Getty Images/Getty Images

MotoGP event at COTA canceled; Superbike rescheduling its finale

Leave a comment

Circuit of The Americas announced the cancellation Wednesday of the MotoGP Red Bull Grand Prix. Via social media and its website, the Austin, Texas, track announced the COTA MotoGP would return next season on April 16-18, 2021.

MotoGP announced last month that its 2020 season would begin July 19 at the Jerez circuit in Spain. Its revised schedule had listed the Austin round as an unconfirmed date after initially rescheduling the race from April 3-5 to Nov. 13-15.

The cancellation of the MotoGP race also affects the MotoAmerica HONOS Superbike Series, which had intended to hold its season finale on the same race weekend.

In a statement, MotoAmerica president Wayne Rainey said the series is working on options to keep its 20-race schedule intact.

“It’s a shame that we have to cancel the MotoAmerica round at COTA,” Rainey said in a release. “The race is a highlight of our schedule, and it’s always good to combine our efforts with Dorna to put on a great show in Austin.

“COVID-19 has made it virtually impossible for the MotoGP series to travel to the U.S., so we fully understand the issues they are facing in 2020. We look forward to returning to COTA with MotoGP in 2021. In the meantime, we are working on a solution to find a replacement round as we continue to strive towards having a 20-race Superbike Series.”

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

F1 Sergio Perez out
Laurent Charniaux/Pool via Getty Images
Leave a comment

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.