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Corvette Racing’s 100 North American wins

Corvette Racing’s triumph in the IMSA WeatherTech 240 at Daytona was the team’s 100th triumph on North American soil. Here is the team’s full roster of triumphs.

• Corvette drivers celebrate 100th IMSA win
• IMSA WeatherTech 240 Daytona report

The Chevrolet Corvette C5-R earned 32 wins on North American soil for Corvette Racing. This is the 2001 Petit Le Mans triumph at Road Atlanta.

Photo by: Richard Sloop

The Corvette C6.R scored 51 wins. Here are Johnny O’Connell and Jan Magnussen on their way to victory at Long Beach in 2008.

Photo by: Adriano Manocchia

  Year Venue Drivers Corvette Series
1. 2000 Texas Motor Speedway Ron Fellows, Andy Pilgrim C5-R ALMS
2. 2000 Road Atlanta Andy Pilgrim, Kelly Collins, Franck Freon C5-R ALMS
3. 2001 Daytona 24hr Ron Fellows, Johnny O’Connell, Chris Kneifel, Franck Freon C5-R Rolex
4. 2001 Texas Motor Speedway Ron Fellows, Johnny O’Connell C5-R ALMS
5. 2001 Sears Point Ron Fellows, Johnny O’Connell C5-R ALMS
6. 2001 Portland Ron Fellows, Johnny O’Connell C5-R ALMS
7. 2001 Mosport Ron Fellows, Johnny O’Connell C5-R ALMS
8. 2001 Mid-Ohio Ron Fellows, Johnny O’Connell C5-R ALMS
9. 2001 Road Atlanta Ron Fellows, Johnny O’Connell, Kelly Collins C5-R ALMS
10. 2002 Sebring Ron Fellows, Johnny O’Connell, Oliver Gavin C5-R ALMS
11. 2002 Sears Point Ron Fellows, Johnny O’Connell C5-R ALMS
12. 2002 Mid-Ohio Ron Fellows, Johnny O’Connell C5-R ALMS
13. 2002 Road America Andy Pilgrim, Kelly Collins C5-R ALMS
14. 2002 Washington Ron Fellows, Johnny O’Connell C5-R ALMS
15. 2002 Trois Rivieres Andy Pilgrim, Kelly Collins C5-R ALMS
16. 2002 Mosport Ron Fellows, Johnny O’Connell C5-R ALMS
17. 2002 Miami Ron Fellows, Johnny O’Connell C5-R ALMS
18. 2002 Road Atlanta Ron Fellows, Johnny O’Connell, Oliver Gavin C5-R ALMS
19. 2003 Sebring Ron Fellows, Johnny O’Connell, Franck Freon C5-R ALMS
20. 2003 Road Atlanta Kelly Collins, Oliver Gavin C5-R ALMS
21. 2003 Sears Point Ron Fellows, Johnny O’Connell C5-R ALMS
22. 2003 Trois Rivieres Kelly Collins, Oliver Gavin C5-R ALMS
23. 2003 Mosport Ron Fellows, Johnny O’Connell C5-R ALMS
24. 2004 Sebring Ron Fellows, Johnny O’Connell, Max Papis C5-R ALMS
25. 2004 Mid-Ohio Ron Fellows, Johnny O’Connell C5-R ALMS
26. 2004 Lime Rock Olivier Beretta, Oliver Gavin C5-R ALMS
27. 2004 Sears Point Ron Fellows, Johnny O’Connell C5-R ALMS
28. 2004 Portland Ron Fellows, Johnny O’Connell C5-R ALMS
29. 2004 Mosport Olivier Beretta, Oliver Gavin C5-R ALMS
30. 2004 Road America Olivier Beretta, Oliver Gavin C5-R ALMS
31. 2004 Road Atlanta Olivier Beretta, Oliver Gavin, Jan Magnussen C5-R ALMS
32. 2004 Laguna Seca Ron Fellows, Johnny O’Connell C5-R ALMS
33. 2005 Road Atlanta Ron Fellows, Johnny O’Connell C6.R ALMS
34. 2005 Mid-Ohio Ron Fellows, Johnny O’Connell C6.R ALMS
35. 2005 Lime Rock Olivier Beretta, Oliver Gavin C6.R ALMS
36. 2005 Sears Point Ron Fellows, Johnny O’Connell C6.R ALMS
37. 2005 Portland Olivier Beretta, Oliver Gavin C6.R ALMS
38. 2005 Road America Olivier Beretta, Oliver Gavin C6.R ALMS
39. 2005 Mosport Olivier Beretta, Oliver Gavin C6.R ALMS
40. 2005 Road Atlanta Olivier Beretta, Oliver Gavin, Jan Magnussen C6.R ALMS
41. 2005 Laguna Seca Olivier Beretta, Oliver Gavin C6.R ALMS
42. 2006 Sebring Olivier Beretta, Oliver Gavin, Jan Magnussen C6.R ALMS
43. 2006 Houston Olivier Beretta, Oliver Gavin C6.R ALMS
44. 2006 Mid-Ohio Olivier Beretta, Oliver Gavin C6.R ALMS
45. 2006 Portland Olivier Beretta, Oliver Gavin C6.R ALMS
46. 2006 Road America Ron Fellows, Johnny O’Connell C6.R ALMS
47. 2007 Sebring Olivier Beretta, Oliver Gavin, Max Papis C6.R ALMS
48. 2007 St. Petersburg Olivier Beretta, Oliver Gavin C6.R ALMS
49. 2007 Long Beach Olivier Beretta, Oliver Gavin C6.R ALMS
50. 2007 Houston Jan Magnussen, Johnny O’Connell C6.R ALMS
51. 2007 Miller Park Olivier Beretta, Oliver Gavin C6.R ALMS
52. 2007 Lime Rock Olivier Beretta, Oliver Gavin C6.R ALMS
53. 2007 Mid-Ohio Olivier Beretta, Oliver Gavin C6.R ALMS
54. 2007 Road America Olivier Beretta, Oliver Gavin C6.R ALMS
55. 2007 Mosport Jan Magnussen, Johnny O’Connell C6.R ALMS
56. 2007 Detroit Jan Magnussen, Johnny O’Connell C6.R ALMS
57. 2007 Road Atlanta Olivier Beretta, Oliver Gavin, Max Papis C6.R ALMS
58. 2007 Laguna Seca Olivier Beretta, Oliver Gavin C6.R ALMS
59. 2008 Sebring Ron Fellows, Jan Magnussen, Johnny O’Connell C6.R ALMS
60. 2008 St. Petersburg Olivier Beretta, Oliver Gavin C6.R ALMS
61. 2008 Long Beach Jan Magnussen, Johnny O’Connell C6.R ALMS
62. 2008 Miller Park Jan Magnussen, Johnny O’Connell C6.R ALMS
63. 2008 Lime Rock Jan Magnussen, Johnny O’Connell C6.R ALMS
64. 2008 Mid-Ohio Jan Magnussen, Johnny O’Connell C6.R ALMS
65. 2008 Road America Jan Magnussen, Johnny O’Connell C6.R ALMS
66. 2008 Mosport Jan Magnussen, Johnny O’Connell C6.R ALMS
67. 2008 Detroit Olivier Beretta, Oliver Gavin C6.R ALMS
68. 2008 Road Atlanta Ron Fellows, Jan Magnussen, Johnny O’Connell C6.R ALMS
69. 2008 Laguna Seca Olivier Beretta, Oliver Gavin C6.R ALMS
70. 2009 Sebring Jan Magnussen, Johnny O’Connell, Antonio Garcia C6.R ALMS
71. 2009 Long Beach Olivier Beretta, Oliver Gavin C6.R ALMS
72. 2009 Mosport Jan Magnussen, Johnny O’Connell C6.R ALMS
73. 2010 Road Atlanta Oliver Gavin, Jan Magnussen, Emmanuel Collard C6.R ALMS
74. 2011 Mosport Oliver Gavin, Jan Magnussen C6.R ALMS
75. 2012 Long Beach Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner C6.R ALMS
76. 2012 Laguna Seca Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner C6.R ALMS
77. 2012 Mid-Ohio Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner C6.R ALMS
78. 2012 VIR Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner C6.R ALMS
79. 2013 Sebring Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner, Richard Westbrook C6.R ALMS
80. 2013 Laguna Seca Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen C6.R ALMS
81. 2013 Mosport Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner C6.R ALMS
82. 2013 Baltimore Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen C6.R ALMS
83. 2013 COTA Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen C6.R ALMS
84. 2014 Long Beach Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen C7.R TUSCC
85. 2014 Laguna Seca Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen C7.R TUSCC
86. 2014 Watkins Glen Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen C7.R TUSCC
87. 2014 CTMP Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen C7.R TUSCC
88. 2015 Daytona 24hr Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen, Ryan Briscoe C7.R TUSCC
89. 2015 Sebring Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen, Ryan Briscoe C7.R TUSCC
90. 2016 Daytona 24hr Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner, Marcel Fassler C7.R WTSCC
91. 2016 Sebring Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner, Marcel Fassler C7.R WTSCC
92. 2016 Lime Rock Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner C7.R WTSCC
93. 2016 Road America Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner C7.R WTSCC
94. 2016 VIR Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen C7.R WTSCC
95. 2017 Sebring Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen, Mike Rockenfeller C7.R WTSCC
96. 2017 Long Beach Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner C7.R WTSCC
97. 2017 COTA Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen C7.R WTSCC
98. 2017 VIR Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen C7.R WTSCC
99. 2018 Long Beach Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner C7.R WTSCC
100. 2020 Daytona 240 Antonio Garcia, Jordan Taylor C8.R WTSCC

Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen scored the C6.R’s final win here at COTA in 2013, and also the first triumph for the C7.R at Long Beach in 2014.

Photo by: Eric Gilbert

Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner scored the C7.R’s final win at Long Beach in 2018.

Photo by: Michael L. Levitt / Motorsport Images

Corvette Racing’s 24 Hours of Le Mans wins

Win Year Drivers Corvette
1. 2001 Ron Fellows, Johnny O’Connell, Scott Pruett C5-R
2. 2002 Ron Fellows, Johnny O’Connell, Oliver Gavin C5-R
3. 2004 Olivier Beretta, Oliver Gavin, Jan Magnussen C5-R
4. 2005 Olivier Beretta, Oliver Gavin, Jan Magnussen C6.R
5. 2006 Olivier Beretta, Oliver Gavin, Jan Magnussen C6.R
6. 2009 Jan Magnussen, Johnny O’Connell, Antonio Garcia C6.R
7. 2011 Olivier Beretta, Tommy Milner, Antonio Garcia C6.R
8. 2015 Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner, Jordan Taylor C7.R

Gavin, Milner and Jordan Taylor scored Corvette’s most recent Le Mans win came with a C7.R in 2015.

Photo by: Eric Gilbert

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Austrian Grand Prix: Sunday’s best F1 images

After a long wait the 2020 Formula 1 season finally roared back to life with a spectacular Austrian Grand Prix. Check out Sunday’s best photos from Motorsport Images at the picturesque Red Bull Ring.

Click on the images below to cycle through them…

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari and Kimi Raikkonen, Alfa Romeo

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Pre-race ceremony

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Drivers kneel on the grid

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Drivers kneel on the grid

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Drivers kneel on the grid

Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

Starting grid

Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

Valtteri Bottas leads the field at the start

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF1000, Carlos Sainz Jr., McLaren MCL35, and Lance Stroll, Racing Point RP20

Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

Romain Grosjean, Haas VF-20 and George Russell, Williams FW43

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Alex Albon, Red Bull Racing RB16 pit stop

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Kevin Magnussen, Haas VF-20

Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari spins after making contact with Carlos Sainz Jr., McLaren MCL35 as Antonio Giovinazzi, Alfa Romeo Racing C39 passes

Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16, retires

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes F1 W11

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W11

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL35

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF1000

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Daniil Kvyat, AlphaTauri AT01, leads Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF1000, and Antonio Giovinazzi, Alfa Romeo Racing C39

Photo by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes F1 W11

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Lance Stroll, Racing Point RP20

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Sergio Perez, Racing Point RP20

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL35, battles with Sergio Perez, Racing Point RP20

Photo by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W11 EQ Performance, leads Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF1000, and Carlos Sainz Jr., McLaren MCL35

