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Rossi keen to keep momentum going after F1 debut

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Alexander Rossi heads into this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix full of confidence after a successful grand prix debut with Manor in Singapore last Sunday.

Manor announced last week that Rossi had joined the team on a five-race deal, with his first coming in Singapore as he finished 14th.

The American finished ahead of teammate Will Stevens at the first attempt and put in a solid display despite having no radio contact for the second half of the race.

Rossi admitted that his first race in Formula 1 could not have gone much better, but he is now working on carrying this momentum through into this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix.

“My F1 racing debut in Singapore last weekend really couldn’t have worked out any better for me and I learned such a lot in a very short space of time,” Rossi said.

“I head to Suzuka eager to pick up where I left off and focused on taking things to the next level, with the benefit of a little more familiarization with the car and on a different type of race track.”

Rossi paid tribute to the team spirit at Manor ahead of what will be an emotional weekend at Suzuka, one year on from Jules Bianchi’s accident.

“One thing I didn’t need to learn – because I already knew – was what a great group of people I am fortunate enough to be able to call my team,” Rossi said.

“They made things very easy for me in Singapore and with a difficult weekend ahead for all of us, I’m hoping to do the same for them.”

Sunday’s race will be Rossi’s final race until the United States Grand Prix at the end of October, as he is missing the Russian Grand Prix to race in GP2 and keep his bid to become vice-champion alive.

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.