Motivation for Luiz Razia? The Long Beach podium staring him in the face

Leave a comment

After two races, perhaps one of the early surprises in this year’s Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires championship is that the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports trio has just one combined podium between them (Jack Harvey, third at St. Petersburg).

Luiz Razia, who entered the field as one of the top preseason championship contenders given his GP2 experience and near-F1 race opportunity, has some personal bulletin board material to motivate him to do better. The 25-year-old Brazilian has finished fifth in both races.

That’s the Long Beach podium of Gabby Chaves, Zach Veach and Matthew Brabham, who thus far have had a leg up on the SPM quartet. Schmidt’s team has won the last four Indy Lights championships.

Hartley says debut F1 point would be ‘a dream’ from last on grid

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Brendon Hartley says scoring a point on his Formula 1 debut would be “a dream” after being resigned to last place on the grid for the United States Grand Prix following an engine penalty.

Porsche factory driver Hartley was drafted in by Toro Rosso to replace Pierre Gasly for the USGP when the Frenchman was ruled out due to clashing commitments in Super Formula.

Despite having not driven an F1 car since 2012, Hartley came within one-tenth of a second of making it through to Q2 on Saturday at the Circuit of The Americas, ultimately qualifying 18th.

“Obviously I’d love to be quicker but we knew we were starting at the back, so we put a lot of focus on long runs, getting the peak performance out of this Pirelli tire I didn’t get today,” Hartley told NBCSN after the race.

“In FP3 I had a good feeling. There’s a lot of quirky things to manage with these tires. Honestly I should be happy with how the weekend’s gone so far.”

The New Zealander will start last due to a 25-place grid penalty for changes made to his power unit ahead of practice on Friday, and is daring to dream of making the top 10 in his first race out of a sports car for more than five years.

“I don’t do the 24 hours completely alone!” Hartley joked. “It’s quick. It’s physical to drive. I’ll be happy to be done after an hour and a half.

“A point would be a dream starting from the back. If I can move forward and put a race together, I’ll be happy.”

The United States Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and the NBC Sports app from 2pm ET on Sunday.