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F1: Verstappen wins Mexican GP pole as Bottas crashes

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Max Verstappen won the pole position for the Mexican Grand Prix Saturday afternoon, in a qualifying session that ended under the red flag when Valtteri Bottas crashed in his final lap.

Vestappen showed speed throughout Q3, already setting the fastest time early on in the session.

Despite already being on the provisional pole, the Dutch driver posted an even faster final lap, securing the top starting position for Sunday’s race by laying out a 1 minute, 14.758-second lap around the 2.674-mile, 17-Turn Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez circuit.

“To come out on top is incredible,” Verstappen said following his pole run.  “A huge thank you to the team, they worked very hard. We showed today that we are very quick”

Having won in Mexico City in 2017 and 2018, Verstappen now looks to make it a hat trick in Sunday’s Grand Prix.

Charles Leclerc qualified second, just 0.266 seconds behind Verstappen, while fellow Ferrari competitor Sebastian Vettel laid down a 1 minute, 15.170-second lap to qualify third.

Lewis Hamilton and Alexander Albon qualified fourth and fifth, respectfully, while Bottas qualified sixth following his hard crash into the wall in the exit of the final corner.

Bottas walked away from the accident safely, though his car suffered significant damage.

Carlos Sainz, Lando Norris, Daniil Kvyat, and Pierre Gasly rounded out the top 10 qualifiers.

Full qualifying results and times are below:

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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.

“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.