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Hamilton: No advantage gained running wide at Turn 1 in Mexico

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Lewis Hamilton does not believe he gained any advantage by running across the grass at Turn 1 on the opening lap of Sunday’s Mexican Grand Prix en route to his eighth victory of the season.

Starting from pole in Mexico, Hamilton had an issue warming up his brakes ahead of the race start, causing him to lock his front tires at the first corner.

The Briton opted to run wide instead of trying to make the corner and damage his tires, bouncing across the grass before returning to the track still leading the race.

Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo told NBCSN after the race that he felt Hamilton deserved a penalty, with Max Verstappen having five seconds added to his time for a similar move later on.

However, Hamilton explained the issue after the race and felt that he gained no advantage as a result of the move due to the flat-spot on his tires and the safety car that neutralized the race soon after.

“I went into Turn 1 and the right front eventually woke up and just locked,” Hamilton explained.

“I was carrying such speed. I was lucky I didn’t go in the wall or something. And after that I had just the biggest vibration. I didn’t know if I was going to be able to make it in the first stint.

“Honestly I thought I had to stop, the vibration was so big I would barely see, to be honest. It was really nice when I got some new, fresh tires, and it was much smoother.

“I had a completely flat-spotted tire so that definitely wasn’t an advantage but I think I was still in the lead going in so I was in the lead coming out, so that’s not… I don’t believe so.”

Hamilton went on to win his second race in the space of seven days, cutting the gap to Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg in the drivers’ championship down to 19 points with two races remaining this season.

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.