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March 2015

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  • David Phillips
    Editor And Chief
    David Phillips is a long-time contributor to print and electronic publications in the U.S. and abroad, including Racer, Autosport, AutoWeek, Motor Sport and, oversees the daily updating of news stories and assigns, edits and contributes feature material for
  • Wil Vincent
    Contributing writer

    Wil is a 25 year old student, town planner, and sim racing commentator, most well known for his work as the lead commentator for GlacierTV. Wil got into commentating through his college student radio, where he also worked as a journalist and interviewer, covering gigs and festivals within the UK, and joined GlacierTV in February 2012, becoming lead commentator a month later. His work culminated in him commentating on the 2013 World Championship Grand Prix Series, iRacing Indy 500, and iRacing All Star Race. When he gets in the virtual cockpit, you'll normally see will taking on the thrill of IndyCar Oval racing, or trying his hand in GT action

    Outside of iRacing, Wil's an avid IndyCar fan, having watched the sport since the late 1990s, and always looks forward to the Month of May. He also enjoys watching NASCAR, Formula 1, and V8 Supercars.

  • Brooks Westfall
    Silver Crown Writer

    I've been sim racing since 2011 when I joined iRacing. I've jumped to many different sims, including rFactor, Richard Burns Rally, and the famous NASCAR Racing 2003. I picked up a copy of NR2003 with my birthday money when I was only 9, but was limited to a keyboard and a controller. After reciving a G25 for Christmas in '11, I've loved sim racing and the community iRacing has. I hope to end up writing for a car magazine or website in the near future, and intend on attending university to accomplish that.
    Aside from my career in sim racing and the real world, I hope to have my own small, yet functional race team soon with the purchace of a go kart. Since I'm currently residing in Maryland, I don't have a wide range of racing to choose from. My only options on a small budget are drag racing or kart racing. After the completion of my senior year in high school next year, I hope that inRacing News and other affiliates will help my dreams of writing for Road & Track become a reality!

  • Jeff Jacobs

    Jeff Jacobs started autocrossing with the SCCA in 1990 while a student at the University of Florida. He has competed in the SCCA's National Tour and ProSolo series since 1995, winning a ProSolo National Championship in H-Stock in 2011 driving a 2010 MINI Cooper. Jeff completed his SCCA Club Racing drivers' school in 2012 at Roebling Road in a Spec Miata. He currently writes a column for the SCCA's Northeast Division in SportsCar Magazine and is the Region Executive of the Philadelphia Region SCCA.

    Jeff joined iRacing in October 2012. After starting with the MX-5 and SRF cars, he has been concentrating on the Ford Mustang FR500S, competing in the Mustang Cup series and the Continental Endurance Sports Car Series.

  • Cam Stark
    contributing writer

    I began taking sim racing seriously about a year ago, but have loved motorsports from a young age. I began following Formula One first, then realized there are a huge variety of motorsports to watch. iRacing has opened my eyes even more to the diversity and volume of “real world” motorsports, let alone on the sim itself. With the huge varieties of series to choose from, you're spoiled for choice!

    Ever since I began iRacing, I wanted to improve on my ability, be it road or oval. Having not really heard about oval racing prior to November last year (blame the UK press), my mentality towards it has totally changed from what it would have initially been - it's awesome! I recently began road racing again - in the Star Mazda - and have been having a blast ever since. On top of racing the series I have the privilege of writing the articles for iRacing News.

    In all honesty I have surprised myself on iRacing. From being a fairly casual gamer/racer, it's been a world of difference, but it has far exceeded my expectations. I had a very brief stint driving in rFactor leagues, but I found my place of sim racing on this service, and I can't see myself stopping anytime soon.

