Hawksworth, Coletti, Clauson survive second qualifying group; Lazier fails to make Indy 500

3 Comments

The agony was real for Jack Hawksworth, Stefano Coletti and Bryan Clauson – and their teams – in the final 45-minute second qualifying session for the 99th Indianapolis 500.

But the three of them still made it into the field on Sunday evening, with 1996 Indianapolis 500 champion Buddy Lazier the lone driver who failed to qualify for this year’s race.

Hawksworth, Coletti and Clauson looked like they’d rather be anywhere but in the second session, which was added by INDYCAR as something of a fail-safe in case a, with no disrespect to those three, more marquee name had an issue in the primary qualifying session.

As it was, Clauson went out and posted a speed of 221.358 in the No. 88 KVSH/Jonathan Byrd’s Racing Chevrolet, before Coletti posted a 222.001 in the No. 4 KV Racing Technology Chevrolet and Hawskworth clocked a 223.738 in the No. 41 ABC Supply Co. Honda.

Lazier came up short on his first attempt in the session in his No. 91 Lazier Racing Partners Chevrolet at 219.438 mph.

“We’re on the grid. That’s all I gotta say,” Hawksworth told ABC after his run.

Asked whether this was one of the strangest days he’d seen at IMS, Clauson and Coletti co-owner Jimmy Vasser told ABC, “Right at the top, or second to when Penske didn’t qualify in 95. We’re miffed why we’re out here. We don’t have the speed today. They just won’t go.”

James “Sulli” Sullivan, another co-owner and race strategist for the KVSH/Byrd’s car told ABC, “Bottom line we’re watching the Lazier camp. We’ve got spotters. If he moves, we move. Simple as that.”

Lazier’s crew made several changes ahead of a second run, notably leaning the rear wing back to a crazy negative amount in hopes of finding more speed.

But despite the effort, Lazier ended his run shy of the mark, at 220.153 mph.

F1: Lewis Hamilton qualifies No. 1 for U.S. Grand Prix, on verge of winning 5th title

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Lewis Hamilton took a big step toward earning his fifth Formula One championship on Saturday, qualifying No. 1 for Sunday’s U.S. Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.

Hamilton and his Mercedes have won five of the previous six U.S. Grand Prix’s held at COTA, including the last four races there.

The Great Britain native comes into Sunday’s race leading the F1 point standings and is seeking to tie Juan Manuel Fangio for second-most F1 career championships. Michael Schumacher has the most with seven crowns.

Sebastian Vettel is Hamilton’s sole remaining challenger for the title, trailing Hamilton by 67 points with four races to go, including Sunday’s race.

Vettel must win Sunday’s race or finish within seven points of Hamilton to prevent the latter from winning the title and pushing a possible clinching scenario to next week in Mexico.

Vettel qualified second Saturday, but due to a red-flag three-position grid penalty sustained during Friday’s morning practice, will start fifth on Sunday’s grid.

As a result of Vettel’s penalty, Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen will start alongside Hamilton on the front row for Sunday’s race.

Hamilton’s Mercedes teammate, Vallteri Bottas, will start third, while Daniel Ricciardo will start fourth.

Rounding out the top 10 were Esteban Ocon, Nico Hulkenberg, Romain Grosjean, Charles Leclerc and Sergio Perez.

Here’s how qualifying played out:

POS NO DRIVER CAR Q1 Q2 Q3 LAPS
1 44 Lewis Hamilton MERCEDES 1:34.130 1:33.480 1:32.237 20
2 5 Sebastian Vettel FERRARI 1:34.569 1:33.079 1:32.298 18
3 7 Kimi Räikkönen FERRARI 1:34.703 1:32.884 1:32.307 15
4 77 Valtteri Bottas MERCEDES 1:34.518 1:33.702 1:32.616 17
5 3 Daniel Ricciardo RED BULL RACING TAG HEUER 1:34.755 1:34.185 1:33.494 14
6 31 Esteban Ocon FORCE INDIA MERCEDES 1:34.876 1:34.522 1:34.145 18
7 27 Nico Hulkenberg RENAULT 1:34.932 1:34.564 1:34.215 18
8 8 RomainGrosjean HAAS FERRARI 1:34.892 1:34.419 1:34.250 17
9 16 Charles Leclerc SAUBER FERRARI 1:35.069 1:34.255 1:34.420 17
10 11 Sergio Perez FORCE INDIA MERCEDES 1:35.193 1:34.525 1:34.594 17
11 55 Carlos Sainz RENAULT 1:34.891 1:34.566 12
12 20 KevinMagnussen HAAS FERRARI 1:34.972 1:34.732 12
13 10 Pierre Gasly SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA 1:34.850 DNS 13
14 28 Brendon Hartley SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA 1:35.206 DNS 13
15 33 Max Verstappen RED BULL RACING TAG HEUER 1:34.766 4
16 14 FernandoAlonso MCLAREN RENAULT 1:35.294 6
17 35 Sergey Sirotkin WILLIAMS MERCEDES 1:35.362 6
18 18 Lance Stroll WILLIAMS MERCEDES 1:35.480 8
19 9 Marcus Ericsson SAUBER FERRARI 1:35.536 8
20 2 StoffelVandoorne MCLAREN RENAULT 1:35.735 6

Follow @JerryBonkowski