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Raikkonen’s day at Barcelona; tops timesheets, debuts ‘Halo’ device

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The man who frequently says the least about the race series he competes in will be the trigger for more words than normal for a simple test session.

Scudeira Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen led the timesheets on the second-to-last day of preseason testing, with a 1:22.785 the best time of the day on Pirelli’s purple ultrasoft compounds. He also ran a race simulation as well during the afternoon period.

Ultrasoft laps produced three of the best four times on the day, with Nico Hulkenberg (Force India, 1:23.251) and Max Verstappen (Toro Rosso, 1:23.382) in third and fourth. Felipe Massa of Williams turned in the best time of the day on soft compounds, a 1:23.193 that was good enough for second.

But arguably, the more important headline of the day also involved Raikkonen, as he was the first driver to publicly debut the new halo device, a form of additional cockpit head protection which could be on its way to the sport in the future.

Raikkonen, who in classic concise form called the device “OK,” ran the device in the morning and it remains to be seen whether teammate Sebastian Vettel will also run with the device for the fourth and final day of running on this week’s test, and last of the preseason. Vettel has stated his interest for some form of increased cockpit protection in the past.

The session ended a few minutes early due to Haas F1 Team’s Romain Grosjean being stranded on course at Turn 10.

Seven drivers posted more than 100 laps on the day, with Verstappen topping them all at 159 laps completed. Hulkenberg (137) and Raikkonen (136) were also particularly busy.

In his second day of running in the Sauber C35, Felipe Nasr clocked another 100-plus lap day with 116 laps in the books. Meanwhile Fernando Alonso nailed down 118 on the day in the McLaren MP4-31 Honda.

Pascal Wehrlein posted a respectable 1:24.913 on ultrasofts for Manor MRT in 48 laps, which was good for eighth on the day.

Grosjean’s late issue aside, he completed 78 laps in what was the VF-16’s busiest day of running this week after the nagging turbo issues that have sidelined the car most of Tuesday and Wednesday.

Times are below:

IndyCar entry lists for Harvest GP at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

IndyCar entry lists Indianapolis
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There are 25 drivers on the NTT IndyCar Series entry lists at Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course with a few new yet familiar faces for the Oct. 2-3 race weekend.

Four-time champion Sebastien Bourdais will make his season debut in the No. 14 Dallara-Chevrolet (shifting Dalton Kellett to the No. 41) with AJ Foyt Racing, which he is joining full time next season. James Hinchcliffe, who had run three races with Andretti Autosport, will return in place of Zach Veach in the No. 26 Dallara-Honda. Helio Castroneves will drive Arrow McLaren SP’s No. 7 Dallara-Chevy for Oliver Askew, who is out with concussion-like symptoms.

Sage Karam, who has two IndyCar starts this year at IMS (the road course on July 4 and the Indy 500 on Aug. 23), also will return to the series in Dreyer & Reinbold’s No. 24 Dallara-Chevrolet.

HARVEST GP ENTRY LISTS: Friday l Saturday

Friday and Saturday of the Harvest GP presented by GMR will mark the second and third races this season on Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. While the July 4 race on the circuit was 80 laps, Friday’s distance is 85 laps, and Saturday will be a 75-lap event.

Championship leader Scott Dixon led 26 of 80 laps to win the July 4 race at the IMS road course. With three races remaining in the series, the five-time series champion enters with a 72-point lead on Josef Newgarden.

Click here to see who’s on the IndyCar entry lists in Race 1 and in Race 2 for the Harvest GP presented by GMR at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.


START TIMES AND TV INFO FOR INDYCAR AT INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY ROAD COURSE (all times ET):

Thursday

IndyCar NTT Series practice: 2:25-3:40 p.m., NBC Sports Gold

IndyCar qualifying, Race 1: 6:20 p.m. (two groups/12 minutes apiece), NBC Sports Gold

Friday

—IndyCar Harvest Grand Prix, Race 1: 3:30 p.m. (green flag, 5 p.m.), USA Network, NBC Sports Gold

Saturday

—IndyCar qualifying: 10:20 a.m. (two groups/12 minutes apiece), NBC Sports Gold

—IndyCar Harvest Grand Prix, Race 2: 2:30 p.m (green flag, 2:31 p.m.)., NBC, NBC Sports Gold