MRTI: Jack Harvey joins Schmidt Peterson Indy Lights team

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20-year-old Englishman and former GP3 competitor Jack Harvey has now been signed to Schmidt Peterson Motorsports’ Indy Lights team for the 2014 season.

Harvey, backed by the European-based Racing Steps Foundation, was the highest-finishing rookie this past season in GP3. He finished fifth in the series championship after earning wins at Silverstone and Monza along with 13 Top-10 finishes for the ART Grand Prix team.

“Everything was looking good for me in Europe and I certainly would have continued working on that path, but the Racing Steps Foundation, which manages my career, and I both decided that we wanted to try to tackle the U.S.,” Harvey said in a SPM release.

“Schmidt Peterson Motorsports doesn’t need any introduction with their winning history in Indy Lights. We always try to associate ourselves with winners, which is exactly what this team has proven itself to be.”

Harvey tested with SPM, the winningest team in Indy Lights history, at Sebring (Fla.) International Raceway last month. Clearly, the youngster impressed team owner Sam Schmidt with his work.

“We look for raw talent, wins and/or championships in a competitive series, commitment and maturity beyond age in our Indy Lights drivers,” Schmidt said of his newest driver. “Jack not only checks one of those boxes, but he has checked all of them.”

Harvey won the British F3 championship in 2012 and also competed in Formula BMW Europe from 2009-2010. He made his way up to formula racing after several years of karting. A full CV can be found on his website.

Valtteri Bottas takes pole position for season-opening Austrian GP

Leonhard Foeger/Pool via Getty Images
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SPIELBERG, Austria — Valtteri Bottas upstaged Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton to take pole position Saturday for the Formula One Austrian GP.

The Finnish driver edged out the world champion by 0.012 seconds to claim the top spot for the season opener at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg. He clenched his fist as he climbed out of his car and shared a hug with Hamilton.

“It’s something special when you push the car to the limit,” said Bottas, who is chasing an eighth career win. “Feels so good. It’s very impressive (from the team).”

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen was third, and Lando Norris gave McLaren a boost by finishing fourth. Verstappen has won the past two years here, including 2019 when he started third behind Hamilton and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.

“It’s going to be interesting quite a bit warmer tomorrow and hopefully this will play to our advantage,” Verstappen said. “Today, Mercedes was on a different level, unfortunately. Last year we were also a little bit off in qualifying so I expect we will be a bit better in the race.”

Bottas had the leading time when drivers embarked on their final laps and beat his own mark before sliding off the track into the gravel.

Hamilton was chasing a record-extending 89th career pole. He was ahead but then dropped off slightly as Bottas secured a 12th career pole.

“Great job by Valtteri. It’s a great start to the season,” Hamilton said. “We show year on year that we continue to be the best team. We’re open-minded … constantly learning from each other and pushing the boundaries.”

Ferrari struggled for speed, with Leclerc nearly one second behind in seventh and Sebastian Vettel failing to make it into the third and final part of qualifying, known as Q3. He starts the race from 11th on the grid.

Vettel is leaving Ferrari at the end of the season with his future in F1 uncertain.

Earlier, Hamilton posted the fastest time in morning practice. The 35-year-old British driver was also quickest in both sessions on Friday.

Midway through third practice, F1 newcomer Nicholas Latifi misjudged the exit of a turn and spun his Williams car into a protective tire wall.