IMSA: Malucelli, Kearby get one-race suspensions

1 Comment

After their accidents in the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, Matteo Malucelli (Risi Competizione) and Gaston Kearby (BAR1 Motorsports) have received a one-race suspension and an additional race probation from IMSA. Both re-entered the track on line at a dangerous point; Malucelli at Turn 1 in his Ferrari F458 Italia, Kearby in his PC class ORECA FLM09.

The quick release from IMSA reads thusly:

Matteo Malucelli, driver of the No. 62 car, and Gaston Kearby, driver of the No. 87 car, each have been suspended for one race and placed on probation for an additional race for their actions during the IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship event at Sebring International Raceway on March 15.

Determined to have violated Rule 48.4 (unjustifiable risk) of the 2014 IMSA Rules, Malucelli was penalized for an incident at Turn 1 involving multiple cars and Kearby for an incident at Turn 16, also with multiple cars.

Risi’s No. 62 had a driver TBA listed alongside Gianmaria Bruni for the next round of the TUDOR Championship at Long Beach; the PC class will not be at Long Beach and will resume at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca May 3-4.

Sergio Perez wins rain-delayed race in Singapore over Leclerc; Verstappen seventh

Sergio Perez Singapore
Clive Rose/Getty Images,
0 Comments

SINGAPORE — Max Verstappen’s Formula One title celebrations were put on hold after the Red Bull driver placed seventh at a chaotic Singapore Grand Prix, won by his teammate Sergio Perez on Sunday.

Perez’s second win of the season saw him finish 7.6 seconds ahead of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, with Leclerc’s teammate Carlos Sainz Jr. in third place.

Perez was investigated for a potential safety car infringement but still kept the win after a 5-second time penalty for dropping too far back after being warned.

Verstappen had won the past five races but needed to win here and finish 22 points ahead of Leclerc to be crowned champion for a second straight season. That could happen next weekend at the Japanese GP.

Verstappen made a mistake after the second safety car restart, following AlphaTauri driver Yuki Tsunoda’s crash on Lap 36. When Verstappen tried to overtake Lando Norris’ McLaren, he locked his tires and needed to pit again.

Leclerc started from pole position with Verstappen going from eighth after a team blunder in qualifying.

The race start was delayed by more than an hour to clear water off the Marina Bay Circuit track following heavy rainfall. Drivers had to finish the 61-lap race within a two-hour window; 59 laps were completed.

Tricky conditions saw the virtual safety car deployed three times and DRS was allowed with about 30 minutes remaining.

Perez made a good start and jumped past Leclerc while Verstappen dropped several places. The first safety car was on Lap 8 when Zhou Guanyu’s Alfa Romeo was cut off by Nicholas Latifi’s Williams.

Perez got away cleanly at the restart, while Verstappen climbed into seventh behind Fernando Alonso – whose 350th F1 race ended disappointingly when his engine failed on Lap 21, bringing out the first VSC.

With the track still damp, drivers decided against changing to quicker tires – apart from Mercedes’ George Russell, who struggled for grip.

Hamilton made a rare mistake on Lap 33 and thudded into the crash barrier. Soon after, the leading drivers changed tires in a flurry of stops. They did so just before the safety car was deployed again following Tsunoda’s error.

Verstappen overtook Sebastian Vettel’s Aston Martin right at the end for seventh place.