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Rumors
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
A rumor rated as 'false' is one that has proven to be false based on new information
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)
12/14/15
irl

Dracone testing with Coyne
UPDATE This rumor is upgraded to fact, as Dracone himself responded to AR1's Tweet of this rumor thread, "true!!!!!" 

We are hearing that although he is testing, Dracone is not a candidate to drive for the team in 2016. Of course, Conor Daly is slated to drive the #18 Dale Coyne Racing Honda in 2016, while the driver(s) of the #19 entry has yet be confirmed. Also, this is the last "team test" of 2015, and we suspect this test may have been agreed upon long ago. 

Anyway, we hear the team is working on finalizing Daly's teammate for 2016, and that Dracone will not be the driver. 

AR1 Staff Report

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12/12/15
f1

Haas to have yellow livery
(GMM)  Haas looks set to use a yellow livery in formula one next year.

In recent days, the new American team has been practicing pitstops at its factory with a black-liveried show car.

But La Gazzetta dello Sport, the authoritative Italian source, says the actual race livery next year will be yellow, like the Ferrari logo. 

Owner Gene Haas, however, rejected claims the team is little more than a Ferrari 'B team'.

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12/12/15
wec

Dempsey expected to curtail racing activities in 2016
Patrick Dempsey - time to get back to earning a living again?
Patrick Dempsey - time to get back to earning a living again?
Actor/racer Patrick Dempsey is expected to reduce his racing activities with Porsche next year to allow more time with his family and do more acting to pay for his racing addiction. Details of the brand's motorsports plans were revealed Saturday during Porsche's Night of Champions gathering, although the finer aspects of Dempsey's program were omitted. Via Twitter, Porsche went as far to confirm Dempsey will continue to "follow @FIAWEC races in 2016 as partner of his team."

RACER.com reports that Dempsey, who turns 50 in January, will have a third Proton-run Porsche at his disposal for any FIA WEC races he chooses to enter, but there are no fixed events on his calendar. One member of Dempsey's team described the situation as fluid, and said he could be in the WEC Porsche for "one race, it could be all nine, or it could be zero."

 

Comment
12/11/15
irl

IndyCar rumor mill (Update)
These rumors have all been upgraded to 'fact'. See hot news page.

Comment
12/11/15
irl

IndyCar race in Russia
It will be a cold day in hell before Bernie lets IndyCar race on the same track as F1. Very cold.
SMP Racing's Boris Rotenberg has not ruled out the idea of hosting an IndyCar race at the Sochi Autodrom - and has said he will pitch the possibility to the series organizers according to Motorsport.com.

IndyCar's current schedules consists entirely of tracks within the United States and Canada, with the most recent race held outside of the two countries having taken place in 2013 at the Sao Paulo street circuit - and featuring a famous last-corner overtake by James Hinchcliffe on Takuma Sato for the win.

The series had plans to run in both Dubai and at Autodromo Internacional Nelson Piquet in Brasilia in 2015, but both projects were eventually shelved.

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12/11/15
f1

Ron Dennis set to take McLaren into public ownership
Ron Dennis
Ron Dennis
Ron Dennis has said he wants a major 'off-track overhaul' at McLaren. "The process we are going through at the moment is with regard to how we can be bigger, stronger, to build the organization to match the resources some of the other players have because it's not easy to race against Mercedes or Ferrari."

After losing Vodafone, Hugo Boss, Tag Heuer and Johnnie Walker, there's finally some good news for Big Ron as he signs an extension to 2020 of the Santander sponsorship for his F1 team. Santander came on board with the arrival of Fernando Alonso in 2007, but stayed with McLaren following their acrimonious separation.

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12/11/15
f1

'Strategic error' cost Michelin F1 return - report
Michelin race tires
Michelin race tires
(GMM)  A strategic blunder reportedly cost Michelin as the French tyre maker failed to return to formula one.

Having left F1 under a cloud within memory of the six-car US GP debacle of 2005, F1 Racing magazine claims Michelin had secured the backing of drivers and teams as it tried to secure the contract to return to the sport in 2017.

