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  • The latest motorsport news with Fast Friday

    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 cancels races in Americas, Imola returns

    F1 news US Grand Prix
    2019 United States Grand Prix, Friday - LAT Images

    Major F1 news announced this week as organizers cancelled races in Brazil, United States, Canada and Mexico for 2020.

    The uncertainty over the global coronavirus pandemic means no Grand Prixes will take place in the Americas this season. However, F1 CEO Chase Carey hopes the sport will return to those regions in 2021.

    F1 bosses cited “the fluid nature of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, local restrictions and the importance of keeping communities and our colleagues safe.”

    The pandemic caused major disruption to F1’s initial 22-race season. The series currently has 13 races on the updated calendar, following new additions in Europe.

    Portugal will host its first Grand Prix since 1996, while Imola and the Nurburgring will also host races this season.

    The Eifel Grand Prix at Germany’s Nurburgring will be held on October 9-11. The Portuguese Grand Prix then takes place at the Algarve International Circuit in Portimao on October 23-25.

    Imola hosts the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix a week later, with a two-day event. Teams could be limited to one practice session.

    Hockenheim track bosses confirmed earlier this week news the circuit would not host Formula 1 this year. Meanwhile, the Spanish Grand Prix is still set to go ahead despite fresh COVID-19 fears in Catalonia.

    The region recently suffered a spike in Coronavirus cases, but the August 16 race at Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya remains unaffected.

    F1 still hopes to finish the season in the Gulf region by mid-December, with races in Bahrain and Abu Dhabi.

    Ferrari announces restructure after poor start

    Ferrari news

    More F1 news this week – Ferrari are changing things without really changing things. The Italian team announced a restructure of their technical department following a disappointing start to the 2020 season.

    Ferrari’s SF1000 car is way off the pace of its rivals. The team has secured just one podium place in three races with Charles Leclerc finishing second at the season-opening Austrian Grand Prix.

    Ferrari finished runners-up in the constructors’ championship last season but are currently fifth in the standings.

    The team released a statement this week saying it is “instituting a chain of command that is more focused and simplified and provides the heads of each department the necessary powers to achieve their objectives.”

    Enrico Cardile will head up a new Performance Development Department. However, other main areas remain unchanged. Enrico Gualtieri remains in charge of the Power Unit. Laurent Mekies is in charge of trackside activities and Simone Resta continues to lead the Chassis Engineering Department.

    McLaren to resurrect Gulf Oil partnership?

    McLaren filmed a promotional event at a Gulf Oil-branded gas station this week, sparking rumours into overdrive!

    Photos of the event, which featured a McLaren F1 show car and Senna model, leaked on Twitter. Driver Lando Norris was seemingly in attendance, while the F1 car also featured a Gulf Oil sponsor logo on its livery.

    McLaren later posted a teaser photo on Twitter but have since deleted it.

    Reports suggest McLaren could announce a new sponsorship deal with Gulf, resurrecting an iconic partnership. Gulf Oil sponsored Bruce McLaren’s F1 exploits in the 1960s. In the mid-1990s, Gulf Oil sponsored a McLaren F1 GTR to the 1996 Global Endurance Series title and then an overall win in the GT Class at Le Mans a year later.

    Alex Zanardi update

    Alex Zanardi is back in intensive care following his accident.

    Doctors at the San Raffaele hospital, Milan, said Zanardi's condition was unstable and he had returned to an intensive care unit.

    Just days earlier, the ex-F1 driver moved to a specialist rehabilitation clinic.

    The motor racing legend was seriously injured in a hand-biking accident in June. He underwent three neurological surgeries and was placed in an induced coma.

    Latest NASCAR news

    No practice, qualifying for remainder of 2020 NASCAR season

    NASCAR news

    NASCAR announced news this week the remainder of the 2020 schedule will be held without practice and qualifying sessions.

    The move comes to limit track-time for teams, officials, safety workers and other personnel under the new COVID-19 health protocols.

    NASCAR enforced the regulations since its return in May, following a two-month layoff due to the global pandemic.

    The series is considering a new line-up format for the playoffs, which start on September 6.

    NASCAR Senior Vice President of Competition Scott Miller said: “Following discussions with our race teams and the broader industry, NASCAR will continue to conduct its race weekends without practice and qualifying for the remainder of the 2020 season in all three national series.”

    Meanwhile, Denny Hamlin recovered from three successive finishes outside the top 10 to win NASCAR's Cup Series event at Kansas.

    Latest IndyCar news

    Indy500 to have limited fan attendance

    IndyCar Indy500
    Photo courtesy of IndyCar

    The Indy500 will allow limited fan attendance at next month’s rearranged race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

    The famous IndyCar event will implement a host of regulation changes for the 104th edition of the iconic race, which takes place on August 23.

    Capacity will be limited at 25% (around 90,000 fans) at the Speedway. In response to the global pandemic, stringent testing and social distancing measures will be introduced. Masks will also be mandatory in attendance. Fans will be subject to temperature checks on entry and will receive masks and hand sanitizer.  

    A local broadcast blackout will also be lifted for only the second time since 1950.

    Pre-packaged food will be available while all drinking fountains and misting stations will be removed.

    The Indy500 was initially scheduled for Memorial Day weekend in May. It would have been the first race under new circuit owner Roger Penske.

    Latest Formula E news

    Formula E announces track layouts for Berlin finale

    Formula E

    Formula E revealed this week news of its three-track layouts for the six-race season finale in Berlin.

    The all-electric series resumes racing on August 5 at the German city’s Tempelhof Airport. The championship will host six races in just nine days, following its delay due to the coronavirus pandemic.

    Formula E’s 24 drivers will race on three track configurations at the Tempelhof Circuit. Rounds 6 and 7 will see the track run in reverse, before Rounds 8 and 9 will feature the familiar layout.

    The final two rounds take place on a much more technical layout, featuring tighter middle and final sectors.

    Formula E will change run-off areas, kerb/barrier positions and broadcast placements in between race pairings.

    Latest GT News

    No fans at Nurburgring 24 Hours

    Nurburgring Porsche

    As expected, news this week that the Nurburgring 24 Hours will take place behind closed doors.

    The endurance race was originally scheduled to take place in May but was moved to September due to the pandemic. Germany currently recently extended its ban on large public events until October. As a result, Oktoberfest was cancelled.

    Race Director Walter Hornung said: “Of course we are all happy among the organisers that we can run the race this year at all. A lot of coordination work had to be done. We will especially miss them [the fans] because more than at any other motorsport event, the spectators at the 24-hour race are part of the experience."