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Andretti: Mercedes clash in Austria was “100 percent” on Rosberg


As the Mercedes AMG Petronas teammates – and the rest of the Formula 1 circus – heads to Silverstone this week for the British Grand Prix, the drama of the Austrian Grand Prix finish between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg has also come to the U.K.

In a brief chat with 1978 World Champion Mario Andretti on Thursday, he made no hesitation about who was to blame for the clash at Turn 2 that left Rosberg’s car wounded, as Hamilton took the win.

“I think Nico just drove Lewis off the track,” Andretti told NBC Sports. “Obviously he made a mistake going into Turn 1; he protected the inside.

“The toughest way around is the outside, and he left him no room. He paid the price, and he should have.

“There’s no question in my opinion that the fault was 100 percent his as to what happened.

“This was coming down to a classic maneuver there. Nico was a little bit too ambitious.

“If he says ‘it’s the brakes,’ well he knew damn well what the brakes were. If he knew they were failing, it might have behooved him to back off.”

Mercedes issued a statement on Thursday saying there’d been positive meetings and the pair was still free to race, although tempered it by noting that within the “rules of engagement” any further clashes would bring consequences.

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.