Bradley Smith admits stepping up from a satellite team to the factory KTM MotoGP outfit in 2017 was far “more demanding physically and mentally” than he ever anticipated. After four years with the customer Tech3 Yamaha team, Smith moved to spearhead KTM’s full factory debut in the premier class for this season. Smith struggled for
Chile is close to agreeing terms to join the World Rally Championship calendar for the 2019 season. The South American country will run a candidate event a week before next year’s Rally Argentina, after which WRC Promoter and the FIA will decide if it can join the series as a 14th round from 2019 onwards.
Ducati has called MotoGP’s late decision to change its testing restrictions “disrespectful”, after the Italian manufacturer had to alter is arrangements to suit the new rules. It was announced in October that for the 2018 season only three of the five test days allocated to race riders can take place at tracks where MotoGP races
Dale Earnhardt Jr says he is finding retirement from the NASCAR Cup Series “weird”, and that it is not a “comfortable feeling.” Earnhardt completed his final NASCAR season at the season finale at Homestead after struggling throughout 2017, failing to make the playoffs, after missing most of ’16 with a concussion that left him “delicate
Max Verstappen upped his game during the 2017 Formula 1 season, particularly in qualifying, according to Red Bull team principal Christian Horner. Verstappen finished 32 points adrift of team-mate Daniel Ricciardo in 2017, but scored more wins (2-1) and had the better record head-to-head in qualifying (13-7) and the race (5-2) when both cars finished.
The Ferrari 641 was not only arguably one of the most beautiful Ferrari Formula 1 cars, but it also came so close to taking Alain Prost to the world championship. During McLaren-Honda’s dominant seasons from 1988-1991, no car pushed it harder than the Ferrari 641. Having watched with mounting fury as his cars were trounced
LCR Honda rider Cal Crutchlow says both he and MotoGP champion Marc Marquez are asking for “exactly the same” from Honda in 2018, with both riders targeting a more neutral bike. Two-time MotoGP race winner Crutchlow has ridden with LCR Honda since 2015 in the premier class, having previously raced for Ducati during a single
Five-time World Rally champion Sebastien Ogier says the Le Mans 24 Hours is high on his list for when he retires from the WRC. Ogier already has significant racing experience, having competed in two Porsche Supercup races as well as GT outings in an Audi R8 LMS and Ferrari F430 Scuderia. He also tested a
Tech3 boss Herve Poncharal has warned KTM could dominate Moto2 in the future as other manufacturers will not be able to compete with “a real factory”. KTM teamed up with Ajo Motorsport, champion with Johann Zarco in the past two years, to enter Moto2 in 2017. The Austrian brand’s lead rider Miguel Oliveira was a
Tech 3 boss Herve Poncharal has warned KTM could dominate Moto2 in the future as other manufacturers will not be able to compete with “a real factory”. KTM teamed up with Ajo Motorsport, champion with Johann Zarco in the past two years, to enter Moto2 in 2017. The Austrian brand’s lead rider Miguel Oliveira was
Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton says the French Grand Prix’s long-awaited return would be better if it was at Magny-Cours, not Paul Ricard. The French GP will return after a nine-year absence when it takes place at Paul Ricard on June 24 next year. In an interview for Canal+ Sport‘s season review show Hamilton
Suzuki MotoGP boss Davide Brivio says his team’s poor results this year showed it “missed” having a satellite team to share data with and speed up development. Since its MotoGP return in 2015 Suzuki has only had its two factory bikes on the grid, while rival marques Honda, Yamaha and Ducati all supply customer teams.
