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Renault confirms talks with McLaren over 2018 F1 engine supply

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Renault Formula 1 chief Cyril Abiteboul has confirmed that talks have taken place with McLaren regarding a potential engine supply for the 2018 season.

McLaren is currently considering its options after three difficult years working with Honda, whose power units have lacked both reliability and performance, causing the relationship to sour.

After reported talks with Mercedes and Ferrari over a 2018 supply broke down, McLaren has now turned to Renault, which offers the last viable alternative to Honda for next year.

Speaking in Friday’s FIA press conference, Abiteboul confirmed that reports of talks between Renault and McLaren were accurate, but is doubtful of supplying an additional team to the three already powered by the French manufacturer: Red Bull, Toro Rosso, and its own factory team.

“The situation is that we have multi-year contracts with Red Bull Racing and Toro Rosso. Frankly, we are open to discussions,” Abiteboul said.

“I can confirm that there have been discussions with McLaren. There is a restriction in the regulations if we wanted to supply more than three teams.

“Any addition to that, I don’t think that it would be reasonable to believe that we could supply more than three without degrading the level of service and the quality of service for the other teams. We’ve had discussions.

“We value the relationship with Red Bull. It’s a long-standing relationship and we would like to carry this relationship until its term, 2020.”

Honda had been rumored to be in talks with Toro Rosso regarding an engine supply for 2018, creating the possibility of a swap with McLaren for next year, but both parties have denied this after reports suggested initial discussions broke down.

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.