Vettel: Gap has widened between Ferrari and Mercedes

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MONTMELO – Sebastian Vettel believes that the gap between Ferrari and Mercedes at the front of the field in Formula 1 has widened since the last race in Bahrain.

Heading into this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix, most of the teams have brought some updates to their cars in a bid to improve their pace and cut the gap to the front of the field.

Ferrari has been Mercedes’ closest challenger in 2015, allowing Vettel to win the Malaysian Grand Prix ahead of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg in what was considered to be a shock result.

Despite qualifying third in Bahrain, Vettel believes that the gap to Mercedes has grown since the last race in Bahrain three weeks ago, but he hopes that the difference will be less concerning in the race on Sunday.

“I hope it’s going to be better in the race,” Vettel said. “I think we expected them to be very, very strong here because in winter testing they were very strong and I’m sure they have improved their car since then.

“Obviously it’s true that the gap is there, the gap is probably a little bit bigger than it was the last couple of races.

“I don’t think that’s down to one thing only, I think there’s always a lot of things you throw in the bag and maybe we are struggling a little bit more this weekend. I’m looking forward to seeing where we are tomorrow.”

Ferrari has been struggling with the setup on its cars this weekend, prompting Kimi Raikkonen to revert back to the specification that he used in Bahrain instead of running the new updates.

However, Vettel remains confident that Ferrari will be in a better position for the race on Sunday.

“I think we feel we should be in a good shape tomorrow for a good race, but I have to say that those two guys, they’re doing a good job,” he said.

“They’re quick, they’ve been very quick here in the winter and I think they confirmed that so far. So I hope tomorrow, as I said, we can be a bit closer but we’ll see.”

The Spanish Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 7:30am ET on Sunday.

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.