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With Renault F1 deal confirmed, McLaren’s attention turns to Alonso

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McLaren executive director Zak Brown will turn his attention to Formula 1 contract talks with Fernando Alonso in the coming weeks after resolving the team’s engine saga for 2018.

McLaren announced on Friday it would be parting company with struggling power unit partner Honda at the end of the season, switching to a customer supply from Renault on a three-year deal.

McLaren’s F1 management has spent much of this year working to resolve its engine struggles and become more competitive, with the lack of success on-track being a regular source of frustration for lead driver Alonso.

Out of contract at the end of the season, Alonso said on Thursday in Singapore he was still weighing up a number of options for next year, but Brown is hopeful of extending the Spaniard’s contract into 2018.

“We’re going to turn our attention to Fernando now. We’ve been speaking a lot, he’s been waiting to see what technical solution we came up with,” Brown said.

“He won his two championships with Renault. He’s very happy with the racing team, we’re very happy with him.

“So I think in the not-too-distant future we should be able to get something done and that’ll be the last big piece of the puzzle.

“Then I’ve got to find us some sponsorship with our commercial team and get ready for next year.”

MRTI: Telitz gets creative to help racing career

Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography
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To say that Belardi Auto Racing’s Aaron Telitz has endured a difficult start to the 2018 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires season would be an understatement. The Wisconsin native only completed four corners through the first three races – Races 1 and 2 at St. Petersburg, and Race 1 at Barber Motorsports Park – with St. Pete being especially problematic.

He took the pole for Race 1, but a crash during qualifying for Race 2 prevented him from actually starting. What’s more, the damage was so severe that the Belardi team needed a brand new chassis, with Telitz’s Dallara IL-15 damaged beyond repair.

They also had to borrow a car from Carlin for Race 2, but Telitz’s race ended after he got tangled up with Victor Franzoni in Turn 2 on Lap 1.

With the damage bill well into the six figures as a result, Telitz has taken to some unique, or rather, creative ways to raise money in the aftermath to help cover the costs. “Creative,” in this case, meaning Telitz is using his art skills.

An artist in his spare time, Telitz has begun selling his own original paintings to help raise money.

 “I’ve been to a lot of art shows and I see stuff and I go, ‘Holy cow, someone’s going to pay a thousand dollars for that thing?’” Telitz quipped in a story posted on the Milwaukee Journal.

In discussing his artistic abilities, Telitz added, “I’m working at getting better. I’d like to be able to paint some animals, those types of things. I got a request from Alexander Rossi to see if I could paint his dog. Unfortunately I can’t do that yet.”

Further, in a partnership with The Styled Garage, Telitz is selling his own merchandise, and accepting donations, to help his cause.

Telitz finished fourth in Race 2 at Barber on Sunday, and sits seventh in the Indy Lights championship, 59 points behind leader Pato O’Ward.

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