Hulkenberg and Magnussen receive five-place grid drops in Russia

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Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen are both set to receive a five-place grid penalty for this weekend’s Russian Grand Prix after gearbox changes ahead of qualifying later today.

Hulkenberg pulled over at the side of the track to retire from last weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix on the last lap at Suzuka, but following the red flag shown for Jules Bianchi’s accident, the results were backdated by one lap. This meant that Hulkenberg had technically finished the race.

In his technical delegate’s report, FIA representative Jo Bauer confirmed that Force India’s decision to change the gearbox on Hulkenberg’s car did not comply with the regulations, warranting a five-place grid drop.

“[Hulkenberg] did finish the last race in Suzuka and this gearbox change was before the six consecutive events expired,” a statement reads. “Therefore, this is not in compliance with Article 28.6a of the 2014 Formula 1 Sporting Regulations.”

As a result, the German driver will drop five places on the grid from his qualifying position later today in Sochi.

Kevin Magnussen will also drop five spots as he requires a gearbox change following his stoppage in FP3, leaving McLraren with a small repair job ahead of qualifying. Pastor Maldonado also has to serve a further five places of his 10-place grid penalty from Japan.

The FIA has also confirmed that the pit lane speed limit has been reduced from 80km/h to 60km/h to make the entry to the pits safer.

You can watch qualifying for the Russian Grand Prix live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 7am ET.

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.