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.

Formula E announces Portland, Oregon as US race in 2023

Formula E Portland 2023
Andrew Ferraro / LAT Images
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The American date for the 2023 Formula E schedule will move from Brooklyn, New York to Portland, Oregon on June 24, 2023, filling the calendar at 16 rounds. This will be the first time in the nine-year history of the series that they have raced on the West Coast in only the third different city in the United States. Miami hosted one Formula E race in 2015. The series has visited the United States every season except 2020 due to the COVID-1+9 pandemic.

The 2023 race will be Round 12.

“We are excited to bring the premier electric motorsport world championship to Portland for the first time in June next year,” said Alberto Longo, Co-Founder & Chief Championship Officer, Formula E in a press release. “There is a big, passionate fanbase for professional sports in the city, together with strong ecological credentials which makes Portland a perfect host for the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship.

“The USA remains an important market for Formula E. We are delighted to maintain that critical presence and engage a new audience in the Pacific Northwest region in all-electric motorsport.”

MORE: McLaren Racing’s Ian James organization’s entry into Formula E

Last year’s American round in Brooklyn was made up of two races with Nick Cassidy from Envision Racing winning Race 1 and António da Costa from DS Techeetah taking the second race.

Portland will host only one Formula E race in 2023.

The 2023 season will be highlighted by the new Gen 3 car, which features a battery capable of generating 350 kilowatts with regeneration capability from both the front and rear axles. This contributes to a top speed of 200 miles per hour (m.p.h.), an increase of about 25 m.p.h. from last year.

The 2023 season also marks the entry of two new iconic teams, Maserati and McLaren, who completed their roster of drivers in late November with the addition of Jake Hughes.

Season 9 Calendar

Round 1:  January 3, Mexico City, Mexico
Rounds 2 & 3: January 27-28, Diriyah, Saudi Arabia
Round 4: February 11, Hyderabad, India*
Round 5: February 6, Cape Town, South Africa*
Round 6: March 8, São Paulo, Brazil*
Rounds 7 & 8: April 22-23, Berlin, Germany
Round 9: May 6, Monaco
Rounds 10 & 11: June 3-4, Jakarta, Indonesia
Round 12: June 24, Portland, Oregon*
Rounds 13 & 14: July 15-16, Rome, Italy
Rounds 15 & 16: July 29-30, London

*subject to final FIA Safety and Technical checks,