Magazine: Behind the scenes at Mercedes on an F1 weekend

We go behind the scenes of the Mercedes Formula 1 team and hear how Toyota almost lost Le Mans in this week’s Autosport magazine, out today (4 November).

Magazine: Behind the scenes at Mercedes on an F1 weekend

Autosport always tries to bring insights from paddocks and circuits around the motorsport world, but sometimes we have the great privilege to get access to places and people that are usually much more hidden away.

Our Formula 1 Reporter Luke Smith got to experience some of the United States Grand Prix weekend in the Mercedes Race Support Room at the multiple title-winning squad’s Brackley base. Such assistance away from the circuit has become essential for successful F1 teams and Smith was able to gain some fascinating insights and speak to a few of those who rarely get their time in the spotlight.

Sportscar guru Gary Watkins was one of the few journalists to be given the in-depth explanation of Toyota’s Le Mans struggles. The win back in August looked easy, but it certainly was not, requiring both ingenuity from the engineers and remarkable multi-tasking from the drivers.

Toyota continued its World Endurance Championship domination in Bahrain last weekend and Watkins was there to see how Le Mans winners Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez moved a step closer to the crown.

We also look at several young talents. Alex Palou took IndyCar by storm in 2021, as David Malsher-Lopez shows in our season review, while fellow rising star Pato O’Ward talks about his aspirations – in F1 and IndyCar – ahead of his Abu Dhabi F1 test with McLaren.

Max McRae is the latest driver from the famous Scottish motorsport clan to set his sights on the World Rally Championship. The teenager speaks to Tom Howard.

The 50th running of the Formula Ford Festival was the big event on the UK motorsport scene. Stefan Mackley was at Brands Hatch to see another youngster emerge from the chaos to take an unexpected success.

Autosport has been running its National Driver Rankings, tracking all the race winners in UK and Ireland, all season. It’s close at the top as 2021 goes into its closing stages so Marcus Simmons and Stephen Lickorish outline the top 100 contenders.

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