Karthikeyan: F1 completely unsustainable for small teams

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Former Formula 1 driver Narain Karthikeyan has given his damning opinion on the cost crisis currently engulfing the sport, saying that it is simply too expensive for small teams such as Caterham and Marussia to survive.

Karthikeyan raced for the now-defunct HRT F1 Team between 2011 and 2012, taking part in its final grand prix at the end of the 2012 season and working amid the steady demise of the operation in Spain.

Following today’s news that both Caterham and Marussia will not be racing at the United States Grand Prix due to financial problems, Karthikeyan took to Twitter to make his feelings known.

“F1 is just too expensive and completely unsustainable for minnows,” he wrote. “First HRT, now Caterham/Marussia – has been waiting to happen ever since 2010.”

Karthikeyan also believes that their absences will not be felt by the bigger teams in F1, who will simply race on in Austin as usual.

“18 cars in Austin for next GP but sadly no one will miss the absentees, once the opening lap is completed without incidents. That’s the truth.”

As a man who raced in the dying stages of both HRT and Jordan Grand Prix in 2005, Karthikeyan is well-placed to comment on the situation that both Caterham and Marussia are currently facing.

Although his summation may seem cynical, there is a good element of truth to it. So long as the rich continue to get richer and excel at the front of the field in F1, they will care little for the exploits of the minnows fighting to survive at the very back.

Will Power nips Jack Harvey at finish to pace Road America practice

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Will Power led the only IndyCar Road America practice of the weekend Saturday, shooting to the top of the chart on his 22nd and final lap of the session at 1 minute, 46.0021 seconds in his No. 12 Dallara-Chevrolet.

Dixon knocked Jack Harvey’s No. 60 Dallara-Honda from the top spot (which would have marked the first time that a Meyer-Shank Racing car led practice).

Josef Newgarden, Power’s Team Penske teammate, was third, followed by Felix Rosenqvist and Ryan Hunter-Reay (who went off course late in the session but sustained no damage).

Alex Palou, Colton Herta, Graham Rahal, defending race winner Alexander Rossi and Pato O’Ward rounded out the top 10 in the practice that preceded a Saturday-Sunday race weekend doubleheader for IndyCar at Road America.

PRACTICE RESULTS: Click here to see who was fastest in the session

RACE INFORMATION: What you need to know for today’s REV Group Grand Prix

RATED ROOKIE: Rinus VeeKay rebounding well from a tough debut

IndyCar tested some new cooling devices with cars from Andretti Autosport, Chip Ganassi Racing and Team Penske. Several drivers have said the cockpit heat caused by the new aeroscreen was stifling during last week’s GMR Grand Prix, and IndyCar repositioned drink bottles this weekend to keep liquids cool. The pieces tried by IndyCar during the Road America practice won’t be available during the races Saturday and Sunday at the Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, road course.

Scott Dixon, who is seeking to open the season with his third consecutive IndyCar victory, was 15th fastest in the 75-minute session. Other notables in Road America practice: Marco Andretti (12th), Simon Pagenaud (19th).

Power is aiming for his second consecutive pole position after qualifying first last week on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.

Qualifying for the REV Group Grand Prix Race #1 will take place at 2:15 p.m. ET (NBCSNNBC Sports Gold).

The broadcast of the IndyCar race at Road America will begin at 5 p.m. on NBCSN.