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Lewis Hamilton enjoys ‘amazing’ meeting with Toto Wolff about Mercedes’ F1 2017 plans

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Lewis Hamilton is confident that Mercedes will have the strongest driver partnership in Formula 1 next year after an “amazing” meeting with team boss Toto Wolff on Sunday.

Hamilton missed out on a fourth F1 drivers’ championship in 2016 after falling five points short of Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg in the final standings.

Rosberg announced five days after winning his maiden World Championship that he would be retiring from F1 with immediate effect, freeing up a seat at Mercedes for 2017.

Speculation has been rife about who will be Hamilton’s teammate for 2017, with Fernando Alonso, Sebastian Vettel and Pascal Wehrlein among the drivers linked to the seat.

Mercedes began its search for Rosberg’s replacement on Monday, with team boss Toto Wolff saying that whoever was hired would be given equal rights to Hamilton for 2017.

Hamilton took to Instagram on Sunday night to address his fans, posting two short videos of him and Wolff to the ‘stories’ section of his account.

“Hi everyone, we’re in Toto’s kitchen. We just had an amazing meeting,” Hamilton said in the first video.

“I just wanted to send you all a message out, let you know that we’re going to be the strongest partnership next year, and we look forward to fighting for this championship again. Hope you’re all well.”

Wolff added in the second video: “Hi everybody. We spent a good couple of hours together, we had a really fantastic meeting.

“We’ll be coming back so strong in 2017.”

Other names linked with the Mercedes drive for 2017 include Valtteri Bottas and Carlos Sainz Jr., with the team set to decide on Rosberg’s replacement before the end of the year.

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.