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W11

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri AT01, leads Esteban Ocon, Renault F1 Team R.S.20

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Kimi Raikkonen, Alfa Romeo Racing C39 retires from the race

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

The Safety Car leads Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes F1 W11 EQ Performance, in the pit lane

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes F1 W11 EQ Performance, leads Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W11 EQ Performance

Photo by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes F1 W11

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes F1 W11 EQ Performance, leads Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W11 EQ Performance, and Alex Albon, Red Bull Racing RB16

Photo by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

Race winner Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF1000 and Lando Norris, McLaren MCL35 drives into parc ferme

Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG F1, and Lando Norris, McLaren

Photo by: FIA Pool

Lando Norris, McLaren and Zak Brown

Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes F1 W11

Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

Mercedes F1 Team Member, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 and Lando Norris, McLaren

Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

Lando Norris, McLaren, Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 and Charles Leclerc, Ferrari

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Lando Norris, McLaren

Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Lando Norris, McLaren

Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

Lando Norris, McLaren

Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images


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Alfa Romeo fined after Kimi Raikkonen's wheel detaches

Alfa Romeo have been handed a €5,000 fine after Kimi Raikkonen’s right-front wheel came off during the Austrian Grand Prix.

Raikkonen had pitted during a Safety Car period, but he prompted it to return immediately after the re-start when his right-front wheel flew off the C39.

The stewards have since said that the nut holding the wheel on was cross-threaded when it was attached to Raikkonen’s car, but cleared them of knowing that the wheel could have come off.

Raikkonen has a tyre failure and joins the long retirement list. pic.twitter.com/nO2bnKtOZe

— f1racers (@f1racers_) July 5, 2020

Their report, as quoted by Racefans.net, reads: “Having examined photos of the damaged wheel and the axle shaft it is evident that the wheel nut of the RHS front wheel got cross threaded during the wheel change which was not identified by the wheel gun operator.

“As a consequence the right-front wheel went off when the car was back in the race.

“The stewards accept, however, that neither the team nor the driver had the opportunity to realise that the car was in unsafe condition and therefore did not stop the car.”

Speaking after the race, Raikkonen said: “We had reasonable speed, and then we were unlucky with the first Safety Car.

“Then I think we were in a good position with the tyres but for some reason lost the right front on the re-start.

“I have no idea why, but I think it’s a shame.

“For sure we could have scored some points.”

 Get your hands on the official Alfa Romeo 2020 collection via the Formula 1 shop

Someone who was in the points though was his team-mate Antonio Giovinazzi who finished P9.

“I am really happy with today’s result,” he said.

“After our difficult qualifying yesterday, to get to the points was the maximum we could do.

“The race wasn’t easy, we struggled a little at the start but we got stronger as the race went on. Of course, in such a chaotic race you need a bit of luck, but we were ready to grab any chance with two hands when it came.

“We put up a big fight for this and in the end P9 is a great way to start the season. I am really happy for the guys and girls in the garage and back at home. There’s still a lot to improve but it’s just the first race of the season: there’s plenty of time and I am already looking forward to being back in the car next week.”

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Max Verstappen: I would've easily made podium

Max Verstappen believes that, if not for his electrical issues, finishing on the podium in Austria would’ve been easy.

While Mercedes comfortably had the quickest car all weekend, the Dutchman was consistently their closest challenger.

After qualifying in P3, Verstappen started in P2 due to Lewis Hamilton’s penalty and comfortably held position there at the start. Running the medium tyre, he looked in good shape to challenge Valtteri Bottas for the win.

However, his plans were ruined just 11 laps in when a mechanical issue slowed his car and sent him tumbling down to last place.

It was initially thought to be an engine issue, but an electrical fault now seems more likely. Verstappen himself stated that the team aren’t sure yet.

“I’m not quite sure what happened yet, we’ll investigate and find out but of course that’s not how you want to start the season,” Verstappen said.

“I had a good start, unlike last year, and quite early on I could see that Valtteri was quick so fighting for the win was always going to be a big challenge.”

The new F1 2020 game is out on July 10! Pre-order now for PS4, Xbox One and PC

While a win may have been difficult to get, the Red Bull driver looked almost certain to take a podium at the least, and he believes that he could have had no trouble doing so.

“I think it would have been an easy podium and third would have been a decent start to the season but what can you do? This is racing and it is what it is, you can’t change the result now,” he added.

“It is a shame for everyone who worked so hard to get us here this weekend but we will just focus on the race next week and hope for something better.”

Things weren’t much better for Verstappen’s team-mate. Alex Albon looked set to get his maiden podium but, trying to take P2, he was hit by Lewis Hamilton and dropped down the order. Laps later, he too retired with a mechanical problem.

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FIA post-race press conference – Austrian Grand Prix

Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas won the first race of the season for Mercedes in a chaotic Austrian Grand Prix.

He was joined on the podium by two unlikely names in the forms of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and McLaren’s Lando Norris.

The trio headed off to tell the media all about it.

DRIVERS
1 – Valtteri BOTTAS (Mercedes)
2 – Charles LECLERC (Ferrari)
3 – Lando NORRIS (McLaren)

TRACK INTERVIEWS
(Conducted by Jenson Button) 

Q: Valtteri, wow! I mean the pressure on you through that race. One safety car, fair enough, but two and the tyre changes for people behind you, but you held it together man. Congratulations. 
Valtteri BOTTAS: Thank you, yeah. There was definitely quite a bit of pressure all through the race. I mean one safety car was still OK, but with the last safety car, I was like: ‘Come on, again?’ There were so many chances to get the lead if I made even a small mistake. He was really quick today, but I managed to keep it together and I could really control the race from my side and obviously no better way to start the season.

Q: Yeah, it’s such an important way to start the season. Having Lewis bearing down on you for most of that race must have been so, so tough. Especially because you had warnings from the team over sensor issues. We saw so many failures out there, I think because of the gearbox, that must have added even more pressure?
VB: Yeah, we had to manage the car quite a lot, so couldn’t really use4 all the kerbs and at some point I was slightly worried that everything would be OK, but I’m glad, both of the cars managed to finish and in the teams standings we’re leading and that’s a very good sign.
Congratulations on an epic win.

