Castroneves quickest in Sunday Toronto warmup

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Times improved for the IZOD IndyCar Series in the Sunday morning warmup for the second race of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader (3 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network). Eleven drivers clocked in with a time less than one minute around the 1.755-mile Exhibition Place street circuit.

Points leader Helio Castroneves of Team Penske led race one winner and race two polesitter Scott Dixon, with a 59.4705 ahead of a 59.4154. Dixon’s Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Dario Franchitti was third fastest.

Will Power (Penske) and James Hinchcliffe (Andretti Autosport) led an all power team-top five.

Sebastien Bourdais, Justin Wilson, Takuma Sato, E.J. Viso and Ryan Hunter-Reay rounded out the top 10.

In his first session for Panther Racing, Ryan Briscoe’s injury replacement Carlos Munoz ran 22 laps and posted a best time of 1:00.9032, ahead of Ed Carpenter at the rear of the field.

The unofficial grid is linked here. Briscoe was scheduled to start eighth in the No. 4 National Guard Panther Racing Chevrolet, before the driver change.

Lewis Hamilton comes home to Mercedes factory after fourth title

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On Monday, the Formula 1 schedule finally allowed teams to be in Europe before heading to Abu Dhabi for this weekend’s season finale.

And as such, that provided a window for now four-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton to return to the Mercedes AMG Petronas factories in Brackley and Brixworth to be celebrated for taking the driver’s title, as Hamilton an Valtteri Bottas delivered Mercedes its fourth straight constructor’s title.

Hamilton was at Brixworth, the home of Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains (HPP) and its highly successful Mercedes-Benz Power Units first before heading to Brackley, where he was welcomed with a “guard of honor” as the entire team came out to greet him.

The champion was overwhelmed at the response and the welcome.

“This a very emotional day. I was not expecting this, thanks everyone for the warm welcome,” he said. “Today is something that I will never forget, turning up at the front gate of the factory and seeing everyone out on the street to welcome me – I’m blown away.

“This has been an incredible year, it’s been an incredible journey together. There’s a huge amount of respect and appreciation I have for everyone. I’ve been in the sport for a long time now, but to see the work ethic in Brixworth and Brackley really inspires me. Every time I come around, I see everyone operating at 100%, which encourages me to bring my best performance.

“Thank you all for helping me achieve my dreams, it would not have been possible without you. This is the best championship year, because we’ve been fighting another team and because we’ve had the difficulties and challenges we’ve had – that just makes it so much greater.”

A social roundup of images and videos are below, all via Hamilton and the Mercedes team on social media.