Felipe Massa on top in first post-Silverstone test

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Felipe Massa has finished fastest on the first day of the post-British Grand Prix test at Silverstone today.

Following a miserable weekend of racing, the Williams driver recorded a fastest lap time of 1:35.242 to finish ahead of Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Rosberg at the top of the timesheets.

With few major updates expected to be brought to the cars until after the summer break, this week’s two day test was about drivers ironing out any minor issues with their cars and allowing the teams to try out junior members of their racing team.

GP2’s Stoffel Vandoorne and World Series by Renault driver Will Stevens both got a chance to try out some F1 machinery at Silverstone today for McLaren and Caterham respectively. Vandoorne ran well to finish 6th, while Stevens put in 95 laps at the bottom of the standings. Both will hope that this experience will put them in the frame for an F1 call-up in the next two to three years.

Marussia’s Jules Bianchi put in a strong display to finish fifth for the Anglo-Russian team, although his day did end early after a fire on his car. Max Chilton will take over the MR03 tomorrow, with Bianchi stepping in at parent team Ferrari for the rested Kimi Raikkonen.

Adrian Sutil finished fourth for Sauber, with Sergio Perez coming seventh for Force India. Jean-Eric Vergne had a disastrous day, finishing eighth and bringing out three red flags due to a variety of problems. Perez was also responsible for one of the stoppages, with there being five in total.

Pastor Maldonado came home in ninth for Lotus ahead of Ferrari test driver Pedro de la Rosa, who was over 2.5 seconds off the pace in tenth. Will Stevens propped up the timesheets.

The teams will be back at Silverstone tomorrow for the final day of in-season testing in 2014.

Silverstone Wednesday line-up

Mercedes – Lewis Hamilton
Red Bull – Sebastian Vettel
Ferrari – Jules Bianchi
Williams – Valtteri Bottas
Force India – Daniel Juncadella
McLaren – Kevin Magnussen
Toro Rosso – Daniil Kvyat
Lotus – Charles Pic
Marussia – Max Chilton
Sauber – Giedo van der Garde
Caterham – Julian Leal (morning); Rio Haryanto (afternoon)

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

IndyCar Harvest GP practice
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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.