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Rosberg closes out Brazilian GP practice fastest

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Nico Rosberg bounced back after a quiet Friday to finish fastest in the final Formula 1 practice session ahead of this weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos.

Rosberg trailed Mercedes teammate and championship rival Lewis Hamilton throughout practice on Friday, but rose to the helm of the timesheets in FP3 to give himself a boost heading into qualifying later on Saturday.

Overnight rain left the track damp for the early part of the session, but conditions improved quickly to allow the drivers to complete a good part of their running on dry tires.

Both Ferrari and Red Bull enjoyed stints at the top of the timesheets during the early part of the session, with Daniel Ricciardo leading the way ahead of the qualifying simulations in the final 10 minutes.

Rosberg was the first of the Mercedes drivers to get out for an aggressive run over a single lap, producing a time of 1:11.740. Hamilton ran the championship leader close, but fell 0.093 seconds short of P1 with his best lap.

Ferrari enjoyed a solid session as Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen finished up third and fourth respectively, suggesting the Italian marque may be in the mix at the front in its fight against Red Bull, whose drivers Max Verstappen and Ricciardo ended up fifth and sixth.

Valtteri Bottas slotted into in seventh place ahead of Renault’s Jolyon Palmer, who charged up to P8 for Renault with a mighty lap. Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso rounded out the top 10 for Williams and McLaren in ninth and 10th place respectively.

The session went by without any major incidents, with the most notable issue being the appearance of an errant umbrella on the track in the early part of the session. Thankfully, a quick-footed marshal was able to recover it without it affecting any of the drivers.

Qualifying for the Brazilian Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and the NBC Sports app from 11am ET on Saturday.

Andretti United team names drivers for inaugural Extreme E season

Extreme E drivers Andretti
Extreme E
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The Extreme E team formed by Andretti Autosport and United Autosports named Catie Munnings and Timmy Hansen as its drivers Monday for the series’ inaugural 2021 season.

Munnings is a successful veteran of rally series. Hansen is a past winner and champion in the World Rallycross Championship.

They both will race in the environmentally conscious electric SUV series that will hold events in five areas around the world that are threatened by climate change. Chip Ganassi Racing and six-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton also are fielding cars in Extreme E, which will feature male and female co-drivers on every team.

Catie Munnings

“I’m so excited to join Andretti United Extreme E,” Munnings said in a release. ““I was really intrigued when I first heard about Extreme E, I just knew I had to be involved. The male / female racing partnership is a fantastic and exciting new concept. The season has incredible locations and the racing will be very exciting. It will be a new challenge for the teams and drivers, and I’m so thrilled to be working with such a strong team.

“The championship is a really innovative concept, it’s combining motorsport and science and will produce an important legacy in each race location. Bringing the platform that motorsport has in line with the awareness that the planet needs right now is awesome and a really important message.”

Timmy Hansen

Said Hansen: “Going into the Extreme E will be a new chapter in my career, one that I am extremely excited about. It is something brand new, not only for me, but the whole of motorsport. The format is something

we’ve never seen before. I’m also delighted to be able to carry the message of something bigger – talking about the environment and doing something good for the world – that’s something that really drives me. It’s going to be a big adventure in life to see these locations and I’m going to do my best in carrying this responsibility and hopefully making people aware of the challenges we have in the world, together with our passion for racing.”