IndyCar: Castroneves extends points lead heading into Toronto race two

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Second place for Helio Castroneves and a ninth for Team Penske teammate Will Power in race one means the Brazilian has gained 19 more points heading into today’s second race of the Honda Indy 2 in Toronto.

The Verizon IndyCar Series has just five races remaining this season, and four following the second race of the day.

Simon Pagenaud gained points on Power as well with fourth place, although he lost a few to Castroneves. The Frenchman now sits third, 58 back of Castroneves, but stayed alive despite a first lap spin that dropped him to the rear of the field.

Ryan Hunter-Reay lost ground after his incident with Tony Kanaan, and is now 64 back. He’ll need a big result in race two to help close the deficit.

Juan Pablo Montoya sits fifth in points, 95 back of Castroneves, to make it three Team Penske cars in the top five.

Race one winner Sebastien Bourdais now sits 10th after the victory.

Here’s the top 10 heading into race two (3 p.m. ET, NBCSN/NBC Sports Live Extra).

TOP 10
1.  Helio Castroneves, 512
2.  Will Power, 484
3.  Simon Pagenaud, 454
4.  Ryan Hunter-Reay, 448
5.  Juan Pablo Montoya, 417 
6.  Carlos Munoz, 371
7.  Scott Dixon, 361
8.  Marco Andretti, 351
9.  Tony Kanaan, 340
10. Sebastien Bourdais, 336

Formula One: Recapping the past week’s news

Photo: Getty Images
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While the FIA Formula 1 World Championship is still two months away from beginning its 2018 season, this past week did bring about news items that filled out the 2018 grid and shed some light on individual team and car launches as the season-opening Australian Grand Prix draws closer.

Below is a recap of F1 news from this past week:

Williams Signs Sirotkin for 2018 Drive, Names Kubica as Reserve Driver

The saga of the second seat at Williams Martini Racing was finally resolved early on in the week, with former Renault Sport F1 Team test driver Sergey Sirotkin officially confirmed as a teammate to the incumbent Lance Stroll in 2018.

The announcement concluded months of speculation that saw multiple drivers test for the team in an auditioning capacity. Most notably, Robert Kubica looked to be a main contender for the seat before Sirotkin emerged as the favorite.

However, Kubica, who has not raced in Formula 1 since a devastating rally accident in 2011 left him with brutal injuries to his right arm, was named as a reserve and development driver for the team.

This announcement also completes the 2018 Formula 1 driver lineup, with all 11 teams having their seats now filled. Among those who were left without F1 drives are Paul Di Resta, who drove for Williams at the Hungarian Grand Prix in relief of Felipe Massa and even tested with them during the Winter months, and Antonio Giovinazzi, who filled in for Pascal Wehrlein at the Australian and Chinese Grands Prix.

Former Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso driver Daniil Kvyat is also without a race seat for 2018, but did sign on with Scuderia Ferrari as a development driver.

Mercedes, McLaren Reveal Dates for Their 2018 Car Launches

While most teams have not yet released dates for when their 2018 cars will be publicly launched, three notables have.

Mercedes AMG Petronas will introduce its 2018 challenger on February 22nd, the same day Ferrari is doing so, while McLaren will unveil its car one day later on the 23rd.

Testing will commence on February 26th at Circuit de Catalunya.

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