Hamilton dedicates win to victims and families of MH370 disaster

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Lewis Hamilton has dedicated his Malaysian Grand Prix victory to the passengers and their relatives of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 disaster, which disappeared on March 8th with 239 people on board travelling from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

Hamilton claimed his first win at the Sepang International Circuit on Sunday with a faultless performance that saw him finish 17 seconds ahead of teammate Nico Rosberg. The one-two for Mercedes was the team’s first since the 1955 Italian Grand Prix, whilst Hamilton – with pole position, fastest lap, the race win and having led every lap – claimed his first grand slam.

“Incredible, incredible,” said Hamilton on the podium after the race. “After such a difficult weekend, such a long winter, we’ve got a great crowd here today and for Petronas who work so hard with Mercedes to give us this win.

“I just feel so grateful, and particularly after such a tragedy three weeks ago.

“I’d really like to dedicate this to those people and their families.”

The Formula 1 community also honored those lost on flight MH370 before the race with one minute of silence before the Malaysian national anthem was sung. During such a dark period in Malaysia’s history, the sport has looked to bring some light to the nation this weekend.

Hamilton explained after the race how the hot and humid conditions made the win difficult, but he thanked the team for their hard work across the course of the weekend.

“Today you’re sweating already before you get into the car, so it’s really trying to keep your body as cool as possible and keep your focus,” he said. “The team were just spot on with all the pit stops and cooling and timing, and also the info I was getting, it was just spot on.”

“What a great car, what a great job from everyone.”

IndyCar 2017 driver review: Sebastien Bourdais

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MotorSportsTalk continues its annual review of the Verizon IndyCar Series drivers that raced in 2017. A dream start occurred for Sebastien Bourdais and the Dale Coyne Racing team upon their reunion, followed by a nightmare in Indianapolis with a huge crash in qualifying, and ended with a rapid recovery to build confidence for 2018.

Sebastien Bourdais, No. 18 Dale Coyne Racing Honda

  • 2016: 14th Place, 1 Win, Best Start 3rd, 1 Podium, 3 Top-5, 11 Top-10, 24 Laps Led, 11.9 Avg. Start, 11.2 Avg. Finish
  • 2017: 21st Place (8 Starts), 1 Win, Best Start 6th, 2 Podiums, 2 Top-5, 5 Top-10, 74 Laps Led, 12.4 Avg. Start, 11.0 Avg. Finish

The 2017 campaign for Sebastien Bourdais upon his return to Dale Coyne Racing will forever be known as both a year of “what could have been” and a year of “what a comeback it was.”

The abnormal season for Bourdais stretched eight races with a three-month break in the middle owing to his own mistake qualifying for the Indianapolis 500, which left him with multiple pelvic fractures and a fracture to his right hip. His car was a rocket ship; but after two laps at 231 mph, Bourdais appeared to over-correct and destroyed the wall at Turn 2 in Indy in a massive 127G impact. It was a horrific looking accident, but one that also saw Bourdais rather lucky to have not been injured worse.

It set forth in motion an incredible recovery that saw Bourdais back testing the Monday after Mid-Ohio, just over two months since the accident, then in race action just over three months later at the 1.25-mile Gateway Motorsports Park oval, and because Bourdais is a regulation badass, he finished in the top-10 straight out of the box. He worked as hard as he did to return earlier than anticipated to avoid an offseason of questions asking if he’d come back and if he’d be strong enough to do so.

The recovery was a welcome story to end the year after the agony at Indy that stopped a potential title run or certainly top-five in points finish in its tracks. A classic Coyne strategy special vaulted Bourdais from last to first and a popular win in his U.S. hometown of St. Petersburg to kick off the year. A second place at Long Beach backed it up and eighth at Barber kept him atop the standings.

But Indy was shaping up to be an important bounce back weekend after Bourdais got taken out in Phoenix, then incurred an engine failure in the IMS road course race. And then, of course, his loud and violent accident qualifying for the ‘500 changed the course of the season.

After three “almost there” but largely unfulfilling years at KV Racing Technology, Bourdais embraced the family atmosphere back at Coyne along with longtime engineers Craig Hampson and Olivier Boisson, determined to continue punching above the team’s weight. He crafted a remarkable story all season and will be keen to fulfill it over the course of a proper full campaign in 2018.