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Rumor Rating Description
A rumor rated as 'speculation' is one that has no supporting information
A rumor rated as 'strong' is one where we received information from more than one source.
A rumor rated as 'fact' is one that has proven to be true
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These rumors are just that, RUMORS, and are not to be taken as 'fact' unless so noted.  Please visit our Hot News page for news.  If you have a rumor, or can supply more information about one listed here, e-mail us with as much supporting information as possible and we may post it. User Agreement and Disclaimer. Newer rumors supersede older ones of the same topic.  Go to our forums to discuss any rumor.
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DATE News (chronologically)
09/13/15
nassprint

Richmond spring race to be day event
Although NASCAR is still likely weeks away from announcing the entire 2016 Cup series schedule, sources familiar with the scheduling process said the spring race at Richmond International Raceway will take place on a Sunday afternoon next season instead of Saturday night. RIR president Dennis Bickmeier confirmed on Friday that the track had put in a request to NASCAR to change its spring race date to a day event.

"Now, we're just going through their process," Bickmeier said. "We'll see what comes out on the other end." The change in date will also return the Richmond spring race weekend to a more traditional three-day event, which also opens up the possibility for more extensive off-track experiences for fans on property. Motorsport

Comment
09/12/15
irl

Road America to take over Milwaukee race, promote doubleheader?
Why did Road America President George Bruggenthies (L) visit the Milwaukee Mile Friday? Was he there to look at promoting a race, or to buy the grandstands for Road America when the Milwaukee Mile gets boarded up?
A month after an IndyCar official offered encouragement about a race at the Milwaukee Mile and weeks after the intended announcement of a 2016 schedule, State Fair Park management waits for news.

Rick Frenette, executive director for the park, where the track is located, said Friday he hasn't been a part of discussions between IndyCar and any potential promoters and he hasn't even heard anything. State Fair Park's stance, though, hasn't changed.

"We need a promoter to come in and run the race; we'll make any day they'd like work, except if it's during the fair (Aug. 4-14)," Frenette said in a phone interview.

Read more & Comment...
09/11/15
f1

Honda to test F1 engine in Super Formula car
The Honda-McLaren finger pointing is almost as bad as the Renault-Red Bull finger pointing. The problem are the mental midgets who made the F1 engine rules so complicated Honda and Renault can't get them right and now must spend hundreds of millions more to catch up.
(GMM)  Honda could fit its much-criticized F1 engine to a 'Super Formula' open wheel car, the Italian magazine Autosprint reports.

In its latest edition, published earlier this week, Autosprint said the move could be a way for the embattled Japanese manufacturer to prove its 2015 'power unit' is not as bad as many believe.

The news comes after the recent Italian grand prix, where insiders said an interview session featuring Honda's under-fire Yasuhisa Arai was one of the most 'brutal' in recent F1 history.

McLaren and Honda appear increasingly divided, as despite Arai's claims that the engine is better now than Renault's, Fernando Alonso's top speed at Monza was just 338kph -- 16kph behind the leading Mercedes.

Read more & Comment...
09/10/15
f1

Ferrari to change engine shape for 2016
Ferrari wants to narrow the back of their car
(GMM)  Ferrari is planning to line up in 2016 with a "completely different car and engine".

That was the claim made by president Sergio Marchionne as he visited the Monza paddock last weekend.

Many were surprised when they heard those words, as the regulations are not changing considerably for 2016, ahead of the expected rules revolution for 2017.

So with Ferrari already closing the gap on dominant Mercedes, might Marchionne have been stretching the truth?

Read more & Comment...
09/10/15
f1

Turkey looks for F1 return (Update 7) UPDATE #7
Turkey Circuit
(GMM)  Turkey could be set to return to the formula one calendar.

Last week, Istanbul Park - having hosted seven grands prix until 2011 - returned to the headlines when reports emerged that new operator Intercity planned to turn the Hermann Tilke-penned circuit into a used car dealership.

It turned out the reports were wide of the mark, when Intercity's chief said the track "still has a grade 1 FIA license" and could therefore return to the calendar "in the future".

The future could now be close.  Anadolu, the state-run Turkish news agency, said Intercity chairman Vural Ak has travelled to London for talks with Bernie Ecclestone.

Read more & Comment...
09/09/15
irl

IndyCar will not be moving to Fox
Today, an unreliable publication reported that the X1 Group (the group that is looking to do a deal with IndyCar as you read in this AR1.com exclusive over a week ago) is looking to broadcast IndyCar races on FOX TV. AR1.com, who has far more inside information than the aforementioned other publication, can tell you 100% that the X1 Group will not be looking to move IndyCar TV broadcasts to FOX or any FOX affiliate.

As for what network X1 may be looking at?

Read more & Comment...
09/09/15
nassprint

Race Team Alliance, NASCAR deal could be near
Hendrick Motorsports founder and owner Rick Hendrick said Tuesday he's optimistic a deal can be put in place as early as late this season between NASCAR and the Race Team Alliance to create some sort of permanent value for the teams.

