2009 Formula 1 world champion and current Honda Super GT driver, Jenson Button, could see his Le Mans debut this year. According to French publication Auto Hebdo, the Brit is currently in talks with SMP Racing and if the deal falls into place, will pilot their BR1 AER alongside former Indycar driver, Mikhail Aleshin and former Formula 1 driver Vitaly Petrov. Button has had an impressive return to racing with a podium at his most recent outing at Okayama International Circuit with the Raybrig team in the opening round of the Super GT series. This result shows that Button has lost none of his tallent since his F1 retirement. SMP racing has also had a successful start to the WEC season posting the fastest time of the LMP1 grid at the Prologue test. Combine a talented driver and a competitive team and SMP could be a force to be reckoned with at Le Mans this year. Interestingly enough however, Le Mans would only be his second major 24 hour race. This … [Read more...] about Jenson Button could see 24 Hours of Le Mans debut with SMP Racing
The LMP1-Privateers some pressure on Toyota Gazoo Racing during the night stint of the 30-hour FIA World Endurance Championship Prologue, but the Japanese hybrid-running team still finished the session with four seconds in hand. DragonSpeed held onto their LMP2 advantage to end the close class fastest. In LM GTE, Porsche were unbeatable as they took a clear sweep with the fastest lap in both Pro and Am. Mike Conway set the time to beat in the high-downforce running #8 Toyota on Friday afternoon, with a 1:32.662. Try as they might, the other LMP1 competitors could not get close to the times that Toyota were setting. However, it has been revealed since that the Toyota was not running the car to conform to the WEC Equivalence of Technology rules when this time was set, which would explain why they held such an advantage. Toyota have developed a new cooling system in their car for the 2018/19 season, and explained that they worked outside of the EoT perimeters for “development … [Read more...] about Toyota Finish WEC Prologue Fastest whilst Porsche Control LM GTE
It has filled me with huge pleasure to see the name Giorgio Pantano once again aligned with top level racing, announced as he was last night as the replacement for the unfortunately injured Justin Wilson for the next two IndyCar races. It is easy to forget just what a mega talent Giorgio Pantano truly is… and so here, whether you’ve never heard of him or whether you’re questioning why he’s the right man to step into Wilson’s seat, is an article I wrote for F1 Racing Magazine, which was printed in January 2011. …………………………………………….. “When I arrived in go karts at the top level, racing in World and European championships, he was winning all of them. I thought that guy was very special, a very good talent.” Fernando Alonso is not a man who hands out plaudits to rivals on a whim. A double Formula 1 world champion and one of the hardest racers of his … [Read more...] about Giorgio Pantano… and why he deserves his shot.
F1 Stars Head to Le Mans The star-studded driver lineup of the 2018 24 Hours Le Mans features several names Formula 1 fans will recognize, with a couple of powerhouses even in the mix. First, and most obviously, is Fernando Alonso, and expectations are that he’ll be a favorite to win in the No. Toyota TS050 for Toyota Gazoo Racing – he partners Sebastien Buemi and Kaz Nakajima. Unsurprisingly, the Toyotas, the sole remaining hybrids in the LMP1 class, lead the way through the first two days of qualifying, with Alonso’s No. 8 leading the way ahead of the No. 7 – Nakajima set a pole time of 3:15.377, set during the first qualifying session of the week on Wednesday. (Full qualifying results can be viewed here). But, Alonso is not the only Formula 1 driver in the field. In fact, he’s not even the only world champion in the LMP1 class. Jenson Button, the 2009 world champ, joins SMP Racing in their No. 11 BR1-AER, partnering former F1 driver Vitaly Petrov and … [Read more...] about Formula 1: Recapping the past week’s news
Simona joins Sauber Today’s news that Simona de Silvestro has become an affiliated driver with the Sauber F1 team is fabulous news for the Sauber, for Simona and for the Sport. Anyone who sees this as a gimmick needs to look again. It is so much more than that. I have long been a champion of Simona’s merits as a racer. Regardless of gender. Last year, before its untimely demise, I wrote an article for GPInternational Magazine on why Simona was exactly what Formula 1 needed. I hope it gives some insight into the excellent driver Sauber intends to give an F1 debut in 2015. …………………………………………………….. Women in Formula 1. It’s the topic that has created as many column inches in the paddock this season as Pirelli’s tyres and Lewis Hamilton’s dog. A few choice words from Sir Stirling Moss lit the blue touch paper of controversy, but the simple fact … [Read more...] about Call off the Search – Why Simona is what F1 has been looking for.