Rosberg unsure of reason for retirement

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Whilst teammate Lewis Hamilton ran strongly to finish 3rd in China, last year’s winner Nico Rosberg was forced to retire after a disastrous race.

A mistake in qualifying yesterday cost Rosberg a place on the front row, and off the start he fell behind Felipe Massa and Romain Grosjean. The Mercedes driver failed to keep up with the leaders, falling even further back as Sebastian Vettel and Nico Hulkenberg ran well on the medium tires.

Rosberg suffered a puncture after his second stop, meaning that he had to return to the pits just one lap later. However, he soon made it three stops in three laps, but this time the Mercedes did not leave the pits, instead being reversed into the garage. When asked about his car troubles, Rosberg admitted that he was unsure what the cause of his retirement was.

“The front wheel started bouncing on the front corner. I don’t know the reason for that,” Rosberg explained.

He also spoke about his race pace, giving a reason for his failure to keep up with Hamilton in the early stages of the grand prix.

“I had a lot of understeer out there from the start. After the pit stop it got worse.”

Mercedes will be pleased to have secured a second podium in three races, and this marks the first time the team has scored back-to-back podiums since the 2010 Chinese Grand Prix.

NTT re-signs as IndyCar title sponsor in multiyear deal starting with the 2024 season

James Black/Penske Entertainment

The IndyCar Series has re-signed NTT as its title sponsor in a multiyear agreement starting in 2024.

NTT, a global information technology and communications company based in Japan, became the series’ title sponsor before the 2019 season after starting as a sponsor of the No. 10 Dallara-Honda for Chip Ganassi Racing.

NTT Data (a subsidiary of parent company Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp.) will remain the official technology partner of IndyCar, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the Indy 500 and the NASCAR Brickyard weekend.

With the extension, an IndyCar spokesman said NTT would become the second-longest title sponsor in series history. The longest title sponsor was PPG from 1980-97 (under the CART sanction of the Champ Car Series).

NTT replaced Verizon, which was IndyCar’s title sponsor from 2014-18 after IZOD from 2010-13.

“NTT is an excellent partner across our enterprise with strong expertise and a deep commitment to our sport,” Penske Corp. chairman and IndyCar owner Roger Penske said in a release. “From Smart Venue technology at the Racing Capital of the World to the reimagined Series mobile application, NTT is transforming the fan experience in new and innovative ways. We look forward to a bright future together.”

NTT has used artificial intelligence-enabled optical detection technology at IMS to provide information to the track’s operations and security teams, helping improve fan traffic flow and safety, the track said.

“IndyCar is a great partner for NTT Data because of our shared commitment to driving innovation, increasing sustainability and delivering amazing experiences,” NTT Data CEO Kaz Nishihata said in a release. “We also appreciate how IndyCar is so diverse, with drivers from 15 different countries, and races that range from short ovals and superspeedways to road and street courses. It’s both an incredible sport and a wonderful example for our world.”

NTT also has been instrumental in helping redesign the IndyCar app and providing more race and driver data for use in NBC Sports’ broadcasts by utilizing 140 data points from every car in the field.

“NTT is fully invested in the development and growth of our sport and has already established a terrific track record in our industry with problem-solving capabilities and access to top talent and tools,” Penske Entertainment president and CEO Mark Miles said.

Said NTT Data Services CEO Bob Pryor: “We’re thrilled to continue our collaborations that enhance and expand the fan experience for motorsports and serve as proof points for data analytics, AI, and other innovative digital technologies. For more than a century, this racing series has pioneered innovations making driving safer for everyone, and by continuing this relationship, we will accelerate the pace of innovations and new technologies, particularly related to sustainability that ultimately can benefit organizations, communities and individuals around the world.”

Starting as a Japanese telephone company, NTT grew into a $100 billion-plus tech services giant with U.S. operations based in Plano, Texas.