Veach, Chaves lead Indy Lights test at Sebring

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The first Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires test of 2014 is in the books, with series veterans Zach Veach (Andretti Autosport) and Gabby Chaves (Belardi Auto Racing) leading the timesheets.

Veach’s Tuesday time of 57.832 seconds on the Sebring International Raceway short course held up as the best overall time, with Chaves next at 58.074. Veach is confirmed for his second full season with Andretti, while Chaves, the 2013 season runner-up, is yet to confirm his 2014 team plans as yet.

Veach’s two Andretti teammates were next with former GP2 runner-up Luiz Razia clocking in fifth, best of Schmidt Peterson Motorsports’ three entries. Times are below; note only 10 cars tested as the Team Moore Racing pairing of Zack Meyer and Raoul Owens did not appear.

1.  26-Zach Veach, Andretti Autosport, 57.832 (Session 2)
2.  5-Gabby Chaves, Belardi Auto Racing, 58.074 (2)
3.  83-Matthew Brabham, Andretti Autosport, 58.150 (4)
4.  27-Vittorio Ghirelli, Andretti Autosport, 58.222 (4)
5.  8-Luiz Razia, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, 58.332 (3)
6.  7-Juan Piedrahita, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, 58.436 (2)
7.  42-Jack Harvey, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, 58.748 (4)
8.  4-Alex Baron, Belardi Auto Racing, 58.771 (2)
9.  24-Scott Anderson, Fan Force United, 58.969 (3)
10. 28-Lloyd Read, Bryan Herta Autosport, 59.335 (3)

Lewis Hamilton comes home to Mercedes factory after fourth title

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On Monday, the Formula 1 schedule finally allowed teams to be in Europe before heading to Abu Dhabi for this weekend’s season finale.

And as such, that provided a window for now four-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton to return to the Mercedes AMG Petronas factories in Brackley and Brixworth to be celebrated for taking the driver’s title, as Hamilton an Valtteri Bottas delivered Mercedes its fourth straight constructor’s title.

Hamilton was at Brixworth, the home ofΒ Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains (HPP) and its highly successful Mercedes-Benz Power Units first before heading to Brackley, where he was welcomed with a “guard of honor” as the entire team came out to greet him.

The champion was overwhelmed at the response and the welcome.

“This a very emotional day. I was not expecting this, thanks everyone for the warm welcome,” he said. “Today is something that I will never forget, turning up at the front gate of the factory and seeing everyone out on the street to welcome me – I’m blown away.

“This has been an incredible year, it’s been an incredible journey together. There’s a huge amount of respect and appreciation I have for everyone. I’ve been in the sport for a long time now, but to see the work ethic in Brixworth and Brackley really inspires me. Every time I come around, I see everyone operating at 100%, which encourages me to bring my best performance.

“Thank you all for helping me achieve my dreams, it would not have been possible without you. This is the best championship year, because we’ve been fighting another team and because we’ve had the difficulties and challenges we’ve had – that just makes it so much greater.”

A social roundup of images and videos are below, all via Hamilton and the Mercedes team on social media.