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WEC LMP1 technical regulations frozen until end of 2019

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Officials have confirmed that the technical regulations for the LMP1 Hybrid class of the FIA World Endurance Championship will be frozen until the end of the 2019 season.

The LMP1-H class is set to drop to just two manufacturers – Porsche and Toyota – and four cars from 2017 following Audi’s shock decision to end its prototype program following the 2016 season.

In June, the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) announced a set of tweaks to the LMP1 regulations for 2017 ahead of a planned revision for the following year.

However, in a bid to entice another manufacturer into the top class of the WEC following Audi’s departure, officials have now agreed to freeze the technical regulations until the end of the 2019 season.

“While at the last round of the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship in Bahrain, a Strategy Committee meeting took place between representatives of the two LMP1 Hybrid manufacturers, Porsche and Toyota, the President of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest, Pierre Fillon, and President of the FIA Endurance Commission, Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones,” a statement reads.

“Following very constructive discussions, it has been agreed between all parties that the current LMP1 hybrid technical regulations will be maintained until the end of 2019.

“This proposal will complement the other decisions already taken on the same subject, such as limiting the number of team members, the number of aero packages permitted, and the amount of wind tunnel sessions and testing days allowed – thus promoting strong technological competition and innovation in the coming years without an unlimited escalation of expenditure.

“The commitments made by the LMP1 Hybrid manufacturers will be put before the FIA World Council meeting in two weeks for approval.

“The very constructive attitude shown by the different participants in this Strategy Committee has been extremely rewarding and is appreciated, and very much in line with the spirit of the FIA World Endurance Championship.

“It promises for a very strong future, and everyone is now looking forward to the epic battles which will take place between the manufacturers in 2017 and beyond.”

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen takes pole at Brazilian GP

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Red Bull’s Max Verstappen has taken pole position for Sunday’s Brazilian Grand Prix.

It’s the second career pole for the Dutch driver, who beat Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel by just 0.123 seconds.

Verstappen’s first pole was earlier this season at the Hungarian GP in August.

Six-time champion Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes will start from third position. The 2018 winner at Interlagos finished 0.191 seconds back.

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas and Red Bull’s Alexander Albon finished in fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively.

Hamilton was fastest in final practice earlier Saturday, 0.026 quicker than Verstappen.

The Brazilian GP on Sunday is the penultimate race of the season. Hamilton secured the season title, his sixth, in the previous race in the U.S.