Magnussen leads Day 3 in Jerez

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Don’t adjust your monitors: you’re reading this headline correctly.

Kevin Magnussen, not his father Jan, is atop a Formula One session for the first time in his career. Except in this case, it’s only day three of F1’s first official preseason test in Jerez, and there still weren’t a ton of laps turned.

Nonetheless, the 21-year-old Danish rookie put the McLaren MP4-29 on the top of the timesheets for the second straight day, after Jenson Button was quickest on Wednesday. The younger “Mags” clocked in a flier of 1:23.276, about eight tenths faster than what Button set on day two.

Fellow Mercedes engine runners Felipe Massa (Williams) and Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) were also realistically in range of the leaders, at half a second and seven tenths of a second behind, respectively.

Elsewhere Renault’s struggles continued; Jean-Eric Vergne managed 30 laps in the new Toro Rosso while former teammate Daniel Ricciardo turned in only three in the Red Bull with further technical problems.

“We worked hard yesterday to make the changes it was felt were necessary to overcome the problems we identified and we were hopeful of a more successful day today,” Red Bull’s race engineering coordinator Andy Damerum said, via Formula One’s official website.

Things were worse down Sauber’s way, where Adrian Sutil crashed at Turn 7. Sutil’s car snapped while going in a straight line following an upshift from third to fourth gear.

Marussia’s new MR03 Ferrari made its first public appearance with Max Chilton behind the wheel, but didn’t post an official lap time.

The fourth and final day of F1’s first test of the new year occurs Friday in Jerez.

1. Kevin Magnussen, McLaren-Mercedes, 1m 23.276s, 52 Laps
2. Felipe Massa, Williams-Mercedes, 1m 23.700s, 47
3. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 1m 23.952s, 62 
4. Jenson Button, McLaren-Mercedes, 1m 25.030s, 40
5. Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, 1m 25.495s, 58 
6. Nico Hulkenberg, Force India-Mercedes, 1m 26.096s, 17 
7. Jean-Eric Vergne, Toro Rosso-Renault, 1m 29.915s, 30
8. Adrian Sutil, Sauber-Ferrari, 1m 30.161s, 34 
9. Robin Frijns, Caterham-Renault, No time, 10
10. Max Chilton, Marussia-Ferrari, No time, 5
11. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull-Renault, No time, 3

Lewis Hamilton receives Daytona 500 invitation from Bubba Wallace

Lewis Hamilton Bubba Wallace
Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images
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Lewis Hamilton is a fan of the new NASCAR Cup Series team formed by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan to field a car for Bubba Wallace.

Will the six-time Formula One champion also be a fan in person at a NASCAR race in the near future?

Wallace is hoping so.

After Hamilton tweeted his support Tuesday morning about the news of a Hamlin-Jordan-Wallace team making its debut with the 2021 season, Wallace responded with a sly invitation to the Daytona 500.

Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

But it would seem fitting given that Hamilton and Wallace have been two of the world’s most outspoken Black athletes about the quest for diversity and racial justice. Hamilton recently reaffirmed his commitment to activism after his donning a Breonna Taylor shirt sparked an FIA inquiry.

The idea of Hamilton attending the season opener already had legs, too. The Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 driver has expressed a desire to race the Daytona 500 after he has retired from Formula One.

He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.

Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it only would be fitting if Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — spent some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.

Jeff Gordon was flanked by Mario Andretti and Lewis Hamilton before the 2015 Cup season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images).