Graham Rahal fastest, teammate struggles in Bump Day practice

Leave a comment

Graham Rahal was quickest in Sunday morning’s practice session on Armed Forces Bump Day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Bump Day qualifying is live from noon to 6:30 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network, and live streamed on NBC Sports Live Extra.

Rahal, who had one qualifying run bumped and another not quick enough yesterday on Pole Day, clocked in at 226.564 mph. Rahal and Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing teammate Michel Jourdain Jr. had their crews perform engine changes after Pole Day.

Seven of the 10 drivers not currently qualified posted laps during the one-hour session. Behind Rahal, Josef Newgarden was second, followed by Buddy Lazier, Conor Daly, Sebastian Saavedra, Katherine Legge and Michel Jourdain Jr.

While Legge climbed to a best lap of 223.191 in the new No. 81 Schmidt Pelfrey entry, Jourdain, meanwhile, failed to eclipse even the 220 mph barrier.

The other three drivers who still need to qualify on Sunday include Dale Coyne Racing teammates Ana Beatriz and Pippa Mann, and Legge’s teammate under the Schmidt umbrella, rookie Tristan Vautier in the No. 55 Schmidt Peterson entry.

Hamilton: Abu Dhabi ‘the last race with good-looking cars’ in F1

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Lewis Hamilton believes that this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will be remembered as the last race with good-looking Formula 1 cars ahead of the introduction of the ‘Halo’ cockpit protection for next year.

Officials from the FIA and F1 Strategy Group confirmed earlier this year that the Halo would be fitted to all cars from the 2018 season in a bid to improve safety standards, with the deaths of Justin Wilson and Jules Bianchi putting head protection high on the agenda for the series’ chiefs.

Hamilton has long made his opposition to the Halo clear, believing it will ruin the look of F1 cars, and echoed his thoughts ahead of the final Halo-less race in Abu Dhabi this weekend.

“It’s the last year of looking good I think in the cars. It’s the last race where the cars will look good,” Hamilton said.

“I think next year, it’s all downhill from there in terms of how they look.

“But safety will go up at least, and maybe it could be successful in some way.”

Hamilton’s F1 title rival Sebastian Vettel was less bothered about the change, believing the field will adjust and move on.

“The cars will look different next year. Everything I’ve seen so far looks different, but on the other hand it is something we all get used to,” Vettel said.

“But no doubt the cars look better now, but we’ll get used to it, and we’ll work on the aesthetics so it can be better. It is less of a big deal.”

Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo shared Vettel’s view, saying: “I don’t think it’s gonna be as dramatic as most people make it out to be.”