Indian Formula 1-hopeful Arjun Maini will graduate to the FIA Formula 2 Championship for the 2018 season, with Italian team Trident Motorsport.
The 20-year-old moves up to the Formula 1 feeder category from the GP3 series, where he raced, last year. Driving for Swiss squad Jenzer Motorsport, his results included a win and a third-place finish.
"I’m very excited to be competing in the FIA Formula 2 championship with Trident Motorsport," said Maini. "I felt we were quite competitive during the post-season test and given that the series is using all new cars for the coming season, I’m quite excited for the year ahead. Trident is a very strong team and I’m sure if we work hard we’ll be in for some strong results during the course of the season.”
The Trident Motorsport team has a strong pedigree in the series, having run ex-Formula 1 driver Gianmaria Bruni, former Formula 1 driver and race-winner Pastor Maldonado, and ex-Ferrari Driver Academy racer Raffaele Marciello.
“Arjun is an undoubtedly valuable prospect who has all that it takes to be among the future stars of motorsports for the years to come. It is certainly not by chance that Haas F1 Team selected him to join their development driver program. Team Trident will provide Arjun with the experience and energy needed for him to continue growing up and reach his ultimate professional goals," commented Trident team owner Maurizio Salvadori.
Maini participated in the post-season F2 tests as a rookie, topping two out of the six sessions. Along with racing for Trident, Arjun will continue in his role as the Haas F1 Team’s development driver, attending races and tests throughout the year in addition to undertaking a simulator programme. Fellow Haas F1 development driver Santino Ferrucci will be his team-mate at Trident.
“As Haas F1 Team continues to mature, we must look toward our future and develop potential talent," said Guenther Steiner, Haas F1 Team Principal. "Arjun was successful in karting and has transitioned well to various Formula series, winning quickly in GP3. We’ll keep a keen eye on his progress, this year, in Formula 2.”
Maini is only the second Indian driver to compete in the series, following in the footsteps of his mentor, Karun Chandhok, who raced in the championship from 2007-2009, when it was run under the GP2 banner.
The FIA Formula 2 Championship kicks-off at the Sakhir International Circuit in Bahrain on April 6, 2018. [...]
Zainab Fayez, the sole woman in Kandahar’s attorney-general’s office, wants others to join her in the justice sector to combat taboo and instil confidenceZainab Fayez, the only woman serving as a prosecutor in Afghanistan’s southern province of Kandahar, has resolved 50 cases of abuse against women, and helped detain 21 men accused of violence against women, including police officials, over the past year. But she still longs to see other women join her in the legal profession.“My aim is to see the next generation of Afghan women empowered,” said the 28-year-old, who has worked in Kandahar’s attorney-general’s office for the past two years. “In Kandahar, it is very hard for a woman to work alone in an office, which is predominantly occupied by male staff members and where women as workers are taboo. Related: 'Girls aren't less than boys': Kabul's female veterinarians hope to cure inequality | Fran McElhone Continue reading... [...]
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Committee earlier requested a halt to Shantaruban’s removal from AustraliaA Tamil asylum seeker appears set for deportation to Sri Lanka after the UN committee against torture withdrew a request to Australia to halt his removal while it investigated the risk of him being tortured upon return.Shantaruban, currently held in immigration detention in Melbourne, has been in Australia since arriving by boat in 2012. A notice of intention to remove from Australia has been issued against him for Thursday 22 February. Related: Australia issues deportation order for Tamil asylum seeker despite torture fears I am dismayed … that the UN would accede to the Australian government’s request. Continue reading... [...]
The South Korean carmaker has decided to take a direct aim at the Volkswagen Golf with the new Ceed. Kia claims that it will be the most high-tech car in its class when UK sales commence, this autumn.
Revealed ahead of a public debut at the Geneva motor show next month, the five-door hatchback is the first from a new family of Ceed models. These will include an estate – which is expected to be shown alongside the new hatchback in Geneva – and a shooting brake, due in 2019. Beyond these, there is also an SUV due, to complete the line-up.
