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Ferrari president: Kimi Raikkonen must prove he deserves F1 seat

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Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne says that Kimi Raikkonen must prove that he deserves a seat with the Italian team in Formula 1 for next season.

Raikkonen’s current Ferrari contract expires at the end of the season, and is known to be at risk of losing his seat after failing to match teammate Sebastian Vettel across the opening eight races of 2016 despite showing an upturn in performance compared to the previous two years.

Daniel Ricciardo and Carlos Sainz Jr. have been linked with Raikkonen’s seat, but with both firmed up at Red Bull and Toro Rosso respectively for 2017, the list of drivers that could replace the Finn is growing shorter.

In an interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport in Italy, Marchionne said that Raikkonen’s future was in his own hands and dependent on his on-track performances.

“It is up to him. Kimi’s time with Ferrari will depend on his performance,” Marchionne stated.

“He has to show he deserves to stay here, otherwise I think he won’t want to continue here as well.”

Raikkonen has stated that he would like to remain with Ferrari for 2017, while teammate Vettel is also keen of the Finn to stay on.

Should Raikkonen get a one-year contract extension, it would take his current spell with Ferrari into a fourth season, having also spent three years at Maranello between 2007 and 2009.

If Ferrari opts to replace Raikkonen, Force India’s Sergio Perez, Williams’ Valtteri Bottas and Haas’ Romain Grosjean are thought to be the leading candidates for his seat.

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.