Massa: Q2 elimination in final Brazilian GP appearance ‘hurts a lot’

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Felipe Massa says qualifying a lowly 13th for the final Brazilian Grand Prix of his Formula 1 career “hurts” as he prepares to bid farewell to his home fans.

Massa announced in September that he would be retiring from F1 at the end of the 2016 season, calling time on a 14-year career that saw him win the Brazilian Grand Prix on two occasions.

The Williams driver entered the weekend braced for an emotional farewell, but hoped to focus this energy into a good result on-track.

However, Massa struggled for pace during the second stage of qualifying, finishing just 13th in Q2 to ensure that he did not progress to the top-10 shootout and mark his worst qualifying result in Brazil.

“It hurts a lot,” Massa told NBCSN after the session.

“I was really happy and confident in the balance after first lap, was all working the right way. Then, it understeered for the second lap. I couldn’t have the same balance in the front. I was even complaining about the front tires.

“Anyway, it’s a shame not to be in Q3 for these people, who I really love, and they love me as well. They were screaming so much.

“But I’m really looking forward to a better race tomorrow for them. Rain is welcome to help! We expected to be fighting with Force India today. Something happened it didn’t work out.

“It was already emotional today. Tomorrow’s going to be a day I’ll never forget in my life.”

The Brazilian Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and the NBC Sports app from 10am ET on Sunday.

Indy Lights: Askew clinches 2019 title while VeeKay wins Laguna Seca race 1

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MONTEREY, Calif – Rinus VeeKay may have won the first race of the weekend’s Indy Lights doubleheader at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca Saturday afternoon, but all all eyes post-race were all on the driver who finished the race in the fourth position.

That driver was Oliver Askew, who by simply starting the 30-lap event at the famed road course won the 2019 series title, along with the 2020 NTT IndyCar Series scholarship that guarantees a minimum of three races next season.

“It’s all sinking in,” Askew told NBC Sports following the race. “I’m really happy to be part of this team. They’re back to back champions now in Indy Lights, and I feel very fortunate to be driving in this car this year.

“This is what we worked for all year. I’m very happy to be in this position and I can’t wait to celebrate with my team.”

With the championship in Askew’s possession from the get-go, the best VeeKay could do for in race 1 was to win in dominant fashion. He went on to do just so.

After starting the race from the pole position, VeeKay led every lap from start to finish en route to his fifth victory of the season.

“We managed the car well and kept the car consistent throughout the whole race,” VeeKay said. “I got a great car from the team so I want to give a big shout out to them for giving me a winning car.”

Behind VeeKay, Portland race 2 winner Toby Sowery finished the race in the second position, while Robert Megennis finished third.

Live streaming coverage of race two of the Indy Lights doubleheader at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca begins tomorrow afternoon at 12:10 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Gold.

Click here for full race results

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