As bad as today was for Honda — who had none of their cars make the Fast Nine shootout for the Indianapolis 500 pole — it’s not the end of the world. After all, the manufacturer only had one car in the Fast Nine last year yet rallied on Race Day to secure a 1-2 finish courtesy of Target Chip Ganassi Racing’s Dario Franchitti (pictured) and Scott Dixon.
With that in mind, Honda Performance Development technical director Roger Griffiths vowed that his camp will be ready to battle engine rival Chevrolet in next Sunday’s race.
“Obviously, we come here to do our best and we came here shooting for the pole, and we’re a little bit down on the speeds from where we need to be,” Griffiths told NBC Sports Network’s Robin Miller during this afternoon’s proceedings. “But what everybody remembers is who won the race and we’ve got a pretty good record of winning here. We’re hoping that come next Sunday, we’ll be the ones drinking the milk and lifting the trophy.
“It’s frustrating and I can only sympathize [with the Honda-powered drivers]. We’re all racers, we all want to go fast. The guys back in California have been working hard and we just have to knuckle down and keep going. But you know, it’s a tough day but we rise on these occasions. We keep fighting. That’s what we did last year and that’s what we plan to do next weekend as well.”
Barracuda-BHA’s Alex Tagliani was the top Honda driver, placing 11th on the grid with a four-lap average of 227.386 miles per hour. Chevrolet-powered drivers claimed the first 10 positions, with pole sitter Ed Carpenter leading a mix of the entire Andretti Autosport and Team Penske squads as well as J.R. Hildebrand from Panther Racing in that block of spots.
As for Franchitti and Dixon, Honda’s heroes from one year ago, they’ll start 16th and 17th respectively — well within striking distance of the front on Race Day even with their manufacturer’s problems this afternoon.
Button calls for F1 to ‘move on’, hand Vettel no further punishment
Recent Formula 1 driver Jenson Button believes the sport should “move on” from Sebastian Vettel’s clash with Lewis Hamilton in Baku and hand the Ferrari driver no further punishment for his sideway swipe.
Taking to Twitter on Thursday, Button – who spent 17 seasons racing full-time in F1 and most recently made a one-off return in Monaco with McLaren – offered his view of the situation, saying that the sport’s bosses should move on and not give Vettel any further punishment.
Agree with you mate, if a driver at racing speed forces another driver off track he would get less punishment than a 10sec drive through https://t.co/SwZW1CAp9l
When professional athletes decide to experience sports outside of the one where they make their living, it never ceases to entertain. Case and point: Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Hundley.
The 24-year-old Hundley spent the weekend at Road America, taking in the Kohler Grand Prix. His time at the facility began on Thursday, where he first paid a visit to Team Penske driver Will Power, who gave him a quick tutorial.
The next part of Hundley’s day saw him take a two-seater ride with none other than Mario Andretti. And, unsurprisingly, it left a big impression.
“The first lap, I’m screaming, and it’s the warm-up lap! And then the second lap: I’m just bright-eyed, going through corners. I give so much respect, that’s an awesome sport, man!” Hundley said in a media debrief afterward.
However, the day was not finished. Later on, Hundley showed off his arm strength and throwing accuracy by attempting to throw a football through the passenger side window of a moving Chevrolet Corvette. And while it took a few attempts, he eventually hit his mark.
CEFC Manor TRS Racing has confirmed that Roberto Merhi will return to the FIA World Endurance Championship for next month’s 6 Hours of Nürburgring, replacing Jean-Eric Vergne.
Merhi previously raced for Manor in both Formula 1 and the WEC, making his most recent appearance with the British marque at last November’s 6 Hours of Bahrain.
Merhi’s last racing outing came in the Formula 2 double-header in Spain and has flirted with a move into Formula E, but was confirmed on Wednesday to be making his racing return at the Nürburgring on July 16.
Merhi will deputize for Vergne in the No. 24 Oreca 07 Gibson while the Frenchman is in New York for the city’s inaugural Formula E event.
Welcome back Roberto Merhi stepping into car 24 alongside Jonathan Hirschi and Tor Graves for one race at 6 Hours of Nurburgring. #WECpic.twitter.com/GSUvoeXUDK
The FIA has confirmed that it will re-examine the clash between Formula 1 title rivals Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton in Sunday’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix to see if further action is warranted.
Vettel and Hamilton made contact twice behind the safety car in Baku, with the second incident deemed to be an act of dangerous driving on Vettel’s part.
The FIA stewards in Baku handed Vettel a 10-second stop/go penalty for the clash – the harshest available penalty besides disqualification – but faced calls to issue a stricter punishment post race.
Hamilton said that the incident set a dangerous precedent for F1 and wider motorsport, but Vettel believed his rival deserved a penalty for allegedly brake testing him.
On Wednesday, the FIA confirmed that it would be re-examining the incident in a meeting on July 3, with a verdict set to be delivered ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix.
“Following the recent incident at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in which Car 5 (Sebastian Vettel) was involved in a collision with Car 44 (Lewis Hamilton), on Monday 3rd July, the FIA will further examine the causes on the incident in order to evaluate whether further action is necessary,” a short statement from the FIA read.
“A statement regarding the outcome of this process will be made available before the upcoming Austrian Grand Prix (7-9 July).”