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F1: Lewis Hamilton nabs Australian GP pole in Mercedes 1-2

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Lewis Hamilton set a new track record in Q3 of Formula One qualifying to take the pole for Sunday’s Australian Grand Prix at Melbourne’s Albert Park circuit.

The defending world champion beat teammate Valtteri Bottas by 0.112 seconds to claim his sixth consecutive Melbourne pole with a record lap time of 1:20:486. With his eighth pole at Albert Park, Hamilton also tied the record held by Michael Schumacher and Ayrton Senna for most poles at a track.

“I’m shaking, it was so close out there,” Hamilton said following his pole run. “We’ve got an incredible crowd here.”

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel finished third, 0.834 seconds behind, with Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen and Vettel’s teammate, Charles Leclerc, qualifying fourth and fifth, respectfully.

Haas teammates Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen will start in P6 and P7, and McLaren’s Landon Norris will start eighth in his first grand prix after a very impressive Q2 and Q3 for the 19-year-old Briton. Kimi Raikkonen and Sergio Perez rounded out the top ten.

To the disappointment of local fans, Aussie Daniel Ricciardo didn’t make it into Q3, finishing twelfth behind Renault teammate Nico Hulkenburg.

Toro Rosso rookie Alexander Albon will start 13th in his first grand prix, alongside Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi, who will start 14th in his first grand prix since 2017. Daniil Kvyat was the last driver to make it into Q2 and will start 15th.

Racing Point’s Lance Stroll will start 16th, alongside Frenchman Pierre Gasly, who will start a disappointing 17th after not making a second run in Q1 due to a failed strategy mishap by his Red Bull team.

McLaren’s Carlos Sainz starts 18th with both Williams cars rounding out the field.

Robert Kubica, making his first start since 2017, suffered a tire puncture at the end of Q1, which hampered his final laps. He will start last next to teammate George Russell.

Full qualifying results and times are listed 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.