Caterham gets its first double finish of 2014 in home Grand Prix

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If points aren’t achievable, high midpack results remain the aim for Formula One’s two newest teams – Caterham and Marussia.

While Marussia got both cars home in the Australian Grand Prix, on Sunday, it was Caterham’s turn to do so in Malaysia with its pair of CT05-Renaults.

Kamui Kobayashi ended 13th, Marcus Ericsson 14th on separate strategies. For Kobayashi, a two-stopper saw him take on options at the first stop and primes on the second; Ericsson completed a three-stop strategy to finish his first ever Grand Prix.

Considering some of the testing gremlins that popped up, and a challenging Australian weekend, this was a good day’s work for the Malaysian-entered, Tony Fernandes-led team in its home Grand Prix.

“13th in our second race of the season is a very good result for the team, especially after such a bad weekend until the race!” said Kobayashi. “I had a great start, and no brake problems this time going into turn one, and by the end of the first lap I was up to 16th, running at the same pace as Sutil just ahead and with the car performing much better than it had all weekend.”

Added Ericsson, who recovered quite nicely from a Saturday accident: “First I want to thank the boys in the garage for working so hard to fix my car after yesterday’s accident. I was feeling a bit low last night, but to have finished my first full Grand Prix in 14th, helping us move up into tenth place in the constructors’ championship, is a great feeling, for me and everyone in Caterham.”

Marussia’s Max Chilton was 13th at Melbourne and 15th in Malaysia; teammate Jules Bianchi was an unclassified 14th in the former and retired on Sunday due to a brake issue.

This race was the decisive event that determined 10th place in the Constructor’s Championship for Marussia, courtesy of Bianchi’s 13th-place finish. Time will tell if the 2014 result will do the same.

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).