Sirotkin and da Costa impress at the Hungaroring

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Sergey Sirotkin may have been making the headlines for being on-course to be the youngest ever Formula One driver next season, but he has finally made himself newsworthy for the right reasons in Hungary this weekend by finishing third in a Formula Renault 3.5 race.

The series is widely regarded as being on par with GP2 as a feeder formula for F1, housing the likes of McLaren youngsters Kevin Magnussen and Stoffel Vandoorne and Red Bull juniors Antonio Felix da Costa and Carlos Sainz Jr. In Hungary on Saturday, Sirotkin managed to put all of the bad press about pay drivers behind him to come third behind race winner Nico Muller and Magnussen.

After the race, Sirotkin expressed his delight following a tough year.

“We haven’t had much success this season, what with missing out on podiums and big points, but I managed to get some here today,” the eighteen-year-old said. “I’m delighted. We now need to work hard and make sure we finish the season in style.”

For da Costa, Sunday’s race yielded even greater rewards as the Red Bull junior driver won his second race of the season. Having been linked with Daniel Ricciardo’s seat at Toro Rosso, da Costa required a good result following the late entry of Sainz into the race for the position. This may just be the decisive result for da Costa though, with Sainz finishing down in P22.

Here’s who were picking to win the Indy 500 — who are YOU picking?

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Several members of the NBC Sports motorsports staff have made their predictions on who will win Sunday’s 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500.

Of the six voters, two are going with 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series champ Josef Newgarden, while two others are going with Helio Castroneves to win a fourth 500, which would tie him with A.J. Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears.

Here’s our picks. Who are YOU picking?

Leigh Diffey: Helio Castroneves — He drives the place better than anyone else. For me (for what its worth) he deserves a fourth 500 ring for the frustration he went through never getting the IndyCar title!

Townsend Bell: Josef Newgarden

Nate Ryan: Simon Pagenaud — All of his 2018 misfortune on the track has disappeared in May, and it culminates in the biggest victory of his career.

Jerry Bonkowski: Helio Castroneves – There’s no pressure as he pursues his fourth Indy 500 win. All Helio has to do, as late NFL owner Al Davis would say, is “Just win, baby!” (But if Helio falls short, watch for Marco Andretti)

Kyle Lavigne: Josef Newgarden — I think he has everything he needs to get it done this year.

Dan Beaver: Robert Wickens – Has driven like anything except a rookie and his second-place finish at Phoenix proves he’s just as good on an oval as the road courses.

Follow: Jerry Bonkowski