IndyCar Series hops on rain delay ‘selfie’ bandwagon

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The NASCAR contingent at Martinsville isn’t the only group of racers dealing with rain today.

A heavy storm this afternoon in the Tampa Bay/St. Petersburg region wound up forcing fans to seek shelter nearby and put today’s proceedings at the Verizon IndyCar Series’ Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on hold.

Fortunately, it sounds like the worst may be over, as IndyCar has now confirmed that qualifying will take place later tonight at 5 p.m. ET.

And in another bit of good news, we’re happy to report that the #IndyCarSelfie has been born during this extended delay in St. Petersburg.

Now, the #NASCARSelfie that caught on recently during a rain delay at Bristol Motor Speedway saw multiple drivers take part in it, but for the most part separate from each other.

As for the IndyCar drivers, well…They’re bringing all the awesome together in one shot.

This is what happens when we are weather delayed #IndyCarSelfie

A post shared by Fiona Hewitson (@fionahewitson) on

Not quite the entire starting grid, but still a pretty good chunk of it. Impressive.

Hartley to make F1 debut from back of grid after penalty

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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.