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F1: Charles Leclerc wins Austrian GP pole, Hamilton to start fifth after penalty


Charles Leclerc won the pole position for the Austrian Grand Prix Saturday afternoon, setting a new track record with an elapsed time of 1 minute, 3.003 seconds around the 2.683-mile Red Bull Ring circuit.

“It’s a big pleasure to drive this car on the limit,” Leclerc said following qualifying.

“I’m very happy to bring pole position back home. Tomorrow will be very difficult physically and for the car.”

Lewis Hamilton initially qualified second for Sunday’s Grand Prix, with a lap of 1 minute, 3.818 seconds. However, the defending World Champion received three-place grid penalty from race officials after appearing to block Kimi Raikkonen heading into Turn 3 of the 8-Turn circuit during Q1.

The incident drew anger from Raikkonen, with replays showing the Alfa Romeo driver flashing his middle finger at Hamilton.

“Hamilton totally blocked me,” Raikkonen complained to his team over the radio.

Hamilton’s penatlty bumps Max Verstappen up to the second position in Red Bull’s home race after initially qualifying third.

Valtteri Bottas will now start Sunday’s Grand Prix from the third position after qualifying fourth.

Lando Norris now starts fifth after qualifying sixth thanks to Hamilton’s penalty as well as a penalty issued to Kevin Magnuessen.

The Haas driver orignally qualified fifth, but was issued a five-place grid penalty for changing his gearbox.

Raikkonen, Antonio Giovinazzi, Pierre Gasly and Sebastian Vettel will all move up one position as well, and will start Sunday’s race from sixth through ninth after qualifying seventh through tenth.

Vettel failed to run a single lap in Q3 due to a power unit issue.

Full qualifying results and times are below:

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Karam, Daly get IndyCar rides with Carlin for Iowa

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NEWTON, Iowa – Sage Karam returns for the second-straight race and Conor Daly is back for another race with Carlin Racing at this weekend’s Iowa 300 NTT IndyCar Series race at Iowa Speedway.

For Karam, it’s his third start of the 2019 season and his second straight with Carlin. In his five starts at Iowa Speedway dating back to 2010, Karam has never finished outside of the top three, recording four wins (USF2000 – 2010, Indy Pro 2000 – 2011 and 2012, Indy Lights – 2013) and scoring his first NTT IndyCar Series podium in 2015 with a third-place finish.

“I’m really excited to be back again this weekend with Carlin and SmartStop Self Storage for the Iowa 300. Iowa Speedway has always been a good track for me in the past, so I’m really looking forward to getting back to work there,” Karam said. “Coming off of a very productive weekend in Toronto, I’m looking forward to applying everything I’ve learned and continuing to work with the team to get the best results possible. A huge thank you to everyone at Carlin and SmartStop Self Storage for a great opportunity to race at one of my favorite tracks.”

Daly is back in a second Carlin entry. Earlier this year, the popular driver finished 11th for Carlin in the DXC Technology 600 at Texas Motor Speedway on June 8. At Iowa, he will drive the team’s No. 23 Gallagher Chevrolet.

Daly finished 10th in the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge for Andretti Autosport.

Daly raced at Iowa in 2016 for Dale Coyne Racing (finishing 21st) and in 2017 for A.J. Foyt Racing (finishing 19th).

The combination gives Carlin two more drivers to gather additional feedback on the car. Max Chilton remains the team’s primary driver but announced recently that he will forego all oval races to concentrate on street and road courses.

That created opportunities for Karam and Daly.

“We were very impressed with Sage’s steady progression throughout the Toronto race weekend and his willingness to learn and adapt,” said Carlin Team Principal Trevor Carlin. “The fact that he hadn’t been on a street course since 2015 and was still able to come right out of the gate confident and constantly improving every session was extremely impressive.

“The SmartStop Self Storage Chevrolet looked great out on track and their group has been a pleasure to work with, so we couldn’t be more pleased to have them back this weekend in Iowa. Sage has done really well in Iowa in the past, so hopefully we can use his experience and our past success at Iowa Speedway to come away with a good result for the team and our partners at SmartStop Self Storage.”

The Iowa 300 at Iowa Speedway will take place on Saturday, July 20th at 7:15 pm ET and will be televised on NBCSN.