Stroll, Magnussen each docked three grid spots at USGP

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Add Lance Stroll and Kevin Magnussen to the list of drivers – Stoffel Vandoorne (five spots), Max Verstappen (15) Nico Hulkenberg (20) and Brendon Hartley (25) – penalized in qualifying for the United States Grand Prix, and starting in a place other than where they qualified.

Stroll and Magnussen have each been docked three grid spots for impeding another driver during the session. For Stroll, it was Magnussen’s Haas F1 Team teammate Romain Grosjean while Magnussen was judged to have impeded Sergio Perez as well. Before any penalties are applied, Stroll was 17th and Magnussen 20th in qualifying, having both been knocked out of Q1.

The first penalty point assessed to Stroll came as a result of his running wide exiting Turn 19, which then forced Grosjean onto the excess pavement at corner exit and onto the grass.

A statement from the FIA race stewards reads as follows:

“The Stewards examined multiple angles of video evidence, including CCTV not available on the broadcast and radio calls to car 18, and heard from Lance Stroll, the driver of car 18, Romain Grosjean, the driver of car 8 and the team representatives.

“STR was on a slow lap, GRO on a fast lap. STR was changing settings under direction of his engineer and got a very late call about GRO overtaking. STR immediately moved right and off the track, but GRO was already outside track limits and made the decision to overtake on the right, as STR moved right.

“It was obvious STR was not able to see GRO was approaching in his mirrors, and he stated he could not move to the left as KVY was passing him on that side.

“The Stewards believe STR did what he could do in the circumstances but this was potentially a very dangerous situation as the speed differential between the two cars was in excess of 100 km/h at the apex of turn 19. The Stewards believe the team should have given STR more advance warning that GRO was approaching rapidly.”

Grosjean later told BBC Radio 5 Live’s Jennie Gow afterwards, “The one on Lance Stroll was close. I was lucky not to spin in the grass. That would have been the end of it.”

Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas, United States of America.
Friday 20 October 2017.
World Copyright: Glenn Dunbar/LAT Images
ref: Digital Image _31I1983

Magnussen, meanwhile accrued his sixth, seventh and eighth penalty points in a 12-month period for having been judged to impede Perez. The FIA’s statement here reads:

“The Stewards examined multiple angles of video evidence, including CCTV not available on the broadcast, the team radio calls, and heard from Kevin Magnussen, the driver of car 20, Sergio Perez, the driver of car 11 and the team representatives.

“The driver of car 20 admitted he had impeded car 11, and the team admitted it had inadvertently incorrectly advised the driver that PER was on an out lap.

“The driver and team apologized to the driver of car 11 for the error.”

Perez told Gow afterwards,” We had good pace in the car today. But my qualifying was compromised big time when Kevin blocked me. I had to use an extra set. So in Q3 I only had a single set. It was strange; it was quite understeery. Lost four tenths to Q2, and that meant P10. Definitely tomorrow I will be able to recover, move forward.”

The full grid will be revealed on Sunday, with live coverage from Austin beginning with pre-race coverage at 2 p.m. ET on NBC.

Ganassi announces multiyear sponsorship extension with American Legion for No. 10

Chip Ganassi American Legion
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Chip Ganassi Racing announced a new primary sponsorship deal with The American Legion this week, shoring up the funding on its No. 10 Dallara-Honda of Alex Palou.

The 2021 NTT IndyCar Series champion primarily had driven with NTT Data sponsorship the past two seasons. But NTT Data will move next season to McLaren Racing as a primary sponsor for Felix Rosenqvist in 10 races and on the Indy 500 car of Tony Kanaan (who drove an American Legion car for Ganassi at the Brickyard last year).

It was the latest twist in a McLaren-Ganassi saga that included a contract dispute for the services of Palou (who is expected to move to McLaren in 2024 after reaching an agreement to race with Ganassi next year).

Ganassi stayed within its own walls to help plug the sponsorship gap left by NTT Data, re-signing The American Legion to a multiyear extension. The Indianapolis-based non-profit organization, which has been sponsoring Ganassi cars for the past few seasons, also will be associated with other Ganassi drivers, including Indy 500 winner Marcus Ericsson and development driver Kyffin Simpson in Indy NXT.

The Ganassi organization will continue promoting The American Legion’s “Be The One” campaign aimed at reducing veteran suicides. The team launched an online auction for the initiative this week.

“Supporting our nation’s veterans is of immense importance to our organization and we are humbled to continue supporting The American Legion’s mission in ending veteran suicide,” team owner Chip Ganassi said in a release. “We will do absolutely everything we can to help veterans get the support they need while raising public awareness of the ‘Be The One’ platform.”

“We have received an overwhelming amount of support from fans, active-duty military members and veterans as a result of this partnership and we’re pleased to see it grow,” said Dean Kessel, chief marketing officer at The American Legion. “Thanks to the continuous collaboration with the team’s other partners, and the promotion of the ‘Be The One’ initiative, we are discovering more ways to engage with the military community than ever before. We want all veterans to know that it’s okay to ask for help.”