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Grosjean, Palmer hit with grid penalties for Chinese GP

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Romain Grosjean and Jolyon Palmer will drop to the back of the grid for Sunday’s Chinese Grand Prix after failing to slow for yellow flags during Formula 1 qualifying in Shanghai.

Grosjean and Palmer qualified 17th and 18th respectively on Saturday, with both drivers failing to make it out of Q1 after their final laps were hampered by yellow flags shown following a crash for Antonio Giovinazzi at the final corner.

Both drivers completed their laps, much to the disapproval of the stewards, who felt that the drivers did not make a sufficient enough attempt to slow.

“The stewards heard from Romain Grosjean, the driver of car 8 and the team representative and have reviewed the video evidence which clearly showed that the driver attempted to set a meaningful lap time after passing through a double waved yellow marshalling sector, contrary to the requirements set out in the Race Director’s Event Notes,” the stewards’ report for Grosjean reads.

“The Stewards also took into consideration that the driver made no attempt to significantly reduce his speed in the area of a double waved yellow flag.”

As a result, both Grosjean and Palmer have been handed a five-place grid penalty, causing them to drop to the final row of the grid. Grosjean will start 19th, with Palmer propping up the order in P20.

Grosjean was far from impressed by the penalty, taking to Twitter to share the data of his lap to prove that he slowed down.

The penalties lift Max Verstappen and Esteban Ocon off the back row of the grid, moving up to P17 and P18 respectively.

The Chinese Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and the NBC Sports app from 1am ET on Sunday.

BREAKING NEWS: Phoenix will not be on IndyCar schedule in 2019

The sun has set on IndyCar racing at Phoenix, at least for the foreseeable future. Photo: Getty Images
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The sun has set on INDYCAR continuing to race at ISM Raceway (formerly Phoenix International Raceway).

ISM Raceway president Bryan R. Sperber announced late Friday afternoon that the Avondale, Arizona track (in suburban Phoenix) will not host a Verizon IndyCar Series race in 2019.

Michael Knight of the Arizona Republic first reported the story, followed by an official statement from Sperber:

“We have enjoyed having INDYCAR at our venue for the full three years of our agreement. The series officials and teams have been tremendous partners.

“INDYCAR will not be on our schedule in 2019, we’re currently taking a pause to review schedule options for the future. INDYCAR is currently discussing with International Speedway Corporation (ISC) other potential venues and opportunities.

“We’d like INDYCAR to be on our calendar in the coming years, and we will work with INDYCAR to find a date that will help deliver a successful event.”

INDYCAR and previous open-wheel series have raced at the 1.022-mile short track since 1964:

* 1964-1978 as part of the AAA/USAC Champ Car Series

* 1979-1995 as part of the CART/Champ Car World Series

* 1996-2005 as part of the Verizon IndyCar Series

* 2016-2018 – The IndyCar series returned to ISM Raceway after a 10-year absence, However, poor attendance for each of the three years prompted both sides to not extend the three-year agreement that expired after this year’s April race.

Here’s the official INDYCAR statement:

“INDYCAR has enjoyed its time racing at ISM Raceway, but attendance in the past three years has been disappointing despite considerable investment from both sides.

“Track president Bryan Sperber and his team have been terrific partners and are developing a beautiful facility, and IndyCar will reconnect with them when conditions are right for both parties.

“Meanwhile, INDYCAR is moving forward with building a terrific schedule for the 2019 season.”

Because ISM Raceway is owned by International Speedway Corporation, speculation has already begun as to what other ISC tracks INDYCAR may seek to hold races at.

Among potential ISC properties that could host ISC events – and some already have in the past – include Chicagoland Speedway, Watkins Glen Intentional, Homestead-Miami Speedway, Kansas Speedway, Michigan International Speedway, Auto Club Speedway and Richmond Raceway.

Other ISC facilities include Daytona International Speedway, Talladega Superspeedway, Martinsville Speedway and Darlington Raceway.

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