Pagenaud posts fastest lap of month on short Wednesday running at IMS

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For the second consecutive day, rain interrupted running at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. But while on Tuesday it stopped the session just before 2 p.m. EDT, on Wednesday, the session didn’t begin until 5, and was supposed to go until 7 before rain intervened again.

In the interim running that did take place, Grand Prix of Indianapolis winner Simon Pagenaud turned in the month’s first 226-mph-plus lap at 226.122 in the No. 77 Lucas Oil Honda for Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Motorsports.

Like all other fliers this month, his best lap was tow-assisted.

The rest of the top five included JR Hildebrand, Scott Dixon, Helio Castroneves and rookie Mikhail Aleshin.

Kurt Busch didn’t run as he was in Charlotte, and neither did Townsend Bell, Buddy Lazier or James Davison. Davison’s No. 33 car and Lazier’s No. 91 were due to be out for shakedowns on Wednesday but they ran out of time.

Jack Hawksworth had the month’s first crash, but was checked, released and cleared to drive.

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Verstappen picks illegal Raikkonen pass as favorite F1 2017 overtake

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Max Verstappen has picked his illegal pass on Kimi Raikkonen on the final lap of the United States Grand Prix as his favorite overtake of the Formula 1 season.

Verstappen was one of F1’s most prolific passers through 2017, making 22 overtaking moves as per Pirelli’s end of year data.

When asked to pick out his favorite in a post-season interview on his official website, Verstappen picked his bold move on Raikkonen at the Circuit of The Americas that sparked controversy when he was penalized for completing the overtake off-track.

The Red Bull driver had charged from 16th on the grid to cross the line third, only for a five-second time penalty to deny him a podium and drop him to fourth in a snap call made before the post-race ceremony.

“Of course, at first your initial reaction is something like: ‘Why? It was a great move.’ But when you look at the rules, it was not correct,” Verstappen said.

“Nothing was by the book that whole weekend. Drivers were getting off track without being penalized for it. But you always need to focus on the positives: it was still a nice race and everyone enjoyed the excitement all the way down to the final lap.

“It’s always nice to be on the podium, but to finish fourth after having started sixteenth, is still a great result.

“It wasn’t as painful as most people thought it was. In the end I made my peace with it.”

Asked if it was his best move of the year, Verstappen said: “Yes, because this year I actually didn’t have that many overtakes.

“With this car you are actually only able to overtake on the straights, which is really not that satisfying compared to last year.”