Rosberg: Driver coaching ban to make starts more exciting

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Nico Rosberg has backed the decision to ban driving coaching for the start sequence at Formula 1 grands prix, believing that it will lead to more unpredictable and exciting getaways in races.

Earlier this month, the F1 Strategy Group confirmed that it had pushed through plans to enforce new restrictions on driver aids and coaching, effective from the Belgian Grand Prix in August.

“Increased restrictions on driver aids and coaching received unanimous support and will be rapidly implemented, starting from this year’s Belgian Grand Prix – with a particular emphasis on race starts – and in 2016,” a statement read at the time.

“These measures will bring back the driver in full control of the car, enhancing races’ excitement and unpredictability.”

Speaking in Mercedes’ online Studio Show e-zine, Rosberg expressed his support for the move, believing that it will make race starts less predictable.

“It’s good,” Rosberg said. “It’s going to make it even more exciting, because it’s going to be even more in our hands to do a good start and more difficult.

“That will throw in a lot of variables. It will be much more difficult and much more difficult to predict the outcome of a start. Hopefully I can use it to my advantage.”

Defending world champion Lewis Hamilton explained the extra challenge that will now be posed at race starts, although he doesn’t believe that it will make a massive amount of difference.

“It doesn’t make a huge difference,” he said. “We still have the same responsibilities. When you do the start from the grid, normally the team can calculate how much grip there is and how much torque delivery the engine is giving.

“So for example, if you get too much torque you get wheelspin, if you get not enough, there’s no wheelspin it is a slow pull away. So the team will see that and tell you to turn the torque up or down.

“Now we can’t do that, and we can’t ourselves turn the torque up or down. There is such a differential between the first and the real start, there will be a lot of people getting bad starts. That’s probably about it.”

IndyCar at IMS Friday: How to watch, start times, live streaming info

IndyCar Indianapolis start times
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With three races remaining in the NTT IndyCar Series season, Scott Dixon has a commanding lead and history on his side entering Friday’s opener of the Harvest GP at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The five-time series champion leads defending champ Josef Newgarden by 72 points.

Since 2014, the points leader with three races left has won the championship in five of the past six years, including Dixon in ’18.

The Chip Ganassi Racing driver has led the championship standings following every round after opening 2020 with three consecutive victories. Dixon also led the points by 78 points with three races remaining when he won the title in 2008.

Dixon, Newgarden, Pato O’Ward, Colton Herta, Will Power, Graham Rahal and Takuma Sato are championship eligible.

Anyone outside 108 points of the lead after Indy will be eliminated heading into the Oct. 25 season finale at St. Petersburg, Florida.

Here is the IndyCar Harvest GP at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course schedule for Friday (all times are ET), including details and start times:

Indianapolis Motor Speedway TV schedule for Friday

IndyCar Harvest GP Race 1: 3:30 p.m., USA Network, NBC Sports Gold and streaming on the NBC Sports App and; Leigh Diffey is the lead announcer for IndyCar on NBCSN this weekend with analysts Townsend Bell and Paul Tracy.

IndyCar Harvest GP, Race 1 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway start times, information


GREEN FLAG: 4 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is 85 laps (207.35 miles) around Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s a 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course in Indianapolis.

TIRE ALLOTMENT: Nine sets primary, five sets alternate (A 10th set of primary tires is available to any car fielding a rookie.) Teams must use one set of primary and one set of alternate tires in the race.

PUSH TO PASS: 200 seconds of total time with a maximum time of 20 seconds per activation.

FORECAST: According to, it’s expected to be 57 degrees with a 0% chance of rain at the green flag.

QUALIFYING: 6:20 p.m. Thursday (NBC Sports Gold)

ENTRY LIST: Click here for the 25 drivers racing this weekend at Indianapolis