IndyCar

Conor Daly back with Harding for Mid-Ohio

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For the second consecutive race, Conor Daly will join Harding Racing as the driver of their No. 88 Chevrolet for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio (July 29 3:00 p.m. ET, CNBC), the team confirmed in an announcement earlier on Tuesday.

Daly, who joined Harding at the Honda Indy Toronto in place of regular driver Gabby Chaves, tested with Harding at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course last week – Chaves was also in attendance – and the team elected to go with Daly for another race weekend as they continue to evaluate options ahead of a possible expansion to a two-car effort in the 2019 Verizon IndyCar Series season.

Team president Brian Barnhart highlighted the progress Daly and the team made at Toronto as well as what he described as a successful Mid-Ohio test in discussing the decision to stick with Daly for a second race in a row.

“After the progress made during the Toronto race weekend, we had another successful outing in Mid-Ohio with Conor Daly. Based on that and in the interest of continuity and moving forward, we are going to run Conor again this weekend for the Honda Indy 200,” Barnhart explained.

“We still appreciate Gabby’s cooperation and interaction because he is still very much involved with downloads, team debriefs and dialogue. In our search for more information and improvement, this will be our direction for Mid-Ohio, with an eye towards the future.”

Daly finished 13th in his debut with the team at Toronto, and has finishes of sixth and tenth in two previous starts at Mid-Ohio.

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Valtteri Bottas takes pole position for season-opening Austrian GP

Leonhard Foeger/Pool via Getty Images
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SPIELBERG, Austria — Valtteri Bottas upstaged Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton to take pole position Saturday for the Formula One Austrian GP.

The Finnish driver edged out the world champion by 0.012 seconds to claim the top spot for the season opener at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg. He clenched his fist as he climbed out of his car and shared a hug with Hamilton.

“It’s something special when you push the car to the limit,” said Bottas, who is chasing an eighth career win. “Feels so good. It’s very impressive (from the team).”

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen was third, and Lando Norris gave McLaren a boost by finishing fourth. Verstappen has won the past two years here, including 2019 when he started third behind Hamilton and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.

“It’s going to be interesting quite a bit warmer tomorrow and hopefully this will play to our advantage,” Verstappen said. “Today, Mercedes was on a different level, unfortunately. Last year we were also a little bit off in qualifying so I expect we will be a bit better in the race.”

Bottas had the leading time when drivers embarked on their final laps and beat his own mark before sliding off the track into the gravel.

Hamilton was chasing a record-extending 89th career pole. He was ahead but then dropped off slightly as Bottas secured a 12th career pole.

“Great job by Valtteri. It’s a great start to the season,” Hamilton said. “We show year on year that we continue to be the best team. We’re open-minded … constantly learning from each other and pushing the boundaries.”

Ferrari struggled for speed, with Leclerc nearly one second behind in seventh and Sebastian Vettel failing to make it into the third and final part of qualifying, known as Q3. He starts the race from 11th on the grid.

Vettel is leaving Ferrari at the end of the season with his future in F1 uncertain.

Earlier, Hamilton posted the fastest time in morning practice. The 35-year-old British driver was also quickest in both sessions on Friday.

Midway through third practice, F1 newcomer Nicholas Latifi misjudged the exit of a turn and spun his Williams car into a protective tire wall.