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Honda pleased with F1 power unit progress over winter

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Newly-appointed head of Honda’s Formula 1 project Yusuke Hasegawa is pleased with the progress that the Japanese manufacturer has made with its power unit over the winter and during pre-season testing.

Honda returned to F1 in 2015 as an engine supplier to McLaren, but was blighted by a number of issues that limited the British team to just 27 points from 19 races.

Honda worked hard over the winter to ensure that 2016 would not offer a repeat, and the initial feedback was positive, with McLaren driver Jenson Button saying that the power unit felt better than it had at any other point.

Following the conclusion of pre-season testing in Barcelona, Hasegawa was cautiously optimistic about Honda’s chances going into the new season.

“The two weeks of testing here in Barcelona have been generally good for us, as we were able to confirm the improvements in reliability, deployment and engine performance that we focused on during the off-season,” Hasegawa said.

“Especially in the second test, the fact that we ran the power unit without any issues for four days straight is a good result for us.

“We still need to perform final checks and preparation for reliability on the dyno, and finalize the power unit data, but we have surely and steadily progressed in our preparation for Melbourne.

“It is difficult to determine the outright performance of the whole package yet with testing alone, but for Honda, it is very important to keep pushing ourselves during the season to improve our competitiveness and achieve points finishes.”

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.