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Stroll, Magnussen, Ericsson stand out in midfield in Mexico

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Three performances flew under the radar in the Mexican Grand Prix on Sunday in the wake of Lewis Hamilton clinching the championship and Max Verstappen dominating the race.

Lance Stroll snuck up from 11th to sixth, his second-best result of the season for Williams, and moved ahead of teammate Felipe Massa into 10th in the driver’s championship with 40 points scored during his rookie season. The fact the result came on Stroll’s 19th birthday added to the savory day for the Canadian, and solidified Williams’ fifth place in the Constructor’s Championship on 76 points as the team scored for a seventh straight race.

Kevin Magnussen, like teammate Romain Grosjean, had a nightmare qualifying session for Haas with the two drivers only in 18th and 19th on the grid, promoted up a few spots owing to the bevy of grid penalties. But by keeping his nose clean and playing the strategy right, Magnussen made it into eighth, equaling his second-best result of the year for a third time this year. This also aids Haas’ quest to make it to seventh in the Constructor’s Championship with Renault having a double DNF. With two races remaining, Toro Rosso is sixth (53 points), Renault seventh (48) and Haas eighth (47).

Lastly Marcus Ericsson put in a barnstorming early drive, having been promoted to 12th on the grid for Sauber and then running solidly in the top-10 in the year-old Ferrari power unit for most of the first stint until the Virtual Safety Car period. A power unit issue put pause to the Swede’s potential first score of the year, and marked the second straight year Ericsson deserved a point in Mexico only to come up short. On a one-stop strategy special called by Sauber strategist Ruth Buscombe last year, Ericsson finished 11th here last year.

All three drivers reflected on the race when speaking to NBCSN’s Will Buxton post-race. Their quotes are below, and also in Part 2 of the Mexican Grand Prix post-race Paddock Pass (segment also features Fernando Alonso, who finished 10th).

6. 18-Lance Stroll, Williams

“Yes (to cake). Definitely. We’ll celebrate this evening my birthday and a great result. It was a great race. The whole race was very well controlled. Good first stint on ultrasoft, overcut Perez on VSC, then took it home. I had a great second stint, hunting down Ocon down to the end. Just missed out on an opportunity.

“It got to the point where the harder I pushed, the more I’d overheat the tire. I never quite got in the DRS zone. I got in it once, but he got in it too because of lapped cars. I knew it’d be hard to overtake. We know it’s hard to overtake without a big pace difference. P6 is fantastic for us.”

8. 20-Kevin Magnussen, Haas

“I mean this is like a victory. It’s incredible. We could have easily given up, thrown the towel in the rings. But no one gave up. Everyone knows we’re not the worst team. We’re not meant to be last row. We are meant to be in the points, fighting in the top 10. I’m really proud of the team for that.

“Yeah it was a perfect race. Starting from 15th, it couldn’t have gone better.”

DNF. 9-Marcus Ericsson, Sauber

“Very disappointing. Probably my best race of the year. Had a great first stint, running in the top 10 all the time, then we were very unlucky with the VSC, we pitted two laps before it came out. We lost out to both McLarens and the time.

“It was, yeah. We weren’t overheating, but the turbo was toast.

“It was very important. The last couple races I’ve had strong qualifying sessions and two strong races in a row. This is what I need to show to stay in Formula 1. ”

Extreme E reveals competition format for its global races next season

Extreme E
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Extreme E, a new series that will raise awareness about climate change by racing electric SUVs around the world, unveiled its competition format Friday.

The five-race environmentally conscious series will begin next season with races held in Senegal, Saudi Arabia, Nepal, Greenland and Brazil.

Chip Ganassi Racing and Andretti Autosport are among the eight teams that will race in the series. Each team will have a male and female driver who alternate in each event.

ELECTRIC APPEAL: Why Ganassi is going to the Extreme E

In the details provided Friday, the two-day events will feature two qualifying races Saturday and two semifinals and a final round Sunday. Each race is two laps: One driven by the male driver and the other by the female. Results are based on finishes, not times.

