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DATE News (chronologically)
09/29/19
nasmon
irl

Video: Mario Andretti returns to Charlotte
Mario Andretti poses for a photo opportunity prior to leading the field to the green flag for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Bank of America ROVAL 400 at Charlotte
Mario Andretti poses for a photo opportunity prior to leading the field to the green flag for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Bank of America ROVAL 400 at Charlotte

Mario Andretti was on hand Sunday afternoon at Charlotte Motor Speedway to serve as the ceremonial pace car driver during the Bank of America ROVAL 400.

The 1969 Indianapolis 500 winner and 1967 Daytona 500 champion previously got to check out the ROVAL in 2017, when speedway officials were working to develop the course ahead of the inaugural ROVAL race in 2018. 

“I can’t take too much credit for the course itself,” Andretti said. “The only thing I suggested at the time … they didn’t have any of the chicanes. I thought that they created more action and they needed to slow the cars down before turn three.

“As you can see they put a chicane there last year, but it was too fast. Obviously they need more of a hard braking (zone). I like the way that they reacted for this year, which they put in a proper corner. That’s going to be interesting.”

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09/29/19
f1

Ecclestone: Sign Ferrari & Red Bull, rest can take it or leave
Chase Carey, Valdimir Putin and Bernie Ecclestone
Chase Carey, Vladimir Putin and Bernie Ecclestone
As the deadline for the 2021 regulations approaches, Bernie Ecclestone has told Liberty Media to secure Ferrari and Red Bull’s signatures and then tell the rest to “take it or leave”.

Former F1 supremo Ecclestone reckons the best thing to do is get Ferrari, F1’s longest-serving team, as well as Red Bull on board and then tell the others to sign up or walk away.

“Make a deal with Ferrari and Red Bull,” he reportedly told Auto Motor und Sport.

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09/29/19
nasmon

Erik Jones, Kurt Busch, Aric Almirola, Ryan Newman eliminated from the playoffs
Erik Jones was among four drivers eliminated after Sunday's race
Pete McCole/AR1
Fresh off his triumphant in the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway earlier this month, Erik Jones’ luck swung the other way this week as he found himself as the first playoff driver to be eliminated from the Round of 16 following his last-place finish in the Bank of America ROVAL 400 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Jones got tangled up in a crash on lap 24 that punctured the radiator in his No. 20 Toyota Camry, sending him to the garage and ending his playoff hopes after one round for the second straight year.

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09/29/19
SF
irl

O'Ward shows well at Motegi
Patricio O'Ward
Patricio O'Ward
Former IndyCar rookie Patricio O'Ward finally put on a good race in the Super Formula race at Motegi.

O’Ward and Red Bull teammate Lucas Auer both had to drive through the pack to secure their Super Formula points in Okayama. Auer had qualified 15th but the 25-year-old Austrian was in great form and made the very best of starting on softs to blast past the opposition. A Safety Car took the edge off his tactics and he finished 6th after leading late in the race.

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09/29/19
f1

Binotto: We have shifted our attention to the 2020 Ferrari
Ferrari now moves its design focus to next year's car
Ferrari now moves its design focus to next year's car
At Sochi, Charles Leclerc put his Ferrari on pole for the fourth time in a row – the first such achievement for the Maranello team since Michael Schumacher in 2001.

“I really don’t want to think about those kinds of stats for now,” 21-year-old Leclerc said. “I just want to focus on the job.”

But it seems that his job is now to chase down Lewis Hamilton for the world championship. Leclerc is the highest-placed Ferrari driver, a huge 96 points behind the top Mercedes. 

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09/29/19
f2

F2: Defensive masterclass seals Ghiotto victory in Sochi Sprint
From left Nyck de Vries (ART Grand Prix), Luca Ghiotto (UNI-Virtuosi Racing), Callum Ilott (Sauber Junior Team by Charouz)
From left Nyck de Vries (ART Grand Prix), Luca Ghiotto (UNI-Virtuosi Racing), Callum Ilott (Sauber Junior Team by Charouz)
Luca Ghiotto claimed a third victory of 2019, with a defiant defensive display in the Sprint Race, fending off an unrelenting attack from champion Nyck de Vries, who secured a 12th podium of an incredible campaign. The ART Grand Prix ace finished second ahead of Sauber Junior Team by Charouz’s Callum Ilott.

The race was interrupted by a collision between Nikita Mazepin and Nobuharu Matsushita. It has since been confirmed that both drivers are fine. 