With incumbent Pirelli also trying to secure the deal, the FIA had given both parties the green light for talks about money with Bernie Ecclestone.

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12/09/15
wec

Priaulx Parts Ways with BMW, Poised to Join Ford
Andy Priaulx in his BMW this year
Andy Priaulx in his BMW this year
Andy Priaulx has officially parted ways with BMW, following a successful 13-year-career with the German manufacturer, as the Briton is poised to join Ford's lineup in the FIA World Endurance Championship next year.

Priaulx, who scored three consecutive titles in FIA World Touring Car Championship, victory in the Nurburgring 24, as well as success in North America with BMW, was honored during BMW's annual Season Review party in Munich on Friday night.

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12/09/15
automotive

Two-Thirds Of Early Tesla Model S Drivetrains May Fail By 60,000 miles
Survey data collected by Plug-In America from current early-model Tesla Model S owners has predicted that up to two-thirds of early model electric-drive units may fail by 60,000 miles. If their predictions are even remotely accurate, that's bad news.

Despite the all-electric Tesla Model S being so impressive, even breaking Consumer Reports' review scale, it is known that early production years of the car have had a decent share of reliability issues. This isn't too surprising, as Tesla is still a young automaker. The company reported in November a drastic reduction of these issues (by 50 percent) in their more-recent model years.

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12/09/15
irl

IndyCar rumor mill
Word is that Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing will make a sponsorship announcement Thursday for the team's 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series entry.

We also hear that on Thursday Dan Andersen and John Doonan will unveil renderings for the new Tatuus USF-17 car that is set to debut in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda in 2017.

And breaking from tradition of not announcing his driver lineup until the week of the first race of the year, we hear that Dale Coyne will announce on three things on Friday 1) a 2016 sponsorship agreement, 2) the driver of its full-time Verizon IndyCar Series entry and 3) the driver of its one-off entry in the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 (thought to be Pippa Mann).

Comment
12/09/15
nassprint

Hornish out; Scott in at RPM
According to this Motorsport.com article, Brian Scott will replace Sam Hornish, Jr. in the #9 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford for 2016. An announcement is scheduled for Friday morning at 11 a.m.

Comment
12/09/15
irl

Mikhail Aleshin set for return to Schmidt Peterson (Update 1) UPDATE This rumor is upgraded to fact. See Hot News for announcement.

12/03/15
Mikhail Aleshin - has check will drive
Motorsport.com reports that Mikhail Aleshin may make his return to the Verizon IndyCar Series with Schmidt Peterson Motorsport.

Back in October, team owner Sam Schmidt was doubtful that he could afford a second full-time car for 2016. He told Motorsport.com, "We have a very short list of two or three drivers, and I’d say it's highly unlikely we can find a full budget this late in the game. I think we can find half a budget, but I’m not sure how many really talented drivers are around with the other half."

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12/09/15
automotive

Chrysler taking a long, good look at its model range
A recent rumor off the mill puts Fiat Chrysler Automobiles namesake Chrysler brand ready to re-evaluate its current product range because the American and worldwide sales of passenger cars have been trumped by the SUV/crossover growth.

According to the report, Chrysler decided to notify its investors it would perform modifications to the model roster – they currently make the 200 and 300 sedans and the Town & Country minivan. Unfortunately we're not treated to any details though word on the streets puts the company on the balance whether to deliver the base 100 which was tipped for introduction in 2016. The 100 sedan should have taken up the fight to the Chevrolet Cruze, Ford Focus, and Honda Civic but since the Dodge Dart is already there it might be feasible for FCA to abandon the idea of having two compact sedans fighting each other in the same segment.

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12/07/15
f1

Briatore to run Renault F1 team?
Robin Pemberton
Flavio Briatore

Renault has purchased Lotus. Okay, in businessese, Renault has officially agreed to proceed with the purchase of the F1 team – but it’s over. It’s done. Renault will soon have a works team back in F1.

