Gutierrez vows to keep fighting as points drought continues at Monza

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Esteban Gutierrez says he will keep fighting after a poor start to Sunday’s Italian Grand Prixcost him a shot at his first Formula 1 points in almost three years.

Gutierrez scored Haas F1 Team’s first Q3 finish in qualifying on Saturday, lining up 10th on the grid.

However, a slow start saw the Mexican driver drop all the way back to 20th place at the end of the first lap, leaving him with a fight through the field.

Gutierrez ultimately crossed the line 13th, 20 seconds off Jenson Button in P12 and Haas teammate Romain Grosjean in 11th.

“Very disappointing start, a lot of wheelspin, no reaction on the car. Not a great way to start the race,” Gutierrez explained to NBCSN after the race.

“I tried as quick as I could. Not ideal to fight with, it took me a bit of time. We had good rhythm. We just need to focus on solving this small detail which makes a big difference.”

Gutierrez conceded that the poor start hurt after qualifying so highly, knowing that his first points since Japan 2013 were within reach.

“It was horrible! It was really horrible because you have all the motivation, the pace, the car – and then with a bad start you see everyone coming back,” Gutierrez said.

“It’s important to be persistent. No matter how bad things get, keep fighting. Same as in life, racing is the same. It’s a great example of those details.”

Grosjean started 17th after being hit with a grid penalty following a gearbox change, but charged to 11th place by making a risky one-stop strategy work.

“We are just lacking a bit of speed in race to be in points. We tried an aggressive one stop strategy; but a bit of graining cost us a few seconds,” Grosjean told NBCSN.

“We needed 12 to get to P10. Just need to learn what we can do better for next race.

“We didn’t run much of the mediums and the engineers weren’t comfortable to put them on. We’ll look back. The numbers weren’t great. If we can fine tune our strategy we’ll be better.”

Grosjean is hopeful of Haas’ chances in Singapore in two weeks’ time though, confirming that the VF-16 car will receive a set of updates that should aid his push for points.

“Singapore is one of the great races of the season. We have a lot of new parts on the car coming and I think we’ll be good,” the Frenchman said.

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.