Korean GP to be spared brunt of tropical storm

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The progress of Tropical Storm Fitow has occupied the attention of F1 weather-watchers in recent days as it originally looked to be on course to interfere with this weekend’s Korean Grand Prix.

However the latest weather models indicate the storm will veer to the west of South Korea, missing the area where the Korea International Circuit, venue of this weekend’s race, is situated.

The storm is expected to bring winds in excess of 75 knots (86mph) by Sunday which could have jeopardized the running of the race.

The first Korean Grand Prix in 2010 was affected by a heavy rain storm which soaked the circuit and forced the race to be suspended for over an hour. It eventually finished in darkness as the sun had set before the chequered flag fell.

Formula One has already been disrupted by rain this year which forced the partial postponement of qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix.

Tropical cyclones are most common in this part of the world. Severe weather has twice affected the running of the nearby Japanese Grand Prix in the last decade. Track activity was cancelled on the Saturday of the 2004 Japanese Grand Prix due to the approaching Typhoon Ma-on, and heavy rain caused qualifying to be postponed in 2010.

Lewis Hamilton receives Daytona 500 invitation from Bubba Wallace

Lewis Hamilton Bubba Wallace
Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images
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Lewis Hamilton is a fan of the new NASCAR Cup Series team formed by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan to field a car for Bubba Wallace.

Will the six-time Formula One champion also be a fan in person at a NASCAR race in the near future?

Wallace is hoping so.

After Hamilton tweeted his support Tuesday morning about the news of a Hamlin-Jordan-Wallace team making its debut with the 2021 season, Wallace responded with a sly invitation to the Daytona 500.

Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

But it would seem fitting given that Hamilton and Wallace have been two of the world’s most outspoken Black athletes about the quest for diversity and racial justice. Hamilton recently reaffirmed his commitment to activism after his donning a Breonna Taylor shirt sparked an FIA inquiry.

The idea of Hamilton attending the season opener already had legs, too. The Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 driver has expressed a desire to race the Daytona 500 after he has retired from Formula One.

He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.

Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it only would be fitting if Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — spent some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.

Jeff Gordon was flanked by Mario Andretti and Lewis Hamilton before the 2015 Cup season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images).