Mika Hakkinen weighs in on Bottas to Ferrari rumors

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Valtteri Bottas’ mentor and two-time world champion Mika Hakkinen has reacted to speculation about his protege’s future by saying that it is the duty of his management to give him the means to be Formula 1 world champion.

Over the Spanish Grand Prix weekend, Bottas denied rumors of a pre-contract agreement with Ferrari that would see him join the team in the next two years.

This was backed up by Bottas’ manager, Didier Coton, who confirmed that the Williams driver was without any contract for 2016, leaving his options open.

Speaking to Hermes, Hakkinen did not add much to Coton’s dismissive comments about the reports linking Bottas to Ferrari, but said that the management team was responsible for giving the Finn the means to be world champion.

“Didier Coton has already given an answer in Barcelona,” Hakkinen said. “I do not want to say any more, too.

“Valtteri’s job is everything that has to do with his work as a racer to succeed.

“The managers shall be responsible for the things off the track so that Valtteri one day has the chance to become world champion.”

Ferrari is currently enjoying a revival at the front of the field, winning its first race in almost two years in Malaysia six weeks ago through Sebastian Vettel.

Although Kimi Raikkonen has made an improved start to the season after a difficult 2014, the Finn’s future at Ferrari is still undecided, but the team is known to have an option on his services for next year.

Bottas was one of the breakout drivers of the 2014 F1 season, finishing fourth in the championship for Williams. The Finn has made an impressive start to the 2015 campaign, splitting the quick Ferraris in the last two races.

With his stock continuing to rise, Bottas is likely to be the main topic of conversation when F1’s ‘silly season’ driver market rumours really ramp up over the summer.

IndyCar race weekend doubleheader schedule at IMS road course

IndyCar weekend schedule Indianapolis
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The NTT IndyCar Series will return to Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the third time this season but with a weekend schedule that will put the action in front of fans for the first time in 2020.

The track’s 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course will play host to IndyCar and sports cars series over four days. The action will begin Thursday with practice and concluding with an eight-hour race Sunday featuring the Intercontinental GT Challenge and GT World Challenge America.

The NTT IndyCar Series will hold a Friday-Saturday race doubleheader called the Harvest GP presented by GMR.

ENTRY LISTS: Who’s racing IndyCar at IMS this weekend

The name is a nod to the Harvest Classic, which was held Sept. 9, 1916 to help the track stay solvent during World War I. The event had three races of 20, 50 and 100 miles (all won by Johnny Aitken) that was the only racing held outside May at IMS from 1911-93.

A limited crowd of 10,000 will be allowed each day this weekend, and those fans will be the first to experience new video boards, concession stands, restrooms and 5G wireless connectivity.

Here’s the IndyCar weekend schedule for Indianapolis Motor Speedway Harvest GP:

(All times are Eastern)

IndyCar weekend schedule: Thursday, Oct. 1

Noon — Indianapolis 8 Hour/GT World Challenge America test session
2:25 p.m. — IndyCar practice (NBC Sports Gold)
6:20 p.m. — IndyCar qualifying for Harvest GP, Race 1 (NBC Sports Gold)

IndyCar weekend schedule: Friday, Oct. 2

10:20 a.m. — Indianapolis 8 Hour/GT World Challenge America practice
1:40 p.m. — Indianapolis 8 Hour/GT World Challenge America practice
3:30 p.m. — IndyCar Harvest GP, Race 1 (USA Network, NBC Sports Gold)

IndyCar weekend schedule: Saturday, Oct. 3

10:20 a.m. — IndyCar qualifying for Harvest GP, Race 2 (NBC Sports Gold)
12:10 p.m. — Indianapolis 8 Hour/GT World Challenge America qualifying
2:30 p.m. — IndyCar Harvest GP, Race 2 (NBC, NBC Sports Gold)
5:30 p.m. — Indianapolis 8 Hour/GT World Challenge America pole shootout

IndyCar weekend schedule: Sunday, Oct. 4

10 a.m. — Indianapolis 8 Hour/GT World Challenge America race