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Prost: No quick fix to Renault’s F1 woes

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TURIN, Italy – Four-time Formula 1 world champion Alain Prost believes there is no quick fix to Renault’s struggles since returning to the sport as a constructor in 2016.

Renault took over the ailing Lotus operation at the end of last year, marking its return to F1 with a works team after a five-year absence.

Despite saying 2016 would be a year of rebuilding the team after the financial problems Lotus faced, Renault has endured a disappointing start to the season.

Renault currently sits ninth in the constructors’ championship on six points, all of which came courtesy of Kevin Magnussen’s seventh-place finish in Russia – the team’s only top-10 of the season.

Prost had been expected to take up a role with Renault similar to that of Niki Lauda at Mercedes, but instead opted to focus on his commitments with the Renault e.dams Formula E team.

When asked about Renault’s struggles, Prost conceded that his lack of involvement made it difficult for him to give a firm answer.

“You ask a question that is difficult for me to answer. I am more positioned a little bit outside and not so much inside Renault because I don’t want to comment too much as you understand,” Prost said, before going on to discuss the issues it faces.

“It is difficult and maybe more difficult because of the late decision [to buy Lotus]. I was expecting also maybe a little bit more performance, but not much more.

“I think the problem is not what you can see today. I think the problem is more how you try to understand why it’s not working so well today until the end of the year and manage to get the people happy and motivated until the end of the year, and manage to get the best car possible for 2017.

“I think the problem honestly is if they were three or four tenths quicker than what they are today, it doesn’t make a huge difference.

“It’s not very nice, but you have to accept that if it is a long-term programme, you have to accept that.”

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.