NASCAR suspends use of aerial camera systems

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With NASCAR still looking into an incident at this past May’s Coca-Cola 600 that saw a Fox Sports television cable snap and injure fans and damage race cars, the sanctioning body has announced the suspension of all aerial camera systems.

“Pending further investigation of the cable camera system incident during the NASCAR race in Concord, N.C. in May, NASCAR has decided, in collaboration with its broadcast partners, to suspend all media partner usage of aerial camera systems that hang over race tracks during its sanctioned events,” NASCAR said in a statement.

“The safety of our competitors and our fans remains NASCAR’s number one priority, and until total evaluation and analysis have been completed, usage of this particular technology enhancement and any similar enhancements, has been suspended.”

Ten fans were injured when a nylon rope that served as a guide for a Fox camera fell into the Charlotte Motor Speedway grandstands. The wayward rope also damaged the cars of Kyle Busch, Marcos Ambrose and Mark Martin when they ran over it, forcing NASCAR to throw the red flag for a 27-minute delay. Teams affected were allowed a 15-minute period to try and fix any damage sustained.

According to the Associated Press, ESPN was planning on using an overhead camera system for next weekend’s Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis and the Aug. 11 Sprint Cup event at Watkins Glen prior to NASCAR making its decision.

How Hamilton, Mercedes can clinch F1 titles at the United States GP

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Sunday’s United States Grand Prix could go down as a memorable race in Formula 1 history as both Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes bid to clinch their fourth world championships (live on NBC and NBC Sports app from 2pm ET).

Hamilton gave his chances of wrapping up the drivers’ title and re-claiming the crown he lost to Nico Rosberg in 2016 a world of good by charging to pole position on Saturday at the Circuit of The Americas.

However, with chief rival Sebastian Vettel starting second for Ferrari and a 16-point swing required, it seems likely that the title race could continue to next weekend’s Mexican Grand Prix.

Nevertheless, here are the permutations for Lewis Hamilton to win his fourth F1 world title on Sunday in Austin, Texas.

  • If Lewis Hamilton wins the race (25 points) and Sebastian Vettel finishes sixth or lower (maximum eight points), he is world champion.
  • If Hamilton finishes second (18 points), Sebastian Vettel finishes ninth or lower (maximum two points), and Valtteri Bottas does not win the race, he is world champion.

While Hamilton’s coronation seems likely to be postponed until the next race in Mexico, Mercedes looks nailed-on to wrap up its fourth consecutive constructors’ championship in Sunday’s USGP.

The German marque currently leads Ferrari by 145 points in the teams’ standings, and requires a lead of 129 after the race to clinch the crown.

As a result, a double top-four finish from Hamilton and Bottas would be enough for Mercedes to wrap up the title, regardless of how Ferrari fares.

The success would see Mercedes become just the fourth team in F1 history take four straight constructors’ titles, following Red Bull (2010 to 2013), Ferrari (1999 to 2004) and McLaren (1988 to 1991).

The United States Grand Prix is live on NBC and the NBC Sports app from 2pm ET on Sunday.