Kimball: “I had nowhere to go” after Aleshin accident

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FONTANA, Calif. – Charlie Kimball was the victim of circumstances in Mikhail Aleshin’s accident during Friday night’s final practice for the MAVTV 500, the Verizon IndyCar Series season finale at Auto Club Speedway.

Kimball was running the high line through Turns 3 and 4 and Aleshin, who slowed through the corner and got two wheels below the white line, then spun up and collected Kimball.

“He went from the top to the bottom through 3 and 4, and it looked like rotated on him,” Kimball told MotorSportsTalk. “I saw tire smoke. I couldn’t tell if I’d be clear or if he’d come in behind me or in front of me. I had nowhere to go.

“I don’t know where he (hit). Last I saw, it looked like a T-bone wreck from my side.”

With a cracked tub on impact, the No. 83 Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet team switches to a backup for tonight’s race (9 p.m. ET, NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra). Kimball qualified sixth.

“It got into the tub. But I have every confidence they’ll give me the same great car they did tonight.”

Leclerc: No. 16 was third-choice for Formula 1 career

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2018 Formula 1 rookie Charles Leclerc has revealed No. 16 was his third-choice number to use through his grand prix career, with his preferred options having already been taken.

From 2014, drivers were given the chance to pick a number to use through their F1 careers instead of being assigned one depending on their team’s championship position.

Formula 2 champion and Ferrari junior Leclerc was announced in an Alfa Romeo Sauber race seat for 2018 earlier this month, picking No. 16 as his permanent number.

However, the Monegasque racer revealed last week that it was in fact his third choice, with both No. 7 and No. 10 already being taken by Kimi Raikkonen and Pierre Gasly respectively.

“It’s quite simple to be honest: I wanted number 7 first, but Kimi had it,” Leclerc said, as quoted by Crash.net.

“Then I chose 10, but Pierre came to F1 and chose number 10, so then I chose number 16.

“It’s just my date of birth and I could not find anything better. And 1 + 6 = 7, which is my favorite number.”

Leclerc will become the first driver hailing from Monaco to race in F1 since Olivier Beretta, who made nine grand prix starts in 1994 for Larrousse.