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Verstappen: Red Bull Ring ‘not ideal’ for RB12 car

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Max Verstappen believes that the Red Bull Ring is “not the most ideal circuit” for his Red Bull RB12 as he prepares for the team’s home grand prix.

Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz brought Formula 1 back to Austria in 2014 after an 11-year absence, but is yet to see his team score a top-five finish on home soil.

Verstappen joined Red Bull for the Spanish Grand Prix in May, and is relishing the team’s home race next weekend.

“I think Canada and Baku were pretty positive for me. I enjoyed my defence in Canada and was happy with fourth,” Verstappen reflected.

“It was a really good feeling to have Nico behind me and being able to defend my position. In Baku it was a tricky start with a good end.”

However, the Dutchman does fear that the fast-flowing nature of the Red Bull Ring may work against his RB12 car, which excels at low speed and accelerating out of corners.

“It might not be the most ideal circuit for our car in terms of performance but it’s still very enjoyable,” Verstappen said.

“Last year was actually a very good race – I qualified seventh and then eventually finished eighth so it wasn’t too bad.

“I’ve spent a lot of time in Austria since I was a kid, either skiing or there for go-karting, and I think it’s a very beautiful country in general, and somewhere I feel quite at home.”

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.