Hamilton’s incredible qualifying record ends at Monza

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Lewis Hamilton’s incredible record of sixty-seven consecutive top ten starts has come to a crashing end in Italy today after the British driver failed to make it out of Q2 for the first time since 2010.

Hamilton had comfortably made it through Q1, but he failed to get in a clean first lap in Q2 following a mistake on the exit of the high-speed Parabolica corner. After a run through the gravel, the Briton trailed pacesetter Sebastian Vettel by six seconds, but with time still left in the session he looked set to improve and do enough to make it into Q3. However, he could only go ninth with his first truly competitive time, and when the checkered flag fell he was stuck in the dropzone alongside former world champion Kimi Raikkonen. By failing to improve, Hamilton was left out of the top ten whilst more unlikely drivers such as Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hulkenberg made it through.

Speaking to the BBC after qualifying, Hamilton said: “I just drove like an idiot, that’s the worst I’ve driven for a long, long time.”

However, he does believe that he was held up by Adrian Sutil during his final lap. Replays of the incident do appear to show the Force India driver causing Hamilton to slow down through Parabolica, costing the Mercedes some time. Although it may not have been a big incident, he only missed out on the top ten by two-tenths of a second.

The incident will be investigated by the stewards in Italy.

Steve Torrence takes NHRA points lead with Gatornationals victory

NHRA Gainesville Steve Torrence
Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Two-time defending NHRA Top Fuel champion Steve Torrence took the points lead Sunday in the AMALIE Motor Oil Gatornationals, beating his father, Billy, in the final round at Gainesville Raceway.

Torrence had a 3.809-second run at 322.11 mph to win for the third time this year and 39th overall. He is now on track for another championship despite missing the season opener.

“We’ve got some good momentum and to be in the points lead, it’s a testament to how hard these guys work,” Steve Torrence said after the NHRA Gainesville victory. “We’ve just got to stay focused and concentrate on what the task at hand is, and that’s trying to win a championship. These guys give me an unbelievable race car and you just try not to screw it up.”

Ron Capps won in Funny Car, Alex Laughlin in Pro Stock and Matt Smith in Pro Stock Motorcycle.

Capps raced to his second win this year and 66th overall, beating Tim Wilkerson with a 3.937 at 323.12 in a Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat.

Laughlin topped Aaron Stanfield with a 7.068 at 204.76 in a Chevrolet Camaro for his first win this season and fourth in his career. Smith rode to his first victory in 2020 and 25th overall, topping Andrew Hines with a 6.843 at 196.99 on an EBR.