prix third in the standings. On the sighting lap, Aleix Espargaro had an alarm sound, so he peeled off into the pits, dropped his primary bike and jumped aboard the backup. Starting from pit lane, he trailed the field and was never able to climb into the points. An undisclosed electronic problem was the culprit.

For Quartararo, gaining eight points on the competition was more than a moral victory. This was a track on which he expected to run moderately, and he did, but the problems for his rivals gives him renewed focus with four rounds remaining.

Next week, the series heads to Thailand and then Miller’s home track of Phillip Island in Australia. They will close out the Pacific Rim portion of the schedule before heading to Spain for the finale in early November.

It would appear team orders are not in play among the Ducati riders. Last week’s winner Enea Bastianini made an aggressive early move on Bagnaia for position before the championship contender wrestled the spot back.

In his second race back following arm surgery, Marc Marquez won the pole. His last pole was more than 1,000 days ago on this same track in 2019, the last time the series competed at Motegi. Marquez slipped to fifth in the middle stages of the race, before regaining a position to finish just off the podium.

In Moto2 competition, Ai Ogura beat Augusto Fernandez to close the gap in that championship to two points. Fernandez holds the scant lead. Alonso Lopez rounded out the podium.

Both American riders, Cameron Beaubier and Joe Roberts finished just outside the top 10 in 11th and 12th respectively.