Marcus Ericsson to start Monaco GP from pit lane

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Caterham driver Marcus Ericsson will start tomorrow’s Monaco Grand Prix from the pit lane as punishment for crashing into Felipe Massa during qualifying today.

Massa moved off line at Mirabeau in order to let the Caterham driver through, as he was on a hot lap. However, Ericsson ran very wide and crashed into Massa, bringing out yellow flags and effectively ending the session.

The incident also meant that Massa could not take part in Q2 despite getting through, and the Brazilian driver will start the race from 16th place tomorrow. However, Ericsson was happy to accept complete blame for the collision.

“On my final push lap I was behind Massa going into turn five and he moved off-line a bit which meant I had to change my braking point,” the Swede explained. “I locked up and went into the barrier with him which was my mistake. It’s unfortunate it took him out too but it looks like the car is ok so now I want to put today behind me and concentrate on the race.”

The FIA also handed Ericsson two penalty points that will remain on his superlicense for 12 months.

Massa was less impressed by the incident, saying: “I did everything I could in the first session but at the end Ericsson hit me and that ruined my qualifying. I was hopeful for a good position today as the car actually felt ok.

“It would have been a fight to get into the top ten, not easy, but possible. I am disappointed and tomorrow is going to be a challenge but with this car points are still possible.”

Massa will start three places behind his teammate, Valtteri Bottas, who qualified 13th today.

Ericsson’s penalty is a strange one considering he qualified last anyway. In fact, it could be beneficial for him if there is an incident at the first corner, as he would avoid this thanks to the pit exit at Monaco which bypasses Sainte Devote.

The Swede is running with a replica of compatriot Ronnie Peterson’s helmet in honor of his victory at Monaco 40 years ago.

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.