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Red Bull still hoping for alternative F1 engine in 2017

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Red Bull Racing advisor Helmut Marko has revealed that the team is still hopeful of securing an alternative engine for the 2017 Formula 1 season despite confirming its engine plans for next year.

Red Bull became embroiled in a long-running engine saga in 2015 that saw the team push for a switch to Mercedes, Ferrari or Honda power units due to its dissatisfaction with the work of existing partner Renault.

Marko (pictured left) was very vocal on the matter, issuing a number of quit threats and public warnings to Renault, but Red Bull will continue to use a power unit produced by the French manufacturer in 2016, albeit named ‘TAG Heuer’ after the watch company.

However, Marko revealed that the team is still hoping to secure an alternative engine for 2017 upon the expiration of its deal with Renault if it cannot sufficiently develop its new power unit.

“We still hope for an alternate engine from 2017,” Marko told Red Bull-owned publication Speedweek. “Or Renault develops itself so well in 2016 that you can agree an extension.”

F1 bosses Jean Todt and Bernie Ecclestone are known to be chasing the introduction of a cheaper client engine for 2017, and were given a mandate by the FIA earlier this week to push through any required changes.

There were concerns over Red Bull’s participation in the first pre-season test in Barcelona, due to start on February 22, due to the engine delay, but Marko is adamant that the team will make it.

“We had to cope with a two-month delay, but we will do it,” Marko said. “We will be in Barcelona.”

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.