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F1: Valtteri Bottas wins Azerbaijan Grand Prix from pole

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Once again, it was a Mercedes one-two finish in Sunday’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix, with Valtteri Bottas taking the checkered flag first, followed by Lewis Hamilton.

For Bottas, Sunday’s victory was the fifth of his career and his second victory of 2019, having previously won the season-opening Australian Grand Prix. Bottas leaves Baku once again atop of the points standings, leading Hamilton by one point.

“It was a tough race even though maybe not that much happening at the front,” Bottas said following the race.

“Lewis was putting pressure on me all the time – I was happy to see the checkered flag and take this first place.”

Sebastian Vettel would finish the race in third, with Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc, who picked up a bonus point for setting the fastest lap in the race, finishing fifth.

Sergio Perez would finish in a respectable sixth place for Racing Point, with the McLaren duo of Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris. Lance Stroll was the final driver to finish on the lead lap, finishing ninth.

Four drivers in total would retire from the race, with Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat both retiring after a bizarre incident which occurred in turn 3 on the 32nd lap.

Ricciardo locked up entering the corner, with Kvyat pulling to a stop behind Ricciardo in attempt to avoid hitting the Renault driver. Riccardo, desperately looking to quickly return to the racing surface, immediately put his car into reverse, hitting Kvyat’s Torro Rosso entry.

Pierre Gasly was also among the drivers who would retire. The Frenchman was running in sixth on lap 40 when his Red Bull Racing machine pulled off to the side of the track after losing power, bringing out the Virtual Safety Car.

Green flag racing would resume shortly, with Hamilton within striking distance of Bottas. However, the defending World Champion would be unable to take the lead with only 10 laps remaining.

“Congratulations to Valtteri. He drove really well and made no mistakes,” Hamilton said following the race.

“This has to be the best start to a season that this team has ever had, and I’m grateful to be part of it.”

Full results are below. The next race of the 2019 Formula One World Championship is the Spanish Grand Prix on May 12.

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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.

β€œOur 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. β€œThe 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.

β€œWe 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.