Lando Norris the 'obvious heir to Lewis Hamilton's crown'

Trevor Carlin has backed Lando Norris to take over from Lewis Hamilton’s reign as Britain’s top Formula 1 driver.

Norris came through the ranks with the Carlin team, winning the MSA Formula Championship and the Formula 3 European Championship before finishing runner-up behind George Russell in the Formula 2 Championship back in 2018.

After making his Formula 1 debut in 2019 with McLaren, Norris’ career scaled to new heights in the 2020 season opener in Austria as he finished on the podium for the first time.

Norris, on the final lap, set the fast lap of the race to get to within five seconds of Hamilton, who had a time penalty for causing a collision with Alex Albon.

Hamilton dropped to P4 as a result with Norris joining Valtteri Bottas and Charles Leclerc for the podium celebrations.

And Carlin feels that once Hamilton steps away from Formula 1, Norris can become Britian’s leading talent.

“Lando is the obvious heir to Lewis’ crown as the top British driver,” Carlin told The Sun.

“When Lewis achieves everything he needs to achieve and steps down, Lando will be at the helm.

“He needs the correct package but McLaren have made incredible steps over the last few months and who’s to say that they cannot be a force in 12 months’ time?

“He is doing everything right and the results are coming and I am very proud of him.”

FU*KKKK YEAHHHHH!! 🍾 P3 and my first every Podium!! 🍾 😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁

— Lando Norris (@LandoNorris) July 5, 2020

Head on over to the Formula 1 shop for all your official Lando Norris merchandise

Carlin is also not expecting podiums, and possibly race wins in the future, changing Norris for the worse.

“Will he change from a lifestyle point of view? Absolutely not. He is not that sort of guy,” he added.

“A great example is Sebastian Vettel because he was racing with us in 2006 and 2007.

“I saw him at Hockenheim two years ago when his younger brother was doing an Audi support race and Seb was doing his brother’s pit board.

“I went over and asked him how he was doing and I said, ‘hey Seb, mind if I tell you something?’ He said ‘what?’

“I said ‘you have never changed’. Now, it has been years since he drove for me and is a four time world champion and has all the money in the world.

“He just looked at me and replied ‘why would I need to?’ and I see Lando being exactly the same.

“Lando is the nicest person you could ever meet. I am chuffed to bits for him.

“He is not flash or big headed. He basically always delivers. It is as simple as that.”

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Car Reviews

Suzuki Jimny axed from Europe over emissions regulations

Tightening emissions rules mean the Suzuki Jimny will be pulled from the European market in the coming months

Suzuki has confirmed that the Jimny off-roader will be removed from the European market later this year. 

The Japanese manufacturer has stated that UK dealer supply will cease in the coming months, citing more stringent EU emissions regulations as the SUV’s cause of death.

  • Suzuki Jimny vs Dacia Duster

Earlier this year, Suzuki said the Jimny would remain on sale in “very limited numbers” during 2020 and that the car would be pulled from the market in 2021. However, this date has been pulled forward, following the EU ruling that all car makers must ensure their vehicles emit no more than 95g/km of CO2, as an average across their fleet.

Exemptions exist for low-volume manufacturers and there are concessions such as super credits, which reward brands for selling pure electric cars. Car makers that produce heavier vehicles are also allowed to have higher fleet average emissions than those that produce light cars. 

As a manufacturer of small cars and with no pure electric vehicles in its portfolio, Suzuki has few immediate options other than to cull the Jimny. 

The Jimny’s relatively high CO2 emissions of between 154 and 170g/km, coupled with its low mass of 1,135kg, mean it’s the latest car to fall foul of the regulations. This trend is one that also threatens Europe’s small-car market as a whole. The future of city cars looks increasingly shaky as firms struggle to balance high emissions and low kerb weights against the disproportionately expensive development costs and low profit margins of small cars.

And while the Suzuki Swift Sport, Vitara and S-Cross are set to come with mild hybrid systems as standard, the Jimny has only ever been available with a relatively simple non-turbocharged 1.5-litre petrol engine – a type of powerplant that does not typically fare well during emissions testing.

Suzuki says it “will make every effort to ensure delivery to its customers who have already placed an order.” However, the company also explained: “At launch in late 2018, Suzuki announced that the higher CO2 emissions levels of this model would adversely affect its whole range CO2 average in Europe after 2020.”

In recent months, Jimny customers have typically been added to a waiting list rather than placing deposits, with dealers allocating cars to customers only when vehicles were delivered. 

Suzuki previously told Auto Express the UK’s annual allocation of 1,200 Jimnys was far lower than demand, while its factory in Japan was at maximum capacity.

For those desperate to own a Jimny, though, one glimmer of hope remains. The Jimny may return in an “N1” commercial form at a later date, though Suzuki was unable to confirm whether this would come to the UK. The commercial variant will come with even fewer creature comforts than the standard car. 

