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Ricciardo expecting Chinese GP to be tough on tires

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Daniel Ricciardo expects next weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix to be particularly tough on tires as he looks to build on an impressive start to the new Formula 1 season.

Ricciardo sits third in the drivers’ championship after finishing fourth in both Australia and Bahrain, with Red Bull appearing to comfortably be the third-fastest team early on in 2016.

Looking ahead to next weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix, Ricciardo spoke of the challenges posed by the Shanghai International Circuit with a particular focus on tires.

“The straight at the Shanghai International Circuit is super long which makes it pretty different compared to other tracks,” Ricciardo said.

“Coming off that straight, you then have to brake for one of the tightest corners on the calendar – you go from one of the highest speeds to the lowest.

“Turns 1, 2 and 3 are like one big corner, really long and uphill, and this makes it really tough on the front left tire.

“It’s one of the toughest circuits for that which can be interesting.”

This year, tire usage and choice has been particularly important following Pirelli’s decision to introduce a third compound for each race weekend.

In both Australia and Bahrain, drivers ran with a variety of strategies, spicing up the racing at the front of the field.

Haas driver Romain Grosjean was able to score points for the American team in its debut race thanks to an inspired strategy that saw him run long on the medium tire.

However, when teams tried to emulate this in Bahrain, they found that the track conditions were not as favorable, handing the advantage to the soft and medium runners.

You can see the tire selections that all of the drivers have made here.

The Chinese Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 1:30am ET on April 17.

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.