Hamilton edges Rosberg in British GP second practice

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Lewis Hamilton has finished at the top of the timesheets in the second practice session for this weekend’s British Grand Prix, but the Briton was left walking back to his garage after a failure on his car forced him to stop out on track.

The Mercedes driver posted a fastest lap time of 1:34.508 to edge out teammate Nico Rosberg by two-tenths of a second, having trailed the German in FP1 earlier today.

However, with around half an hour to go in the session, Hamilton’s car came to a halt on the exit of turn two, thus robbing him of precious track time and race simulation runs after he reportedly lost oil pressure. Nevertheless, he had already done enough on his qualifying simulation run to give him top spot ahead of Rosberg.

Ferrari once again appeared to be ‘best of the rest’ as Fernando Alonso slotted into third place. The Spaniard will be hoping to score his second podium finish of the season at Silverstone this weekend, and could be well placed to win should both Mercedes hit trouble like they did in Canada.

That said, Red Bull will also be in the running for big points. After a terrible weekend in Austria, both Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel appear to have got their mojo back. They finished fourth and fifth respectively in FP2 ahead of Williams’ Valtteri Bottas.

Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen also put in a solid display for McLaren, finishing inside the top ten. After a difficult start to the season, the British team will be hoping to make up for it on home soil.

Hamilton was not the only driver to hit trouble during the session. Jean-Eric Vergne’s session ended ten minutes early when his front-left wheel came loose. Thankfully it remained on the car, but he did have to pull over and halt his running. Valtteri Bottas’ engine cover broke off towards the end of the session while he was running down Hangar Straight, giving Williams yet another repair job to work on.

It’s business as usual for Mercedes, but as we saw in Austria, that can all change for qualifying. Be sure to join us at 8am ET on Saturday for all of the action from Silverstone.

James Hinchcliffe on Andretti: ‘It’s certainly the place I want to be’

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Since before the start of the 2020 NTT IndyCar Series season, James Hinchcliffe tirelessly has worked to ensure the future would include a full-time return in 2021.

And with an opportunity to run the final three races this season with Andretti Autosport, there seems a surefire (albeit unlikely) path.

“If I go out and win all three,” Hinchcliffe joked with IndyCar on NBC announcer Leigh Diffey in an interview Friday (watch the video above), “it would be hard for them to say no, right?”

Regardless of whether he can go unbeaten at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course next weekend or the Oct. 25 season finale at St. Petersburg, Florida (where he earned his first career win in 2013), Hinchcliffe will have the chance to improve his stock with the team that he knows well and now has an opening among its five cars for 2021.

All three of Hinchcliffe’s starts this season — the June 6 season opener at Texas Motor Speedway, July 4 at the IMS road course and the Indianapolis 500 — were with Andretti, where he ran full time in IndyCar from 2012-14.

“Obviously, the plan from January 2020 was already working on ’21 and trying to be in a full-time program,” he said. “I’ve really enjoyed being reunited with Andretti Autosport, and everybody there has been so supportive. It’s been a very fun year for me on track. It’s been kind of a breath of fresh air in a lot of ways.

“It’s certainly the place I want to be moving forward. We’ve been working on that, working on those conversations. Genesys has been an incredible partner in my three races. We’ll be representing Gainbridge primarily, but Genesys will still have a position on our car in the last three.”

Gainbridge is the primary sponsor of the No. 26 Dallara-Honda that was vacated by Zach Veach, who left the team after it was determined he wouldn’t return in 2021. Hinchcliffe can empathize having lost his ride with Arrow McLaren SP after last season with a year left on his deal.

“You never want to earn a ride at the expense of somebody else in the sense that has happened here with Zach,” Hinchcliffe said. “I feel bad that he’s not able to see out the last three races of his season. I’ve got a lot of respect for him off track. He’s been a teammate this year, a colleague for years before that and honestly a friend for years before that. I’ve got a lot of time for him and his family. I understand a little bit of what it’s like in that position and what he’s going through.”

Hinchcliffe is ready to seize the moment, though, starting with the Oct. 2-3 doubleheader race weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He had been hoping to add the Harvest Indy Grand Prix to his schedule and had been working out for the possibility.

“Then last week I had given up hope (and) was resigned that wasn’t happening,” he said. “I told my trainer, ‘I think we’re done for this year.’ Three days later, this call comes. I’m glad we didn’t make that decision too early. I feel great physically.

“I look at it as a great opportunity to continue to show I’ve still got what it takes and should be there hopefully full time next year on the grid.”

Watch Hinchliffe’s video with Leigh Diffey above or by clicking here.