CEO Carlos Ghosn has been doing all the talking to this point. (At the weekend, he suggested the contracts signed between Lotus and pay drivers Pastor Maldonado and Jolyon Palmer might not be valid. I interpret that as him saying Renault does not have to take money from a third-rate driver like Maldonado and a raw rookie like Palmer to survive in modern-day F1 - or we can only hope that that’s what he’s saying. But I digress. . .)

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12/07/15
irl
nassprint

Pemberton to IndyCar?
Robin Pemberton
Robin Pemberton
Robin Pemberton, who was one of the most successful crew chiefs in the history of NASCAR and took over as director of competition in 2004, is leaving at the end of the year.

He’s making room for Scott Miller, who was executive-vice president of competition for Michael Waltrip Racing, which is now out of business.

Whether he was pushed is immaterial. In the business world, he’s at large. 

I bet I know where that’s going to be.

Read more & Comment...
12/07/15
f1

Renault to have Mercedes-like budget
Gerard Lopez remains a shareholder in the team
Gerard Lopez remains a shareholder in the team
(GMM)  Renault will power back to the front in formula one with a Mercedes-like annual budget.

That is the claim of Germany's Auto Motor und Sport, following the announcement late last week that the French carmaker has decided to definitely buy Lotus.

It should mean the struggling Enstone team's court date over unpaid tax bills on Monday is a mere formality. 

That is because Renault will reportedly return to full works status with a Mercedes-like budget in the range of EUR 200 to 250 million per year.

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12/05/15
f1

Maldonado, Palmer F1 contracts in doubt
Will Carlos Ghosn terminate Maldonado and Palmer?
Will Carlos Ghosn terminate Maldonado and Palmer?
(GMM)  Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn has cast doubt upon the driver contracts agreed between Lotus and Pastor Maldonado and 2016 rookie Jolyon Palmer.

After months of delays, the French carmaker finally announced late this week that it will proceed with the buyout of the Enstone based team.

"It required several months of reflection, discussion and negotiation with partners and stakeholders of formula one," Ghosn told the Paris daily Le Figaro.

During that delay, Lotus came close to financial collapse and agreed 2016 driver contracts with heavily backed drivers Maldonado, a controversial Venezuelan, and Briton Palmer for next year.

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12/05/15
automotive

VW Could Sell Bentley, Lamborghini, Ducati to Fund Diesel Woes
Might Bentley soon be on the block?
Volkswagen has a long road ahead trying to rectify its diesel-emissions-related woes. The automaker just secured a credit line of more than $21 billion to prepare for recalls, lawsuits, and regulatory fines related to its ongoing diesel cheating scandal. And according to Reuters, in order to get that one-year loan, Volkswagen Group had to confirm to banks that it is prepared to sell off some of its most notable assets.

VW secured the 20 billion euro loan from a total of 13 different financial institutions throughout Europe, planning to refinance the loan by issuing bonds in the next several months, Reuters reports. "Under the terms, VW assured the lenders it would sell or list assets worth up to significantly more than 20 billion euros if it fails to find other sources of money," sources told Reuters.

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12/04/15
f1

Mallya to lose control of Force India F1 team
Vijay Mallya
Vijay Mallya
Diageo, parent company of Johnnie Walker which is set to become one of Ecclestone’s global F1 sponsors in 2016, have listed details of a dispute with Vijay Mallya in their 2015 annual report. Further, the global spirits company have now listed the Force India team as an asset of Diageo, valued at around $130m.

Following the acquisition of Mallya’s United Spirits (USL) business, certain questionable inter-company transactions between US and Mallya’s other companies emerged. In April this year, the Diageo controlled USL Board said it has “lost confidence” in Mallya after an internal probe and a forensic inquiry by PwC revealed alleged fund diversion to Kingfisher and other United breweries (UB) group entities. USL said “various improprieties and legal violations” were found in the investigation into loans given to UB Group firms and it asked Mallya to quit the board.

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12/04/15
f1

Renault to buy Toro Rosso (7th Update) UPDATE #7 This rumor is downgraded to 'false' - Renault bought the Lotus team.

