Rosberg: Spain pole “a step in the right direction”

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MONTMELO – Nico Rosberg was delighted to clinch his first pole position of the 2015 Formula 1 season during qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix on Saturday, calling it a “step in the right direction” to getting his title challenge back on track.

Rosberg had not beaten Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton in qualifying coming into the race weekend, but ended his teammate’s pole position streak with a scintillating display in the final part of Saturday’s session.

Currently trailing Hamilton by 27 points at the top of the championship, Rosberg felt that pole in Spain was a good step towards getting his title bid back on track in 2015.

“Well of course I needed it sooner rather than later, that is for sure,” Rosberg said. “It is one step in the right direction to winning the race here this weekend. It was a good day in the office, for sure.”

Rosberg missed out on pole position at the last race in Bahrain after failing to get into a right rhythm in Q2, but made sure that he got comfortable with pushing the car early on in Spain to avoid the same mistake.

“For sure Bahrain was still in my mind,” Rosberg admitted. “I wanted to make sure I didn’t do that mistake again. I got myself in the rhythm in Q2 and it worked out really well for me today.

“It is just important for tomorrow’s race because it is better to start first than second. That is obvious. It feels great, I am happy, it is good for tomorrow.”

Despite being under pressure to end his losing streak and beat Hamilton on a Sunday for the first time in 2015 tomorrow, Rosberg won’t be changing his mindset for the race.

“No difference, same thing,” Rosberg said. “Try and go for it of course and go for the best possible result.

“Starting from first and with the car I have is going to be trying to go for the win, that is for sure. Take the advantage from the start and that is it.”

IndyCar entry lists for Harvest GP at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

IndyCar entry lists Indianapolis
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There are 25 drivers on the NTT IndyCar Series entry lists at Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course with a few new yet familiar faces for the Oct. 2-3 race weekend.

Four-time champion Sebastien Bourdais will make his season debut in the No. 14 Dallara-Chevrolet (shifting Dalton Kellett to the No. 41) with AJ Foyt Racing, which he is joining full time next season. James Hinchcliffe, who had run three races with Andretti Autosport, will return in place of Zach Veach in the No. 26 Dallara-Honda. Helio Castroneves will drive Arrow McLaren SP’s No. 7 Dallara-Chevy for Oliver Askew, who is out with concussion-like symptoms.

Sage Karam, who has two IndyCar starts this year at IMS (the road course on July 4 and the Indy 500 on Aug. 23), also will return to the series in Dreyer & Reinbold’s No. 24 Dallara-Chevrolet.

HARVEST GP ENTRY LISTS: Friday l Saturday

Friday and Saturday of the Harvest GP presented by GMR will mark the second and third races this season on Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. While the July 4 race on the circuit was 80 laps, Friday’s distance is 85 laps, and Saturday will be a 75-lap event.

Championship leader Scott Dixon led 26 of 80 laps to win the July 4 race at the IMS road course. With three races remaining in the series, the five-time series champion enters with a 72-point lead on Josef Newgarden.

Click here to see who’s on the IndyCar entry lists in Race 1 and in Race 2 for the Harvest GP presented by GMR at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.


START TIMES AND TV INFO FOR INDYCAR AT INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY ROAD COURSE (all times ET):

Thursday

IndyCar NTT Series practice: 2:25-3:40 p.m., NBC Sports Gold

IndyCar qualifying, Race 1: 6:20 p.m. (two groups/12 minutes apiece), NBC Sports Gold

Friday

—IndyCar Harvest Grand Prix, Race 1: 3:30 p.m. (green flag, 5 p.m.), USA Network, NBC Sports Gold

Saturday

—IndyCar qualifying: 10:20 a.m. (two groups/12 minutes apiece), NBC Sports Gold

—IndyCar Harvest Grand Prix, Race 2: 2:30 p.m (green flag, 2:31 p.m.)., NBC, NBC Sports Gold