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Rumor Rating Description
A rumor rated as 'speculation' is one that has no supporting information
A rumor rated as 'strong' is one where we received information from more than one source.
A rumor rated as 'fact' is one that has proven to be true
A rumor rated as 'false' is one that has proven to be false based on new information
These rumors are just that, RUMORS, and are not to be taken as 'fact' unless so noted.  Please visit our Hot News page for news.  If you have a rumor, or can supply more information about one listed here, e-mail us with as much supporting information as possible and we may post it. User Agreement and Disclaimer. Newer rumors supersede older ones of the same topic.  Go to our forums to discuss any rumor.
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DATE News (chronologically)
11/11/19
irl

Alonso in talks with Andretti about Indy 500 (7th Update)
If Honda says yes, Alonso will leave McLaren and drive for Andretti in 500
If Honda says yes, Alonso will leave McLaren and drive for Andretti in 500

UPDATE Zak Brown has confirmed that Fernando Alonso is not under contract with McLaren past this year, so he is free to race for Andretti, Carpenter, Ganassi or Penske at the Indy 500 - all teams that can deliver an Indy 500 win.

11/08/19 “We’ve talked about it and I’d love to have him drive for us again. But a lot of things would have to happen,” Michael Andretti told Racer.

“He has to decide what he wants to do and he could still end up with McLaren; but there’s other stuff,” Andretti added. “It’s a possibility, but not a good possibility.”

“I’d love to get back together and try to get him his first win at Indy,” said Andretti. “We’ve talked about it many times -- and also about him driving other things for us -- but right now its just talk.”

Read more & Comment...
11/11/19
irl

Penske paid $300M to buy IndyCar and IMS
Land Controlled by IMS
Land Controlled by IMS. Our estimates now put the deal at around $1 billion

UPDATE This rumor is downgraded to 'false' today as we expected the report of $300M was way wide of the mark. IMS and Hulman-subsidiary Georgetown Realty Co. Inc. control about 37% of all the land in Speedway, making Hulman the 4.8-square-mile town’s single-largest landowner.

All that land will be turned over to Penske when the deal closes, bringing with it responsibility for about $2.7 million in annual property taxes.

Valued at $97 million for tax break purposes, the acreage accounts for about 16% of Speedway’s assessed property value of $608 million according to IBJcom.

If the assessed property value is $608 million, adding in the IndyCar series, the value of the historic Indy 500 race, the IMS Museum, and IMS productions, the deal had to be just south of $1 billion.

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11/11/19
nasmon

NASCAR Phoenix race to sellout (2nd Update)
Packed grandstands. Since Jim France has taken over the reins of NASCAR, the series has been on the rise
Packed grandstands. Since Jim France has taken over the reins of NASCAR, the series has been on the rise
UPDATE
 Estimated total attendance at ISM was "more than 50,000."

All 42,000 grandstand seats sold out, with "several thousand more combined in the Infield suites and a record number of campers." ARIZONA REPUBLIC



11/08/19 This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' today. ISM Raceway has announced a sellout crowd for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series Bluegreen Vacations 500, the second time in a row it has done so after its $178M renovation. The track sold out its roughly 45,000 seats comprising the Allison grandstand that was built as part of the renovation of the venue that wrapped up last year.

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11/11/19
f1

Will Renault leave F1? (3rd Update)
Abiteboul admits Renault's F1 days could be numbered
Abiteboul still plays down Renault leaving

UPDATE (GMM) Renault has played down rumors it might quit Formula 1.

Last week, reports suggested that amid on and off-track scandals, poor results and the loss of engine customers Red Bull and McLaren, new Renault CEO Clotilde Delbos might be poised to pull the carmaker out of F1.

But a Renault spokesperson told f1only.fr that the rumors were put out there to "destabilize" the team.

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11/11/19
f1

Haas F1 team to be sold (3rd Update)
Is Gene Haas tired of throwing money down the F1 rat hole?
Gene Haas not pulling plug until he can unload his financial albatross

UPDATE (GMM) Team owner Gene Haas has "doubts" about the American team's future in Formula 1.

That is the admission of team boss Gunther Steiner, who says he had to discuss the team's more-than-difficult 2019 season with owner Gene Haas in Austin.

"The biggest problem he has is with our performance," Steiner told Racer magazine.