Hendrick did not proffer any specifics about what an arrangement between NASCAR and the RTA, a group that represents the interests of individual NASCAR team owners, would look like. But he did confirm that talks are ongoing.

Read more & Comment...
09/08/15
irl

Overheard in Milwaukee - Saturday (3rd Update) UPDATE #3 A reader writes, Dear AR1.com, It looks like Marshall Pruett and Racer.com had to eat their words. First he wrote an article dismissing the AR1.com rumor that an offer was being prepared to buy the IndyCar series and now he wrote a 2nd article dismissing your rumor again and then in his latest article talks about the X1 project. It's old news now. I guess he had to swallow hard.  Mordichai Rosen, Los Angeles, CA

09/01/15 You can now read more on the rumor we revealed before Milwaukee about a group that was interested in buying the IndyCar series in today's feature article.

07/15/15
How will Miles and 'the family' react to a new idea?
Regarding the rumor below of one or two groups preparing an offer to buy the series, "It's not a difficult question to answer; I've heard nothing about it and IndyCar is not for sale," IndyCar boss Mark Miles, who heads Hulman & Company told racer.com. "If there's a group out there, they haven't come to us and we're not looking to sell the series." [Editor's Note: That is correct, IndyCar has not been approached to sell the series......yet. But if rumors are to be believed, the plan could turn the series around to strong growth while allowing the Hulman George family a partial ownership. As we said below, the racing is too good for the fan base to be so small.  There has to be someone who has an idea to turn this thing upward. Unfortunately we do not yet know the details and do not know if the plan is good or not.]

Read more & Comment...
09/08/15
f1

Red Bull team set to lose $80m in sponsorship
Did Dietrich Mateschitz cut off his nose to spite his face?
Red Bull Racing will ultimately either build their own engine -- or do a McLaren and partner with someone for an exclusive engine supply contract - or take a Ferrari 'B' engine deal.

However, the very public fall out with Renault and the cancellation by Red Bull of the contract to buy the French F1 power unit in 2016 has appeared to be rather chaotic.

Were Red Bull to simply breach the contract, a $75 million penalty was due, though it is unlikely the full amount of this will eventually be paid. Some kind of agreement must be found quickly given that an F1 manufacturer -- such as Mercedes or Ferrari -- cannot supply a team already under contract with another F1 engine manufacturer.

Read more & Comment...
09/08/15
f1

2016 F1 calendar to stretch into December (2nd Update)
UPDATE #2 
Bernie Ecclestone

Abu Dhabi will remain F1's season-ending race next year but CEO Bernie Ecclestone has "calmed fears the calendar could extend into December to create a bigger gap between Singapore and Malaysia," according to Alan Baldwin of REUTERS.

Ecclestone: "I think we can escape going into December, otherwise it's getting a bit too near Christmas." The '16 calendar remains "very much a work in progress, with the 21-race draft version published in July sure to see some changes before being cast in stone later in the year."

Ecclestone confirmed Malaysia was set for a new slot, yet to be decided. He said, "I'm going to move that a little bit. I don't know (where), I'm having a look now."

Read more & Comment...
09/08/15
f1

Raikkonen staying at Ferrari in 2016 (2nd Update) UPDATE #2 This rumor became 'fact' over a week ago when Ferrari re-signed Raikkonen.

08/19/15 Longtime F1 journalist Joe Saward is reporting Raikkonen will be back at Ferrari on his website. The team has yet to confirm it on their website, although we imagine they will do so soon.

08/19/15 Multiple outlets are reporting that Kimi Raikkonen will remain with Ferrari for the 2016 Formula One season. We will pass along more information as we receive it.

Comment
09/06/15
f1

Mercedes under investigation (Update 3) UPDATE #3 Hamilton has kept his win - see Hot News update.

09/06/15 AR1 has received the text of an FIA Technical Delegate's Report, who referred the matter to the stewards for investigation.

Amongst the items in the report is that after the five-minute signal to race start was given the psi measurements of cars 5 (Vettel), 6 (Rosberg), 7 (Raikkonen) and 44 (Hamilton) were taken. The pressures were measured with "the calibrated tire pressure gauge of the official Formula One tire supplier." 

Read more & Comment...
09/05/15
nassprint

Bowyer to Stewart-Haas in 2017? (Update)
UPDATE Claire B. Lang reported on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Friday evening that Clint Bowyer would move to HScott Motorsports in 2016 and then on to Stewart-Haas Racing in 2017 to replace Tony Stewart.

Bowyer
Clint Bowyer
08/20/15 The biggest question for the 2016 NASCAR Silly Season is Clint Bowyer, 36, who controls his future today as much as he did when he left Richard Childress Racing to join MWR. With no apparent openings at major teams for next season, Bowyer might need a placeholder ride for a year - much like Kasey Kahne when he drove for Red Bull Racing before joining Hendrick's four-car juggernaut. After that, Bowyer would have more options. The garage has been buzzing for a few months about the possibility of Bowyer joining Stewart-Haas Racing, but to replace who? Reigning Sprint Cup champion Kevin Harvick is locked in.

