Difficult year part of the learning process for Bottas

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Valtteri Bottas has said that although this year has been an incredibly difficult one for Williams, it has allowed him and the team to learn how to deal with a troublesome car and prepare sufficiently for next year’s raft of regulation changes.

Bottas is one of four rookies yet to score a point this season, but teammate Pastor Maldonado has also suffered from the FW35’s lack of pace as he has scored just one point compared to thirty-three by this time last year. However, the young Finn has been mature about the situation, conceding that it is part of becoming a grand prix racer.

“It’s been a challenging year,” he said. “We’ve been learning a lot the whole year as a team. It’s been very tough, so we’re definitely I think going in a good direction. We’re now very focused for next year.”

Bottas has also noted a change in the philosophy at Williams’ headquarters in Oxfordshire, England. With the arrival of Pay Symonds and rumors linking Ross Brawn to the team, the management re-shuffle could see the team reach new heights in 2013.

“The working at the factory is changing,” Bottas explained. “We’ve got some new people and I’ve already seen some good things. I really think the future of Williams will be much better than what we’ve seen this year.”

Regarding his own future, Bottas refused to speculate, instead pointing the media in the direction of deputy team principal Claire Williams. However, with Pastor Maldonado thought to be angling for a move away from the team, the Finn could be secure for a second year of racing in F1.

IndyCar teams with NASCAR on IMS road course doubleheader in 2021

IndyCar NASCAR doubleheader 2021
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The NTT IndyCar Series will be sharing Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the NASCAR Cup Series in a race weekend doubleheader for the second consecutive season, but both series will be on the road course in August 2021.

IMS announced Wednesday that IndyCar will hold an Aug. 14, 2021 race on its 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. It’ll be a day before NASCAR’s premier series runs the same layout for the first time after the Brickyard 400 was contested on the 2.5-mile oval for the first time in 27 years.

This season’s rescheduling of the IndyCar GMR Grand Prix to July 4, 2019 (a day before the Brickyard 400) led to the first NASCAR-IndyCar doubleheader weekend. The Xfinity Series also raced on the IMS road course for the first time July 4 after the IndyCar race ended.

INDYCAR AT IMS THIS WEEKEND: Harvest GP schedule, entry lists

IndyCar will be holding its second race weekend this year at the IMS road course Friday and Saturday with the Harvest GP.

“Our first NASCAR-INDYCAR weekend was a big success last July, with positive feedback from
our loyal fans who watched the races on NBC and from the drivers, teams and participants
involved,” IMS president Douglas Boles said in a statement. “The Xfinity Series’ debut on the IMS road course provided exactly the kind of thrilling action from the green to checkered flags that we anticipated, so we know the teams and drivers of the Cup Series will put on a great show as they turn left and right for the first time at IMS.

“We can’t wait to welcome back fans to see NASCAR and INDYCAR together during this
exciting weekend as we add another memorable chapter in the long, storied history of the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”

It also will mark the first NASCAR Cup-IndyCar doubleheader with a crowd as fans weren’t permitted at IMS in July because of the novel coronvavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Over the course of Wednesday, NASCAR is releasing its 36-race slate for next season. IndyCar has yet to release its full 2021 schedule.