04/02/15 This rumor is downgraded to 'speculation today.  Red Bull has played down reports Renault is set to buy Toro Rosso -- and leave the former world champions without an engine deal.

Toro Rosso chief Franz Tost said in Australia it would be "fantastic" if the French carmaker bought the Faenza based team, which is currently owned and controlled by Red Bull.

"It sounds like Franz wants to sell his team to (Renault's) Cyril (Abiteboul) and then we'd need an engine," Red Bull team boss Christian Horner said last Friday.

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12/04/15
f1

Red Bull and Toro Rosso to stay with Renault engines in 2016 (4th Update) UPDATE #4 This rumor is downgraded to 'false' with today's announcement that Toro Rosso will use Ferrari power, but Red Bull will indeed use Renault engines badged as Tag-Heuer.

10/09/15 (GMM) Daniil Kvyat on Friday would not dismiss paddock speculation that Red Bull and Renault could call off their impending divorce.

As the energy drink outfit's engine crisis develops at speed ahead of the Russian grand prix, the latest rumor is that - with the Mercedes and Ferrari options increasingly sidelined - talks to mend broken bridges are now taking place.

"Honestly, I don't know much more than you I think," Russian Kvyat, who drives for Red Bull Racing, said in the Sochi paddock.

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12/04/15
f1

Honda could supply Toro Rosso in 2016 (No) UPDATE This rumor is downgraded to 'false' with today's announcement that Toro Rosso will use Ferrari power.

09/23/15 (GMM)  A big talking point heading into the Japanese grand prix is whether Red Bull will be able to secure a new engine deal.

It is now known that the energy drink stable, also including the junior team Toro Rosso, is splitting with Renault after the Abu Dhabi finale in November.

It could be the curtain call for both teams.

"That is (team owner) Mr. Mateschitz's opinion," insisted Red Bull official Dr Helmut Marko, who is Dietrich's right hand man.

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12/04/15
f1

Red Bull engine to be called Tag-Heuer (2nd Update) UPDATE #2 With regards the Red Bull project, it is understood Renault will supply the team with the same engine as its works outfit, but they will be branded Tag-Heuer.

12/04/15 This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' with today's announcement:

From the milliseconds that separate victory from defeat to the finely balanced and perfectly measured rhythm of a racing engine, in motorsport timing is everything.

As the curtain falls on the 2015 Formula One season and the sport gears up for next year's challenge, the timing is right for Red Bull Racing to reveal that the team's 2016 F1 car will race with a power unit carrying the name of motorsport's most iconic timing brand -- TAG Heuer.

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12/04/15
track news

Jaguar could buy embattled Silverstone (Update)
UPDATE
Silverstone
Silverstone
(GMM)  Neither party has denied reports that Jaguar could buy the British grand prix venue Silverstone.

With current owners the British Racing Drivers' Club (BRDC) struggling to pay its race fees to Bernie Ecclestone, it emerged this week that the circuit in rural Northamptonshire could be bought by the Indian-owned Jaguar Land Rover.

A Jaguar spokesman told the Telegraph: "We continually look to invest and grow our business operations in the UK and constantly evaluate a wide range of opportunities which are confidential."

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12/04/15
irl

KVSH to run Brabham in both Indy races
Brett 'Crusher' Murray (L), Brabham and Glenn Duncan
Brett 'Crusher' Murray (L), Brabham and Glenn Duncan (R)
The grandson of Australian motorsport legend Sir Jack Brabham will race in next year's 100th Indianapolis 500.

The 21-year-old is just the third third-generation driver to qualify for the 500, following in the footsteps of his grandfather, who drove the first rear-engined car in the race in 1961, and father Geoff, who had a best finish of fourth from his 10 starts in the 1980s and 90s.

"There is no doubt that this is a dream come true," Matt Brabham said.

The team is the brainchild of Australian motorsport media group headed by Brett Murray and the venture is expected to cost about $1.5 million.

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12/03/15
f1

Lotus, Red Bull, Toro Rosso waiting for Renault (Update) UPDATE AR1.com has learned that Renault will announce the purchase of the Lotus F1 team next week.

