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Di Grassi: No reason for Abt to let me past late in Berlin

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BERLIN, Germany – Lucas di Grassi has defended ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport teammate Daniel Abt’s decision to not to let him past on the final lap of the Formula E race in Berlin, saying that the German deserved to finish second.

Di Grassi arrived in Berlin with an 11 point lead at the top of the drivers’ championship, but will head to the season finale in London with an advantage of just one after title rival Sebastien Buemi won Saturday’s race.

Di Grassi fought from eighth on the grid to run third late on behind Abt, who was asked by the team to move aside for his teammate with three laps to go.

Abt explained after the race that he tried to let di Grassi past on the penultimate lap, but he was too far away. On the last lap, he opted not to as he was wary of also losing a position to Renault e.dams driver Nicolas Prost in fourth place.

“I think Lucas has the tools he needs to win it by himself. He’s an amazing racing driver,” Abt said.

“He again managed to finish on the podium, I don’t know how he always does it.”

Despite being denied an extra three championship points that could prove crucial in the title fight against Buemi, di Grassi said that he did not expect or want to be given the position, believing that team orders should only be used when absolutely necessary.

“I’m not a big fan of team orders unless it’s the last race and the event and really necessary for winning a title or something like this,” di Grassi said.

“Daniel did a great qualifying, a great race. He deserved a second place and it would be unfair to change place. I didn’t receive any call and I didn’t ask for any place change. I would never do that unless it was extremely necessary.

“That’s how I behave and I think how the team should behave. Unless it’s the last lap, there should be no team orders. Everybody is racing themselves and that’s how racing should be. So I’m very happy.”

The final two races of the Formula E season take place in London on July 2 and 3.

Mike Tirico and Danica Patrick team up again on NBC’s Indy 500 coverage

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Mike Tirico and Danica Patrick will return to NBC Sports’ coverage of the Indianapolis 500, which will be broadcast Aug. 23 at 1 p.m. ET on NBC (green flag at 2:30 p.m.).

Tirico and Patrick, who both joined NBC Sports for its inaugural coverage of the event last year, will reprise their roles as host and studio analyst.

One of the most versatile voices in sports, Tirico also hosts NBC Olympics’ primetime coverage, Football Night in America and many other premier events, including hosting on-site at Indianapolis Motor Speedway earlier this year for the first-ever IndyCar-NASCAR crossover weekend.

AT THE BRICKYARD: Daily Indy 500 coverage schedule on NBC, NBCSN

He again will be joined during prerace, in-race, and postrace coverage by Patrick, who became the first woman to lead the Indy 500 in 2005 and also was the first female pole-sitter in NASCAR driver.

They will make their debut together duing practice coverage on Aug. 21, on NBCSN.

“My first Indy 500 last year exceeded my very high expectations in every way,” Tirico said in a release. “Although this year’s race will take place under unprecedented circumstances, I can’t wait to get back to Indy. I’m confident that our team at the Brickyard will provide viewers with as exciting a viewing experience as possible. I am also thrilled that Danica Patrick is along for the ride again this year. We had such a great time last May and look forward to bringing Indy home for the viewers again.”

Said Patrick: “The Indianapolis 500 is an event that transcends mainstream and motorsports which is why it’s so special. We are living during a time that if we can bring people together, we should. Even if it’s not physically. I am honored to be back with the NBC Sports team and Mike Tirico. The memories I have from 15 years at IMS hold such a special place in my heart and I can’t wait to make more this year in the booth, or however we are positioned in 2020!”

This will mark NBC Sports’ second season as the exclusive home of the NTT IndyCar Series, including the Indianapolis 500, which will take place in August for the first time ever because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.