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09/29/19
f3

F3: Vips ends 2019 with lights-to-flag victory in Sochi
Juri Vips
Juri Vips
Juri Vips closed off the FIA Formula 3 season with his third victory of 2019, dominating Race 2 from start-to-finish, with an electric lights-to-flag performance. Drama played out behind him, as Marcus Armstrong ran rampant, rising from seventh to second to secure P2 in the Drivers’ standings. Champion Robert Shwartzman ended the campaign on the podium, with third place.

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09/29/19
f1

Ferrari form 'serious situation' for Mercedes - Hamilton
Is Ferrari faster than Mercedes or Charles Leclerc simply better than Lewis Hamilton?
Is Ferrari faster than Mercedes or Charles Leclerc simply better than Lewis Hamilton?
(GMM) Ferrari may have caught up with Mercedes already, but the Italian team is still looking ahead to 2020.

At Sochi, Charles Leclerc put his Ferrari on pole for the fourth time in a row - the first such achievement for the Maranello team since Michael Schumacher in 2001.

"I really don't want to think about those kind of stats for now," 21-year-old Leclerc said. "I just want to focus on the job."

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09/29/19
f2

New F2 champion not writing off F1 career
No place in F1 for F2 champ Nyck de Vries
No place in F1 for F2 champ Nyck de Vries
(GMM) New Formula 2 champion Nyck de Vries is not writing off his chances of racing in F1.

The 24-year-old Dutchman wrapped up his F2 crown at Sochi, having raced in the category since 2017.

But he is not stepping up to Formula 1 next year. Instead, Mercedes has signed him up for the new works Formula E team.

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09/29/19
nhra

Video: Tim Wilkerson blows the body off his Funny Car
Tim Wilkerson blows the body off his Funny Car during the fourth round of qualifying at the AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals.

Wilkerson was in good condition after the incident but the same can't be said for his Funny Car which was turned into a roadster.

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09/29/19
nhra

Video: Rick Hord takes a wild ride at the Midwest Nationals
Pro Mod racer Rick Hord walked away after his car hit the wall before coming to a stop on its roof during qualifying at the Midwest Nationals.

He walked away OK.

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09/29/19
f1

Liberty's biggest F1 change 'social media' - Ecclestone
Bernie Ecclestone
Bernie Ecclestone

(GMM) Bernie Ecclestone thinks the biggest change made by Liberty Media since he was removed as F1 supremo is the sport's social media strategy.

"They haven't made any great changes," the 88-year-old said at Sochi.

"There are things that I wouldn't have done, but I don't want to criticize. A lot is new for them.

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09/29/19
f1

F1 consults drivers over qualifying changes
Daniel Ricciardo
Daniel Ricciardo
(GMM) Liberty Media has met with Formula 1 drivers at Sochi to explain forthcoming changes to the qualifying format.

Several drivers have expressed strongly misgivings about making key changes to the sport without involving those who actually race the cars.

Liberty has revealed that it will experiment at two or three grands prix next year with a reverse-grid, 100km qualifying race on Saturdays.

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09/29/19
f1

Albon denies feeling Red Bull pressure
Alex Albon at Sochi. He stuffed it hard into the barriers right after this
Alex Albon at Sochi. He stuffed it hard into the barriers right after this
(GMM) Alex Albon has denied feeling the pressure to be competitive at Red Bull.

Having taken over from struggling Pierre Gasly after the summer break, the British-born Thai driver has had a particularly bad weekend at Sochi.

He crashed in qualifying and has admitted that he is not comfortable with the handling of the Red Bull car.

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09/29/19
f1
f2

Mick Schumacher not ruling out F1 for 2020
Mick Schumacher
Mick Schumacher
(GMM) Mick Schumacher is not ruling out making the leap into Formula 1 as soon as 2020.

Many, including F1 sporting boss Ross Brawn, think Michael Schumacher's 20-year-old son needs another season in Formula 2.

Gerhard Berger disagrees.

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09/29/19
f1

McLaren turned down 'strategic partnership' with Renault
Abiteboul explains how McLaren rejected his offe
Abiteboul explains how McLaren rejected his off
(GMM) McLaren split with engine supplier Renault over a disagreement about Formula 1 strategy, according to Cyril Abiteboul.

"It was apparent that Renault and McLaren have different ambitions for the future," he said.

The Renault team boss was speaking after it was announced at Sochi that McLaren will switch to customer Mercedes power in 2021.

Abiteboul explained: "McLaren and us are fighting for fourth place.

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09/28/19
irl

Video: Newgarden laps Charlotte Roval
IndyCamp Newgarden
IndyCar Camp Newgarden
Newly crowned IndyCar Series champion Josef Newgarden put a little icing on his celebratory cake Friday night in Charlotte.

