F1 news: Gasly reveals he almost parked car that finished P7

Pierre Gasly has revealed that his AlphaTauri team almost gave up his points finish in Sunday’s Austrian Grand Prix when they asked him to pit his car after just 10 laps due to fears of a brake failure.

Gasly was running in 12th position when his brakes overheated just 10 laps in. After being instructed to pit, Gasly asked for one more lap to try and get the brake temperatures under control, which he managed to achieve. He went on to finish the race in seventh place.

“I mean, we were that close from retiring the car,” said Gasly. “The team asked me actually to box on lap 10, because my brake pedal was completely flat and the temperatures were going over the roof, and I just asked for one more lap.

“They told me ‘Okay, try’. I stayed out, things got better, and in the end we finished P7, so we were one lap [away] to box the car, and then next lap stayed out and managed to get a couple of points.”

After the scare, Gasly took advantage of retirements ahead of him – notably Daniel Ricciardo’s Renault and the Racing Point of Lance Stroll – as well as Alex Albon’s spin after his collision with Lewis Hamilton.

“I think if someone told us we’d be P7 on Sunday, we would have signed straight away at the beginning of the weekend,” added Gasly. “We knew it will be quite challenging against the Renault, McLaren and Force India, and in the end we just stayed out of trouble until the finish and had some good fighting and then, yeah, managed to get a couple of points.”

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WRC reveals revised 2020 calendar, adds Estonia

The World Rally Championship has revealed a revised calendar for the coronavirus-halted 2020 season, with the campaign now set to resume in Estonia in September.

The 2020 season was put on hold by the COVID-19 pandemic after just three rounds and several ensuing rallies have since been cancelled, including Finland, New Zealand and Rally GB, delaying the resumption of the championship.

However, on Thursday the FIA and WRC Promoter revealed plans to host at least five more rounds this year, with five events scheduled between September and November.

Kicking off proceedings will be Rally Estonia, a new fixture on the WRC calendar, on September 4-6, followed by events in Turkey (September 24-27) and Germany (October 15-18).

Meanwhile, the Italian round has been rescheduled on October 29-November 1, Rally GB’s former date, while Rally Japan has retained its place on the calendar on November 19-22, despite the East Asian country cancelling both its Formula 1 and MotoGP events in recent months. 

The news of Estonia’s debut on the WRC map was announced at a press conference in the presence of  Prime Minister Juri Ratas and WRC Promoter managing director Oliver Ciesla.

Estonia will become the 33rd nation to host a championship event, although it isn’t exactly a new venue for the WRC teams, having held candidate events for the last two years. The 2019 edition of the rally was won by home hero Ott Tanak in a Toyota Yaris.

WRC also said it remains in talks with the Ypres Rally to bring WRC to Belgium for the first time. Should that plan come to fruition, the WRC field will run through the iconic Spa-Francorchamps for one of the rallies’ special stages.

The championship is also in discussions with the Croatian Automobile & Karting Federation for a possible round in Croatia.

“Today’s restart announcement sends a clear signal that the 2020 WRC is back in business,” Ciesla said.

“WRC Promoter has worked tirelessly with the FIA, our competitors, teams and potential rallies, in exceptional circumstances, to revise the calendar. Today’s news allows the WRC to restart at an appropriate time and ensure a season worthy of world championship status. 

“Fans demonstrate huge passion for WRC in both Estonia and Italy. The expectation there, and across the sport in general, will build rapidly from now ahead of September’s championship restart.”

While Rally Italy has been given a new date having been postponed previously, attempts to find a new date for Rally Argentina have been abandoned.

Revised 2020 WRC calendar:

Round  Rally  Date 
1 Monte-Carlo  23 – 26 January 
2 Sweden  13 – 16 February 
3 Mexico  12 – 15 March 
4 Estonia  4 – 6 September 
5 Turkey  24 – 27 September 
6 Germany  15 – 18 October 
7 Italy  29 October – 1 November 
8 Japan  19 – 22 November 

2020 WRC Calendar

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Auto News

Volkswagen Reveals Updated Tiguan with New Look, More Tech

Volkswagen is updating the fastest growing SUV in its class for 2022. With a standard digital cockpit, new driver assists, and a Tiguan R (in Europe only so far), the updated model is sure to pick up on the success of the Mk2 Tiguan.

The company hopes to start resales on the updated Tiguan shortly, but the new crossover won’t go on sale until Fall 2021 in North America. But until then, we have some choice details to get ready for.

The first change you’re likely to notice is the new look, which follows in the design language set by the Mk8 Golf. Like the Golf, the nameplate on the back of the car moves to the center, under the VW logo, while new headlights and taillights refresh the look.

LED lights are standard for 2022 and wheels from 17 to 20 inches will be fit to the car depending on trim level.

