Former NASCAR executive Marcus Jadotte nominated by President Obama for key Commerce post

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Former NASCAR vice president of public affairs and multicultural development Marcus Jadotte has been nominated by U.S. President Barack Obama to become assistant secretary for industry and analysis in the Department of Commerce, according to a report by the Charlotte Observer.

Jadotte, whose nomination will have to be approved by the U.S. Senate, left his role with NASCAR in late April after nearly a decade with the sanctioning body.

He oversaw NASCAR’s commitment to and expansion of its diversity efforts, most notably its Drive For Diversity and Pit Crew Development efforts, which prepares and trains minorities and females for roles as drivers, crew chiefs and other positions in the sport.

In a sense, the Florida native is returning home of sorts. Before coming to NASCAR, Jadotte held a number of political positions, including chief of staff to U.S. Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz (2004-05), deputy campaign manager for the Kerry/Edwards Presidential campaign (2003-04), chief of staff to U.S. Representative Peter Deutsch (2001-03) and Florida state director on the 2000 Gore/Lieberman Presidential campaign.

Prior to that, Jadotte served in a number of positions with the U.S. Department of Labor under President Bill Clinton’s administration.

No timetable has been released as to when the Senate will take Jadotte’s nomination under consideration.

Hamilton: Abu Dhabi ‘the last race with good-looking cars’ in F1

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Lewis Hamilton believes that this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will be remembered as the last race with good-looking Formula 1 cars ahead of the introduction of the ‘Halo’ cockpit protection for next year.

Officials from the FIA and F1 Strategy Group confirmed earlier this year that the Halo would be fitted to all cars from the 2018 season in a bid to improve safety standards, with the deaths of Justin Wilson and Jules Bianchi putting head protection high on the agenda for the series’ chiefs.

Hamilton has long made his opposition to the Halo clear, believing it will ruin the look of F1 cars, and echoed his thoughts ahead of the final Halo-less race in Abu Dhabi this weekend.

“It’s the last year of looking good I think in the cars. It’s the last race where the cars will look good,” Hamilton said.

“I think next year, it’s all downhill from there in terms of how they look.

“But safety will go up at least, and maybe it could be successful in some way.”

Hamilton’s F1 title rival Sebastian Vettel was less bothered about the change, believing the field will adjust and move on.

“The cars will look different next year. Everything I’ve seen so far looks different, but on the other hand it is something we all get used to,” Vettel said.

“But no doubt the cars look better now, but we’ll get used to it, and we’ll work on the aesthetics so it can be better. It is less of a big deal.”

Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo shared Vettel’s view, saying: “I don’t think it’s gonna be as dramatic as most people make it out to be.”