Read more & Comment...
09/05/15
f1

Cash-strapped McLaren set to keep Button (2nd Update) UPDATE #2
Jenson Button
(GMM)  Jenson Button looks set to keep his place at McLaren-Honda into 2016.

However, it is rumored that the team's woeful performance this year could mean the loss of some of the last remaining sponsors, such as Johnnie Walker and Santander.

The whisky brand confirmed to the Telegraph newspaper that "ongoing conversations" with the embattled British team are taking place.

It will combine with the major income hit of finishing near the bottom of this year's world championship, leaving former McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton lamenting the fate of the once-great team.

Read more & Comment...
09/05/15
f1

Mercedes testing 2016 engine at Monza - report
Hamilton happy to have Ferrari destroying engine at Monza
(GMM)  Mercedes' engine customers are yet to benefit from the very latest specification of the dominant German marque's power unit.

Ahead of the Italian grand prix, Mercedes handed in its remaining 7 in-season development tokens and unveiled what the Italian press is calling the 'super motor'.

Indeed, the gap to Ferrari and the rest of the field after Friday practice was significant, as Red Bull's Dr Helmut Marko quipped: "And it's not even Saturday, when they turn it up."

Read more & Comment...
09/05/15
f1

Vettel's partner Hanna had second daughter - reports
Rumor has it that Vettel and Hanna Prater are parents again
(GMM)  Nico Rosberg is not the only German driver with a brand new baby at home.

The German newspaper Bild reports that the fiercely-private Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel's partner Hanna gave birth to their second daughter a few days ago in Switzerland.

Kolner Express, a German tabloid, said Hanna may even have had a pair of twins, but Vettel insisted: "This is private."

It is believed Vettel's news has leaked into the newspapers after he told his Ferrari team the happy news at Monza.

Read more & Comment...
09/03/15
irl

Marco Andretti back with Andretti Autosport
Marco Andretti
Not that this will be a huge surprise to anyone; however during the Pocono weekend we were told by someone with Andretti Autosport that Marco Andretti's status with the team was "up in the air," for 2016. The third generation IndyCar driver also confirmed during the year that he had spoken to other teams about a ride.

We are now hearing that Andretti, who finished ninth in the 2015 championship standings is likely to return to the team owned by his father Michael for the 11th straight season in 2016.

AR1 Staff Report

Comment
09/03/15
f1

Allison has signed new Ferrari deal - insider
James Allison
(GMM)  James Allison is staying put at Ferrari.

In July, as the Italian team's 2015 resurgence hit an apparent dip, speculation suggested Ferrari might not renew the contract of its new British technical boss.

But then the team surprised the F1 world by re-signing Kimi Raikkonen, amid speculation a new deal for Allison might be the next order of business, with an announcement scheduled for this weekend's Italian grand prix at Monza.

Indeed, the F1 insider Leo Turrini reveals: "Allison has recently signed a contract renewal."

Read more & Comment...
09/03/15
f1

Marchionne set for Red Bull engine talks
Sergio Marchionne
(GMM)  Ferrari wants to re-enter the running to be Red Bull's new engine supplier from 2016.

Italy's La Gazzetta dello Sport claims president Sergio Marchionne intends to visit the Monza paddock this weekend not only to support Ferrari, but to try to convince Red Bull to sign up for a supply of the Maranello-made 'power unit'.

The news follows reports of a potential deal between Red Bull and Mercedes being delayed due to Toto Wolff not wanting to interfere with the existing contractual agreement between Red Bull and Renault.

Read more & Comment...
09/02/15
f1

American investors looking to buy F1 team for 2016
Haas might not be the only American team next year according to a report from motorsport.com. While Haas looks set to join the grid for sure in 2016, closely guided by Italian veteran team Ferrari, U.S businessmen James Carney and Tavo Hellmund are looking for a team to purchase. And the team they apparently take most interest in is Manor.

2014 was the most successful year for Manor, formerly named Marussia. The team got their first 2 points in Monte Carlo when now late Jules Bianchi managed to finish in 9th place, ahead of both Caterhams, one McLaren and one Ferrari, resulting in a 9th place in the constructor's championship and a whopping £28 million in prize money should they remain for 2015.

Read more & Comment...
09/01/15
pf2000

Fierberg to retire from Formula 2000 UPDATE This rumor is downgraded to 'false' today. AR1.com has learned that veteran Formula 2000 driver Ira Fierberg has entered the Pacific F2000 Championship Race in Buttonwillow, CA on September 5-6 in the #27 Dave Freitas Racing entry.  After narrowly missing the Pacific Championship in 2013, Fierberg took a year off and concentrated on surfing.  In 2014, Fierberg returned to the track for a test day but thereafter suffered an ACL injury which required surgery.

