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Felix Serralles set for maiden IndyCar test with Andretti

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Felix Serralles will be the latest Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires driver to step up for a Verizon IndyCar Series test, and he’ll do so with Andretti Autosport in Sebring next month.

The driver’s management group announced it today, with Serralles set to test November 10-11 and become the first Puerto Rican driver to sample an IndyCar.

After two years in Indy Lights with Belardi Auto Racing and Carlin, respectively, Serralles could be poised to step up to IndyCar provided he finds the necessary budget to do so.

“I’m beyond excited to finally get a chance to drive an IndyCar and it’s great to be having that chance with Andretti Autosport. This is something I have been dreaming about since I can remember. I’m so grateful to DCM (Driver Club Management) for making this happen,” Serralles said in a release.

“I grew up watching all these drivers and it’s almost like a dream to be able to test and learn from someone like Ryan Hunter-Reay, who I have watched for many years. I’m excited to learn how to drive the most physical car in open-wheel racing. It will help me develop into a better driver, test my fitness and compare myself to the big dogs in the Verizon IndyCar Series.

“The opportunity to test with Andretti is great – especially as they have so much history in IndyCar and across motorsport in general. To be part of such an organization for two days is more than many can ask for.”

While Serralles won multiple races in Indy Lights – he turned in dynamic drives to win at Milwaukee in 2015, then St. Petersburg and Iowa in 2016, he came under the microscope for how he pulled over on the final lap of the Indy Lights season finale at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, which was enough to secure the title for Carlin teammate Ed Jones.

Andretti Autosport’s fourth seat remains a topic of much discussion, with a mix of veterans and potential young guns in the frame for a spot alongside the team’s three confirmed drivers of Ryan Hunter-Reay, Marco Andretti and Alexander Rossi.

Valtteri Bottas wins chaotic season-opening F1 Austrian Grand Prix

Mark Thompson/Getty Images
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SPIELBERG, Austria — Valtteri Bottas won a chaotic season-opening F1 Austrian Grand Prix while six-time series champion Lewis Hamilton finished fourth after getting a late time penalty Sunday.

The Formula One race was interrupted three times by a safety car, and nine of 20 drivers abandoned, including both Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Alexander Albon – who tried to overtake Hamilton on the outside with 10 laps left, touched wheels and flew off track.

Hamilton was given a 5-second time penalty for causing the collision, having earlier been hit with a three-place grid penalty after an incident in Saturday’s qualifying was reviewed by stewards.

SHOW OF SUPPORT: Drivers take knee before race

Bottas led all 71 laps in the eighth victory of his career. It was the second consecutive victory in the season opener for the Finn, though he won four months earlier in 2019 after this season’s start was delayed by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Lando Norris of McLaren F1 celebrates after his first podium finish (Mark Thompson/Getty Images).

Bottas started from pole position and Hamilton from fifth, but it looked like a straight fight between the two Mercedes drivers as has been the case so often in recent years.

But late drama in Spielberg ensured otherwise and Hamilton’s time penalty meant Charles Leclerc took second place for Ferrari, and Lando Norris sent McLaren’s garage into raptures – and threw all social distancing rules out of the window amid the euphoria – with third place.

It was the 20-year-old British driver’s first career podium, and his superb final lap was the fastest of a dramatic season opener.

Norris became the youngest British driver to secure a podium finish and the third-youngest ever in Formula One.

Valtteri Bottas leads Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton during the Formula One Grand Prix of Austria (Mark Thompson/Getty Images).