Hamilton completes Friday practice sweep in Austria FP2

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Lewis Hamilton completed a sweep of Friday’s Formula 1 practice sessions in Austria by topping the timesheets in FP2 at the Red Bull Ring, posting the fastest-ever lap of the track in the process.

Hamilton topped FP1 earlier in the day for Mercedes before finding yet more time in the afternoon session, edging out F1 title rival Sebastian Vettel at the head of the field.

A fastest lap of 1:05.483 gave Hamilton P1 by 0.147 seconds in FP2, but the Briton had a number of complaints with his car throughout the session.

A spark plug change cost Hamilton some time on-track midway through the running before he reported a front wing issue late on, forcing Mercedes to pit the three-time world champion and investigate the issue.

Nevertheless, Hamilton was able to retain P1 at the end of the day ahead of Ferrari’s Vettel, with Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas slotting into third place despite a spin on his qualifying simulation.

Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo took P4 and P5 respectively for Red Bull, with all of the top five drivers being covered by less than four-tenths of a second. Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen lagged behind in P6, 0.661 seconds down on Hamilton’s lap.

Kevin Magnussen led Haas into the top 10 despite its ongoing brake woes, taking P7, while Fernando Alonso built on McLaren’s impressive FP1 performance to finish the day eighth-fastest. Nico Hulkenberg was ninth for Renault, with Romain Grosjean completing the top 10 in the second Haas.

FP2 will be replayed on NBCSN at 3pm ET on Friday, with the next live on-track action coming with FP3 on Saturday morning on the NBC Sports app from 5am ET.

Reviewing Danica Patrick’s highs and lows at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

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So much of Danica Patrick’s fame can be traced to Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

It’s where she became a household name 13 years ago when she became the first woman to lead the Indianapolis 500 and emerged as a transcendent athlete.

It’s where everything started. This Sunday, it’s where everything will end, too.

In her last warmup before starting the final race of her career, Patrick had a bumpy final practice Friday on Carb Day. She was eighth fastest, but her Dallara-Chevrolet was in the garage most of the session because of an electrical problem in the engine. After returning during the final 10 minutes of the session, Patrick’s No. 13 seemed to be OK.

“At the end of the day, these are things you’re actually glad for, because if this had happened Sunday, we would have been done,” she said. “I’m glad to get the issues out of the way early on. Overall, today felt good. We made some changes when I went out the second time, and I’m feeling good about starting seventh on Sunday.”
Though she has had her share of success – along with a fourth in her debut, there was a third in 2009 and six top 10s in seven starts — Patrick has learned well how to handle frustration at the 2.5-mile track, too.

Fuel mileage might have kept her from winning her debut, a pit collision ruined 2008, and an unstable setup made 2010 a wild ride.

For a review of her up-and-down history at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and her legacy in racing, watch the video essay above that ran during Friday’s NASCAR America Motorsports Special on NBCSN.