WATCH LIVE: FP2 for the Austrian Grand Prix

Leave a comment

After an interesting first practice session at the Red Bull Ring, the drivers will resume business later this afternoon with FP2 for the Austrian Grand Prix.

You can watch the full session live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 8am ET. CLICK HERE to watch via live stream.

Nico Rosberg had the honor of finishing fastest in the first session at the revamped Red Bull Ring, with this weekend’s race being the first in Austria since 2003.

The German driver posted a fastest lap time of 1:11.295 to finish one-tenth of a second clear of Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton. On Red Bull’s home turf, it seems that the Silver Arrows will rule once again.

For Red Bull, the session did not go to plan. Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel could finish in just thirteenth and fifteenth place respectively, and both made mistakes at the final corner. Vettel was particularly fortunate to save his car from going into the barrier, having circled his car twice on the exit of turn eight.

Instead, Mercedes’ closest challenger was the ever-present force of Fernando Alonso. Although he may stand little chance of toppling the Silver Arrows this weekend, he will certainly be encouraged by the early pace of the Ferrari F14 T.

FP2 begins at 8am ET live on NBCSN and Live Extra. CLICK HERE to watch via live stream.

Marco Andretti confident that fewer tests won’t hurt Andretti Autosport

Photo: IndyCar
Leave a comment

A small point of debate around the 2018 aero kit has been the manufacturer test days that took place through the Fall of 2017 and into the beginning of 2018. Chiefly, the debate has centered around teams who hadn’t participated in those manufacturer test days and if they’re starting the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season at a disadvantage as a result.

Team Penske, Ed Carpenter Racing, and A.J. Foyt Racing completed test days for Chevrolet, with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and Chip Ganassi Racing doing so for Honda.

That left teams like Andretti Autosport out of the mix, with some voicing concerns as a result.

However, in a press conference during testing at ISM Raceway last weekend, Marco Andretti explained that he thinks Andretti Autosport should be able to catch up on development, citing the team’s resources – they’re the only IndyCar team with four full-time cars in their stable – and the fact that everyone is still adapting to the new kit.

“I feel like it’s early enough days that, yes, we can catch up,” Andretti said at ISM Raceway. “When there is anything new, a new car, new aero kit, at-track days are huge. We can sim all these things we want. To really get out there and confirm what we’re learning back at the shop is another thing.”

Ryan Hunter-Reay during testing at ISM Raceway. Photo: IndyCar

Andretti continued, “Yeah, I don’t think we should look at it like we’re behind the eight ball. With a four-car team, that’s where we can use it to our benefit. So far so good.”

Teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay, echoed Andretti’s sentiments, adding that while the situation is not perfect, they will need to adapt to it in order to remain competitive.

“Any time you have a new car, to put it into perspective, we’re on track three days on a road course before we get to (the season open in St. Petersburg). That’s a very short amount of time. It’s obviously not ideal, but we’re just going to lace up our boots and get on with it. That’s all you can do.”

Andretti Autosport will have one more team test, at Sebring International Raceway later on in February, before the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

Follow@KyleMLavigne