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11/10/19
f1

Mercedes to slash costs, will F1 program feel pinch?
How much longer can Toto afford Lewis Hamilton?
How much longer can Toto afford Lewis Hamilton?
As it grapples with recalls, costly fines over illegal diesel engine software and a slowing global market due to stiff competition from EV car maker Tesla, Daimler is embarking on an austerity program that, if implemented, will see it cut 10 per cent of its management jobs (1,100 positions) and freeze its 300,000 workers’ paychecks in Germany. Will is also hit their huge F1 budget?

That’s according to German daily Suddeutsche Zeitung, Mercedes-Benz‘s parent company, who cites an email sent to staff by the group’s works council. The news was confirmed by Handelsblatt and German news agency DPA.

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11/10/19
f1
irl

McLaren IndyCar drivers to get F1 tests
O'Ward and Askew may get an F1 test with McLaren
O'Ward and Askew may get an F1 test with McLaren
The McLaren F1 team could give an opportunity to its young IndyCar driver line-up to take part in Formula 1 tests next year.

The Arrows McLaren SP IndyCar squad recently announced that it had signed former Red Bull junior Patricio O’Ward and 2019 Indy Lights champion Oliver Askew to compete for them in 2020.

And now McLaren has hinted that it could look at its new young signings as a possible pool of talent to help them with F1 test and development work.

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11/08/19
f1

Miami GP to be blocked from ever happening? (2nd Update)
MIAMI GP site
MIAMI GP site

UPDATE (GMM) Efforts to organise a grand prix in Miami have received a reprieve following a recent setback.

The plans for a race mainly on the grounds of the Hard Rock Stadium were dealt a blow recently at the Miami-Dade commission.

Amid a local outcry from local groups, it was decided recently that road closures for the street circuit portion of the circuit layout would be prohibited.

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11/08/19
f1

Hamilton 'thinking about' Ferrari move - Villeneuve
There is zero chance Hamilton goes to Ferrari. He is playing Mercedes like a fiddle to extract more money in his contract renegotiation, which has begun.
There is zero chance Hamilton goes to Ferrari. He is playing Mercedes like a fiddle to extract more money in his contract renegotiation's, which have begun.
(GMM) 1997 world champion Jacques Villeneuve thinks Lewis Hamilton is contemplating a move to Ferrari.

Six time world champion Hamilton's Mercedes contract expires next year, and Toto Wolff said recently it is "natural" that the Briton is attracted to Ferrari because it's the "most important brand" in F1.

"Lewis is chasing all the records and he has a good chance of getting most of them," Villeneuve told Sky Italia. 

"Going to Ferrari would be the culmination of all of it and I suspect he is thinking about it."

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11/07/19
irl

IndyCar could be racing with Supercars in Sydney as soon as 2021 (2nd Update)
Route to track from downtown Sydney
Route to track from downtown Sydney

UPDATE Old news for AR1.com readers, but IndyCar President Jay Frye said that officials have "held 'exploratory' discussions about staging a race in Sydney," according to van Leeuwen & Malsher of AUTOSPORT.

IndyCar has "made no secret of its ongoing desire to return to Australia," with talks of a "revived Gold Coast Indy event stretching back several years."

The Queensland government has "shown genuine interest in bringing the series back" to Surfers Paradise for the first time since '08, but a "resolution on a date has been a stumbling block." IndyCar has "made it clear it wants to race in Australia in February."

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11/07/19
f1

F1 to scrap Pirelli's 2020 tires (Update)
Albon testing the inferior 2020 tires in Austin
Albon testing the inferior 2020 tires in Austin. Why does F1 need new tires for 2020?

UPDATE (GMM) Toto Wolff has confirmed reports that Formula 1 could abandon Pirelli's 2020 tires.

In Austin, the teams and drivers got their first taste of the 2020 tires.

"My first impression is very bad," said McLaren driver Carlos Sainz Jr.

That view was widespread, triggering media reports that suggested the sport and Pirelli could simply abandon the 2020 tires.

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11/07/19
irl
f1

Hulkenberg linked with Indycar switch for 2020 (4th Update)
Now that IndyCars have a Halo and Windscreen, Hulkenberg might feel safer
Now that IndyCars have a Halo and Windscreen, Hulkenberg might feel safer. The bigger question is whether there are any open seats given Hinch also needs one

UPDATE (GMM) Having slammed reports he is set to switch to DTM, Nico Hulkenberg is now being linked with an Indycar drive for 2020.

The experienced German has been left without a cockpit for 2020 after being dumped by Renault.