Read more & Comment...
09/01/15
f1

Hulkenberg staying at Force India (Update) UPDATE This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' with today's announcement.

08/31/15 (GMM)  Nico Hulkenberg is staying with Force India in 2016, the German newspaper Bild reports.

The German, who earlier this year won the fabled Le Mans 24 hour on his first attempt, was a candidate to move to Ferrari next year until Kimi Raikkonen was re-signed.

Hulkenberg had also been strongly linked not only with the new American entrant Haas, but also with Lotus, particularly if Renault completes its takeover of the Enstone team.

Read more & Comment...
09/01/15
f1

Ecclestone paid Lotus staff wages
You need how much money?
(GMM)  Bernie Ecclestone reportedly paid the wages of embattled Lotus' 400 staff in August.

The news, revealed by Britain's Times newspaper, comes after the Enstone team's equipment - including the black and gold cars - were prevented from leaving Spa-Francorchamps by court bailiffs after the recent Belgian grand prix.

Correspondent Kevin Eason says the risk Lotus may not be able to race at Monza this weekend remains.

Read more & Comment...
09/01/15
f1

Pirelli to say debris caused Vettel blowout
Vettel's blown tire blew his title chances
(GMM)  Pirelli could be set to announce that debris on the track caused Sebastian Vettel's tire blowout at Spa-Francorchamps.

In the incident that sparked an expletive-filled post-race rant, F1's controversial tire supplier argued initially that excessive wear caused by Ferrari's ambitious one-stop strategy was the cause of the failure.

But earlier in the weekend, Pirelli said an external source, such as track debris, was to blame for Nico Rosberg's high-speed blowout and spin.

Read more & Comment...
08/31/15
irl

Franchitti married again (2nd Update) UPDATE #2
Dixon, Franchitti and Kanaan enjoy some good times
We also hear Dario and his new wife are expecting a baby. Congratulations Dario!

08/31/15
This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' today.  See wedding ring on Dario's finger in photo with Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan.

08/29/15 Rumor has it that Dario Franchitti is married again. I have sketchy  details but I think she lives in London and he is living there now.  Remember he sold his house (castle) last year in Scotland.

Comment
08/31/15
nassprint

Stewart-Haas will soon announce Danica's renewal UPDATE This rumor should have been upgraded to 'fact' over a week ago.

07/27/15
GoDaddy may no longer want her, but plenty of other sponsors are knocking down the door for one of NASCAR's all-time greats
Danica Patrick is close to a new deal with Stewart-Haas Racing,  according to Motorsport.com

Team owner Gene Haas told the website Sunday he expects Patrick to stay put.

"We expect her to stay with Stewart-Haas Racing," Haas said. "We have some very good sponsors that are in the process of signing up. But we knew that. We knew going in that there’s just a lot of demand for her. Let's face it, she's the only woman on the whole grid so she’s going to get a lot of press, and that's what sponsors want to see.

Read more & Comment...
08/30/15
nasx
nassprint

After NASCAR Xfinity Series Race, Road America Eyeing Sprint Cup
Hosting a future NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race is "in mind" for Road America officials, whose track hosted yesterday's Xfinity Series Road America 180 Fired up by Johnsonville. Yesterday's race earned "the top billing as far as stock car racing goes" this weekend because the Sprint Cup is off, which "isn't lost on Road America officials who are hoping to showcase the track and facilities with the racing world watching."

In order to meet NASCAR's requirements, the facility "has made improvements to the barriers in turns one and six, added safety fencing and catch fences as well as improved the sand traps and catch areas around the track" SHEBOYGAN PRESS

Comment
08/29/15
irl

Newgarden to replace Kanaan? (Update 2) UPDATE #2 I have heard again from several people that Newgarden will go to Ganassi next season.

08/03/15 AR1 has received some more information regarding Newgarden moving to Ganassi. We are upgrading this rumor to strong, and suddenly a Silly Season, that seemed like it wouldn't have much life, could be kicking into high gear. Stay tuned for more.

AR1 Staff Report

08/02/15 Rumor here in Mid-Ohio is that American sensation Josef Newgarden could possibly replace Tony Kanaan at Ganassi next year. Newgarden can't got to Penske (full) so Ganassi would be the next best team.  And TK's contract is up this year. I will talk with Chip today.

Comment
08/29/15
irl

Sonoma likely to remain IndyCar's finale in '16
Details are still being worked out, but both track and series leadership confirmed intentions to The Star on Saturday.

C.J. O'Donnell, IndyCar's chief marketing officer, raved about Sonoma's handling of this event. Track president Steve Page said he likes the stature of being the season finale and recognizes this picturesque wine country region north of San Francisco as a destination site for IndyCar supporters.

