Grosjean breaks Red Bull dominance in Hungary

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Romain Grosjean ended Red Bull’s clean sweep of the timesheets in practice for the Hungarian Grand Prix by finishing quickest in FP3 on Saturday morning at the Hungaroring.

The Lotus driver took advantage of the warm track conditions to post the fastest lap in the dying stages of the session as the teams switched to the soft tire in order to practise for qualifying following their fuelled runs on the harder compound, with Lewis Hamilton impressing many during this part of the session.

Red Bull, who had sealed 1-2 finishes in both FP1 and FP2, failed to repeat their form as Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber could only manage 4th and 7th respectively. Vettel’s closest challenger in the drivers’ championship, Fernando Alonso, ran well on the soft tire to finish P2 behind Grosjean with his Ferrari teammate Felipe Massa finishing 5th.

Sergio Perez produced a good performance to finish 3rd but his session came to an end with a couple of minutes remaining after a crash at turn eleven that saw him finish in the wall, leaving McLaren with a busy two hour period before qualifying later today. However, the problems were even worse for Perez’s compatriot, Esteban Gutierrez, who failed to set a time due to a gearbox due to an engine issue.

Qualifying begins at 8am live on NBC Sports Network.

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.