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Force India in talks over Aston Martin rebrand for 2016

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Force India owner Vijay Mallya has confirmed that he is in talks over a possible rebrand of the team for the 2016 Formula 1 season following reports of a link-up with British marque Aston Martin.

On Friday, Autosport published a report claiming that Aston Martin was close to striking a deal with Force India that would see its name return to F1 for the first time since 1960.

The report said that the team would change name and livery for 2016, tying in a sponsorship agreement with whisky brand Johnnie Walker. It would continue to be powered by Mercedes, with the German manufacturer owning a 5% stake in Aston Martin.

In Friday’s FIA press conference, Mallya confirmed that Force India was in talks over a rebrand for 2016, but that there were many options and nothing had been finalized.

“We are in discussion,” Mallya confirmed. “Nothing has been finalized, we have many options and I’ll be able to confirm or otherwise once I have something to say.

“As I’ve said, and as was faithfully reported by Autosport, I don’t like to count my chickens before they hatch.”

This weekend’s Mexican Grand Prix is an important one for Force India given the popularity of home driver Sergio Perez and the team’s ties with a number of Mexican sponsors.

“We are absolutely enjoying being here in Mexico,” Mallya said. “As you may know we launched the car in Mexico in January this year.

“Checo has a huge following, we have many large Mexican sponsors and I personally love Mexico because there are many similarities with India, so this is like a home race for us as well.”

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.