Hamilton upbeat despite practice setback at Monza

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Lewis Hamilton is feeling upbeat for this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix despite suffering an electrical failure during the second free practice session at Monza today.

The Briton closed out FP1 as the quickest driver on Friday morning, but was sidelined for an hour of the 90-minute session this afternoon when Mercedes could not get his car to fire up. The team’s minions eventually got the car going, though, and it was eventually diagnosed as an electrical problem.

Hamilton rallied to finish the session in second place behind teammate Nico Rosberg, and was pleased with how his day went in spite of the lost running.

“I felt really good after the practice session this morning and we have definitely got a competitive car this weekend,” Hamilton explained. “Unfortunately we lost some track time this afternoon but the guys did a great job to get me back out so I got a few laps at least.

“We made some changes over lunch and then another during the session and, although I didn’t have a lot of laps, the car feels great. Hopefully I’ll be able to have the full session tomorrow and get some good running.

“Monza is quite an important circuit to put the car at the front as it’s very difficult to overtake here. It would be great to have a trouble-free qualifying tomorrow afternoon.”

Hamilton’s boss, Toto Wolff, confirmed that the team was still investigating the cause of the electrical fault, but he was pleased with Rosberg’s performance on Friday at Monza.

“It was a mixed day for us,” Wolff said. “Nico had a smooth day and completed his planned programme. With Lewis, we lost a lot of running due to an electronic problem. We need to identify the cause and resolve that this evening.

“Obviously it’s not ideal but Lewis did a good job to recover and put in some strong laps. We need to work hard tonight to make sure the performance is at our full potential – and that our reliability is bullet proof.”

Indeed, it has been Mercedes’ reliability that has cost the team so far this season. Hamilton and Rosberg looked set to secure a one-two finish at the Canadian Grand Prix before both cars had brake problems, whilst an on-track collision in Belgium allowed Daniel Ricciardo to sweep to his third win of the season last time out.

Andretti United team names drivers for inaugural Extreme E season

Extreme E drivers Andretti
Extreme E
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The Extreme E team formed by Andretti Autosport and United Autosports named Catie Munnings and Timmy Hansen as its drivers Monday for the series’ inaugural 2021 season.

Munnings is a successful veteran of rally series. Hansen is a past winner and champion in the World Rallycross Championship.

They both will race in the environmentally conscious electric SUV series that will hold events in five areas around the world that are threatened by climate change. Chip Ganassi Racing and six-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton also are fielding cars in Extreme E, which will feature male and female co-drivers on every team.

Catie Munnings

“I’m so excited to join Andretti United Extreme E,” Munnings said in a release. ““I was really intrigued when I first heard about Extreme E, I just knew I had to be involved. The male / female racing partnership is a fantastic and exciting new concept. The season has incredible locations and the racing will be very exciting. It will be a new challenge for the teams and drivers, and I’m so thrilled to be working with such a strong team.

“The championship is a really innovative concept, it’s combining motorsport and science and will produce an important legacy in each race location. Bringing the platform that motorsport has in line with the awareness that the planet needs right now is awesome and a really important message.”

Timmy Hansen

Said Hansen: “Going into the Extreme E will be a new chapter in my career, one that I am extremely excited about. It is something brand new, not only for me, but the whole of motorsport. The format is something

we’ve never seen before. I’m also delighted to be able to carry the message of something bigger – talking about the environment and doing something good for the world – that’s something that really drives me. It’s going to be a big adventure in life to see these locations and I’m going to do my best in carrying this responsibility and hopefully making people aware of the challenges we have in the world, together with our passion for racing.”