Lewis Hamilton set for pit lane start in Hungary

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Lewis Hamilton will start today’s Hungarian Grand Prix from the pit lane after a fire during qualifying caused severe damage to his W05 Hybrid car.

The Briton’s car suffered a fuel leak which caused his engine to catch fire during the first few minutes of Q1 on Saturday. He was forced to pull over at pit entry, and although he escaped unharmed, the same cannot be said for the Mercedes car.

The team has replaced the engine, gearbox and chassis on Hamilton’s car, meaning that he will have to start today’s race from the pit lane.

As he failed to post a time during the session, he fell foul out on the 107% rule that prevents drivers for starting the race if they are too slow. However, the stewards unsurprisingly confirmed that he will be allowed to race.

“The stewards grant permission for car 44 Lewis Hamilton to start the race, as the driver has set satisfactory times in practice at this event,” a statement read. Pastor Maldonado has also been given permission to race in Hungary.

Kevin Magnussen will also start the race from the pit lane after his crash in Q3, but he will start ahead of Hamilton.

Lewis was left in a state of disbelief yesterday after he suffered yet a car problem in qualifying for the second weekend in a row. In Germany, a brake failure caused him to crash during Q1, but he rallied from P20 to third in the race. This time around, he thinks it might be a bit of a tougher task.

“It will be a very difficult afternoon as it’s one of the hardest circuits to overtake on,” Hamilton said. “But these things are sent to try us and how I come out of it is going to be the most important thing.”

You can watch the Hungarian Grand Prix live on CNBC and Live Extra from 7:30am ET.

IndyCar 2017 driver review: Ed Carpenter

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MotorSportsTalk continues its annual review of the Verizon IndyCar Series drivers that raced in 2017. The 2017 season behind the wheel was better for Ed Carpenter than either of the last two years, but still wasn’t ideal results-wise in his six oval starts.

Ed Carpenter, No. 20 Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet

  • 2016: 25th Place (5 Starts), Best Finish 18th, Best Start 5th, 0 Top-5, 0 Top-10, 1 Lap Led, 11.2 Avg. Start, 21.8 Avg. Finish
  • 2017: 22nd Place (6 Starts), Best Finish 7th, Best Start 2nd, 0 Top-5, 1 Top-10, 5 Laps Led, 11.3 Avg. Start, 12.3 Avg. Finish

Ed Carpenter’s 2017 season was largely one of frustration, both behind the wheel and as a team owner.

While a respectable turnaround in results occurred – Carpenter finished between seventh and 12th in five of his six oval races after a nightmare season of ending 18th or worse in each of his 2016 starts – this is still not what he sets out to strive for in the races he does. Lost opportunities loomed larger than any official result he or the Ed Carpenter Racing team achieved.

Carpenter and new teammate JR Hildebrand, in for the departed Josef Newgarden, dominated preseason testing in Phoenix but Hildebrand could only muster third in the race, Carpenter a season-best seventh. Then at Indianapolis, Carpenter (second) and Hildebrand (sixth) flew the flag for Chevrolet in qualifying and practice pace, but they fell to 11th and 16th on race day owing to a front-wing change and late-race penalty for passing before a restart.

Both drivers got collected in incidents at Texas. Hildebrand qualified and finished a season-best second in Iowa but that result came only after the ECR crew rebuilt his car from a crash in practice. Then Carpenter had a practice crash in Pocono and despite a rapid rebuild, they missed the clock to qualify by mere minutes and were unable to do so. Carpenter’s spin on a slick Gateway track at the start of the race sent him over Will Power’s nose assembly in one of the scarier looking incidents of the year, although fortunately he was OK.

In a similar refrain as we often write, it’s not that Carpenter’s lost his ability to drive and he remains one of the series’ savviest and smartest people in the paddock. There have been a lot of extenuating circumstances of late, and it almost felt as though this team had “empty nest” components. Since September, Carpenter has had to secure his team’s future with a move away from its Speedway, Ind. shop, line up Spencer Pigot for a full-time drive replacing Hildebrand in the No. 21 car, find a new road/street course driver in the No. 20 car, and manage both driving and owning himself.