Raikkonen upbeat despite large crash in practice

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Kimi Raikkonen has remained upbeat about his chances in this weekend’s Korean Grand Prix despite having a large crash during the first practice session that caused a great deal of damage to the front and rear of his Lotus E21 car.

The Finnish driver made a mistake coming out of the final corner that saw him lose the rear end of the car and spear into the wall that divides the pit entry and the race track. Raikkonen admitted that this was down to driver error alone, and thanked his team for reacting so quickly and getting him back out for the second session on Friday afternoon.

“Obviously it didn’t help that I destroyed part of the car this morning; maybe I ran out of talent there!” Raikkonen joked. “It didn’t cause too much damage and the car was fine for the second practice, even if the guys had quite a hurry to fix it. They did a good job and we managed to complete everything we wanted today.”

In terms of pace, Raikkonen is feeling good for the race on Sunday despite finishing eighth in both sessions around one second behind pace-setter Lewis Hamilton.

“The car feels quite strong – especially on the long runs – so that’s good news for the race. On the short runs it wasn’t exactly as I wanted, but we still have some time to make improvements there.”

Raikkonen had said that he would assess his back injury during practice before making a final decision on whether or not to race this weekend. However, he appears to be back to full fitness as he enters his final six races with Lotus ahead of a move to Ferrari in 2014.

Supercross: Talon Hawkins to debut in Houston in relief of Jalek Swoll

Hawkins Supercross
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Talon Hawkins, 19, will make his Monster Energy Supercross debut on a 250 this week in Houston, Texas as a fill-in rider for Jalek Swoll.

During the Anaheim 2 weekend, the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna team announced Swoll underwent successful surgery to repair a broken arm suffered in a practice crash.

That same weekend, Hawkins made some noise. He took the lead from teammate Casey Cohran on Lap 2 of the 250 SX Futures Main and led for three laps before he was overtaken by eventual winner Daxton Bennick. Cochran also got around him to push Hawkins to third.

This will not be Hawkins SuperMotocross professional debut, however; he made three Lucas Oil Pro Motocross starts last year with results of 19th at Spring Creek in Millville, Minnesota, 27th at Ironman in Crawfordsville, Indiana and a best finish of 17th in the season finale at Fox Raceway in Pala, California.

Hawkins also has a top-10 finish in the 125 All-Star division at Pala in 2019 riding a Husqvarna.

Speaking with RacerXOnline.com before the Loretta Lynn Amateur Nationals, Hawkins predicted his future with Husqvarna would come down to how he performed in that race.

“It all just comes down to how I perform at Loretta’s,” Hawkins said. “Say I do really well, I get a top three in both classes and do a pretty solid job, I would like to go pro and just kind of finish out the rest of the series. But there’s also the option of waiting a little bit longer, going back out to [Aldon] Baker’s [Factory] or going anywhere and training, and just being prepared. I’m also open to that too. Honestly, it’s whatever the team wants. Whatever we think is the best option is what we’re going to go with. So, I don’t really have a plan right now, just looking into the future.”

Hawkins finished third overall in the 125 B/C and Schoolboy divisions at the Loretta Lynn Amateur Nationals.