Hawksworth, Filippi score solid top-10s to open season at St. Petersburg

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ST. PETERSBURG – With veteran drivers locking out the top seven positions in Sunday’s Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, it was easy to overlook the younger or lesser- experienced drivers in the Verizon IndyCar Series.

But both Jack Hawksworth and Luca Filippi did an excellent job to end eighth and ninth in their first races with A.J. Foyt Enterprises and CFH Racing, respectively.

Hawksworth started 21st in the No. 41 ABC Supply Co. Honda and was the first driver into the pits for a new wing – an A.J. Foyt team representative confirmed they’re up to five they’ve used thus far this season – after getting caught up in an opening lap skirmish.

And so began the roller coaster ride where Hawksworth, on an alternate strategy, popped in and out of the top three, led five laps and then hung on for eighth after a late-race pit stop to make it to the finish.

Perhaps his craziest moment in the race came on a Lap 53 restart when he led the field back to green, had Sage Karam move underneath him into Turn 1 and then watch as Will Power passed them both to reassume the lead.

“Really fun race, really entertaining,” Hawksworth said post-race. “After the disappointment in qualifying, the guys really worked hard last night and found what was wrong and corrected it and gave me a fast car today.

“We lost the front wing on the first lap, replaced it, then had some contact in the middle of the race and lost an end fence. I didn’t have a clue what was going on out there, I was just pushing like crazy all the way through once we got into clean air because I knew that was going to be important.

“The guys made good stops, got me in clean air and we finished in the top 10 from the back of the grid. I was really happy for the whole ABC Supply team. I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy with an eighth-place finish before.”

Filippi, the Italian driver who is confirmed for all 10 road and street courses races in the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet, had a quiet, uneventful race – which was precisely what he needed after several incidents interrupted his cameo appearances each of the last two years. He started 19th and stealthily snuck up to ninth by the checkered flag.

“I am happy with that,” Filippi said. “Obviously, so many things are new to me. On one hand we want to have good results, on the other hand we know that we have to learn a little before we can really fight for the podium. The team did a great job, they gave me great pit stops and we can build on this. This is a good start for the season, from here I can just get better and better.”

Their respective teammates, Josef Newgarden (CFH Racing) and Takuma Sato (A.J. Foyt Enterprises), both had wing issues that dented their chances and resigned them to 12th and 13th.

Newgarden ran the second half of the race with a broken front wing on his No. 67 Hartman Oil CFH Racing Chevrolet, following contact between Graham Rahal and Charlie Kimball on Lap 54. Newgarden ran into the back of Sebastien Bourdais’ car.

After starting fifth as the only Honda in the Firestone Fast Six, Sato’s race came unglued after Lap 33 when he pitted for a new front wing assembly – one provided by Dale Coyne Racing – and was then sent to the rear of the field for a blend line violation.

Max Verstappen is PointsBet favorite to score sixth staight in 2022 Singapore Grand Prix

PointsBet 2022 Singapore odds
Mark Thompson / Getty Images
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Max Verstappen is the PointsBet Sportsbook odds favorite to win the 2022 Singapore Grand Prix on the Marina Bay Street course to stretch his current win streak to six consecutive. He shows odds of -200 this week.

Formula 1 did not compete in Singapore in 2020 or 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but Verstappen has podium finishes in his last two attempts on this track. he was second in 2018 and third in 2019. In the first 15 races of this season, he has failed to stand on the podium only twice and has an average finish of 2.73.

With minus odds, the way to determine a payout is by subtraction. In order for a bettor to earn $100, he must wager $200 this week; with that wager, he will get back his initial stake and winnings of $100.

For bettors more comfortable with fractional odds, a bet of +300 is the same as 3/1.

Charles Leclerc is ranked second this week with +400 odds. He has two previous Singapore GP starts to his credit with a best of second in 2019. He is coming off back-to-back podium finishes with a third in the Dutch GP and a second at Monza.

Ranked third is Carlos Sainz, Jr. with a line of +1100. He has top-five finishes in four of his last five starts, but only one of these, a third in the Belgian GP, was on the podium. Sainz is one of four winners other than Verstappen this season. His victory came in the British GP.

Lewis Hamilton shows a line of +1200. His last win came last fall in the Saudi Arabian GP and the Mercedes team has struggled to contend for victory in 2022. They are improving, however, with eight top-fives in the last nine races. Hamilton has two wins in his last three Singapore starts, which came in 2017 and 2018.

Rounding out the top five is Hamilton’s teammate George Russell at +1800. He has not won, but has shown remarkable consistency with top-fives in all but one race. Notably, his only bad finish came in his home GP in England. Russell has one previous start at Marina Bay; he finished last in the 2019 race. He finished fourth in 2019 as part of a four-race streak of top-fives.

The most recent Singapore GP winner from 2019, Sebastian Vettel is a longshot at +50000.

PointsBet is our Official Sports Betting Partner, and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on PointsBet for the first time after clicking our links.

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