In the round-up: Despite McLaren’s recent upswing in form, Lando Norris is wary some corners at Spa-Francorchamps will highlight their car’s weaknesses.
Norris wary ahead of Belgian Grand Prix
Norris’ second place finish at Silverstone showed how strong the upgraded McLaren MCL60 was on a high-speed track, and last weekend he followed that up with another second place at the high-downforce Hungaroring.
This weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix takes place at Spa-Francorchamps, another high-speed venue that should suit McLaren. But Norris is wary some corners will expose the MCL60’s shortcomings.
“I think it’s still clear that we’ve got some weaknesses and those weaknesses are going to show in certain places,” he said. “Even in Spa we’re going to struggle in certain places even more, like turn one. I’m already scared of turn one in Spa.”
F1 Academy increases its F1 branding
F1 has coordinated the deal to nominate 10 of the 15 drivers on next year’s grid to run in the colours of F1 teams. The 2024 season will take place exclusively on the support bill of F1 grands prix.
The other five drivers, even if they are F1 juniors, “will be supported by other partners” when it comes to their car liveries, said the series in a statement.
Abel Motorsports hands Indy Nxt debuts to two drivers
Abel Motorsports will expand from one to three cars for the next Indy Nxt round on the streets of Nashville.
The team has signed USF Pro 2000 graduates Francesco Pizzi and Yuven Sundaramoorthy on part-time deals. Both will race in Nashville and at the double-header Laguna Seca finale, Pizzi will race on Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s road course and Sundaramoorthy will race at Portland, which means he misses the USFP2000 finale.
Pizzi – previously of FIA Formula 3 and a Formula 4 champion – is currently sixth in the third-tier series with a pole and a podium, while Sundaramoorthy is 14th in the standings.
McLaren reveal AI livery
McLaren are running a one-off livery for this weekend’s Formula E season finale in London, which they claim is the world’s first livery designed using artificial intelligence computing, as part of the team’s 60th anniversary celebrations.
Using input from their races drivers Jake Hughes and Rene Rast plus four others, a brief for the design was created which “with the help of AI, we turned into the world’s first livery designed using generative AI,” said the team in a statement.
“We inputted the six visions into a text-to-text AI, where we asked for prompts for an image AI. These prompts were then put into a text-to-image AI, which produced six individual artworks, one per vision, that were then combined into one single piece of artwork by an image-to-image AI.”
Carlin get another new face in F3 line-up
Rodin Carlin has signed Euroformula race-winner Francesco Simonazzi for the last two rounds of the FIA F3 season.
The 19-year-old takes the place of Max Esterson, who was signed for two rounds after Hunter Yeany lost his seat after a points-free first five rounds of the season.
Simonazzi is currently fourth in the Euroformula standings with one win, and last year he took a win en route to sixth in the F3-level championship. In Euroformula he has picked up plenty of experience at Spa-Francorchamps and Monza, the two tracks he will race at in F3.
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