F1: Raffaele Marciello joins Sauber as test/reserve driver

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Ferrari Driver Academy member Raffaele Marciello will back up Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr at Sauber next season as the team’s test and reserve driver.

The 20-year-old Italian, who tested Ferrari’s 2014 F1 challenger last month in Abu Dhabi (pictured, right), will also continue to compete for Racing Engineering in the developmental GP2 series.

In 2014, Marciello finished eighth in the GP2 standings with a win at Spa-Francorchamps and four podiums overall.

He entered GP2 this past season after winning the 2013 FIA European Formula 3 title on the strength of 13 race wins.

“I am really pleased to become a member of the Sauber F1 Team, which has a long tradition of building up excellent drivers,” Marciello said in a statement. “I really think that this is the best choice for my future career. I am also happy to compete for one more season in the GP2 Series, which, together with my new F1 role, will give me a very busy 2015 season.

“I want to thank the Ferrari Driver Academy for giving me this important opportunity, and now I really can’t wait to start delivering my best.”

Marciello also tweeted:

His new boss, Sauber team principal Monisha Kaltenborn, also confirmed in the same release that Marciello would have the chance to take part in multiple Friday practice sessions during the 2015 F1 season.

With this announcement, it would appear that Marciello has effectively replaced Giedo van der Garde in the test/reserve role at Hinwil.

The Dutchman had also been in the running for a 2015 race seat before Sauber chose Ericsson and Nasr to replace both Adrian Sutil and Esteban Gutierrez.

Gutierrez has since become Ferrari’s reserve behind Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen.

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.