In this week's round-up of motorsport news and gossip, F1 chiefs rip up the rulebook, Ott Tänak jumps ship to Hyundai, BTCC adds a qualifying shootout and Roger Penske makes an unusual purchase: the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
We also name the week's rising star, and highlight some of the greatest machinery ever to enter a motor race.
F1 rules overhaul
Formula 1 bosses have finally unveiled new technical rules for 2021, with cars getting a new look designed to reduce aerodynamic grip. Combined with an increase in mechanical grip, F1 chiefs believe the rules will lead to cars that can follow each other more closely, enhancing the quality of the racing. The current 1.6-litre turbo-hybrid engines will continue to power F1, albeit with new regulations to limit the use of expensive materials and cut costs.
F1 chiefs have also overhauled the off-track regulations, increasing the number of races allowed on the calendar to 25 and introducing a cost cap of $175 million (£135m). That cap, which will vary in size depending on the number of races run in a season, is designed to curb the advantage of the big teams, although it does exclude items such as driver salaries, year-end bonuses and the wages of the three highest-paid staff.
Ott a shock
Newly crowned World Rally Champion Ott Tänak will make a surprise switch from Toyota to Hyundai for next season. The Estonian has signed a two-year deal to drive an i20 WRC for the Korean firm. Sébastien Ogier, whose six-year title reign Tanak ended, is in the running to replace him at Toyota, as is Welshman and former Wales Rally GB winner Elfyn Evans.
BTCC to stage qualifying shootout
The British Touring Car Championship has made a number of tweaks to next year’s regulations, including an increase in success ballast for race winners. There will also be a new qualifying system trialled at Snetterton, with the 10 fastest drivers battling for pole in a 10-minute shootout. “We’re always looking at ways our regs can be improved,” said BTCC boss Alan Gow.
Penske buys Indianapolis and Indycar racing
Not content with his four-car team dominating in Indycars, legendary US team owner Roger Penske has now bought the series – and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Penske Entertainment Corp has made the double purchase at the end of a year when two of ‘The Captain’s’ drivers, Simon Pagenaud and Josef Newgarden, won the Indy 500 and Indycar series respectively.