Hamilton not worried about Brawn’s exit from Mercedes

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Mercedes has been busy adding to their staff as they look to overtake Red Bull for the F1 constructors’ championship, but they’ve also taken a notable loss this off-season with the departure of former team principal Ross Brawn.

Brawn has chosen to take a sabbatical for the time being, leaving the ‘Silver Arrows’ to be led by Toto Wolff and Paddy Lowe. But while he hailed Brawn as a “great leader and teacher” at the end of this past season, Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton doesn’t expect the team to skip a beat in 2014.

“When I decided to go to Mercedes [last year], I had much greater reasons than just [Brawn],” Hamilton recently explained to Brazil’s Totalrace. “To me, that he was there was a bonus, but after I arrived, I saw that the team had a lot of talented people.

“[Brawn] was a good boss, with a very good approach, which creates a great atmosphere in the team – but this is something that is expected of a leader.”

The comments appear to go along with Hamilton’s insistence that Mercedes is primed for a title run this year, as he recently told Britain’s Sky Sports that the Brackley squad is “the best group of people” to have dealing with the raft of new technical regulations that will be in play.

Going back to Brawn in particular, it’s unknown if he will decide to continue on in F1 after his self-imposed breather. The 58-year-old already has a career he can be proud of, as he not only helped guide Ferrari and Michael Schumacher through their glory days in the early 2000s but also oversaw drivers’ and constructors’ championships for his own Brawn GP squad in 2009.

But if Brawn does decide to call time, Hamilton says F1 will keep on keepin’ on.

“The sport will continue when any of us go,” he said to Totalrace. “So no, I don’t see it as a loss for the sport.”

IndyCar Grand Prix of Alabama final practice report

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Will Power posted the fastest lap in the third practice session for the Grand Prix of Alabama with a speed of 122.953 mph.

Rookie Robert Wickens (122.552 mph) was second fast, foretelling a continuation of his incredible rookie season.

Scott Dixon (122.237), Ryan Hunter-Reay (122.231) and Alexander Rossi (122.106) rounded out the top five.

The practice was interrupted several times for incidents. 

Ed Jones spun off track in turn five after locking up his brakes with 30 minutes remaining in practice three. He was able to drive back to the pits under his own power.

With 20 minutes still on the clock, Jordan King took a trip into the fence after posting a fastest lap of 121.753 mph. He sustained substantial left side damage to his car and came back to the pits on the hook.

“I’m annoyed really,” King said afterward on the live stream at IndyCar.com. “I slightly locked the inside front, then just stayed off onto the grass and that was it. But I wasn’t really even pushing that hard.”

With two minutes remaining, Charlie Kimball lost power and pulled off the track, bringing an end to the practice session.

Dixon also had an off-road excursion.