LOS ANGELES — In a quick-paced Saturday of competition, NASCAR champion Ryan Blaney secured a spot in the Clash at the Coliseum through a provisional as officials rushed to finish the exhibition before an impending “Pineapple Express” storm hit California.
Denny Hamlin, recovering from offseason shoulder surgery, surprised everyone by winning the pole. Joey Logano, the 2022 inaugural event winner, qualified second.
Originally, NASCAR planned heat races on Saturday, with the main event set for Sunday. However, due to expected heavy rains and flooding, NASCAR canceled the heats, determined the field of 23 based on practice speeds, and scheduled the race to start just 30 minutes after qualifying.
Unfortunately, some notable names, including Daniel Suarez, Austin Cindric, and Austin Dillon, failed to make the race. Christopher Bell, a two-time championship contender, also missed the field due to slower practice speeds compared to his teammates.
Brad Keselowski, who missed the cut in the first two years of the race, qualified for the Clash.
NASCAR decided to run the Clash Saturday night to avoid inclement weather. The decision to skip the heat races was applauded by drivers, with Chase Elliott calling it “one of the most logical decisions we’ve made as an industry.”
The Clash was followed by a NASCAR Mexico Series race in a doubleheader. Spectators were admitted for free on Saturday with general admission seating.
NASCAR expressed gratitude to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and Los Angeles Public Safety for their support in adjusting the schedule for a safe experience. Due to worsening weather conditions, fans were encouraged to prioritize safety, and NASCAR assured refunds for Sunday ticket holders and prepaid parking.
the Clash at the Coliseum faced unexpected challenges, but NASCAR’s proactive decisions ensured a thrilling race while prioritizing safety for fans, competitors, and staff.
Lewis Hamilton’s Ferrari Move: A Childhood Dream Come True
In an unexpected turn of events, Lewis Hamilton has revealed his excitement about fulfilling a “childhood dream” by joining Ferrari in 2025. This surprising move comes after a successful career with Mercedes, where he won six of his seven championships.
Hamilton, who began his F1 journey with McLaren in 2007 before joining Mercedes in 2013, likened his leap to Ferrari to the initial move he made from McLaren. Despite skepticism back then, the partnership with Mercedes became the most successful in F1 history.
Expressing his gratitude to Mercedes and acknowledging the difficulty of the decision, Hamilton stated, “Mercedes has been a huge part of my life since I was 13 years old, so this decision has been the hardest I’ve ever had to make.” He paid tribute to Toto Wolff and the late Niki Lauda for their support throughout his career.
The 39-year-old driver emphasized that his focus for now is on the upcoming season with Mercedes, stating, “My focus is on the upcoming season and getting back out on track with Mercedes. I am more driven than ever, fitter and more focused than ever, and I want to help Mercedes win once again.”
Hamilton acknowledged the achievements with Mercedes, including breaking records and becoming the most successful driver-team partnership in F1 history. He expressed excitement about the new opportunity with Ferrari and is eager to see what they can achieve together.
As he embarks on this new chapter with Ferrari, Hamilton remains appreciative of the support from fans and those who have been part of his journey. His message is one of love, positive energy, and a commitment to making everyone proud.
This move to Ferrari represents a significant shift for Hamilton, marking the end of an era with Mercedes and the beginning of a new adventure with a legendary team. The racing world awaits the unfolding of this exciting chapter in the career of one of F1’s most celebrated drivers.
Lewis Hamilton’s Move to Ferrari: Toto Wolff Discusses the Timing and Future Plans
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has clarified that Lewis Hamilton’s decision to join Ferrari in 2025 was not a surprise, but the timing of the announcement caught many off guard, coming just three weeks before the start of the new season’s testing.
Hamilton, a seven-time world champion, expressed that parting ways with Mercedes after the 2024 season was “one of the hardest” decisions he has ever made. The move follows a two-year contract extension he signed with Mercedes just five months ago, allowing for an exit clause at the end of the upcoming season.
Wolff, who learned of Hamilton’s plan during a breakfast meeting, stated that while the events were not unexpected, the timing was surprising. He acknowledged rumors and revealed that Hamilton’s desire to race for Ferrari did not astonish him.
The Mercedes boss highlighted that the short-term contract with Hamilton was a deliberate choice, leaving options open for both parties. Wolff mentioned that the recent signings of Charles Leclerc and Lando Norris limited Mercedes’ choices, but he remains optimistic about potential partnerships in 2025 and beyond.
Regarding Hamilton’s move to Ferrari, Wolff shared, “Every race driver dreams about being in a red overall and in the red car.” While emphasizing the pride in finishing Hamilton’s legacy at Mercedes, he acknowledged the allure of change and the excitement of a new challenge.
Wolff is considering various options for Hamilton’s replacement, from rookies to experienced drivers, and emphasized the need to take time in making the decision. The mention of rookie Andrea Kimi Antonelli, a Mercedes junior driver in Formula 2, raised questions, but Wolff urged caution in speculating about the 17-year-old’s entry into F1.
As the F1 community processes Hamilton’s significant move, Wolff remains focused on the upcoming season with Mercedes and looks ahead to shaping the team’s future with careful consideration.
In conclusion, the unexpected announcement adds an intriguing twist to the F1 landscape, with fans and experts eager to see how both Mercedes and Hamilton will navigate the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.