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Verstappen impresses on first weekend as a Red Bull junior

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Max Verstappen has immediately shown why Red Bull worked so hard to get his signature for its junior programme after a trio of fine displays at the Nurburgring this weekend.

The 16-year-old currently races in the FIA F3 European Championship, with the next step towards F1 being either GP2, GP3 or Formula Renault 3.5. After an impressive start to the year, the Dutch youngster was signed by Red Bull to its junior programme earlier this week, and appears to be in line for a Formula 1 seat in a few years’ time.

At the Nurburgring this weekend, Verstappen produced three superb performances. After securing pole position for the first race on Saturday, he won ahead of Ferrari youngster Antonio Fuoco, but could not double up after an engine problem sidelined him in the second race.

After taking a ten place grid penalty, Verstappen started the third and final race from 12th place, yet he was up to fifth by the end of the first lap. He eventually came home in third, capping off a quite superb weekend of racing.

This youngster is without a doubt one of the stars of the future, with some even suggesting that he could be given an F1 debut next season and become the youngest ever driver the sport has seen.

However, his father, Jos – himself an ex-F1 driver – is being more realistic about his son’s chances.

“Max to Toro Rosso? We will wait and see,” Jos is quoted as saying by Planet F1. “We will discuss this together with Red Bull as they continue with Max.”

Regardless of when he makes his F1 debut, Max Verstappen is a name that is worth remembering for the future.

Pippa Mann, breast cancer survivors paint IMS’ start/finish line pink

Photo: IndyCar
Photo: IndyCar
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We’ve written a fair bit on MotorSportsTalk about the efforts Pippa Mann has done in working with the Susan G. Komen Foundation for breast cancer awareness. Susan G. Komen has supported Mann’s last two runs at the Indianapolis 500, when she’s driven the No. 63 Honda for Dale Coyne Racing.

This being National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the awareness hit a new level with Mann working alongside breast cancer survivors to paint the start/finish line at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s iconic Yard of Bricks pink for the day.

IMS president Doug Boles also joined in the opportunity.

View a selection of photos and social posts below. More is linked here, via IndyCar.com.

Mercedes set to clinch F1 constructors’ championship in Russia

SOCHI, RUSSIA - OCTOBER 08:  Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP speaks with members of the media in the paddock during previews to the Formula One Grand Prix of Russia at Sochi Autodrom on October 8, 2015 in Sochi, Russia.  (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
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For the second year in a row, Mercedes is poised to wrap up the Formula 1 constructors’ championship in Sochi at this weekend’s Russian Grand Prix.

Mercedes won its first F1 teams’ title in Russia last year, having returned to the sport as a works constructor in 2010. When it last enjoyed such status in the 1950s, there was no championship for the teams.

Just as it did in 2014, Mercedes has dominated proceedings in F1 this season, winning all but three races and sweeping to eight one-two finishes to leave drivers Lewis Hamilton (pictured) and Nico Rosberg battling for the drivers’ title for the second straight year.

Now, Mercedes seeks the knock-out blow in the constructors’ title race by officially wrapping it up in Sochi this weekend.

To do so, the team must simply outscore rivals Ferrari by three points this weekend. The lead currently stands at 169 points, with 215 still on offer. After Sochi, there will be 172 remaining.

“We return to Russia with positive memories from last season, when the team sealed the first constructors’ title for Mercedes-Benz with a one-two finish,” team boss Toto Wolff said.

“A repeat performance in Sochi would be fantastic and this is absolutely the target – but we are under no illusions that it will come easy. The job is not done yet.”

The tire allocation for this weekend’s race could pose problems to Mercedes just as it did in Singapore, potentially allowing Ferrari to spoil the party and delay the victory celebrations at Brackley.

However, if the form book is to be trusted, Sochi could be playing host to another Mercedes party on Sunday night with a second world title in the bag for the Silver Arrows.