Rosberg annoyed after poor start, settling for second at Spa

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Nico Rosberg made no secret of his annoyance after a poor start cost him the chance to fight for victory in Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix.

Starting second, Rosberg dropped down to fifth on the short run down to the first corner whilst Mercedes teammate and championship rival Lewis Hamilton led the field through the opening lap.

Although Rosberg was able to make his way back up to second over the first stint of the race, he trailed Hamilton by eight seconds before making his first pit stop.

The German driver did manage to catch Hamilton during the race, reducing the gap to as little as two seconds at points, but failed to put up any serious challenge to his teammate.

Speaking on the podium after the race, Rosberg explained how he felt annoyed with his poor start, but that Hamilton had been the quicker driver on Sunday.

“Yeah just completely messed up the start, so that was very annoying,” Rosberg said.

“Fought my way through, gave it absolutely everything, we were both on the edge all the way through. The car has been amazing so I’m really thankful to the team again for giving us such a car, it’s awesome to drive it.

“Lewis did a great job, he deserved to win. I tried to give it everything, but not enough.”

Rosberg now trails Hamilton by 28 points at the top of the drivers’ championship, but is now 39 clear of Sebastian Vettel in third place after the Ferrari driver suffered his first non-score of the season due to a late tire blowout.

Between now and the Italian Grand Prix in two weeks’ time, Rosberg is set to become a father for the first time as his wife, Vivian, is due to give birth in the next few days.

Ryan Norman returns to Indy Lights with Andretti Autosport in 2019

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Ryan Norman will return to Andretti Autosport for their third season together in 2019 after scoring his first win and first pole with that organization in 2018.

I’m really excited to finally make it official that I’ll be returning to Andretti Autosport for my third season competing in Indy Lights,” said Norman in a press release. “We’ve built a solid foundation over the past two years and I’m ready to fight for wins, podiums and ultimately the championship, with such a great group of people who have become like a family to me.”

Norman finished 2018 fourth in the championship, earning his first career win in race 15 of the 17-race schedule at Gateway Motorsports Park in August.

Norman’s first pole came in the finale at Portland International Raceway in September, but he crashed on the first lap and finished last (8th).

“We’re very happy that Ryan is rejoining us for his third season of Indy Lights,” said Andretti Autosport President, JF Thormann. “We were pleased with his performance this past season, and his potential as a driver began to really shine after his win at Gateway. He’s right on track with his progression plan put together by his engineering team, and we feel strongly that he has what it takes to be a contender for the 2019 championship.”

Norman will essentially replace teammates Patricio O’Ward and Colton Herta, who will race for Rookie of the Year honors in IndyCar next season.  O’Ward finished first in the Indy Lights standings last year; Herta finished second.

Norman’s 2019 campaign will begin on the streets of St. Petersburgh, Florida March 9, 2019. That will be the first of a double-header with Race 2 running the following day.