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Simona de Silvestro is focused on performing at this weekend’s Coates Hire Ipswich SuperSprint amid speculation regarding a possible move to join Triple Eight next year.
Several sources in the Supercars paddock believe the Swiss driver is the favorite to take over a potential third seat at Triple Eight in 2019 following confirmation Craig Lowndes will step down from full-time Supercars racing.
The Nissan Motorsport driver is unsure where she will be racing next season and is keen to secure her future sooner rather than later. It is understood the driver’s manager is to attend this weekend’s round at Queensland Raceway.
Aldo Costa back to Ferrari? If it is happening then it means he gets to be with his family in Italy and design unbeatable cars for Ferrari once again
UPDATE Added more to the 2021 speculation below.
07/19/18 It was a big surprise today when Mercedes announced they had only signed Lewis Hamilton for another two years.
With Aldo Costa moving back to his home country of Italy, and only working as a Mercedes consultant, Hamilton knows Mercedes is losing the best designer in F1.
It is quite possible that the former Ferrari designer during the Michael Schumacher era is being lured back to Ferrari and the consultant role for Mercedes is really his gardening leave period before moving back to Ferrari as their Chief Designer.
IndyCar running out of venues to replace its failing races (8th Update)
Plummeting TV ratings are costing IndyCar races, sponsors and fans
UPDATE Now Texas Motor Speedway is asking IndyCar to reduce its sanction fee or there will not be any more IndyCar races at TMS. To replace Texas IndyCar could look to COTA or regurgitate other previous failed races at Richmond and Kentucky.
And, as we have said in the past, the Pocono race has low attendance and the only thing keeping it alive is the ABC Supply race sponsorship. Once ABC Supply realizes they are getting such little exposure with the minuscule NBCSN TV ratings, it's questionable weather they will stick around.
One reason why COTA is so successful for F1 is the big name talent like Bruno Mars, Brittany Spears and Taylor Swift they bring in. Will the promoter do this for an IndyCar race?
Adam Stern tweets that IndyCar has had discussions with COTA about the possibility of hosting a race there as soon as 2019, per sources, but they stressed that the talks were preliminary and that such a move would only ever happen if Texas Motor Speedway and its dwindling crowds first decided on its own to opt out of its deal.
The problem with Texas Motor Speedway is that the massive grandstands during the IndyCar race are largely empty making IndyCar look like a complete and utter loser of a series.
This scares away potential 1) new fans, 2) new sponsors and 3) new manufacturers - three strikes and you're out.
COTA is a great facility and the IndyCars would race well there, but we suspect SMI will try to hold onto the TMS race.
Miles gives some insight into our rumored 2019 schedule below
UPDATE Barring a last-minute change of heart by the city of Monterey, Calif., IndyCar will announce its return to WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca early Tuesday afternoon following a vote by the city’s board of supervisors.
“We haven’t lobbied counselors,” IndyCar CEO Mark Miles told the IndyStar with a laugh Sunday at the Honda Indy Toronto, “so I can’t give you an independent view, but we’ve worked over a period of some time with track management, and we think we have an agreement that should be adopted by the council, so I’m very optimistic.”
Teams trying to confuse NASCAR's laser inspection system
NASCAR inspection platform. If there is a way to cheat, NASCAR teams will find it
SPARTA, Ky. - NASCAR has had to stay ahead of teams and continues to update its software algorithm for the Optical Scanning Station (OSS) after teams claim they found a way to "confuse" it with contrasting dark and light colors along the wheel wells and edges of the right rear of the racecar, multiple sources confirmed to Kickin' the Tires.
This is the first season for NASCAR's at-track OSS, where cars are rolled into a dark tented room and then illuminated with thousands of laser lights that take measurements of all angles of the car. According to NASCAR there are more than 130,000 points of measurement from eight laser projectors that are captured by 17 cameras - 16 around the car and one that is placed underneath the car. At the end of the scan, NASCAR is given a virtual 3D rendering of the surface of the car. There are two types of scans - a high-resolution and a low-resolution.
IndyCar CEO wants Calgary, but does Calgary want IndyCar? (6th Update)
Calgary with the Stampede in the foreground. Rumors of this race first surfaced in Oct. 2012 as noted below. 7 years later and it's still rumored, just like those international races IndyCar keeps promising
UPDATE IndyCar will not be making its return to Alberta in 2019, but 2020 isn't off the table.
