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Rosberg revels in ‘almost perfect’ Bahrain GP weekend

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Nico Rosberg made no secret of his delight after claiming his fifth consecutive Formula 1 victory in Sunday’s Bahrain Grand Prix, capping off what he called an “almost perfect” weekend.

Rosberg made a good start from second place on the grid to beat Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton on the run down to Turn 1 and seize the lead.

As Hamilton got tangled up with Valtteri Bottas behind and dropped back, Rosberg was able to forge a crucial lead early on that would propel him to his 16th grand prix victory and fifth in succession.

“Wow, what a weekend! I am so happy with how everything is working out at the moment,” Rosberg said after the race.

“The start was definitely the key to my win – and that was a really great moment, as it was an area that we put a lot effort into before the race. Leading into Turn 1 was a relief, to be honest, as I could see in my mirrors that it was very busy behind me.

“But from then on I was able to control the pace and take the win. Strategy-wise we had to play it safe. It maybe wasn’t the quickest option – but we had to cover the risk of a safety car.

“It was an almost perfect weekend for me – only qualifying could have been a fraction better.”

Rosberg sits at the top of the drivers’ championship with two wins from two races, leading Hamilton by 17 points after the Briton could only recover to third in Bahrain.

“What a great start to the season – a big thank you to the guys and girls at the factories for this amazing car!” Rosberg said.

“Now I look forward to China, where I won my first ever grand prix, so I have plenty of positive energy heading there.”

The Chinese Grand Prix takes place on April 17 at the Shanghai International Circuit.

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.