Getty Images

Missing out on Monaco podium ‘painful’ for Bottas

Leave a comment

Missing out on a podium finish in Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix felt “painful” for Mercedes Formula 1 driver Valtteri Bottas as he was left to settle for fourth place at the checkered flag.

Bottas qualified third in Monaco, just 0.045 seconds off Ferrari pole-sitter Kimi Raikkonen, and held position through the opening stint of the race.

Red Bull opted to bring fourth-placed Max Verstappen into the pits early, forcing Mercedes to stop Bottas just one lap later in order to cover the Dutchman, only for this to allow Daniel Ricciardo – who had been P5 – to jump ahead after staying out longer, recording quick laps on the ultra-soft tire.

Bottas had a brief chance to grab third late on when Ricciardo made a mistake and touched the wall, but ultimately finished fourth, narrowly missing out on a maiden Monaco podium.

“Missing out on a first Monaco podium is painful. It’s been a long week and we’ve worked so hard, so it’s disappointing to miss out,” Bottas said.

“I was stuck in the traffic while Daniel was running in free air and ultimately, that cost me a place on the podium. It’s been a really tough weekend for us and we’ve just been missing pace.”

With Red Bull tag-teaming Bottas by splitting its drivers’ strategies, Mercedes F1 chief Toto Wolff felt after the race there was no way to retain third.

“We had exactly two choices: lose against Max or lose against Daniel,” Wolff said, as quoted by the official F1 website.

“When Max pitted Valtteri complained that his tires were going off, so we needed to protect him against an undercut from Max – and hope that Daniel would not be able to extract more performance in that period.

“Actually Daniel did some amazing laps – similar to what Sebastian [Vettel] did in the front. So at that stage of the race it was already clear that we would lose against one of the Red Bulls.”

Monaco saw Ferrari seal its first one-two finish in seven years and re-take the lead of the constructors’ championship from Mercedes, with Bottas’ teammate, Lewis Hamilton, taking seventh.

“Ferrari were very strong this weekend and for whatever reason, their car seems easier to operate, so we have work to do,” Bottas said.

“We have to learn from this, but there’s a long year ahead. Hopefully this will be our worst weekend this season. Canada should be a different story.”

IndyCar teams with NASCAR on IMS road course doubleheader in 2021

IndyCar NASCAR doubleheader 2021
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Leave a comment

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.