Ric Peterson, co-owner of Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, is still pushing for a return of the series in his home province, but said progress has stalled.
"But it won't be 2019 -- that's for sure."
Peterson, whose team includes James Hinchcliffe of Oakville, Ont., and Robert Wickens of Guelph, Ont., said he has handed over promotion to Green Savoree, which runs a number of races, including the Toronto Indy.
The tree huggers want the race to go away so they have three additional days to hug trees in the park
UPDATE Organizers of IndyCar's Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix will "assert their case for continued racing" today during the "monthly meeting of the Belle Isle Advisory Committee." The organizers "intend to make public highlights of the proposal they will submit to the state Department of Natural Resources." They will seek "permission to race for 'several years,' a shorter duration than the original 10-year agreement" with the city. Race Chair Bud Denker said that it is "up to the state to determine the necessity for an independent environmental review." DETROIT NEWS.
Denker said that if the race "doesn't get a new contract to race at Bell Isle, the event likely won't be held in Michigan." DETROIT FREE PRESS
Hamilton to sign $55M per year contract (2nd Update)
With Aldo Costa designing his cars, Hamilton will be an 8-time world champion by the time his new contract is up at the end of 2021. He will win the title this year and then all three years of his new contract, giving him a total of 8, one more than Michael Schumacher.
UPDATE With design genius Aldo Costa now stepping back into a consultant role with Mercedes, Lewis Hamilton's winning days could soon be coming to an end at Mercedes, and this may be why Hamilton delayed signing his new contract - probably thinking his winning days may be in jeopardy.
03/19/18 (GMM) A new deal between Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes could be delayed.
Earlier, team boss Toto Wolff said he hoped a contract to keep the quadruple world champion at Mercedes beyond 2018 would be agreed by Melbourne.
"We started talking about it but it's not really my priority at the moment," Hamilton said at a sponsor event, according to Spain's Diario Sport.
"I want to keep racing, so I have to renew it at some point, but I will not do it when others want me to. I'll do it when everything is ready," Hamilton added.
Pedrosa has been destroyed by teammate Marquez and can no longer compete
The MotoGP website is currently counting down to a live press conference that will feature Dani Pedrosa. The MotoGP paddock expects the 32-year-old to announce his retirement from motorcycle racing.
The rumors leading up to the German GP have gone both ways for Pedrosa, with some suggesting that the Spaniard would retire this season, while others thought he would take a ride on the newly formed Petronas Yamaha team.
The liberal tree huggers in NJ (a hardcore blue state) will certainly kill this project like they kill all projects. Tree hugger quote: "This billionaire's insane and destructive proposal is declaring war on LSP and on the quality of life of urban people."
A oval racetrack and 100,000-seat stadium are being proposed for a swath of land in and around Liberty State Park, a project its supporters say would help revive the state's economy but which park advocates call "obscene."
The mile-and-a-half track would be located where a cluster of industrial properties sit east of the New Jersey Turnpike toll booth.
The properties are surrounded by the park but are not owned by the state.
Joe Saward tweeted that Force India's Otmar Szafnauer says that the Strategy Group yesterday agreed to expand the F1 calendar by 10 percent, thus 23 races a year. We are not certain if that is in 2021 when the new engine regs go into effect, or sooner.
Europe will remain much the same, but expansion will be overseas.
UPDATE This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' with today's announcement by McLaren. If McLaren doesn't improve soon Zak Brown will be next to go.
05/15/18 Rumors doing the rounds in the Barcelona paddock suggest that Eric Boullier’s could be the next head to roll, as McLaren’s reality is they will not be battling for podium positions this season but instead will be fighting with the likes of Haas and Force India.
FCA buying Hyundai? Responding to a report from Asia Times suggesting that a buyout bid is imminent, Hyundai Corporate and Marketing public relations manager Michael Stewart told CNET indicated the reports are unsubstantiated.
Cosworth to build F1 engine for Aston Martin? (9th Update)
Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer
UPDATE This rumor is downgraded to 'false' today after Aston Martin said it's plans to build an F1 engine are not going to materialize.
