Webber: Ferrari planning long-term move for Vettel

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Red Bull driver Mark Webber believes that Ferrari are planning a move for three-time world champion Sebastian Vettel in the future, with the recent signing of Kimi Raikkonen being a solution in the short-term.

The Italian team is currently in the middle of a drought, having failed to win either championship since 2008 despite the arrival of star driver Fernando Alonso in 2010. However, with the signing of Raikkonen for 2014, the policy of having a designated number one and number two driver appears to have disappeared at Maranello, but Webber believes that this merely a short-term solution to the team’s poor form.

“For lots of reasons Ferrari need to be winning again in Formula 1,” Webber explained to Sky Sports. “It has to happen so this is the first step forward for them to get the team back in [form]. Constructors’ is important, Ferrari winning that, and then the drivers’ Championship as well. So those two things have got to come together.”

He then went on to suggest that Raikkonen is merely a stop-gap for Ferrari before signing Vettel.

“Two years for probably both of them actually I think. And then what they do after that, obviously, pick Seb up off the back of Red Bull and they keep moving from there.

“But it [signing Raikkonen] is a very short-term aggressive statement from Ferrari to put the team at the front.”

Aged 34, Raikkonen is approaching the end of his Formula One career, with his Ferrari deal taking him to his 36th birthday. Therefore, the team may see this as a chance to get to the front and then have the form to make a move for Vettel, who has raced just once for a team outside of the Red Bull setup (one race for BMW Sauber in 2007).

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.