In the round-up: Work has begun on resurfacing the track and improving facilities at Monza
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Major Monza renovations begin
The Monza circuit held a ceremony yesterday to mark the beginning of an extensive renovation project. Among the changes are a compete resurfacing of the 5.7-kilometre track and improvements to its drainage.
Spectators will also benefit from improved facilties. Some grandstands at the first chicane will be replaced, the tunnels beneath the track are being revised to separate pedestrians from vehicles and the Paddock Club will be covered.
The renovations have led the World Endurance Championship to relocate its round this year to Imola. Work should be completed by the beginning of June, ahead of the grand prix in September.
Pujolar “proud” of Verstappen’s achievements
Sauber head of trackside engineering, Xevi Pujolar, says he is “proud” to see what Max Verstappen has achieved over his time in Formula 1.
Pujolar was Verstappen’s first Formula 1 race engineer back in 2015 during their time together at Toro Rosso, Red Bull’s second team. He says Verstappen’s achievements have been enjoyable for him to watch.
“For me, the guy is a machine,” said Pujolar. “I’m really enjoying seeing how he is doing. I feel proud that I was part of that beginning with him. So I’m happy for him.”
Barnard becomes McLaren FE reserve
Formula 3 racer Taylor Barnard will act as McLaren’s reserve driver for their Formula E team this season, the team has announced.
Barnard, who tested for the team at Valencia in pre-season testing, took three podiums in last year’s F3 championship – including a victory in the Spa feature race – all in the final two rounds of the season. He will act as reserve for McLaren’s two drivers, Jake Hughes and Sam Bird, over the 2024 season.
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Motor racing links of interest:
Christian Horner worried ex-Red Bull chief could return to haunt them with new F1 team. (Mirror)
‘Christian Horner admits long-time colleague Rob Marshall could help propel new employer McLaren into a title challenge against his Red Bull team. He left Red Bull last May and spent the rest of 2023 on gardening leave, as is common in the Formula 1 world. He officially started his new job in Woking as the McLaren’s technical director of engineering and design.Having worked with Marshall for so long, team principal Horner is aware of the talent and expertise he possesses. And he is also wary that his former colleague is joining a McLaren team which is very much on the rise.’
Season Look Back: Honouring our marshals in 2023 (Haas)
‘Starting at the Circuit of The Americas, marshals were gifted bespoke race-branded bandanas, made solely for them, and distributed by Team Principal Guenther Steiner. Guenther made a surprise visit to the group during their Friday morning briefing, delivering his message of appreciation and thanks on behalf of the whole team, before spending time meeting marshals, taking photos and handing out bandannas.’
Mario Andretti remembers his tainted F1 title: ‘I couldn’t celebrate’ (Motor Sport)
”I lost some of my closest friends in the sport, and I hate to even talk about it. We’d lose four to six every year. In 1964, in sprint cars, in two races we lost two drivers each – four in two different races. And one was my team-mate.”
What to watch out for during the season opener in Mexico City (Formula E)
‘We might be biassed, but we love our Season 10 grid. Home to seven of our champions, and a huge wealth of talent, there are so many awesome individuals to cheer and support. This season we welcome back some big names, including Season 8 champion Nyck de Vries. The Dutchman, who is back after a stint in Formula 1, is where he belongs and is ready to race for Mahindra. Naturally, it’s a big talking point going into Mexico City and there will be lots of eyes on him.’
Ryan Briscoe: I’ve carried Prema’s winning attitude my whole career (Formula Scout)
”It’s great (to have been a double champion with Prema). So many great races that we had, and we won two championships together, so unbelievable. So many great memories. So much good food. I remember Giorgio, the cook, and just so many great meals at the race tracks. I remember so many unbelievable races as well.”
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On this day in motorsport
Born on this day in 1960: Pascal Fabre, who campaigned the hopeless AGS JH22 in 1987