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Hamilton hopes Mercedes doesn’t invoke team orders

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Lewis Hamilton hopes that Mercedes’ Formula 1 bosses do not invoke team orders following his clash with teammate Nico Rosberg on the final lap of Sunday’s Austrian Grand Prix.

The two Mercedes drivers collided while battling for the lead at the Red Bull Ring, leaving Rosberg with damage that meant he could only finish the race fourth.

Hamilton managed to continue and pick up his third victory of the season, cutting the gap to Rosberg in the drivers’ championship down to just 11 points.

Rosberg was deemed to have caused a collision by the stewards, leading team chief Toto Wolff to suggest that team orders may be used in the future to prevent repeat incidents.

Mercedes has persisted with letting its drivers race despite previous clashes, but the latest incident appears to have gone down as one too many.

However, Hamilton told reporters after the race that he wants to be able to race Rosberg freely on-track, having seen the impact of team orders before.

“I grew up wanting to race, and to get to Formula 1 and race the best and be the best by out driving another individual,” Hamilton said.

“I think they showed a replay of maybe Michael [Schumacher] and [Rubens] Barrichello many years ago and I was disappointed as a fan back then. We never want to see team orders like that ever happen.

“The great thing is that Toto and Niki [Lauda] have been great these past three years in allowing us to race and that’s what racing is about. It’s not always going to be blue skies and perfect, but that’s motor racing.

“We’re driving at 200 mph and you expect us to drive around and never have a problem? I doubt it.

“So I hope that it doesn’t change and I hope that we can continue to race. That’s just my honest opinion from my love of this sport.”

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.