  • Justin Sutton
    series contributor

    Justin is 29 and lives in Texas with his girlfriend and three dogs. Although always a fan of road racing growing up, Sutton never got the chance to participate in Sim-Racing until 2012 and didn't join iRacing until 2013. The son of a writer, and former resident of Connecticut and Philadelphia, his interests vary. Currently Sutton is a co-owner of YouTube channel focused on racing games and simulators and more specifically Formula One along with his partner Mikko from Finland (BoxBoxBoxGaming). Currently Sutton writes the Skip Barber F2000 and Lotus 49 articles (and the occasional F1 article) for iRacing News, and doesn't get nearly enough time to race the cars he writes about.

    Gaming is a big part of Sutton's life as well as he is both viewer and broadcaster on Twitch along with his girlfriend of seven years. In addition to being an aspiring writer he is a skilled speaker with a focus on commentary of races and hopes one day to do commentary for road racing of some kind.

  • Matt Holden

    Matt Holden began his involvement in motorsports at an early age, moving to Charlotte, NC when he was 6 months old. Growing up next door to a NASCAR TV personality, racing has always been a major part of his life. Currently studying Mechanical Engineering at UNC Charlotte, Matt works for US Legend Cars International as a technical inspector and race official at local tracks such as Charlotte Motor Speedway and Concord Speedway. Within iRacing, Matt is the Crew Chief for Gale Force Racing's #05 car in the NASCAR Peak Antifreeze Series, as well as Chassis Engineer for the team's R&D program.

  • Paul Slavonik
    iRacingNews Series Writer

    For all intents and purposes, Paul Slavonik was a late-bloomer to racing. Growing up watching NASCAR drivers such as Davey Allison and Earnhardt Sr. was the furthest extent of Paul’s racing aspirations at the time. Fast forwarding 20 years, Paul began watching the UK show Top Gear and thus ensued a fascination with all things fast. Soon after, Paul stumbled upon and has been hooked on racing ever since.
    A United States Army Veteran, Certified Audio Engineer and aspiring author, Paul spends his time hanging out with his wife and working on his first book. Currently residing in Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW), TX, his favorite racing series is the Australian V8 Supercars (go FPR!) and he has recently joined a local ChumpCar racing team. Paul began writing news stories for iRacingNews in January of 2014 and currently covers the GT3 Challenge Series and the V8 Supercars Series.

  • Thiago Izequiel

    Born in 1985 in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Thiago Izequiel is a graphic and web designer, go kart racer, aiming to get a career in motorsports. He started racing in 2007 and joined iRacing in 2010. Thiago lives in Maricá, a little town located in Rio de Janeiro state, around 60km far away from Rio de Janeiro city. In 2014 he started to write for iRacing News and also started to design layouts for racing cars.

    Working as a freelancer today, he started working as a designer in 2006. After a few years working in web design agencies, Thiago decided to follow his dreams and quit his job to work with a racing driver named Suzane Carvalho in 2011, on her driver's school. Things didn't worked out as expected and Thiago, after getting jobs as a front-end developer and social media content developer, went back to the dream path as a freelancer so he could have more time to focus on his driving career.

  • Tom O'Leary

    Tom is an 18-year old student from London, UK. Tom started sim-racing quite recently, although his passion for motorsport started at an early age, watching BTCC since the late 90s. Tom has since then expanded his interests in motorsport, watching Le Mans 24hr (and endurance racing as a whole) as well as the DTM, F1, and since starting to write about the NASCAR iRacing Series - NASCAR!

    Tom appeared on the sim-racing scene by trying out rFactor, rFactor 2 and then iRacing - where he spends most of his time racing in the Star Mazda Series where he has claimed third and then second overall in the two full seasons he has competed. On the oval side, Tom has completed a few races in the NASCAR Class C (Fixed) although he most enjoys the road side. Tom is an active member of Friction Racing, a team which focuses on the Star Mazda and the Williams-Toyota FW31, with the aim of reaching the Pro Series - and the iRacing World Championship Grand Prix Series.

    In his personal life, Tom spend time with his girlfriend (they have been together for two years) and likes a variety of games and has started to livestream his races/gameplay on Twitch, to give an insight to his approach to racing and gaming.

