Alonso ready to return to ‘day job’ in F1 after Indy 500 adventure

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Fernando Alonso says he is ready to return to his “day job” in Formula 1 at this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix following his Indianapolis 500 adventure.

McLaren-Honda driver Alonso opted to skip the Monaco Grand Prix in order to make his debut in the Indy 500 at the end of May, where he qualified fifth and ran at the head of the pack in the race before retiring due to an engine failure.

Despite being without points in F1 so far this season, Alonso is relishing his return to the McLaren-Honda MCL32 after receiving positive feedback from teammate Stoffel Vandoorne and stand-in Jenson Button over the Monaco weekend.

“It’s good to be heading back to Canada. It feels like I’ve spent a lot of time in North America recently!” Alonso said.

“The Indy 500 was an incredible experience and it’s been amazing to learn a completely different style of driving, on a different circuit layout and with a very different car, but I’m ready to get back to my ‘day job’ and go racing in F1 again.

“While I was in Indy I was still keeping up-to-date with the news from Monaco, and Stoffel and Jenson both reported positively on the new upgrades and reliability, so I hope we can continue to see a step forward in Canada.”

While Alonso conceded that the power-hungry nature of the circuit in Montreal will play against McLaren, he is nevertheless looking forward to embedding himself back in the team’s F1 operation.

“The layout of the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve means it’s very power-limited and therefore dependent on straight-line speed and power,” Alonso said.

“It’s not going to suit our car as much as the twisty, slower corners of Monaco, but I’m excited to get back in the MCL32, catch up with the guys and girls in the team and get back out on track – not only turning left this time!”

Sergio Perez still has coronavirus; will miss second consecutive F1 race

F1 Sergio Perez out
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SILVERSTONE, England — Sergio Perez will be out for a second F1 race at Silverstone this week after again testing positive for the coronavirus.

The Mexican driver had hoped to return to Formula One after spending seven days in quarantine, but his Racing Point team said this morning he had tested positive.

“He is physically well and recovering,” the team said. “The whole team wishes Sergio and his family well and we look forward to his return.”

That means German veteran Nico Hulkenberg again fills in for Sunday’s 70th Anniversary Grand Prix after having also replaced Sergio Perez when he was out for the F1 British Grand Prix at the same venue last week. Hulkenberg did not start that race because of an engine problem.

There are two consecutive weekends of racing at Silverstone as Formula One tries to pack in races following the pandemic-delayed start to the season.

Perez became the first Formula One driver to test positive for coronavirus, and it had been unclear whether he would be available to drive after the period of quarantine was extended to 10 days.

Racing Point also was in the news Friday after being hit with a 15-point penalty in the Formula One constructors’ championship and fined 400,000 euros ($470,000) Friday for using brake ducts based on those from last year’s Mercedes cars.

The stewards ruled that Mercedes was the “principal designer” of the parts, and that Racing Point made only minor changes to computer design data it received from Mercedes.

Rival team Renault filed protests about the legality of the brake ducts, which were added to the “listed parts” under F1 rules for 2020. That means teams must design their own. Racing Point argued it was merely using information about the Mercedes parts to inform its own design.

Racing Point uses customer engines from Mercedes and has admitted basing its 2020 car design on photographs of last year’s Mercedes car. The similarities led to the Racing Point being nicknamed the “pink Mercedes” when it was first seen in testing ahead of the season.

Racing Point can appeal the ruling. The points deduction drops the team from fifth to sixth in the standings, below Renault. The ruling doesn’t affect the points totals for Racing Point’s drivers.