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Alonso to switch to IndyCars fulltime? (5th Update)
At the end of the day, Zak Brown will pay Alonso double what all the drivers in IndyCar are paid combined. When you are pulling 0.32 TV ratings domestically (NBCSN) and your global reach is minuscule, there is no money to pay drivers well
UPDATE This rumor is downgraded to 'false' today. McLaren is “very close” to agreeing a new Formula 1 contract with Fernando Alonso beyond the end of the 2017 season, according to team racing director Eric Boullier.
Speaking to the official F1 website, Boullier expressed his confidence in Alonso staying for 2018, saying a deal was “very close”.
“Fernando wants to stay. You can see it in his body language and the way he speaks,” Boullier added.
“There are marketing details that have to be sorted out, and that Zak Brown, McLaren executive director is working on.”
Alonso's only hope to win races in 2018 is IndyCar. No race winning seats are available in F1 and he does not need the money
09/01/17 Fernando Alonso might just have to get used to the fact that his days of winning races in Formula 1 are over.
That's the word from NBC Sports Group F1 analyst and former F1 racer David Hobbs.
Speaking on a teleconference call to promote the network's coverage of this weekend's F1 Italian Grand Prix, Hobbs said: "I think we may have seen Fernando have his last Formula 1 win, which is a great disappointment not only to him but to a lot of us fans.
Danica Patrick to quit NASCAR, return to IndyCar, or start family (9th Update) UPDATE Strike IndyCar off the list for Danica Patrick. "If I don't do Cup, I don't think I will do anything," Patrick told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. "My only goal is to win in Cup. My only goal is to be one of the few drivers who have won in IndyCar and NASCAR and that's attained through winning in the Cup Series."
Whereas for years she had a winning car and could not win a race, if she stays in NASCAR it's likely to be with a backmarker team. Her chances of winning a race are close to absolute zero.
F1 to use microphones to amplify horrible engine noise
Sean Bratches (c) wants to amplify the sick sound of the current F1 engine
F1's commercial boss, Sean Bratches has revealed that plans are underway for a microphone to be placed on cars' exhausts in order that the putrid sound they currently make can be amplified.
"One of the things that we want to amplify going forward are the sounds of the sport," he told Reuters, "because they are viscerally moving to fans and critically important in all the research that we do."
He said that David Hill, a man with a "stellar reputation in sports television and broadcast innovation" is working on the idea.
Overheard at Watkins Glen, Ganassi to drop 2 cars (2nd Update)
Chip Ganassi the latest team owner to fall victim to years of horrible TV ratings on NBCSN
UPDATE Ganassi has laid off 40 staff members due to the downsizing but most are hoping to find jobs at Rahal, Andretti or SPM
09/20/17 AR1.com were the first to break this news during the Watkins Glen weekend below, it is now 'fact' that the Ganassi IndyCar team will reduce from 4 to 2 cars next year per below. Things are dire in the IndyCar paddock as sponsors are fleeing due to nine years of horrible ratings on NBCSN. Roger Penske is going to have to spend some of his millions to keep a 4th car running to help prop up the car count. We have updated our 2018 Silly Season page accordingly.
Media Statement from Chip Ganassi Racing:
Chip Ganassi Racing has experienced much success so far in 2017. In the just concluded INDYCAR season Scott Dixon and the No. 9 team competed for a championship and ultimately finished third in the standings. Both CGR NASCAR Cup teams are in the Playoffs as well as the No. 48 XFINITY team. Both of our Ford GT programs in IMSA and WEC are also competing for championships. Despite the success we are experiencing, we have decided to return our INDYCAR program back to two cars beginning with the 2018 season.
Richard Childress Racing Close To Renewal With Sponsor Caterpillar
Richard Childress Racing is close to renewing with primary sponsor Caterpillar, according to team CMO Ben Schlosser. Financial terms of Caterpillar’s deal were unclear, but the company has been a primary sponsor of the team since '09 and been on the hood of Ryan Newman’s No. 31 Chevy for up to two-thirds of the season in recent years.
It was unclear whether the brand will cut back on its spending amid exec changes and wider business issues like being accused of tax fraud earlier this year.
UPDATE This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' with today's announcement.
09/01/17 “Sato's management basically had made up their minds that they were leaving (for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing),” a frustrated Michael Andretti told The Indianapolis Star this week in an exclusive interview. “To this moment, I don’t understand the move. They never even gave me a chance to come back and figure out what I could do to keep Takuma here. The whole thing was a little unfair.”
"It’s done,” he said. “It’s in their contract that they can’t say anything to you guys, but we can. It’s done."