  • Jack Davidson
    Staff Videographer

    Jack is a recent grad from Boston University with a passion for filmmaking as well as racing. He grew up playing games such as the Need For Speed series, Gran Turismo, and more recently, the GRID and DIRT franchises.

  • Jason Lofing Series Writer
    Jason is 21 years old and was born and raised in Elk Grove. California. A big time NASCAR fan, he hasn’t missed a race on Sunday in years. Lofing is also a huge San Fransisco Giants fan and tries to take in at least a couple games a year. Other than sim racing, his biggest (and far more expensive!) hobby is photography. Although he is rather new to sim racing, Lofing has already accomplished some pretty impressive results, qualifying for the 2011 iRacing Oval Pro Series in Season 1, 2011, winning the inaugural Landon Cassill Qualifying Challenge and finishing runner-up in the second one.
  • Katier Scott
    Contributing Writer
    I am a veteran sim racer who first started racing way back in 1993 on the SPRTSIMS section of Compuserve with a league who can trace themselves all the way to the present. Within that league I act as Chief Steward and try to bring the unique viewpoint that this experience gives me into my articles.
    I have a BA (Hons) in Journalism and Editorial design and have been writing for seven years and currently cover the Lotus 79 CTC and Radical series alongside my freelance work. Living in the UK, as well as motorsports I love Photography, Arts and Crafts and reading.
  • David Ifeguni
    Contributing Writer
    I was born in New Haven, Connecticut in 1988 and moved to Midland, Michigan when I was two years old. I stayed there until third grade when I moved to Farmington Hills, Michigan and now I currently live in Naperville, IL where I'm attending Metea Valley High School as a 9th grader. In the past, I have participated in soccer and this year I plan on joining swimming or water polo. My family includes my 15 year old sister, a 7 year old sister and my mom and dad. I have been writing since 6th grade and have participated in many writing contests in my school and have received several awards for writing.
    My fascination for motorsports began when I was nine. The first NASCAR race I watched on TV was the 2009 Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway, won by Kasey Kahne. My favorite NASCAR drivers are Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr, and Jimmie Johnson. I have watched all the races in the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series since 2010. I currently have three wins on iRacing, two of them in the Nationwide car at Daytona and one in the Street stocks at Charlotte. My favorite car and type of track on iRacing is the Nationwide Series (B Class) car and superspeedways.

No firm timeline for Manor’s 2015 car

March 5th, 2015

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Manor says a final decision on when it will introduce its definitive 2015 Formula 1 car will likely only be made after the opening flyaway races. The team is currently preparing a heavily updated 2014 car for the start of the season, with the final crash tests due to take place this week. The focus on getting a car that complies to the current regulations has delayed its plans to introduce its bespoke challenger, with the final schedule for when that comes on board undecided right now. The team suspects that it will most likely be introduced in the middle of the year. Manor worth saving, says new investor Sporting director Graeme Lowdon has said that a decision on when to bring the 2015 car in will only be made [...]

King denies aiming for Ecclestone role

March 4th, 2015

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Former Sainsbury’s boss Justin King insists his focus in Formula 1 is on helping move Manor up the grid rather than chasing a role in running the sport. King has taken on the position of interim chairman at the Manor team as it continues preparations to race in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix. Despite having been singled out in the past as a potential successor to Bernie Ecclestone, King has again ruled out any expanded role in the sport beyond what he is doing for Manor. “I have always been clear, I have never applied for a job where there isn’t a vacancy – and there isn’t a vacancy,” said King, whose son Jordan is moving up from Formula 3 to GP2 this year, during a media briefing with Manor [...]

Investor: Manor worth saving

March 4th, 2015

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Manor investor Stephen Fitzpatrick says he could not stand to see the former Marussia Formula 1 team disappear after it had finally achieved its breakthrough points in 2014. Ovo Energy founder Fitzpatrick was revealed as the key investor behind the Manor revival on Wednesday, as the team confirmed that its car would be ready for the Australian Grand Prix. “Until November last year I was on wrong side of F1 fence,” Fitzpatrick explained. “My most recent F1 experience was I went to the grand prix in Singapore with a friend, we were walking down the track at the end of the race and looking at all the fans lined up on the pitwall – and looking at garages. I said we need to figure out a way to get over [...]

