Force India “edging closer to podium” – Mallya

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Force India co-owner Vijay Mallya believes his team are “edging ever closer to the podium” having scored in all bar one of the races so far this year.

“We celebrated our 100th race in Canada and continued picking up points with both cars. That’s what we need to do if we are to hold on to fifth place in the championship,” said Mallya.

“While I still believe that we are edging ever closer to the podium, we must also focus on consistency and play the long game in the championship, which means scoring points at every race.”

Paul di Resta gave the team its best result of the season so far with fourth in Bahrain. But he has had poor luck in his previous two appearances at home.

He was running seventh in his first F1 race at Silverstone in 2011 when he had the misfortune to enter the pits just as his team mate had gone in with a puncture. He later tangled with Sebastien Buemi.

Last year he didn’t even get as far as the pit stops, going out at the start following a collision with Romain Grosjean.

However he was pleased to bounce back from qualifying a disappointing seventeenth in Canada by finishing seventh:

“I think we can be pretty happy with that,” he said. “All things considered we’ve managed to get some good results and kept up our momentum.”

“The last two results, in particular, felt very satisfying, especially because we managed to get the strategy spot on to come through the field. These results set us up nicely for this weekend, which is a massive one for everyone in the team.”

Lewis Hamilton receives Daytona 500 invitation from Bubba Wallace

Lewis Hamilton Bubba Wallace
Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images
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Lewis Hamilton is a fan of the new NASCAR Cup Series team formed by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan to field a car for Bubba Wallace.

Will the six-time Formula One champion also be a fan in person at a NASCAR race in the near future?

Wallace is hoping so.

After Hamilton tweeted his support Tuesday morning about the news of a Hamlin-Jordan-Wallace team making its debut with the 2021 season, Wallace responded with a sly invitation to the Daytona 500.

Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

But it would seem fitting given that Hamilton and Wallace have been two of the world’s most outspoken Black athletes about the quest for diversity and racial justice. Hamilton recently reaffirmed his commitment to activism after his donning a Breonna Taylor shirt sparked an FIA inquiry.

The idea of Hamilton attending the season opener already had legs, too. The Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 driver has expressed a desire to race the Daytona 500 after he has retired from Formula One.

He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.

Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it only would be fitting if Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — spent some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.

Jeff Gordon was flanked by Mario Andretti and Lewis Hamilton before the 2015 Cup season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images).