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Hamilton: Rosberg’s F1 championship lead seemed ‘impossible’ to overcome

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Lewis Hamilton believed that Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg’s lead in the Formula 1 drivers’ championship was “impossible” to close earlier this year before a change in fortunes brought him back into contention.

Hamilton trailed Rosberg by 43 points in the drivers’ championship after five races in 2016, marking the German’s biggest lead during their time together as teammates at Mercedes.

However, four wins in the last five races have drawn Hamilton to within a single point of Rosberg ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix next weekend.

“It’s crazy to think that the 43-point deficit I had at the time, which seemed impossible,” Hamilton said during a Facebook Q&A with UBS.

“I’m only human, so those days I feel like it seemed impossible. You’ve just got to keep going, as painful as it can be, as hard as it can be.

“You might get over it quickly, it might take longer but you just have to keep going. It’s not how you fall, it’s how you get up from those experiences that you can become stronger. I feel I’m stronger right now than I was at the beginning.

“I don’t do everything perfectly, I make mistakes. There’s days when I thought: ‘The world’s coming to an end, I’m never going to win this championship blah blah blah’. I have those same things we all have. Somehow I try to find the positives in it.

“Look at where I am now, I’m one point behind in the championship. I’m even surprised. I’m like: ‘If I had given up at one point…’ – it just shows you to never ever ever give up no matter what.”

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.