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Red Bull, TAG Heuer extend F1 engine naming partnership through 2018

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Red Bull Racing and TAG Heuer have extended their engine naming partnership through to the end of the 2018 Formula 1 season.

Luxury watch manufacturer TAG Heuer ended a long-running partnership with McLaren to join forces with Red Bull in 2016, taking over the naming rights for its Renault engine.

Red Bull had previously been pushing to change engine supplier after a tough 2015 campaign working with Renault, with the compromise being to run the power units rebranded as TAG Heuer.

Despite seeing a significant improvement in Renault’s reliability and performance through 2016 that has seen Red Bull take two victories, the naming partnership with TAG Heuer has now been extended for another two years.

“I am very pleased to be extending our engine partnership with TAG Heuer today,” Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner said.

“TAG Heuer and Red Bull Racing are two brands which both have a passion for racing and a drive to do things differently, and this forms the basis of our partnership.

“The TAG Heuer motto of ‘Don’t Crack Under Pressure’ is something that we at Red Bull Racing live by day-to-day, so we look forward to helping TAG Heuer tell that story in the seasons ahead.”

Michael Schumacher’s son to make F1 practice debut at Nurburgring

F1 Mick Schumacher
Joe Portlock - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images
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MARANELLO, Italy — Mick Schumacher, son of the legednary seven-time champion, will have an official Formula One drive during an F1 race weekend for the first time next week at the Nurburgring, Alfa Romeo and Ferrari said Tuesday.

Schumacher gets the practice drive in an Alfa Romeo on Oct. 9 on his home track in Germany as a member of Ferrari’s young driver program, taking over Antonio Giovinazzi’s car for the first session of the weekend.

“I am overjoyed to get this chance in free practice,” Schumacher said in a statement. “I’m going to prepare myself well, so that I can do the best possible job for the team and gain some valuable data for the weekend.”

The 21-year-old Schumacher leads the Formula 2 standings after winning races in Monza and Sochi. He won the European Formula 3 championship in 2018 and tested a Ferrari F1 car in Bahrain in April 2019. He also has done demonstration runs in his father’s old cars, most recently this month ahead of the Tuscan Grand Prix in a championship-winning 2004 Ferrari.

Michael Schumacher holds the F1 record with 91 victories, which Lewis Hamilton is on the verge of tying.

Ferrari said two other drivers in its academy program will also get practice drives in Formula One.

Callum Ilott, a British driver who is second to Mick Schumacher in F2, will drive an F1 Haas at the Nurburgring on the same day as Schumacher. Russian driver Robert Shwartzman will drive in practice for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Dec. 11, though Ferrari hasn’t said for which team.

The German round was added to the F1 schedule after the coronavirus pandemic disrupted the season and will be officially known as the Eifel Grand Prix after a nearby mountain range. The Nurburgring last hosted F1 in 2013.