Hulkenberg has also been linked with Formula E, but now Germany's Auto Motor und Sport said he might have been offered an Indycar seat by Ed Carpenter Racing.

Earlier, 32-year-old Hulkenberg said: "Ovals are not something that attract or strike me.

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11/06/19
f1

Binotto threatened Red Bull with legal action - source
Binotto read Horner the riot act
Binotto read Horner the riot act
(GMM) Mattia Binotto confronted Christian Horner after the US GP and threatened him with legal action, according to the Spanish source Motorlat.

Other photographic evidence emerging in the wake of the Austin race appear to back up correspondent Yhacbec Lopez's claim about the Ferrari chief's fury.

The normally calm Binotto was enraged after Austin when Red Bull-Honda driver Max Verstappen said Ferrari had been caught "cheating" with its engine.

"I was standing outside the Red Bull hospitality," Lopez claims.

Read more & Comment...
11/05/19
NHRA

Kalitta Motorsports to make big sponsor announcement for 2020 (Update)
Brian Norko, Doug Kalitta, J.R. Todd, Shawn Langdon and Chad Head at NGK Kalitta Motorsports sponsorship announcement during SEMA
Brian Norko, Doug Kalitta, J.R. Todd, Shawn Langdon and Chad Head at NGK Kalitta Motorsports sponsorship announcement during SEMA

UPDATE This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' today. Kalitta Motorsports, the seven-time NHRA world championship winning team, and NGK Spark Plugs announced an exclusive multi-year partnership today at SEMA that pairs the world’s leading spark plug brand to one of the most legendary teams in motorsports. The marketing partnership, which will officially begin in 2020, will see every race car in the Kalitta Motorsports stable use NGK Spark Plugs in all NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series events.

 “We are thrilled to announce this partnership with NGK Spark Plugs,” said Chad Head, Kalitta Motorsports General Manager. “The Kalitta team, led by Connie Kalitta, has been one of the most innovative and creative motorsports organizations for 60 years. We feel the partnership with NGK Spark Plugs will continue this tradition of performance excellence and championship results.”

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11/05/19
irl

Penske to implement guaranteed starting spots in 500
With Tony George listening Roger punted on the guaranteed starting spot question
With Tony George listening, Roger punted on the guaranteed starting spot question
Roger Penske has long argued that full-time, championship contending teams should have a guaranteed starting spot in the Greatest Spectacle in Racing, similar to what NASCAR does for its regular teams.

This became a big topic in 2018 when James Hinchcliffe, fifth in the championship standings, failed to qualify for the 33-car field. Now that he owns the Indy 500 will Penske push for guaranteed starting spots?

In yesterday's press conference, when asked this question, Penske punted:

Read more & Comment...
11/05/19
f1

Haas could offer Kubica race seat for 2021
Robert Kubica
Robert Kubica
(GMM) Haas team boss Gunther Steiner says he remains very keen to sign up Robert Kubica for 2020 and beyond.

Amid rumors the departing Williams driver might accept a development driver role for 2020, Kubica was linked with Haas and Racing Point.

But the Pole said in Austin that his situation had suddenly become "more complicated, but it also means that I have interesting options".

Read more & Comment...
11/05/19
f1
dtm

Hulkenberg to Alfa Romeo for 2020 (8th Update)
AR1.com rumored Hulkenberg to Alfa Romeo way before all other news publications
Hulkenberg denies move to DTM in 2020 even though his Alfa Romeo option in F1 is now gone. Will he stay home and tend to gardening in 2020?

UPDATE (GMM) Nico Hulkenberg has slammed as "fake news" reports he will on Tuesday be unveiled as a DTM driver for 2020.

The German's comments come as his last real option to stay on the F1 grid next year, the race seat alongside Kimi Raikkonen at Alfa Romeo, is filled.

"Antonio (Giovinazzi) has emerged as a very quick driver, even alongside as tough a benchmark as Kimi, and we expect him to develop even further as his experience grows," Alfa Romeo boss Frederic Vasseur announced on Monday.

Earlier, media reports by the leading Motorsport Network announced that Hulkenberg, 32, could be unveiled on Tuesday as a works BMW driver in the German touring car series DTM for 2020.

