INDYCAR

FERNANDO ON THE BUBBLE

FERNANDO ALONSO (No. 66 McClaren Racing Chevrolet): “It has been a difficult day, and it follows a difficult week. We were running quite well this morning when the conditions were not too bad, but unfortunately, we picked up a rear puncture and then we decided to wait until this afternoon to get back out on track when track conditions were slightly better.

At the end of the day, we didn’t have the pace and the final time we posted wasn’t enough to be in the top 30, so we must try again tomorrow and we’ll need to execute the four laps as well as possible, clean and with no mistakes. It’s a difficult moment for the team, but we must remain calm and focused and I hope we can find enough to make the top three positions of the six tomorrow.”

INDYCAR

ALONSO MISSING PRECIOUS TRACK TIME

Alonso – returning to the Indianapolis 500 this year in search of a victory to complete the final leg of racing’s Triple Crown – never made it on the track Thursday as his McLaren Racing team spent the day preparing a backup car after the two-time Formula 1 champion crashed his primary No. 66 Chevrolet in practice the day before.

Gil de Ferran, the 2003 Indianapolis 500 winner who now serves as sporting director at McLaren, said the team is not rushing to get the backup car ready, preparations that included an engine change when the powerplant in the primary car was found to be damaged in Wednesday’s incident.

“While we have a number of experienced individuals in the team, we are still relatively new as a crew,” de Ferran said. “Because of this and the fact that we have deep respect for Indianapolis, we are being careful and measured in our approach and want to ensure we’re sending the best possible car out on track.

“Not running today was a serious setback to our Indy 500 program, but all is not lost. We should have a full day of practice and preparations for qualifying tomorrow and our goal will be to have a nice, clean day.”

F1Weekly podcast # 789

CLARK IS ABOUT TO LOOSE IT AND NASIR IS ENJOYING THE 2019 FORMULA 1 SEASON WITH MERCEDES COMPLETE DOMINATION. WE DO HAVE A NICE MOTORSPORTS MONDIAL…
HERE IS FERRARI’S POST RACE STATEMENT…

Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow leaves the Spanish Grand Prix with a fourth and fifth place finish, which definitely did not live up to expectations. It is an even greater incentive to work flat out during the two days of testing at this same circuit this coming Tuesday and Wednesday.

The race. Sebastian got an excellent start, to the extent that he managed to come round the outside of the Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas at the first corner. But the German slightly locked his wheels, which saw him run wide, letting Max Verstappen slip past. All race long, Sebastian and Charles fought the Dutchman to try and snatch back third place, but in the end, with matters further complicated by the appearance of the Safety Car which affected Leclerc’s strategy, it did not happen and the two SF90s finished just off the podium places. Hamilton won from Bottas, with the aforementioned Verstappen third.

Test. Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow and the other nine teams are staying on in Barcelona for two days of testing with both the SF90s. On Tuesday, Charles will be at the wheel for the team, while Sebastian will be working for Pirelli. On Wednesday, Charles will take over for the tyre supplier, while Antonio Fuoco will drive for the team test.

Play Podcast: 05-14-19f1weekly789.mp3

FORMULA 1

REMEMBER PRE-SEASON TESTING?

CAN WE NOW SAY MERCEDES DOMINATION!

LCH is back in charge of the world championship after a superb start fired him to victory at the Spanish Grand Prix.

Hamilton was handed a rare thrashing by Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas in qualifying at Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya on Saturday, but the British star returned to his notorious best, winning at a canter.

British teenager Lando Norris crashed with Lance Stroll which saw the introduction of a safety car with 20 laps to run.

But Hamilton remained in complete control, taking the chequered flag ahead of Bottas as Mercedes secured their fifth consecutive one-two.

Hamilton, who also scored a bonus point for the fastest lap, now leads Bottas by seven points in the title race.

Ferrari’s disappointing campaign continued as confusion reigned over their strategy with both drivers losing out to Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, who finished third.

Sebastian Vettel crossed the line in fourth, with team-mate Charles Leclerc fifth. Vettel is now 48 points behind Hamilton after just five rounds.

“It was an interesting start and very, very close,” said Hamilton after his third consecutive win in Spain and 76th in all. “I knew that Valterri would brake super-deep, so it wasn’t a replay of what happened in Baku.”

Reflecting on the opening moments of the race, Bottas said: “It was pretty tight, but I lost it at the start. There was strange behaviour with the clutch which I never felt before. I am keen to find out why it was so bad and why it happened.”

