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F1: Bottas wins USGP pole, Hamilton to start fifth

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Valtteri Bottas won the pole position for the United States Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas Saturday afternoon, setting a new track record with his Q3 lap time of 1 minute, 32.029 seconds around the 20-turn, 3.426-mile road course.

The pole was the first for the Mercedes driver since the British Grand Prix in July.

“I knew how to put it together in Q3,” Bottas said following his pole run. “I’m glad no one could improve at the end. Happy days!”

Sebastian Vettel will start right alongside Bottas in Sunday afternoon, qualifying in P2 after missing the pole by a mire 0.012 seconds.

Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc qualified in the third and fourth positions, while points leader Lewis Hamilton qualified a disappointing fifth.

Hamilton needs to finish eighth of better in Sunday’s race to formally clinch his sixth World Championship.

Alexander Albon qualified in the sixth position for Red Bull, while McLaren teammates Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris qualified seventh and eighth, respectfully.

Daniel Riccardo 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.