Without revealing the dates being considered, Page said discussions center on mid-September. IndyCar has already committed to being in Boston for a street race Sept. 2-4, 2016. This track's last major event of this year is a historic car race Oct. 3-4. Indy Star

Comment
08/29/15
irl

Aleshin returning to IndyCar in 2016?
Mikhail Aleshin
We're hearing there is a good chance Mikhail Aleshin, who is driving the #77 SMP Racing Honda for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports in this weekend's GoPro Grand Prix at Sonoma Raceway, is looking to return to the Verizon IndyCar Series full-time in 2016.

The likable Russian of course showed promise during his rookie IndyCar season in 2014, scoring a best finish of second at Houston Race 2. He was injured in a scary practice crash prior to the season-finale at Auto Club Speedway. While Aleshin recovered from the injuries sustained in the crash, U.S. sanctions against Russia were a prohibitive factor  in him returning to the series for 2015.

Read more & Comment...
08/28/15
f1

F1 Silly-season calmer after Raikkonen news
(GMM)  In the wake of Ferrari's re-signing of Kimi Raikkonen, the 2016 'silly season' appears set to calm down.

Up and down pitlane, it seems most teams - like Ferrari - are now planning to retain the same drivers.

Red Bull is openly happy with Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat, the Sauber duo is already locked in, and Force India's Vijay Mallya wants to keep Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez.

Read more & Comment...
08/27/15
automotive

Ferrari considers appointing Marchionne as CEO
Sergio Marchionne
MILAN (Bloomberg) -- Ferrari is considering appointing Sergio Marchionne as CEO after Amedeo Felisa retires from the post in the coming months, people familiar with the matter said.

Marchionne, who is already chairman of Ferrari and CEO of Ferrari owner Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, may take full responsibility at the division before it's spun off in early 2016, adding the job to his list of positions, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing private talks before an official announcement.

Read more & Comment...
08/24/15
irl

IndyCars to get much needed canopies
How many more open wheel drivers are we going to be killed or seriously injured due to head trauma before canopies are put on the cars as pushed for by AR1.com for five years? Charlie Kimball was lucky in qualifying at Pocono.  He got up into the fence and luckily  the bottom of his car impacted the fence, but it could have been his head and he could be in the hospital alongside Justin Wilson right now.

The group who plans to make a major play for IndyCar plans to have all new cars and they will have canopies because the sport cannot keep killing off the stars.  While they initially planned to make an offer to buy the IndyCar series, we now hear their proposal will be to partner with the Hulman-George family.

Read more & Comment...
08/24/15
f1

Force India enters frame for Renault deal
(GMM)  Force India has joined in the running to become Renault's works team, it emerged after the Belgian grand prix on Sunday.

The news is surprising, following earlier reports the struggling Enstone based team Lotus - formerly the fully Renault-owned outfit - was close to securing the deal.

Lotus' recent financial troubles hit their highest gear at Spa-Francorchamps, with bailiffs returning to the circuit after Sunday's race to impound the black and gold cars.

Read more & Comment...
08/23/15
f1

Russian Grand Prix Promotors Considering Night Formula One Race In 2017
Sochi circuit
Russian Grand Prix promoters "are close to making a final decision about whether or not to push ahead with plans for a night race in 2017," according to Jonathan Noble of MOTORSPORT. Sochi organizers "have been open from the start about their interest in turning the event into a night race."

During a visit to the Belgian Grand Prix, Alexander Saurin, vice-governor of the Krasnodar region that backs the race, said that "analysis about the financial implications of a night race was ongoing."

Read more & Comment...
08/23/15
irl

Tony George to replace Walker
Tony George's hat says it all - he is IndyCar
Rumor has it that Tony George is angling to take the IndyCar Director of Competition position vacated by Derrick Walker after this season. 

When it happens there will be a revolt by the small remaining IndyCar fan base who blame George for the destruction of IndyCar racing when he split the sport in 1995.

This will also be a major conflict of interest as George is part owner of the Ed Carpenter team.  Stay tuned as this rumor unfolds.  Mark C. reporting live from Pocono Raceway.

Comment
08/23/15
f1

Ride-buyer could end Button's F1 career
Will Button be replaced by a ride-buyer?
(GMM)  Jenson Button's F1 career could end because of a pay-rise that is scheduled to kick in for 2016.

Two British newspapers, the Daily Mail and the Telegraph, are reporting that the 35-year-old's current retainer of $12.5 million would rise to almost $19 million if McLaren takes up the 'option' on his existing deal.

"McLaren's driver bill would then be $58 million which could prove too much," wrote the Daily Mail's Jonathan McEvoy from Spa-Francorchamps.

The wage bill has reportedly become an issue given McLaren-Honda's dire 2015 season, in which official income will drop due to the prospect of finishing a lowly ninth in the constructors' championship.

Read more & Comment...
08/22/15
irl

2016 IndyCar season to go past Labor Day? (2nd Update) UPDATE #2
Is Mark Miles smart, or will NASCAR play him like a fiddle?
Mark Miles reiterated on an IndyCar radio interview today at Pocono that the 2016 IndyCar season could go to the middle of September. Now, anyone with common sense would tell you that the season finale should be at the Indy Speedway, a track owned by the family, a track where they can ensure the race is promoted properly and comes off as a truly 'grand' final race. However, we would not be surprised if IndyCar runs their finale at a NASCAR track, such as Phoenix. 

