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F1: Lewis Hamilton fastest in final practice for Australian GP

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Lewis Hamilton was once again the fastest in the third and final practice session for the season-opening Australian Grand Prix with an elapsed time of 1:22.292. 

With his fast time, Hamilton completed a sweep of all three practice sessions, as the defending world champion’s Mercedes was also the quickest in the first two practices Friday.

Sebastian Vettel finished second with a time of 1:22:556, followed by his Ferrari teammate, Charles Leclerc (1:22:749). 

Haas teammates Roman Grosjean (1:23:113), and Kevin Magnuessen (1:23.334), were fourth and fifth, respectively.

The rest of the top 10: Red Bull driver Pierre Gasly, Valtteri Bottas, Daniil Kvyat, Max Verstappen and Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo.

Robert Kubica was the slowest in a frustrating final practice session for the Williams/Mercedes team. Kubica hit the pit wall while entering pit lane too quickly.

He also was involved in a pit-lane incident with rookie McLaren driver Lando Norris that resulted in Norris being called to the stewards for an unsafe release.

Full FP3 results are below:  

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.