Barrichello comforts Massa following Ferrari exit

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Former Formula One driver Rubens Barrichello has comforted Felipe Massa following the Brazilian’s exit from Ferrari, confirming that there is a future beyond the Italian team.

Massa confirmed on Monday that he will be leaving the team at the end of the season, set to be replaced by Lotus’ Kimi Raikkonen. Having also left the team at the end of 2005, Barrichello is well-positioned to advise his compatriot and friend regarding his next move, and he has assured Massa that there is life after Ferrari.

“I feel sorry for Felipe, but I know there is life after Ferrari,” Barrichello said in an interview with TotalRace. “I am a proof of that because of Brawn and everything that happened. Everything was really good, and there are some things that are even better after Ferrari.”

After leaving Ferrari in 2005, Barrichello moved to Honda which became Brawn in 2009. That year, the Brazilian driver won two races and finished an incredible third in the drivers’ championship in one of the greatest fairytales the sport has known as Brawn romped to both titles. Although Barrichello did acknowledge that Ferrari is the ultimate drive in F1, he also spoke about the benefits of leaving Maranello.

“Driving for Ferrari is the most sensational thing ever, but after Ferrari there is a release, with a little less pressure and careful interviews,” he said. There is a moment of pain, but there is life after it.”

Massa is thought to be in the running for Raikkonen’s seat at Lotus, but he faces stiff opposition in the form of Sauber’s Nico Hulkenberg who it transpires was close to being the Brazilian’s replacement.

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.