Wear fine, result not so for Sauber in Montreal

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The good news for Sauber’s Adrian Sutil in the 2014 Canadian Grand Prix? He finished, which was something he couldn’t say in four of the five previous Grands Prix.

The bad news? It was in 13th, as the only car to see the checkered flag who failed to score.

“It was a long race with many incidents,” he said. “We were able to keep out of all the trouble from start to finish. Hence, it was a good team performance, which I am very pleased of. I am also satisfied with my own performance. However, all this only led to a 13th position, which we have to accept at this point in time. At least we gave everything today.”

Sauber team principal Monisha Kaltenborn said although the tire wear for the C33 chassis was fine, there was still the ultimate pace lacking over the course of the long run.

“No doubt, this was a difficult race,” she said. “The team worked well delivering good pit stops, and we were able to execute the strategy as planned. The tire wear was as expected, so there was nothing wrong on this side. However, we have to analyse the data very carefully to understand why the lap times were slower than we could expect based on the long runs on Friday. We will concentrate on working on the set-up of the car, because there is more potential to be exploited.”

Sauber, along with Caterham, have yet to score a point this year.

Alex Palou fastest as several go off course during IndyCar practice at IMS

IndyCar Harvest GP practice
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
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Alex Palou paced the opening practice Thursday for the IndyCar Harvest GP at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.

The Dale Coyne Racing rookie turned a 1-minute, 10.177-second lap around the 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course in his No. 55 Dallara-Honda.

Jack Harvey was second, followed by Colton Herta, points leader Scott Dixon and Max Chilton.

PRACTICE CHART: Click here to see the speed rundown from Thursday’s session

FRIDAY AT IMS: Details for watching Race 1 of the Harvest GP

Qualifying for Friday’s race will be at 6:20 p.m. ET Thursday on NBC Sports Gold.

Will Power, who won the pole position for the July 4 race at the track, spun off course with just more than a minute left in the session after the left rear of his No. 12 Dallara-Chevrolet made slight contact with the right front of Alexander Rossi’s No. 28 Dallara-Honda.

Power was among several drivers who went off track, but there were no damaged cars during the session. Marcus Ericsson missed the final 5 minutes of the practice after being penalized for causing a red flag with a Turn 8 spin.

Arrow McLaren SP drivers Pato O’Ward and Helio Castroneves, who is driving for Oliver Askew (who is recovering from concussion-like symptoms), also veered off course as did rookie Rinus VeeKay and Santino Ferrucci.

Seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson was in attendance at the session before racing Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway. Johnson will be driving a partial schedule of road and street courses in IndyCar next season for Chip Ganassi Racing.

“Literally, the smallest of details, I can pick up on,” Johnson told NBC Sports pit reporter Kevin Lee. “It’s been really nice today just to see how a session starts and obviously to jump on the radio and listen to how the systems work and then obviously you get into the car and the setup and such. I’m at ground zero right now, a 45-year-old rookie trying to learn my way into a new sport essentially.”

Johnson told Lee his sponsorship hunt to run a Ganassi car “has gone really well. The fact that I’m here today and ingrained so deeply in the team is a great sign of where things are going. Looking forward to getting behind the wheel of a car soon and hopefully having some announcements for the world to see soon, too.”

Fans were in attendance Thursday for the first time this season at IMS, which is allowed a limited crowd of 10,000 for its races this weekend.