Massa laments back luck so far in 2013

Leave a comment

Felipe Massa believes that his championship total would be far higher had it not been for some hard luck so far in 2013.

The Ferrari driver has experienced a difficult start to the season, suffering crashes in Monaco and Canada which have stunted his form, whilst two punctures at the Bahrain Grand Prix saw him struggle home in 15th position.

“I’m very upset about what happened in Bahrain, with the tires and the hits I’ve had,” he explained to Totalrace.

“That hurt my score, but I’m happy with the car I’m driving and that’s what counts most.”

However, Massa has shown signs of his true pace, scoring a podium at the Spanish Grand Prix and claiming a further four scores, and he is confident that he has a future with Ferrari after years of speculation that he may be released by the team.

“I am calm, I think it’s important to have a good pace. I’m feeling good in the car and have a good pace.

“In my opinion, if you had a driver that was much better to get into my place, okay. But I think not.”

Massa is already the second longest serving driver in Ferrari’s history (behind Michael Schumacher), and he will celebrate his 200th grand prix during 2014.

Alex Palou fastest as several go off course during IndyCar practice at IMS

IndyCar Harvest GP practice
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Alex Palou paced the opening practice Thursday for the IndyCar Harvest GP at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.

The Dale Coyne Racing rookie turned a 1-minute, 10.177-second lap around the 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course in his No. 55 Dallara-Honda.

Jack Harvey was second, followed by Colton Herta, points leader Scott Dixon and Max Chilton.

PRACTICE CHART: Click here to see the speed rundown from Thursday’s session

FRIDAY AT IMS: Details for watching Race 1 of the Harvest GP

Qualifying for Friday’s race will be at 6:20 p.m. ET Thursday on NBC Sports Gold.

Will Power, who won the pole position for the July 4 race at the track, spun off course with just more than a minute left in the session after the left rear of his No. 12 Dallara-Chevrolet made slight contact with the right front of Alexander Rossi’s No. 28 Dallara-Honda.

Power was among several drivers who went off track, but there were no damaged cars during the session. Marcus Ericsson missed the final 5 minutes of the practice after being penalized for causing a red flag with a Turn 8 spin.

Arrow McLaren SP drivers Pato O’Ward and Helio Castroneves, who is driving for Oliver Askew (who is recovering from concussion-like symptoms), also veered off course as did rookie Rinus VeeKay and Santino Ferrucci.

Seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson was in attendance at the session before racing Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway. Johnson will be driving a partial schedule of road and street courses in IndyCar next season for Chip Ganassi Racing.

“Literally, the smallest of details, I can pick up on,” Johnson told NBC Sports pit reporter Kevin Lee. “It’s been really nice today just to see how a session starts and obviously to jump on the radio and listen to how the systems work and then obviously you get into the car and the setup and such. I’m at ground zero right now, a 45-year-old rookie trying to learn my way into a new sport essentially.”

Johnson told Lee his sponsorship hunt to run a Ganassi car “has gone really well. The fact that I’m here today and ingrained so deeply in the team is a great sign of where things are going. Looking forward to getting behind the wheel of a car soon and hopefully having some announcements for the world to see soon, too.”

Fans were in attendance Thursday for the first time this season at IMS, which is allowed a limited crowd of 10,000 for its races this weekend.