Force India duo not too disheartened despite missing Q3

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Force India drivers Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez are not too downbeat with their qualifying performances despite finishing in 11th and 12th in Spain today.

The team has made a remarkable start to the season, and currently lies third in the constructors’ championship ahead of Ferrari and McLaren. Perez produced a fine display in Bahrain to secure just the second podium finish in the history of the team, and Hulkenberg has scored points at every race so far.

Having performed so well this season, missing out on the top ten might seem like a poor result for the team, but both Hulkenberg and Perez said that they qualified around where they expected to.

“My lap was very good and I am pleased with the effort we put in during qualifying,” Hulkenberg explained. “We made some steps forward with handling and set-up compared to FP3 this morning, but we still ended up a little bit short of Q3.

“Considering that we haven’t been totally comfortable with the car for most of the weekend, P11 is a very good place to start the race and gives us an extra set of medium tires compared to the rest of the top ten.”

Perez explained how be bailed on his final flying lap because of traffic, but he is not too disappointed with 12th place given that the track is not suited to the VJM07 car.

“I think we finished qualifying more or less where we expected,” the Mexican said. “Maybe a place in Q3 was possible, but I did not manage to complete my final run in Q2 because my preparation lap was not ideal. There was too much traffic and my tires were not optimised, which is why I chose to abort my final quick lap and save the tires.

“Coming here we knew this track would be quite a difficult one for us, but we still believe we can be competitive tomorrow.”

The team will be hoping that its drivers can make up some positions during the race tomorrow to continue its point scoring streak in 2014. However, this might be easier said than done given the gains that McLaren and Lotus appear to have made.

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