A NASCAR track has no incentive to see IndyCar succeed.  NASCAR would just as soon see IndyCar dead. Hence what a perfect scenario to get IndyCar to run their grand finale at their track where they can ensure the series they want to see dead has near empty grandstands and comes off looking like a loser. Why do you think Fontana demanded they be the season finale if IndyCar wanted to return?  It's owned by ICS (i.e. NASCAR). Mark C. reporting from Pocono.

Read more & Comment...
08/22/15
f1

2015 Russia GP set for financial collapse (Update) UPDATE (GMM)  Russia is pushing to secure its long term future on the F1 calendar.

The Sochi race's current contract runs until 2020, but there has been constant speculation about the future of the deal, fueled by political instability as well as financial concerns.

Russian sources on Saturday report that Alexander Saurin, vice governor of the Krasnodar region, and Sochi race promoter Sergei Vorobyov, are at Spa-Francorchamps on Saturday for talks with Bernie Ecclestone.

Read more & Comment...
08/22/15
f1

Red Bull terminates Renault engine deal
Red Bull switching to Mercedes engines
(GMM)  Rumors about the futures of Red Bull, Renault and Lotus are speeding away just as quickly as the cars at Spa-Francorchamps on Saturday.

Bailiffs are still swirling around the embattled Lotus camp, as the current owners hold fire on their problems while Renault is poised to decide whether or not to buy back the Enstone team.

The possibility remains, however, that the French carmaker will simply quit formula one altogether.

Read more & Comment...
08/22/15
f1

Ferrari could abandon driver 'academy' - report
James Allison and Maurizio Arrivabene
James Allison and Maurizio Arrivabene
(GMM)  Ferrari could be set to abandon its young driver program.

Citing Italian sources, the Finnish newspaper Ilta Sanomat claims that new team president Sergio Marchionne, notorious for his strict economizing, is no fan of the so-called 'driver academy'.

Founded in 2009, and based on the earlier grooming of Felipe Massa, the first academy member Jules Bianchi died last month after a 2014 Suzuka crash.

Read more & Comment...
08/21/15
nassprint

MWR will cease operations after 2015 season
Rob Kauffman, an amateur racer who is a highly successful businessman, said Friday he had enough of pouring his own money into Michael Waltrip Racing without seeing results and announced that MWR would cease operations after this season. Kauffman, who saved MWR from closing in 2007 by purchasing half the team from Waltrip, announced Wednesday that the team would not field Sprint Cup cars in 2016.

"Michael Waltrip Racing wouldn't have existed through today without substantial and continued financial support from me," Kauffman said Friday before Sprint Cup practice at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Read more & Comment...
08/21/15
f1

Lotus cars could be impounded after Belgian GP
The Lotus F1 Team has had its fair share of troubles, but it seems they're far from over as a completely new issue has cropped up over the Belgian Grand Prix weekend which could lead to the impounding of their cars and equipment.

Former Caterham and Marussia driver Charles Pic is behind a court order that prevents Lotus leaving the Belgian paddock.

The Frenchman claims Lotus failed to follow a contract it had agreed with him last season, entitling him to a certain number of days behind the wheel of the car.

Read more & Comment...
08/21/15
f1

Williams to replace Massa with ride-buyer
Massa - no check, no drive
They have yet to announce their driver pairing for 2015, but according to German news outlet Auto Motor Und Sport, Williams are considering replacing Felipe Massa for a pay driver to make up for the money not obtained by selling Bottas to Ferrari.

Reports suggest Williams were looking for a $25-million fee for Valtteri Bottas.

They also report, Williams team principal Claire Williams has been asking sponsors Petrobras for additional support. With many of the midfield teams struggling financially, it makes sense for Williams to opt for a pay driver.

Read more & Comment...
08/19/15
tracks

Miller Motorsports Park to remain open? (Update 2) 
The track map for Miller Motorsports Park
UPDATE #2
When it was reported back in May that the Larry H. Miller Group would not renew its lease on Miller Motorsports Park, it was assumed the track would cease operations. However, as you read first here on AutoRacing1, there were plans all along behind-the-scenes to keep the picturesque Tooele, Utah track open.

As you  can see from this Hot News item, today it was announced that an investment group will take over operation of the facility when the lease for the Larry H. Miller Group ends on February 28, 2016.

This rumor is upgraded to 'Fact'.


05/13/15 This Motorsport.com article by Steven Cole Smith is a very detailed analysis, and mimics what we are hearing about Miller Motorsports Park.

