Hamilton optimistic ahead of Indian GP after qualifying P3

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With the fight for second in the Formula One constructors’ championship heating up between his Mercedes squad and Ferrari, Lewis Hamilton is set to do all he can to help the Silver Arrows take the battle.

The former World Champion will line up third for tomorrow’s Airtel Indian Grand Prix (LIVE, 5 a.m. ET on NBCSN/NBC Sports Live Extra) after posting a qualifying lap of 1 minute, 24.941 seconds – putting him right behind the front row of pole sitter Sebastian Vettel and Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg.

Hamilton had been happy with his efforts in Friday practice and remained in the same mindset after his qualifying run this morning.

“Nico did a great job – he’s been strong all weekend – and on my side, I’ve struggled a little bit through this weekend,” Hamilton said after qualifying.

“I struggled a little bit with something different on the car this weekend which Nico had had experience of seeing maybe in the past. I came to grips with it really quite quickly at the end and I’m really happy with the result and the lap time that I was able to get.”

As for what Sunday will bring, Hamilton reckoned that differing tire strategies will play a major role in how the race goes off.

“We’ll hope for a good start, get rid of the softs early and then focus on pushing as hard as we can on the primes,” he said.

Rebellion confirms LMP1 return, all-star line-up for WEC super season

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Rebellion Racing has confirmed it will return to the LMP1 class of the FIA World Endurance Championship for the 2018/19 ‘super season’ with an all-star line-up featuring Le Mans winners Neel Jani and Andre Lotterer.

Rebellion raced in LMP1 as a privateer between 2009 and 2016 before stepping down to LMP2 for the most recent season, capturing the class titles at the first attempt.

Following a push from the WEC and Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) to make LMP1 more appealing to privateer teams, Rebellion announced on Wednesday it would return to the premier class for the 2018/19 season with a two-car effort.

WEC LMP2 champion Bruno Senna will return with Rebellion next year, as will Mathias Beche, with the pair set to be joined by four new faces.

The most notable arrivals are Porsche factory drivers Lotterer and Jani, both of whom were left without an LMP1 drive following the closure of the German manufacturer’s program at the end of the season.

American racer Gustavo Menezes will also join Rebellion, stepping up after two years in LMP2, while outstanding 2017 rookie Thomas Laurent completes the Swiss team’s line-up.

“I am looking forward to coming back where my endurance career started nine years ago,” said Jani.

“Rebellion Racing played a huge role in my career and also helped me become a factory driver for Porsche. When Porsche stopped in LMP1, it was clear for me that I wanted to race again for Rebellion.

“With the new regulations, I hope we can reach the overall podium at Le Mans and with a bit of luck, maybe we can even grab some wins during the super season of WEC.”

“I am very happy to join the champion Rebellion team,” added three-time Le Mans winner Lotterer.

“The LMP1 project is very exciting and to be able to go on with the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the FIA WEC challenge is something I did not want to miss.

“I am motivated and looking forward to have a great time with great people there.”