Whiting confident Russian GP will be a success

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FIA race director Charlie Whiting reckons that the F1 community will love the new Russian Grand Prix and the circuit that is being built around the site of the Sochi Winter Olympics complex.

Speaking to the circuit’s official website, Whiting praised the progress made by the organizers and was sure that the drivers will like the track layout and facilities.

“The last time I was here, it was a big building site. It’s been a year since I’ve been here and it looks beautiful now,” he said. “The track itself is going to be really fast and the drivers will love it. I’m sure of that.

“It’s clear that everything has been done really nicely. It will be a fast track, and I think it will be a really competitive track as there will be at least two or three places where drivers can overtake properly. I think that will be a very interesting track and a very spectacular race.”

As with any new circuit, there have been some safety concerns about Sochi, but Whiting is confident that the track has been made to the highest quality.

“We’re happy about the safety here,” he said. “It’s absolutely first class, I could not describe it any better than that.

“We are entirely confident that Sochi is absolutely first class when it comes to safety. It’s going to be a spectacular race and I’m really looking forward to it.”

The Russian Grand Prix is one of two new races on the calendar this year, with the revived Austrian Grand Prix taking place last month.

This will actually be the third Russian GP to be held, with two races taking place in 1913 and 1914 around the streets of St. Petersburg. It will however be the first since the formation of the F1 world championship in 1950.

Newgarden fastest as Castroneves returns in weather-shortened Barber test

Photo: IndyCar
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The Verizon IndyCar Series took to Barber Motorsports Park on Tuesday for an open test, with 24 entries tackling the 2.38-mile road course.

Weather intervened in the afternoon, preventing nearly the entire field from going out, but the weather held off during the morning enough for one session to be run in its entirety.

Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden led the way, with a quick lap of 1:07.979, ahead of Team Penske teammates Will Power and Helio Castroneves. For Castroneves, this marked his first IndyCar outing of 2018.

Helio Castroneves was back in an IndyCar on Tuesday at Barber Motorsports Park. Photo: IndyCar

Sporting the Pennzoil “yellow submarine” paint scheme, Castroneves turned 41 laps around Barber in the morning session, with a quick lap of 1:08.315. He was also the only driver to venture out on track in the afternoon, completing eight laps.

The Dale Coyne Racing duo of Sebastien Bourdais and Zachary Claman De Melo completed the top five.

Results are below.