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Bourdais back on track with Mid-Ohio test Monday

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Sebastien Bourdais has, on Monday, made his return to the cockpit of the No. 18 Dale Coyne Racing Honda at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, only 10 weeks after suffering pelvic and hip fractures in an accident in qualifying for the Indianapolis 500 on May 20.

In a medical evaluation test conducted after the Verizon IndyCar Series’ Honda Indy 200, Bourdais ran more than 80 laps today with no ill effects. INDYCAR will have to officially clear him to return to active competition, but today’s test will have been a good step before that confirmation.

“It’s just great to be back in the car, really, and to feel like nothing’s changed,” Bourdais said, via IndyCar.com.

Team owner Coyne told IndyCar.com Bourdais will be back for sure at Sonoma but is TBD for Watkins Glen depending on how current drivers Esteban Gutierrez and Ed Jones fare at the next two ovals.

Of note, Bourdais also told the Indianapolis Star‘s Jim Ayello the idea for Gutierrez to attempt to pass Josef Newgarden to try to get his lap back in Sunday’s race was Bourdais’ idea.

Gutierrez came under the microscope for his passing attempt, which wasn’t wrong to the letter of the rulebook, but may have inadvertently affected Will Power and Graham Rahal being able to make a run at Newgarden for the win on Sunday.

Hamilton tops second Abu Dhabi F1 practice with new track record

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Lewis Hamilton swept to the top of the timesheets in second Formula 1 practice for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Friday evening, beating Ferrari rival Sebastian Vettel by one-tenth of a second.

Hamilton trailed Vettel through the daytime-run opening practice session, but managed to strike back by recording a new track record at the Yas Marina Circuit for Mercedes.

Hamilton recorded a fastest lap time of 1:37.877 to finish one-tenth of a second clear of Vettel at the checkered flag, appearing to have an edge across a single lap on the ultra-soft tire.

Red Bull threw its hat into the ring as a possible rival for pole through Daniel Ricciardo, who finished the session third-fastest, three-tenths of a second back from Hamilton at the head of the field.

Kimi Raikkonen ended FP2 in fourth place in the sister Ferrari, finishing within half a second of Hamilton, and managed to edge out fellow Finn Valtteri Bottas, who was a further two-tenths back in P5.

Max Verstappen failed to get in a quick flying lap during FP2, ending the session one second down in P6 for Red Bull.

Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon’s tight intra-team fight at Force India continued through FP2 as the pair were separated by just 0.01 seconds, taking seventh and eighth respectively to finish as the leading midfield drivers.

Nico Hulkenberg and Fernando Alonso completed the top 10 for Renault and McLaren, with Felipe Massa following in 11th for Williams on his final Friday appearance in F1.

Massa was fortunate to avoid an accident with Ricciardo during the final 15 minutes of the session after a mix up at the hairpin when the Brazilian tried to get a wider line for the back straight.

Running in Abu Dhabi continues with final practice at Yas Marina on Saturday morning from 5am ET on the NBC Sports app, followed by qualifying at 8am ET on NBCSN.