Rosberg glad Perez got puncture after “dangerous” move

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Nico Rosberg said he was pleased Sergio Perez suffered a puncture after making a “dangerous” move during the Japanese Grand Prix.

The pair made contact at the chicane on lap 41, Rosberg’s front wing damaging Perez’s tire.

Rosberg told Sky: “The rules are clear if you brake and close the door you can’t move out again. I was there and he didn’t leave space so…”

“But it worked out perfectly,” Rosberg added, “he broke his tire, I was through. So that was good there.”

But McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh defended Perez over the incident, telling the BBC: “If you’re that far behind – [Rosberg] wasn’t alongside, he wasn’t even half alongside – if you hit someone from behind and give them a puncture you don’t often complain about it.”

It was the second run-in between Rosberg and Perez during the race. On lap 13 Rosberd was waved out of his pit-box in front of Perez, forcing the McLaren driver to avoid him. Rosberg was given a drive-through penalty.

The Mercedes driver said the stewards’ decision was “well deserved” and he “knew it was coming too”.

“It was obvious, a dangerous release so that was that and just a pity that happened and from then on it was always going to be difficult,” he added.

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. Time just published a brief piece by Wallace saluting Hamilton as a trailblazer.

The idea of Hamilton attending the NASCAR 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 would seem right for 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 — to spend 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).