Are you sad to see the death of the Suzuki Jimny? Let us know in the comments section below…

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Auto News

2020 Vespa VXL facelift & SXL pre-bookings open

Piaggio is now accepting online pre-bookings for the updated Vespa VXL and SXL scooters. Customers can place their orders on this website by paying a booking amount of Rs. 1,000.

The Vespa VXL and SXL scooters are based on a monocoque steel body. The scooters come equipped with LED headlights with integrated daytime running light, 5-spoke alloy wheels, USB charging port and boot light.

The Vespa VXL and SXL are available with BS6-compliant 125cc and 150cc engines that have fuel-injection. Both scooters come with a front disc brake with a twin-pot caliper and get ABS or a combined braking system depending on the brake setup. The scooters also have adjustable rear suspension.

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Car Reviews

MIROS urges the government to enact a new law banning the sale of dangerous vehicle accessories –

The Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (MIROS) wants the government to enact a new law banning the sale of dangerous vehicle accessories that could pose a fatal risk in the event of an accident. An example of just such accessories are dummy or decoy seat belt clips, which are relative affordable and readily available everywhere.

Such clips are mainly purchased and installed by motorists who opt not to wear their seat belts while driving for whatever reason, but don’t want to put up with the constant chime emitted by the car’s seat belt warning system.

Suffice to say, it doesn’t take a genius to know just how unsafe it is not to wear a seat belt while driving, given that there’s nothing to restrain you during a crash. Even so, it still happens despite constant warnings and reminders posed to motorists.

Currently, there is now law that prohibits the sale of such products, but MIROS wants to change that. “Such accessories were never deemed illegal and can be sold in the market, including at convenience stores, even though it is obviously dangerous when used by motorists,” said MIROS director-general Dr Khairil Anwar Abu Kassim in a report by Berita Harian.

“Therefore, I feel that there should be a law that can control or restrict the sale of dangerous vehicle accessories to consumers,” he continued, adding that MIROS plans to meet with the ministry of domestic trade and consumer affairs (KPDNHEP) to discuss the issue, particular on enforcement. Khairil also suggested that enforcement could be done in advance to ensure that these dangerous accessories were not sold openly, as drafting a new law could take some time.

In another report by Berita Harian, it was revealed that out of 1,000 road accident cases investigated by MIROS from 2017 until this year, 30% involved drivers and passengers using dummy or decoy seat belt clip in vehicles.

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Car Reviews

Free car parking service for NHS staff battling coronavirus ‘cannot continue’

Free parking coming to an end would see staff made to pay full charges for stopping their vehicles at work but some people would still be exempt. However, charges for key staff such as frontline doctors and nurses battling the virus look set to be re-introduced despite proposals to end charges back in March. 


  • Car parking fines have been issued to NHS staff

Some hospitals have been found to charge up to £2 per hour in staff car parks which can see costs rise to £16 for an eight hour shift. 

Health minister Edward Argar has said the government was looking at how long the support will “need” to go on. 

He has added the support “cannot continue indefinitely” but no firm date has been set for the scheme to come to a close. 

Mr Argar said: “The provision of free parking for National Health Service staff by NHS Trusts has not ended and nothing has changed since the announcement on 25 March.

“However, free parking for staff has only been made possible by support from local authorities and independent providers and this support cannot continue indefinitely.”

Good Morning Britain’s Piers Morgan slammed the decision to re-introduce parking charges across the UK as he branded the government “tone deaf”. 

He accused Boris Johnson of “kicking the boot in” after plans were leaked just days after the Prime Minister remarked care homes had not followed Covid-19 guidelines. 

He said: “Hundreds of NHS workers are risking their lives for us, and their award is that they’re going to charge all of our workers who are saving our lives for parking again. Utterly disgusting.”

Car parking charges may be introduced for UK workers  [INSIGHT]
Motorists could be fined for parking in this area  [ANALYSIS]
Parking a car like this could see drivers fined  [PICS]

At the start of the pandemic, Mr Morgan had offered live on air to refund any parking charges for NHS staff.

He has since revealed he would be starting a new campaign to completely scrap parking charges for NHS staff as he described the move as “heartless”. 

He added: “Once again, the government have done something thoughtless and heartless and the public backlash will be so intense that they will have to do a u-turn and look weak again.

Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran has attacked the move and called for clarity for NHS workers. 


  • Furious Piers Morgan offers to pay NHS workers’ parking fines

She said staff must not be “saddled with extortionate parking charges” as staff deserved “certainty” without “extra chargers or hassle”. 

Ms Moran said: “Removing parking charges for staff at the outset of Covid-19 was the right move.

“Our healthcare workers deserved to have certainty that they could get to work without extra charges or hassle.

