Start of IndyCar race sees throttle issues for Helio, wreck for Kanaan and Andretti (VIDEO)

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Today’s Honda 200 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course has begun with trouble for Verizon IndyCar Series championship leader Helio Castroneves, Tony Kanaan (pictured), and Marco Andretti.

As the cars went out for pre-race pace laps, Castroneves was suffering with a stuck throttle on his No. 3 Team Penske Chevrolet.

The Brazilian was due to start 15th on the grid but instead had to see the field take the green flag without him.

But moments after the race began, third-place Tony Kanaan went over the curbing at Turn 4 and spun out. Most of the field was able to avoid him, but Marco Andretti was unable to do so and ran into Kanaan.

“It was really tight for both of us [Kanaan and second-place Josef Newgarden] and I don’t know if he saw me or not,” Kanaan told NBCSN. “I was all the way alongside him and then toward the middle of the corner, he was actually a little ahead so there was contact there. He touched my front wheel and I spun.

“Man, I was in a tough position there. And then Marco didn’t see me, unfortunately. I feel bad for Marco. I feel bad for the Target Chip Ganassi boys. We had such a great streak of podiums and this was gonna be a good race but it’s one of those things.”

As for Andretti, he admonished himself for not being able to qualify further up the grid in order to avoid being caught in Kanaan’s incident.

“That’s what happens when I start back there,” Andretti said to NBCSN. “My qualifying has been pathetic. I’m super frustrated and I’ve got to work on that. That’s first off.

“But what’s breaking my heart right now is where [teammate James] Hinchcliffe is. He’s sixth on the track and he started behind me. It’s just – we gotta qualify better.”

Under the ensuing caution, Castroneves was finally able to get going and returned to the track just before the race restarted at Lap 5. However, the door’s now open for Team Penske teammate Will Power to take over the championship lead with a good result today.

Before today’s race, Castroneves was up by 13 points on Power in the standings.

Hamilton hails ‘greatest day’ after USGP victory, Mercedes title win

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Lewis Hamilton made no secret of his jubilation after taking a giant step towards his fourth Formula 1 championship win with victory in Sunday’s United States Grand Prix that also saw Mercedes clinch the constructors’ title.

Hamilton recovered from an early pass by F1 title rival Sebastian Vettel to take his sixth victory on American soil, five of which have come at the Circuit of The Americas in Austin, to extend his lead to 66 points.

With just 75 left on offer this season, Hamilton needs just one top-five finish in the final three races to clinch his fourth world title, with the enormity of the victory not being lost on the Mercedes driver.

“Today has been amazing. It’s been the greatest day,” Hamilton told NBCSN after the race.

“I woke up a bit tired, felt the rain, then was like, ‘What the hell?’ But I didn’t mind. I won here in the rain in the past. Then it dried up, clear blue skies, amazing opening at the beginning of the GP.

“I lost first place into Turn 1. It was OK. That first section, we got through there, and it felt very reminiscent of 2012: ‘Game on. You have to save the tires’, and he wasn’t doing that. I kind of kept my cool.”

“I saw I got a good exit of Turn 1, this was the lap and it was. His tires were dropping off anyway.”

Hamilton’s victory saw Mercedes wrap up its fourth consecutive F1 constructors’ title with three races to spare, with the Briton having played a key part in each of its successes.

“I’m so proud of this team. Big congratulations to the guys, people don’t know the amount of work they do,” Hamilton said.

“It’s over 1,500 people in two factories, so much brainpower and a lot of people to manage to extract the best from each of those.

“To come into a new era of car and perform as we have. There’s been a newfound love within the team. Ferrari, we want to beat them, thrash them.

“So they put more hours of working in to do that. That’s for all their hard work.”