05/11/15
Miller Motorsports Park features a 4.5-mile circuit and numerous potential other layouts. According to AR1 sources, the track may remain open after current management's lease runs out.
AutoRacing1 is hearing that Miller Motorsports Park may remain open after it was announced last week the current management group would cease operations later this year. The Larry H. Miller of Companies chose not to renew its lease on the 511-acre facility which opened in 2006, and control of the facility will transfer to Tooele County, Utah October 31st.

The facility features the longest road course in North America at 4.5 miles, smaller eastern and western tracks each over two miles in length, and a modern 0.89-mile karting track. MMP has hosted American Le Mans, FIM SuperBike World Championship, Pirelli World Challenge and other top-level racing series.

Also, a unique feature of MMP is that from numerous vantage points as much as 90% of the track is visible. Further, built within the last decade, MMP features many of the modern amenities not found in older facilities.

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08/19/15
f1

Future Of Raikkonen, Hulkenberg Key To Haas F1 Team Driver Lineup
Will Ferrari move Raikkonen to its 'B' team (Haas) and hire Bottas for its 'A' team?
Will Ferrari move Raikkonen to its 'B' team (Haas) and hire Bottas for its 'A' team?
As many as 10 names "are on the list of candidates to drive for the new Haas Formula One team scheduled to enter the sport next year," according to Kevin Eason of the LONDON TIMES.

Haas Team Principal Gunther Steiner said that the U.S.-based team "will be ready to take part next season and that the recruitment of two drivers is well under way." Steiner added that negotiations "have started but are being delayed while the annual driver shuffle in the paddock takes place, with many believing that the future of Kimi Raikkonen at Ferrari is the key."

The Finn’s contract with the Scuderia "expires this season with Valtteri Bottas tipped to leave Williams for the Italian squad."

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08/19/15
nassprint

Danica's new sponsor to be announced Tuesday UPDATE Sponsor was announced Tuesday, so this rumor upgraded to 'fact.'

08/17/15 Stewart-Haas Racing has scheduled a press conference regarding #10-Danica Patrick for Tuesday at 11:00am/et. Fox Sports' Tom Jensen tweeted, "Sources tell @NASCARONFOX she'll have a sponsor who is new to sport" and the "new sponsor could be for as many as 30 races, per sources.".

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08/18/15
irl

2016 IndyCar season to end Labor Day
If you go to this link, click on 'Race Weekend and scroll down to the bottom you will see the Grand Prix of Boston is advertising next year's inaugural race as the one in which the IndyCar champion will be crowned. While the 2016 season is starting earlier, it looks like Fontana not returning means there will be no races past the first weekend in September.

We'll update our IndyCar 2016 schedule thread shortly. 

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08/17/15
nassprint

Procedural change coming to Talladega race in Chase?
Steve O’Donnell
A NASCAR executive further hinted Monday at change for the Oct. 25 Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway.

Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer, said Friday that "there probably will be” rule changes at Talladega when asked about what officials might do in light of what they learned from the Austin Dillon crash at Daytona in July.

Monday on “The Morning Drive,” O’Donnell clarified what officials were considering for the Talladega race.

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08/17/15
F2

Formula 2 on hold until 2017?
(GMM)  Formula 2 has been put on the back burner for now.

Actually, the FIA intended to revive the series for 2016 to be a genuine new step between Formula 3 and F1, with the last iteration having collapsed in 2012.

In charge of the project is the former Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali.

Reportedly, given the success of the Bernie Ecclestone-conceived and Bruno Michel-promoted GP2 and GP3, the plan was for the FIA to complement the renewed success of its European F3 format with another genuine route to F1.

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08/15/15
nassprint

Penske wants Blaney to run full-time in 2016
Ryan Blaney
Ryan Blaney
Roger Penske isn't only about championships. He eyes the future of his organization and can see Ryan Blaney, a 21-year-old driver whom Penske wants to run full-time Cup next year, possibly in a mix of cars fielded by Wood Brothers and Penske personnel.

Blaney found out the true Penske a few weeks ago after Kyle Busch passed Blaney for the win on the last lap of the Xfinity Series race at Indianapolis. Penske texted him that night, and an entire group of Penske employees was part of a "pep rally" the next morning before Blaney got back behind the wheel for the Brickyard 400.

Blaney finished 12th and then won the Xfinity race the following week at Iowa.  ESPN.com

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08/15/15
nassprint

Hornish Jr. one and done at RPM?
Former IRL hero Sam Hornish Jr. Once the CART drivers came into the IRL, Hornish was over-matched. That has proven to be the case in NASCAR as well.
Former IRL hero Sam Hornish Jr. Once the CART drivers came into the IRL, Hornish was over-matched. That has proven to be the case in NASCAR as well.
Prior to his full-time return to the Sprint Cup Series this season with Richard Petty Motorsports, #9-Sam Hornish had competed in just 23 series events over the course of the past four years. Twenty of those came from a partial schedule with his former employer Team Penske, and the other two were a fill-in stint for the injured Denny Hamlin and a one-off deal with Front Row Motorsports.

