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Verstappen tops wet opening Malaysia F1 practice after delay

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Max Verstappen headed up a one-two finish for Red Bull in first practice for Formula 1’s Malaysian Grand Prix on Friday at Sepang following a delayed start to running due to rain.

A heavy shower around 20 minutes before the start of the session forced race control to delay the start of FP1 by half an hour before conditions improved, with the rain eventually subsiding enough to allow running to take place on intermediate tires.

Verstappen and Red Bull teammate Daniel Ricciardo traded fastest times throughout the session, ultimately finishing P1 and P2 respectively in the final classification.

Verstappen’s best time of 1:48.962 saw him finish seven-tenths of a second clear of Ricciardo at the top of the timesheets, with Fernando Alonso ending FP1 as the best of the rest for McLaren in P3, 1.6 seconds off the fastest lap.

Ferrari left it late to try and beat Verstappen’s lap, ultimately taking P4 and P5 with Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel, with nearest-rival Mercedes ending the session sixth and seventh through Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.

Lance Stroll wound up eighth for Williams ahead of Pierre Gasly, who took ninth for Toro Rosso in his first session as a grand prix driver ahead of his debut on Sunday. Renault reserve Sergey Sirotkin rounded out the top 10.

FP2 for the Malaysian Grand Prix kicks off at 3am ET on Friday.

Takuma Sato’s likeness revealed on Borg-Warner Trophy (PHOTOS)

Photos; Walt Kuhn
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INDIANAPOLIS – Rather than the traditional December unveil, this year’s reveal newest likeness added to the Borg-Warner Trophy came Tuesday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum.

Takuma Sato got to see the result of the sculpting done by William Behrends and then turned from wax, clay and ceramic into sterling silver on Tuesday evening, as the winner of the 101st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil saw his face revealed on the trophy.

Sato took the No. 26 Ruoff Home Mortgage Honda for Andretti Autosport to the win in thrilling fashion this year over Helio Castroneves, denying the Brazilian his fourth Indianapolis 500 victory in the process. It atoned for his near-miss in 2012, driving for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, the team he’ll return to in 2018.

It’s been a whirlwind last week-plus for Sato, doing the podium interviews at the Japanese Grand Prix, reflecting on his Indianapolis 500 triumph, then sharing the victory spoils with another Japanese pilot in Yoshihide Muroya, who won the Red Bull Air Race World Championship at Indianapolis this weekend.

Photos of Sato’s face on the most unique trophy in sports are below. This post will be updated following tonight’s full unveil. (All photos: Walt Kuhn)