F1 star Lewis Hamilton, 32, and supermodel Heidi Klum, 44, went on a dinner date in New York recently after attending a fashion bash in the wake of talk that Klum and her current boyfriend of three years Vito Schnabel, 31, are taking some time off their relationship.
Hamilton is now in Singapore for the F1 event. According to The Daily Mail, Klum was seen walking towards the waiting car with Hamilton in tow.
Renault to get Sainz Jr. so McLaren can get Renault engines (5th Update)
Sainz Jr. finally gets the break from Toro Rosso he wanted
UPDATE This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' today. Renault have announced that Carlos Sainz Jr. will join them from Toro Rosso for 2018, though he will only be ‘on loan’ from Red Bull.
The 23-year-old Spaniard will partner Nico Hulkenberg in a revised line-up, bringing Jolyon Palmer’s two-season spell with the team to a close.
“Carlos Sainz is a very promising driver who has been on our radar for some time, especially after his successes in Renault junior formulae,” said Cyril Abiteboul, Managing Director of Renault Sport Racing.
McLaren eyes Renault engines for 2018 (5th Update)
Alonso will finally get a different power unit
UPDATE Next season will see McLaren running power units from Renault, following their split from Honda announced earlier today. Honda will instead supply Toro Rosso, who are currently using Renault engines.
McLaren have agreed an engine supply partnership with Renault for the 2018, 2019 and 2020 seasons. Despite a combined Formula 1 presence that stretches back to 1977, it will mark the first time that the two brands have ever collaborated.
Formula One two-time World Champion Fernando Alonso revealed today ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix he will not return to the Indy 500 in 2018 if he stays in Formula One. The 36-year old Spaniard says he'll only remain in F1 if he can win, and that missing the Monaco Grand Prix would cost him valuable points in the championship
"If I remain in Formula 1, it’s because I believe I can win next year," Alonso told reporters, as quoted by NBC Sports. "That will ease the decision a lot because I will be in Monaco because I don’t want to lose any points there."
With the Andretti team deciding to stick with Honda there are not enough strong Chevys on the grid next year that have a chance to win races. Hence we hear Chevy has urged Penske to stick with a 4-car team and we hear Penske has agreed.
The question now is who will drive the 4th car. Will they retain Castroneves? 100% for certain if he wins IndyCar title. If not they could still move him to sportscars. Time will tell.
NASCAR driver Kasey Kahne eyes possible IndyCar go
Kasey Kahne fishing for a future
Kasey Kahne is unemployed after 2017 and he is scratching around trying to find a way forward.
The 37-year-old's six-year tenure with Hendrick Motorsports will come to an end at the close of the current Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season, one year before his contract was scheduled to expire. While his priority is to find another full-time seat at NASCAR's top level, he told reporters on Wednesday that he has also pondered a mixed program involving NASCAR, sprint cars and IndyCar.
Veach to land 4th Andretti IndyCar seat (5th Update) UPDATE
Starting in 2018, Zach Veach will take the wheel of the No. 26 Honda Indy car as the fourth entry in Andretti Autosport’s Verizon IndyCar Series effort. Veach has raced in every step of the Mazda Road to Indy ladder with Andretti Autosport, including a career-best Indy Lights championship finish of third in 2014.
“We are excited to give Zach the opportunity to show what he can do at the highest level, and I’m looking forward to welcoming him home, so to speak,” said Michael Andretti, CEO, Andretti Autosport. “Zach started his INDYCAR career with us in USF2000 and has driven in every step of the Mazda Road to Indy ladder with Andretti Autosport. He’s a driver that has always impressed me. Zach works hard, and he takes something away from every time he’s in the car – he’s constantly improving. He’s put the effort in, found success at every level and now his dream has come full circle.”
UPDATE This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' today. While he was not full-time for the team in 2017, he will be full-time for 2018 per today's announcement.
01/16/17 This rumor from June is downgraded to 'false' today. RACER.com reports that Pigot is expected to be confirmed as the designated road racer for Ed Carpenter Racing on Tuesday and he'll also do the Indy 500.
Richard Petty Motorsports' to lose Almirola and Sponsor to SHR (2nd Update)
Aric Almirola headed to SHR
UPDATE On the heels of primary sponsor Smithfield announcing they won’t return to the team, Richard Petty Motorsports has confirmed driver Aric Almirola also won’t be back in 2018.
Almirola joined Richard Petty Motorsports in 2012 alongside sponsor Smithfield. During his time with the team, Almirola has scored one victory, nine top-five and 27 top-10 finishes.
