Joe Skibinski / IndyCar

James Hinchcliffe fastest in second practice at Barber

Leave a comment

James Hinchcliffe was the fastest driver in the second practice session for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama with a time of 1 minute, 8.9994 seconds, making Hinchcliffe the fastest driver so far this weekend.

The Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports driver led COTA winner Colton Herta by 0.0090 seconds, with Santino Ferrucci (1 minute, 9.0461 seconds) finishing third.

After a relatively eventful first practice earlier in the day, Friday afternoon’s second practice session was more tame, but still saw drivers veer off-course.

The caution flag came out with 17 minutes to go when Ferrucci went off-course and into a tire barrier in turn 16, and both Zach Veach and Colton Herta found themselves off-course as well.

Sebastien Bourdais (1 minute, 9.0968 seconds), Alexander Rossi (1 minute, 9.1140 seconds) and Ryan Hunter-Reay (1 minute, 9.1545 seconds) rounded out the top six, all in Hondas. Spencer Pigot’s No. 21 Ed Carpenter Racing machine was the fastest Chevrolet, finishing the session seventh fastest (1 minute, 9.2055 seconds).

Jack Harvey and Ben Hanley both posted 18 laps, which was the most of all 24 competitors.

With the second practice complete, the stars and cars of the NTT IndyCar Series will return to action tomorrow, with the third and final practice session starting at 11:45 am E.T. and qualifications at 4:00 pm E.T. Both can be viewed on NBC Sports Gold, and qualifying will air live on NBCSN.

Full Practice 2 results

Follow Michael Eubanks on Twitter

 

Valtteri Bottas wins chaotic season-opening F1 Austrian Grand Prix

Mark Thompson/Getty Images
1 Comment

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).