The Team Penske driver took six laps around the 17-turn, 2.28-mile road course in an Indy car that recently saw action at the series finale at Laguna Seca.

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09/28/19
f2

F2: De Vries storms to Championship title with Sochi Feature Race victory
Nyck de Vries
Nyck de Vries

Four wins, 11 Podiums, 254 Points, one Championship title and a season of utter domination. Nyck de Vries sealed the 2019 FIA Formula 2 title in style, with victory in the Sochi Feature Race, ahead of his main challenger, Nicholas Latifi. The Canadian had to settle for second on the day, and now faces a fight for the same spot in the drivers’ standings.

Louis Dilator completed the top 3 with his first Feature Race podium in F2, but he left it late, bombing past Luca Ghiotto at the final turn. The Italian had risked the alternate strategy as he went for victory, but in the end couldn’t build a big enough gap between himself and De Vries, before eventually losing out on a podium placeLouis Deletraz completed the top 3 with his first Feature Race podium

The morning’s rain had dried up by the time De Vries lined up on pole at 4.45pm local time and he got off the line smoothly, surging into the distance ahead of Latifi and Callum Ilott. The duo both held on off the line, but couldn’t match the sheer pace, and determination, of the Champion-to-be. Further back, the front 10 remained largely unaltered, apart from the dazzling red PREMA of Mick Schumacher, who had risen up to seventh thanks to a storming start. The German’s overtaking spree was momentarily halted as Artem Markelov pulled off the track and into retirement, bringing out a virtual safety car.

When racing resumed, Ilott went into free fall. The Briton slowed and plummeted down the order, from third to 12th. This handed Schumacher sixth, which he then turned into fifth with a move on Guanyu Zhou, who was later slapped with a five-second time penalty for leaving the track and gaining an advantage. Out in front, Latifi knew that he would need to pass De Vries to prevent the Dutchman from claiming the title, but his hopes were dashed when Ghiotto lunged down his left hand side for second. The Italian didn’t stop there and daringly sent it down the side of De Vries at the first corner, to complete his charge from fourth to first.

Unlike Ghiotto, De Vries and Latifi had both started on the supersofts and would pit later that lap, returning in 10th and 11th. This sparked into motion the Italian’s alternate strategy, as he set about maintaining the 27s gap that would be required when he eventually pitted. Behind the Italian, Schumacher, Nikita Mazepin and Nobuharu Matsushita had opted for the same strategy.

Nicholas Latifi, Nyck De Vries and Louis Deletraz
Nicholas Latifi, Nyck De Vries and Louis Deletraz

Schumacher’s attempts at making this work were dealt a blow as the Russian passed him, prompting a momentous roar from his home crowd. The rear of his PREMA was then in the eye-line of Matsushita, who overtook the German when he locked up at Turn 13. De Vries and Latifi had already set about closing what was initially a 32s gap to Ghiotto, as they dashed by Marino Sato, and shortly after, Ralph Boschung. At this point, Schumacher was forced out of the race when his PREMA went up in smoke. The Ferrari F1 junior made it back to the pits, but was forced to retire.

Five laps remained and the gap between De Vries and Ghiotto was now just 26s, but still, the Italian refused to pit. He would devilishly remain out for two further laps, as he looked to make the switch when the front field’s rubber would be at its weakest.

When the UNI-Virtuosi racer eventually swapped his mediums for supersofts, he returned behind both of the Championship’s top two and Dilator. Albeit, with fresher, faster tires. He made light work of the Carlin and began to chase down Latifi. He got within touching distance, but slipped slightly wide and cost himself valuable time. This allowed De Vries to cross the line unopposed and fittingly seal his Championship title with a fourth victory of the year, while Latifi held on for second. Behind them, Dilator managed to sneak back past Ghiotto on the final turn, as the Italian appeared to lock-up. Sergio Sette Camara completed the top five, ahead of Matsushita, Jack Aitken, Mazepin, Ilott and Zhou.

De Vries secured the F2 Championship with an advantage of 70 points over Latifi in second. Ghiotto is third with 169, ahead of Sette Camara on 161 and Aitken on 159. In the Teams’ Championship, DAMS remain in first with 345 points, ahead of UNI-Virtuosi on 285 and ART Grand Prix on 264. Carlin are fourth with 200 and Campos Racing fifth with 189.

De Vries may have been named champion, but there remains everything to play for behind him, with second place still very much up for grabs. Action continues tomorrow at 11.20am local time.  

