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Records show big dip in non-Texans at US Grand Prix


AUSTIN, Texas (AP) Records filed with the state of Texas show a dip in out-of-state attendance at the troubled 2015 U.S. Grand Prix.

Race certification forms obtained by the Austin American-Statesman and reported Sunday show just over 50,000 non-Texans attended the race. That’s down from 75,000 in 2014 and 77,000 in 2013.

Those numbers are important if it means the race will face even more cuts in state money promoters get for the race. Gov. Greg Abbott’s office has already said the race should expect about $19.5 million, a steep drop from the $25 million they hoped for.

Race officials blamed the out-of-state attendance drop on bad weather and Mexican fans choosing to attend the new Mexico Grand Prix, which was held a week after the Austin race.

The U.S. Grand Prix remains on the 2016 calendar pending an agreement between Formula One and race organizers.

Valtteri Bottas fastest in Friday F1 practices for Russian Grand Prix

F1 Sochi Valtteri Bottas
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SOCHI, Russia — Valtteri Bottas paced both F1 practices Friday for the Russian Grand Prix on Friday as Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton was slowed by damaged tires in the first session.

Bottas turned a fast lap of 1 minute, 33.519 seconds in the second session that bettered Hamilton’s 1:33.786.

Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo was more than a second behind Bottas in third at 1:34.577, followed by the McLaren Racing duo of Carlos Sainz Jr. (1:34.723) and Lando Norris (1:34.847).

In the first F1 session at Sochi, Valtteri Bottas set the pace with a time of 1 minute, 34.923 seconds, beating Ricciardo by half a second. Max Verstappen was third quickest in his Red Bull, a further 0.147 back.

Hamilton could only manage 19th fastest after locking up his tires and leaving them with a flat spot. Ferrari again struggled to find pace with Sebastian Vettel ninth and Charles Leclerc 11th.

HISTORY IN SIGHTLewis Hamilton aims to tie Michael Schumacher’s record

The first session was briefly red-flagged when Nicholas Latifi crashed his Williams. Carlos Sainz Jr. spun his McLaren backward into a barrier and broke off his rear wing.

Verstappen spun during the second session but avoided damage to his car.