IndyCar partner notes: Brembo returns, Hitachi signs multiyear extension with Penske

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ST. PETERSBURG – Two quick partner notes to hit going into the Verizon IndyCar Series’ season-opening weekend at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

source:  First up is confirmation Brembo will return to IndyCar as the exclusive brake provider, in the company’s 40-year anniversary in motorsports.

No changes or modifications have been made to the strong, yet lightweight carbon brakes from 2014 into 2015.

“We’re looking forward to the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series season and the enhanced speed and performance with the updated aero body kits on the race cars,” said Daniel Sandberg, CEO, Brembo North America. “Based on feedback from the pre-season tests, the drivers appear to be taking full advantage of our brakes by braking deeper with the extra downforce. We are eager to see how the brakes perform during this weekend’s race.”

More information is available at a new dedicated microsite, www.indycar.brembo.com.

source: AP
Photo: AP

Hitachi has also announced a multiyear partnership with Team Penske and driver Helio Castroneves. Partner representatives joked at a press event Thursday that it took until 2015 to sign a multiyear extension because Detroit race two last year, in front of GM’s corporate headquarters, marked the first race Castroneves actually won with Hitachi on the car.

Castroneves’ No. 3 Chevrolet will don the Hitachi colors at St. Petersburg this weekend, then at New Orleans, the Grand Prix of Indianapolis, Detroit, Milwaukee, Iowa, Mid-Ohio and Sonoma race weekends.

“Hitachi’s automotive business is very proud to be a consistent supporter of IndyCar Racing, which continues to grow in popularity in North America,” said Rob Sharpe, Vice President – Sales Division, Hitachi Automotive Systems Ltd. “Our Penske partnership is a clear demonstration of ‘teamwork and technology,’ where Hitachi can leverage its racing applications and automotive expertise in one of the world’s most competitive racing environments.”

McLaren F1 drivers and senior management agree to pay cuts

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McLaren Formula One drivers Carlos Sainz Jr. and Lando Norris are taking pay cuts, while the team is furloughing other employees as part of protective cost-cutting during the coronavirus pandemic.

With F1 racing suspended, McLaren said both drivers and senior management, including chief executive Zak Brown, all agreed to voluntary pay decreases. No figure was given, but McLaren said the percentage of the cut is the same for all employees who are not furloughed.

McLaren said in an email that “these measures are focused on protecting jobs in the short term to ensure our employees return to full-time work as the economy recovers.”

Sainz Jr. tweeted his support, saying “I fully understand these tough decisions and I have obviously decided to take a pay cut. We are all in this together.”

The first eight races of the 22-race campaign have been called off because of the virus. The season-opening Australian GP and the showpiece Monaco GP have been canceled, while the others might be rescheduled.

There is no date set for when the season might start, with the Canadian GP the next scheduled race on the disrupted calendar on June 14.

The season is scheduled to finish with the Abu Dhabi GP on Nov. 29, but F1 organizers previously said they anticipated that “the season end date will extend beyond our original end date.”

To further save costs and potentially gain time, engine manufacturers and teams are observing a three-week factory shutdown period. It normally would have been two weeks and would have taken place during the midseason summer break.