Racing lines: Alonso down but not done with Indianapolis

Will he return to Indy for another crack at the quest? Not in the next two years, if all goes to plan at Renault. But AJ Foyt and Mario Andretti raced at the 500 well into their 50s, and while modern aerodynamics make racing more demanding now than it used to be, Alonso is made from the same stuff. He will go back. One day.

Bittersweet for Williams

I can’t help having mixed feelings about Williams succeeding in its quest to find a new owner. The priority was to save the beleaguered F1 team, and the deal with American private investment firm Dorilton Capital certainly hits that spot. But for Frank Williams not to own an F1 team, as he has since 1969, just feels off. As with Tyrrell in the late 1990s, such a move was inevitable; Williams hasn’t been a good F1 team for a long time. And, unlike with Tyrrell, this deal at least guarantees the Williams name will stay on the grid. But for how long?

Changing an F1 team’s name isn’t easy, due to the binding financial contracts they all sign to be a part of grand prix racing. Williams, like the rest of the grid, has just signed up to a new so-called Concorde Agreement to ensure its continued presence in F1, and it’s no coincidence that the Dorilton deal followed quickly in its wake. It also means the Williams family will have been able to negotiate top price.

But now the team is out of their hands, all bets are off about its future shape and guise. How long will these investors want to own an F1 team? Could it be sold again, to a Lawrence Stroll type or even a car manufacturer? Do they really give a damn about motor racing? All we know for sure is that from now on, even if the name above the garage doors remains familiar, it’s not Williams as we’ve known it.

Colin Turkington shows his class

Three meetings in four weeks, nine races and six winners for five makes of car. The breathless British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) is as frenetic as ever – and by the time you read this, another weekend of action will have passed at Knockhill. But after Oulton Park, who sat atop the points standings? Colin Turkington, of course. Who else?

The Northern Irishman is chasing a record fifth title in his Team BMW 3 Series and has already won twice this season. But as much as he enjoys winning races, he knows that victories aren’t always the priority. In a series that throws in reverse grids and weight penalties for success, the only way to become champion is to pick your way through a season and keep your points tally consistently ticking over. Turkington didn’t win any races at Oulton, but he still left with an increased lead.

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