Boullier labels Grosjean as future champion

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Lotus team principal Eric Boullier believes that Romain Grosjean can become Formula One world champion in the future.

“I believe Romain can become world champion. That’s why we kept him. Because we believe he’s got the talent. He’s definitely got the speed.”

Grosjean’s one-lap pace was a particular highlight during the 2012 season, but a string of accidents caused many to question his place in the sport. However, Boullier revealed to The Guardian that he believes Grosjean has turned a corner with his driving style.

“The new Romain is a very different to the one three months ago. He’s much more focused. He’s not wasting any energy, any time on the useless things F1 can create.

“He is also one of the few drivers who has won every championship he has entered. Lewis Hamilton achieved it, and so did Nico Hulkenberg. But Vettel has not. Romain has proved he can win races and win championships. So why not the Formula One world championship?”

Grosjean will be looking to build upon his three podium finishes in 2012, and his pace in testing so far has been impressive. He finished quickest on day two in Barcelona, and the Frenchman will hope to contribute to Lotus’ championship charge in 2013. Boullier clearly has confidence in Grosjean, but his prospects for the coming season will not become apparent until the Australian Grand Prix in two weeks time.

IndyCar race weekend doubleheader schedule at IMS road course

IndyCar weekend schedule Indianapolis
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The NTT IndyCar Series will return to Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the third time this season but with a weekend schedule that will put the action in front of fans for the first time in 2020.

The track’s 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course will play host to IndyCar and sports cars series over four days. The action will begin Thursday with practice and concluding with an eight-hour race Sunday featuring the Intercontinental GT Challenge and GT World Challenge America.

The NTT IndyCar Series will hold a Friday-Saturday race doubleheader called the Harvest GP presented by GMR.

ENTRY LISTS: Who’s racing IndyCar at IMS this weekend

The name is a nod to the Harvest Classic, which was held Sept. 9, 1916 to help the track stay solvent during World War I. The event had three races of 20, 50 and 100 miles (all won by Johnny Aitken) that was the only racing held outside May at IMS from 1911-93.

A limited crowd of 10,000 will be allowed each day this weekend, and those fans will be the first to experience new video boards, concession stands, restrooms and 5G wireless connectivity.

Here’s the IndyCar weekend schedule for Indianapolis Motor Speedway Harvest GP:

(All times are Eastern)

IndyCar weekend schedule: Thursday, Oct. 1

Noon — Indianapolis 8 Hour/GT World Challenge America test session
2:25 p.m. — IndyCar practice (NBC Sports Gold)
6:20 p.m. — IndyCar qualifying for Harvest GP, Race 1 (NBC Sports Gold)

IndyCar weekend schedule: Friday, Oct. 2

10:20 a.m. — Indianapolis 8 Hour/GT World Challenge America practice
1:40 p.m. — Indianapolis 8 Hour/GT World Challenge America practice
3:30 p.m. — IndyCar Harvest GP, Race 1 (USA Network, NBC Sports Gold)

IndyCar weekend schedule: Saturday, Oct. 3

10:20 a.m. — IndyCar qualifying for Harvest GP, Race 2 (NBC Sports Gold)
12:10 p.m. — Indianapolis 8 Hour/GT World Challenge America qualifying
2:30 p.m. — IndyCar Harvest GP, Race 2 (NBC, NBC Sports Gold)
5:30 p.m. — Indianapolis 8 Hour/GT World Challenge America pole shootout

IndyCar weekend schedule: Sunday, Oct. 4

10 a.m. — Indianapolis 8 Hour/GT World Challenge America race