Mercedes “should be competitive” in Sochi after run of “messy races” | RaceFans Round-up

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In the round-up: Mercedes are hopeful of a strong showing in this weekend’s Russian Grand Prix.

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In brief

Sochi looks good for us, say Mercedes

Mercedes’ trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin expects a competitive showing for the team at Sochi but says they must put a run of poor weekends behind them.

“We need to make sure we put a good weekend together in Russia,” said Shovlin. “It’s a place where the car should be competitive.

“But we’ve had pretty messy races for quite a long time now. And really, the team needs to not get distracted and just focus on delivering the kind of performance that we know we can and the performance that we need to win these championships.”

The team confirmed last week Lewis Hamilton’s powered unit did not sustain any damage in his race-ending collision with Max Verstappen. Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff said they were not planning to replace his power unit as they did for Valtteri Bottas last weekend.

“It’s not an absolute must because we still are running very comfortably with this power unit,” he said. “It’s a decision that that can be made at any time but at the moment we don’t feel it’s necessary.

“Does that mean we’re not going to take a fourth? No, it doesn’t. I think we will see how the next races pan out.”

Hill backs Lowe’s zero-carbon fuel firm

A British technology firm developing synthetic fuels with zero carbon emissions has raised £200,000 in investment from a syndicate backed by 1996 world champion Damon Hill.

Zero Petroleum, which was ​founded by a former McLaren, Mercedes and Williams Formula 1 designer Paddy Lowe, intends to begin production of the fuel using a combination of electricity from renewable sources and carbon dioxide captured from the atmosphere. The company says its fuels can be used for motoring, aviation and other applications. It received injection of funds through investment firm Raising Partners.

New Russian GP track interests Schumacher

Igora Drive changes
Report: Igora Drive building new track extension for first F1 race in 2023

Mick Schumacher is curious about the new venue Formula 1’s Russian round will relocate to in 2023. “I’m excited to get to know new tracks and Igora looks like an interesting one,” he said.

“I think Sochi is quite a ‘simple’ track,” he added. “We have a lot of 90-degree corners, but obviously if you’re not good at that it could be terrifying – if you’re good then it helps.”

Simmons to make FIA F3 debut in place of Yeany

Hunter Yeany will miss the final round of the Formula 3 championship after it was brought forward to this weekend as he was already scheduled to participate in the Formula Regional Americas championship at Virginia. Ayrton Simmons, the 2018 British Formula 4 runner-up, will take his place at Charouz.

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On this day in motorsport

  • 15 years ago today Lewis Hamilton impressed McLaren by lapping a tenth of a second quicker than Pedro de la Rosa in a test at Silverstone. His GP2 rival Nelson Piquet Jnr set the fastest time of the day for Renault for the second day in a row.

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