Vettel resets track record on second-to-last day of testing

Photo: Getty Images
0 Comments

Scuderia Ferrari’s Sebastien Vettel set the lap record around the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on Thursday, the second-to-last day of pre-season testing for the 2018 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season.

Vettel’s lap, at 1:17.182, was set on the new hyper-soft tire compound, and bested the day’s second fastest lap, from Haas F1 Team’s Kevin Magnussen, by over one second. Scuderia Toro Rosso continued to show impressive form with Pierre Gasly turning in the third fastest lap of the day, while Renault Sport F1 Team’s Nico Hulkenberg and Carlos Sainz Jr. went fourth and fifth on the day.

Behind them, Mercedes AMG Petronas teammates Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas appeared to languish in eighth and ninth, but their fastest laps were set on the much harder medium compound tires as they spent the day focusing on long runs.

And that long-run pace could be daunting, as they were reportedly significantly quicker than their closest rivals Ferrari and Red Bull Racing over similar long runs. It remains to be seen how this will play out on race weekends, but Mercedes could easily be lurking in the background as other teams set fast individual lap times.

Results from Thursday can be found here. Pre-season testing concludes on Friday.

Follow@KyleMLavigne

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

McLaren Formula E Hughes
McLaren Racing
0 Comments

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.