Bottas snelste in laatste Italiaanse GP-training – Reuters

Bottas snelste in laatste Italiaanse GP-training – Reuters

Translating…

MONZA, Italy (Reuters) – Valtteri Bottas kept Mercedes on top of the timesheets in final practice for the Italian Grand Prix on Saturday, with Renault-powered rivals suddenly showing a turn of speed ahead of qualifying.

Formula One F1 – Italian Grand Prix – Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Monza, Italy – September 5, 2020. Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas during practice. Mark Thompson/Pool via REUTERS

McLaren’s Spaniard Carlos Sainz and British youngster Lando Norris were second and third respectively with Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo fourth.

The Australian brought out red flags when he pulled over and parked up by the side of the track with a suspected fuel pump failure.

The team expected the car to be ready for qualifying, the first since governing body FIA ordered a change to cars’ engine modes.

Bottas’s lap of one minute 20.089 seconds was the quickest of the weekend so far with the Finn, now 50 points adrift of team mate Lewis Hamilton after seven races, 0.229 quicker than Sainz.

The session ended alarmingly, and messily, with championship leader Hamilton swerving dramatically at speed onto the grass to avoid cars that had slowed at Parabolica.

The Briton had warned on Friday that qualifying could see a repeat of last year’s farcical scenes where drivers jostled for position to try and gain an advantage by slipstreaming others at the fastest track on the calendar.

Hamilton, chasing a 90th career victory this weekend with Michael Schumacher’s record 91 within touching distance, ended the session fifth fastest after setting the pace on Friday with his closest championship rival Max Verstappen sixth for Red Bull.

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, last year’s winner from pole at the team’s home track, was only 11th fastest while team mate Sebastian Vettel was 15th as the sport’s most glamorous team continued to struggle.

Mercedes have started every race from pole so far and won six of them.

Reporting by Alan Baldwin, Editing by Hugh Lawson

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Bottas snelste in laatste Italiaanse GP-training – Reuters UK

Bottas snelste in laatste Italiaanse GP-training – Reuters UK

Translating…

MONZA, Italy (Reuters) – Valtteri Bottas kept Mercedes on top of the timesheets in final practice for the Italian Grand Prix on Saturday, with Renault-powered rivals suddenly showing a turn of speed ahead of qualifying.

McLaren’s Spaniard Carlos Sainz and British youngster Lando Norris were second and third respectively with Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo fourth.

The Australian brought out red flags when he pulled over and parked up by the side of the track with a suspected fuel pump failure.

The team expected the car to be ready for qualifying, the first since governing body FIA ordered a change to cars’ engine modes.

Bottas’s lap of one minute 20.089 seconds was the quickest of the weekend so far with the Finn, now 50 points adrift of team mate Lewis Hamilton after seven races, 0.229 quicker than Sainz.

The session ended alarmingly, and messily, with championship leader Hamilton swerving dramatically at speed onto the grass to avoid cars that had slowed at Parabolica.

The Briton had warned on Friday that qualifying could see a repeat of last year’s farcical scenes where drivers jostled for position to try and gain an advantage by slipstreaming others at the fastest track on the calendar.

Hamilton, chasing a 90th career victory this weekend with Michael Schumacher’s record 91 within touching distance, ended the session fifth fastest after setting the pace on Friday with his closest championship rival Max Verstappen sixth for Red Bull.

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, last year’s winner from pole at the team’s home track, was only 11th fastest while team mate Sebastian Vettel was 15th as the sport’s most glamorous team continued to struggle.

Mercedes have started every race from pole so far and won six of them.

Reporting by Alan Baldwin, Editing by Hugh Lawson

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Abiteboul zegt dat de nieuwe Alpine-taak zijn F1-rol niet zal veranderen – Reuters India

Abiteboul zegt dat de nieuwe Alpine-taak zijn F1-rol niet zal veranderen – Reuters India

Translating…

MONZA, Italy (Reuters) – Cyril Abiteboul said his role as Renault Formula One team principal would remain unchanged despite taking on a new task with the French manufacturer’s Alpine sportscar brand.

Formula One F1 – Australian Grand Prix – Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit, Melbourne, Australia – March 12, 2020 Renault Team Chief Cyril Abiteboul arriving to the circuit REUTERS/Loren Elliott

Loss-making Renault, under new chief executive Luca de Meo, have announced a new organisational structure focused on core brands rather than geographical regions, with Abiteboul overseeing one of the four divisions.