Results

POSDRIVERTEAMGAP
1Nyck de VriesART Grand Prix54m12.087s
2Nicholas LatifiDAMS4.918s
3Louis DeletrazCarlin5.995s
4Luca GhiottoUNI-Virtuosi7.607s
5Sergio Sette CamaraDAMS11.378s
6Nobuharu MatsushitaCarlin20.364s
7Jack AitkenCampos Racing27.403s
8Nikita MazepinART Grand Prix28.572s
9Callum IlottSauber Junior Team by Charouz32.394s
10Guanyu ZhouUNI-Virtuosi33.756s
11Sean GelaelPrema Racing43.365s
12Jordan KingMP Motorsport47.493s
13Giuliano AlesiTrident48.620s
14Ralph BoschungTrident59.021s
15Tatiana CalderonBWT Arden1m09.884s
16Marino SatoCampos Racing1m46.218s
17Mahaveer RaghunathanMP Motorsport1 Lap
18Matevos IsaakyanSauber Junior Team by Charouz1 Lap
-Mick SchumacherPrema RacingDNF
-Artem MarkelovBWT ArdenDNF

Drivers' standings

POSDRIVERPTS
1Nyck de Vries254
2Nicholas Latifi184
3Luca Ghiotto169
4Sergio Sette Camara161
5Jack Aitken159
6Nobuharu Matsushita124
7Guanyu Zhou116
8Jordan King79
9Anthoine Hubert77
10Louis Deletraz76


Comment
09/28/19
nasmon

Chase Elliott leads final Cup Series practice at Charlotte
Chase Elliott
Pete McCole/AR1

Chase Elliott turned in the fastest lap in Saturday's final practice session for Sunday's Bank of America ROVAL 400 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Elliott ran his quickest lap toward the end of the one-hour session that saw Cup Series playoff contenders Martin Truex, Jr. and Alex Bowman find trouble in what will be the final race of the opening round Round of 16.

"I thought we made it a little better today from where we were yesterday," said Elliott. "Hopefully we have it driving well enough to be good as we go. Obviously, we qualified really bad yesterday, so we need to be able to try to stay out of trouble and have the ability to move forward. We’ll give it our best shot.”

Elliott put down a lap of 102.101 mph in the No. 9 Chevrolet. Truex was leading the practice session before his No. 19 Toyota lost the motor, forcing the team to change engines and sending Truex to the rear of the field to start Sunday's race.

Alex Bowman's torn-up Chevrolet
Pete McCole/AR1

With 30 seconds left in the practice session, Bowman buried his car into the tire barrier, putting him in a backup car and also relegating him to a back-of-the field start on Sunday.

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09/28/19
nasmon

Ryan Blaney fastest in second Cup Series practice at Charlotte
Ryan Blaney
Pete McCole/AR1
Ryan Blaney topped Saturday's opening practice session for Sunday's Bank of America ROVAL 400 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Blaney - the defending race winner - clocked in at 101.882 mph around the 17-turn, 2.28-mile infield/oval road course, beating out Ryan Preece (101.445 mph) and Joey Logano (101.338 mph). Jimmie Johnson (101.290) and Denny Hamlin (101.228) made up the rest of the top five in practice.

Kyle Busch spun during his practice run and brushed the outside wall. The damage to the No. 18 Toyota was minimal and the team was able to effect repairs.

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09/28/19
nasmon

Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. speaks out on firing from Roush Fenway
Ricky Stenhouse
Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. spoke to the media for the first time after learning he would not be back as driver of the Roush-Fenway Racing No. 17 car for the 2020 season, saying he was "blindsided" by the news.

Stenhouse lost his ride to Chris Buescher, who come over from JTG Daugherty Racing, bring an end to a relation that began in 2010 and included back to back Xfinity Series championships in 2011 and 2012.

Stenhouse said he and his agent were summons to the race shop on Wednesday and were informed the team was going in a different direction for next season. It was a conversation he was not expecting.

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09/28/19
f3

Armstrong wins as Shwartzman clinches Championship crown
Ferrari protege Robert Shwartzman - note the Ferrari brass looking on
Ferrari protege Robert Shwartzman - note the Ferrari brass looking on
Robert Shwartzman clinched the maiden FIA Formula 3 Championship title in one of the most intense races of the season, but it was his teammate Marcus Armstrong who won, as the Russian settled for second, refusing to risk his crown.

When Marcus Armstrong told reporters that it would be one of the battles of the season, he wasn’t wrong, as three different drivers exchanged P1 in a race-long battle for first, which was only settled on the final lap.

