Formula 1: Recapping the past week’s news

Photo: Getty Images

Below are some of the biggest headlines from the FIA Formula 1 World Championship during this past week.

Haas, Williams Reveal Their 2018 Cars

Haas F1 Team and Williams Martini Racing became the first teams to unveil their 2018 cars, Haas doing so on Wednesday and Williams doing so on Thursday.

The Haas F1 Team VF-18. Photo courtesy Haas F1 Team

Team launches are scheduled to continue next week. Below are other confirmed launch dates, with Sahara Force India the only team not to confirm a date as of writing.

February 19 – Red Bull Racing

February 20 -Alfa Romeo Sauber, Renault Sport F1 Team

February 22 – Scuderia Ferrari, Mercedes AMG Petronas

February 23 – McLaren F1 Team

February 26 – Scuderia Toro Rosso


Alonso to Contest Full Slate of Formula 1, WEC Races in 2018

Although Fernando Alonso previously confirmed his plans to contest FIA World Endurance Championship events, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans, with TOYOTA GAZOO Racing, a conflict of dates between Formula 1’s U.S. Grand Prix and the WEC’s 6 Hours of Fuji saw both events originally scheduled for the same weekend, October 21, with the assumption being that Alonso would skip the Fuji WEC round to stick with his full-time Formula 1 duties with McLaren.

However, the WEC Fuji round has subsequently been moved up one week to October 14, meaning that Alonso will be able to contest all rounds of the WEC in 2018 alongside his full-season Formula 1 campaign.

However, the move now puts the 6 Hours of Fuji in conflict with the Petit Le Mans, the season finale of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

Such drivers as Harry Tincknell, Mike Conway, Bruno Senna, Renger van der Zande, and Augusto Farfus rank among those who would affected by the conflict, as all were originally scheduled to contest both events.


Sergio Perez wins rain-delayed race in Singapore over Leclerc; Verstappen seventh

Sergio Perez Singapore
Clive Rose/Getty Images,

SINGAPORE — Max Verstappen’s Formula One title celebrations were put on hold after the Red Bull driver placed seventh at a chaotic Singapore Grand Prix, won by his teammate Sergio Perez on Sunday.

Perez’s second win of the season saw him finish 7.6 seconds ahead of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, with Leclerc’s teammate Carlos Sainz Jr. in third place.

Perez was investigated for a potential safety car infringement but still kept the win after a 5-second time penalty for dropping too far back after being warned.

Verstappen had won the past five races but needed to win here and finish 22 points ahead of Leclerc to be crowned champion for a second straight season. That could happen next weekend at the Japanese GP.

Verstappen made a mistake after the second safety car restart, following AlphaTauri driver Yuki Tsunoda’s crash on Lap 36. When Verstappen tried to overtake Lando Norris’ McLaren, he locked his tires and needed to pit again.

Leclerc started from pole position with Verstappen going from eighth after a team blunder in qualifying.

The race start was delayed by more than an hour to clear water off the Marina Bay Circuit track following heavy rainfall. Drivers had to finish the 61-lap race within a two-hour window; 59 laps were completed.

Tricky conditions saw the virtual safety car deployed three times and DRS was allowed with about 30 minutes remaining.

Perez made a good start and jumped past Leclerc while Verstappen dropped several places. The first safety car was on Lap 8 when Zhou Guanyu’s Alfa Romeo was cut off by Nicholas Latifi’s Williams.

Perez got away cleanly at the restart, while Verstappen climbed into seventh behind Fernando Alonso – whose 350th F1 race ended disappointingly when his engine failed on Lap 21, bringing out the first VSC.

With the track still damp, drivers decided against changing to quicker tires – apart from Mercedes’ George Russell, who struggled for grip.

Hamilton made a rare mistake on Lap 33 and thudded into the crash barrier. Soon after, the leading drivers changed tires in a flurry of stops. They did so just before the safety car was deployed again following Tsunoda’s error.

Verstappen overtook Sebastian Vettel’s Aston Martin right at the end for seventh place.