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Ecclestone: Ferrari, Mercedes refusal to help Red Bull “ridiculous”

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Bernie Ecclestone has criticized Ferrari and Mercedes for refusing to supply Red Bull with an engine for the 2016 Formula 1 season, calling their fear of increased competition “completely ridiculous”.

Red Bull is currently without an engine supplier for next year after choosing to cut ties with Renault after a season filled with quit threats and complaints about the quality of its power unit.

However, with both Mercedes and Ferrari unwilling to supply one of their fiercest rivals with a same-spec power unit, Red Bull has been left to backtrack over its comments regarding Renault and even open negotiations with Honda, exploring every possible avenue to remain on the grid.

In an exclusive interview with the official Formula 1 website, Ecclestone said that he believes Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz is still undecided about whether or not to continue pouring millions of dollars into racing in the sport.

“Mr. Mateschitz is fortunate enough to be able to pull the plug if he wanted to. He doesn’t have to ask anybody,” Ecclestone said.

“He is used to winning and doesn’t want to be put in a position where he could be unfairly beaten. Unfairly! When he won the world championships he was competing on the same terms as anybody else. Probably he has not made up his mind yet.

“The reasons why Ferrari or Mercedes don’t want to give Red Bull the same engine as they will race in 2016 is because they are afraid that they might get beaten – which is completely ridiculous.

“And should it really happen, then they should rush back to the drawing board. This is a sport that has competition it its DNA, not asset protection.”

Ecclestone also said that he would like to see the power unit design in F1 be simplified and made cheaper to allow more manufacturers enter the sport.

“I would prefer an engine that is a bit simpler,” he said. “What we have now is a superb piece of engineering – but it is extremely expensive, so every manufacturer coming in can’t afford not to get it right.

“And it is hard to get it right. As I said, I wish it would be simpler, but the people who are now successful won’t let it go – because now they are secure.”

Karam, Daly get IndyCar rides with Carlin for Iowa

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NEWTON, Iowa – Sage Karam returns for the second-straight race and Conor Daly is back for another race with Carlin Racing at this weekend’s Iowa 300 NTT IndyCar Series race at Iowa Speedway.

For Karam, it’s his third start of the 2019 season and his second straight with Carlin. In his five starts at Iowa Speedway dating back to 2010, Karam has never finished outside of the top three, recording four wins (USF2000 – 2010, Indy Pro 2000 – 2011 and 2012, Indy Lights – 2013) and scoring his first NTT IndyCar Series podium in 2015 with a third-place finish.

“I’m really excited to be back again this weekend with Carlin and SmartStop Self Storage for the Iowa 300. Iowa Speedway has always been a good track for me in the past, so I’m really looking forward to getting back to work there,” Karam said. “Coming off of a very productive weekend in Toronto, I’m looking forward to applying everything I’ve learned and continuing to work with the team to get the best results possible. A huge thank you to everyone at Carlin and SmartStop Self Storage for a great opportunity to race at one of my favorite tracks.”

Daly is back in a second Carlin entry. Earlier this year, the popular driver finished 11th for Carlin in the DXC Technology 600 at Texas Motor Speedway on June 8. At Iowa, he will drive the team’s No. 23 Gallagher Chevrolet.

Daly finished 10th in the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge for Andretti Autosport.

Daly raced at Iowa in 2016 for Dale Coyne Racing (finishing 21st) and in 2017 for A.J. Foyt Racing (finishing 19th).

The combination gives Carlin two more drivers to gather additional feedback on the car. Max Chilton remains the team’s primary driver but announced recently that he will forego all oval races to concentrate on street and road courses.

That created opportunities for Karam and Daly.

“We were very impressed with Sage’s steady progression throughout the Toronto race weekend and his willingness to learn and adapt,” said Carlin Team Principal Trevor Carlin. “The fact that he hadn’t been on a street course since 2015 and was still able to come right out of the gate confident and constantly improving every session was extremely impressive.

“The SmartStop Self Storage Chevrolet looked great out on track and their group has been a pleasure to work with, so we couldn’t be more pleased to have them back this weekend in Iowa. Sage has done really well in Iowa in the past, so hopefully we can use his experience and our past success at Iowa Speedway to come away with a good result for the team and our partners at SmartStop Self Storage.”

The Iowa 300 at Iowa Speedway will take place on Saturday, July 20th at 7:15 pm ET and will be televised on NBCSN.