Pirelli reveals first 2015 tyre choices

March 4th, 2015

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Pirelli has confirmed it will take the same line-up of tyre compounds to the opening four Formula 1 grands prix of the new season as it did in 2014. Next weekend’s F1 season opener in Australia, the Chinese Grand Prix and the Bahrain Grand Prix will all utilise the soft and medium tyres. In Malaysia, the medium and hard compounds will be used owing to higher ambient temperatures and a more abrasive surface. The entire range features a new rear construction, estimated by Pirelli as two-to-three tenths a lap faster than the 2014 rubber. The overriding aim, though, was to better distribute heat across the entire tread and reduce blistering and graining in the second year of the new power unit formula. “The biggest issue [in 2014], what we expected [...]

Symonds delighted by Marussia revival

March 3rd, 2015

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Williams technical chief Pat Symonds says Formula 1 “needs” teams like Manor GP, which is gearing up for a shock return from the ashes of the defunct Marussia project. The FIA confirmed last week that Manor had been granted an entry into the 2015 championship, and the squad is busy working on an updated version of Marussia’s 2014 F1 car in order to make the season-opening Australian Grand Prix on March 15. Symonds, who worked as a technical consultant to Marussia before joining Williams in 2013, said the presence of small teams like Manor on the grid is vital to the health of F1. “I’m really pleased to see that they’re going to make it to Melbourne. I think we need teams like that,” Symonds said. “In 1981 I started [...]

Alonso pulls out of Australian GP

March 3rd, 2015

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Fernando Alonso has pulled out of the Australian Grand Prix after doctors advised him against getting back in a Formula 1 car just yet. The Spaniard suffered concussion in a testing accident at Barcelona last month and, after spending three days in hospital, he has been recovering at home in Spain. Although doctors are happy with the progress he has made, with medical tests having been completed last night, the risk of another injury setting him back has prompted them to advise he steers clear of racing in the F1 season-opener. A statement issued by McLaren said: “Fernando’s doctors have recommended to him that, following the concussion he sustained in a testing accident on February 22nd, for the time being he should seek to limit as far as is possible [...]

Mercedes made Force India test viable

March 3rd, 2015

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Mercedes paid Force India to run its reserve driver Pascal Wehrlein at the second Formula 1 test, which made it financially viable for the Silverstone-based team to test at Barcelona. There was speculation over Force India’s participation in the 2015 season after it suffered a number of delays with the build of its new car, forcing the team to miss the first test at Jerez. Further delays meant the 2015 car was not ready for the second test either so the team was set to miss it only to then announce it would take its 2014 car along to carry out testing with the new generation of Pirelli tyres. It has now emerged that Force India was only able to attend after being contracted by Mercedes to run Wehrlein for [...]

Ferrari: Grandstand stunt was protest

March 2nd, 2015

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Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene says he took to the grandstands during Formula 1 testing at Barcelona as a protest against proposed pass restrictions on teams this season. Arrivabene was pictured with team personnel, including reserve driver Esteban Gutierrez, sat with F1 fans while watching testing unfold from the stands last Saturday. The Scuderia boss said he made the move as a “provocation” against plans to increase limits on the number of paddock passes teams can hand out at races this year. “I heard that in Australia there will be more restriction [for teams] in terms of passes and I think this is not acceptable,” Arrivabene explained. “So I said to the guys ‘OK, if we’re going to have a situation where the paddock is going to be empty it’s [...]

