British GP Paddock Notebook – Sunday

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“Momentum” seems to be the word of the moment in Formula 1. You either have it or you don’t. Lewis Hamilton didn’t have much of it this morning, given that he was staring down the barrel of a 30-point-plus deficit to teammate Nico Rosberg, but now he has it by the bucketload. It’s amazing what a victory can do.

Lewis has suffered from most of the bad luck thrown Mercedes’ way so far this year, but today it was Nico’s turn to come unstuck. He had his first non-score of the season as his gearbox went kaput and forced him to retire from the race. His 29-point lead has been whittled down to just four.

There were a number of interesting results and battles going on during today’s race, making it a quite fascinating grand prix – even if we had to wait a little longer for it to get going.

RACE REPORT

  • Hamilton was the home hero today at Silverstone, sending the British fans into raptures as they cheered on the Mercedes driver. Valtteri Bottas came home in second place ahead of Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo.

NEWS FROM THE PADDOCK

THOUGHTS FROM THE TRACK

When Lewis Hamilton entered the press conference room following the race today, he was greeted with a round of applause from the assembled media. He came in beaming, holding the ‘proper’ British GP trophy and placing it on the desk in front of him while he conducted the post-race interviews.

Apart from when he was asked a question, Lewis couldn’t take his eyes off it. He looked around the base of the golden cup, looking at the other names engraved on it: Schumacher, Senna, Prost, Lauda, Stewart, Brabham, Clark. He is certainly in good company.

Today was Lewis’s day, without a doubt. The Briton made yet another rocket start to put himself in the mix upon the race restart, and was there to pick up the pieces when Rosberg’s gearbox gave up the ghost.

However, he was looking good to catch him anyway. Thanks to Mercedes’ strategy, Lewis had the option to one-stop, whereas Nico would have had to stop again had he made it that far in the race. The pace that Hamilton was laying down was mightily impressive, and he deserved the win today. The fact that Rosberg retired could prove crucial come the end of the season.

Beyond the Mercedes dominance, there were a number of other big stories. Valtteri Bottas showed his star quality once again to charge from P14 on the grid to second come the checkered flag, teaching Vettel and co. a lesson in overtaking along the way. The Finn is certainly turning heads in F1, and has the makings of a champion.

The crash between Raikkonen and Massa was unfortunate but perhaps avoidable. After running wide at Aintree, Raikkonen thought he could ride it out, keeping his foot on the throttle. Then this happened.

The impact was a mighty 47g, but the Finn limped away with nothing more than some bruising to his ankle and knee.

Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso treated us to a wonderful on-track battle in the final 15 laps of the race, with the German driver eventually coming out on top. Two champion drivers going toe-to-toe at full throttle; if only Gutierrez and Maldonado could have done the same earlier in the race.

Other honorable mentions must go to Nico Hulkenberg, who scored points yet again, and the Toro Rosso drivers who both scored points in ninth and tenth. Marussia’s Saturday form did not carry over to Sunday, although Bianchi was lapped just the once.

All in all, it was a good day to be British. Lewis Hamilton’s win has tightened everything up at the top of the championship once again, and we’re set for another epic duel at the German Grand Prix in two weeks’ time.

IndyCar: Turn 5 gives drivers fits in Friday’s second practice at Barber Motorsports Park

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You’ve heard of the Fast Six in IndyCar, right?

Well, Friday’s second practice session for Sunday’s Honda Grand Prix of Alabama was the Frustrating Five – Turn 5, that is.

It almost might be easier to list those drivers that were not bitten by the cantankerous turn on the 2.3-mile Barber Motorsports Park layout in Birmingham, Alabama.

Close to 10 drivers in the 23-driver field suffered issues in the turn, ranging from running off the grass and back on, to getting stuck and having to be towed out, to suffering damage.

But by the time the one-hour session was over, Josef Newgarden took a big step towards defending his win from last year’s race there, being fastest in Friday’s second of two practice sessions.

Newgarden covered the 2.3-mile permanent road course in a speed of 122.786 mph at a best lap time of 1:07.4345 minutes.

Spencer Pigot was second (125.599 mph/1:07.5372), followed by Sebastien Bourdais (122.129 mph/1:07.7971), Will Power (122.107 mph/1:07.8092) and last week’s winner at Long Beach, Alexander Rossi (122.065 mph/1:07.8326).

Sixth through 10th-fastest were Scott Dixon (122.044 mph/1:07.8445), Ryan Hunter-Reay (121.975 mph/1:07.8829), Takuma Sato (121.652 mph/1:08.0628), Marco Andretti (121.579 mph/1:08.1040) and Graham Rahal (121.572 mph/1:08.1076).

Now, speaking of all the incidents, here’s a list.

INCIDENTS:

* Right after rookie Matheus Leist spun early in the session in Turn 5, fellow rookie Zach Veach spun with about 45 minutes left in the session in Turn 5. Graham Rahal had to take evasive action to miss Veach.

But that wasn’t all, as Sebastien Bourdais followed in almost the same spot with a spin of his own roughly a minute later, and then Gabby Chaves also had his problems in the same turn, going into the grass but avoiding the gravel.

* Simon Pagenaud joined his Penske Racing teammate Josef Newgarden in the Turn 5 gravel. Newgarden spun into the gravel in the first practice session.

* Rookie Rene Binder, who has struggled in his inaugural season, continued to have issues, running into the wall and causing damage to the front end, needing a tow truck to get him righted.

It appeared Binder snapped part of the front suspension in the incident.

* Turn 5 saw James Hinchcliffe and Tony Kanaan run off-track late in the session, but they were able to continue.

ALSO OF NOTE:

* The third and final practice of the weekend will take place Saturday morning at 10:50 a.m. ET, followed by qualifying beginning at 4:05 p.m. ET, to be televised live on CNBC (with an encore performance at 6 p.m. ET on NBCSN). The race, to be televised live Sunday on NBCSN, is slated to start at 3:30 p.m. ET.

* However, the weather forecast does not look promising for Sunday’s race. As of 1 p.m. ET today, the forecast calls for 100 percent rain throughout the day.

* Dixon has had an incredible record at Barber Motorsports Park, with seven podium finishes in eight starts there. Except for one thing: he has yet to win a race there. But he does have five runner-up and two other third-place showings on the permanent road course.

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