The new five-door has been given a more mature look with straighter lines and less clutter than its predecessor. The Ceed also comes with wheels of 15-inch, 16-inch or 17-inch diameters – the latter of which are two-tone diamond-cut aluminium ones.
Built on Kia’s latest K2 platform and developed at the brand’s European base in Frankfurt, the latest model offers improved interior space and a 15-litre increase in boot capacity (at 395 litres), as a result of tighter packaging and a 20mm wider footprint than its predecessor. The new Ceed also promises to be more agile, thanks to the platform's lower centre of gravity, with the car 23mm shorter and sitting on fully independent suspension.
Power for the new Ceed comes from a choice of two petrol engines and one diesel, which are shared with the model's twin from sister brand Hyundai, the i30. The smallest petrol is an updated version of a 1.0-litre T-GDi unit that produces 120hp, while a 1.4-litre T-GDi engine replaces the old car’s 1.6-litre petrol and comes in 100hp and 140hp forms. Just one 1.6-litre diesel CRDi is offered but it's new and comes in 115hp and 136hp guises. Drive is sent to the front wheels via a six-speed manual as standard, with a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox available as an option on the 1.4-litre petrol and 1.6-litre diesel.
A 48V mild hybrid version will be added to the range next year – the same year Ford introduces a 48V mild hybrid version of its rival, the Focus – while Martins told Autocar that a plug-in hybrid version is “under consideration”. Martins said a fully electric version is also possible but unlikely because the K2 platform would need modifying, which could “impact interior space”.
Two drive modes, Normal and Sport, are available via the Ceed’s Drive Mode Select system. The former maximises fuel efficiency, while the latter sharpens throttle response and adds weight to the steering. An optional Eco pack adds an active air flap to the car’s front grille, which closes to reduce drag and opens to enhance engine cooling. The pack also includes an underbody cover and lowered suspension to smooth airflow beneath the car, as well as lower rolling resistance Michelin tyres.
Inside, the car comes with a new 5.0-inch or 7.0-inch infotainment display, depending on the specification, or an 8.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto in the top models. The Ceed gets Bluetooth smartphone integration, automatic lights and keyless entry as standard, while buyers are offered options such as a JBL premium sound system, wireless phone charger and heated windscreen.
The Ceed has a new Level 2 autonomous system called Lane Following Assist, which can take control of the car’s steering, throttle and brakes in traffic and even suggest the changing of lanes to maintain progress in heavy congestion. Also available is adaptive cruise control that can bring the car to a stop, blind spot and rear cross-traffic warning, as well as a parking assist function and pedestrian recognition technology that works with the car's forward collision avoidance technology.
Kia displayed the previous model at Auto Expo 2018, along with a large selection of its international line-up. Their stall also had the for-India SP concept SUV.
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As part of the ongoing Clean Air for Delhi Campaign, Environment Minister, Imran Hussain on February 19, flagged off the Anti-Smog Gun campaign from the Delhi Secretariat for the third time. This gun will be used on PWD roads during non-peak [...]
Rights group says site of massacre in Rakhine state is being flattened on government orders after exposés of two other mass gravesWARNING: this report includes a graphic image that readers may find disturbingThe government of Myanmar is bulldozing over the site of a Rohingya mass grave in an effort to destroy evidence of a massacre committed last year by the military, according to a rights monitoring group.The claim follows investigations conducted by the Associated Press and Reuters news agencies, which revealed evidence of other mass graves. Related: Squalor and disease await Rohingya babies born in Bangladesh camps Continue reading... [...]