11/27/15
Will Renault complete deal to buy Lotus?
Will Renault complete deal to buy Lotus?
(GMM)  It is believed that talks between Bernie Ecclestone and Renault are holding up the futures of no fewer than three teams.

Red Bull, it seems, is now ready to announce that it is staying with Renault power for 2016 -- except that the French carmaker is yet to confirm that it is staying in F1 at all.

Indeed, Red Bull is busily re-signing sponsors and suppliers for 2016, with the next one set to be the long-time McLaren backer Tag Heuer.

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12/03/15
f1

The beginning of the end for Austin F1 race (4th Update) UPDATE #4
We may soon be sticking a fork in the USGP at COTA
If they don't first pay Bernie what they owe him from the 2015 race, stick a fork in the Austin race
The future of the struggling US Grand Prix was thrown into further doubt Wednesday when the 2016 Formula 1 calendar listed the race as “subject to agreement” with the promoter.

Officials at the Circuit of the Americas have said they are financially strapped after storms wiped out much of the 2015 race weekend and by news the Texas governor's office is cutting public funding by about 20 per cent.

The 2016 race calendar still has the race scheduled for Oct. 23 but with an asterisk. Track officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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12/02/15
irl

Will new concern put a halt to Boston GP? (2nd Update) UPDATE #2 In Boston, Villani & Battenfeld noted a planned IndyCar road race there "could keep the public out of a popular South Boston park used for arts, music and other community-driven events for up to five weeks starting next summer." The "revelation that the Lawn on D, which hosts events like arts exhibits, concerts and movie nights, would be swallowed up by the private IndyCar venture is the latest potentially controversial snag surrounding" the proposed race.

Lawn on D Chief Strategy Officer Johanna Storella said that IndyCar would "rent the space at an estimated price tag of between $18,000 and $20,000 per day." Villani & Battenfeld noted it is "unclear exactly how long Lawn on D would be closed for the race." BOSTON HERALD

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12/02/15
wec
f1

Booth, Lowdon set for Le Mans project
John Booth
John Booth
(GMM)  Departed Manor chiefs John Booth and Graeme Lowdon are rumored to re-fire their racing instincts in the world of endurance sports cars.

Reportedly amid a split with new owner Stephen Fitzpatrick, whose investment saved the former Marussia team last winter, the British duo farewelled the F1 paddock after last weekend's Abu Dhabi finale.

"Rather than focus on the reasons, I would prefer to focus on the fact that the most important task this year was to make sure that the team continued racing," Lowdon said.

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12/01/15
f1

Dennis wants Sauber to be Second Honda Team
Dennis working on Arai to take on Sauber as a 2nd Honda team
Sources close to McLaren said that Chair & CEO Ron Dennis "has earmarked Sauber as a potential future second team for Honda," according to Adam Cooper of FOX SPORTS.

Dennis "made it clear" on Monday that Honda could not supply Red Bull in '16 because the "time scale made it impossible for the Japanese manufacturer to make enough parts." However, there is "increasing pressure" from FIA President Jean Todt and F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone for Honda to work with another team from '17, and "Sauber presents an obvious opportunity, not least because McLaren would not regard the Swiss team as a direct rival."

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12/01/15
nassprint

Roush to move Xfinity champ Buescher up to Cup
Chris Buescher
Even in the moments Chris Buescher was celebrating his NASCAR XFINITY Series title Saturday night, his team owner Jack Roush was suggesting that the newly-crowned champion might end up in the Sprint Cup Series in 2016.

The only question seemed to be whether it would be a full-time ride or a part-time gig.

"We're still not sure what his arrangement is going to be next year,'' Roush said. "He will be involved in a Cup car to some extent, but whether it's a part‑time program or a full program, we're still in the midst of finalizing the conditions today.  We've got a number of possibilities, but we're not ready to announce that today."

Comment
12/01/15
f1

Haas F1 to sign yet another non-American
Anti-Americans - team boss Guenter Steiner and team owner Haas
The anti-American driver Haas F1 team is lining up European F3 star Charles Leclerc for a test and development role with Haas F1, according to Adam Cooper sources at Motorsport.com.

