Gutierrez recaps breakout Singapore weekend in F1 rookie diary

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It was hard to make an impression in the latest Sebastian Vettel benefit this past weekend in Singapore, but Sauber rookie Esteban Gutierrez shone brightly under the lights for really the first time this season.

Gutierrez hasn’t been horrible this year, but has found it difficult to emerge while working in the shadows of highly rated teammate Nico Hulkenberg. At Singapore, he made Q3 for the first time, outqualifying Hulkenberg, and missed his elusive first Formula One point in 12th place.

“Singapore has shown that I can,” Gutierrez wrote about his improvement in his latest F1 rookie diary on the series’ official website. “I love that track. It’s one of my favorites. I knew it already from last year’s GP2 race, so I knew what was coming my way, and oh boy, what a qualifying it was! My first time in Q3 – that ticked the box!”

Of the remaining six Grands Prix, Gutierrez will be new to the circuit at four of them. He participated in Free Practice 1 at India a year ago and has raced previously at Abu Dhabi, while he’ll tackle Japan, Korea, Austin and Brazil for the first time.

Gutierrez hasn’t found a comfort level yet despite putting 13 races under his belt, and continues to develop over the course of the season.

“You can never feel comfortable in Formula One. You are never in the comfort zone. I have learnt that if you are looking for job security you should probably look somewhere else,” he noted.

INDYCAR: Josef Newgarden quickest again in second practice at Road America

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Josef Newgarden continued to be quickest around Road America, first this morning and again this afternoon in the second practice session for Sunday’s KOHLER Grand Prix.

Newgarden had a best lap in the second session of 1:42.6279, followed by rookie Robert Wickens (1:42.9025), Sebastien Bourdais (1:43.0020), Will Power (1:43.0545) and teammate Simon Pagenaud (1:43.1599).

Sixth through 10th were Graham Rahal (1:43.1995), Scott Dixon (1:43.4212), Ryan Hunter-Reay (1:43.4755), Takuma Sato (1:43.5410) and Marco Andretti (1:43.6221).

One significant incident of note occurred during the session when Alfonso Celis Jr., making his IndyCar debut this weekend, lost control coming out of a turn and slammed into the tire wall, causing damage to his suspension.

The third and final practice session of the weekend will be Saturday at Noon E.T., followed by qualifying later in the afternoon.

The race will take the green flag on Sunday shortly after 1 p.m. ET. It will be televised live on NBCSN.

Follow @JerryBonkowski