INDYCAR

PAGENAUD WINS WET AND WILD INDYCAR GRAND PRIX

INDIANAPOLIS (Saturday, May 11, 2019) – Simon Pagenaud overcame the elements and the competition to win the INDYCAR Grand Prix in thrilling fashion.

Pagenaud passed five-time NTT IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon for the lead on the next-to-last lap on a rain-soaked Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course and pulled away to collect the 12th victory of his Indy car career and first in a 23-race span. Three of those wins have come in the INDYCAR Grand Prix.

“What a way to start May!” said Pagenaud, who won by 2.0469 seconds. “The car was fantastic; the car was awesome all day. We had something for everybody.”

INDYCAR GRAND PRIX: Official results

Starting eighth in the 85-lap race that ran from start to finish in varying levels of rain, Pagenaud charged from sixth place in the final 18 laps in treacherous conditions to collect his first win since the 2017 season finale.

With all running cars on rain tires for the final stint, Pagenaud passed Matheus Leist of AJ Foyt Racing for third place with 10 laps to go and Meyer Shank Racing’s Jack Harvey for second position five laps later. The 2016 NTT IndyCar Series champion then set his sights on Dixon.

When Dixon, the reigning series champion, slid a little wide exiting Turn 7 on the 2.439-mile, 14-turn circuit, Pagenaud dove his No. 22 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet inside Dixon’s No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda. The two cars made light side-to-side contact in the series of corners before Pagenaud exited Turn 9 in front.

“It was a matter of being in the right position,” Pagenaud said. “I pushed all race. When the rain came, I wasn’t sure it was going to work. Surprisingly, it was just the best out there. When Dixon was really struggling with his tires, you could see that.

“I was just braking as deep as I could to catch him. I wasn’t really planning on passing him there. He made a slight mistake.”

The win was No. 205 for Team Penske in its 51-year Indy car history. It was also the team’s 24th at Indianapolis Motor Speedway that includes 17 in the Indianapolis 500, five in the INDYCAR Grand Prix and two in NASCAR competition. Pagenaud and teammate Will Power own every win in the INDYCAR Grand Prix’s six-year history, though Pagenaud’s first win in 2014 came with Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.

Dixon finished second in the race for the third straight year. It was also the reigning champion’s 43rd career runner-up result, ranking second only to the 56 of Mario Andretti.

“It was tough,” Dixon said of the conditions beginning in a light rain that grew stronger as the day wore on. Despite the slick track, no team opted to change from Firestone’s dry-condition tires to the wets until past the halfway point.

“I knew kind of from the get-go that I was going to be struggling with the front end, and I don’t know why it was balanced that way, but it just felt like I needed about six turns of front wing,” added Dixon, who led a race-high 39 laps. “I thought we could maybe hold the gap (over Pagenaud), but the harder I pushed, the worse it got.

“All in all, a solid effort. It was a tricky race. It sucks to obviously lead that many laps and come up short, but again, congrats to Simon. He drove a hell of a race and it’s nice to see him back in victory lane.”

FORMULA 1

IT’S DEJA-VU ALL OVER AGAIN!

BOTTAS ON POLE, LCH PLAYS THE #2 PART AND FERRARI TALK ABOUT THEIR DEFICIT.

Bottas had the edge on Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton throughout qualifying, ending up a massive 0.634 seconds quicker.

None of the top four were able to improve their times on their second runs on soft Pirellis in Q3, ensuring Mercedes kept hold of the front-row lockout it had taken earlier in the final segment of qualifying.

Sebastian Vettel was third and 0.866s off the pace, less than a tenth quicker than fourth-best Max Verstappen’s Red Bull.

BOTTAS: Really enjoyed that. Practice three was difficult with the spin. I forgot that and just moved on. It has started well the season. I feel better and better in the car.

LCH: Valtteri did a fantastic job. On my side, just didn’t put the laps together. It just wasn’t a good enough job. I’ll be giving it everything. Its great for the team to have this 1-2, if I can reverse this I’ll be happy.

VETTEL: It seems to be more than an achilles heel at the moment. I think we got everything out of the car. The second run I had to try something different and it didn’t work. But yeah…happy but not happy if you know what I mean? The car doesn’t feel bad but obviously we are not quick enough. In terms of balance we got it right. In those sorts of corners you just need the grip.

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