The first semifinal is slotted with Saturday’s top four qualifiers, and the top three finishers advance to the final. The second semifinal (also known as the “Crazy Race”) will feature the last four qualifiers with the winner advancing to the final.

Click here to see the details of Extreme E’s sporting format.

Here’s the release from Extreme E:

29 May, London: Extreme E, the revolutionary electric off-road racing series, has outlined the race format for its five-event adventure to some of the most formidable, remote and spectacular locations across the globe, starting early 2021.

The series has devised an innovative format unlike any other, likened to a Star Wars Pod Racing meets Dakar Rally, which is designed to break the mould in motorsport with all-action, short, sharp wheel-to-wheel racing, world-class drivers and teams, the cutting-edge ODYSSEY 21 electric SUV and its stunning, formidable environments, all firmly in focus.

Each race, which will be known as an X Prix, will incorporate two laps over a distance of approximately 16 kilometres. Four teams, with two drivers – one male, one female – completing a lap apiece in-car, will race head-to-head in each race over the two-day event.

Qualifying takes place on day one to determine the top four runners who will progress through into Semi-Final 1 and the bottom four competitors who will go on to take part in Semi-Final 2: the unique ‘Crazy Race’.

The Crazy Race will be a tooth-and-nail, all-or-nothing fight, with only the quickest team progressing into the Final, while the top three will make it through from Semi-Final 1. The winner of the Final – the fastest combination of team, drivers, car and engineers over the epic two-day battle – will then be crowned the X Prix Winner.

Another innovative feature is the Hyperdrive. This will award an additional boost of speed to the team who performs the longest jump on the first jump of each race. Hyperdrive power can be used by that team at any point in the race.

This initial format is designed to incorporate eight teams, and can be adapted to accommodate additional entries.

Teams will field one male and one female driver, promoting gender equality and a level playing field amongst competitors. Each driver will complete one lap behind the wheel, with a changeover incorporated into the race format.

The teams will determine which driver goes first to best suit their strategy and driver order selections are made confidentially, with competitors kept in the dark as to other teams’ choices until the cars reach the start-line. Contests between males and females will therefore be ensured.

X Prix circuits will also incorportate natural challenges that will leave viewers at the edge of their seats, and drivers and teams will be pushed right to the limits of their abilities; with hazards to navigate and defeat such as extreme gradients, jumps, banks, berms, pits, dunes and water splashes.

Alejandro Agag, Extreme E Founder and CEO, said: “Extreme E is a championship like nothing else that has come before in sport. Its goal and objective is to accelerate innovation and tackle climate change head on using transportation.

“Creating this innovative sporting format, which we’re likening to Star Wars Pod Racing meets Dakar Rally, is vital in order to engage the next generation of motorsport fans. We hope our fans will enjoy the short, sharp, wheel-to-wheel racing this format has been built around, and with our high performance electric vehicle, driver changeover, the Hyperdrive feature, and the Crazy Race qualification format, there is plenty to watch out for, and many chances for positions to change hands, Our races really will go right to the wire.”

Extreme E’s cutting-edge 550-horsepower, ODYSSEY 21, incorporates a number of innovations to enable it to cope with all the rigours of racing over the toughest terrain, where no car has raced before. The battery-electric, 400kw (550hp), 1650-kilogram, 2.3-metre wide E-SUV is bespoke from the ground up. Capable of firing from 0-62mph in 4.5 seconds, at gradients of up to 130 percent.

It is made up of a common package of standardised parts, manufactured by Spark Racing Technology with a battery produced by Williams Advanced Engineering. This encompasses a niobium-reinforced steel alloy tubular frame, as well as crash structure and roll cage, whilst tyres, for both extreme winter and summer requirements, supplied by founding partner Continental Tyres.

As well as being used as platform for equality and illutstrating the capabilities of electric vehicle technology, Extreme E will highlight the impact that climate change is having on its remote race locations, using a committee of leading scientists to help bring global attention to issues such as deforestation in Brazil, rising sea levels along the West African coastline, melting Arctic icecaps in Greenland, and more.

The championship will announce further drivers, teams and partners over the coming weeks as it builds towards its early 2021 start-date apace.