Hamilton strikes back to top final Belgian GP practice

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Lewis Hamilton closed out practice for the Belgian Grand Prix at the top of the timesheets after edging out Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg in FP3.

Hamilton admitted on Friday evening that he had work to do after trailing Rosberg in both FP1 and FP2, and appeared to have made the desired progress by beating his title rival by half a second on Saturday morning.

A fastest lap of 1:48.984 saw Hamilton shoot to the top of the classification late on, leaving Rosberg to settle for second place for the first time this weekend.

As Mercedes once again dominated proceedings and romped home to a one-two finish, Ferrari emerged as the best of the rest as Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen ended FP3 in third and fourth place respectively, even if the Finn had a slight off at one point.

Sergio Perez produced an impressive final lap time to rise to fifth by the end of the session for Force India, beating 2014 Belgian GP winner Daniel Ricciardo.

Ricciardo’s Red Bull teammate Daniil Kvyat finished seventh, ahead of Nico Hulkenberg in P8. With just 0.4 seconds separating the drivers from P3 to P8, there appears to be a close fight unfolding to be best of the rest behind Mercedes at Spa.

Williams made a step forwards after a quiet Friday as Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa squeezed into the top ten. However, the British team still appears to lack the required pace to challenge constructors’ championship rivals Ferrari and Red Bull this weekend.

FP3 proved to be another difficult session for McLaren as Fernando Alonso was sidelined due to a problem with his power unit. The team already has 55 places worth of grid penalties under its belt for the forthcoming race, but this looks set to rise further after Alonso’s issue.

Qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix is live on CNBC and Live Extra from 8am ET.

Andretti United team names drivers for inaugural Extreme E season

Extreme E drivers Andretti
Extreme E
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The Extreme E team formed by Andretti Autosport and United Autosports named Catie Munnings and Timmy Hansen as its drivers Monday for the series’ inaugural 2021 season.

Munnings is a successful veteran of rally series. Hansen is a past winner and champion in the World Rallycross Championship.

They both will race in the environmentally conscious electric SUV series that will hold events in five areas around the world that are threatened by climate change. Chip Ganassi Racing and six-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton also are fielding cars in Extreme E, which will feature male and female co-drivers on every team.

Catie Munnings

“I’m so excited to join Andretti United Extreme E,” Munnings said in a release. ““I was really intrigued when I first heard about Extreme E, I just knew I had to be involved. The male / female racing partnership is a fantastic and exciting new concept. The season has incredible locations and the racing will be very exciting. It will be a new challenge for the teams and drivers, and I’m so thrilled to be working with such a strong team.

“The championship is a really innovative concept, it’s combining motorsport and science and will produce an important legacy in each race location. Bringing the platform that motorsport has in line with the awareness that the planet needs right now is awesome and a really important message.”

Timmy Hansen

Said Hansen: “Going into the Extreme E will be a new chapter in my career, one that I am extremely excited about. It is something brand new, not only for me, but the whole of motorsport. The format is something

we’ve never seen before. I’m also delighted to be able to carry the message of something bigger – talking about the environment and doing something good for the world – that’s something that really drives me. It’s going to be a big adventure in life to see these locations and I’m going to do my best in carrying this responsibility and hopefully making people aware of the challenges we have in the world, together with our passion for racing.”