Hamilton rejects #1 as ‘irrelevant’

March 1st, 2015

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Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton has decided to stick with his permanent #44 race number for his title defence this year, because #1 is “irrelevant” to him. Rules were introduced ahead of last season requiring all F1 drivers to pick a permanent race number to carry throughout their careers, as part of a drive to give them a distinct identity in the eyes of fans. Drivers must carry the same number from season to season, but are permitted to switch to #1 if they win the world championship. Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel wore #1 last year with Red Bull, but has switched to his chosen #5 after failing to defend his crown. Hamilton had the option to put the #1 on his Mercedes this year, after winning his second world [...]

Mercedes fastest again with Hamilton

February 28th, 2015

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Mercedes flexed its muscle ahead of the new Formula 1 season again on Saturday, as Lewis Hamilton topped the times on the penultimate day of testing in Barcelona. Having spent the first half of the afternoon in the garage as the team applied what it called an ‘experimental’ set-up, Hamilton finished with a soft tyre lap faster than Williams and Ferrari achieved on super-softs. When he initially emerged on the medium tyre just before 3pm, the world champion lapped within a second of Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen’s super-soft efforts, which were set amid a flurry of qualifying simulations before lunch. Hamilton’s first taste of F1′s 2015 soft rubber yielded a 1m23.262s, just 0.386s shy of Massa’s morning time, but there was more to come. On his second run, Hamilton [...]

Video: One-to-one with Karun Chandhok

February 27th, 2015

Video: One-to-one with Karun Chandhok

Ex-Formula 1 driver and current Formula E racer Karun Chandhok tells the story of his racing career in this one-to-one interview. One of only two Indians to race in F1, Chandhok – a regular contributor to AUTOSPORT – explains the early days of his career, making the move to Europe to climb the single-seater ladder, and reveals how Bernie Ecclestone influenced his path through the ranks. Video produced by @mario_muth – for more, including interviews with other Formula 1 personalities, visit or check out his YouTube channel

Grosjean: Lateral impacts a "problem"

February 26th, 2015

Grosjean: Lateral impacts a "problem"

Romain Grosjean believes the safety of drivers who are involved in crashes with a lateral impact needs to be improved following Fernando Alonso’s accident last week. McLaren’s Alonso hit the wall at Turn 3 after running wide, suffering what the team described as “a significant lateral impact”. He spent three days in hospital before being released, however the decision was taken that he would miss this week’s final test in Barcelona to rest and recover before the season opener in Australia. Lotus’ Grosjean said: “First we can be happy he is OK and out of hospital. “The second thing is we need to get the drivers safety a bit higher when it involves a lateral impact.” When asked if he was surprised by the amount of time Alonso had to [...]

Raikkonen to try upgrades on Friday

February 26th, 2015

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Kimi Raikkonen is set to sample new aerodynamic components during his final day of pre-season Formula 1 testing on Friday, as Ferrari gradually introduces its upgrades. The 2007 world champion set the sixth-fastest time on the opening day at Barcelona, having spent the bulk of his 80 laps on the hard and medium Pirellis. While new components on the car for Thursday were minimal, Raikkonen is keen to run updates on his last day before handing the car over to Sebastian Vettel for the weekend. “More or less the car is the same,” he said of developments compared to last week’s test. “We can get some, but not for today, hopefully for tomorrow. “I think it’s not too bad, really, how the car behaves. “There are certain things that we [...]

Mercedes ‘even better’ than 2014

February 26th, 2015

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Lewis Hamilton believes Mercedes’ rate of progress ahead of the 2015 Formula 1 season is better than it managed before its dominant campaign last year. Despite a troubled testing day at Barcelona on Thursday, which was cut short by an MGU-K problem, Hamilton believes there are huge positives to take out of the situation he is in right now. “The team has been amazing,” said the world champion. “The preparation and steps we have taken this year are even better than last year. “We learned from last year and have applied that for this year. “There are things we are learning on the way and we can improve I am sure. “There are days we will improve, but the good thing is we are moving forward.” Hamilton only managed 48 [...]

