Hamilton frustrated to only finish sixth in India

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Lewis Hamilton has made no secret of his disappointment after only finishing sixth in today’s Indian Grand Prix despite being in contention for a podium finish for most of the race only to struggle in the final few laps.

Having started third, Hamilton dropped behind Felipe Massa off the start and settled into a good rhythm in fourth place. As the race wore on and the different strategies shook up the order, Hamilton maintained a good pace but he eventually lost out to one-stopping Romain Grosjean and McLaren’s Sergio Perez, with the latter pulling off an opportunistic overtake with just a few laps to go.

“It’s great that we got some good points, particularly with Nico’s podium, and that the team are back to second place [in the constructors’],” Hamilton explained. “The car has been pretty good this weekend but the race was frustrating for me. I tried so hard to get past Felipe but it just wasn’t possible and unfortunately I destroyed my tires in doing so.

“Finishing in sixth place is never satisfying but we’ve got three more races and we’ll keep pushing. I’m confident that we can get some more good results to keep the team in second place and we’ll keep fighting to achieve just that.”

Hamilton was also quick to congratulate newly-crowned world champion Sebastian Vettel who clinched his fourth consecutive title with victory in India today.

“Massive congratulations to Seb on becoming four-time world champion today,” Hamilton said. “That’s an awesome achievement and he’s put in some incredible performances this season. I really hope we get to take the fight to him next year!”

The Briton currently lies in fourth place in the drivers’ championship, trailing third-placed Kimi Raikkonen by fourteen points.

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

IndyCar Harvest GP practice
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
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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.