WATCH LIVE: Italian GP Race Day; will Mercedes keep its cool?

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After Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg locked out the front row of the grid during qualifying yesterday, the stage is set for a thrilling Italian Grand Prix this afternoon.

As expected, Mercedes dominated at the high-speed Autodromo Nazionale Monza, but it was Hamilton who came out on top to secure his first pole position since the Spanish Grand Prix back in May.

However, with his teammate and championship rival Rosberg close by, and following their collision at the race in Belgium two weeks ago, Hamilton knows that winning today is crucial to keeping him in the title hunt.

You can watch the Italian Grand Prix live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 7.30am ET today. CLICK HERE to watch via live stream.

The incident at Spa was a dark moment for Mercedes, and the fall-out in the last two weeks has dominated the media. All parties have apologized and insist that we will not see a repeat at turn one today, but in the heat of a championship battle, it could all boil over very quickly at Monza.

After locking out the second row of the grid, Williams is hoping to pick up a big haul of points that could elevate the team to third place in the constructors’ championship. Ferrari, who currently occupies that position, will be lucky to finish inside the top five given the pace of the Mercedes-powered cars at Monza.

Also hoping to get in the mix for a podium finish are McLaren, whose cars start fifth and sixth, and Red Bull, although the world champions may struggle after a disappointing qualifying performance on Saturday.

The heat is on at Monza, but can Mercedes keep its cool on Sunday afternoon?

You can watch the Italian Grand Prix live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 7.30am ET. CLICK HERE to watch via live stream.

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.