RPM came into 2015 with a renewed feeling of promise and an extra skip in their step. The famed #43 team had made some great strides in 2014 with Aric Almirola, including a slot in the Chase and the return of Smithfield Foods. Prior to the Chase last season, Marcos Ambrose announced that he would not be returning to the team, leaving RPM with the task of finding a successor. David Ragan and Hornish were at the top of the list, and it had seemed as though Ragan was leading in the polls.

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08/15/15
f1

Lotus expects more rumors in Spa paddock
(GMM)  Lotus has warned that it will be making no announcements about its future in Belgium next weekend.

It is believed Renault is nearing a decision about its own future in formula one, and the leading theory is that the French carmaker will buy Lotus.

That would mean the Enstone team switching from Mercedes to Renault power, opening up a vacancy for Red Bull to start using German engines next year.

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08/14/15
fe

Brabham to Andretti Formula E
As you can see from this report from the Washington D.C. Global Rallycross event, Michael Andretti told AutoRacing1's Brian Carroccio that Matthew Brabham was "on the short list" of drivers to team with Simona de Silvestro this coming season in Formula E. Andretti also said it that the FIA rules pertaining to driver switches were likely to become more strict meaning a rotation of drivers like Andretti had last season will likely not be feasible.

AR1 Staff Report

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08/13/15
irl

IndyCar to return to Phoenix (2nd Update) UPDATE #2
NASCAR will race there 3-weeks prior. On April 2, 2016 you'll be able to shoot a cannon into the Phoenix grandstands and not hit anyone.
Phoenix International Raceway and the Verizon IndyCar Series have a day and date - Saturday evening, April 2, 2016 - and a race distance - 250 miles - but not yet a final deal for the open-wheel tour to return to the Avondale oval for the first time since 2005.

Several important issues, including specific financial details, remain unresolved.

"This is the closest we've been (to a deal) in 10 years," PIR President Bryan Sperber told azcentral sports.

"We working hard on it but it’s not a done deal. There have been things we’ve worked hard on in the past that didn't (happen)."

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08/13/15
irl

Honda wooing Chip Ganassi Racing?
Chip Ganassi
AutoRacing1 is not at Sonoma Raceway for today's IndyCar test. However, our sources at Sonoma tell us Honda officials spent some time today speaking with one Chip Ganassi. 

As you likely know, Honda and Chip Ganassi Racing have combined to form one of the storied partnerships in Indy Car racing history. Amongst other achievements, the collaboration has produced three Indianapolis 500 victories, and nine Indy Car championships. Most recently, Scott Dixon won the 2013 Verizon IndyCar Series championship with Honda power, before Ganassi switched to Chevy prior to the 2014 season.

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08/13/15
f1

Cosworth eyeing F1 comeback with low budget engine
Cosworth can produce a low-cost engine for F1
Cosworth might be considering a return to F1 as an engine supplier in 2017. This is the claim of Jonathan Noble, editor at Motorsport.com. Amid discussions to cut costs and make it easier for customer teams with lower budgets to survive in the sport, a dual engine route has been discussed by the Formula  One Group. This route would introduce a simpler and cheaper turbo V6 engine, or even old V8 engines, as an alternative for customer teams.

"I think we can possibly have the other teams running maybe with a different type of engine that will be the same performance, but a lot less money, " Bernie Ecclestone, F1's commercial chief told Motorsport.com. Ecclestone also think current engine suppliers should be able to proceed in developing their engines.

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08/12/15
f1
fe

Vergne still in the frame at Haas
Jean-Eric Vergne tells Motorsport.com there is still a "good chance" he could wind up at Haas F1 n 2016. According to the 25-year-old Frenchman, he, Esteban Gutierrez and Nico Hulkenberg are the three drivers vying for the two seats.

Vergne, of course signed on with Virgin last week for the 2015-2016 Formula E season. However, that does not appear to be a precluding factor in Vergne landing the Haas ride.

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08/12/15
f1

Marko plays down latest Verstappen rumors
Marko (R) talks to Daniel Ricciardo
(GMM)  Dr Helmut Marko has played down the latest rumors swirling around F1 teen sensation Max Verstappen.

The Red Bull official, who heads the energy drink outfit's highly successful young driver program, has already denied speculation 17-year-old Verstappen is in the running for a race seat next year at Ferrari.

It was said Williams' Valtteri Bottas was a shoo-in for that drive, but it is believed Kimi Raikkonen now stands a better chance of having his contract extended, having stepped up his form at recent races.

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08/10/15
f1

Formula 1 to race in Helsinki (Update) UPDATE (GMM)  Finland could be the next new stop on the F1 calendar in the near future.

That is the claim of the country's Ilta Sanomat newspaper, reporting that Bernie Ecclestone is not ruling out the concept of a street race in Helsinki.

The report said the F1 supremo had talks during the Hungarian grand prix weekend recently with the former wife of Robert Lappalainen, who in the mid-90s promoted DTM races in the Finnish capital.

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