Stephen King / IndyCar

Bourdais leads, then crashes in P2 at Portland

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PORTLAND, Oregon – Sebastien Bourdais set the fastest lap in practice 2 for Grand Prix of Portland, turning a lap of 57.9213 seconds, only to promptly stuff his No. 18 Honda into the Turn 12 tire barrier.

In an almost similar manner to his crash in P3 last year at Portland, Bourdais set the fastest lap of the session with less than three minutes remaining in the session, right before his left front brake locked up and he went off-course. The session would end under the red flag.

Luckily for Bourdais, however, his No. 18 SealMaster Honda suffered minimal damage, and his crew was able to quickly change the front wing in time for the warm-up session, which began roughly 15 minutes later.

Will Power finished second in the second practices session of the weekend, with an elapsed time of 57.9502 seconds. Felix Rosenqvist, Colton Herta, and Josef Newgarden rounded out the top five.

Live coverage of Practice 3 for the Grand Prix of Portland begins tomorrow afternoon at 2:00 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Gold.

Click here for full practice results

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Valtteri Bottas on Silverstone pole; Nico Hulkenberg a surprising third

F1 Bottas Hamilton Silverstone
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Valtteri Bottas nipped Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton in Silverstone qualifying Saturday to maintain the team’s hammerlock on F1 results this season while Nico Hulkenberg was a surprise in third.

Hulkenberg is filling in for Sergio Perez for the second consecutive race while the Racing Point driver recovers from coronavirus.

It’s the best F1 start since 2016 for Hulkenberg, who was left without a full-time ride after the 2019 season. He finished 20th at Silverstone last week when an engine problem on the grid prevented him ftaking the green.

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“The last seven to eight days have been crazy,” Hulkenberg said after qualifying. “This weekend I felt much better prepared. Q3 was just head down, full beans, and give it whatever I had.

“I’m a bit surprised to be standing here, but there’s a big smile on my face.”

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen qualified fourth and will be among the field trying to derail the Mercedes duo that has won the first four races of an F1 season delayed because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“Feels good,” Bottas said after nipping Hamilton by a few hundredths of a second on his final lap for his 13th career pole position. ” I just love qualifying especially, when it goes well. Proud to drive this car. The race pace is there, so our first job is to get a good start off the line tomorrow and go from there.”

The impressive lap came two days after Bottas, who won the season opener in Austria, announced a one-year contract extension with the team.

Mercedes also is set to begin negotiating a new deal with Hamilton, who has won the past three races in F1 but was disappointed Saturday.

“Valtteri did a great job, but for me, it wasn’t a perfect last lap,” he said. “I don’t think many teams will be doing a one-stop race tomorrow so let’s wait and see how things turn out.”