Penalties pepper Long Beach qualifying (VIDEO)

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You wouldn’t expect to find Marco Andretti, Justin Wilson, Scott Dixon and Oriol Servia in the last four positions on the starting grid. But immediately after qualifying concluded for the IZOD IndyCar Series’ Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, that was the case.

Dixon spun in Turn 1 and left Servia nowhere to go (above). The Panther DRR team appealed Servia’s penalty, and the penalty was rescinded. The Catalan was reinstated in 18th place on the 27-car grid, although that meant Dixon (below) would be relegated to the back of the field.

IndyCar explained the penalties issued to Andretti and Dixon in a news bulletin issued Saturday.

“If a Car interferes with qualifications as determined by the Race Director:

If the violation occurs during Segment One or Segment Two, the Car’s best two timed laps during the segment shall be disallowed, the Car shall not advance to the next segment (8.3.7).”

As for Dixon: “If a Car causes a Red Condition in any segment or otherwise interferes with qualifications as determined by the Race Director, the Car’s best two timed laps of the segment shall be disallowed (8.3.5).”

Andretti was mainly diplomatic in his taking the penalty in an interview with IMS Radio.

“Our car was way better than that,” he admitted. “There were four cars that held me up, too. But it’s what you expect on a 1.9 mile track. I’m definitely frustrated. They shortened the race so strategy’s off. We’re going to have to push like hell.”

Wilson’s team had not properly affixed stickers to the rear wing, and was unable to complete a timed lap.

“It seems like we have to have a sticker on the rear wing, so we had to put it on during qualifying,” he told IMS Radio. “We got the checkered on out lap. It’s unfortunate. We’ll need to see what we can do in the race. I’m not sure what’s meant to go on or why the breakdown in communication.”

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Kubica, di Resta complete Williams F1 tests in Hungary

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Robert Kubica and Paul di Resta have both completed one-day tests for Williams in a 2014-spec Formula 1 car as part of the team’s evaluation for its 2018 line-up.

Williams is known to be considering a number of drivers to partner Lance Stroll at the team next year, including existing racer Felipe Massa.

Massa is thought to be going up against Kubica and di Resta for the 2018 drive, with the latter duo taking part in a private test at the Hungaroring in Budapest this week to aid the team’s evaluation.

After missing out on a 2018 Renault drive due to lingering questions about his physical condition six years after his rally accident, Kubica tested for Williams at Silverstone last week before getting back behind the wheel of the 2014 FW36 car in Hungary on Tuesday.

Kubica’s test was called “productive” by Williams, with the Pole handing duties over to Mercedes DTM racer di Resta on Wednesday.

Di Resta raced in F1 with Force India between 2010 and 2013 before returning to DTM, but made a surprise return at this year’s Hungarian Grand Prix with Williams when Massa was taken ill. Di Resta impressed on short notice, putting himself in contention for a full-time return to F1 in 2018.

Williams has one of the few remaining seats on offer in F1 for 2018, with Massa’s future known to be in question after a quiet campaign thus far.

The Brazilian had been due to retire from F1 at the end of last year, only for Williams to recall him after Valtteri Bottas’ late move up to Mercedes following Nico Rosberg’s surprise retirement.

Massa has made clear he would like to keep racing in F1 next year, but only if the deal is right and if Williams is determined to keep him.

While Massa, Kubica and di Resta appear to be the three leading contenders for the seat, Williams technical chief Paddy Lowe made clear in Japan there was a “large range” of drivers under consideration.

“You’ve probably seen a number of names that are floating around that we’re looking at, but honestly, the range is almost unlimited,” Lowe said.

“We will consider all ideas. We’re not in a super hurry to do so, and we’ll just make sure we land the best line-up we can.”