IndyCar, WEC and WTCR delay 2021 season starts

RaceFans Round-up

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In the round-up: More series have announced delays to the start of the seasons, mostly down to disruption caused by the pandemic.

Covid-19 causes more calendar disruption

The World Endurance Championship’s planned season-opener at Sebring on March 19th has been called off. The series will now begin with a new race at the Autodromo do Algarve on April 4th.

The World Touring Car Championship has also delayed the start of its season. Races at the Hungaroring and Slovakiaring in May have been pushed back, meaning the series’ visit to the Nurburgring Nordschleife on on June 3rd-5th will now open its season.

IndyCar, which already postponed its original season-opener at St Petersburg, has now delayed the race which took over as the first race. However the Barber Motorsport Park has been pushed back to a week in order to give the championship the benefit of a more preferable television slot.

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Esteban Ocon drives at the Monte-Carlo Rally

Esteban Ocon, Alpine A110S, Monte-Carlo Rally, 2021
Esteban Ocon, Alpine A110S, Monte-Carlo Rally, 2021

Esteban Ocon drove an Alpine A110S bearing his racing number 31 on the first two stages of the Monte-Carlo Rally. Renault has rebranded its F1 team after the marque this year. An A110 driven by Ove Andersson won the rally 50 years ago, leading a one-two-three for Alpine.

Social media

Notable posts from Twitter, Instagram and more:

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Comment of the day

For many, HWA’s choice of Formula 2 drivers for 2021 leaves a lot to be desired.

Incredible how much wealthy young people and their families will pay for the privilege of hanging around near the F1 paddock for a couple of years while doing badly at a dangerous hobby.

I won’t apply that view to Nannini as he’s very young and may have potential, but Deledda just seems like a magnificent, genuine example of that overused phrase: “waste of a seat.”
Neil (@Neilosjames)

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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26 comments on “IndyCar, WEC and WTCR delay 2021 season starts”

  1. Marinated Monolith (@)
    23rd January 2021, 6:49

    Sad to read about the passing of Jean Graton.
    Surprisingly, several of the classic Vaillant books were translated into Indonesian, and I still have them sitting on my shelf.

    It would be nice to see more global interest in the series as I think the Franco-Belgians have enjoyed a monopoly on the Vaillants for far too long.

  2. But would hosting the event without fans really be financially viable? Without any ticket income coming from attendance. I still think it’s a mistake to try and reschedule the Australian GP at the expense of the Chinese GP because the latter has certain advantages over the temporary track of the former.

    1. The thing about government funding is that the event doesn’t need to be financially viable. Sure, they’d like to make a net profit from the event, but they don’t need to – not in the way that, say, Silverstone does, being privately funded (and they can’t turn a profit from it either).
      The event is advertising for Victoria and Australia in exactly the same way that the cars are for the manufacturers – and the returned value isn’t just from the event itself, but from having their name and imagery on international TV. It’s a relatively inexpensive global advertising campaign returning positive perception and goodwill, not just money. The world sees how little virus Australia has, any many want to come here to be free from it…

      And anyway – if there’s one thing that governments do best, it’s burn through public money.

      1. Interestingly most top level sporting events in Australia are heavily sponsored by state governments. Those sponsorships are very high as the competition between states is quite fierce.
        Australia’s would save a lot of money if they would coordinate these events and stop VIC/NSW/SA trying to outbid one another.

        1. The state governments have to fund everything because there are no large businesses left here to sponsor anything.
          I’d agree that they’d do a lot better if they worked together, but that’s not going to happen until all state governments are controlled by the same party at the same time – and even then, it would be highly unlikely.

          1. Crown could sponsor all sporting events, and split them between Melbourne, Sydney, and Perth (sorry Adelaide).
            I’m sure NSW will allow them to open the casino (with all its side businesses) if they move the Australian Open or the GP to Sydney.

  3. How appropriate to have Social Media references leading the daily round-up of a true racing site.
    Where else would we find out about actors and authors who passed away, ahead of the interesting links to racing sites from all over the world.

    PS who was the last young racing driver with Belgium/Dutch parents?

    1. @coldfly

      Victoria Verstappen.


    2. Yesterday the Social Media section was after the links, which was a better « copy-paste » exercise.

      PS: Beitske Visser ?