Q: Charles, I bet you didn’t expect that result today? 
Charles LECLERC: I did  not expect it either. A huge surprise but a good one. I think we did everything perfect today to finish second. We had a little bit of luck obviously, with Lewis’ penalty and some crashes here and there but it’s part of the race too and yeah, that was the goal – to take every opportunity we had, even though we didn’t have the pace to finish where we were I think. But P2 – I’m extremely satisfied. There’s still a lot of work to do. We are still far away, we are not where we want to be, but anything is possible, so we need to keep the mental strong, all the team work as a team and I’m pretty sure we will come back where want, but it will take time.

Q: You still made the moves count when you had to out there. You were making some great moves in the race. Every time there was an opportunity you seemed to take it and when you are in the position you are, you really have to. 
CL: Yeah, I wanted to be very aggressive because at every safety car I was seeing I was really struggling on exit of Turn 1 all the way to Turn 3 and I knew that there was no opportunity for me here but I knew that my opportunity would come if someone would do a mistake and Lando slowed down a little bit with Sergio at one point and I went for it. And the other one with Sergio also was pretty tough but I really enjoyed it.

Q: Where is Lando? I really want to give you a hug now mate, but I can’t. No words. Awesome. A fantastic race. You guys were always near the front but you got there in the end, you got that first podium. How does it feel? 
Lando NORRIS: I don’t know, I’m speechless I think. The were a few points during the race where I thought I kind of fudged it up quite a bit. I dropped to fifth with a few laps to go. Carlos was almost getting past me, but I didn’t give up and I managed to get past Pérez and I ended up on the podium! It was a long race but I kept going, I kept trying to give it my all. A pretty cool last few laps having to push as much as I can, and you can tell, I’m a bit out of breath. I’m so happy and proud of the team. Considering where we were a few years ago, to last year, to now, I think is a pretty cool achievement and I’m proud to be part of it all.

Q: As you should be. Obviously when you lose your rhythm around here it’s very tricky and as you said you almost got passed by Carlos but then you came back so strong and then you attacked Checo. Very aggressive but it had to be done I guess t6o get within the five-second limit of Lewis. And also you must have a message for this team that has produced this great car for you this weekend? 
LN:The last few laps… when I had to get past Checo, I just knew he had a five-second penalty but nothing more than that. I always seemed to struggle when I was close to the cars ahead, I always seemed more vulnerable to the guys behind. So I knew… not just because of Lewis, because I didn’t know at that time, but I knew I had to try to get past him and then there was the Lewis penalty that came up and then I had to turn it up a little bit and start pushing. Like you said, it’s a lot about rhythm here and I had three really tough laps, locking up, and it was going downhill quite quickly but I recovered well I think and I’m here so I’m happy.

PRESS CONFERENCE

Q: Valtteri, many congratulations. You led every lap but it looked far from easy. Just talk us through it? 
VB: Well, winning a Formula 1 Grand Prix is never easy but today definitely come easy at all. In the first stint Lewis lost a bit of time getting through the Red Bulls, so there was quite a bit of margin. So the first stint actually wasn’t that bad, because I had a decent gap, so I could really control and really make sure we could get to the target stop lap. And I tried to do the right things with the tyres and maintaining the car. The second stint, there was never like massive pressure because I was in front and I could really make sure that we could make it to the end. But there were all these variables in the race. We had some issues with some sensors that were getting damaged by the vibration of the pretty harsh kerbs here, so I had to avoid kerbing. So that costs quite a bit of lap time. And whe4n you’re in the lead, safety car after another, and by the last one I was like “come on”, because in the lead you just want things to be constant and trouble free. So there were many variables. I managed to dodge many bullets today and get the win.

Q: And the re-starts each time, you nailed them? 
VB: Yeah, I think I’m starting to master the re-starts on this track soon, because we had so many today. But you always try to do something different each time., I think the last one was a bit on the limit with safety car line one, crossing with the safety car, but otherwise they were good.

Q: Charles, after you day yesterday when you qualified seventh, I guess you must be very pleased today?
CL: Well I’m extremely happy. It feels like a victory today. We have been struggling from the beginning of the weekend. We’ve had luck in this race with the various safety cars, crashes, penalties but in the end we stayed on track. I gave my maximum and I think we managed the race perfectly with the package we have for the moment and to have a P2, a second place, with the performance we had all weekend, we made the best out of it and I’m extremely happy about our result because the performance is not where we want to be.

Q: And was the car much more competitive today than it was over one lap yesterday?
CL: No. No, unfortunately not. We are quick around the corners but we struggle, so we will have a new package in Hungary to try to fix a little bit more this issue. But we will see. It has been a very, very difficult race today, struggling to overtake and every time someone was making a mistake then I was being very aggressive to try to take the opportunity, which I did, and I’m very happy again to be P2.

Q: Well done, Lando, coming to you. Your first podium in Formula 1. You’ve had a few minutes now to digest it all. What are your emotions now. 
LN: I don’t know… I need to get another one of these (masks). This one is full of champagne, which I’m very happy to say, but it’s like suction, I can’t breathe in it! I’m realty struggling. Cheers. Sorry. I’m just so happy. I was very happy after yesterday. I think we overachieved. We didn’t overachieve but we just maximised everything we had. We just did better than we thought we were going to do because we knew Ferrari were strong and the Racing Points were strong and we knew they were going to be strong today, which they were compared to us. I think today’s race highlighted that we had to keep on pushing through the whole race. Obviously it’s nice when you have a car which is compared to last year more competitive and you can be there or thereabouts on safety car re-starts and so on. I’m so happy, because it very easily could have been the opposite of the result I have right now. I almost got back down to sixth after Charles passed me and it was kind of going downhill and I was all over the place, locking up, going wide, but I knew I had good pace in the car so I had to get my head down and try to get past Perez when he got a five second penalty and yeah, I was fairly aggressive with my overtake but I had to be at that point and then Lewis had a five-second and I only managed to get him on the final lap of the race. I think it was 5.8 onto the final lap and I managed to get it down to 4.8, so I wasn’t in the position I was in and if I didn’t put in the fastest lap of the race, which I’m very proud of, I wouldn’t be here. I just want to say big thanks to the team. I’m probably rambling on a lot but I’m just super happy.

