Tony Stewart released from hospital; interim driver Papis finishes 15th

Leave a comment

Shortly after Max Papis turned in a 15th-place effort Sunday at Watkins Glen while subbing for the injured Tony Stewart, Stewart-Haas Racing tweeted that the three-time Sprint Cup champion had been released from the hospital.

#TonyStewart is out of the hospital & resting as comfortably as he can at home. Thx [thanks] for the thoughts & prayers,” said SHR’s tweet, which ended with the hashtag #SmokeWillRise.

But the question of when Stewart will be back in action after breaking two bones in his right leg in a Monday night sprint car crash in Iowa may not be answered for some time yet.

“Smoke,” who had been one of the two Wild Card holders for the Chase before his injury, has already undergone two operations to try and fix the damage. The next potential substitute driver for Stewart could be named by SHR as early as tomorrow.

As for Sunday, Papis overcame getting spun out by Greg Biffle in the middle stages of the race and also getting into the back of a slowing Marcos Ambrose in a crash that came just after a restart with six laps left.

“I felt that we were definitely inbound to have a Top 10 finish,” said Papis after the race. “Really glad that Greg Biffle came over and apologized. When he turned me around, he said it was totally his mistake. I think that really cost us a solid Top 10.

“Besides this, I drove the wheels off the car every lap. Super proud of keeping the seat of “Smoke” as warm as I could. I felt I did a pretty good job and I’m proud of myself.”

Hartley to make F1 debut from back of grid after penalty

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Brendon Hartley’s hopes of a points finish on his Formula 1 debut took a hit on Friday after the FIA confirmed the Toro Rosso driver will start the United States Grand Prix from the back of the grid due to an engine penalty.

Porsche factory driver and 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Hartley was drafted in by Toro Rosso as a surprise replacement for Pierre Gasly in Austin, with the Frenchman tied up with Super Formula duties at Suzuka this weekend.

Hartley took to the track in an official grand prix session for the first time on Friday in Austin, marking his first run-out in an F1 car since a test with Mercedes in 20120.

However, FIA technical delegate Jo Bauer confirmed in his pre-race report that changes had been made to the power unit on Hartley’s Toro Rosso car since the last race in Japan, triggering a grid penalty.

Toro Rosso elected to take a new internal combustion engine, MGU-H, energy store and control electronics on Hartley’s Renault power unit, totaling a 25-place grid drop that will be applied after qualifying. Confirmation of the penalty is set to follow later today.

The penalty comes as a setback for Hartley, but was necessary as Toro Rosso found itself short on engine elements to get to the end of the season.

Hartley is not the only driver to have a penalty confirmed, with Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg and McLaren’s Stoffel Vandoorne also taking new engine elements, also confirmed in Bauer’s report.

A new ICE, turbocharger and MGU-H for Hulkenberg will see him drop 20 places on the grid, while an eighth ICE of the year for Vandoorne will trigger a five-place drop.