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This is where Racing Edge discusses all the main news and talking points from the past week in motorsport.
Keep up to date with the main motorsport news below.
Latest F1 news – Formula 1
Renault confirms Alonso’s return to F1
It’s official – Fernando Alonso is returning to Formula 1. The two-time world champion will drive for Renault in 2021 alongside Esteban Ocon. Alonso, 38, signed a two-year contract with the team he won both championships with in 2005 and 2006.
Alonso replaces the outgoing Daniel Ricciardo, who is making the switch to McLaren next season.
The Spaniard’s return marks a shock move for the French team. Since leaving Formula 1 in 2018, Alonso has competed in IndyCar and won a World Endurance Championship title. He has raced in the Dakar Rally and also won twice at Le Mans.
Alonso said of the news: "Renault is my family, my fondest memories in Formula One with my two world championship titles, but I'm now looking ahead. It's a great source of pride and with an immense emotion I'm returning to the team that gave me my chance at the start of my career and which now gives me the opportunity to return to the highest level.”
Alonso also says his first offer to return to the sport came four or five races into the 2019 season.
Could Vettel return to Red Bull?
Sebastian Vettel says he would consider a return to former team Red Bull Racing. However, Team Principal Christian Horner has effectively ruled it out.
Vettel is currently without a race seat in 2021 following recent news that he will leave Ferrari after the current season.
He won his four world titles with Red Bull during the 2010s - a dominant spell for the team. Since leaving for Ferrari, neither Vettel nor Red Bull has won a drivers’ or constructors’ championship title.
The German this week appeared alongside Christian Horner and former team-mate Max Verstappen on Servus TV. Red Bull owns the television channel.
Asked if he would return to the team given the opportunity, Vettel said: “I obviously know the team very, very well from my past - of course I’m still in contact with a lot of people there, whether it is Christian [Horner], Helmut [Marko] or others.”
However, Horner later appeared on Sky Sports and said: “Obviously the topic has been raised. We had a brilliant time with Seb - he’ll forever be a part of our history - but we didn’t expect him to be on the market this year and our commitment is to our existing drivers. We think we have a great pairing in Max and Alex [Albon], and we think that has great potential for the future as well, so unfortunately it’s not something that we’re going to be able to accommodate. That is a definite no, I’m afraid; Sebastian is aware of that."
Racing Point also say there is no interest in securing Vettel for 2021.
Hamilton was warned of “consequences” for Kaepernick helmet
Lewis Hamilton says he chose not to wear a Colin Kaepernick tribute helmet at the 2017 United States Grand Prix after he was warned of “potential consequences.”
Following last weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix, Hamilton spoke of his regret at not supporting Kaepernick in 2017. Throughout the 2016 NFL season, the quarterback - who was playing for the San Francisco 49ers at the time - began taking a knee during the national anthem in protest of racial inequality.
Kaepernick was released at the end of the 2016 season and has not been signed by another team since.
Hamilton said he was advised by someone outside of F1 who was “really quite high up” in the United States to not wear the helmet.
Speaking to the media ahead of this weekend’s Steiermark Grand Prix in Austria, Hamilton said: “Jeez, I have the worst memory, so I don’t remember all the details. I do know that I was advised from outside from someone in the States, who was really quite high up, that it wasn’t the time for me to be doing so, and there were potential consequences of me doing it, so that’s why they advised me not to.”
He added: “I do still have that helmet that I did for Colin and I did speak to Colin about it. He was super supportive for me to have taken the knee, but I’m grateful that I was able to do it last weekend and continue on the great movement I think he initially started and so many are continuing on today.”
Mugello to host first ever F1 race
Italy's Mugello circuit will host its first ever Formula 1 race this year after it was added to the 2020 calendar.
The Ferrari-owned circuit, based in Tuscany, will host the Grand Prix of Tuscany on September 13. It will also mark Ferrari's 1,000th Grand Prix in F1. Ferrari named its 2020 car the SF1000 to commemorate the milestone.
The Russian Grand Prix is also an addition to the 2020 season, taking place on September 27 at Sochi.
Ten races make up the current season, which has been heavily affected by the global pandemic. F1 bosses hope to add more venues in the coming weeks.
Latest NASCAR news
Johnson cleared to race in Kentucky
Seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson will race at Kentucky Speedway this Sunday after twice testing negative for COVID-19.
Johnson missed last weekend’s Brickyard 400 Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway after testing positive for the virus on Friday. He was tested after his wife returned a positive result.
His absence on Sunday brought an end to an impressive run of 663 consecutive starts for Johnson. Hendrick Motorsports said he will return to the No. 48 Chevrolet this weekend.