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11/04/19
irl

In case you doubted our IndyCar buy rumors
Tony George admits there were attempts to buy IndyCar
Tony George admits there were attempts to buy IndyCar
Over the last couple of years AR1.com rumored that Liberty Media made two runs at trying to buy the IndyCar series, only to be rebuffed, and met by denials from Mark Miles saying IndyCar is not for sale. Our inside sources were solid, but the sale never happened.

Well today, we learned from Tony George in the press conference after it was announced Roger Penske was buying IndyCar lock, stock and barrel, that those rumors were true:

“There were offers," George said. "I remember back to 1977-78, and recently we had some up to a couple years ago – most recently this past spring. But we’ve always been committed, and I’ve said before that my mother was committed, everyone has always been committed, but you had to start to take into account the bigger picture. Is this really the best thing for this institution?"

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11/04/19
f1

McLaren F1's Petrobras Deal To Be Terminated (4th Update)
Carlos Sainz Jr. McLaren
Carlos Sainz Jr. McLaren

UPDATE McLaren have confirmed that its sponsorship deal with Brazilian oil giant Petrobras will be terminated with immediate effect and the companies logos removed from the car for the next race.

Petrobras, which is majority owned – 64 per cent – by the Brazilian government, agreed a five-year sponsorship deal with McLaren at the beginning of the 2018 season but ever since Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro was sworn in, he has pushed for the deal to be cancelled.

The deal, reportedly worth £163 million, will therefore come to an end ahead of the Brazilian GP, where the logos will no longer be on the MCL34.

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11/04/19
irl

IndyCar to be sold (5th Update)
Mark Miles said IndyCar was not for sale, but AR1.com maintained it was.
Mark Miles said IndyCar was not for sale, but AR1.com maintained it was.

UPDATE This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' today although IndyCar was not sold to Liberty, but to Roger Penske. See Hot News

11/10/18 The original rumor was that Liberty wanted to buy IndyCar and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but the powers to be keep saying it is not for sale.

That was the case before the Nov. 3 death of Mari Hulman George--the matriarch of IMS and IndyCar Series parent Hulman & Co. And it’s still the case.

“As a practice, we don’t discuss our corporate ownership structure. However, the passing of Mari Hulman George does not affect the operation of IMS and IMS is not for sale,” Speedway President Doug Boles told Anthony Schoetle of IBJ.

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11/04/19
f1

Alfa Romeo to quit F1? (Update)
Vasseur may need a new engine supplier soon
Vasseur may need a new engine supplier soon

UPDATE (GMM) F1's Swiss-based team will survive even if it loses its Alfa Romeo backing.

That is the claim of Ossi Oikarinen, a former BMW Sauber engineer who is now a pundit for Finnish broadcaster C More.

Rumors in Austin suggested that amid the Hinwil based team's current performance slump, Alfa Romeo - having only taken over Sauber's naming rights in 2019 - might pull out.

"It's difficult to say if there's anything behind those Rumors," Oikarinen said.

Read more & Comment...
11/04/19
f1
dtm

Kubica has 'interesting options' for 2020 (3rd Update)
Kubica's sponsor will not follow him to DTM
Kubica to bench warm somewhere

UPDATE (GMM) Robert Kubica says he has "interesting options" on the table for the future.

The departing Williams driver could leave Formula 1 altogether, but he has also been linked with test roles at Haas or Racing Point.

And now it is rumored that Ferrari might be interested in the popular Pole, who has struggled since returning to the grid in 2019 with his permanent arm injuries.

Read more & Comment...
11/03/19
nasmon

Kurt Busch to renew with Ganassi racing (Update)
UPDATE 



Read more & Comment...

11/03/19
f1

Latifi's dad to buy him Williams seat for 2020, replace Kubica (9th Update)
Latifi drove Friday morning practice in Austin
Latifi has a billionnaire daddy just like fellow Canadian Lance Stroll

UPDATE (GMM) Nicholas Latifi is not willing to confirm that he will make his Formula 1 race debut with Williams in 2020.

Le Journal de Montreal newspaper is certain that the well-funded 24-year-old Canadian will be George Russell's next teammate.

But Latifi, whose billionaire father Michael co-owns McLaren, is not admitting that.

Read more & Comment...
11/03/19
f1

FIA ruling may have stopped Ferrari engine advantage
Charles Leclerc
Charles Leclerc
(GMM) World champion Lewis Hamilton suspects the FIA might be getting to the bottom of Ferrari's engine power advantage.

Ever since the Maranello team took a giant leap forward with its 2019 power unit, rumors have swept the paddock that its technical secret may be illegal.