The Monegasque driver is set to become a member of the Ferrari Driver Academy, in effect replacing Raffaele Marciello and Lance Stroll, both of whom are leaving the Italian team.

The FDA connection will in turn lead to the 18-year-old being seconded to Haas.

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12/01/15
irl
r2i

Brabham to run Indy GP & 500
Matthew Brabham
AR1 is hearing that Mazda Road to Indy standout Matthew Brabham has put together a deal to run both this year's Angie's List Grand Prix of Indianapolis and the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500. The 21-year-old Florida native and grandson of three-time Formula One World Champion Jack Brabham won the 2012 U.S. F2000 and 2013 Pro Mazda championships before running a full Indy Lights season in 2014.

In 2015, Brabham ran only three Lights races, as he was unable to secure funding for a full-season.

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11/30/15
f1

Mercedes dictates who wins races
Lewis Hamilton is quickly learning that his team will decide who wins races, not him
Lewis Hamilton is quickly learning that his team will decide who wins races, not him

For the 2015 Abu Dhabi GP, Mercedes AMG F1 set out to counter the criticism from the media that they were 'remote controlling' their drivers in terms of race strategy. Toto Wolff relished in pointing this out to Sky TV following the checkered flag: "This time there were two strategies that could have worked so we left it to him [Hamilton], his race engineer and his side of the garage to decide which strategy he would rather go for."

Lewis also complained in Brazil and Mexico about the lack of opportunity for him to challenge Rosberg by switching strategies during the race, so Mercedes' response may have been designed to give Lewis his head on the issue.

Mercedes have been consistent throughout the year, insisting there is one race strategist for the whole team and he will call the strategy best for Mercedes Benz and not individual drivers. In Abu Dhabi all this was to change.

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11/30/15
f1

Red Bull to race with Nissan engines in 2016 (6th Update) UPDATE #6
Ricciardo jokes with Marko. Are they getting laugh about beating Honda next year with the Nissan brand?
Red Bull's Christian Horner recently confirmed the Milton Keynes team has signed a deal for power units, which will ensure the team is on the grid in 2016.

He couldn't however confirm the source of the engines, nor would he comment on the branding.

It is however believed Red Bull will announce a deal next week to continue using Renault engines, but they will likely be rebranded following a rather public spat between the two companies.

That rebranding could see Nissan (rather than Infiniti) enter the sport according to paddock speculation, to compete head-to-head with brand rival Honda.

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11/30/15
il
r2i

Veach back to Lights in 2016 (2nd Update) UPDATE #2 Although Veach will drive for Belardi for 2016, he is as yet, not signed for a full-season. Team owner Brian Belardi said in a press release:

"We're really happy to have Zach confirmed with us for next year, and we'll work closely with him to make sure that we can get the funding we need to run him all season. He's a supreme talent both in and out of the car, and his initial test outings in the car were just as we expected. Zach was on-pace very early in Sebring after familiarizing himself with the new Indy Lights car, and I know that we'll challenge for race wins and the championship next year."

AR1 Staff Report



11/25/15 Zach Veach tweeted a short time ago that he will in fact be contesting the 2016 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires championship for Belardi Auto Racing. Veach, of course, tested last month for Belardi at Sebring, after sitting out the 2015 season. This rumor is upgraded to 'fact'.

AR1 Staff Report

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11/30/15
f1

Alonso could take sabbatical in 2016 (3rd Update)
UPDATE #3 (GMM) Fernando Alonso and Ron Dennis have steered away from speculation the Spaniard might be taking a sabbatical in 2016.

Dennis, the McLaren supremo, lit the fuse on Saturday at Abu Dhabi, but 24 hours later was hitting reverse gear.

"I was talking to a reporter and all I said is that I was open and everything can be discussed," the Woking team's group chairman is quoted by the Spanish newspaper Marca.

"I also immediately clarified that Fernando and Jenson (Button) will be in the car in 2016, which many (media) colleagues forgot to add," Dennis said.

