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A Week of Startling Developments in International Auto Racing, From the Lewis Hamilton Bombshell to the Christian Horner Investigation

<p>Just before the torrential rains started to deluge Los Angeles, NASCAR successfully raised the checkered flag in its first race of the year.</p>
<p><img decoding=”async” class=”alignnone wp-image-387603″ src=”https://www.theindiaprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/theindiaprint.com-a-week-of-startling-developments-in-international-auto-racing-from-the-lewis-hamil.jpg” alt=”theindiaprint.com a week of startling developments in international auto racing from the lewis hamil” width=”1076″ height=”717″ title=”A Week of Startling Developments in International Auto Racing, From the Lewis Hamilton Bombshell to the Christian Horner Investigation 3″ srcset=”https://www.theindiaprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/theindiaprint.com-a-week-of-startling-developments-in-international-auto-racing-from-the-lewis-hamil.jpg 510w, https://www.theindiaprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/theindiaprint.com-a-week-of-startling-developments-in-international-auto-racing-from-the-lewis-hamil-150×100.jpg 150w” sizes=”(max-width: 1076px) 100vw, 1076px” /></p>
<p>A hectic week in racing across the world was concluded by NASCAR’s ability to condense the two-day Clash at the Coliseum into an exciting one-day program. Lewis Hamilton’s unexpected decision to leave Mercedes for Ferrari in 2025 was just one of a flurry of news when February arrived—so many bizarre things transpired in a single week.</p>
<p>A dying dog and an improbable 24-hour IMSA sports car race marked the beginning of the week. Seven days later, all came to an end when NASCAR juggled the schedule and raced through two races in one night because it knew a potentially fatal storm was approaching Southern California.</p>
<p>It hadn’t ended even then: Energy drink juggernaut Red Bull said on Monday that it has opened an internal investigation into Christian Horner, the head of a Formula One team, after claims of improper conduct directed at a team member.</p>
<p>All of this came about after two other significant F1 developments: Michael Andretti’s expulsion from the series was ultimately verified. It almost branded Andretti and General Motors as fools unable to comprehend the sophisticated world of the European championship after harshly rejecting Andretti’s candidacy.</p>
<p>Then came Hamilton’s momentous decision to go from Mercedes to Ferrari by exercising a provision in his newly signed contract extension. Though the week ended with Andretti Cadillac claiming they were not aware they had been asked to a meeting with Formula One on December 12; the invitation was in a junk email box, the shocking statement was a gift to Formula One, calming the fan fury over the Andretti decision. F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali was not the sender, and F1 did not respond to the message.</p>
<p><strong>DRAMA ROLEX 24</strong></p>
<p>On January 27–28, the American racing season got underway with the IMSA event. At least two people were hurt when a pace vehicle at Daytona International Speedway with visitors inside crashed a few hours before the race. Additionally, rumors circulated that team owner Chip Ganassi had attacked and killed Devlin de Francesco’s golden retriever dog in the driver/owner motorhome lot.</p>
<p>Just before a 24-hour race was about to start, De Francesco was inconsolable. The Ganassi and de Francesco camps quarreled for four days until Ganassi made a “generous donation to the Indianapolis Humane Society.”</p>
<p>For the first time since 1969, Team Penske prevailed in the race, and 86-year-old Roger Penske broke down in tears on the timing stand. The current Indianapolis 500 champion, Josef Newgarden, expressed his shock, saying, “For like ten minutes, too.” “It is unlike anything I have ever seen.”</p>
<p>But hold on! It wasn’t a true 24-hour race. A timing mistake was ultimately admitted by IMSA, and the race was abandoned by 1 minute, 35.277 seconds. Even with one more lap, Tom Blomqvist, aiming for his third straight Rolex, definitely wasn’t going to be able to catch Felipe Nasr in the Porsche, but stranger things have occurred.</p>
<p><strong>Formula One Fulor</strong></p>
<p>Three weeks before preseason testing even starts, Formula One has been crazy.</p>
<p>Not only did General Motors, one of the biggest manufacturers globally, send Michael Andretti a rejection letter that smacked of elitism and belittled the American effort, but it also came from one of the most recognizable families in racing.</p>
<p>Among other reasons, F1 said that it did not think Andretti would field a competitive team, that the Andretti brand does not provide the value to the series that Michael Andretti feels it would, and that Andretti would have a battle in the following two years to return to the grid.</p>
<p>Andretti Cadillac is taking its time deciding what to do next since it was a condescending statement. Legal action is still a possibility.</p>
<p>Then, after breakfast at the home of team principal Toto Wolff, Hamilton made the choice to tell Mercedes that he was in his last season and that Ferrari was his next destination. Toto, pass the scones.</p>
<p>Hamilton has six titles with Mercedes, but it’s obvious that he doesn’t think the Silver Arrows can win a record-breaking eighth. When he takes the wheel of his Ferrari on a “multiyear deal,” he will be forty years old, and he may believe that Ferrari is the only team that can really compete with Red Bull in the near future.</p>
<p>Although Horner will be permitted to work during the probe, Red Bull now has its own distraction.</p>
<p><strong>NIMBLE NASCAR</strong></p>
<p>For the third year in a row, NASCAR returned to Los Angeles for its exhibition Clash. It was unfortunate that a severe storm was directly aimed at Southern California, but NASCAR responded in a way never seen in its seventy-five-year existence.</p>
<p>It was originally scheduled to be a two-day event, but on Saturday—the day NASCAR had first chosen not to invite fans before reversing itself—both the Cup Series and the NASCAR Mexico Series raced. Attendees on Saturday were granted free entry to see the whole event, which included four Clash victories by Denny Hamlin and one Mexico Series victory by Daniel Suarez.</p>
<p>Now, in the season-opening race on February 18, Hamlin travels to Daytona International Speedway to try for a fourth Daytona 500 triumph.</p>
<p>Regarding the hastily scheduled race date change, Hamlin noted, “This thing was just going to snowball.” “I’m glad that NASCAR made historic changes to ensure that the fans at least saw a race, as this was the only way to get this thing in.”</p>
<p>The future of the Clash in Los Angeles is uncertain, despite NASCAR demonstrating its ability to adapt quickly. NASCAR may decide not to race at all in Southern California the next season as a result of the postponement of renovations at California Speedway and the waning appeal of competing at the Coliseum.</p>
<p>Driver Joey Logano said, “We proved that we can do it anywhere. The experiment was a great success.” We’ve raced in one of the most iconic stadiums in the world, so that’s kind of great, but you could definitely move this someplace else if you wanted to or use it for something else different.</p>
<p>Now, we’ve done more absurd stuff. There are races on dirt. Street races are held on little courses similar to this one. Whatever it is, we can handle it.</p>

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