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F1: Lewis Hamilton fastest in final practice for Australian GP

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Lewis Hamilton was once again the fastest in the third and final practice session for the season-opening Australian Grand Prix with an elapsed time of 1:22.292. 

With his fast time, Hamilton completed a sweep of all three practice sessions, as the defending world champion’s Mercedes was also the quickest in the first two practices Friday.

Sebastian Vettel finished second with a time of 1:22:556, followed by his Ferrari teammate, Charles Leclerc (1:22:749). 

Haas teammates Roman Grosjean (1:23:113), and Kevin Magnuessen (1:23.334), were fourth and fifth, respectively.

The rest of the top 10: Red Bull driver Pierre Gasly, Valtteri Bottas, Daniil Kvyat, Max Verstappen and Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo.

Robert Kubica was the slowest in a frustrating final practice session for the Williams/Mercedes team. Kubica hit the pit wall while entering pit lane too quickly.

He also was involved in a pit-lane incident with rookie McLaren driver Lando Norris that resulted in Norris being called to the stewards for an unsafe release.

Full FP3 results are below:  

Report: Spencer Pigot out at Ed Carpenter Racing

Joe Skibinski / IndyCar
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Spencer Pigot will not return to Ed Carpenter Racing in 2020, according to a story Thursday by RACER.com.

The 26-year-old Floridian, who won the 2015 Indy Lights championship, is expected to be replaced in the No. 21 Chevrolet by 2019 Indy Lights runner-up Rinus VeeKay.

“I’m appreciative of the opportunity ECR gave me,” Pigot told RACER.com. “I understand the reasons they had to go in a different direction, and wish them all the best.”

In 56 NTT IndyCar Series starts, Pigot has 15 top 10 finishes, with a best finish of second at Iowa in 2018. He finished 14th in the 2019 point standings.

VeeKay, who tested in an Indy car twice for ECR in 2019, has six wins in 18 Indy Lights starts, including a weekend sweep of the final two rounds of the season at Laguna Seca in September.

A representative from ECR told NBC Sports Thursday that the team currently could not comment on any driver rumors as the team currently does not have any drivers under contract for the 2020 season, although it is presumed that owner/driver Carpenter will return to the No. 20 entry for the oval rounds.

NBC Sports will provide updates on the story once more information becomes available.