VIDEO CONFERENCE

Q: (Edd Straw – The Race) Question to Valtteri. When you had the instruction to back off a bit and keep off the kerbs, how difficult was it to adapt your style while still maintaining the pace, while driving effectively a narrower track – especially knowing you had Lewis behind you and unsure about much he was moderating his speed and keeping off the kerbs when there was a race-win at stake?
VB: Initially it was a tricky one because I was watching in the mirrors and I could see Lewis still pushing pretty hard and making use of all the track – but obviously you want to prioritise the reliability. It took a couple of laps to really optimise the new way of driving and avoiding the kerbs. At least… the kerbs here, the more you go onto them, the vibration just kind of ramps up. So you get a feel what is still OK and what is too much. There’s only a few places where you really need to take care, so after one or two laps, we got used to it. In the end, when I tried for the fastest lap, I think a couple of laps to go, I still was off the kerbs. It didn’t feel right but I had to do it.

Q: (Laurence Edmondson – ESPN) Question for Valtteri. You had a problem in FP2 with the gearbox – was that the same issue that emerged in the race. And then also, were there any calls from the team to stop the racing at the front between you and Lewis – and where you aware that you were actually backing him off the podium at the end, when he caught up with you and obviously had the five seconds penalty?
VB: At any point, there was no call from the team that we would stop racing each other but I got the message that Lewis also has to avoid the kerbs, so in that sense we were in the same boat. For me, the whole race was… I could really control and make sure we get safely to the end with a good amount of tyres left and so on. There was no massive trouble at any point. I got the message that he’s got a five second penalty but there was a double yellow, so obviously you have to slow down quite a bit so then I feel like some drivers maybe slow down a bit less so they could catch-up. At the same time, we were still not using the kerbs. So, I tried to compromise making sure I really get to the flag and win the race, not risk too much, but also I tried to go as fast as I could within those limits. It’s not really my fault that he got the five seconds penalty.

Q: (Ben Hunt – The Sun) Question for Valtteri, slightly off-topic compared to what the other guys are taking about. I want to talk about pancakes. I’ve noticed on your social media that you’ve been having pancakes on Sundays. Is that the new replacement for porridge. Is it a lucky little thing you’ve got going on – you seem to be doing quite well for it?
VB: You know the porridge is hidden in the pancakes. I still use the power of porridge but in the pancakes. My girlfriend always makes them on Sunday. We use oats in them – it’s kind of porridge as well. On top of that, I have a bit of porridge before the race. So, that’s the best thing to have. Lots of power.

Q: (Andrew Benson – BBC) Question for Charles. Charles, you took a couple of wins last and had some really good drives. Where would you rate this one in comparison to those. And also, you trailed Pérez and Lando for much of the race. What made the difference in the closing laps – because obviously you and Lando both had new tyres then as well. 
CL: I would rate this one probably as one of my best races since I arrived in Formula 1 because I really didn’t do many mistakes. I’m extremely happy with the performance, also with the strategy, with our choices. It’s not been easy because in the first part of the race the race was actually pretty boring for us but I really pushed to stay focussed and yeah, we were doing some quite good lap times. We were extracting the maximum out of the car and it paid off at the end, so that was great. And towards the end of the race, it was very tricky because Lando had the new tyres too and I was struggling a lot at the restarts to stay behind them, until Turn Four and then, in all the high speed, we were very quick but in the whole first sector we were struggling a lot. I was just waiting for an opportunity, which I had when Lando tried to overtake Sergio but then I think while he lost a little bit of time, I just went for it and then the same for Sergio a few laps later. I saw an opportunity and I just went for it.

Q: (Phil Duncan – PA) Question for Lando. I think I’m right in saying you’re the third youngest podium finisher of all time in Formula 1, youngest British driver to finish on the podium. Can you just explain a little bit about what that means – particularly from the British perspective, beating the likes of Lewis Hamilton and the rest to be the youngest driver to ever finish on the podium.
LN: I don’t know. I don’t have a great answer for it. I think… yeah… just being on the podium no matter what other scenario there is, unless it’s probably the youngest-ever winner or something like that, then I think I’m just very happy to be on the podium in the first place but for something to come along with it such as what you just mentioned, it’s an added bonus – but it’s not like I’ve gone out of my way to beat these records or anything. I think it’s really a bonus that comes along with hard work and getting the podium in the first place. So, yeah, it’s an extra, and it’s nice to know something’s written down and there’s a little extra that goes along with my first podium but I’m… yes… at the end of the day it’s not the sole objective for why I’m here in Formula 1. It’s not just to break records, it’s to try to win races in the first place and try to do well. It’s a nice record to have, I’m proud of it but I’m happier to just be on the podium, rather than breaking any record.

Q: (Alan Baldwin – Reuters) All three of you. You all had great races but it’s the first race that we’ve had without spectators and also with these special conditions. I just wondered if you could say how it felt racing without the crowd and how hard it was to restrain yourselves afterwards given the necessary self-distancing?
VB: During racing, no difference. Obviously you are fully focussed on your race and the driving.
LN: Do you not ever see the crowds?
VB: Not really! So yeah, during the race your full focus is on the thing. So, no difference but I have to say, what I’ve really enjoyed in the normal F1 is before the race, when we do the drivers’ parade, really seeing the support to all the drivers, seeing the spectators, all the fans, all the flags of different nationalities. It really brings a nice atmosphere before the race, as well as after the race, especially if you have a good result like I had today, it would be nice to share it with that atmosphere that we, for sure, are lacking a little bit now, and to celebrate with the spectators. But, I know there are many loyal fans to me watching at home and I know the most important people to me, my family, they’re watching, they’re supporting and they’re living in the moment with me. But no doubt we’re lacking a bit of atmosphere – but it is what it is. Better to be racing like this than not racing at all – I’m sure we’re still making many people happy that are able to watch the racing. But like post-race, all the procedures, how it goes. I think we’re all still learning but I think, I have to say, FIA, FOM, F1 has done a really nice job with setting everything up, and all the teams as well. It feels very pretty bullet-proof, nicely organised, pretty clear and everything – so we all feel the risk of anyone really getting ill is very minimal. That’s good. I think everyone in our team, we feel very safe racing here.
Charles?
CL: It’s very strange. We are lacking the passion of the fan, which is why I love the sport so much, to see the passion of people that are watching you. I actually look in the grandstands during the race. Obviously not today because there was not much to look at – but yeah, I miss this. But, as Valtteri said, it’s better to race like this than nothing, so very happy to have been back on track and hopefully the fans enjoyed it from home, and hopefully once it’s safe to do so, they’ll be able to come back. It will definitely be better. And also, as Valtteri said again, the podium, normally there’s cheers, people yelling, this time it was not that way, but it’s like this for now and it’s the best we can do.
LN: I agree with both them really. I think we can all be happy we’re here racing and procedures that are put in place are pretty bulletproof like he said but it’s a bit different for me. These guys are used to being on the podium quite a bit, for me it’s my first time and I think it’s something that makes it so special is always having the crowds there, celebrating there with you, whether they are always your fans or not. It just makes up the atmosphere so much and it adds a lot of excitement and so on, so for me to be here now, there’s no fans to share with and so on, makes it a bit more difficult and it’s still enjoyable but it’s hard to share it as much. I don’t know, like they said, we’re all happy we’re here racing. I think it’s that better than we’re here and there’s no fans rather than nothing at all but hopefully in the future, not too long, we can have the fans back in.

