Nico Rosberg taking F1 title bid one race at a time


Nico Rosberg has said that he is not currently thinking about the end of the season and a possible championship showdown with Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton.

Instead, the German driver is taking his bid for a maiden world title one race at a time, and is gunning to win tomorrow’s Italian Grand Prix from second place on the grid.

Rosberg currently leads the drivers’ championship by 29 points after a controversial second place finish at the Belgian Grand Prix two weeks ago. While attempting to overtake Hamilton for the lead of the race on lap two, he made contact with his teammate, leaving him with a puncture. This ultimately forced the Briton to retire, and the incident has dominated the F1 media ever since.

All parties have now laid down their weapons and apologized, but the debate is likely to reignite after Hamilton and Rosberg locked out the front row of the grid in qualifying today. When the two drivers go side-by-side into the first corner tomorrow, all eyes will be looking to see whether or not there is any contact.

For Rosberg, winning at the legendary Autodromo Nazionale Monza would be special, but in the grand scheme of things, he is happy to win at any circuit.

“Monza is a special place, also for me because I really like Italy, all my friends are Italian, so it’s great to race here,” he said.

“At the moment, I’m out to win. It doesn’t matter where we are.

“I’m not thinking about the end of season yet or things like that. It’s really every race, try and get the best out of it and try and win the race.”

Rosberg and Hamilton both confirmed that the team would not be using team orders to stop them fighting for the race win tomorrow, which could lead to a classic fight at the front of the field.

Be sure to join us for the Italian Grand Prix, live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 7.30am ET tomorrow.

NTT re-signs as IndyCar title sponsor in multiyear deal starting with the 2024 season

James Black/Penske Entertainment

The IndyCar Series has re-signed NTT as its title sponsor in a multiyear agreement starting in 2024.

NTT, a global information technology and communications company based in Japan, became the series’ title sponsor before the 2019 season after starting as a sponsor of the No. 10 Dallara-Honda for Chip Ganassi Racing.

NTT Data (a subsidiary of parent company Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp.) will remain the official technology partner of IndyCar, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the Indy 500 and the NASCAR Brickyard weekend.

With the extension, an IndyCar spokesman said NTT would become the second-longest title sponsor in series history. The longest title sponsor was PPG from 1980-97 (under the CART sanction of the Champ Car Series).

NTT replaced Verizon, which was IndyCar’s title sponsor from 2014-18 after IZOD from 2010-13.

“NTT is an excellent partner across our enterprise with strong expertise and a deep commitment to our sport,” Penske Corp. chairman and IndyCar owner Roger Penske said in a release. “From Smart Venue technology at the Racing Capital of the World to the reimagined Series mobile application, NTT is transforming the fan experience in new and innovative ways. We look forward to a bright future together.”

NTT has used artificial intelligence-enabled optical detection technology at IMS to provide information to the track’s operations and security teams, helping improve fan traffic flow and safety, the track said.

“IndyCar is a great partner for NTT Data because of our shared commitment to driving innovation, increasing sustainability and delivering amazing experiences,” NTT Data CEO Kaz Nishihata said in a release. “We also appreciate how IndyCar is so diverse, with drivers from 15 different countries, and races that range from short ovals and superspeedways to road and street courses. It’s both an incredible sport and a wonderful example for our world.”

NTT also has been instrumental in helping redesign the IndyCar app and providing more race and driver data for use in NBC Sports’ broadcasts by utilizing 140 data points from every car in the field.

“NTT is fully invested in the development and growth of our sport and has already established a terrific track record in our industry with problem-solving capabilities and access to top talent and tools,” Penske Entertainment president and CEO Mark Miles said.

Said NTT Data Services CEO Bob Pryor: “We’re thrilled to continue our collaborations that enhance and expand the fan experience for motorsports and serve as proof points for data analytics, AI, and other innovative digital technologies. For more than a century, this racing series has pioneered innovations making driving safer for everyone, and by continuing this relationship, we will accelerate the pace of innovations and new technologies, particularly related to sustainability that ultimately can benefit organizations, communities and individuals around the world.”

Starting as a Japanese telephone company, NTT grew into a $100 billion-plus tech services giant with U.S. operations based in Plano, Texas.