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Kevin Magnussen to start Bahrain GP from pit lane

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Kevin Magnussen will start Sunday’s Bahrain Grand Prix from the pit lane after failing to stop for a weight check during practice on Friday at the Bahrain International Circuit.

Magnussen finished second practice in 16th place for Renault, but failed to stop for a mandatory FIA weight check when requested during the session.

“The driver failed to stop for weighing during P2 when signalled to do so by the red traffic light, the car was not returned to the FIA garage and work was undertaken,” a statement from the stewards read.

“In accordance with Article 29.1 iv) of the FIA Formula One Sporting Regulations the driver is required to start from the pit lane.”

Magnussen felt pleased with his Friday running, having said earlier in the weekend that Renault could target its first points of the season in Bahrain.

“We got through all of today’s programme and logged plenty of running so it’s been a good day and I’m happy,” Magnussen said.

“We’ll work hard this evening to analyse all our data as usual and see if we can find more pace as we’re not yet as strong as we were in Melbourne relative to our rivals.

“It’ll be interesting to see what the weather does as well; today’s temperatures did have an effect on the tires. We’ve seen rain this week so let’s see what happens tomorrow.”

However, Magnussen hopes of reaching the top 10 have now taken a serious blow with his pit lane start, leaving Renault with plenty of work to do on Sunday.

Lewis Hamilton receives Daytona 500 invitation from Bubba Wallace

Lewis Hamilton Bubba Wallace
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Lewis Hamilton is a fan of the new NASCAR Cup Series team formed by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan to field a car for Bubba Wallace.

Will the six-time Formula One champion also be a fan in person at a NASCAR race in the near future?

Wallace is hoping so.

After Hamilton tweeted his support Tuesday morning about the news of a Hamlin-Jordan-Wallace team making its debut with the 2021 season, Wallace responded with a sly invitation to the Daytona 500.

Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

But it would seem fitting given that Hamilton and Wallace have been two of the world’s most outspoken Black athletes about the quest for diversity and racial justice. Hamilton recently reaffirmed his commitment to activism after his donning a Breonna Taylor shirt sparked an FIA inquiry. Time just published a brief piece by Wallace saluting Hamilton as a trailblazer.

The idea of Hamilton attending the NASCAR season opener already had legs, too. The Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 driver has expressed a desire to race the Daytona 500 after he has retired from Formula One.

He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.

Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it would seem right for Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — to spend some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.

Jeff Gordon was flanked by Mario Andretti and Lewis Hamilton before the 2015 Cup season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images).