Grosjean not expecting to challenge for points at Spa

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Lotus driver Romain Grosjean does not believe that he will be fighting for points in the Belgian Grand Prix this weekend, but felt that his practice runs went better than he was expecting on Friday at Spa.

The French driver finished 13th in the first free practice session and 14th in FP2, but conceded in a media session on Friday evening that the lack of power in the Renault engine is proving particularly costly at Spa.

“It was not as bad as I was expecting in FP1,” Grosjean said. “We had a small technical issue on the rear of the car early on in the run, so hopefully that will explain the loss of performance. We knew it would be a track where we suffer.”

When asked to predict how he would fare during qualifying and the race, the Lotus driver said that under normal conditions he expects to be scrapping outside of the points.

“At the moment, I wouldn’t say that the top ten is possible,” he admitted. “Probably inbetween 12th and 15th, 16th.

“But again, the weather may change and that always helps you a little bit when you’re struggling.”

Grosjean’s teammate, Pastor Maldonado, also endured a difficult practice on Friday, culminating in a huge crash at the beginning of FP2. However, he was more optimistic than Grosjean when it came to gauging Lotus’ chances of points.

“The car looks, to be honest, not too bad,” he said. “Let’s do our best tomorrow. I think still we have a good chance to be close to the top ten, and then in the race, everything can happen.”

Castroneves crashes out of Indy 500

Photo: IndyCar
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Helio Castroneves’ bid for a fourth Indianapolis 500 triumph came to an end following a restart on Lap 145, when his No. 3 Pennzoil Chevrolet broke loose exiting Turn 4, sending him spinning into the inside wall near the pit entrance.

Castroneves started eighth and had been running solidly inside the top 10 for much of the race, and he was sitting fifth following a Lap 145 restart. Further, the previous caution – for Sebastien Bourdais, who crashed in Turn 4 – set up Castroneves to possibly make it to the end of the race on more pit stop.

However, that effort came to a disappointing end not long after racing resumed.

Castroneves’ status for future Indy 500s is unknown, though he did make a plea to team owner Roger Penske to let him come back next year. “Please, Roger, I want to come back,” said Castroneves during his interview.

This is the first time Castroneves has crashed out of an Indy 500 since 2006.

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