"They should protest!" Ferrari's Mattia Binotto said this week.

Read more & Comment...
11/02/19
irl

Alonso to return to Indy 500 without McLaren (4th Update)
Alonso likely to return to 2020 Indy 500 with Andretti Autosport and no McLaren
Alonso must find a Chevy team to run with

UPDATE (GMM) McLaren has apparently closed the door to a Formula 1 return for Fernando Alonso.

Alonso, who quit at the end of last year, said this week that he would study the 2021 regulations in view of a potential return.

But McLaren supremo Zak Brown said in Austin: "We have a clear direction in Formula 1 with our current drivers."

However, Brown is also quoted by El Mundo Deportivo newspaper as suggesting there could be roles outside of F1 for 38-year-old Alonso.

"Depending on what our other activities are, we can have an open mind to continuing our relationship with Fernando," he said.

"We will talk at the end of the year about what he wants in the future, what we want, and see if there is anything that makes sense for us to work on together.

"I get along very well with him. I think that with the different categories he is doing, if we can put him in a car then he is still one of the fastest drivers in the world," Brown added.

"We now have our Indycar team, we are exploring the opportunities in WEC, and we have a long-term contract with Mika Hakkinen as a team ambassador.

"We will sit down with Fernando and ask ourselves if there is anything that makes sense for working together."

If Alonso wants to win the Indy 500 he will not run with the Arrow McLaren SP team, which will have two youngster who know nothing about car setup as his teammates. If Penske would run a 4th car for him he would have a real chance of winning the 500. 



07/10/19 Red Bull F1's Dr. Helmut Marko told motorsport-total.com that the 37-year-old former McLaren-Honda driver Fernando Alonso is an "absolute no-go" for the Japanese manufacturer. 

Whether this pertains only to F1, or worldwide, remains to be seen, but it supports the notion Alonso will be back at Indy in a Chevy in 2020, perhaps even with McLaren.



07/08/19 (GMM) Fernando Alonso and McLaren have denied reports that they have split.

The Spaniard raced with the British team between 2015 and 2018, and remained a McLaren 'ambassador' this year after quitting F1.

But McLaren and Alonso's Indy 500 effort in May was an absolute failure, and a British media report claimed that the two parties have now split altogether.

McLaren supremo Zak Brown told the Associated Press that the report was "fake news".

"We definitely still have a strong and contractual relationship with Fernando," he said.

A McLaren statement added that "nothing whatsoever has changed in the relationship".

It added that "no decision" has been taken about another joint Indy 500 assault, however.

On Twitter, Alonso said the reports of his McLaren split were more suited to "April fools", and were a mere push for internet "clicks".

And a source close to the 37-year-old told El Mundo Deportivo newspaper: "Everything remains the same. Nothing has changed."

However, it is believed Alonso is eyeing a potential return to Formula 1, but only with a top team like Mercedes or Ferrari.

And Geri Halliwell, the former Spice Girl who is married to Red Bull boss Christian Horner, told Servus TV: "We should bring back the greats of the past.

"Alonso, for example," she added.



07/05/19 This rumor is upgraded to 'strong' with this news.

 

Michael Andretti just needs to ask Honda. A Honda spokesperson tol AR1.com, "none of our teams have approached us with regards to having Alonso driving for them in 2020.  Until/unless that happens, I can’t really say how it would be received"
Michael Andretti just needs to ask Honda. A Honda spokesperson told AR1.com, "none of our teams have approached us with regards to having Alonso driving for them in 2020. Until/unless that happens, I can’t really say how it would be received."

05/31/19 (GMM) Flavio Briatore has given a strong hint that Fernando Alonso will not return to the Indy 500 with McLaren.

Fully competitive with an Andretti car in 2017 before an engine problem, Spaniard Alonso tried to complete his 'triple crown' this year but the full McLaren entry failed even to qualify.

It has thrown the entire future of McLaren's Indycar ambitions into question, with Zak Brown admitting it is unlikely plans for the full season will proceed in 2020.

Worsening the situation for McLaren is that Briatore, who is reportedly still involved in Alonso's management, is scathing of the British outfit's Indy 500 effort.

"The Indy thing was badly organized. Very badly," he is quoted by Movistar.

"It has been a great 'cazzata'," said Briatore, using a vulgar Italian word.

When asked if Alonso will try again for the triple crown with a team other than McLaren, the flamboyant Italian added: "Let's hope."

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