IndyCar’s 2018 season-opener at St. Petersburg was a modern classic. Unfortunately for rookie Robert Wickens, classics aren’t that easy to forget.
Sebastien Bourdais won a second consecutive race at St Pete. This being the Frenchman’s first win since returning from his 215mph horror crash during Indy 500 qualifying last season, coming at his home venue no less, meant that it was an emotional scene in victory lane.
It would take an extraordinary circumstance to make Bourdais’ story a subplot but the ‘heartbreak’ suffered by Wickens, who was skittled out of the race lead by Alexander Rossi with just two laps to go, was just that.
It doesn’t take much to outrage a fanbase as a racing driver at the top of the game. One misinterpretation or one moment of madness in front of a microphone can trigger armies of fans to rally against you.
Williams’ Lance Stroll may be feeling the wrath of the internet’s legion of Felipe Massa fans for a while. In an interview featured on Autosport, Stroll extinguished the idea that former team-mate Massa had been a mentor to him in his rookie 2017 season, stating that he received “no guidance whatsoever” from the now-retired Brazilian.
The start of the IMSA SportsCar championship comes as a welcome relief to motorsport fans feeling deprived following a quiet winter. The historic Daytona 24 Hours rarely fails to deliver competitive action and thrilling conclusions throughout the classes.
In 2018, the IMSA curtain raiser promises to attract even more eyeballs courtesy of an unprecedented invasion of talent from single-seater disciplines, all looking to test their mettle against sportscars elite names.
Video games have come a long way in a short space of time. As technology has developed the archaic Space Invaders has been replaced by games which place realism and immersion at the heart of the gameplay. Racing games are no exception.
McLaren’s World’s Fastest Gamer contest has offered gamers a unique opportunity to prove that their virtual skills can be utilised by a professional race team at the pinnacle of motorsport. The winner, Rudy van Buren, a former Dutch karting champion, can become a pioneer as motorsport has suddenly become more accessible.
Sport does a really bad job of remembering those who finish second, even when their defeat is dealt by the smallest of margins. However, Felipe Massa is somewhat of an exception, having been one half of a 2008 world championship tussle that will surely be remembered as long as racing cars lap racing circuits.
Last week, Massa announced that the final two races of the 2017 season will be his last in Formula 1. A familiar position following his announcement last season that he would retire at the conclusion of the 2016 campaign, only to be recalled just weeks later as Williams needed a late replacement for the Mercedes-bound Bottas.
With Massa already setting his sights on other categories, the chances of a second return to F1 range between slim and none. All-out for 15 years at the pinnacle of motorsport, 11 victories, 41 podiums and a starring role in the most dramatic sporting spectacle F1 will likely ever host.
Formula 1 embraced an American-revolution this weekend, as the US Grand Prix at COTA served up a wacky event.
The fastest man on two legs was taken on a brutal passenger ride by one of the fastest on four wheels, as Usain Bolt was scared witless by a giddy Lewis Hamilton. Michael Buffer – the world’s most iconic ring announcer – was led onto the grid by cheerleaders before calling each and every driver out onto the grid in his own unique fashion.
The call of “Drivers, start your engines,” capped what was an alien atmosphere ahead of a grand prix.
Having received the big build-up, the gladiators battled valiantly on track and served up a fascinating race. Lewis Hamilton was imperious in front but behind, an intriguing blend of one and two stop strategies converged in the closing stages. It left Max Verstappen challenging Kimi Raikkonen for the final step of the podium on the final lap.
A bold move from Verstappen lived up to the gladiatorial Buffer-billing. However, the ‘Dutch Lion’ would be stripped of his third place and unceremoniously booted off of the podium for having exceeded track limits in order to make the overtake at the high-speed right-hander of Turn 17.
Cue a social media storm and strong debate between those who deemed the penalty to have been justified and those who agreed with Verstappen’s verdict – that F1’s ‘stupid’ stewarding calls are serving to ‘kill’ the sport.
As has been proven over several decades, Alan Gow and his British Touring Car Championship know how to put on a show. With 2018 marking the series’ 60th anniversary, it was almost inevitable that the occasion would be celebrated.
On Wednesday, it was announced that Snetterton – host of the sixth round of the ten event calendar – would feature a revised schedule next season to include a 60-mile showpiece race. Double the distance of a usual BTCC race, the ‘endurance’ event will replace the final race of the day.