Q: (Christian Menath – Motorsport-Magazin.com) Question for Valtteri: you were talking a bit about the last lap. That must have been a pretty strange feeling because in the end you’re fighting or you’re helping your biggest competitor for the championship by risking your own result when you go that fast. How strange was that situation and was it ever considered to swap this position? 
VB: It didn’t feel strange to me, these kind of situations, sometimes in racing, you just get into these situations and you have to deal with them and I was just trying to calculate the risk. I really wanted to win the race, obviously, and think about the points for the team but with the circumstances and the issue we had with reliability concerns obviously you don’t want to take too much risk by trying to find two tenths every lap by hammering the kerbs and then I get a DNF on the last lap, that would not be ideal so I tried to do the best I could really and there wasn’t for sure no discussion, at least, that I know about swapping position and in that way securing more points or anything. I don’t know, I wouldn’t think so.

Q: (Chris Medland – Racer) Couple of questions for Lando: would you just explain what you were told on that final lap, obviously setting fastest lap? Did the team just say give it everything or were you given a target? What instruction did you get? And secondly, you started third and were fighting near the front on the fringe of the podium, could you notice a difference in your own personal confidence racing with these at the front throughout? 
LN: I think the last few laps were… it was kind of difficult because initially I only knew about Sergio having the penalty and I was P4 at that point I think, or P5 and obviously I still wanted P4 and I had pace and he was on the outside so I initially had to judge what risk I would take to try and get past him or whether I would hold position and I would just get the position freely through his penalty but I had much better pace and Carlos was right behind me so Carlos would have gone for every move he could have done, just like he did. So I knew I had to get past him but at that point I still didn’t know about Lewis having the penalty either so I was happy to get past him in the first place and I had clean air which was good for me and I could start putting down some decent laps and start catching Charles a little bit but he was still too far ahead to really catch. And then I think it was with three laps to go that I got told that Lewis had the five second penalty and yeah, we used the rest of our engine modes and obviously I pushed it a bit more in terms of track limits and using the kerbs, because like Valtteri said, it’s quite harsh on the car and when you can, you don’t need to take the risks and you may be backing off a little bit but we didn’t really have any concerns so while I was told I could get on with it and really push it and I took the risks that I needed to but yeah, on the final lap I managed to close in, I don’t know what it was, over a second and a bit on Lewis so that was a key. I got the podium on the final lap of the race. If I was any further back or I didn’t put in as good as a lap, I wouldn’t be here so thankfully we have the car which was quick enough, that I was able to close that… because you know, if it was this time last year I wouldn’t have had the car capable of doing so so it shows our improvement as a team and improvement to the upgrades and development over the winter.

Q: And Lando, how were confidence levels out there? 
LN: It’s cool to be able to race at the front, especially off the grid. I was a little bit nervous, I’m not going to lie. All of my practice starts went pretty terribly. I hit anti-stall on every single one actually so I was dreading it, kind of, but I knew Max was on the medium so I knew I had a good chance against him and looking back at last year we were the best starters of the whole grid. I was confident, still, at the same time but lacking a bit of confidence in myself and not making sure I hit anti-stall again and yeah, I had a good start compared to Max and similar to Valtteri, I think. So it was high enough, I had confidence in what I needed to do and achieve and racing with these guys, but at the same time we knew from the very beginning who we were really racing against, even though it ended up as it did I think we definitely weren’t as quick as the Ferrari or the Racing Point today so… We managed to beat three of them, two Racing Points and one of the Ferraris, so I’m very happy with that.

Q: (Mark Hughes – The Race) Valtteri, I just wanted to ask you about the end of that first stint. The safety car came out (lap 26), what sort of shape were you in at that point because Lewis was pulling… How far away were you from your planned stop and what shape were you in with tyres? 
VB: Ah yes, we stopped at that point, yes. Actually we were not that far from stopping, I think, less than ten laps from the planned stop lap so just about to try and lift the pace. Obviously with the big gap I had at the beginning I could really manage the first stint and make sure that… but from my point of view, the best thing to do for me to win the race was to go as long as possible, so I tried to manage quite a lot in the beginning and middle of the stint and towards the end I would have slept. I would have had a bit more margin to raise the pace so everything was pretty much under control, like I felt really towards the end of the race but just (unclear) every single safety car there’s always a risk. You only need one lock-up or a poor restart and you can lose everything. But at that point, yeah, everything was still OK.

Q: (Alex Kalinauckas – Autosport) Charles, you were behind Seb in the opening practice sessions and then got ahead through qualifying and then obviously in the race today. Was there anything particularly that you changed across the weekend? 
CL: No, to be honest on Friday I haven’t been driving well but I was just driving, I was not very happy with the car either but the driving was not well, where I wanted it to be, so I was quite hard after Friday, and then I was quite a lot happier with both the car and my driving on Saturday morning and put everything together in qualifying so I was happy with this. And then the same for the race pace on Friday afternoon, which was pretty bad, actually very bad on my side and Seb’s one was quite a lot better so I worked hard but I drove a lot better today so yeah, there’s quite a bit on driving from Friday to Saturday but also on the car so we just put everything together for Saturday.