      1. I’m even boring myself with my criticism of irrelevant social media references (or dated quotes) devaluing the daily round-up. The round-up (and statistical reviews) was what initially lured me to this site, and return daily. I decided to throw away the broken record, but could not hold myself back today.

        PS I was looking for a racing talent with a Belgium mother and Dutch father (and sister named Victoria).

        1. Same here @coldfly I am an F1fanatic since 2009 and it was the round-up that made me come daily to this site. But it eventually turned into short news aggregator we already know about.

          Maybe we’re not considered fanatic no more but just fans.

  4. R.I.P. Jean Graton.

  5. Does anyone know what exactly has happened at Turn 10 at Catalunya? It appears to be a less acute turn now? Any idea why?

    Now it’s time for Turn 1 – make it more acute to actually create a braking/overtaking zone. Imagine that.

    1. @unicron2002 I wouldn’t mind skipping the S3 chicane for a change either. At least once, even if it wouldn’t be any better for the racing, but for a better lap flow like most recently in 2006.

    2. There were 2 number 10 turns, the f1 version and the normal/old motogp version. The f1 version was an afterthought and the motogp version was in rough shape.
      Looks like there will only be a single version of turn 10.
      Motogp ran the f1 version in 2019 and it was a catatrophe, 1st lap Lorenzo low-sided into 10 and wiped out most of the front runners.

    3. Found this quote from the track owners/officials: “This project, which was analysed during the past seasons together with the FIA and the FIM, will improve the safety conditions at both car and motorcycle races.”
      The new T10-11 will be somewhere between the original configuration and the new one; a long double-apex left-hander, something like the exit to the back straight at Sepang, only in reverse.

    4. @unicron2002 They have essentially taken the (Far better) pre-2004 configuration of Turn 10 which was still been used by MotoGp & brought it forward to create more run-off.

      I think it’s a positive change as I always hated the boringly slow hairpin they turned F1 T10 into from 2004. The old corner used to be a really challenging corner to get right as the entry was tighter than it looked but it opened up quickly & was slightly uphill on the exit so it was always tricky to get the power down through the exit. And the longer run to T11 also made that a possible overtaking spot under the right circumstances.

      1. Here is an Onboard look at the old T10 configuration.

      2. Thanks @stefmeister that image is exactly what I was looking for. Like you say, it’s essentially reinstated the original hairpin. Good. I mean sure it never promoted overtaking, but the new one barely did either. It just seemed really clumsy, so the flow is back now.

  6. @jerejj yes I can’t stand that chicane. I wonder if the circuit is accredited for use by the FIA without it (for F1). If so, now is the time to experiment, as we’ve seen with Bahrain Outer and the fast versions of last and first corners at Portimao.

  7. Lola for sale

    I can’t believe I’ve missed this, but it seems most of us did: The Lola brand and remaining assets are up for sale. where’s that 10 million i put away for a rainy day…

  8. With regard to the appointment of Maya Weug to the FDA, I think that’s brilliant…go show what you can do! However, I can’t help wondering why F1 is so female driver averse? Back in 2017 when Massa fell ill and couldn’t race in the Hungarian GP, Williams chose to overlook it’s reserve driver and put Paul De Resta in the car. He qualified 19th. Seriously, would Suzi Wolff have done any worse and could she have actually done better? What they missed was an absolute beauty of an opportunity to get a capable woman into an F1 race and what’s worse, they reinforced the idea that it’s better to put a man in the car rather than a race driver. I really don’t see any chance for women whilst this idiotic mentality prevails.

  9. Real pity about Sebring- but things are so bad over here that there really shouldn’t be any international travel coming here until the case and death numbers go down. Hopefully they can reschedule the race for October?

  10. Also RIP Antonio Sabato. If anyone says Grand Prix had a good script, they have terrible taste in movie scripts. In addition to bad dialogue and poor character development, there are some really embarrassing, stupid scenes of visibly high emotion in that movie- the only thing that film should be remembered for is the spectacular cinematography and the best car racing scenes ever put on film.

    1. To each his own, but It was made in 1966. The Graduate (1967) does the over the top emotion stuff too and is an outstanding film. Things were just different back then.

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