Hamilton ‘pretty sure’ poor start at Monza ‘wasn’t my mistake’

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Lewis Hamilton believes that his poor start in Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix was not his fault, saying he went through his usual procedures when trying to get away from pole position.

Hamilton entered the race at Monza hopeful of extending his Formula 1 drivers’ championship lead, only to slip back to sixth after bogging down off the line.

Hamilton passed Daniel Ricciardo and Valtteri Bottas through the first stint of the race before perfecting his one-stop strategy to overhaul the Ferraris and finish second.

Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg capitalized on Hamilton’s setback, picking up his seventh win of the year and cutting the gap in the standings to just two points.

Hamilton took account for the bad start over the radio during the race, but said afterwards that he did not think it was his error.

“I’m pretty sure it wasn’t my mistake,” Hamilton told NBCSN.

“But I knew my guys would be sitting there, panicking, nervous that I’d be angry for the rest of the race. I wanted to put them at ease.

“I think I just got wheelspin. I need to go have a look at see the actual problem was. That was what decided the race, and I did my best to come back.

“I don’t know what happened. I had no hesitations.”

Hamilton’s poor start was not the first that has cost him in 2016, much to the Briton’s chagrin.

“It’s quite easy to be honest. Composure is not an issue. Getting off the line has been,” Hamilton said.

“This is maybe three or four race wins lost from the start. That’s something I can’t really afford for the next few races.

“If we would have got away the way we needed to today we would have won the race. The pace is there in qualifying and race.”

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.