Q: (Ben Hunt – The Sun) Got a bit of a food theme thing going on here. Lando, a picture of the salmon, couldn’t do it this time round due to social distancing and all that. … with the photo? 
LN: Ah. Yet to be decided. We definitely have to do something but it’s obviously got to be within a few rules. Maybe some photoshop will come into it and make it look like something but we’re not going to do the same as last year, we’re thinking of something new, because I definitely want to share this salmon with the team and remember it so that’s the reason I always do it. We can always look back at it and remember the good moments. Something is going to be happening but not decided on what it’s going to be yet.

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Mercedes feared ‘instant kill’ gearbox issue for Bottas

Valtteri Bottas says he managed to “dodge many bullets” en route to Austrian Grand Prix victory as Mercedes feared an early gearbox issue would turn into an “instant kill”.

Bottas led all 71 laps of the race in Austria to score victory in the 2020 season opener, but faced race-long pressure from Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton, as well as managing recurring gearbox problems.

Mercedes’ engineers were heard regularly warning Hamilton and Bottas to stay off the kerbs during the race, with the issue emerging early on.

“The situation was pretty serious, right away from the start,” Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff said when asked by Motorsport.com about the issues.

“We saw it started with issues on Valtteri’s car, but it was something that can be an instant kill. Then it started on Lewis’s car. We didn’t really know what it was.

“We know that it was somehow linked to vibration and agitation of the car. That is why we advised them very early on to keep off the kerbs.

“At the certain stage, it looked like we would not finish the race with both cars. So we were trying to really cruise home.”

Bottas felt comfortable in the lead until the late safety cars bunched the field, allowing the likes of Alexander Albon, Charles Leclerc and Lando Norris to all apply pressure from behind.

“Winning a Formula 1 grand prix is never easy, but today definitely didn’t come easy at all,” Bottas said.

“In the first stint, obviously Lewis lost a bit of time getting through the Red Bulls, but there was quite a bit of margin so the first stint wasn’t actually that bad.

“I could really control and really make sure that we made it to the target stop lap, and try and do the right things with the tyres and do the right thing with the car.

“The second stint, there was never like massive pressure, because I was in front and I could really make sure I could make it to the end. There were all these variables in the race.

“We had these issues with some sensors that were getting damaged by the vibration of the pretty harsh kerbs here, so I had to avoid the kerbing, which obviously costs quite a bit of lap time.

“When you’re in the lead, one safety car after another, but the last one I was like ‘come on, again?’, because in the lead you just want things to be constant and trouble-free.

“There were many variables. I managed to dodge many bullets today and get the win.”

Bottas was able to perfect the race restart each time to keep Hamilton at bay behind, but admitted he ran close to the safety car in the final return to green flag running.

“I think I’m starting to master the restarts on this track because I had so many today,” Bottas said.

“But you always try to do something different each time.

“I think the last one was a bit on the limit with the safety car line one, crossing with the safety car, but otherwise really good.”

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Sebastian Vettel happy he 'only spun once'

Sebastian Vettel was so dissatisfied with the performance of his SF1000 that he said he was glad to have “only spun once”.

It has been a difficult weekend for Ferrari and Vettel especially after he missed out on Q3 for the Austrian Grand Prix, leaving him to start from P11.

But a chaotic opening race of the season presented plenty of opportunities, after all Vettel’s team-mate Charles Leclerc was able to finish P2 behind race winner Valtteri Bottas.

But it was a far less triumphant afternoon for Vettel who on Lap 32 only went and hit his replacement at Ferrari for 2021, Carlos Sainz.

DRAMA AT THE RESTART

Vettel tries to get past Sainz at Turn 3, there's contact and the Ferrari man spins 🔄

The German drops to P15 #AustrianGP 🇦🇹 #F1 pic.twitter.com/u9Js3sxYgv

— Formula 1 (@F1) July 5, 2020

Get your hands on the official Ferrari 2020 collection via the Formula 1 store

Vettel would be sent into a spin, but ultimately recovered to finish P10, remarkably for the first time in his career.

But the four-time World Champion was just happy that it was his only spin of the race.

“To be honest I’m happy I spun only once,” he said after the race.

“It was tight, it was Carlos, I think, one of the McLarens, I lost the rear and to be honest, I lost it a couple of times – I’m glad I only spun once.

“It was quite entertaining at the end, but the not the result I wanted.”

Despite the podium for Leclerc, Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto said it was a sad weekend for the team.

He did hint though at some upgrades possibly arriving for the Styrian Grand Prix to take place at the Red Bull Ring next weekend, when Hungary had previously been pinpointed as the first race where new parts would be available for the team.

“We can be happy for the podium but sad for the performance,” he said.

“Yesterday was really bad and after such a bad quali you’re not expecting a good race.

“I’m happy the way the team has worked through the weekend when you are in such a bad situation it can be hard for the team – the team were united and I’m proud. For next week we’ll analyse the data, maybe bring updates, we are working hard at Maranello on updates… we will see.

“Without looking at last year and comparing it, we’re qualifying a second off [pole] and losing seven-eight tenths on the straights. I’m quite disappointed, but very surprised by the difference and it’s up to us to understand how it’s happened.

“Compared to last year, the engine performance is not as good as it was.”

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Norris thought he had ‘fudged’ podium shot

McLaren’s Lando Norris says he thought he’d “fudged” his charge to a debut Formula 1 podium during a “few moments” of a chaotic Austrian Grand Prix.

Starting from third following Lewis Hamilton’s three-place grid drop for a yellow flag infringement in qualifying, Norris dropped to fifth in the opening laps.

Late five-second penalties for Hamilton for contact with Alexander Albon, and for Sergio Perez for pitlane speeding, Norris found himself in podium contention in the closing laps.

An aggressive move on the Racing Point at Turn 3 gave him some clean air, which he used to post the fastest lap of the race on the final lap and end up within 4.8s of Hamilton at the chequered flag – netting him a first F1 podium in third by just two tenths on corrected time. 

Commenting on the race, Norris said: “I’m speechless. I think there’s a few points in the race where I thought I kind of fudged it up quite a bit.

“I dropped to fifth with a few laps to go, Carlos [Sainz] was almost going to get past me.

