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Renault targeting early September to reveal 2017 lineup

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Renault Sport F1 Team said a couple weeks ago it wasn’t planning to rush a decision on its 2017 driver lineup, but has now more or less put down a deadline for when it will reveal its 2017 lineup.

The Enstone-based factory outlet holds two of the more coveted seats on next year’s grid, and along with Williams Martini Racing is yet to confirm either seat next year.

Renault F1 boss Frederic Vasseur told the official F1 website that while both Kevin Magnussen and Jolyon Palmer have been progressively improving throughout the season, it’s too early to say either of them would be back in 2017.

“They are improving! We know we are on the grid, so ‘improving’ is written in capital letters for us,’ Vasseur told Formula1.com.

“It is too early to make any decision right here and now. We will probably do it at the beginning of September.”

Vasseur hinted the team needs a dynamic leader to rise with Renault as the team looks to recapture old race- and title-winning glory, achieved when Michael Schumacher was with the team then-known as Benetton in the mid-1990s and when Fernando Alonso won his pair of titles for Renault in its last iteration in 2005 and 2006.

“If you look at the success stories of the past, success was always built around a driver: Schumacher and Ferrari, Vettel and Red Bull, Lewis and Mercedes, and also Alonso and Renault in the past – so the driver is important,” Vasseur said.

Magnussen has supplied Renault’s only six points this year, courtesy of a seventh place finish at the Russian Grand Prix back in May, and Palmer is yet to score. His best chance went begging at the Hungarian Grand Prix when he was on course for a likely top-10 finish, before a spin put pause to that.

The team is known to want Sergio Perez, with the Mexican’s backers the ones likely to dictate his future. However, Force India said earlier this year it expected Perez back alongside Nico Hulkenberg next year.

Meanwhile Esteban Ocon, who’s done a couple free practice outings this year for Renault as its reserve driver before shifting into the second Manor-Mercedes race seat for the rest of this year, is also among those in the frame.

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.