Aleshin, Servia liveries, new SPM garage design unveiled at IMS

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Schmidt Peterson Motorsports accomplished three items in one this morning at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, revealing two new liveries for the 100th Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil plus a new design for garages at IMS.

Mikhail Aleshin’s usual blue, red and white No. 7 SMP Racing Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda will take on black and red colors for the PlayStation game “DOOM.

From the team release:

Schmidt Peterson Motorsports (SPM) and Bethesda Softworks®, a ZeniMax® Media company, today revealed the DOOM car is set to premiere at the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis on May 14 – one day after the videogame’s eagerly-awaited release on May 13. The No. 7 car, driven by SMP Racing driver Mikhail Aleshin, will go on to compete in the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 29

“We couldn’t imagine a more perfect sponsorship fit,” said Pete Hines, Vice President of PR & Marketing for Bethesda Softworks. “DOOM is all about pushing forward with incredible speed. We’ll all be cheering on Mikhail and the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports team as we celebrate the game’s launch.

“DOOM, under development at id Software®, the studio that pioneered the first-person shooter genre, returns as a brutally fun and challenging modern-day shooter experience for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. ”

Meanwhile Oriol Servia’s No. 77 car, featuring a joint co-primary livery between Lucas Oil and Jahia Solutions Group in the Schmidt Peterson with Marotti Racing entry, was also revealed.

Servia adds SPM to his voluminous amount of teams he’s competed in for his eighth Indianapolis 500 while Aleshin is set to make his second start.

Perhaps the bigger story that emerged this morning was the reveal of the team’s new garage layout, which now sees the cars appear horizontally rather than vertically, with new art celebrating classic cars from Indianapolis past along the walls.

Team co-owner Sam Schmidt told NBC Sports the idea for the new design began earlier this year.

“We began brainstorming around January,” Schmidt said. “The design portion was part of the construction.

“We wanted it to be more for the fans. Usually they’re far back. Now here, hopefully they can see more inside.”

Fernando Alonso will decide this summer whether to pursue F1 again

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Fernando Alonso said he will determine by this summer if he would consider a return to Formula One next season.

After announcing Tuesday that he will return to Indianapolis Motor Speedway in May with Arrow McLaren Racing SP, Alonso said “right now the Indy 500 will take all of my concentration” but left the door open for F1 in 2021.

“In my case, probably during the summer period, I’ll make a decision on 2021 if Formula One is still appealing to me,” Alonso told IndyCar on NBC announcer Leigh Diffey in an interview (watch the video above). “The 2021 rules (in F1) are definitely a step forward, and hopefully things can be more mixed and not only three teams capable of winning races. So all this factors into play. I may consider that possibility.”

Alonso won consecutive Formula One championships in 2005-06 with Renault. He has 32 victories in an F1 career that started in 2001 and also includes stints at Ferrari and McLaren.

His last victory on the circuit was May 12, 2013 in Barcelona. He is winless in his most recent 110 starts, including the past 77 races with McLaren in 2015-18.

The Guardian recently reported that McLaren CEO Zak Brown said Alonso wouldn’t be returning to F1 with the team.

Alonso also told Diffey that returning to F1 from a two-season absence wouldn’t necessarily be linked to McLaren’s performance.

“I think they did well last year, and hopefully they make another step forward and close to the top three because they deserve it and are a fantastic team,” he said.

Though he is optimistic about more parity, Alonso said six-time champion Lewis Hamilton should be a favorite for the 2020 title based on preseason testing in which Mercedes turned heads with a new steering system.

“It seemed Mercedes is still quite competitive,” Alonso said. “They show enormous potential on the development side and on the progress from one year to next. Formula One is impossible to predict because many things happen in season.

“At the starting point, (Mercedes) are the favorites. When you have Lewis in the car and Mercedes with the potential they have, they have to be No. 1 probably.”