CEO Andy Palmer told Autocar: "It doesn't look like the new regulations will be of interest, sadly.
"I don't see the costs coming down far enough with the regulations I've heard discussed and I do see that the opportunity to spend a fortune chasing down a tenth of a second a lap will remain," he added. It never was practical for a small company like Aston Martin to compete with the big giants.
Denny Hamlin. How far will fans travel for a midweek race if they have to work the day before and after?
In this week's edition of the Dale Jr. Download, guest star Denny Hamlin revealed the existence of a secret driver's council and the possibility that mid-week Cup races could happen in the foreseeable future.
The Driver's Council has been around in an official capacity since 2016, but Hamlin told Dale Earnhardt Jr. that it has now been broken into various groups.
And Hamlin says that he is part of a "different, secret council now. ... I meet with all the industry leaders, the track presidents, the team presidents, NASCAR. I feel like they give us a great platform to go in there and speak our minds and tell them about the schedule."
Colton Herta has been on an absolute tear in the Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires.
The Californian won four races in a row, the first to do so since Alex Lloyd in 2007 and hasn’t finished off the podium at all this season except in the second race in St. Petersburg.
In seeking the Indy Lights championship and with it the Mazdaspeed scholarship to help propel him into the Verizon IndyCar Series, Herta still has aspirations of racing in some of the great open wheel races around the world.
Andretti Autosport eyes F1 entry in 2021 (3rd Update)
Will Michael Andretti put a deal together?
UPDATE Joe Saward writes - "There continues to speculation about the future of Force India, as a result of the legal problems of its two owners. The team has had some financial help from Liberty Media in recent months and Mercedes had not pulled the trigger on the $17 million of debt that the team owes, but it is still clear that the Indias and going to have to hand the team over to a new owner at some point.
"The best they can now hope for is not to be embarrassed by the team going into administration, but the longer they drag on the process the more problems they are creating because money is needed to get on with the 2019 programs and if the team continues to weaken one can see Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon heading off elsewhere, which would mean that the team might get into the Williams situation and have to compromise on drivers, which is never a good idea.
Will the tracks go too? ISC is a public company so the shareholders would all have to be bought out
UPDATE As speculation continues on this rumor some sources say the France family will only sell a 49% stake in the company, but some are skeptical about NASCAR finding a buyer without providing majority control and a final say on decision making. Comcast is said to be one of the interested buyers, as is Chinese giant Zhejiang Geely Holding Group. Geely is building tracks in China and invested in some sports venues in the USA.
05/08/18 The France family, the majority owners of NASCAR, is "exploring options including the sale of a majority stake," according to sources cited by Baker, Toonkel & Roumelitotis of REUTERS.
They have stated it previously and Harding Racing still looks to expand to a 2-car team in 2019. They hope to run a 2nd car at Sonoma to give a potential candidate a tryout at the end of the 2018 season.
There are a number of Indy Lights drivers looking to move up and Andretti Autosport already has a full slate of drivers, so someone like a Colton Herta may take his $1 million, if he wins the Lights championship, to a team like Harding Racing instead.
Wolff was quoted by a Formula 1 magazine declaring Mercedes were not planning on making any changes to its driver line-up for 2019 -- despite both Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas coming off contract at the end of 2018.
UPDATE Things got slightly heated during today's press conference when Jonathan McEvoy, the journalist behind the recent stories in the Daily Mail about McLaren, clashed with team boss Eric Boullier.
Last weekend, McEvoy quoted former team boss Martin Whitmarsh as saying that there is unrest within the company, and that he himself had expressed his fears for the team to (shareholder) Mansour Ojjeh during a visit to the Spanish Grand Prix.
Today, McEvoy quoted a source within the team who described the atmosphere at Woking as "toxic" and senior management, including Boullier, as clueless.
Leclerc to Ferrari makes sense both in that he will back up Vettel, as Kimi is doing, albeit at a much cheaper rate and be Ferrari's continued investment in the future. . He also has looked pretty good in the not-so-good Sauber. And he's from Ferrari's development program and has not been flustered during his first year in F1.
Could Kimi then be placed in the Sauber-Alfa Romeo? Could help sell Alfa Romeo cars as he is allegedly one of the most popular drivers. The sport wouldn't be smart to dump a popular driver.
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