Adrian Sutil delighted with Monaco comeback

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Adrian Sutil has spoken of his delight upon returning to the streets of Monte Carlo following a year out of Formula One.

The German driver has enjoyed a good record at the circuit. In 2008, he shocked the F1 establishment by running as high as 4th for Force India, but his race was ruined when Kimi Raikkonen’s Ferrari ran into his rear wing and forced him to retire. Despite some bad luck in recent races, Sutil has made a good start to the season, and he is happy with his practice pace in Monaco.

“It’s always a pleasure to come back to Monaco and drive a Formula One car at the limit – and for me it is two years since I last drove here,” Sutil said in a team statement. “It did not take me long to find my rhythm again and things went pretty well.”

A good showing in practice saw Sutil finish P13 in the morning session, before improving by seven-tenths to finish 11th in FP2.

“We made some progress between the two sessions and I’m feeling comfortable with the car. We know what the plan is for tomorrow and where we can improve to be ready for Saturday.”

Force India’s chief race engineer, Jakob Andreasen, has set his drivers a target of finishing in the points this weekend.

“Performance-wise, I would say we are in our usual position and the target for Saturday is to see both cars inside the top ten,” Andreasen said.

Points will certainly be Sutil’s aim, having failed to score since the opening round of the season in Australia where he led the race for a few laps. His good Monaco record makes him one of the dark horses for a top ten finish, and perhaps even a spell towards the front should he optimize his strategy on Sunday.

Josef Newgarden wins pole for Grand Prix of Alabama

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With time running off the clock, Josef Newgarden lapped Barber Motorsports Park with a speed of 122.773 mph to win his third career pole and first on this track in the Grand Prix of Alabama.

Newgarden was .0128 seconds faster than teammate Scott Dixon in second.

Newgarden has two previous wins at Barber. He won last year’s edition of this race after starting seventh and in 2015 from fifth.

“I didn’t know if that was going to be enough,” Newgarden said after winning the pole.

“Team Chevy has done a good job,” Newgarden said. “They’ve really given us good power this weekend – good driveability. We’re going to need some fuel mileage tomorrow, which I think we’ll have. But it’s going to get mixed up with the rain.”

Dixon’s lap of 122.750 mph was not quite enough.

“I’m sure you could pick out a number of different things on a lap when it’s that close,” Power said about what made the slight difference between him and Newgarden. “A little mistake out of 9; a little lift here or there.”

Sebastien Bourdais (122.605 mph) qualified third, with Ryan Hunter-Reay (122.159) and James Hinchliffe (121.859) rounding out the top five.

Scott Dixon was the last driver in the top six.

Fast 12

Newgarden topped this chart with a speed of 123.475 mph.

He brought Power, James Hinchcliffe, Scott Dixon, Ryan Hunter-Reay, and Sebastien Bourdais along with him to the Fast 6.

Marco Andretti (122.480), Alexander Rossi (122.216), Simon Pagenaud (122.050), Robert Wickens (122.042), Zach Veach (121.784) and Ed Jones (120.984) failed to advance.

Round 1, Group 1

Newgarden posted the fastest single lap in round one, group one of qualification for the Grand Prix of Alabama with a speed of 122.550 mph.

Hunter-Reay, Hinchcliffe, Wickens, and Andretti also advance to the fast 12.

Taking the final slot was Jones with a speed of 119.835 mph after an off-course excursion in final practice.

This was Andretti’s first advancement to the fast 12 for the first time since 2014.

Round 1, Group 2

Power had the fastest lap of 121.570 mph.

Bourdais, Veach (who is battling food poisoning-like symptoms), Rossi, and Pagenaud grabbed positions 2-4.

Scott Dixon had an uncharacteristically slow lap of 121.006, but managed to advance to the fast 12 when the session was red-flagged for an incident involving Tony Kanaan.

With three minutes remaining, Kanaan spun into the tire barriers while leaving pit road. Since he brought out the red flag, he lost his qualification time of 119.996 mph.

Takuma Sato had slipped off-course midway through the session and posted only the Ninth-fastest speed of 120.789 mph.

Results are below. The Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama rolls off at 3:00 p.m. ET.