Rosberg ‘not ecstatic’ with China pole due to Hamilton problem

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Nico Rosberg was content but not overawed by his pole position in qualifying for Sunday’s Chinese Grand Prix after Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton was sidelined by an engine issue early on.

Hamilton failed to post a time in Q1 due to an ERS problem on his Mercedes W07 Hybrid car, resigning him to the back of the grid for the start of tomorrow’s race.

Rosberg took advantage of Hamilton’s demise to pick up his first pole of the season, beating Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo and Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen at the end of Q3.

Speaking after the session, Rosberg was happy with his display, but said he did not feel ecstatic after seeing Hamilton hit trouble.

“I’m pleased of course. The whole weekend has gone well,” Rosberg said.

“The car was handling well today in qualifying. To get a lap done and put it in pole, I’m happy about that of course.

“I’m not ecstatic because of course Lewis had bad luck and his car broke down. The fight didn’t happen, didn’t take place.

“But anyway, I’m pleased.”

Rosberg will start Sunday’s race on the soft tire after managing to get through Q2 without using the quicker super-softs, which Mercedes was known to be uneasy about using in the race due to their short life.

However, Rosberg remains unsure about what kind of advantage it will offer.

“I’m not really sure, I haven’t dug into strategy stuff so much just yet,” Rosberg said.

“I think it’s going to be a good thing to start with that tire, but I’m not sure yet, we need to look into it tonight.”

The Chinese Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 1:30am ET on Sunday.

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.