FIA to police track limits electronically in Hungarian GP

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The FIA has confirmed it will police track limits during this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix using electronic devices in a bid to stop drivers gaining an advantage by going off-track.

Over the British Grand Prix weekend at Silverstone, a number of drivers had lap times in qualifying deleted for exceeding track limits, although questions were raised about the consistency of decisions.

The Hungaroring has undergone a number of changes ahead of this weekend’s race, including the installation of new curbs and a resurfacing of the tarmac.

In his pre-race notes to the teams, FIA race director Charlie Whiting confirmed that an electronic system would be used at Turns 4 and 11 to inform race control of drivers who put all four wheels off-track.

“In Turns 4 and 11 the new double curb has been installed and the artificial grass removed,” Whiting wrote.

“However, the run-off areas behind the curbs have been set at the same height as the kerbs themselves, the required deterrent is therefore not present.

“With this in mind we have installed loops 1.6m from the track edge which will alert us when a car has all four wheels off the track in these two locations.”

Whiting also informed teams that “the ‘sausage’ curbs on the apex of Turns 6 and 7 have been replaced by a 50 mm high steel ‘Abu Dhabi’ curb on the apex behind the 50mm positive curb”, while “a large number of kerbs have been renewed to a very high standard with great emphasis on improved drainage”.

The Hungarian Grand Prix is live across the NBC Sports Group this weekend. For more information on broadcast times, click here.

NEOM McLaren Formula E announces Jake Hughes will join Rene Rast for 2023 season

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McLaren Racing
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Doubling down on their commitment to electric auto sports, McLaren Racing announced Jake Hughes will join Rene Rast to compete in the 2023 Formula E Series (FE), which completes their driver lineup.

The NEOM McLaren FE team was formed by the acquisition of the Mercedes-EQ Formula E team that won the 2021 and 2022 championships with Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck de Vries behind the wheel.

“Today’s announcement feels like a long time coming,” said Ian James, managing director of NEOM McLaren Electric Racing in a release. “Since May this year, when we first announced McLaren Racing’s entry into Formula E, we have been working tirelessly to get in place the best possible team and structure for sustainable success.

“On the one hand, we have been working on the retention of the amazing talent that already was in place before going into the transitional phase. I’m proud to say I think we’ve done a great job on that front.

“On the other hand, we have been focusing on putting in place new processes and new talent – and the latter includes the drivers.”

The driver lineup clasps the two hands together.

Hughes brings 10 years racing experience in single seater cars, including a role with the acquired Mercedes-EQ team as a reserve and development driver for the past two seasons. He is the 2013 BRDC Formula 4 champion and has multiple wins in Formula 2, including two in 2020.

Announced in August, Rast joins the team after earning two podium finishes and six top-fives in 22 career Formula E starts for Audi Sport ABT before returning to the DTM Series last year. Rast’s best finish in Formula E came in the Puebla E Prix when he finished second to teammate Lucas di Grassi by less than a half second.

McLaren’s commitment to Formula E comes one year after they entered the Extreme E rally series in 2022 with Tanner Foust and Emma Gilmour in the driver lineup. After a modest start to the season, the McLaren XE drivers crossed the finish line first in Round 4 in Chile, but were assessed a time penalty that dropped them to fifth. Last week in the season finale in Uruguay, they held onto a hard-earned second place finish.