Sebastian Vettel takes first laps around Sochi F1 track (VIDEO)

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=88b7VqEeisc

Formula One’s inaugural Russian Grand Prix isn’t until October, but Sebastian Vettel got a look at the Sochi Autodrom circuit today as the first F1 driver to take laps there.

Driving an Infiniti road car, Vettel whipped through the 18-turn, Tilke-designed circuit that winds through Sochi Olympic Park.

For those that watched the Winter Olympic Games this past February on NBC, there are several familiar venues along the course such as the Bolshoy Ice Dome, Shayba Arena, and the Olympic cauldron site.

“It is great to be back in Sochi and the venue has been transformed since I was last here when it was really just a construction site,” Vettel said in a statement.

“Having driven the full circuit for the first time…It’s an interesting layout with a good mix of high speed corners and technical sections.

“It’s going to be a huge challenge in a Formula One car for sure and I’m really looking forward to coming back in October.”

You can check out Vettel’s run around the Sochi course in the clip above.

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.