Grosjean: Hamilton ‘completely ruined’ Silverstone Q3 lap

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Romain Grosjean has ended 10th in qualifying for the 2017 British Grand Prix, but the Haas F1 Team driver was livid it wasn’t higher after alleging he was significantly blocked by Lewis Hamilton on his first flying lap in Q3.

Grosjean told NBCSN’s Will Buxton he could have been at least one spot higher, possibly more, but lost several tenths in the final corner right before the start/finish line. His second run he said was better, but unable to leapfrog as high as he would have liked.

Hamilton is under investigation by the stewards, with any potential penalty due to ruin Hamilton’s 67th career pole and fifth at Silverstone, courtesy of a storming 1:26.600 lap of the circuit.

“The first run in Q3, but I got completely blocked by Hamilton, and lost a good three tenths,” Grosjean told NBCSN.

“I got to Turn 3 on my second run then had a massive lock. We had much more performance than what we’re showing.

“I’m very unhappy with the first attempt being completely ruined in the last corner. I had the big snap on the second run.

“We’re doing a good job, trying to fight the Force India. Great to be in Q3, but there was so much more.”

Grosjean said he would have been “at least one position” further up, and said “I would have got (Stoffel) Vandoorne at least.” The Belgian first year driver for McLaren made his first Q3 appearance in ninth.

Grosjean will use Carbon Industrie brakes for the race for the first time on Sunday, but at a track where braking performance isn’t as important as at others, there’s more excitement about the race prospects.

“I think we use the brakes, maybe three out of 19 corners!” Grosjean laughed. “From Turn 7 to 13 is just flat out! It’s so much fun. There’s been some emotional moments sometimes. I’m feeling it.”

Teammate Kevin Magnussen got knocked out in Q1 for the fourth time this year, ending 17th before grid penalties get applied. The Dane was unhappy with single-lap pace but estimates Haas has a better race package in store for Sunday.

“We’re not as strong as we expected. We need to look at why,” he told NBCSN. “Our race pace looked much better. Qualifying over one lap is not very competitive this weekend.”

The race airs from 7:30 a.m. ET on CNBC on Sunday.

Hunter and Jett Lawrence walk a delicate balance between winning races and favoring the fans

Hunter Jett Lawrence fans
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ANAHEIM, California – Hunter and Jett Lawrence are two of the most popular riders on the Monster Energy Supercross circuit, with fan bases that established and grew immediately when they came to America to ride for HRC Honda. Connecting with those fans came naturally for the charming Australian brothers, but it has not come without cost.

“It’s cool they’re there and it’s one of the things we try to do is give the fan that interaction,” Hunter told NBC Sports during Supercross Media Sessions ahead of the 2023 season. “It’s why we do ride days, meet-and-greets, press conferences  – all that stuff, because it’s exciting for them. We are trying to bridge the gap so they get personal interaction. Because that’s all they’re after. It’s all about getting that fan to think, ‘I know that guy. I didn’t meet him, but I get him. I get his humor.’ ”

There is no artifice in either brother. Their fan appeal is directly attributable to who they are at their core. And it’s that very genuineness that has throngs of fans standing outside their hauler, waiting for just a moment of their time.

“It’s about being yourself – talking to people,” Hunter said. “It’s not like I turn it on or turn it off; it’s just about being yourself. This is who we are, this is who you get and this is how it will be. You can’t portray something you’re not. If you keep saying you’re an orange, but apples keep popping out, it’s only a matter of time [until they figure it out].”

The key word is ‘throngs’, however. One person wanting just a few moments of time is incidental. Dozens are an entirely different matter.

“It’s tough in Supercross because it’s such a long day,” Hunter said. “The recovery side of it’s tough to do everything. We get stuck outside the grid; we can’t be there for like 10 minutes. We’re stuck there for like an hour. It gets overwhelming at times.

“You feel bad because you want to sign everything, but you’re still here for a job. Every race day is like that. We do the best we can, but there are so many people who wait out front. They’re screaming for you. Even when we’re coming off the sessions, they’re already yelling before you put your bike on the stands. You don’t even get time to take you helmet off.”

It can be a double-edged sword. Personality is only one part of the equation. A much bigger part of the brothers’ fan appeal comes because of their success. Hunter finished second in the last two Supercross 250 West title battles and third in the past two Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championships.

Jett won the last three titles he competed for, including last year’s 250 East Supercross Championship and the last two Motocross contests.

“I think they expect me to have nothing else to do on a Saturday and that I have unlimited energy,” Jett said. “But, I’m trying to recover for the next race.”

It’s a matter of timing. Jett has gained a reputation last year for handing out hundreds of donuts before the races during Red Bull fan appreciation sessions. And after the race, once the business at hand has been settled, Jett is equally available to the fans.

“After the race it’s fine; I’ll stay behind.” Jett said. “My job is done on the racing side of things, but until that last moto is done, my main thing is dirt bikes. The fans come along with it. The fans are part of the job, but main job at hand is the racing side of things. After the race, I’ll stay there for an hour or so. It’s a lot calmer.”