IndyCar: Will Power, Simon Pagenaud lock horns again in Detroit

Leave a comment

For the second time this Verizon IndyCar Series season, Simon Pagenaud has come off badly after a run-in on the track with Will Power.

On Lap 5 of today’s Race 1 for the Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit, Pagenaud was on the rear wing of Power in a battle for position. But in Turn 6, Power’s No. 12 Team Penske Chevrolet moved outside and made contact with Pagenaud’s No. 77 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda (pictured), causing left-front suspension damage and triggering the first yellow of the day.

“I was trying to get around him, but he wouldn’t give me any room anywhere,” Pagenaud told ESPN. Before the interview, he had squarely put the blame on Power over his team radio:

Pagenaud was optimistic that, if allowed, he could return to the race.

“It’s not too much damage,” he said. “We could change the wishbone and go back out, but I don’t know if the Race Director will allow us to bring the car back to the pits. But we could definitely go back out – it’s not too much damage.”

Earlier this year at Long Beach, Pagenaud was hit by Power off of a restart at Lap 32 while they jockeyed for fourth position. The impact sent Pagenaud into the Turn 6 tire barriers, and while the Frenchman recovered for a Top-5 finish, that didn’t keep him from angrily confronting the Australian after the checkered flag.

Ferrari teammates Vettel and Raikkonen fastest in rainy final practice at Australian GP

Getty Images
Leave a comment

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Ferrari drivers Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen went one-two in the final practice session ahead of qualifying at the water-logged Australian Grand Prix on Saturday.

Vettel set a best-lap time of 1 minute, 26.067 seconds, more than 2.4 seconds faster than his teammate in second.

Both Ferrari drivers switched from their intermediate tires to the super-fast, ultra-soft tires for the final few laps of the session, testing conditions on the track after a day-long downpour left it slick and filled with small puddles.

Mercedes drivers Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton did not opt to try out their soft tires, sticking to the intermediates for the entire session. They had the seventh- and eighth-fastest times, after topping the leaderboard in practice in dry conditions on Friday.

The heavy rains subsided by early afternoon, allowing the track to rapidly dry during the third practice session and making conditions safe for drivers to test their soft tires.

Still, only a few drivers completed a timed lap with the softer compounds, with Mercedes, Red Bull and most of the others staying with their intermediates.

Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson had the third-fastest time of the session on ultrasoft tires, followed by Red Bull’s Max Verstappen on intermediates.

Hamilton remains the favorite to capture his fifth straight pole position at the Australian Grand Prix in qualifying later Saturday. He had the fastest laps on ultrasoft tires in the two practice sessions on Friday, though Verstappen was right behind him.

Verstappen and Vettel both slid on the slick track early in the third practice session, but maintained control and completed their runs without incident.

Verstappen’s teammate, Daniel Ricciardo, had the sixth-fastest time of the session. The Australian’s chances of winning his fifth career Grand Prix on his home track in Melbourne took a hit late Friday when he was assessed a three-place grid penalty for Sunday’s race.

The Australian driver was penalized for driving too fast under red-flag conditions during Friday’s second practice session because of debris on the track.