F1 testing resumes on Tuesday as Vettel leads the way

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The second week of pre-season testing for the 2018 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season kicked off on Tuesday with Scuderia Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel leading the way with a quick lap of 1:20.396.

Mercedes AMG Petronas’ Valtteri Bottas was second fastest, followed by Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen in third. Lewis Hamilton was fourth for Mercedes, while Pierre Gasly rounded out the top five for Scuderia Toro Rosso.

The total laps completed continued to increase for multiple drivers, with Vettel completing 171 trips around the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, 41 more than the next highest total, which went to Verstappen with 130. Alfa Romeo Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson also did over 100 laps of running, totaling 120.

McLaren F1 Team, however, struggled with reliability as Stoffel Vandoorne completed only 38 circuits after suffering three stoppages during the day, the team struggling first with electronics problems and then with hydraulic issues.

Also of note: Sauber confirmed Tatiana Calderon, previously a development driver with the team, as a test driver for the 2018 season. The 24-year-old Calderon spent 2017 competing in the GP3 Series, adding a pair of races in the World Series Formula V8 3.5 as well.

Results from Tuesday’s running can be found here. Pre-season testing resumes on Wednesday.

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

McLaren Formula E Hughes
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.