Twin dis­as­ters strike Fer­rari

THE MO­TOR­SPORT LAP/ The Ja­panese Grand Prix proved to be an­other no­table one for the MercedesAMG team

Business Day - Motor News - - MOTOR NEWS - Motor News Re­porter

It has been a sad run for the Fer­rari team who have ex­pe­ri­enced is­sues for the past two races — Malaysia and now Ja­pan — where both its driv­ers did not fin­ish. In Sin­ga­pore both cars crashed out of the race on the first lap, while in Malaysia and Ja­pan both cars re­tired due to me­chan­i­cal mal­adies. Ac­cord­ing to re­ports, both Fer­raris of Se­bastien Vet­tel and Kimi Raikko­nen ex­pe­ri­enced a bro­ken spark plug in one of the cylin­ders. This is dis­ap­point­ing as the team has up to re­cent races been a strong con­tender.

With both Fer­raris out of the Ja­panese race at the week­end, Lewis Hamil­ton once again man­aged to ex­pand his cham­pi­onship lead as he led the race from start to fin­ish. He pipped Max Ver­stapp­pen, who won the Malaysian Grand Prix. Ver­stapp­pen was fol­lowed by team­mate Daniel Ric­cia­rdo. Hamil­ton has a 59-point lead ahead of Vet­tel with four races to go.

It was also the Catalunya, Spain, leg of the WRC (World Rally Cham­pi­onship) where the charg­ing Citroen C3 Abu Dhabi of Kris Meeke claimed the top lau­rels of the week­end’s race.

Team­mates Se­bastien Ogier and Ott Tanak fin­ished sec­ond and third over­all in their M-Sport Fi­esta cars.

The new Audi e-tron FE04, which will par­tic­i­pate in the 2018 For­mula E cham­pi­onship sea­son, has left a strong im­pres­sion at the of­fi­cial pre­sea­son test­ing of the For­mula E elec­tric racing se­ries at Va­len­cia (Spain).

Team Audi Sport ABT Scha­ef­fler com­pleted the largest num­ber of test kilo­me­tres of all 10 teams from Mon­day to Thurs­day. The lap times of the first all-elec­tric Audi race car were promis­ing as well.

New Audi fac­tory driver Daniel Abt (Ger­many) and ti­tle de­fender Lu­cas di Grassi (Brazil) reeled off an ex­ten­sive test pro­gramme with the four race cars of Team Audi Sport ABT Scha­ef­fler. The pro­gramme was fo­cused on race sim­u­la­tions and op­ti­mi­sa­tion of the en­ergy man­age­ment of the new motor-gen­er­a­tor unit, which now only has one for­ward gear.

The four Audi e-tron FE04s ran with com­plete re­li­a­bil­ity on all three days, so en­abling Abt and Di Grassi to reel off a to­tal of 474 laps on the 3km Cir­cuit Ri­cardo Tomo near Va­len­cia.

The num­ber of laps equates to a dis­tance of 1,466km — equalling the race dis­tance of a whole For­mula E sea­son.

The two Audi driv­ers were reg­u­larly part of the top group, although the ab­so­lute best times are only of lim­ited sig­nif­i­cance: test­ing was only per­mit­ted with the full qual­i­fy­ing power of 200kW twice per day and per car. The sea­son opener will take place in Hong Kong from De­cem­ber 2-3.

Lewis Hamil­ton ex­tends his 2017 cham­pi­onship lead af­ter win­ning the Ja­panese Grand Prix.

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