Solberg enters Volkswagen tie-up for 2017 World RX campaign

Solberg’s PSRX team will work alongside VW Motorsport to field works-built, Monster and VW Sweden-backed Polo RXs for the Norwegian driver and Johan Kristoffersson, in a deal that marks the German marque’s strongest presence in the championship yet.
Solberg has so far competed in World RX as an independent, winning the 2014 and ’15 titles in his Citroens but being defeated by Audi … Keep reading

Dakar 2017, Stage 8: Hero and TVS Sherco riders make solid progress

The eighth stage from Uyuni to Salta was divided into two sections as the riders started in Bolivia and crossed the border to complete the remaining part in Argentina, covering a total of 419km of the original 492km.
Indian rider Santosh started the day losing time by the first way point, but made good progress by the end of the running to be 47th in the stage, 45m28s from Ricky … Keep reading

Injured Price cleared to return to Australia

The Aussie’s hopes of retaining his Dakar crown were wiped out during Stage 4 when he crashed heavily, the impact of his fall breaking his femur in four places.
He underwent surgery shortly afterwards in La Paz Hospital, Bolivia, although Price’s recovery has since been slowed by a seizure, believed to be caused by a blood clot in his lung.
While the seizure initially prevented Price … Keep reading

Rockslide forces Dakar to cancel 1000km Stage 9

Wednesday’s Salta–Chilecito run was to span 977 kilometres, 406 of them timed, and was described as a potentially decisive stage for determining the rally’s winners.
However, the organisational issues created by inclement weather on Tuesday during the Uyuni–Salta stage have forced the “Super Belen” to be cancelled.
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Dakar 2017, Stage 8: Loeb wins, snatches lead from Peterhansel

The Tuesday run, spanning from Bolivia’s Uyuni to Argentina’s Salta, was to feature a timed section of 492km, split by a neutralised zone on the border between the two countries.
However, the Bolivian part of the special was shortened as a result of continued rainfall, trimming the timed stage for the day by 73km.
Reigning champion Peterhansel, first in the running order, was fastest … Keep reading

Ogier crashes M-Sport Ford during Monte Carlo testing

The Frenchman spun the Fiesta and damaged the left-rear wheel and suspension on the car at the test in the French Alps.
M-Sport’s Malcolm Wilson told’s sister title Autosport the time loss from the incident was minimal, and didn’t detract from an otherwise strong two days for Ogier.
“We’re pleased with the way the test has gone,” said Wilson. “The feedback from Seb and … Keep reading

Dakar 2017, Stage 8: Barreda quickest, Sunderland edges clear

Barreda, who had led the rally early on but was thrown virtually out of contention by a one-hour penalty for illegal refuelling, was unmatched throughout Tuesday’s Uyuni-Salta stage.
The Spaniard led the Bolivian part of the special, (originally due to be 492km, but shortened due to rainfall by 73km), and pulled further ahead once the race returned to Argentina.
Sherco’s Joan Pedrero … Keep reading

Insight: Paddy Lowe departure from Mercedes F1 team paves way for Bottas/Massa announcement

The deal that takes technical boss Paddy Lowe to Williams and which brings Valtteri Bottas to Mercedes as Lewis Hamilton’s team mate is now underway and should be announced soon, after some delays over the New Year period, partly over the length of ‘gardening leave’ period.

A further consequence is the return to the cockpit of Felipe Massa, having announced his retirement in 2016. The Brazilian was in a very strong negotiating position with Mercedes wanting Bottas and Williams needing an experienced driver alongside rookie Lance Stroll for 2017. Massa is expected to race for one more season to give Williams a chance to recruit a long term replacement.

Lowe’s departure from Mercedes, formally announced on Tuesday, has been foreshadowed for many months. His contract was due to expire at the end of 2016 and negotiations were reported to be difficult. In the meantime Williams, with the impetus of the Stroll family, was keen to shake up the technical side of the team and along with the departure of Pat Symonds, there have been a number of other departmental heads who have left the team.

Paddy Lowe

Ironically when Lowe left McLaren in 2012 it was to join Wolff at Williams, where he was a minority shareholder. But then Wolff was appointed Mercedes F1 team boss and head of Mercedes motrosport and he diverted Lowe onto Brackley, rather than Williams factory in Grove.

So Lowe is arriving at his originally intended destination three and a half years later than expected!

The expectation in F1 circles is that former Ferrari technical director James Allison will come in to the Mercedes team, once his period of gardening leave completed in the summer, but there is no mention of that today.

Toto Wolff

Mercedes’ statement said: “In the short term, our stable technical organisation will continue to operate under the proven and established leadership of our senior directors Aldo Costa (Engineering Director), Mark Ellis (Performance Director), Rob Thomas (Chief Operating Officer) and Geoff Willis (Technology Director).”

“Paddy has played an important part in our success during the past three and a half years and we thank him for his contribution to this significant chapter in Mercedes’ motorsport history, ” said team boss Toto Wolff.

“Success in Formula One is not about single individuals but about the strength in depth and technical capability of an organisation.

“We have the talent in place to continue our success of recent years and we plan to build upon it in 2017 and beyond.”

What do you make of this development How will it affect Williams’ competitiveness?Leave your comment in the section below