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IndyCar’s new aero kits get 1st laps on 1.5-mile oval

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FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) IndyCar’s new sleek cars with universal aero kits got their first laps on a 1 1/2-mile oval when Scott Dixon and James Hinchcliffe tested at Texas Motor Speedway.

Hinchcliffe said he and Dixon were both impressed “out of the box” with the aero kits during testing Monday. The daylong session included the duo driving side-by-side to simulate race conditions.

“It does all the things a race car should do and not a whole lot of what a race car shouldn’t do,” Hinchcliffe said.

The new cars have noticeable differences to the side and rear areas. Dixon said they should be better in traffic and lead to some great racing.

The aero kit had already been tested on road courses and Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s 2 1/2-mile oval.

More AP auto racing: http://racing.ap.org

Valtteri Bottas wins chaotic season-opening F1 Austrian Grand Prix

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SPIELBERG, Austria — Valtteri Bottas won a chaotic season-opening F1 Austrian Grand Prix while six-time series champion Lewis Hamilton finished fourth after getting a late time penalty Sunday.

The Formula One race was interrupted three times by a safety car, and nine of 20 drivers abandoned, including both Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Alexander Albon – who tried to overtake Hamilton on the outside with 10 laps left, touched wheels and flew off track.

Hamilton was given a 5-second time penalty for causing the collision, having earlier been hit with a three-place grid penalty after an incident in Saturday’s qualifying was reviewed by stewards.

SHOW OF SUPPORT: Drivers take knee before race

Bottas led all 71 laps in the eighth victory of his career. It was the second consecutive victory in the season opener for the Finn, though he won four months earlier in 2019 after this season’s start was delayed by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Lando Norris of McLaren F1 celebrates after his first podium finish (Mark Thompson/Getty Images).

Bottas started from pole position and Hamilton from fifth, but it looked like a straight fight between the two Mercedes drivers as has been the case so often in recent years.

But late drama in Spielberg ensured otherwise and Hamilton’s time penalty meant Charles Leclerc took second place for Ferrari, and Lando Norris sent McLaren’s garage into raptures – and threw all social distancing rules out of the window amid the euphoria – with third place.

It was the 20-year-old British driver’s first career podium, and his superb final lap was the fastest of a dramatic season opener.

Norris became the youngest British driver to secure a podium finish and the third-youngest ever in Formula One.

Valtteri Bottas leads Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton during the Formula One Grand Prix of Austria (Mark Thompson/Getty Images).