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11/28/15
f1
dtm

Magnussen to test DTM for Mercedes
Kevin Magnussen (L)
Kevin Magnussen (L) may go to DTM in 2016
(GMM) Kevin Magnussen is lining up another option to keep his motor racing career alive.

The Dane, ousted by McLaren, recently tested Porsche's Le Mans-winning sports car prototype.

And now, the Danish tabloid Ekstra Bladet is reporting that Magnussen will test a Mercedes DTM car at Jerez next week.

"It is true that I am going there to test. It will probably be on the third day," he confirmed.

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11/28/15
f1

Wolff and Lauda have falling out, Lauda to quit and move to Ferrari? (4th Update)
UPDATE #4 
Best friends - you can see it in their happy faces
Best friends - you can see it in their happy faces
Toto Wolff and Niki Lauda on Saturday defied talk of a personal rift by walking through the Abu Dhabi paddock holding hands.

It was an odd sight as the pair, and representatives of the sport's other engine manufacturers, left a meeting held to discuss the future of the rules.

'Sources' and unnamed 'friends' had hinted at a looming relationship breakdown between Mercedes' Austrian duo and team co-owners, so the latest theory is that Red Bull's Christian Horner or Bernie Ecclestone had put the rumor out, amid political rancor.

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11/27/15
f1

Verstappen linked with Ferrari switch (Update 6)
UPDATE #6
Franz Tost puts Verstappen to Ferrari rumors to bed....for now
Franz Tost puts Verstappen to Ferrari rumors to bed....for now
Toro Rosso boss Franz Tost dismissed speculation the 2015 Ferrari engine deal for the team could be a precursor to Verstappen switching to the Maranello team, just like his Red Bull predecessor Sebastian Vettel before him.

"Yes, but Sebastian drove a long time for Red Bull and was ready for a change.  Max is still far from ready," the Austrian insisted.  "So let's stop with this talk."

10/30/15 (GMM)  Rumors are continuing to swirl around Max Verstappen, the 18-year-old F1 rookie sensation.

Red Bull - although occupied with the greater concern about finding power units for 2016 - is yet to officially declare the driver lineups for the senior and junior teams in 2016.

It leaves open the possibility that Dutchman Verstappen could be promoted from Toro Rosso, but his father Jos told Brazil's Globo: "I think Max will stay here for another year to gain experience and then think about changing teams to get a better car for 2017."

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11/26/15
f1

Red Bull must develop own power unit or quit F1
Will Mario Illien save the day for Red Bull?
The negotiations between Red Bull and Renault have become the story of the 2015 season. TJ13 revealed three weeks ago that RBR want to control their power unit development and are looking to take an 'unbranded engine' from Renault and develop it further during the 2016 season with the help of Mario Illien.

According to Red Bull's 'Speedweek' publication, the contracts for this are in place with Renault and Mario Illien to deliver the unbranded engine, yet no announcement is forthcoming. The assumption is that the sticking point is over cash – Who pays who for what?

Red Bull claim they have been paying around 54 million euros for a Renault power unit this year, but Renault recently made it clear that Red Bull have been receiving around 100m from Renault sponsors Infiniti and Total. Any variation on the existing contract where Red Bull merely receive a Renault power unit lock stock and barrel will see the Milton Keynes team receive half the contribution Total and Infiniti have been making. Renault will receive the rest and increase their budget spend on the F1 power train.

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11/26/15
f1

Hamilton title unofficial until engine check - report
As long as the FIA finds that the Mercedes engine in his car was not illegal when they pull it apart, the blond haired, tattoo covered, diamond earrings totting Lewis Hamilton will be the 2015 F1 champion
(GMM)  Lewis Hamilton's third world championship remains provisional for now, the German publication Auto Motor und Sport claimed on Thursday.

Correspondent Michael Schmidt reports that the governing FIA is having to wait until after this weekend's Abu Dhabi finale to check that Mercedes has fully complied with the regulations with its dominant 'power unit' this year.