Lotus signs Jorda to development role

February 26th, 2015

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GP3 racer Carmen Jorda has secured a development driver role with the Lotus Formula 1 team and will test its 2015 car. A team statement said the 26-year-old Spaniard would get “a significant simulator programme” along with her run in the new E23 at some point this year. “I’ve been racing since I was 10 years old so it was my dream to drive a Formula 1 car since I was very young,” she said. “I will be working to improve myself as a driver as well as helping the team to develop the car by testing new developments in the simulator; it’s such a fantastic opportunity. “I know this is just the beginning and the biggest challenge is yet to come but already being part of a team with [...]

McLaren unsure on Alonso return date

February 26th, 2015

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McLaren is unsure whether Fernando Alonso will be fit in time to race in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, following his Formula 1 testing accident last Sunday. Alonso spent three days recovering in hospital after crashing heavily at the Barcelona F1 circuit. The double world champion is now recuperating at home, so McLaren has drafted in reserve Kevin Magnussen to drive this week and the Dane is on standby if Alonso does not recover sufficiently from the after-effects of his accident to race in Melbourne on March 15. McLaren chief Ron Dennis told reporters at Barcelona: “There will be some tests. There is a process laid down by the FIA and I can’t see any reason why he won’t just sail through, but it’s not for me to determine. “He [...]

FIA launches Alonso crash probe

February 25th, 2015

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The FIA has confirmed that it is to investigate the circumstances surrounding McLaren driver Fernando Alonso’s Barcelona Formula 1 testing accident to find out if lessons can be learned. Although the governing body does not automatically review all incidents at tests, because they are organised by teams rather than being an official FIA-run event, the fact that Alonso spent three days in hospital after the crash has prompted it into action. AUTOSPORT understands that the FIA has already begun working in co-operation with McLaren to go through the accident data. Furthermore, high level sources have revealed that CCTV footage of the Alonso crash has been sourced and will be used to try to give some better insight into exactly what happened. It is understood the low-quality footage was taken from [...]

Alonso released from hospital

February 25th, 2015

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Fernando Alonso has left hospital in Barcelona, three days after his Formula 1 testing crash. The Spaniard was airlifted from the Circuit de Catalunya track with concussion on Sunday after his McLaren hit the wall at Turn 3 on the final morning of last week’s test. NEWS UPDATE: Alonso ruled out of final test, Magnussen called in Despite the crash being labelled a ‘normal testing accident’ by his McLaren team, and there being little damage to the car, mystery has surrounded why Alonso has remained in hospital for so long. Speculation that Alonso was unconscious before the impact because of a car failure has been strongly denied by his McLaren team. But some details of the incident have not been made public, such as the speed of Alonso’s impact with [...]

Stevens secures Manor F1 race deal

February 25th, 2015

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Will Stevens has agreed a 2015 Formula 1 race deal with the returning Manor team, which expects to be ready to compete in the Australian Grand Prix. The former Marussia team came out of administration last week, and has secured a supply of 2014 Ferrari engines. Stevens spent part of last season as Marussia’s test and reserve driver, having switched from the same role at Caterham, before returning to the latter team to make his F1 racing debut in the Abu Dhabi GP. “It’s very exciting to see everything coming together at Manor after the tremendous effort that has gone into saving the team,” said the 23-year-old Briton, who was also a Formula Renault 3.5 race winner last year. “It would not have been possible without the incredible support we [...]

Force India reveals delayed 2015 car

February 25th, 2015

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Force India has revealed the first images of its new VJM08 Formula 1 car, which it hopes to begin testing with at Barcelona on Friday. Following delays in the build of the new car, the Silverstone-based outfit has been unable to get its 2015 challenger ready until now. It missed the opening pre-season test at Jerez completely, although did run with its 2014 car at Barcelona last week. The VJM08 has now been built up and completed its first fire-up, so will be transported to Barcelona for the final three days of the test. COO Otmar Szafnauer said: “The VJM08 will arrive in Barcelona on Friday morning and the final set-up will take place in the garage at the track. “We are aiming to get out on Friday and the [...]