Johnson said: "My family is so grateful for the incredible love and support we've received over the last several days.”
NASCAR reveals updated 2020 schedule – no Watkins Glen
News this week of NASCAR releasing the next updated instalment of its 2020 schedule.
The big change sees the August 16th Cup Series road race at Watkins Glen move to the road course at Daytona International Speedway. This is due to health restrictions in New York State arising from the global pandemic.
NASCAR will then return to Daytona just two weeks’ later for the regular season finale on August 29. The November 8th season finale is expected to go ahead as planned but could be subject to change if the situation worsens.
Other revisions to the Cup Series schedule see a double-header at Michigan International Speedway (August 8 and August 9) before the road course debut at Daytona. The series then moves to Dover for two rounds (August 22 and August 23) and then back to Daytona for the regular season conclusion.
Latest WEC news
Aston Martin enters European Le Mans Series
Aston Martin Racing is entering a works Vantage GTE in the first two rounds of the European Le Mans Series.
The marque will use the races as preparation for the final three rounds of the World Endurance Championship season (WEC).
Paul Dalla Lana will drive the #98 Vantage GTE with Mathias Lauda and Ross Gunn in the 4 Hours of Le Castellet on July 18-19. BMW works driver Augusto Farfus will replace Gunn for the 4 Hours of Spa Francorchamps on August 8-9.
Dalla Lana, Farfus and Gunn will then pilot the #98 Vantage GTE for the remainder of the FIA WEC GTE Am season. The final three races take place at Spa (August 15-16), Le Mans 24 Hours (September 19-20) and Bahrain (November 14-15). Gunn and Dalla Lana currently sit third in the WEC standings, just 6.5 points off the lead.
De Vries gets Toyota WEC reserve drive
Formula 2 champion and Mercedes Formula E driver Nyck de Vries is on the move.
He joins Toyota Gazoo Racing as test and reserve driver for the remainder of the team’s 2019-2020 FIA WEC campaign, and 2021 season.
De Vries impressed when piloting Toyota’s TS050 HYBRID during the WEC rookie test in Bahrain last year. He will drive the car again this week in testing at Circuit Paul Ricard. His role undertakes simulator test sessions, reserve driver duties in the WEC and helping develop the new Le Mans Hypercar for the 2021 season.
Dutchman de Vries won the 2019 FIA Formula 2 title. He raced for Racing Team Nederland in the 2018-2019 WEC season.
Hollywood star Fassbender driving for Porsche
Hollywood actor Michael Fassbender is contesting in the European Le Mans Series (ELMS) for Porsche.
Fassbender will race a 2017-spec Porsche 911 RSR for the Proton Competition customer team.
He is a keen racing enthusiast and has previously completed the Porsche Driving Experience and Porsche Racing Experience. Fassbender is currently enjoying a 'Road to Le Mans' journey - which you can watch on YouTube.
His racing experience also includes an entire season of Porsche Sports Cup Deutschland driving a 911 GT3 Cup.
Fassbender said: “Even before I started acting I had a big dream to go racing. It was clear to me at a young age. My father was an avid driver and he taught me a lot.”
Latest car news
Lamborghini releases Sian Roadster
Lamborghini has announced a limited-edition Roadster version of the Sian.
The Italian manufacturer is making 19 units (all already sold) of the new model, a roofless version of the most powerful Lamborghini ever produced.
The car combines ground-breaking hybrid technologies and design. Alongside a powerful V12 engine, the Sian features a world-first use of an innovative super capacitor. Working together, the powertrain produces 819 bhp of thermal and electric power. Acceleration is immediate. The new Lamborghini roars from 0-100 km/h in just 2.9 seconds and has a top speed of over 350 km/h.
Full specs on the Lamborghini Sian Roadster.
The new 2021 Chevrolet Corvette
Chevrolet’s 2021 Corvette Stingray has a bold new look. The classic American sports car, entering its eighth generation, is striking.
Featuring a 6.2-liter LT2 V8 engine with direct injection and an eight-speed dual clutch transmission, the Corvette Stingray churns out 490 bhp. It reaches 0-100 km/h in 3 seconds and has a top speed of 312 km/h.
A new Magnetic Selective Ride Control suspension system is available. The Stingray comes in a host of new exterior colours and racing stripe combinations.
Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye is pure power
The new 2021 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye is ‘demon-possessed’, according to its makers.
Dodge this week announced the most powerful and fastest mass-produced sedan in the world. The Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye features a mighty V8 engine that produces 797 bhp and 707 lb-ft of torque.
Top speed is around 327 km/h. The 2.7-liter supercharger is the largest of any production car.