“Right now what I have been asked to do is a mission, with a set of proposals, in order to structure a brand,” Abiteboul told reporters in a video conference at the Italian Grand Prix on Friday.

“I’ve not been asked to run the brand. So it is not in any way a permanent appointment whatsoever. That’s what I will be focusing some of the spare time that I have, given what I am doing for Formula One.

“There is no question of a change of team leadership for the time that I do this mission.”

Abiteboul would not be drawn on whether the team might be renamed eventually to incorporate the high-end Alpine brand as part of a marketing strategy.

“These are corporate strategy questions for the CEO,” he said.

“My two cents is that with the new Concorde (commercial) Agreement we have finally the possibility to have a stable platform in Formula One, a great marketing platform.

“Again, the way we want to make use of that platform will be up to the CEO. We have a flexible platform, we have different brands, probably rationalisation will be one of the things we will need to do given the group financial results.”

All the Formula One teams have signed the new Concorde Agreement with rights holders Liberty Media and the governing FIA committing them to the next five years and new rules designed to make a more level playing field.

Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London, Editing by Hugh Lawson

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Renault wordt Alpine genoemd vanaf het F1-seizoen 2021 – Reuters

Renault wordt Alpine genoemd vanaf het F1-seizoen 2021 – Reuters

Translating…

FILE PHOTO: SEAT President and CEO Luca de Meo attends the 89th Geneva International Motor Show in Geneva, Switzerland March 5, 2019. REUTERS/Pierre Albouy

(Reuters) – Renault will rename its team Alpine from the 2021 season, the Formula One team said in a statementhereahead of the Italian Grand Prix on Sunday.

The team will take on the new name and also have a new color scheme with the French national colors of red, white and blue replacing yellow and black.

“Alpine is a beautiful brand, powerful and vibrant, that brings a smile to the faces of its followers,” new chief executive Luca de Meo said in a statement.

“By introducing Alpine, a symbol of French excellence, to the most prestigious of the world’s automotive disciplines, we are continuing the adventure of manufacturers in a renewed sport.

“We are bringing a dream brand alongside the biggest names, for spectacular car races made and followed by enthusiasts. Alpine will also bring its values to the F1 paddock: elegance, ingenuity, and audacity.”

Loss-making Renault, under De Meo, had announced a new organisational structure focused on core brands rather than geographical regions, with Renault F1 team principal Cyril Abiteboul overseeing one of the four divisions.

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; editing by Jason Neely

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Renault ontwikkelt en bouwt de volgende generatie Nissan Micra: rapport – Reuters

Renault ontwikkelt en bouwt de volgende generatie Nissan Micra: rapport – Reuters

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FILE PHOTO: A logo of Renault carmaker is pictured at a dealership in Paris, France, June 18, 2020. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

PARIS (Reuters) – French carmaker Renault will develop and assemble the next generation of partner Nissan’s Micra models, a senior executive at the Japanese firm said, as the two companies try to reboot their alliance with tighter cooperation in production.

Ashwani Gupta, Nissan’s chief operating officer, said in an interview with France’s Le Monde newspaper published on Monday that the Micra plan was an example of their “leader-follower” strategy, with one firm taking the lead on certain car types.

Nissan Micra models are already assembled at Renault’s Flins factory in France, although that site is set to be turned over to recycling activities around 2024, when the life cycle of the car ranges made there expires.

“For the next generation of Micra, we will follow Renault, and we will ask Renault to develop and make the future Micra for us,” Gupta said.

Both struggling financially, Renault and Nissan have cleared the decks of old managers and outlined joint cost-saving plans as they try to move on from a scandal surrounding former alliance boss Carlos Ghosn.

Ghosn, who fled detention in Japan and is now in Lebanon, denies financial misconduct charges against him.

Reporting by Gilles Guillaume; writing by Sarah White; editing by Jason Neely

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Autosport: Abiteboul zegt dat de nieuwe Alpine-taak zijn F1-rol niet zal veranderen – Reuters UK

Autosport: Abiteboul zegt dat de nieuwe Alpine-taak zijn F1-rol niet zal veranderen – Reuters UK

Translating…

MONZA, Italy (Reuters) – Cyril Abiteboul said his role as Renault Formula One team principal would remain unchanged despite taking on a new task with the French manufacturer’s Alpine sportscar brand.