His lone victory with the team came at Daytona Int’l Speedway in 2014 and qualified him for the NASCAR Cup Series Chase for the Championship, now known as the Playoffs. He was eliminated in the first round.
Wickens to make IndyCar debut in 2017 or 2018 (Update)
If Wickens can buy a seat in IndyCar he will have a ride
UPDATE Robert Wickens is still uncertain which series he will race in next season, as he explores opportunities in preparation for when Mercedes-Benz pulls out of DTM at the end of 2018.
Wickens, who finished third and first in the two DTM rounds at Nurburgring this weekend, is the second highest Mercedes driver in the championship, and lies ninth. However, the withdrawal of Mercedes and the subsequent question marks hanging over the series, have prompted him to look at other options.
(GMM) Pierre Gasly has not denied he looks set to become the newest rookie in formula one.
Over the weekend, multiple authoritative sources including Germany's major newspaper Bild said Toro Rosso driver Carlos Sainz Jr. is set to move to Renault after Singapore, replacing the struggling Jolyon Palmer.
UPDATE A new report from Automobile might clear some confusion about the 2019 Chevrolet Corvette. After decades of rumor and speculation, America’s sports car is all but confirmed to finally make the switch to a mid-engine configuration (about which we have mixed feelings).
We’ve seen some pretty telling spy shots of the mid-engine ‘Vette, but we’ve also seen (barely) camouflaged versions of a new, current-generation (C7) Corvette with a big wing and some other aggressive-looking aerodynamics. This, we believe, is the C7 ZR1, which will sit atop the C7 food chain. Automobile speculates the new ZR1 will make over 700 horsepower, and we already know it does pretty damn well on the track.
The internet seemingly went wild this week after BMW showed a concept hidden under a blue veil, claiming it’s their take on the offerings Tesla has to offer. Most publications said that it looks like the car hiding under there is the rumored BMW i5 but as the Germans said afterwards, what we’re looking at in these teaser pictures is not the new member of the i family. Most likely, what we’re going to see at Frankfurt is a Vision Concept car that’s meant to show us what BMW has in store on the electric front.
Stick a fork in the internal combustion engine, it will soon be over
China will set a deadline for automakers to end sales of fossil-fuel powered vehicles, a move aimed at pushing companies to speed efforts in developing electric vehicles for the world’s biggest auto market.
Xin Guobin, the vice minister of industry and information technology, said the government is working with other regulators on a timetable to end production and sales. The move will have a profound impact on the environment and growth of China’s auto industry, Xin said at an auto forum in Tianjin on Saturday.
UPDATE This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' today. Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) announced today that the team will enter a second car in the Verizon IndyCar Series season-finale GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma September 15-17 for Indy Lights driver Zachary Claman DeMelo, 19, who will make his series debut.
DeMelo, who is from Montreal, Quebec, Canada, earned four podium finishes in the 2017 Indy Lights season, including a win at Road America, and finished fifth in series standings. Paysafe, a leading global payments provider, will be the primary partner of the No. 16 Honda.
Wink Hartman (L) and Sarah Fisher (C) with Ed Carpenter back in 2014
According to word on the streets in Indianapolis, Wink Hartman (part owner of Fisher/Hartman Racing), who still owns the building on Main Street in Speedway that houses Ed Carpenter Racing, recently would not renew the lease for Ed Carpenter's IndyCar team.
Word is that Wink has someone else in mind for the building.
Speculation on our part, Sara Fisher and Wink Hartman are going to start another IndyCar team and use that building.
Cosworth, Ilmor, Porsche eye F1 for 2021 (3rd Update)
UPDATE Porsche are leaving the LMP1 class of the World Endurance Championship at the end of the season and are preparing to join the fast-growing Formula E series in 2019, but are seriously considering entering Formula 1 as a engine supplier as opposed to a full works team.Porsche's financial boss Lutz Meschke has said they are "encouraged" by the ongoing engine discussions for 2021 and beyond, and are open to joining Formula 1.
Regular meetings about engine regulations have taken place between F1 bosses, FIA and numerous potentially interested new parties.
Gene Haas will consider the future of his Formula 1 team if steps are not made to make the sport more competitive and fix the “almost unsolvable” problem of how to cut the gap between teams.
Since Lotus won the 2013 Australian Grand Prix with Kimi Raikkonen, just three teams – Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull – have won every Grand Prix since, starting with round two of that season in Malaysia. The close-knit midfield teams have rarely had a chance to fight at the front of the pack, and podiums for other teams beyond those three have been sparse.
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