Alonso feeling fresh motivation after first McLaren test

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Following his first test for the team in Jerez last week, Fernando Alonso is feeling a fresh motivation and adrenaline ahead of the new Formula 1 season as he settles into life back at McLaren.

After five unsuccessful years with Ferrari, Alonso – pictured alongside teammate Jenson Button – confirmed at the end of last year that he would be rejoining McLaren for 2015, having raced for the team in the controversial 2007 season.

The Spaniard is still searching for his third world title following his successes with Renault in 2005 and 2006, but in a press conference earlier this week he said that he felt rejuvenated for 2015.

“I am very happy to be part of this new era of the McLaren-Honda partnership,” Alonso said. “I had the honor of being the first in the car on the first day and do the first couple of laps. It is a very challenging time for all of us trying to succeed with this project.”

Honda returns to F1 in 2015 after six years away, exclusively powering McLaren and reforging the successful partnership of the late ’80s and early ’90s. Although the new MP4-30 car did present some expected teething problems, Alonso feels that the team can be gunning for race wins in the not-too-distant future.

“I’m very excited to be part of the McLaren-Honda family,” Alonso said. “After many years in Formula 1 I feel the new motivation and the adrenaline of competing at the maximum level with the best possible team. We will be ready for some victories hopefully soon.”

Alonso will get his next run in the MP4-30 at the second pre-season test in Barcelona, driving for McLaren on the Saturday and Sunday of next week’s test.

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.