Need your motorsport news fix? Welcome to Fast Friday!
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.
Lates F1 news – Formula 1
F1 reports two positive COVID-19 tests in Hungary
Formula 1 has reported its first two positive coronavirus tests since the return to racing in July.
The sport reported zero positive tests from the first two races of the season in Austria. However, the latest round of testing at the Hungarian Grand Prix has provided two positive results.
A Formula 1 statement read: “The FIA and Formula 1 can today confirm that between Friday 10th July and Thursday 16th July, 4,997 tests for COVID-19 have been performed on drivers, teams and personnel,” an F1 statement read. “Of these, two people have tested positive.”
It continued: “The individuals were not present in Austria, with the affected people removed from operations and isolated. Tracing of close contacts completed and isolated. The FIA and Formula 1 are providing this aggregated information for the purposes of competition integrity and transparency.”
F1 is implementing strict protocols and a social bubble policy among drivers and team personnel in a bid to stave off the virus. Both people who have tested positive are isolating.
Sebastian Vettel to Racing Point for 2021?
Could Sebastian Vettel be heading to Racing Point in 2021? The four-time F1 world champion says he has had talks with the team – but nothing is concrete yet.
Vettel is leaving Ferrari at the end of the season and is currently without a drive for next year. Racing Point will be rebranded as Aston Martin in 2021. Current drivers Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll are contracted to the team for 2021, meaning one would have to leave to make way for Vettel.
Perez indicated he still has a contract with the team. However, he confirmed another rival F1 team has been in contact should Vettel replace him. Stroll – whose father owns the Racing Point team – said he had no desire to leave.
Meanwhile, George Russell and Nicholas Latifi this week agreed new deals to stay with Williams in 2021. Russell’s new contract almost certainly means Valtteri Bottas will sign a new deal with Mercedes. Russell is a development driver for Mercedes.
Lando Norris returned to UK over back issues
In other F1 news, McLaren driver Lando Norris returned to the UK this week to seek treatment for back pain.
Norris suffered back and chest pains during the Styrian Grand Prix. He returned to the United Kingdom for tests but stuck to Formula 1’s strict COVID-19 safety protocols. Norris then flew to Budapest on Wednesday ahead of this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix.
He says the issue is not serious and was caused by the long hiatus from racing due to the global pandemic.
Norris told the media: “It was just bruising from being out of an F1 car for so long basically and then getting back into it and going straight into a race weekend, doing so many laps.”
Latest NASCAR news
Elliott wins as fans return for All-Star race
Chase Elliott cruised to victory at the NASCAR All-Star race to make it a family affair.
Elliott crossed the line first to pick up a $1million paycheck in front of limited spectators at Bristol Motor Speedway. He joins his father, Hall of Famer ‘Awesome’ Bill Elliott, as a winner of the annual race. Bill Elliott won the 1986 edition in Atlanta – the only other year where the All-Star race was held away from Charlotte.
This year’s All-Star race was moved from North Carolina after Charlotte Motor Speedway said no fans would be allowed at the track, due to the coronavirus crisis.
Around 20,000 socially-distanced fans were present to watch Elliott win in style – marking the return of spectators to NASCAR.
Elliott said afterwards: "What a special race to win. It's extremely special to join Dad in winning this race. To me, this is one of the prestigious events on the schedule. There's a lot of hype around it. It means a lot to me. You are racing against the very best. To beat the best is always special."
Latest WEC news
Legge suffers broken leg after European Le Mans Series crash
Sad news from the WEC this week as Richard Mille Racing Team driver Katherine Legge was injured during testing.
Legge suffered a broken leg and damaged right wrist in an accident at Paul Ricard. She was participating in an official test ahead of the return of the European Le Mans Series. Legge’s Oreca-Gibson car left the circuit at the high-speed Signes corner and hit a guard rail.
Her condition was described as non-life threatening, but she was flown to hospital Sainte Anne in Toulon.
The Richard Mille team is making its ELMS debut this weekend at Paul Ricard. It is the first team to have a 100% female crew in LMP2 racing.
Latest IndyCar news
Tweaks to IndyCar schedule for Iowa races
IndyCar’s return from the coronavirus pandemic has been relentless. With the upcoming double-header in Iowa this weekend, organisers are introducing a new format to help ease the burden on teams.
Qualifying will take place in one unique session where two timed laps will set the field for both races. The first lap will indicate where drivers start race one on Friday, with the second lap counting for race two on Saturday.
Each race will see drivers take on 250 laps around IOWA Speedway as the Series hosts a doubleheader event at an oval track for the first time since 2011.
Alex Zanardi update
Doctors are slowly bringing Alex Zanardi out of a medically-induced coma following his horrific accident in Italy.
Zanardi, a four-time Paralympic gold-medallist, suffered severe head injuries after colliding with a lorry during a hand bike event in June. The 53-year-old former F1 driver underwent numerous surgeries following the accident.
A statement from the Siena hospital he is being treated at said his neurological condition remains “serious.” A further update is expected next week.
Zanardi lost both legs in a Champ Car accident in Germany in 2001. He returned to sport and won the World Touring Car Championship four times for BMW. He won 12 championships in hand cycling, four Olympic golds and also the New York Marathon.
Latest Formula E news
Cassidy to replace Bird at Envision Virgin Racing
Nick Cassidy will make the move to Envision Virgin Racing for season seven of Formula E.
He replaces the outgoing Sam Bird, who is joining Panasonic Jaguar ahead of the 2021 season.
Cassidy, 25, is considered a rising star of motorsport. The Kiwi already has a trio of Japanese Super GT, Formula 3 and Super Formula titles to his name.
In other Formula E news, ABB has signed a new deal with the series to supply charging technology for the sport’s Gen3 cars. The agreement is set for season nine of the championship in 2022/23.
The new improved chargers, which can charge two cars simultaneously, opens up the possibility of longer Formula E races.
Latest car news
Maserati unveils Ghibli Hybrid
Maserati launched the first-ever electric vehicle in its history this week with the new Ghibli Hybrid.
The Maserati Innovation Lab of Modena developed the stunning machine, which produces 330 bhp and 450 Nm of torque from just 1,500 RPM. The Ghibli Hybrid has a top speed of 255 km/h and reaches o-100 km/h in 5.7 seconds.
More information on the Ghibli Hybrid.
New Porsche 911 Turbo
The Porsche 911 Turbo has been a stalwart of the sports car scene for 45 years. This week, Porsche announced new iterations of the 911 Turbo Coupe and Cabriolet.
Both new models feature increased power – they hit 0-100 km/h in just 2.8 seconds. Top speed remains 320 km/h.
The body is much more muscular and wider and allows for improved aerodynamics. Both models are come with various options and can be customised much more thoroughly than previous versions.
More information on the Porsche 911 Turbo.
New Mercedes AMG GT Black Series
Mercedes released its stunning new AMG GT Black Series this week. Inspired by the Mercedes-AMG GT3 race car, the 2021 GT Black Series is equipped with the most powerful AMG V8 Series engine of all time.
The car features expressive design, elaborate aerodynamics and frightening speed. The new AMG GT Black Series reaches 325 km/h – although this is only sensible on “cordoned-off racetracks!”
It features a 4-liter V8 biturbo engine with dry-sump that produces a maximum output of 720 bhp and 590 lb-ft of torque. This machine powers from 0-100 km/h in just 3.2 seconds.
More information on the new 2021 Mercedes AMG GT Black Series.