Grosjean tops wet final practice in Australia

Leave a comment

Romain Grosjean managed to beat the rain clouds in Melbourne to finish on top in the final practice session for the Australian Grand Prix.

The Lotus driver set a quickest time of 1:26.929, edging out the Ferrari duo of Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa in a session which saw just fifteen minutes of dry running.

The majority of the drivers opted to go out early on the medium compound tire in order to set a representative time, although Lewis Hamilton was one of the drivers who opted to stay in the pits leaving him in last place come the end of the session.

Friday pace-setter Sebastian Vettel encountered problems with his Red Bull RB9 late on in the session. With ten minutes left, the defending champion pulled over with a suspected hydraulic failure which will cause some concern for the team ahead of qualifying later today.

Mercedes’ problematic weekend continued when Nico Rosberg suffered a problem with his KERS, but the German driver still finished in P11.

Jules Bianchi was one of the surprise packages of FP3, finishing in fourteenth place just behind the Red Bull pair of Vettel and Mark Webber.

The wet running caused many of the teams to stay in the pits in order to save their tires for qualifying in case the conditions fail to improve in Melbourne. The teams at the top will be pleased with their times, although the lack of a final dry session before qualifying will have left many cursing their problems on Friday which are yet to be ironed out.

Free Practice 3 – Classification

1 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1:26.929 14 laps

2 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:27.000 +0.071 7 laps

3 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:27.241 +0.312 10 laps

4 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1:27.533 +0.604 9 laps

5 Kimi Räikkönen Lotus-Renault 1:27.625 +0.696 12 laps

6 Daniel Ricciardo STR-Ferrari 1:27.849 +0.920 19 laps

7 Jean-Eric Vergne STR-Ferrari 1:27.860 +0.931 16 laps

8 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:28.069 +1.140 15 laps

9 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 1:28.253 +1.324 18 laps

10 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1:28.253 +1.324 20 laps

11 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:28.486 +1.557 13 laps

12 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:29.808 +2.879 9 laps

13 Mark Webber Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:30.073 +3.144 16 laps

14 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth 1:30.388 +3.459 17 laps

15 Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 1:30.598 +3.669 20 laps

16 Charles Pic Caterham-Renault 1:30.959 +4.030 19 laps

17 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:33.236 +6.307 7 laps

18 Sergio Perez McLaren-Mercedes 1:33.527 +6.598 8 laps

19 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1:39.232 +12.303 13 laps

20 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1:39.779 +12.850 13 laps

21 Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 1:42.872 +15.943 13 laps

22 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:47.246 +20.317 9 laps

MRTI: Telitz gets creative to help racing career

Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography
Leave a comment

To say that Belardi Auto Racing’s Aaron Telitz has endured a difficult start to the 2018 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires season would be an understatement. The Wisconsin native only completed four corners through the first three races – Races 1 and 2 at St. Petersburg, and Race 1 at Barber Motorsports Park – with St. Pete being especially problematic.

He took the pole for Race 1, but a crash during qualifying for Race 2 prevented him from actually starting. What’s more, the damage was so severe that the Belardi team needed a brand new chassis, with Telitz’s Dallara IL-15 damaged beyond repair.

They also had to borrow a car from Carlin for Race 2, but Telitz’s race ended after he got tangled up with Victor Franzoni in Turn 2 on Lap 1.

With the damage bill well into the six figures as a result, Telitz has taken to some unique, or rather, creative ways to raise money in the aftermath to help cover the costs. “Creative,” in this case, meaning Telitz is using his art skills.

An artist in his spare time, Telitz has begun selling his own original paintings to help raise money.

 “I’ve been to a lot of art shows and I see stuff and I go, ‘Holy cow, someone’s going to pay a thousand dollars for that thing?’” Telitz quipped in a story posted on the Milwaukee Journal.

In discussing his artistic abilities, Telitz added, “I’m working at getting better. I’d like to be able to paint some animals, those types of things. I got a request from Alexander Rossi to see if I could paint his dog. Unfortunately I can’t do that yet.”

Further, in a partnership with The Styled Garage, Telitz is selling his own merchandise, and accepting donations, to help his cause.

Telitz finished fourth in Race 2 at Barber on Sunday, and sits seventh in the Indy Lights championship, 59 points behind leader Pato O’Ward.

Follow@KyleMLavigne