“Now the Government must provide clarity and ensure our workers are not saddled with extortionate parking charges. We also need to see more efforts to promote green transport options for our healthcare workers.”

Mr Argar confirmed free parking would still be offered for the diabled, requernet outpatient attendees, parents of sick children and night shift workers. 

These policies were put into place by the Health Secretary in December last year and will not be changed under current plans. 

Mr Argar revelkad the implementation of the schemes had been “on hold” due to the virus pandemic as hospitals devoted parking areas for staff, 

He said: “Implementation of this commitment has been on hold whilst the NHS has been managing the COVID-19 pandemic and devoting its hospital parking capacity to staff and other facilities necessary for managing the pandemic.”

The Isle of Wight Council has already announced non NHS key workers will no longer receive free parking from Monday. 

The council says it will continue offering the service to all NHS staff and care workers dealing with the coronavirus firsthand. 

However the council says parking will no longer be offered to other key workers who previously benefited from the service. 

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McLaren still in talks to sell shares in F1 team

According to reports, McLaren is currently in discussions to sell shares in its Formula 1 team to secure funds for the future.

The British company has been hugely damaged by the global pandemic and has faced considerable financial issues because of it.

Sky News reported in late June that they were considering selling a minority stake in their F1 team in an effort to raise funds.

Shortly afterwards, they took legal action to secure urgent funds by using historic cars as a deposit for a loan. Without it, facing insolvency as early as July 17th was a distinct possibility.

They received that loan of around £150million from the National Bank of Bahrain shortly afterwards, and CEO Zak Brown claimed that the financial problems had all been solved.

However, the company are still looking to secure more funding, and are planning to do so by going through with their plan to sell shares in the F1 team, Autocar has reported.

The site has stated that they were told by a McLaren insider that there are currently advanced discussions taking place “focused on selling a minority stake in the Racing division.”

The report goes on to say that the company’s board have given such talks the green light in the past week and that there are also discussions taking place regarding the sale of Applied, a company that applies McLaren’s racing expertise to everyday industries such as public transport.

“We are considering the option of additional investors in the Racing business,” a McLaren spokesperson told the publication when contacted.

On track, McLaren look set to enjoy their best season in a long time. Lando Norris’s podium at the season opener, as well as his qualifying performance, suggest that they could be as high as P3 in the pecking order.

Autocar suggests that such an improvement in form, as well as the upcoming budget cap, could raise the price of the shares in the team.

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Auto News

Volkswagen’s Dieselgate Concludes in the U.S.

Volkswagen Group appears to have completed the terms laid out by the U.S. Department of Justice after it decided the automaker required some oversight in the wake of the 2015 emissions fiasco (colloquially known as Dieselgate). VW was found guilty of equipping certain models with emissions-cheating software that would allow the car to run cleaner under testing conditions (passing regulations) and dirtier, with better performance, the rest of the time.

The con was brilliant and allowed VW to fool regulators for years until it all blew up in its face. Getting caught in the United States kicked off a chain reaction that cost the automaker a fortune globally. In May, VW estimated it had spent €31.3 billion ($34.40 billion USD) in fines and settlements and fines globally — adding that it expects to bleed another €4.1 billion through 2021. But the company was certainly happy to announce on Monday that it had adhered to settlement deal it reached with the Department of Justice and California’s Attorney General. 

Tasked with keeping tabs on VW’s progress, the former U.S. Deputy Attorney General Larry Thompson said in his final report that the company looked to be in the clear.

From Volkswagen Group:

Hiltrud D. Werner, Member of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG for Integrity and Legal Affairs, commented: “We are proud of the progress we have made to enhance our internal compliance, reporting and monitoring functions. We would like to thank Mr. Thompson and his team for their guidance through the audit and support in satisfying our obligations under the Third Partial Consent Decrees with the U.S. authorities.”

The findings from the first and second interim reports are incorporated into the third report, which covers the entire three-year term of the Independent Compliance Auditor.

Thompson also serves as the Independent Compliance Monitor under the terms of Volkswagen’s 2017 plea agreement with the DOJ. Subject to final certification by Thompson, the Monitorship will continue until September.

Thompson and his team were allowed a large amount of access at Volkswagen and its subsidiaries, giving the Justice Department high confidence that the conditions have been met — though his monitoring will continue until September. Of course, that doesn’t absolve other nations from enacting additional financial penalties.

It also won’t save the company from the ongoing civil suits seeking additional damages for customers put out by the recalls. Still, that’s more or less a wrap on the U.S. government’s direct role in the matter. Unless Thompson missed something in his latest report (available here for your enjoyment), this is one less problem the automaker has to contend with.

a version of this article first appeared on TTAC

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Car Reviews

Tesla Model Y Performance Tested: Fastest 1/4-Mile Time Attempts

How do you go about getting the quickest quarter-mile time with your Tesla Model Y?

