Vettel and Verstappen hit with penalties in Canada, but how will the back of the grid look?

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Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen are both set to take grid penalties for tomorrow’s Canadian Grand Prix, creating a somewhat confusing situation at the back of the field.

Verstappen entered the weekend with a five-place grid penalty hanging over his head after his run-in with Romain Grosjean in Monaco, and was hit with a further drop following an engine change on Saturday.

Adding up to a drop of 15 positions, Verstappen needed to qualify inside the top five to be able to serve the entirety of his penalty and avoid a further sanction in the race on Sunday.

The Dutchman finished 12th in Saturday’s qualifying session, meaning that he could only theoretically serve eight places of the penalty, leaving seven more to be dealt with.

As a result, Verstappen will have to serve a ten-second stop/go penalty during tomorrow’s race at his first scheduled pit stop.

Sebastian Vettel’s qualifying session proved to be the stuff of nightmares as he dropped out in Q1 thanks to a lack of power on his engine. He was then hit with a five-place grid penalty for passing Roberto Merhi under a red flag in practice and also given three penalty points.

Jenson Button failed to take any part in qualifying after McLaren changed the engine on his car, meaning that the stewards had to give their discretion for him to race on Sunday. Although it was never really in doubt, it is still mandatory for them to do so when drivers finish out of the 107% time.

As a result, Button is either to start last or from the pit lane, making him relatively simple when it comes to working out the starting position.

It did appear that Vettel was to actually start behind Verstappen on Sunday. Although Verstappen’s penalty is larger, Vettel’s looked set to be applied after the Dutchman’s due to the order in which the infringements occurred.

However, the stewards have now spoken, issuing a provisional grid for the race on Sunday with Vettel ahead of Verstappen and Button.

 

…not before there were a few struggles among those trying to work it out.

The Canadian Grand Prix is live on NBC from 2pm on Sunday, with F1 Countdown kicking off on NBCSN from 1:30pm on NBCSN.

Steve Torrence takes NHRA points lead with Gatornationals victory

NHRA Gainesville Steve Torrence
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Two-time defending NHRA Top Fuel champion Steve Torrence took the points lead Sunday in the AMALIE Motor Oil Gatornationals, beating his father, Billy, in the final round at Gainesville Raceway.

Torrence had a 3.809-second run at 322.11 mph to win for the third time this year and 39th overall. He is now on track for another championship despite missing the season opener.

“We’ve got some good momentum and to be in the points lead, it’s a testament to how hard these guys work,” Steve Torrence said after the NHRA Gainesville victory. “We’ve just got to stay focused and concentrate on what the task at hand is, and that’s trying to win a championship. These guys give me an unbelievable race car and you just try not to screw it up.”

Ron Capps won in Funny Car, Alex Laughlin in Pro Stock and Matt Smith in Pro Stock Motorcycle.

Capps raced to his second win this year and 66th overall, beating Tim Wilkerson with a 3.937 at 323.12 in a Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat.

Laughlin topped Aaron Stanfield with a 7.068 at 204.76 in a Chevrolet Camaro for his first win this season and fourth in his career. Smith rode to his first victory in 2020 and 25th overall, topping Andrew Hines with a 6.843 at 196.99 on an EBR.