FILE PHOTO: Formula One F1 – Australian Grand Prix – Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit, Melbourne, Australia – March 12, 2020 Renault Team Chief Cyril Abiteboul arriving to the circuit REUTERS/Loren Elliott

Loss-making Renault, under new chief executive Luca de Meo, have announced a new organisational structure focused on core brands rather than geographical regions, with Abiteboul overseeing one of the four divisions.

“Right now what I have been asked to do is a mission, with a set of proposals, in order to structure a brand,” Abiteboul told reporters in a video conference at the Italian Grand Prix on Friday.

“I’ve not been asked to run the brand. So it is not in any way a permanent appointment whatsoever. That’s what I will be focusing some of the spare time that I have, given what I am doing for Formula One.

“There is no question of a change of team leadership for the time that I do this mission.”

Abiteboul would not be drawn on whether the team might be renamed eventually to incorporate the high-end Alpine brand as part of a marketing strategy.

“These are corporate strategy questions for the CEO,” he said.

“My two cents is that with the new Concorde (commercial) Agreement we have finally the possibility to have a stable platform in Formula One, a great marketing platform.

“Again, the way we want to make use of that platform will be up to the CEO. We have a flexible platform, we have different brands, probably rationalisation will be one of the things we will need to do given the group financial results.”

All the Formula One teams have signed the new Concorde Agreement with rights holders Liberty Media and the governing FIA committing them to the next five years and new rules designed to make a more level playing field.

Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London, Editing by Hugh Lawson

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Verstappen bovenaan tweede training in Belgische Grand Prix

Verstappen bovenaan tweede training in Belgische Grand Prix

Translating…

Daniel Ricciardo
Third practice and qualifying are live on BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra on Saturday from 10:55 BST

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen was fastest in second practice at the Belgian Grand Prix, with Daniel Ricciardo’s Renault also ahead of the Mercedes.

Lewis Hamilton was third fastest as the top three were separated by only 0.096 seconds.

Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas was down in sixth, behind Red Bull’s Alexander Albon and Racing Point’s Sergio Perez.

The times are unlikely to be representative of real performance.

Ferrari, in particular, were out of position, with Charles Leclerc 15th and Sebastian Vettel 17th.

The Italian team were always expected to be off the pace around the high-speed Spa-Francorchamps circuit, given their straight-line speed deficit this season, but it is unlikely they will be that slow come qualifying on Saturday.

Even the Alfa Romeos, which have been significantly slower than Ferrari so far this season, were ahead of them in this session, and there is no obvious reason why the form of the two teams, who use the same engines, would have switched so dramatically.

The same is likely to be the case for Mercedes, who have dominated qualifying so far this season and would not be expected to be in third and sixth places.

But Hamilton said he believed the field had closed up on Mercedes.

“It has been a good day,” Hamilton said. “I love driving around this track, it’s incredible. Got plenty of running in.

“It is very close out there. I think the Red Bulls are just a little bit quicker at the moment but even the Racing Point is right with us and Daniel Ricciardo in the Renault was very close. That makes it exciting. We have some work to do to try to dial in the car a bit more.

“We are only in the seventh race. The field is going to get closer and closer and it is already showing that. We seem to be so close with everyone and we have to understand why, whether they have taken a step or we have taken a step back or downforce levels, who knows? But I am excited for an interesting race.”

Verstappen said: “I think they are still struggling a bit with the balance. I expect them to be stronger tomorrow. You can see in the long runs they are very competitive, I am not expecting to fight for pole position but if we can be a bit closer that would be good.”

The fragmented nature of the race-simulation runs made it even harder to divine a clear picture of relative pace.

Hamilton, who leads the championship by 37 points after six races, did only one lap on soft tyres on his race-simulation run before a virtual safety car caused by Ricciardo’s Renault stopping out on track with a loss of hydraulic pressure.

That one lap by the Mercedes was almost identical to the first time set by Verstappen on his race-simulation run.

After that, Hamilton switched to the hard tyre, but managed only one lap on that before the session was stopped because of debris on track from a sponsorship hoarding.

It restarted but only in time for a final seven minutes of running.

