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Vergne gives thumbs up to Pirelli’s 2017 tire developments

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BERLIN, Germany – Jean-Eric Vergne was impressed by Pirelli’s tire developments for the 2017 Formula 1 season after completing a test at Fiorano with Ferrari earlier this month.

Pirelli has been given new guidelines to meet with its compounds for next season, and received the green light to complete 25 days of testing to ensure that the demands are satisfied.

Vergne completed a test with a 2014-spec Ferrari car at Fiorano at the beginning of the month, but said that the pictures circulating on social media of him testing that showed the tires to be far wider than those currently used were fake.

“It was only the compound so the images you see were photoshopped,” Vergne confirmed to NBC Sports in Berlin, before sharing his thoughts on the first run with the prototype tires.

“We’re going to have more tests going on with Pirelli and Ferrari,” Vergne said.

“Definitely some good things. Pirelli are working well to give good tires.

“I’m confident things will be great for next season tire-wise.”

Vergne moved into the role of reserve driver at Ferrari for 2016 after Esteban Gutierrez’s move to Haas, and also races in Formula E with DS Virgin Racing.

Keating stripped of Le Mans GTE-Am win; No. 68 Ganassi entry also disqualified


FIA stewards announced Monday that two Ford GT entries have been disqualified from this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, including the GTE-Am class-winning No. 85 entry from privateer Keating Motorsports.

Also DQ’d was the factory No. 68 Chip Ganassi Racing entry of Joey Hand, Dirk Mueller and Sebastien Bourdais, which initially finished fourth in the GTE-Pro class.

Both entries were found in violation of fuel capacity regulations, with the No. 85 entry also failing to meet the minimum refueling time during pit stops.

The refueling system on the No. 85 entry, driven by Ben Keating, Jeroen Bleekemolen and Felipe Fraga, measured a time of 44.4 seconds during a stop, just shy of the minimum required time of 45 seconds.

As a result, the team was initially issued a 55.2-second post-race penalty by officials, which elevated the No. 56 Team Project 1 Porsche 911 RSR of Joerg Bergmeister, Patrick Lindsey, and Egidio Perfetti to the class win.

The time penalty was calculated by the difference in the refueling time (0.6 seconds) multiplied by the amount of pit stops made by the team (23), then multiplied by four.

The No. 85 entry was set to finish second in class, but then received an outright DQ after its fuel capacity was also revealed to be 0.1 liters above the maximum permitted capacity of 96 liters.

As for Ganassi’s No. 68 entry, it was found to have a fuel capacity of 97.83 liters, which is above the maximum allowed capacity of 97 liters for the GTE-Pro Fords.

The No. 67 Ford of Andy Priaulx, Harry Tincknell, and Jonathan Bomarito subsequently moves up to fourth, and the No. 69 Ford of Scott Dixon, Ryan Briscoe and Richard Westbrook moves up to fifth.

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