The 11th instalment of the monthly F1 News segment with stories including the News that Fernando Alonso will race at Le Mans and that F1 will now use “Grid Kids” instead of “Grid Girls”.
Alonso to race at Le Mans
McLaren driver and two-time champion Fernando Alonso will race in the World Endurance Championship (WEC) which includes the famous 24hr of Le Mans with Toyota. This comes after Alonso’s attempt at the Daytona 24hr and his attempt in the Indy 500 last year.
McLaren have confirmed Alonso will miss the Japanese leg of the WEC season as it clashes with F1’s United States GP in late October. Alonso remains committed to McLaren and F1 as this year promises to bring better results with new engine partners Renault.
Alonso will now have two chances to win part of the triple crown – first in 2018 and then in 2019 with Toyota. Alonso has set himself the target of winning motorsport’s so-called ‘triple crown’ of the Monaco Grand Prix, which he has won twice, Le Mans and the Indianapolis 500. Only Graham Hill has achieved the feat so far.
F1 to stop using “grid girls” with replacing them with “grid kids”
Formula 1 will end the long-standing practice of using walk-on grid girls, commencing with the start of the 2018 Championship in Australia for the first race of the season. This was met with mixed opinions with Mercedes non-executive chairman Niki Lauda wanting the decision to be reversed.
“Over the last year we have looked at a number of areas which we felt needed updating so as to be more in tune with our vision for this great sport,” said Sean Bratches, Managing Director, Commercial Operations at Formula 1.
Less than a week later, Formula One announced that a new partnership with called “Grid Kids”, to make the pre-race ceremony more relevant and interesting for fans, especially the younger ones.
“This will be an extraordinary moment for these youngsters: imagine, standing beside their heroes, watch as they prepare to race, the elite of the elite in motorsport, to be there, alongside them in those precious few minutes just before the start. What better way to inspire the next generation of Formula 1 heroes.” Bratches quoted.
Wehrlein returns to DTM for 2018
2017 Sauber F1 Driver Pascal Wehrlein will return to the German Touring Car Championship (DTM) for 2018 after losing his F1 seat at Sauber. The Mercedes-backed driver will again race for the German manufacturer in their final season before moving to Formula E. Having 3 years prior experience in the category before landing an F1 seat with Manor in 2016, he became the youngest DTM champion in 2015.
Pirelli Hot Laps to launch in 2018
The Formula 1 Pirelli Hot Laps programme will allow spectators, celebrities and guests attending a Race to have an extraordinary and unique experience: being driven in a supercar by a professional racing driver. McLaren is the first of two manufacturers to confirm their participation in ten events. Guests could be driven by Reserve and test driver, Lando Norris, McLaren Ambassador, Mika Hakkinen, or race drivers, Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne.