Bottas unaffected by Ferrari speculation over summer break

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Valtteri Bottas claims that he was not affected by the rife speculation linking him with a move to Ferrari over Formula 1’s summer break.

Bottas had been tipped to join the team for 2016 as a replacement for Kimi Raikkonen, whose future remained unclear until the week before the Belgian Grand Prix.

Ferrari confirmed on the Wednesday before the race that it had exercised its option on Raikkonen for 2016, meaning that he would partner Sebastian Vettel once again.

The announcement put all talk of Bottas moving to Ferrari to bed, leaving the Finn to concentrate on his current commitments with Williams.

Writing in his blog following the Belgian Grand Prix, Bottas talked about his summer break and how he was not bothered by the speculation as he did not keep a track of talk about his future.

“After Hungary it was nice to head into the summer break and I spent nearly three weeks back home in Finland, which was great,” Bottas said.

“There was no travelling involved, I was just there enjoying my time with my family and friends and my country’s lovely nature and then did a bit of training ten days before the start of the Belgian Grand Prix.

“Until the week before Spa there was a lot of speculation about my future, a good part of which was not true.

“It’s not fair to put those kind of rumours out there, for either Williams and myself or Kimi and Ferrari, so life became easier once we knew the speculation was over with Kimi staying where he is.

“I have to say the speculation didn’t affect me at all during the break because I wasn’t reading or listening to anything vaguely connected to F1, which was really good.

“Then I saw the news on Wednesday and that was that – end of story.”

Bottas has one year remaining on his contract with Williams, and although talk of a move to Ferrari may have died down for the time being, he will undoubtedly be one of the favorites once again to replace Raikkonen for the 2017 season.

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.