Rahal banks another podium, and again top Honda in Milwaukee (VIDEO)

5 Comments

MILWAUKEE – It was another good day for Graham Rahal and the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing team, as they ended third after Sunday’s ABC Supply Co. Wisconsin 250 at Milwaukee IndyFest presented by the Metro Milwaukee Honda Dealers.

Rahal banked his fifth podium of the season, and was again top Honda finisher.

Rahal started sixth and ended third, and was rarely out of the top-five all day. One of the keys to his success on the day was his long first stint; he stretched to Lap 60 to lead the race. In the final stages, he pitted for fresh tires and went forward from there.

He’s now tied for third in points with Helio Castroneves, who finished second after a mix of great driving and great strategy to end second after starting 24th and last.

“These Steak ‘n Shake guys did a heck of a job today,” Rahal said. “We were looking at a three-stop strategy. I think we were the only one who could do it and we bailed on it for some reason. I was pretty frustrated.

“But with the way the yellows worked out, it worked out fine. We were quicker than Helio at the end. We just couldn’t get around him.”

Valtteri Bottas takes pole position for season-opening Austrian GP

Leonhard Foeger/Pool via Getty Images
Leave a comment

SPIELBERG, Austria — Valtteri Bottas upstaged Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton to take pole position Saturday for the Formula One Austrian GP.

The Finnish driver edged out the world champion by 0.012 seconds to claim the top spot for the season opener at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg. He clenched his fist as he climbed out of his car and shared a hug with Hamilton.

“It’s something special when you push the car to the limit,” said Bottas, who is chasing an eighth career win. “Feels so good. It’s very impressive (from the team).”

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen was third, and Lando Norris gave McLaren a boost by finishing fourth. Verstappen has won the past two years here, including 2019 when he started third behind Hamilton and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.

“It’s going to be interesting quite a bit warmer tomorrow and hopefully this will play to our advantage,” Verstappen said. “Today, Mercedes was on a different level, unfortunately. Last year we were also a little bit off in qualifying so I expect we will be a bit better in the race.”

Bottas had the leading time when drivers embarked on their final laps and beat his own mark before sliding off the track into the gravel.

Hamilton was chasing a record-extending 89th career pole. He was ahead but then dropped off slightly as Bottas secured a 12th career pole.

“Great job by Valtteri. It’s a great start to the season,” Hamilton said. “We show year on year that we continue to be the best team. We’re open-minded … constantly learning from each other and pushing the boundaries.”

Ferrari struggled for speed, with Leclerc nearly one second behind in seventh and Sebastian Vettel failing to make it into the third and final part of qualifying, known as Q3. He starts the race from 11th on the grid.

Vettel is leaving Ferrari at the end of the season with his future in F1 uncertain.

Earlier, Hamilton posted the fastest time in morning practice. The 35-year-old British driver was also quickest in both sessions on Friday.

Midway through third practice, F1 newcomer Nicholas Latifi misjudged the exit of a turn and spun his Williams car into a protective tire wall.