Newly-promoted factory Ducati MotoGP rider Danilo Petrucci says he wants to avoid the strained relationship his predecessor Jorge Lorenzo had with Andrea Dovizioso. Petrucci was promoted from the satellite Pramac team to replace Honda-bound Lorenzo for 2019, and made his debut outing in factory colours last month in the first post-season test at Valencia. The
Lando Norris says he steered clear of choosing hero Valentino Rossi’s #46 to use on his McLaren in Formula 1 because he did not want to be a “copycat”. The young British driver has been a fan of the MotoGP legend since he was young, and considered Rossi’s famous number for his 2019 F1 step.
Sebastien Loeb has signed to drive for Hyundai in the 2019 World Rally Championship. Autosport understands the agreement, Loeb’s first professional contract outside of the PSA Group, will be announced on Thursday. Loeb is currently out of contact and is testing the PH Sport-run Peugeot 3008DKR in Liwa, Abu Dhabi ahead of next month’s Dakar.
Robert Kubica says the rule changes being introduced for the 2019 season are coming at the “perfect” time for his return to Formula 1. Kubica will race in F1 for the first time since 2010 as he has been partnered with George Russell in Williams’s race line-up for next season. The 2019 cars will feature
New NASCAR Cup Series champion Joey Logano has admitted he “felt really weak” and like his career was over when his initial big break with Joe Gibbs Racing went awry. Logano joined the Cup series with praise from veterans such as Mark Martin and with the nickname “Sliced Bread”, coming off the back of a
Carlos Sainz Jr says a presentation McLaren made when he arrived at the team convinced him it knows how to return to the front of the Formula 1 grid. A fundamental aerodynamic problem hindered its MCL33 car in a year in which McLaren was convinced it would begin its recovery following a disastrous alliance with
Three-time MotoGP champion Jorge Lorenzo has admitted he was “very close” to retiring before he sealed a deal with Honda ahead of the 2019 season. Lorenzo signed a two-year contract with Ducati for 2017-18, but he had a tough first season and made a difficult start to 2018 that played a part in his exit
Mercedes Formula 1 driver Valtteri Bottas will kick off his 2019 season by making his competitive rallying debut in Finland in an M-Sport Ford Fiesta World Rally Car. Bottas will contest the Arctic Lapland Rally from January 24-26 in a Fiesta similar to the one used by Sebastien Ogier (pictured below) to win the last
Lucas Ordonez, the first winner of gamer-to-racer contest GT Academy, has announced he is ending his decade-long relationship with Nissan. The 33-year-old was the first-ever graduate of the Nissan-backed GT Academy, back in 2008, which was designed to take the top players from the PlayStation-exclusive video game franchise Gran Turismo and turn them into professional
Carlos Sainz Jr expects a much better relationship with 2019 McLaren Formula 1 team-mate Lando Norris than he had with other young drivers when at Toro Rosso. Sainz had tense times with both Max Verstappen and Daniil Kvyat during his first F1 seasons at Red Bull’s junior team. In 2015, Sainz and Verstappen were well
Josef Newgarden says his Penske IndyCar team has made a step in the right direction to solve the “deficiencies” it had in 2018. Newgarden could not defend his title last season, as he and team-mate Will Power failed to wrestle the crown from Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon. The 2017 IndyCar champion was part of
Five-time Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton had to be convinced to “go a bit slower” in his Yamaha Superbike track test at Jerez, says rider Michael van der Mark. Hamilton rode a black Yamaha YZF-R1 bike alongside works riders van der Mark and Alex Lowes earlier this month and the track test was overseen
Pirelli has revealed its compound choices for the first four Formula 1 grands prix of the 2019 season in its new simplified designation of soft, medium and hard. Although those three basic names will be in play at each event, Pirelli has a new C1-C5 system for notifying which actual compound is being used on
Porsche will expand its factory campaigns in the world’s major GT3 championships for the 2019 season. The German manufacturer will field two line-ups of works drivers in both the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup and the Intercontinental GT Challenge rather than the single-car entries of 2018. The Porsche programmes with the second-generation 991-shape 911 GT3-R
Schmidt Peterson Motorsports believes Formula 1 recruit Marcus Ericsson has a driving style compatible with 2019 IndyCar team-mate James Hinchcliffe and the sidelined Robert Wickens. Ericsson will switch to IndyCar in 2019 to fill the void vacated by Wickens and SPM has previously made clear it was targeting a driver that could complement Hinchcliffe. SPM
Sebastian Vettel says Ferrari must take the “last step” if it is to stand a chance of winning next year’s Formula 1 world championship. Vettel challenged Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes in 2018, enjoying strong form at various stages of the campaign, but its title bid faltered after the summer break for a second straight season.