Niko Kari was deeply immersed into that fight, but would ultimately finish the season as he started it in third place, with his first podium since Round 1 in Barcelona. For all of the plaudits that Shwartzman will deservedly receive in the aftermath, Armstrong sealed his third victory of the campaign and matched the champion’s tally.

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09/28/19
f2

Correa chose against foot amputation - family
Juan Manuel Correa facing career ending surgery
Juan Manuel Correa facing career ending surgery
(GMM) Formula 2 driver Juan Manuel Correa has chosen not to have his right lower leg amputated, his family have revealed.

The 20-year-old Ecuadorian-American was the driver who struck the rival car of fatally-injured Anthoine Hubert recently at Spa.

He is no longer in an artificial coma to recover from lung injuries, but Correa is now facing a ten-hour operation to save his badly damaged legs.

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09/28/19
f1

Ferrari driver peace 'will crack' - Marko
Vettel still smiling.....for now
Vettel still smiling.....for now
(GMM) Dr Helmut Marko thinks the tentative peace at Ferrari will eventually "crack".

The Red Bull official told Osterreich newspaper that Charles Leclerc is challenging former quadruple world champion Sebastian Vettel for his number 1 status.

"It's going to be interesting," Marko said.

"There's a kid who's damn fast and unwilling to fall in line. At the moment they are still very polite with each other, but eventually it will crack. Maybe it will only be next year.

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09/28/19
f1

Leclerc leads Ferrari 1-2 in final Russian GP practice
Can Charles Leclerc win a 4th straight pole?
Can Charles Leclerc win a 4th straight pole?

Charles Leclerc led home a one-two for Ferrari with a time of 1m32.733s, topping the session by 0.316s from his teammate Sebastian Vettel.

Sandbagging Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas completed the top four, with Red Bull going for an alternate strategy in that final hour of running. 

There doesn't seem to be much in it between the Mercedes drivers and Vettel - but no one has an answer to the pace of Leclerc so far.

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09/28/19
f1

2020 teammate 'up to Red Bull' - Verstappen
Max Verstappen
Max Verstappen
(GMM) Max Verstappen says he doesn't mind who Red Bull chooses to be his 2020 teammate.

Currently, the energy drink outfit is giving Alex Albon a chance at the senior team, but Dr Helmut Marko says Pierre Gasly is also in the running to return from Toro Rosso in 2020.

"They are the bosses, so they decide," Verstappen said at Sochi. "It's up to them.

"I don't care who my teammate is. Albon is good, I like to work with him and he's very relaxed. But that's not different to Pierre either," he added.

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09/28/19
f1

Mercedes 'third fastest team' at Sochi - Wolff
Wolff and wife Suzie. He looks worried, but Mercedes always wins at Sochi
Wolff and wife Suzie. He looks worried, but Mercedes always wins at Sochi
(GMM) Mercedes is struggling at the scene of the Russian GP at Sochi.

The Finnish broadcaster C More says Toto Wolff cancelled a scheduled interview after Friday practice in order to sit in on a crisis meeting about the team's performance.

"We saw that we were behind in practice, but there are always meetings," Valtteri Bottas told the broadcaster.

"Sometimes it's happier, sometimes it's a little darker."

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09/28/19
f1

Haas 'better choice' for Kubica than Racing Point
Steiner reacts to all those zeros on Kubica's check
Steiner reacts to all those zeros on Kubica's check
(GMM) Robert Kubica's father thinks the departing Williams driver will choose either between an F1 test role or racing in a series like DTM for 2020.

The Polish driver has been linked with test roles at Haas and Racing Point, perhaps splitting it with a race seat in the German touring car series.

But his father Artur Kubica told Poland's Onet: "It would be difficult to combine the role of test driver with another racing series.

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09/28/19
f1

Kubica 'right' to quit Williams - father
Artur Kubica
Artur Kubica
(GMM) Robert Kubica's father says the Pole made the "right decision" to quit Williams.

But Artur Kubica also admitted to the Polish publication Onet that his son is unlikely to find another place on the 2020 grid.

"Leaving was the only possible scenario," Artur Kubica said.

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09/28/19
f1

Mercedes-Benz to power McLaren F1 from 2021 onwards
Zak Brown
Zak Brown

McLaren Racing and Mercedes-Benz announced today that the McLaren F1 team will be powered by Mercedes from 2021 until at least the 2024 season under a long-term agreement.
 
The agreement will bring McLaren and Mercedes together as customer team and power unit supplier for the first time since 2014.

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