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Kimi Raikkonen leads final day of F1 testing

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Pre-season testing for the 2018 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season wrapped up on Friday, and Scuderia Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen continued to show that the team has solid pace in their SF71H, with Kimi Raikkonen turning in the fastest lap of the day at 1:17.221.

McLaren F1 Team’s Fernando Alonso rebounded from a troublesome morning – his MCL33 suffered a turbo problem after one hour of running – to turn in the second fastest lap of the day.

Renault Sport F1 Team’s Carlos Sainz Jr. continued to show impressive form as testing wrapped up, turning the third fastest lap on Friday. Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo and Haas F1 Team’s Romain Grosjean rounded out the top five.

Mercedes AMG Petronas again appeared to languish outside of the top five – Valtteri Bottas was sixth fastest while Lewis Hamilton came in at 11th fastest – but long runs were again the focus for the team, particularly for Hamilton, who focused his attention on long-run pace for all 97 laps he completed.

Results from Friday can be found here. With pre-season testing now concluded, the next time all 20 entries for the 2018 Formula 1 season will grace the track together will be for opening practice at the Australian Grand Prix (March 23-25).

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Rinus VeeKay to drive for Ed Carpenter Racing in 2020

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Ed Carpenter Racing has signed 2019 Indy Lights runner-up Rinus VeeKay to drive the full 2020 NTT IndyCar Series season, the team announced Wednesday.

VeeKay will drive the No. 21 Chevrolet previously occupied by Spencer Pigot.

“I’m so happy!” the 19-year-old driver from the Netherlands said in a press release. “It’s a dream come true and something we have worked extremely hard for over the last couple of years. To step up from USF2000 to the NTT IndyCar Series in three years is really special.”

In his maiden Indy Lights season this year, VeeKay collected six race victories and seven pole potions. VeeKay previously won the 2018 Indy Pro 2000 championship, and finished second in the 2017 USF2000 standings.

VeeKay’s success in the ladder series caught the attention of Carpenter, who gave VeeKay the opportunity to first test for the team at Portland International Raceway in August.

“I have been following Rinus’s path through the Road to Indy, especially the past two years,” Carpenter said. “It was clear to me that he deserves to be in an Indy car. After his first day in a car at Portland this past season, that feeling became even more apparent. His pace, feedback and demeanor inside the car was very impressive for such a young driver.”

As a driver, Carpenter will be VeeKay’s teammate during the five oval races in 2020, once again returning to the team’s No. 20 entry. An announcement on which driver will pilot the No. 20 on the road and street circuits will be made at a later time.

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