Yamaha MotoGP team boss Lin Jarvis says the team would have still encountered the same problems that hobbled its title challenge this season even if it had kept Jorge Lorenzo as a rider. After nine seasons at Yamaha, three-time premier class champion Lorenzo left to join Ducati at the start of the season, and was
Volkswagen Motorsport director Sven Smeets says M-Sport’s 2017 title success is payback for keeping the World Rally Championship afloat when most manufacturers deserted it. Malcolm Wilson’s independent M-Sport team took ex-VW driver Sebastien Ogier to the title this year and also won the manufacturers’ crown – for the first time since its successes as the
Aston Martin factory drivers Nicki Thiim and Maxime Martin will race for the R-Motorsport Blancpain GT Series squad jointly run by the British Arden and Jota teams in 2018. Thiim, World Endurance Championship GT title winner in 2016, and new Aston signing Martin join a line-up for the Endurance Cup rounds of the BGTS that
Former World Endurance Championship GT title-winning pairing Nicki Thiim and Marco Sorensen will race in British GT for TF Sport in 2018. The Danish Aston Martin drivers, who won the WEC GT drivers’ crown together in 2016, will join Tom Ferrier’s team to share with amateur drivers Derek Johnston and Mark Farmer. Sorensen, 27, will
Fernando Alonso felt humiliated at the start of the 2017 Formula 1 season when he realised Honda had gone backwards over the winter, according to McLaren racing director Eric Boullier. After its abject first season back with Honda in 2015, McLaren improved from ninth to sixth in the ’16 constructors’ championship and hopes of further
Attracting a third manufacturer remains a “big goal” for IndyCar, according to its president of competition and operations Jay Frye. IndyCar has not had three manufacturers since Lotus quit at the end of its dismal 2012 campaign. Honda and Chevrolet recently signed contract extensions with the series, and both are keen for another rival. IndyCar
Scott Redding admits he had no emotional attachment to the Pramac Ducati team he has raced with for the last two MotoGP seasons. The British rider moves to Aprilia for next year in place of his countryman Sam Lowes, having been pushed out of Pramac by Jack Miller, who switches from Marc VDS Honda. Redding
The Ferrari 500 carried Alberto Ascari to the marque’s first Formula 1 drivers’ title in 1952, although it was actually a Formula 2 car. This makes it a key car in Ferrari’s journey to becoming the most successful constructor in F1 world championship history, taking the first of the team’s combined total of 31 drivers’
The Aspar MotoGP squad will be renamed Angel Nieto Team in tribute to the late 13-time motorcycling world champion. Grand prix motorcycling legend Nieto died on August 8 as a result of the brain damage he suffered in a quad bike accident in Ibiza, Spain in July. On Tuesday, Jorge Martinez ‘Aspar’ announced that his
Sebastien Ogier says winning the 2017 World Rally Championship title with privateer outfit M-Sport has brought him more recognition than any of the four crowns he scored with Volkswagen Motorsport. Though Ogier underlined that all five of his WRC titles meant an equal amount to him personally, he said the underdog nature of his 2017
Stoffel Vandoorne admits the early part of his 2017 Formula 1 season “wasn’t good enough” as he struggled to get up to speed amid McLaren-Honda’s reliability problems. After a decorated junior single-seater career, including the 2015 GP2 title and a successful stint in Japanese Super Formula, Vandoorne was expected to star upon receiving full-time promotion
IndyCar champion Josef Newgarden says he feared for his ultimately-title-winning season after Honda dominated the opener in St Petersburg. Newgarden replaced Juan Pablo Montoya at Penske in last year’s off-season following his spell with Ed Carpenter Racing and was keen to avoid the first year struggles that 2016 champion Simon Pagenaud endured when he joined
Felipe Massa says Formula 1 ended its era of “grandmother” driving with its 2017 cars, which he likened to the 2006-08 V8-powered machines in which he was most successful. Massa won 11 grands prix for Ferrari between 2006-8, but ended his 16-year spell in F1 with Williams in 2017. The Brazilian said this year’s cars
It’s interesting to see the FIA is taking a stand on what constitutes an aerodynamic advantage by tackling the lowering of the front ride height with steering lock in Formula 1. The FIA is using a 5mm change from lock to lock as the threshold for legality, but this is difficult to police. With the
Marc Marquez would have won the 2017 MotoGP title even if he was riding for Ducati, according to Max Biaggi. Honda rider Marquez saw off a stern challenge from Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso this season to claim a fourth premier class title in only his fifth season at the top level of grand prix motorcycle racing.
Trevor Carlin says his team will likely have a “tough birth” in the 2018 IndyCar season because he estimates it was six weeks behind schedule at launch. Carlin announced it would step up to IndyCar with a two-car effort for Charlie Kimball and Max Chilton after working on a deal during the 2017 season. The
Mercedes aimed to produce what it has described as “a 90% car” for the 2017 Formula 1 season, as it was the first year of a new set of technical regulations. The dominant team of the V6 hybrid engine era managed to win the drivers’ and constructors’ championship double for the fourth year running, but
Volkswagen has targeted Rally Germany in August 2018 for its return to the World Rally Championship with its new Polo GTI R5 in the WRC2 class. The R5 car marks VW’s first rally programme since the emissions scandal led to it pulling out of the WRC’s top division at the end of 2016 following four