The detailed check to the engine with which Hamilton raced to the world championship in Austin will take place in the first half of next week, Schmidt said, which is the first opportunity after the race calendar has concluded.

The FIA has been unable to do the checks beforehand because it involves fully disassembling the 'power unit' -- one of four in Hamilton's official allocation for the whole of the season and still used in practice sessions.

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11/25/15
nassprint

New manufacturer for Front Row? Brian Scott joining?
Front Row Motorsports is entertaining different manufacturing options for 2016. General Manager Jerry Freeze told Motorsport.com he's assessing what the best opportunity would be for the three-car operation. In 11 seasons, FRM has fielded Chevrolets, Dodges and most recently Fords - since 2010. "There's a couple of things we've been looking at really hard but we haven't come to any final decision yet," Freeze said.

"We're going to need to because we need to in the next week or two because we're going to need the off-season to obviously ramp up with some of the changes coming down the pike - even if we remain doing what we're doing. There's a lot of changes coming down the road with the Fords, and we need to adapt to that. So it will be a very busy off-season regardless of what we do. We just have to figure out what's best for us."

What drivers will fill the Front Row Motorsports' seats in 2016? "We're not there yet," Freeze said. "Again, it's kind of all tied up with what's going to put us in the best place for competitive reasons - along with the financial part - and just kind of weigh out both the as much of the financial part and as much of the competitive part as you can to have the best package put together." With Furniture Row Racing moving to Toyota next season, Richard Childress Racing could include FRM into its technical alliance.

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11/24/15
nassprint
wscc

Jeff Gordon may not be done driving racecars after all
Look for Jeff Gordon in a Corvette DP at Daytona and Sebring
Look for Jeff Gordon in a Corvette DP at Daytona and Sebring
"I don't think he's through driving," said his [Jeff Gordon's] manager, Zak Brown, whose firm, Just Marketing, Inc., has represented Gordon for years. JMI is the largest motorsports marketing agency in the world, matching sponsors with race teams and series.

Four of the last five major Formula One deals were brokered by JMI. Brown (no relation to musician Zac Brown, who JMI's Brown insists "spells 'Zak' all wrong!") and his company only represent one active driver - Gordon - though they also represent former F1 champions Sir Jackie Stewart and Niki Lauda.

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11/24/15
f1

Formula One may return to Argentina (Update)
UPDATE (GMM)  The chances Argentina might return to the F1 calendar got a significant boost this week.

The sport has not raced at the then-aging venue in Buenos Aires since 1998, but Bernie Ecclestone said last month: "We're talking to them and it can happen."

Interestingly, the last grand prix in Argentina was promoted by the Gastaldi family.  Today, Argentine Federico Gastaldi is the deputy team boss at Lotus.

Now, it is not known if Gastaldi will continue at the Enstone team next year as it transitions to ownership by the French carmaker Renault.

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11/23/15
f1

Gascoyne linked with F1 return for Renault
Mike Gascoyne last penned cars for back of the grid Caterham
(GMM)  Mike Gascoyne has been linked with a return to formula one with Renault.

Finland's Ilta Sanomat newspaper reports that with the French carmaker preparing to announce its buyout of the Lotus team in Abu Dhabi this week, former technical director Gascoyne - most recently in F1 with Caterham - could be drafted in.

Lotus deputy Federico Gastaldi says there are already Renault personnel working at Enstone, indicating that the deal is now all but done.

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11/22/15
f1

Lotus F1 to be renamed Nissan Renault?
No more Lotus?
No more Lotus?
The momentum is building for Renault's takeover of the Lotus F1 team, almost to the point of inevitability. Both Matthew Carter (CEO Lotus) and Cyril Abiteboul (Renault F1) have indicated on completion of the transaction, the Lotus name will be ditched.

Abiteboul said yesterday, "it will be for 2016. There is no reason to wait. We know in terms of operation and performance that 2016, if we go for it, it will be a transition year". It appears expectations of immediate success have been set fairly low for the new Renault ‘works' team amongst the auto manufacturer's hierarchy.

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