Hamilton unconcerned by issue on Rosberg’s new engine

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Lewis Hamilton has no concerns with his updated power unit for this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix despite seeing teammate Nico Rosberg be forced into a change following practice on Saturday.

Mercedes spent all seven of its remaining development tokens to upgrade its power unit ahead of the race weekend at Monza in a bid to increase its advantage over the chasing pack.

Hamilton put the extra power to good use during qualifying on Saturday as he surged to his seventh consecutive pole position.

However, an issue on Rosberg’s power unit forced Mercedes into switching back to the one he used for the Belgian Grand Prix two weeks ago, leaving him down on power compared to his teammate.

As a result, Rosberg could only qualify fourth, finishing behind the Ferrari duo of Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel in second and third place respectively.

Speaking after qualifying on Saturday, Hamilton said that although he did not know the cause of Rosberg’s issue, he had no fears about a similar problem occurring on his power unit.

“As far as I am aware, no,” Hamilton said. “But I don’t really know what was the issue.

“The guys in the garage have done an amazing job to change the engine in the short space of time that they have, and hopefully we can still bag some good points for the team tomorrow.”

Hamilton has swept the entire weekend so far, topping every single session during practice and qualifying at Monza.

The Briton expressed his pleasure with how the Mercedes W06 Hybrid car was working at Monza, even if he felt that his pole lap in Belgium two weeks ago was more impressive.

“The car’s been feeling good all weekend,” Hamilton said. “The engineers and mechanics have done a fantastic job on both sides of the garage.

“A big thanks to the guys back at the factory who have made improvements to the reliability engine and to bring that here is a good step for us.

“Just yeah, really happy. I don’t really know what to say. My Spa lap was better!”

The Italian Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 7:30am ET on Sunday.

IMSA’s 50th Anniversary Celebration: Why Sebring is so special to Bobby Rahal

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Bobby Rahal has driven in some of the biggest races in the world, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Rolex 24 Hours and, of course, winning the Indianapolis 500 as a driver in 1986 and in 2004 as a team owner.

But winning the 12 Hours of Sebring two years in a row (1987 and 1988), Rahal feels, is right up there in terms of his greatest accomplishments as a race car driver.

As IMSA celebrates its 50th anniversary, Rahal reflected on what racing at Sebring International Raceway has meant to him:

“To me, Sebring is the ultimate endurance race. Not as long as Daytona or Le Mans, but the demands put on a car and driver at Sebring are highly unusual.

“My father raced at Sebring in the late 60’s. To win that race two years in a row really meant something to me.

“While we’ve won a lot of other races, we’ve won just about everywhere, you name it. But for me personally, winning at Sebring those two years in a row was very special.”

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