Hamilton feeling the loss of FRIC on his Mercedes

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Lewis Hamilton enjoyed his running at Hockenheim today during practice for the German Grand Prix, but has admitted that he found the Mercedes car slightly more difficult to drive without its FRIC system.

FIA race director Charlie Whiting sent out a technical directive last week suggesting that the front-rear interconnected (FRIC) suspension device was in breach of the regulations. As the teams failed to agree on postponing the ban, they were forced to remove the devices from their cars for the race this weekend.

Mercedes was understood to have the most complex system on its car, and Hamilton did indeed notice a difference during practice for the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim today.

“The car is a bit different now as everyone made some setup changes in a different direction to what we’ve had in the past, but it’s still fun to drive.

“As the temperatures were so high, it was difficult for the tyres and we’re going to need to manage that carefully when we get to the race.”

Lewis’s attention now turns to qualifying, where he has set his sights on securing his fifth pole of the year at a track where a front-row start is crucial due to the sweeping first corner.

“Pole is important everywhere you go,” he said. “There’s a long straight down to turn six, so there are opportunities created if you are perhaps second, but pole always makes it easier.”

With just four points separating Hamilton and Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg at the top of the timesheets, this weekend’s race could be pivotal in the fight to become world champion in 2014.

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.