While we debate whether the durian is the best or worst food on the planet, it turns out this wonderful oddity requires healthy populations of flying fox for survival. Durian. Depending on whom you talk to it’s either the most beloved or the most despised fruit on the planet. It suffers no moderation, no wishy-washiness. It is the king of fruits or the worst thing you’ve ever tasted. Due to its potent odour – delicate and sweet to its advocates and sewage-like to its detractors – durian has been banned from airplanes, subways, and hotels (though punishments appear light if non-existent). But a recent study in Ecology and Evolution finds there may be no durians at all without bats: big, threatened bats. The scientists found that flying foxes – bats in the Pteropus and Acerodon genus and the largest in the world – are likely vital pollinators for the polarising durian. “We already knew that flying foxes feed on durian flowers, but there was this unsubstantiated belief, even among some researchers, that flying foxes just destroyed the flowers,” said Sheema Abdul Aziz, the lead researcher on the project that was done as part of her PhD at the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle in France. “It doesn’t help that a durian flower only blooms for one night, then falls off the tree naturally, regardless of whether it’s been pollinated or not. When people see all the flowers on the ground in the morning, they think it’s the bats.” Related: ‘Guardian of the forest’ routinely culled in Madeira Continue reading... [...]
After making jaws drop with the H5X and 45X concepts at Auto Expo 2018, Tata is ready to drop another bombshell, in the form of a new sedan. The company has released a teaser of the concept that'll make its global debut at the 2018 Geneva motor show.
Tata has been mulling a Honda City-fighter for some time, now; and in its 20th appearance, in Geneva, it will pull the covers off of a new sedan that is based on the Advanced Modular Platform (AMP) that also forms the basis for the 45X hatchback.
Like with other new Tata offerings, design is set to be a key differentiator, for the sedan. While it will be as long as its rival-in-chief (4.4 metres) it will break away from the conventional three-box shape and have a more dramatic, coupé-like roofline.
Tata's new Impact 2.0 design language promises ‘segment-leading wheel sizes’ and ‘strong fenders’ for an enhanced road presence and you can expect to see the same on this new car. It'll also feature a prominent, three-dimensional ‘humanity line’ – which is Tata-speak for the styling element underlining the grille and headlights – which has been applied to a stunning effect on the 45X.
Despite its swoopy appearance, though, the sedan will be as spacious and practical as you'd expect a Tata to be. It will be roomy, have a sizeable boot and get the latest in-car connectivity.
Tata is likely to equip the production version of the sedan with more powerful versions of its Revotron petrol and Revotorq diesel engines; and in addition to a manual gearbox, the carmaker could also look at offering a dual-clutch transmission, as an option. In the future, Tata could possibly develop a hotter JTP-badged version, of the same, along with a variant that features some form of electrification.
However, this project – which will require an estimated investment of Rs 400 crore – has not yet been given the green light for production. This hinges on the approval of the Tata Motors board.
Tata will unveil the sedan concept on March 6, 2018. Previously, the company has used the Geneva show to debut important new concepts – such as the Hexa and the Tamo Racemo.
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Leader of Samangan province is second governor to defy Ghani, exposing his weaknessA second Afghan provincial governor has defied an attempt by the president, Ashraf Ghani, to remove him, deepening a political crisis that has underlined the weakness of the western-backed government in Kabul. Abdulkarim Khaddam, the governor of the northern province of Samangan, followed the leader of neighbouring Balkh province, Atta Mohammad Noor, in rejecting an order to step down, issued last week as part of a shakeup of regional governors. Related: Real patient or suicide bomber? The perils of being a Kabul ambulance driver Related: ‘Unspeakable numbers’: 10,000 civilians killed or injured in Afghanistan in 2017 Continue reading... [...]
Those buying flats in Trump Tower project near Delhi invited to dine with US president’s sonProspective investors in a Trump Tower project near Delhi are being offered a conversation and dinner with Donald Trump Jras part of a marketing campaign that has drawn criticism from corruption watchdogs.Full-page advertisements reading “Trump is here. Are you invited?”featured on the front page of three Indian national newspapers at the weekend ahead of a visit by the US president’s son to India this week. Continue reading... [...]