Getty Images

F1: Toro Rosso confirms Kvyat to return to F1 in 2019

1 Comment

SOCHI, Russia (AP) Daniil Kvyat will be hoping it’s third time lucky at Toro Rosso.

The Russian driver is making a surprise return to Formula 1 in 2019 with the team which dropped him last year for Pierre Gasly, who in turn moves up to the main Red Bull team.

It’s the third time Kvyat has joined Toro Rosso, first in 2014 as a rookie, then in 2016 after being demoted from Red Bull following crashes and poor form. Once one of the most exciting young drivers in F1, he’s now 24 with a patchy record, something acknowledged by team principal Franz Tost.

“Daniil is a high skilled driver with fantastic natural speed, which he has proven several times in his career,” Tost said in a statement. “There were some difficult situations he had to face in the past, but I’m convinced that having had time to mature as a person away from the races will help him show his undeniable capabilities on track.”

While out of a race seat, Kvyat was working as a development driver for Ferrari, but says he’s still sharp.

“Even if my duties were primarily simulator based, I’ve learned a lot, and I now feel stronger and better prepared than when I left Toro Rosso,” he said. “I never gave up hope of racing again, I am still young and I have kept in good shape to always be prepared in case another opportunity presented itself.”

Kvyat’s announcement was good news for fans at this weekend’s Russian Grand Prix, since he’s the country’s most successful F1 driver with two podium finishes and 133 career points. It could mean two Russians on the grid next year if Sergey Sirotkin keeps his spot at Williams.

Returning to a driver it so publicly cast aside last year shows how Red Bull’s well of promising young drivers appears to have dried up, partly because of tighter requirements for an F1 license.

The young driver program doesn’t have any obvious candidates with the results to earn an F1 license for next year, still a pressing issue given Brendon Hartley’s return of just two points this year alongside Gasly in the second Toro Rosso.

Former Sauber driver Pascal Wehrlein is reportedly a contender to take over Hartley’s seat for 2019, though the New Zealander is hoping to stay.

IndyCar teams with NASCAR on IMS road course doubleheader in 2021

IndyCar NASCAR doubleheader 2021
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Leave a comment

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.