Hamilton sure he can go quicker still after Monza practice

1 Comment

Lewis Hamilton sent out an ominous statement of intent to his rivals by saying that he could go faster still after topping both practice sessions at Monza on Friday.

Running with an upgraded power unit for this weekend, Hamilton and Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg stormed to a one-two finish in FP1 and FP2.

Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari finished as the best of the rest in both sessions, but the gaps of 1.588 seconds and 0.759 seconds to Hamilton in FP1 and FP2 respectively make Mercedes’ advantage clear to see.

However, Hamilton still feels that there is more to come from Mercedes at Monza across the remainder of the weekend, saying after practice how he felt that there was extra pace in the car.

“Today was a good day definitely a testing day in terms of our programme,” Hamilton said. “I had a bit of a break in the second session but it was just so the team could check a few spikes in the data and everything was okay in the end.

“I didn’t particularly hook up the first two sectors this afternoon, they were definitely better in the morning. So I’m sure there’s some pace to find and I’ll be looking through the data tonight to find it.

“There’s nothing major, just very small tweaks here and there which might give that bit extra. The car is feeling good and the team are doing a great job but its still very intense out there.”

Regardless of his advantage, Hamilton said that he is still wary of the threat from behind that could come from Ferrari across the remainder of the weekend and the rest of the season.

“We’re working as hard as we can to keep improving and the challenge is always there no matter how fast you are,” Hamilton said.

“Now we need to keep it together through the weekend. It should be close with Nico as always so I’m looking forward to a battle.”

Qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 8am ET on Saturday.

Final 2023 Rolex 24 at Daytona results, stats

0 Comments

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — The 2023 Rolex 24 at Daytona overall results were all streaks: two consecutive victories in the endurance classic for Meyer Shank Racing and three in a row for Acura.

And Helio Castroneves became the second driver to win three consecutive Rolex 24s and the first to win in three straight years (Peter Gregg won in 1973, ’75 and ’76; the race wasn’t held in ’74 because of a global oil crisis).

Starting from the pole position, Tom Blomqvist took the checkered flag in the No. 60 ARX-06 that led a race-high 365 of 783 laps with co-drivers Castroneves, Simon Pagenaud and Colin Braun.

RESULTS: Click here for the finishing order in the 61st Rolex 24 at Daytona l By class

Meyer Shank Racing now has two Rolex 24 victories and the 2022 championship since entering the premier prototype category of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in 2021.

“I think what’s so special about this team is we are a small team compared to some of our opponents, but the atmosphere, the way we work, enables people to get the best out of themselves, and I think that’s why we’re such high achievers,” Blomqvist said. “I think there’s no egos. It’s a very open book, and that just enables each and every one of us to reach our potential. I think that’s why we’ve achieved so much success in really a short time at this level of competition.”

It’s the 16th IMSA victory for MSR.

The 61st running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona marked the debut of the Grand Touring Prototype category that brought hybrid engine technology to IMSA’s top level.

In other categories:

LMP2: James Allen passed Ben Hanley on the final lap and delivered a victory in the No. 55 ORECA by 0.016 seconds. It’s the second IMSA victory for Proton Competition, which last won at Sebring in 2012. It was the first Rolex 24 victory for Allen and co-drivers Gianmaria Bruni, Fred Poordad and Francesco Pizzi.

GTD Pro: Cooper MacNeil won in the last start of his IMSA career as the No. 79 Mercedes-AMG GT3 scored the first Rolex 24 at Daytona for WeatherTech Racing and the team’s fourth career victory.

MacNeil, who co-drove with Maro Engel, Jules Gounon and Daniel Juncadella, earned his 12th career victory and first at the Rolex 24.

“Winning by last IMSA race is tremendous,” MacNeil said.

GTD: The No. 27 Heart of Racing Team delivered the first Rolex 24 at Daytona for Aston Martin, which has been competing in endurance races at Daytona International Speedway since 1964. Drivers Marco Sorensen, Roman De Angelis, Darren Turner and Ian James (also the team principal) earned the victory in the English brand’s 13th attempt.

It’s also the first Rolex 24 at Daytona win for Heart of Racing, which has seven IMSA wins.

LMP3: Anthony Mantella, Wayne Boyd, Nico Varrone and Thomas Merrill drove the No. 17 AWA Duqueine D08 to victory by 12 laps for the team’s first class win in IMSA.


STATS PACKAGE FOR ROLEX 24 HOURS OF DAYTONA:

Fastest laps by driver

Fastest laps by driver after race (over the weekend)

Fastest laps by driver and class after race

Fastest lap sequence

Lap chart

Leader sequence

Race analysis by lap

Stint analysis

Time cards

Pit stop time cards

Best sector times

Race distance and speed average

Flag analysis

Weather report

NEXT: The 2023 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season will resume with the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring March 18 with coverage across NBC, USA and Peacock.