Hopes of first win fade for Bottas due to team orders, late rain shower at Silverstone

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Valtteri Bottas’ hopes of claiming his first Formula 1 grand prix victory at Silverstone on Sunday were dashed after he was prevented from passing teammate Felipe Massa in the early stages of the British Grand Prix.

Both Williams drivers made an incredible start from the second row of the grid to launch into the top two positions, and led for the entirety of the first stint of the race.

Bottas had been close to taking the lead from Massa in the early stages, requesting to be waved past as he was the faster driver. However, Williams told him to hold position and not to race his teammate.

“I had one really good opportunity at one point but the team told me I wasn’t allowed to overtake, so I lost that opportunity there,” Bottas told NBCSN after the race. “Then I was pretty close but I didn’t want to take any big risks.

“Obviously it seems like I had a bit more pace, but I think the main thing today with the inters that I couldn’t get the tires to work at all.”

Mercedes’ decision to pit Lewis Hamilton early allowed the Briton to get the undercut on the Williams drivers and take the lead, but Massa and Bottas remained in second and third after making their tire change.

However, a late rain shower proved to be their downfall. The team’s poor wet weather pace allowed Rosberg to sweep past both drivers in the space of three laps to take second place, before Sebastian Vettel rose to third after all drivers made the switch to intermediate tires.

At the end of the race, Bottas was fortunate to hang on to fifth place after Daniil Kvyat caught the Finn at a rate of three seconds per lap in the final stages.

“It’s difficult yes,” Bottas said. “It’s something we’ve been trying to figure out but still haven’t found a soluation. The car was completed set up for the dry and we couldn’t get the tires up to temperature.

“It’s always easy to say afterwards what could have been possible. There was an opportunity today, but we lost it.”

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.