Claire Williams says her Formula 1 team needs Robert Kubica’s “fighting spirit” as it bids to recover from its terrible 2018 season. Kubica will be back on the grid in 2019 after an absence of more than eight years, having won his battle to return to F1 following the early-2011 rally crash that almost severed
Kurt Busch says his move to the Chip Ganassi Racing NASCAR Cup series team for 2019 was appealing because it is a “streamlining” two-car outfit Busch has left the four-car Stewart Haas Racing squad, spearheaded by 2018 title contender Kevin Harvick, to make the switch. The new Ganassi recruit will partner Kyle Larson in 2019,
Toto Wolff reckons Michael Schumacher’s son Mick can achieve success in Formula 1, “maybe” even with Mercedes. Seven-time world champion Schumacher raced for Mercedes in sportscars before stepping up to F1 and joined the manufacturer for his return to grand prix racing from 2010 to ’12. Mick Schumacher clinched the Formula 3 European championship this
Carlos Sainz says it feels “powerful” rather than daunting to know that McLaren will be relying on him to help lead the team in the 2019 Formula 1 season. As he has much more experience than rookie team-mate Lando Norris, Sainz knows that McLaren will be relying more on him to help give it direction.
Toto Wolff says even a team such as Williams cannot be discounted from coming up with a Mercedes-beating 2019 Formula 1 car, amid fears of loopholes in the new regulations. As teams work on honing their cars to new aero rules aimed at improving overtaking, Wolff has reiterated his belief that the order could be
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has changed his mind about Formula 1’s halo and says he would not have forgiven himself if vetoing it had led to a “potentially catastrophic outcome”. The controversial driver protection device became mandatory in F1 and Formula 2 this year, and played a significant role in major accidents in both championships.
Kimi Raikkonen reckons Sauber has all it needs to build a “great” Formula 1 car in 2019, after completing his first test on his return to the team. After a five-year second stint with Ferrari, Raikkonen is returning to the Sauber outfit where he made his F1 debut in 2001 on a multi-year deal. He
Kalle Rovanpera feels he could be ready for a full-time World Rally Championship seat by 2020, and Skoda would release him from his contract if he secures one. There is strong speculation that Rovanpera’s manager Timo Jouhki already has the 18-year-old’s future tied down in a long-term agreement with another of his former drivers –
The FIA believes the ‘aeroscreen’ concept would have been only 10% as effective as Formula 1’s halo in protecting Charles Leclerc in the Belgian Grand Prix start crash. The official investigation into the Spa accident, which was caused when Fernando Alonso was tipped over the top of Leclerc’s Sauber by a late-braking Nico Hulkenberg at
Formula 1 teams are fearful of the impact of Britain’s exit from the European Union due to concerns they could suffer employment and logistical problems after Brexit. The United Kingdom is due to leave the EU on March 29, 2019 but Prime Minister Theresa May is still struggling to win over members of Parliament to
Red Bull will need to instil a bit of “discipline” into Pierre Gasly for his 2019 Formula 1 promotion, according to Helmut Marko. Gasly will step up to the Red Bull senior team after one full season with its junior outfit Toro Rosso, having been picked to replace Renault-bound Daniel Ricciardo. The 22-year-old had to
The new-look Steinbrenner Harding Racing IndyCar team will run with Honda engines in the 2019 season. Harding had been considering its options after running with Chevrolet engines in its first full IndyCar campaign this year. But its rebirth as Steinbrenner and growing affiliation with the Andretti Autosport squad, which loaned the team staff and technical
Stoffel Vandoorne believes “no-one really noticed” his strongest races in Formula 1 and that there was “nothing more I could have done” amid McLaren’s woes. Vandoorne joined McLaren at the beginning of 2017 as a replacement for Jenson Button, following an impressive junior single-seater career in which he dominated the ’15 GP2 championship and then
Hyundai will begin the 2019 World Rally Championship season with an unchanged line-up, despite speculation that Sebastien Loeb has signed for the squad. Thierry Neuville, Andreas Mikkelsen and Dani Sordo will drive a trio of i20 Coupe WRCs at round one in Monte Carlo, but a decision about who replaces Sordo for Rally Sweden could