Pirelli proposes extra Friday tires for rookies

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Formula One tire manufacturer Pirelli has offered to supply an additional set of tires for teams that run rookie drivers in Friday morning practice sessions.

Under the proposal, this extra set would be built to the same construction as the race rubber but feature a more durable compound. That means rookies would be able to increase their track time by running on both the extra set and the standard set. If accepted, the plan would go into effect at the Spanish Grand Prix in May.

According to Autosport’s Edd Straw, the proposal is slated to be discussed amongst the teams and F1 race director Charlie Whiting, and that Pirelli’s motorsport director, Paul Hembery, is hopeful that a decision on the matter will come down as early as next weekend in Bahrain. Hembery believes that the extra tires can accomplish two tasks: Spicing up the first practice of the weekend and further rookie drivers’ development.

“[Formula One supremo] Bernie [Ecclestone] was keen to get people running for the TV cameras, and it also allows us to do something for the younger drivers,” Hembery told Autosport. “It will help the transition from either GP2 or World Series [Formula Renault 3.5] into F1.”

IndyCar teams with NASCAR on IMS road course doubleheader in 2021

IndyCar NASCAR doubleheader 2021
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The NTT IndyCar Series will be sharing Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the NASCAR Cup Series in a race weekend doubleheader for the second consecutive season, but both series will be on the road course in August 2021.

IMS announced Wednesday that IndyCar will hold an Aug. 14, 2021 race on its 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. It’ll be a day before NASCAR’s premier series runs the same layout for the first time after the Brickyard 400 was contested on the 2.5-mile oval for the first time in 27 years.

This season’s rescheduling of the IndyCar GMR Grand Prix to July 4, 2019 (a day before the Brickyard 400) led to the first NASCAR-IndyCar doubleheader weekend. The Xfinity Series also raced on the IMS road course for the first time July 4 after the IndyCar race ended.

INDYCAR AT IMS THIS WEEKEND: Harvest GP schedule, entry lists

IndyCar will be holding its second race weekend this year at the IMS road course Friday and Saturday with the Harvest GP.

“Our first NASCAR-INDYCAR weekend was a big success last July, with positive feedback from
our loyal fans who watched the races on NBC and from the drivers, teams and participants
involved,” IMS president Douglas Boles said in a statement. “The Xfinity Series’ debut on the IMS road course provided exactly the kind of thrilling action from the green to checkered flags that we anticipated, so we know the teams and drivers of the Cup Series will put on a great show as they turn left and right for the first time at IMS.

“We can’t wait to welcome back fans to see NASCAR and INDYCAR together during this
exciting weekend as we add another memorable chapter in the long, storied history of the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”

It also will mark the first NASCAR Cup-IndyCar doubleheader with a crowd as fans weren’t permitted at IMS in July because of the novel coronvavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Over the course of Wednesday, NASCAR is releasing its 36-race slate for next season. IndyCar has yet to release its full 2021 schedule.