Webber: Pole position down to gradual improvement

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Mark Webber has said that the lap that saw him steal pole position away from teammate Sebastian Vettel in the dying moments of qualifying for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was a result of him becoming increasingly comfortable and at ease with the car on Saturday.

Webber posted a fastest time of 1:39.957 to edge out Vettel by just over one-tenth of a second, and the Australian driver explained after qualifying that it was only after a small change was made to the front wing that he became comfortable with the setup of the car.

“It wasn’t the most electric start to Q1 or Q2, but we made changes to the car as the session went on and I got more comfortable,” Webber said.

“I knew I had to work on certain sections of the track which Sebastian had already been doing a good job on, so I had to try and match him as well as continuing to keep the areas where I was doing a good job too, so overall I’m happy with the pole. We’re really looking forward to the race tomorrow.”

This is Webber’s second pole position in the last three races, having secured first place on the grid for the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka last month. However, after losing the lead to Romain Grosjean at the start, a change in strategy caused him to fall behind Vettel who eventually won the race.

This time around, Webber will be hoping to make a better start and lead from the front at a track that is notoriously difficult to overtake around. However, the race has only been won from pole position once (2010), whilst in the other three races the pole-sitter has retired from the race.

IndyCar at IMS Friday: How to watch, start times, live streaming info

IndyCar Indianapolis start times
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With three races remaining in the NTT IndyCar Series season, Scott Dixon has a commanding lead and history on his side entering Friday’s opener of the Harvest GP at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The five-time series champion leads defending champ Josef Newgarden by 72 points.

Since 2014, the points leader with three races left has won the championship in five of the past six years, including Dixon in ’18.

The Chip Ganassi Racing driver has led the championship standings following every round after opening 2020 with three consecutive victories. Dixon also led the points by 78 points with three races remaining when he won the title in 2008.

Dixon, Newgarden, Pato O’Ward, Colton Herta, Will Power, Graham Rahal and Takuma Sato are championship eligible.

Anyone outside 108 points of the lead after Indy will be eliminated heading into the Oct. 25 season finale at St. Petersburg, Florida.

Here is the IndyCar Harvest GP at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course schedule for Friday (all times are ET), including details and start times:


Indianapolis Motor Speedway TV schedule for Friday

IndyCar Harvest GP Race 1: 3:30 p.m., USA Network, NBC Sports Gold and streaming on the NBC Sports App and NBCSports.com); Leigh Diffey is the lead announcer for IndyCar on NBCSN this weekend with analysts Townsend Bell and Paul Tracy.


IndyCar Harvest GP, Race 1 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway start times, information

COMMAND TO START ENGINES: 3:53 p.m.

GREEN FLAG: 4 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is 85 laps (207.35 miles) around Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s a 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course in Indianapolis.

TIRE ALLOTMENT: Nine sets primary, five sets alternate (A 10th set of primary tires is available to any car fielding a rookie.) Teams must use one set of primary and one set of alternate tires in the race.

PUSH TO PASS: 200 seconds of total time with a maximum time of 20 seconds per activation.

FORECAST: According to Wunderground.com, it’s expected to be 57 degrees with a 0% chance of rain at the green flag.

QUALIFYING: 6:20 p.m. Thursday (NBC Sports Gold)

ENTRY LIST: Click here for the 25 drivers racing this weekend at Indianapolis