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Sainz crashes in FP1, receives grid penalty on tough Friday at Suzuka

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Carlos Sainz Jr. endured a tough Friday of Formula 1 practice running at Suzuka as he suffered a big crash in FP1 and received a 20-place grid penalty following changes to his power unit.

Toro Rosso confirmed ahead of FP1 it had changed the MGU-H, turbocharger and internal combustion engine on Sainz’s power unit, with each obeing outside of the season allocation for elements.

Sainz entered FP1 with the grid drop confirmed, and saw his fortunes take another hit when he crashed out 50 minutes into the session while exiting the hairpin.

After getting a wheel on the kerb, Sainz’s Toro Rosso slid across the track and into the wall on the left-hand side, smashing into the wall.

“A tricky Friday for us! Obviously, the accident in FP1 was a bit of a pity,” Sainz said.

“I didn’t expect that to happen, I just clipped the outside kerb a bit too much and it sent me into a spin and then into the barriers. It looked quite incredible on the TV, but luckily it wasn’t such a big one from inside the cockpit.

“We can’t forget that a minimal miscalculation here can make you pay a big price! I’m happy that the mechanics could put the car back together for FP2 – they did an amazing job like they always do, pushing for me and the team.

“We were ready to run in FP2, but unfortunately the weather conditions didn’t help us and we were only able to complete an installation lap. Hopefully tomorrow is a better day!”

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)