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F1 Paddock Pass: Japanese Grand Prix (VIDEO)

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Formula 1 ventures to the iconic Suzuka Circuit this weekend for the Japanese Grand Prix as the sun begins to set on the 2015 season.

Ahead of the on-track action in Japan, Will Buxton is on hand to bring you all of the news, interviews and insight in the latest edition of NBC Sports’ original digital series “Paddock Pass”.

In part one, we hear from Sebastian Vettel following his crushing victory in Singapore. The German goes in search of a fifth win at Suzuka this weekend, and has never finished off the podium at the track. Can he continue this form on Sunday?

We also talk to Max Verstappen after his spirited display in Singapore where he sparked some controversy late on after ignoring team orders. Verstappen gives us his side of the story and discusses his first race weekend at Suzuka, one year on from making his practice debut.

In part two, Will talks to McLaren’s Ciaron Pilbeam about the challenges of setting up a car for Suzuka. We also hear from championship leader Lewis Hamilton as he looks to bounce back from his struggles in Singapore and see off the Ferrari threat.

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.