Hamilton, Rosberg to race on with Bianchi still in their thoughts

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Both Mercedes AMG Petronas drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg carry heavy hearts into their championship battle this weekend at the Hungarian Grand Prix, following Tuesday’s funeral service for Jules Bianchi.

Neither driver knew Bianchi that well but are still well aware of Bianchi in their thoughts and minds going into the race. Both drivers are aware there is still plenty of work ahead to be done from a safety standpoint.

“Saying goodbye to Jules was incredibly hard for everyone,” Hamilton said in the team’s pre-race release. “For myself, I wished I had known him better. But from what I knew of him he was a kind heart with a great spirit and a bright future.

“Now our sport embarks on a tough road ahead. We have been shown once more the dangers of our sport, that these should be respected and that we drivers commit ourselves to the chance that those dangers are there when we step into the car.

“I will be carrying Jules with me in my prayers and thoughts, not only for this race but for the rest of my driving days. I know he’d want us to race hard as he did, and I will.”

Rosberg added, “It has been a very emotional week. The drivers paid our final respects to Jules and said farewell. He was a very talented driver and a good guy. My thoughts in these days are with his family and close friends.

“Everyone will be sharing the same feelings in the paddock this week – but we must race on and race hard for Jules as he would have wanted to be doing himself.”

Some three weeks after the British Grand Prix, Hamilton leads Rosberg by 17 points in the driver’s championship.

Hungary was a rare race Mercedes didn’t win in 2014, the win having fallen to Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull.

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.