Will Power penalized after hitting Hunter-Reay, Rahal on Lap 1

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After finishing second Saturday at Road America, Will Power got off to a disastrous start Sunday in the second race of the REV Group Grand Prix, being penalized by IndyCar for avoidable contact.

Power punted Ryan Hunter-Reay off course entering the first turn and then made contact with Graham Rahal by passing on the entry to Turn 3. Rahal then went off course after a collision with Felix Rosenqvist and slammed hard into a concrete barrier in the infield.

Power’s No. 12 Dallara-Chevrolet was dropped from fifth to 22nd by IndyCar officials. On the Lap 4 restart, Power spun off in Turn 13 and collided with a trackside sign and stalled his car.

Rahal, who said he was “OK from the hit; everything did its job”, watched the replay of Power’s spin after being released from the care center.

“He’s getting what he deserves today,” Rahal said of Power. “He took Ryan out and me. It’s frustrating. It’s a deseperation move. I’ve made them before, so I know them well. I’m disappointed because I thought we had a good chance today. It’s all good. We’ll be back.”

Hunter-Reay, who started fourth, also said Power “seems to be driving a little bit desperate today. He’s been a wrecking ball so far.”

Asked by NBCSN’s Dave Burns how he would work things out with Power, Hunter-Reay said, “It’s not very like him. He finally had a better day yesterday, so he’s getting back up in points. It’s a long season ahead.

“Obviously we’ve got to do something to catch (Scott) Dixon. you definitely can’t win the whole thing in the first corner. I’ll ask him about it, but he hit me, then took Graham out and now just took himself out. I’m not really sure what’s going on there, but I’[ll give him the benefit of the doubt. Maybe he’s feeling a little off today.”

Power, who started fifth, managed to return to the race on the lead lap after another pit stop to replace his front wing. He finished 11th and said he disagreed with the punishment.

“Man, just a rough race for us,” he said. “I guess in the end, things could have been worse, and an 11th-place finish is a small victory. I don’t really agree with the penalty from early in the race. I felt that was just a racing deal. So, we had to come in and change the front wing, then I made a mistake and ran off the track, and we had to make another stop for another wing change.

“Just not the day we needed. Got a podium yesterday but just didn’t have it today.”

His runner-up finish Saturday was a season best but he still entered Sunday’s race seventh in the points standings and 83 points behind Dixon, who started the season with three consecutive victories.

“Yeah, that’s what was a little frustrating for me because I’m pretty far back in points,” Power said postrace Saturday night. “Scott is the guy I need to get close to. He finished ahead of us again.

“We’ll obviously keep chipping away, chipping away. Can’t get desperate, just keep chipping away at it, see if we can have a very good second half of the year.”

Santino Ferrucci, who collided with Jack Harvey, and Conor Daly, who hit Oliver Askew, also were penalized for contact on Lap 1 and sent to the rear of the field.

Sergio Perez still has coronavirus; will miss second consecutive F1 race

F1 Sergio Perez out
Laurent Charniaux/Pool via Getty Images
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SILVERSTONE, England — Sergio Perez will be out for a second F1 race at Silverstone this week after again testing positive for the coronavirus.

The Mexican driver had hoped to return to Formula One after spending seven days in quarantine, but his Racing Point team said this morning he had tested positive.

“He is physically well and recovering,” the team said. “The whole team wishes Sergio and his family well and we look forward to his return.”

That means German veteran Nico Hulkenberg again fills in for Sunday’s 70th Anniversary Grand Prix after having also replaced Sergio Perez when he was out for the F1 British Grand Prix at the same venue last week. Hulkenberg did not start that race because of an engine problem.

There are two consecutive weekends of racing at Silverstone as Formula One tries to pack in races following the pandemic-delayed start to the season.

Perez became the first Formula One driver to test positive for coronavirus, and it had been unclear whether he would be available to drive after the period of quarantine was extended to 10 days.

Racing Point also was in the news Friday after being hit with a 15-point penalty in the Formula One constructors’ championship and fined 400,000 euros ($470,000) Friday for using brake ducts based on those from last year’s Mercedes cars.

The stewards ruled that Mercedes was the “principal designer” of the parts, and that Racing Point made only minor changes to computer design data it received from Mercedes.

Rival team Renault filed protests about the legality of the brake ducts, which were added to the “listed parts” under F1 rules for 2020. That means teams must design their own. Racing Point argued it was merely using information about the Mercedes parts to inform its own design.

Racing Point uses customer engines from Mercedes and has admitted basing its 2020 car design on photographs of last year’s Mercedes car. The similarities led to the Racing Point being nicknamed the “pink Mercedes” when it was first seen in testing ahead of the season.

Racing Point can appeal the ruling. The points deduction drops the team from fifth to sixth in the standings, below Renault. The ruling doesn’t affect the points totals for Racing Point’s drivers.