Behind Bottas, McLaren’s Lando Norris was seventh fastest, ahead of Renault’s Esteban Ocon, McLaren’s Carlos Sainz and Alpha Tauri’s Pierre Gasly.

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UPDATE 1-Motor Racing-Racing Point-onderdelen in beslag genomen na protest van Renault – Reuters

UPDATE 1-Motor Racing-Racing Point-onderdelen in beslag genomen na protest van Renault – Reuters

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(Adds stewards ruling the protest is admissible)

SPIELBERG, Austria, July 12 (Reuters) – Formula One’s governing body impounded brake ducts from the Racing Point cars on Sunday after Styrian Grand Prix stewards ruled a Renault protest met the requirements for further investigation.

Renault had questioned the legality of parts on the ‘Pink Mercedes’ cars after their rivals’ strong showing in Sunday’s second round of the season at Austria’s Red Bull Ring.

Mexican Sergio Perez finished sixth and Canadian Lance Stroll, son of team owner Lawrence, seventh. Renault’s Australian Daniel Ricciardo ended up eighth.

The alleged breach concerns the design and outsourcing of listed parts.

Stewards said in a statement that the governing FIA’s technical department would seal and impound the front and rear brake ducts for detailed analysis.

Champions Mercedes, who provide Racing Point’s engine and gearbox, were also ordered to hand over the brake ducts used on their car last season for comparison.

No date was set for the next meeting, but Formula One is racing again in Hungary on July 19.

Racing Point have freely recognised their car is a close copy of last year’s title-winning Mercedes but within the regulations.

“I don’t think what we’ve done is particularly new as far as taking a team’s concept and doing it ourselves. That’s been prolific in Formula One since the very first days,” technical director Andy Green said back in testing in February.

Renault and Racing Point, formerly known as Force India, have clashed before over the regulations with the French team stripped of points from the Japanese Grand Prix after a protest by the Silverstone-based outfit.

Racing Point had successfully protested against the brake bias system used by Renault.

Renault finished last season fifth overall, with Racing Point seventh. Racing Point are currently fourth with 22 points while Renault are sixth on eight. (Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London; Editing by Christian Radnedge and Hugh Lawson)

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Daniel Ricciardo: Renault verlaten voor McLaren 'zeker niet gemakkelijk'

Daniel Ricciardo: Renault verlaten voor McLaren 'zeker niet gemakkelijk'

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Ricciardo's move comes as several drivers make high-profile team switches
Ricciardo’s move comes as several drivers make high-profile team switches

Daniel Ricciardo says leaving Renault to join McLaren next season was “by no means an easy decision”.

Ricciardo told the F1 podcast that his move was “not as clear” as his decision to leave Red Bull for Renault in 2018.

“Without any races, you have to believe. It’s what pitch excites you more than the other,” Ricciardo said.

The 30-year-old, who will replace Carlos Sainz at McLaren next year following theSpaniard’s move to Ferrari, said he had been convinced by the progress McLaren made in overtaking Renault to claim fourth in the championship last season, and by their decision to switch engines to Mercedes for 2021. Renault, by contrast,had a disappointing year.

“Last year is our best reference,” Ricciardo said. “They were the team that made the most noise. they made the biggest step out of all so that was encouraging. That’s all you can base it off and then the pitch for the future. They are switching power-units. It was by no means an easy decision.”

He said there was no single deciding factor and that the situation was “different” to when he decided to leave Red Bull at the end of 2018.

“That had run its course for me,” he said. “I needed a change. This was not as clear. We didn’t achieve what we wanted last year. I don’t know. It was by no means an easy one and time will tell.”

Getting back to racing

Ricciardo took part in a two-day test with Renault this week as the team prepared for the start of the season next month.

Drivers and teams have not operated their cars since the end of pre-season testing in February.

“It was good to get back into it,” he said. “The first few laps felt a little foreign but it’s like all things when you have been doing something pretty much your whole life, it doesn’t take long until you remember the feeling and it all feels very normal very quickly.”

Teams are operating using social distancing where possible and protective equipment where not.

Ricciardo said: “It was certainly different. Our debriefs were happening over video calls. Most of us were sitting in the same area but at distance so we’re all doing our debrief through video meetings.

“Everyone has a mask on in the garage. There is just a little more awareness of personal space. Whenever there’s a change it takes a bit of time to adapt but in time we do adapt.”

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