Hamilton completes home practice hat-trick at Silverstone


Lewis Hamilton completed a clean sweep of practice sessions ahead of qualifying for the British Grand Prix after edging out Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg in FP3 on Saturday morning.

Light rain in the lead up to the start of FP3 prompted drivers to head out on the intermediate and wet tires initially, but the track soon dried up to permit slick running.

Force India drivers Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez were the first to make the switch, but it was Rosberg who set the pace on the soft tire, going three-tenths of a second faster than teammate Lewis Hamilton had on Friday.

However, Hamilton managed to dig deep, finding more time in the final sector to go seven-hundredths of a second quicker and wrestle away P1.

The session was red flagged with 20 minutes remaining after Marcus Ericsson crashed in the final sector. After running wide at the exit of Stowe, Ericsson spun across the track and into the tire wall at high speed, leaving his Sauber car with severe damage and even causing his steering wheel to break away.

Thankfully, Ericsson walked away unharmed, but the marshals were left to conduct a sizeable clean-up at the crash site. The session eventually got back underway with five minutes remaining, prompting a flurry of activity on-track as drivers completed their final qualifying simulations.

Hamilton and Rosberg both found more time with their final laps in FP3, but the status quo remained the same. Rosberg crossed the line first, going two-tenths faster than Hamilton, only for the home favorite to hit back and find another 0.063 seconds to take P1.

Daniel Ricciardo finished third for Red Bull, half a second behind Hamilton, while teammate Max Verstappen followed in fourth place.

Ferrari endured a tough session as Sebastian Vettel finished fifth-fastest, 1.1 seconds off Hamilton, and reported that his gearbox had failed, leaving the team with a quick turnaround to get the German ready for qualifying. Teammate Kimi Raikkonen finished down in ninth place.

Valtteri Bottas finished sixth for Williams ahead of Fernando Alonso and Nico Hulkenberg, while Carlos Sainz Jr. rounded out the top 10 behind Raikkonen.

Qualifying for the British Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and the NBC Sports app from 8am ET on Saturday.

Hunter Lawrence defends Haiden Deegan after controversial block pass at Detroit


Media and fan attention focused on a controversial run-in between Haiden Deegan and his Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing teammate Jordon Smith during Round 10 of the Monster Energy Supercross race at Detroit, after which the 250 East points’ Hunter Lawrence defends the young rider in the postrace news conference.

Deegan took the early lead in Heat 1 of the round, but the mood swiftly changed when he became embroiled in a spirited battle with teammate Smith.

On Lap 3, Smith caught Deegan with a fast pass through the whoops. Smith briefly held the lead heading into a bowl turn but Deegan had the inside line and threw a block pass. In the next few turns, the action heated up until Smith eventually ran into the back of Deegan’s Yamaha and crashed.

One of the highlights of the battle seemed to include a moment when Deegan waited on Smith in order to throw a second block pass, adding fuel to the controversy.

After his initial crash, Smith fell to seventh on the next lap. He would crash twice more during the event, ultimately finishing four laps off the pace in 20th.

The topic was inevitably part of the postrace news conference.

“It was good racing; it was fun,” Deegan said at about the 27-minute mark in the video above. “I just had some fun doing it.”

Smith had more trouble in the Last Chance Qualifier. He stalled his bike in heavy traffic, worked his way into a battle for fourth with the checkers in sight, but crashed a few yards shy of the finish line and was credited with seventh. Smith earned zero points and fell to sixth in the standings.

Lawrence defends Deegan
Jordon Smith failed to make the Detroit Supercross Main and fell to sixth in the points. – Feld Motor Sports

“I think he’s like fifth in points,” Deegan said. “He’s a little out of it. Beside that it was good, I don’t know. I wasn’t really paying attention.”

Deegan jokingly deflected an earlier question with the response that he wasn’t paying attention during the incident.

“He’s my teammate, but he’s a veteran, he’s been in this sport for a while,” Deegan said. “I was up there just battling. I want to win as much as everybody else. It doesn’t matter if it’s a heat race or a main; I just want to win. I was just trying to push that.”

As Deegan and Smith battled, Jeremy Martin took the lead. Deegan finished second in the heat and backed up his performance with a solid third-place showing in the main, which was his second podium finish in a short six-race career. Deegan’s first podium was earned at Daytona, just two rounds ago.

But as Deegan struggled to find something meaningful to say, unsurprisingly for a 17-year-old rider who was not scheduled to run the full 250 schedule this year, it was the championship leader Lawrence who came to his defense.

Lawrence defends Deegan
A block pass by Haiden Deegan led to a series of events that eventually led to Jordon Smith failing to make the Main. – Feld Motor Sports

“I just want to point something out, which kind of amazes me,” Lawrence said during the conference. “So many of the people on social media, where everyone puts their expertise in, are saying the racing back in the ’80s, the early 90s, when me were men. They’re always talking about how gnarly it was and then anytime a block pass or something happens now, everyone cries about it.

“That’s just a little bit interesting. Pick one. You want the gnarly block passes from 10 years ago and then you get it, everyone makes a big song and dance about it.”

Pressed further, Lawrence defended not only the pass but the decision-making process that gets employed lap after lap in a Supercross race.

“It’s easy to point the finger,” Lawrence said. “We’re out there making decisions in a split millisecond. People have all month to pay their phone bill and they still can’t do that on time.

“We’re making decisions at such a fast reaction [time with] adrenaline. … I’m not just saying it for me or Haiden. I speak for all the guys. No one is perfect and we’re under a microscope out there. The media is really quick to point a finger when someone makes a mistake.”

The media is required to hold athletes accountable for their actions. They are also required to tell the complete story.