Wehrlein banks “incredible achievement” with Manor’s first 2016 points

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Pascal Wehrlein has scored the first point of his Formula 1 career in Sunday’s Austrian Grand Prix with 10th place for Manor, after qualifying a career-best 12th.

It also marks the first point for the Manor Racing team since the late Jules Bianchi’s memorable ninth place finish in the 2014 Monaco Grand Prix. It breaks the tie between Manor and Sauber at the back of the Constructor’s Championship; Sauber is now the only team yet to score this season.

Wehrlein ran Pirelli’s soft compound through to the finish, the final 40 laps.

“At one point I was feeling quite dejected, because we were a little unlucky with our strategy in relation to the safety car,” Wehrlein said in the team’s post-race release. “I’d just pitted, so when I came out after my second stop, I was last. That wasn’t such a great feeling, but we just had to work with what we had, which was soft tires all the way to the finish – 40 laps!

“To finish the race in the points from that position by running for more than half a race distance on a single set of tires is an incredible achievement.”

Wehrlein said the result means a lot because it was on legitimate pace and shows the team’s improvement.

“It’s very important. Not just because of what it means for our position in the championship, but it also shows that we have made real progress,” he said. “It’s been a step-by-step process, and one that hasn’t always been visible to people outside of the team, but today is a good day and a really great reward for all of us.

“It’s incredible. I’m so happy! It’s just been one of those weekends and to end it this way is a fantastic reward for everyone.”

Lest Wehrlein’s day be the only one of note for Manor, teammate Rio Haryanto banked a respectable 16th place result – his second-best this season (15th at Monaco).

The team was understandably happy, so here was its reaction as the race wound down on Twitter:

Ganassi announces multiyear sponsorship extension with American Legion for No. 10

Chip Ganassi American Legion
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Chip Ganassi Racing announced a new primary sponsorship deal with The American Legion this week, shoring up the funding on its No. 10 Dallara-Honda of Alex Palou.

The 2021 NTT IndyCar Series champion primarily had driven with NTT Data sponsorship the past two seasons. But NTT Data will move next season to McLaren Racing as a primary sponsor for Felix Rosenqvist in 10 races and on the Indy 500 car of Tony Kanaan (who drove an American Legion car for Ganassi at the Brickyard last year).

It was the latest twist in a McLaren-Ganassi saga that included a contract dispute for the services of Palou (who is expected to move to McLaren in 2024 after reaching an agreement to race with Ganassi next year).

Ganassi stayed within its own walls to help plug the sponsorship gap left by NTT Data, re-signing The American Legion to a multiyear extension. The Indianapolis-based non-profit organization, which has been sponsoring Ganassi cars for the past few seasons, also will be associated with other Ganassi drivers, including Indy 500 winner Marcus Ericsson and development driver Kyffin Simpson in Indy NXT.

The Ganassi organization will continue promoting The American Legion’s “Be The One” campaign aimed at reducing veteran suicides. The team launched an online auction for the initiative this week.

“Supporting our nation’s veterans is of immense importance to our organization and we are humbled to continue supporting The American Legion’s mission in ending veteran suicide,” team owner Chip Ganassi said in a release. “We will do absolutely everything we can to help veterans get the support they need while raising public awareness of the ‘Be The One’ platform.”

“We have received an overwhelming amount of support from fans, active-duty military members and veterans as a result of this partnership and we’re pleased to see it grow,” said Dean Kessel, chief marketing officer at The American Legion. “Thanks to the continuous collaboration with the team’s other partners, and the promotion of the ‘Be The One’ initiative, we are discovering more ways to engage with the military community than ever before. We want all veterans to know that it’s okay to ask for help.”