In the news this week…

Mercedes in trouble?

F1 Car

Louis Hamilton’s hopes for winning this year’s F1 Championship could have been dashed – not by careless driving, but by his team, Mercedes, after allegations of an illegal tyre test emerged last week.

Ferrari and Red Bull F1 racing teams protested after it came to light that tyre manufacturer Pirelli had used the current Mercedes car to conduct a three-day tyre development test.

The rival teams say that the testing is in violation of Section 22.4 of the F1 sporting regulations, which states that testing during the racing season is forbidden.

Most teams regularly test tyres in the same way, but older model cars will be used to prevent any team gaining an unfair advantage.

Mercedes have said they’ve gained no insight from the testing, and Pirelli have also given a statement.

“The tyres used were not from the current championship, but belonged to a range of products still being developed in view of an eventual renewal of the supply contract.”

If Mercedes are found to have flaunted regulation, then the tyre test could end up costing them £6.6 million in fines, and a deduction of 50 points.

With no precedent, it’s not entirely sure how things will develop. But one thing is for sure: if Mercedes do go on to win, there’ll be more than just a few raised eyebrows in the pit lanes…

Land Rover test new Disco for 2014


Land Rover are busy again making changes to their Discovery range, with September 2014 looking set to see the release of their Discover 5 – a slightly trimmer version of 2010’s Discovery 4.

The new Disco largely steals its new front end design from the latest Range Rover, ditching its dotted LED lights in favour of slim and sleek LED strips. The grille also sports a slightly altered look, with circular moulding around the headlights.

But the changes to Land Rover’s latest Disco aren’t entirely superficial; there should also be some improvement in performance. The 5.0 litre V8 from the Disco 4 will be lost, and replaced with a lighter, more efficient supercharged V6, which will see the CO2 output levels fall from around 335g/km to less than 300g/km.

Higher fines for texting while driving

Texting in the car

The transport secretary has recently announced plans to increase the cost of fines for driving while using a mobile phone.

The change will see the fine increase by £30, from £60 to £90, and is part of a wider crack down on a variety of motoring offences.

Careless drivers will now be subject to harsher penalties and new fines, and a number of new road offences are also being put in place, include eating or lighting a cigarette behind the wheel.