YouTube influencer Brian Jenkins (1iTesla) is staying on top of his Tesla coverage with new content on a regular basis. As you’re probably already aware, Jenkins is good friends with our own Kyle Conner and was one of the first people to take delivery of a Tesla Model Y. Since then, he’s been keeping us up to date on the car with many informative videos.

In Jenkins’ most recent video, he’s back to track-testing the Model Y at our Out Of Spec Motoring and InsideEVs US track in North Carolina. This time, his goal is to get the fastest quarter-mile time. He wants to not only beat his own 1/4-mile times, but also prove he has the fastest Model Y in the world (with an asterisk, he says). This is because there really aren’t a lot of official times out there yet, though DragTimes is typically the record to beat. Plus, Jenkins must make a few mods for various reasons.

Jenkins already did some zero-to-60-mph and quarter-mile runs on the same track. However, his battery was at an 80-percent state of charge when he attempted those runs. His previous times came in just shy of DragTimes’ best.

This time, Jenkins has charged the car to full in hopes of beating the “world record.” His car is a bit heavy thanks to the vinyl paint protection film and a tow hitch, which we’re surprised to learn the car now has (perhaps some secret real-world Model Y towing tests are in the future … shhh, don’t tell). 

Jenkins counters the extra weight by removing some other things. As you’ll learn when you watch the video, it worked. However, he can’t officially say he beat DragTimes since he removed weight from the car.

As always, check out the fun and then leave us a comment.

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Car Reviews

New Rolls-Royce Wraith Kryptos edition invites buyers to break mysterious code

Special edition Rolls-Royce Wraith features an elaborate cryptic message penned into the car’s bodywork, brightwork and interior

Rolls-Royce has launched an unusual special edition version of the Wraith, which features a cryptic message encoded into the car’s bodywork and interior. 

It’s called the Kryptos – and, from what we can glean from the British company’s meandering press material, the buyer who solves the cryptographic conundrum will be granted some form of reward.

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Every aspect of the Wraith Kryptos edition’s exterior has been decorated in the code, with revisions including a uniquely engraved version of the Spirit of Ecstasy bonnet mascot, a tweaked front bumper and a unique paint scheme with an enigmatic metallic finish and a coded coachline.

The interior is much the same story. The car’s treadplates feature a unique coded design, as does the upholstery, fascia finish and door pockets. The headlining is also decorated in a special two-tone data-stream-style pattern, while the embroidery on both the headrests and transmission tunnel supposedly bear aspects of the coded message.

Production will be limited to just 50 examples and Rolls-Royce says that, currently, only two people in the world know the answer to the car’s code – Rolls Royce Bespoke designer Katrin Lehmann and company’s CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös.

Apparently, the answer has been placed in a sealed envelope and locked in the CEO’s office at the brand’s headquarters in Goodwood, West Sussex. Buyers can submit their attempts to crack the code to Rolls-Royce via a dedicated smartphone app.

What do you make of the coded Rolls Royce Kryptos? Let us know in the comments section below…

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Surprise: Fernando Alonso Is (Reportedly) Coming Back To F1 With Renault

Image via McLaren Racing

F1’s only been back a week, and already, there’s a sensational off-track story. Yep, it looks as though Fernando Alonso’s departure from McLaren at the end of the 2018 season wasn’t a full-on F1 retirement after all.

According to BBC Sport‘s sources, the Spaniard has signed a deal with Renault which would involve a return to the grid in 2021. This would see Alonso drive alongside Esteban Ocon and replace McLaren-bound Daniel Ricciardo. The move would also take away what’s considered to be the final viable F1 seat left available to Sebastian Vettel, who leaves Ferrari at the end of the season.

The 39-year-old – who’d be the second-oldest driver on the grid if returning – won back-to-back driver’s titles in his first stint at Renault F1. He went back to the Estone-based team in 2008 after his solitary season with McLaren ended acrimoniously, but wasn’t in a position to challenge for the title that year or the next.

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Magny Cours. Francia. V10. #f1 #v10

A post shared by Fernando Alonso (@fernandoalo_oficial) on

If Alonso is part of Renault’s 2021 line-up, he’ll likely find himself in a similar situation. Next year’s F1 cars will be broadly the same as this season’s, with the planned rule changes – which could see the team climb up the grid – now pushed back to 2022. As it stands in 2020, Renault is more of a midfield outfit.

None of this is certain just yet, of course – an official announcement hasn’t been made, and a Renault spokesperson told the BBC that it “declined to comment on rumours”. Before the report emerged, speculation had been mounting about Alonso re-joining the team.

What do you think about Fernando potentially racing at Renault next year? Could 2022 be the year he and Enstone finally emulate those halcyon days of 2005 and 2006? Let us know in the comments.

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