AP

Rosberg: “The weather is fine with me”

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AUSTIN, Texas – Nico Rosberg spoke of nailing the timing in tricky conditions en route to his third straight and fourth overall pole position for Mercedes AMG Petronas, ahead of today’s United States Grand Prix (2:30 p.m. ET, NBC).

Rosberg posted a 1:56.824 in Q2, just over a tenth clear of teammate and World Championship leader Lewis Hamilton at 1:56.929. The two were both more than a second clear of Infiniti Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo.

“Obviously a really good qualifying. I was very comfortable with the car,” Rosberg said during the post-qualifying press conference.

“It was difficult out there with aquaplaning. You just really struggle to have control of the car. It’s been quite challenging.

“But I did a good lap with a used set of tires, which was good. Q3, we had a new set to go.”

He didn’t entirely know what to expect for the race, which should be still held in wet if perhaps drying conditions.

“For the race, we have no idea. It was supposed to be drying out,” Rosberg said.

“But who knows. Our cars race in any condition. The weather is fine with me.”

Rosberg enters the race down 73 points to Hamilton, with only a remote chance of remaining mathematically eligible for the World Championship.

If Hamilton outscores him by two points or more, Rosberg will be eliminated; however if Rosberg were to finish ahead, he’d stay alive at least until the Mexican Grand Prix next week.

Rosberg also scored the pole for last year’s USGP, albeit in clean, dry and sunny conditions. But Hamilton passed him for the lead and ultimately, the win.

Rinus VeeKay to drive for Ed Carpenter Racing in 2020

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Ed Carpenter Racing has signed 2019 Indy Lights runner-up Rinus VeeKay to drive the full 2020 NTT IndyCar Series season, the team announced Wednesday.

VeeKay will drive the No. 21 Chevrolet previously occupied by Spencer Pigot.

“I’m so happy!” the 19-year-old driver from the Netherlands said in a press release. “It’s a dream come true and something we have worked extremely hard for over the last couple of years. To step up from USF2000 to the NTT IndyCar Series in three years is really special.”

In his maiden Indy Lights season this year, VeeKay collected six race victories and seven pole potions. VeeKay previously won the 2018 Indy Pro 2000 championship, and finished second in the 2017 USF2000 standings.

VeeKay’s success in the ladder series caught the attention of Carpenter, who gave VeeKay the opportunity to first test for the team at Portland International Raceway in August.

“I have been following Rinus’s path through the Road to Indy, especially the past two years,” Carpenter said. “It was clear to me that he deserves to be in an Indy car. After his first day in a car at Portland this past season, that feeling became even more apparent. His pace, feedback and demeanor inside the car was very impressive for such a young driver.”

As a driver, Carpenter will be VeeKay’s teammate during the five oval races in 2020, once again returning to the team’s No. 20 entry. An announcement on which driver will pilot the No. 20 on the road and street circuits will be made at a later time.

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