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
Williams performance chief Rob Smedley says Felipe Massa could not have ended his Formula 1 career any better than with his two strong races in Brazil and Abu Dhabi. Massa enjoyed tussles with his former Ferrari team-mate Fernando Alonso in both events, earning seventh and 10th and taking his points tally for the season to
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.
Ferrari had a disastrous start to the 1.6-litre V6 turbo era in 2014, but hit back the following season with Sebastian Vettel winning three races in the Ferrari SF15-T. Born into Ferrari’s latest era of revolving-door management and patchy performance, the SF15-T was Ferrari’s most consistently competitive car for several seasons, even though it wasn’t
Lewis Hamilton says a winter meeting with Toto Wolff ahead of the 2017 Formula 1 season was “really important” to reset their relationship following Nico Rosberg’s departure from Mercedes. Internal relations became highly strained as Hamilton’s F1 title battles with Rosberg from 2014-16 became affected by various controversies relating to on-track collisions, off-track behaviour and
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
Michael Schumacher had spent four seasons with Ferrari when he finally won his first Formula 1 drivers’ title for the team in the F1-2000. This was the car that started five years of supremacy for Ferrari, which won the drivers’ and constructors’ championships from 2000-04. In the years following Enzo Ferrari’s death, his team grew
Haas probably hurt itself in the 2017 Formula 1 season by switching focus to its ’18 car too early, team principal Gunther Steiner has admitted. At the championship’s halfway point, Haas sat seventh in the constructors’ standings – four points behind Toro Rosso. By the end of the year, Renault had leapfrogged both and Haas
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
Honda will have its current Formula 1 engine available as a back-up if there are problems with its 2018 specification. Honda completed a major revamp of its engine design over the 2016-17 winter, but a problem with the oil system put it on the back foot at the start of the season and it endured
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
Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton expects title rival Sebastian Vettel to return “all guns blazing” in 2018, having learned from his major errors during their 2017 championship battle. Vettel led the points standings for 12 straight races at the start of the season, before losing out as Hamilton went on a winning surge after
Ferrari lost one legend after the 1977 season when Niki Lauda left for Brabham, but gained a new one for the following year in Gilles Villeneuve. Driving the Ferrari 312T3, Villeneuve won his first grand prix on home soil in Canada and went on to become arguably the most famous driver in the marque’s history.
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
Pascal Wehrlein reckons his best race performances of the 2017 Formula 1 season were overlooked because Sauber was so far behind by then. Wehrlein scored all five of Sauber’s 2017 points via eighth place in the Spanish Grand Prix and 10th in Azerbaijan, but has lost his seat to Formula 2 champion Charles Leclerc for
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.
Red Bull chief Christian Horner says his Formula 1 team has suffered its worst season with engine reliability since 2006. A string of Renault failures blighted its 2017 campaign, with Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo unable to mount a title challenge. There were a total of 740 grid penalties issues for power unit element changes
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
The Ferrari 156 ‘sharknose’ was the first Ferrari Formula 1 car to win the constructors’ championship – and its first rear-engined success story. It also carried Phil Hill to the 1961 title after the death of team-mate Wolfgang von Trips in the Italian Grand Prix at Monza. Grudgingly and without great joy, Enzo Ferrari, who
Haas has proved new Formula 1 teams need not be an “embarrassment” in the first two seasons, reckons team principal Gunther Steiner. The previous generation of new F1 entrants had all fared badly, with 2010 incomers Lotus/Caterham, Virgin/Marussia/Manor and HRT all remaining rooted to the back of the grid before folding. While those three teams
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