Inside, an 8-inch digital cockpit comes standard, but a 10.25-inch digital cockpit can be fit as an option. In the center stack, there’s a standard 6.5-inch infotainment screen or an 8-inch optional screen. That bigger screen may become useful since VW plans to do a lot with the new infotainment system.

Everything from the volume controls to heated seat controls (standard), will be operated through the center screen. That may ring some alarm bells, but VW promises that they’ll be intuitive and easy to use.

Travel Assist, meanwhile, allows the Tiguan to accelerate, decelerate, and even stop in traffic as long as there’s a car in front of you. The system works at speeds of up to 130 mph. Using Lane Assist, it can also keep you within your lane, though you need to stay in control of the car at all times.

Powertrains for the US remain the same—meaning a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine making 184 hp and 221 lb-ft of torque. The familiar engine is attached to a familiar eight-speed automatic transmission. A Tiguan R has been confirmed in Europe, but it has not been confirmed for the US.

The R version is based on the short-wheelbase version of the Tiguan, so an amount of work would have to go into setting it up right and some money would have to go into crash testing it here. Volkswagen US, though, says it’s trying its heart out to get us a long-wheelbase version of the Tiguan R.

No pricing has been revealed, but VW says that if there is a bump in prices, it will be very small.

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Arrow McLaren SP reveals Alonso’s Indy 500 livery

The Arrow McLaren SP IndyCar Series team has revealed the colors of Fernando Alonso’s challenger for the delayed 2020 Indianapolis 500 in August.

Alonso, the two-time Formula 1 world champion and double 24 Hours of Le Mans winner, will be making his third attempt at the Indy 500, as he bids to become the second person to win the Triple Crown along with Graham Hill.

The Spaniard first ran the Indy 500 in 2017, when he led 27 laps before a blown engine forced him out, although he was crowned Rookie of the Year. Last year he failed to qualify for the race, after he was bumped from the field in shocking circumstances.

“I’m very happy to finally see the car which I will race in the Indianapolis 500,” said Alonso. “We had to wait longer than usual to release the livery but that means that engines will be starting soon in Indianapolis.

“I’m confident that Arrow McLaren SP will be competitive. The team has the right experience, well-qualified people, and great resources.”

Arrow McLaren SP co-owner Sam Schmidt said: “In 2017, Fernando proved that he can not only compete in the race, but that he can fight for the win.

“The livery is great. It represents the colors of Ruoff Mortgage while maintaining the livery design of all the Arrow McLaren SP entries. It’s unlike any entry that we have seen, which will make it easy to spot for fans.”

Fernando Alonso, No. 66 Ruoff Mortgage Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet

Photo by: Arrow SPM

Fernando Alonso, No. 66 Ruoff Mortgage Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet

Photo by: Arrow SPM

Fernando Alonso, No. 66 Ruoff Mortgage Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet

Photo by: Arrow SPM

Fernando Alonso, No. 66 Ruoff Mortgage Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet

Photo by: Arrow SPM

Alonso will join Arrow McLaren SP’s two full-time entries of Pato O’Ward and Oliver Askew for the 104th Indianapolis 500 on August 23.

“I’m very much looking forward to working with someone who has so much knowledge and so many years in motorsports,” said O’Ward of his teammate. “I can’t wait to work with each other and push for the strongest package that we can have.”

Askew added: “Never in my 15 years of racing would I have guessed that I would be racing alongside Fernando as a teammate, let alone at the Indianapolis 500. I’m looking forward to learning as much as I can from him…not many drivers get that opportunity.”

Alonso’s first shot at the Indy 500 in 2017 was inspired by McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown, who had a vision of getting the famous brand back in the historic race.

“I’m excited that we get to finally show the fans Fernando’s car that he will drive at the Indianapolis 500 this year,” said Brown. “It looks awesome and I can’t wait to see it hit the track in August in Fernando’s hands.”

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Car Reviews

Lordstown Reveals Endurance Electric Pickup Truck

Meet the electric pickup truck that potentially will be the first to the market.

Today (June 25, 2020), Lordstown Motors unveiled, at Lordstown Complex in Voltage Valley in Lordstown, near Youngstown, Ohio, its all-electric Lordstown Endurance pickup.

It looks pretty close to the renders, with a conventional layout but quite a modern look. One of the first things that we noticed are wheels with orange in-wheel hub motors. Four of those will give the Endurance all-wheel-drive capability and some 440 kW of total peak output.

During the presentation, LMC CEO Steve Burns did not reveal much on technical or marketing details, which might be disappointing for those waiting for battery capacity or range estimates.

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Lordstown Endurance launch info (as of June 24, 2020):

2020 Lordstown Endurance info (as of June 24, 2020):

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