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Grosjean: Renault took too long to agree Lotus deal

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Romain Grosjean has admitted that he would not have moved to the rookie Haas Formula 1 team for 2016 had Lotus and Renault agreed a takeover sooner.

On Tuesday, Grosjean was unveiled by NASCAR team co-owner Gene Haas as the first driver for his new team’s foray into F1 next season.

Grosjean will leave Lotus at the end of the season after six years of association with the Enstone team that has struggled financially in recent years.

A buy-out of Lotus by Renault has been in the works for some time, but it was not until Monday that an announcement was made confirming a letter of intent had been signed.

Speaking to BBC World Service, Grosjean admitted that he was keen to remain at Enstone and be a part of the new Renault project, but that the deal took too long to be finalized.

“I was the first one who wanted to be part of the Renault project,” Grosjean said. “If they had come earlier I would have stayed.

“But I met with Haas, they made an approach and it was attractive.”

Grosjean admitted that he found Haas’ links to Ferrari via a technical partnership appealing, believing that it will aid his chances of getting a seat at the Italian manufacturer’s works team in the future.

“The fact that Haas is close to Ferrari made it very appealing – not because I’m thinking about Ferrari in one, two or three years, but it does bring me closer for sure,” Grosjean said.

“They’ll look at what we do. The better job I do there the better chance I have of getting a seat with Ferrari one day.”

IndyCar at IMS Friday: How to watch, start times, live streaming info

IndyCar Indianapolis start times
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With three races remaining in the NTT IndyCar Series season, Scott Dixon has a commanding lead and history on his side entering Friday’s opener of the Harvest GP at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The five-time series champion leads defending champ Josef Newgarden by 72 points.

Since 2014, the points leader with three races left has won the championship in five of the past six years, including Dixon in ’18.

The Chip Ganassi Racing driver has led the championship standings following every round after opening 2020 with three consecutive victories. Dixon also led the points by 78 points with three races remaining when he won the title in 2008.

Dixon, Newgarden, Pato O’Ward, Colton Herta, Will Power, Graham Rahal and Takuma Sato are championship eligible.

Anyone outside 108 points of the lead after Indy will be eliminated heading into the Oct. 25 season finale at St. Petersburg, Florida.

Here is the IndyCar Harvest GP at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course schedule for Friday (all times are ET), including details and start times:


Indianapolis Motor Speedway TV schedule for Friday

IndyCar Harvest GP Race 1: 3:30 p.m., USA Network, NBC Sports Gold and streaming on the NBC Sports App and NBCSports.com); Leigh Diffey is the lead announcer for IndyCar on NBCSN this weekend with analysts Townsend Bell and Paul Tracy.


IndyCar Harvest GP, Race 1 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway start times, information

COMMAND TO START ENGINES: 3:53 p.m.

GREEN FLAG: 4 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is 85 laps (207.35 miles) around Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s a 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course in Indianapolis.

TIRE ALLOTMENT: Nine sets primary, five sets alternate (A 10th set of primary tires is available to any car fielding a rookie.) Teams must use one set of primary and one set of alternate tires in the race.

PUSH TO PASS: 200 seconds of total time with a maximum time of 20 seconds per activation.

FORECAST: According to Wunderground.com, it’s expected to be 57 degrees with a 0% chance of rain at the green flag.

QUALIFYING: 6:20 p.m. Thursday (NBC Sports Gold)

ENTRY LIST: Click here for the 25 drivers racing this weekend at Indianapolis