Alonso and Button weigh in on Mercedes championship fight

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Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button have both shared their thoughts on the battle for the drivers’ championship unfolding at Mercedes in 2014.

Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg have enjoyed racing by far the fastest car in 2014, winning all but one of the races – only McLaren in 1988 has made a better start to an F1 season – but the internal fight looks set to rage on.

Currently, just four points separate the two drivers at the top of the standings, and as the F1 season reaches its halfway point, we’re poised for a fascinating battle.

Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button are two drivers who have been embroiled in title fights over the years, and for Alonso, a psychological battle for victory is not only inevitable, but it is also important for those involved.

“It’s very important,” said the Ferrari driver on mind games. “I think it’s a very tight fight. Rosberg’s still in front, they will fight until the end probably, because even if someone has some retirements, with the 50 points in Abu Dhabi, it’s difficult to imagine one of them will arrive with more than 5o [in hand], so it will be very interesting.

“They will enjoy the fight, but at the same time there will be some ups and downs, and they have to be strong as well.”

Jenson Button was rather diplomatic and refused to pick a winner, but he did say that he hopes that the 2014 world champion is a deserving one.

“Score more points! Do a better job!” he quipped when asked how to beat your teammate. “I’ve been asked who’s going to win the championship this year… who knows. I hope it’s the guy who does the better job on the circuit.”

With just two races to go until the summer break, whoever is leading the championship ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix at the beginning of fall could have a psychological edge as well as the mathematical one. Either way, as Alonso said, it looks like that we’re set for an Abu Dhabi finale – double points and all.

IndyCar entry lists for Harvest GP at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

IndyCar entry lists Indianapolis
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There are 25 drivers on the NTT IndyCar Series entry lists at Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course with a few new yet familiar faces for the Oct. 2-3 race weekend.

Four-time champion Sebastien Bourdais will make his season debut in the No. 14 Dallara-Chevrolet (shifting Dalton Kellett to the No. 41) with AJ Foyt Racing, which he is joining full time next season. James Hinchcliffe, who had run three races with Andretti Autosport, will return in place of Zach Veach in the No. 26 Dallara-Honda. Helio Castroneves will drive Arrow McLaren SP’s No. 7 Dallara-Chevy for Oliver Askew, who is out with concussion-like symptoms.

Sage Karam, who has two IndyCar starts this year at IMS (the road course on July 4 and the Indy 500 on Aug. 23), also will return to the series in Dreyer & Reinbold’s No. 24 Dallara-Chevrolet.

HARVEST GP ENTRY LISTS: Friday l Saturday

Friday and Saturday of the Harvest GP presented by GMR will mark the second and third races this season on Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. While the July 4 race on the circuit was 80 laps, Friday’s distance is 85 laps, and Saturday will be a 75-lap event.

Championship leader Scott Dixon led 26 of 80 laps to win the July 4 race at the IMS road course. With three races remaining in the series, the five-time series champion enters with a 72-point lead on Josef Newgarden.

Click here to see who’s on the IndyCar entry lists in Race 1 and in Race 2 for the Harvest GP presented by GMR at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.


START TIMES AND TV INFO FOR INDYCAR AT INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY ROAD COURSE (all times ET):

Thursday

IndyCar NTT Series practice: 2:25-3:40 p.m., NBC Sports Gold

IndyCar qualifying, Race 1: 6:20 p.m. (two groups/12 minutes apiece), NBC Sports Gold

Friday

—IndyCar Harvest Grand Prix, Race 1: 3:30 p.m. (green flag, 5 p.m.), USA Network, NBC Sports Gold

Saturday

—IndyCar qualifying: 10:20 a.m. (two groups/12 minutes apiece), NBC Sports Gold

—IndyCar Harvest Grand Prix, Race 2: 2:30 p.m (green flag, 2:31 p.m.)., NBC, NBC Sports Gold