While the FIA Formula 1 World Championship remains dormant, a pair of its drivers will be quite busy at this weekend’s Rolex 24.
Further, a couple news stories surfaced that wrapped a conflict going back two years and offered a hint about one team changing its name.
Below is a recap of the Formula 1 news week:
Alonso, Stroll Ready for Rolex 24
The 2018 edition of the Rolex 24 sees a pair of full-time Formula 1 drivers grace the grid in McLaren’s Fernando Alonso, in United Autosports’ No. 23 entry, and Williams Martini Racing’s Lance Stroll, a part of the driver rotation in the No. 37 Jackie Chan DCR JOTA entry.
Alonso is, unsurprisingly, the more high-profile of the two, with the Rolex 24 continuing his preparation for a possible entry at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The Rolex is Alonso’s first sports car race, let alone a sports car endurance race. Further still, it’s his first time running on a track that features high-banking in the corners, a facet that created a different sensation for him behind the wheel.
“You feel the compression in the body, you feel the visibility change because when in a normal car on the circuit, your view in the car is longer ahead,” he detailed following the Roar Before the 24 test. “When you are in the corner with banking you see only the next 200 meters of the track. “But it was good fun, a good feeling after missing track time. So far, so good.’’
For Lance Stroll, this year’s Rolex is a return trip for him, the 19-year-old having previously contested the event back in 2016, when he finished fifth with Ford Chip Ganassi Racing.
Alonso was selected to do the qualifying in his No. 23 Ligier JS P217 Gibson, qualifying 13th, the best of the Ligier entries. Stroll ultimately ceded to Robin Frijns, who qualified the No. 37 Oreca 07 Gibson in sixth.
Force India, Sauber Drop 2015 Complaint of Anti-Competitive Practices
Back in 2015, Sahara Force India and Sauber F1 Team filed a complaint to the European Commission over anti-competitive practices in Formula One, primarily contesting the distribution of revenue and the process by which rules were established.
However, earlier this week, both teams announced via press releases that they agreed to withdraw the aforementioned complaints, citing progress in discussions involving such topics as prize money, cost reduction, and engine regulations.
Force India to Change its Name?
A long-standing rumor has Sahara Force India changing its name. This rumor grew more legs earlier in the week when a report on Crash.net detailed that the team could reveal its new name at the launch of their 2018 car on February 25.
One of the possible names is Force F1 Team, with an entity reportedly already registered.