Wider 2017 F1 tires make on-track debut at Fiorano (PHOTOS)

© Pirelli
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We may be just one day into Formula 1’s summer break, but Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel has already returned to the track as Pirelli completed its first test with the wider tires planned for 2017.

As part of an aggressive overhaul of the technical regulations, Pirelli has been asked to produce wider and bigger tires for 2017 that will give drivers more grip, as well as making the compounds more durable.

Tests have already been conducted evaluating the compounds, but this week sees the first running with the wider-spec tires at Fiorano with Ferrari and Mugello with Red Bull.

Pirelli released the first pictures of Vettel out on-track earlier today with the wider tires and some revised bodywork, including a wider rear wing.

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All testing is being conducted using ‘mule’ cars, which are modified versions of the 2015 runners. Ferrari, Red Bull and Mercedes are splitting the tire evaluation running.

After Vettel’s running on Monday, Haas driver Esteban Gutierrez will test at Fiorano on Tuesday, with Red Bull taking over proceedings at Mugello on Wednesday and Thursday as Sebastien Buemi enjoys his first F1 test in over two years.

All images courtesy of Pirelli.

Ganassi announces multiyear sponsorship extension with American Legion for No. 10

Chip Ganassi American Legion
David Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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Chip Ganassi Racing announced a new primary sponsorship deal with The American Legion this week, shoring up the funding on its No. 10 Dallara-Honda of Alex Palou.

The 2021 NTT IndyCar Series champion primarily had driven with NTT Data sponsorship the past two seasons. But NTT Data will move next season to McLaren Racing as a primary sponsor for Felix Rosenqvist in 10 races and on the Indy 500 car of Tony Kanaan (who drove an American Legion car for Ganassi at the Brickyard last year).

It was the latest twist in a McLaren-Ganassi saga that included a contract dispute for the services of Palou (who is expected to move to McLaren in 2024 after reaching an agreement to race with Ganassi next year).

Ganassi stayed within its own walls to help plug the sponsorship gap left by NTT Data, re-signing The American Legion to a multiyear extension. The Indianapolis-based non-profit organization, which has been sponsoring Ganassi cars for the past few seasons, also will be associated with other Ganassi drivers, including Indy 500 winner Marcus Ericsson and development driver Kyffin Simpson in Indy NXT.

The Ganassi organization will continue promoting The American Legion’s “Be The One” campaign aimed at reducing veteran suicides. The team launched an online auction for the initiative this week.

“Supporting our nation’s veterans is of immense importance to our organization and we are humbled to continue supporting The American Legion’s mission in ending veteran suicide,” team owner Chip Ganassi said in a release. “We will do absolutely everything we can to help veterans get the support they need while raising public awareness of the ‘Be The One’ platform.”

“We have received an overwhelming amount of support from fans, active-duty military members and veterans as a result of this partnership and we’re pleased to see it grow,” said Dean Kessel, chief marketing officer at The American Legion. “Thanks to the continuous collaboration with the team’s other partners, and the promotion of the ‘Be The One’ initiative, we are discovering more ways to engage with the military community than ever before. We want all veterans to know that it’s okay to ask for help.”