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Long Beach City Council approves Toyota GP through 2023

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On Tuesday night, the Long Beach City Council has unanimously approved the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach to run through 2023, solidifying the event’s future for a further five years beyond 2018.

Politics have always popped up sporadically about the event’s future but the race stewards, the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach, were confirmed earlier this year to keep running the race and rebuff rumors Formula 1 might return.

The first Long Beach race ran in 1975 with Formula 5000, with F1 running from 1976 through 1983, and IndyCar in its various series iterations since 1984. The event is the longest running street race in North America.

This new agreement sustains a relationship between the City and the Grand Prix Association which has spanned the last 43 years.

“We’re looking forward with great enthusiasm to the continuation of this extraordinary partnership between the City of Long Beach and the Grand Prix Association,” said Jim Michaelian, president and CEO of the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach. “Together we will continue to deliver the first-class, fan-friendly race event that we can all be proud of.”

“I think this is a great opportunity for the City to have this amazing event that we all love and enjoy so much,” said Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia at Tuesday’s City Council meeting. “It’s great for economic development and to bring visitors into the City. To Jim and the team, thank you for working with us to come up with a new contract that I think is good for everyone.”

Valtteri Bottas fastest in Friday F1 practices for Russian Grand Prix

F1 Sochi Valtteri Bottas
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SOCHI, Russia — Valtteri Bottas paced both F1 practices Friday for the Russian Grand Prix on Friday as Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton was slowed by damaged tires in the first session.

Bottas turned a fast lap of 1 minute, 33.519 seconds in the second session that bettered Hamilton’s 1:33.786.

Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo was more than a second behind Bottas in third at 1:34.577, followed by the McLaren Racing duo of Carlos Sainz Jr. (1:34.723) and Lando Norris (1:34.847).

In the first F1 session at Sochi, Valtteri Bottas set the pace with a time of 1 minute, 34.923 seconds, beating Ricciardo by half a second. Max Verstappen was third quickest in his Red Bull, a further 0.147 back.

Hamilton could only manage 19th fastest after locking up his tires and leaving them with a flat spot. Ferrari again struggled to find pace with Sebastian Vettel ninth and Charles Leclerc 11th.

HISTORY IN SIGHTLewis Hamilton aims to tie Michael Schumacher’s record

The first session was briefly red-flagged when Nicholas Latifi crashed his Williams. Carlos Sainz Jr. spun his McLaren backward into a barrier and broke off his rear wing.

Verstappen spun during the second session but avoided damage to his car.