Rosberg glad Perez got puncture after “dangerous” move

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Nico Rosberg said he was pleased Sergio Perez suffered a puncture after making a “dangerous” move during the Japanese Grand Prix.

The pair made contact at the chicane on lap 41, Rosberg’s front wing damaging Perez’s tire.

Rosberg told Sky: “The rules are clear if you brake and close the door you can’t move out again. I was there and he didn’t leave space so…”

“But it worked out perfectly,” Rosberg added, “he broke his tire, I was through. So that was good there.”

But McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh defended Perez over the incident, telling the BBC: “If you’re that far behind – [Rosberg] wasn’t alongside, he wasn’t even half alongside – if you hit someone from behind and give them a puncture you don’t often complain about it.”

It was the second run-in between Rosberg and Perez during the race. On lap 13 Rosberd was waved out of his pit-box in front of Perez, forcing the McLaren driver to avoid him. Rosberg was given a drive-through penalty.

The Mercedes driver said the stewards’ decision was “well deserved” and he “knew it was coming too”.

“It was obvious, a dangerous release so that was that and just a pity that happened and from then on it was always going to be difficult,” he added.

Power, Newgarden, Dixon fastest in first of 2 IndyCar practices today at Barber Motorsports Park

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Will Power was fastest in Friday’s first of two IndyCar practice sessions at Barber Motorsports Park.

Power covered the 2.3-mile permanent road course in 1:07.5987 minutes at 122.488 mph in the 45-minute practice session.

Even though he spun off the course during his session, Phoenix winner Josef Newgarden still managed to be second-fastest (121.919 mph at 1:07.9141 minutes), followed by Scott Dixon (121.296 mph/1:082627), Max Chilton (121.251 mph/1:08.2882) and Ed Jones (121.215 mph/1:09.5692).

 

Sixth through 10th were Simon Pagenaud (121.208 mph/1:08.3122), Jordan King (121.113 mph/1:083661), Graham Rahal (121.059 mph/1:08.3964), St. Petersburg winner Sebastien Bourdais (121.029 mph/1:08.4131) and rookie Zach Veach (121.014 mph/1:08.4216).

Here’s the full speed chart:

Incidents:

* Early in the session, Long Beach winner Alexander Rossi ran off the track and into the grass, striking a small sign, but was able to get back on-track. However, Rossi was only able to complete 10 laps, relegating him to 20th-fastest in the 23-car field.

* Moments later, it appeared the rear brakes locked up on Newgarden heading into Turn 5, spinning him into the gravel trap. He was able to get going and returned to the pits for service and was back on-track with less than four minutes remaining in the session.

ALSO OF NOTE:

* The second practice session of the day will begin at 3:50 p.m. ET. A third practice will take part Saturday morning at 10:50 a.m. ET, followed by qualifying beginning at 4:05 p.m. ET. The race, to be televised live Sunday on NBCSN, is slated to start at 3:30 p.m. ET.

* However, weather forecast does not look promising for Sunday’s race. As of 1 p.m. ET today, the forecast calls for 100 percent rain throughout the day.

* Dixon has had an incredible record at Barber Motorsports Park, with seven podium finishes in eight starts there. Except for one thing: he has yet to win a race there. But he does have five runner-up and two other third-place showings on the permanent road course.

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