Magnussen takes blame for practice crash (VIDEO)

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Kevin Magnussen was quick to take the blame for his crash during practice for the Australian Grand Prix on Friday, admitting that it was a result of driver error.

Magnussen races in this weekend’s Australian Grand Prix in place of the rested Fernando Alonso, who continues to recover from an accident in pre-season testing last month.

The Dane had hoped to make a good start to McLaren’s new era with Honda in 2015, but his Friday finished in the wall at turn six after losing the rear end of his car.

“We didn’t get too many laps in FP1,” Magnussen said. “Then I went off and damaged the car in the afternoon, so I didn’t get much running under my belt in FP2 either.

“I tried to push my braking point into turn six, then lost the rear on entry. The car still made the apex, but then it snapped at a difficult time. I couldn’t avoid hitting the wall. It was a driver mistake. It’s a shame, but these things happen – my bad – and life goes on.”

In spite of the accident, Magnussen remained upbeat about the new MP4-30 car, which is the first McLaren to be powered by a Honda engine since 1992.

“The positive is that the balance and feeling of the car feels good,” Magnussen said. “We’re not as fast as we’d like, but we’re not too far off the optimum balance in the car. Clearly, there’s a lot more to come, but it’s definitely a good baseline.

“Hopefully we’ll get a better idea of where we are in FP3 tomorrow. Hopefully we can go into qualifying feeling a bit more confident.”

You can watch FP3 live on Live Extra from 12:30a ET on Saturday, with qualifying being shown live from 2a ET on NBCSN. Click here for our full Australian GP schedule.

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.