“But I didn’t give up and I managed to get past Perez and ended up on the podium.

“I mean it’s a long race, but I kept going and kept giving my all, [I had] a pretty cool last few laps trying to push as much as I can. I am a bit out of breath, but I am so happy and proud of the team.

“Considering where we were a few years ago to now, I think it’s a pretty good achievement, so I’m proud to be part of it.”

Norris says he was aware of Perez’s penalty, but not Hamilton’s at the time, and his hard pass on the Racing Point was more down to being vulnerable to attack from behind owing to struggles following cars.

“The last few laps, when I had to get past Checo, I knew he had a five second penalty but nothing more than that,” he added.

“I always seemed to struggle when I was close to the cars ahead and more vulnerable to the guys behind.

“So I knew – not just because of Lewis, because I didn’t know at the time [he had a penalty], I knew I had to try to get past him.

“And then when the Lewis penalty came, I knew I had to turn it up a little bit.”

McLaren had to lay off around 1200 of its staff across its company during the coronavirus-forced lockdown having been hit hard by the financial fallout wrought by the pandemic.

All of that came months after a member of its race team tested positive for COVID-19 on the eve of the Australian Grand Prix, which led to its withdrawal from the race and ultimately the outright cancellation of the event.

Team boss Andreas Seidl noted that there was “nothing better” than Norris’ result for the team after such a “difficult period”.

“Obviously I’m just proud to be honest to be part of the team today,” Seidl told Sky Sports F1.

“There could be nothing better for the entire team, especially after this difficult period, and such a result to get P3 and P5 I think, it’s simply unbelievable for the entire team.”

 

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Christian Horner hoping for a Lewis Hamilton 'apology'

Red Bull principal Christian Horner is expecting Lewis Hamilton to apologise for again making contact with Alex Albon when he was in podium contention.

The Safety Car had returned to the pits following Kimi Raikkonen’s retirement, and Albon went about taking P2 away from Hamilton.

Both Mercedes were struggling with gearbox sensor issues and were told to stay off the kerbs.

And using DRS Albon had a run on Hamilton down into Turn 4, shades of the classic Brazilian Grand Prix of last year.

Based on Hamilton's reaction, he's not at fault for the incident with Albon. #F1 | #AustrianGP pic.twitter.com/rNdZnXsvY4

— JJ (@TomcatNASCAR_2) July 5, 2020

But just like what happened at Interlagos back in November, Hamilton and Albon collided with the Red Bull man sent into the gravel and to the back of the pack, once again ending his hopes of a first podium finish.

Hamilton was given a five-second penalty, meaning he dropped from P2 to P4, whilst Albon would retire from the race shortly before the end.

After their first coming together back in Brazil Hamilton apologised for the incident, and Horner is hoping for another one.

“It’s been one of those days, this sport can be pretty brutal sometimes and it feels like today has been one of those days,” he told Sky F1.

“Alex drove a good race, he didn’t deserve that, five seconds [penalty] doesn’t do anything for him.

“He could have won that race, strategically we had made the right call to have gone on to the soft tyres, he was in a strong position.

“Twice in three races, you’d start to think he’s got something in for him.

“There was a very similar incident the other way around where Alex squeezed him but gave him enough room at the start of the race.

“You can say that [you need to be patient], but he got the job done, the pass was made, it wasn’t like he was on the entry or whatever, so what overtake is safe at the end of the day?

“I doubt Lewis was every going to wave him past, so we had to use that grip advantage [of the soft tyres] and the grip is in the corners.

“So he has done that. It was just a misjudgement by Lewis at the end of the day, it would be good if he apologised for it.”

Horner said the problem which caused Albon to retire late on was a “totally different” issue to the one which had earlier handed team-mate Max Verstappen a DNF.

“No, it looks something totally different, it looks like something on the power unit side with Alex,” he said.

“But we don’t know whether that’s a result of the knock that he’s had in the trip through the gravel, so we need to get the car back.

“We turned the engine off as a precaution.”

Asked for any positives from the weekend, Horner replied: “That it’s over.

“Coming out with zero points having been in a position to challenge for a victory with Max early on, again we got the tyre call right there and he would have had a really competitive afternoon.

“And for Alex to come away with zero points, in what is going to be a shortened season, feels pretty brutal.

“The positives are we were able to put together a competitive race, but we have some pace to find before next weekend, some work to do, and we will come back in a weeks’ time to try and do a bit better.”

Hamilton has since said that he thought the crash was a “racing incident”.

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‘Stand by’ Justin Allgaier ready for starring role at IMS

Justin Allgaier knew this day was possible, but it still caught him off-guard when Hendrick Motorsports called on him as a relief driver this weekend in the NASCAR Cup Series.







When NASCAR restarted its season in May after a nearly two-month hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many teams went about designating a “relief driver” in case one of their regular drivers ended up contracting the disease or was placed under a precautionary quarantine.

Allgaier, who drives fulltime in the Xfinity Series for JR Motorsports, had agreed to the role with HMS and on Friday afternoon he got the call.

Seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson and his wife, Chandra, had tested positive for COVID-19 and Allgaier was needed to drive Johnson’s No. 48 Chevrolet in Sunday’s Brickyard 400.

Until Johnson is medically cleared and completes NASCAR’s protocols to return to action, Allgaier could see several starts with Johnson’s team.

“I was honored when they called as asked me to be that guy. I looked at other drivers that have had fill-in rolls in the past and they’ve all done a great job with it. Especially at Hendrick Motorsports, they had a plan in place to make the drivers comfortable, make sure the drivers are fast,” Allgaier said Saturday following the Xfinity race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

“That resonates with me as a driver because you’re already on pins and needles when you’re filling in for someone. Even before the pandemic and since, they have had a set of my gear in the hauler. That way I can jump in and drive any of their cars.

“They unloaded the car last night to make sure my stuff was inside of it. (Sunday) morning I’ll have to jump in and make sure that I’m comfortable before they roll through tech.”

Allgaier always understood the situation was possible but until Johnson’s announcement Friday no driver in any of NASCAR’s top divisions had a confirmed coronavirus diagnosis.

“I’ve been sitting every week on stand-by for HMS. They’ve been extremely helpful in that regard on my end. They have a back-up plan for not only myself but for all of their guys,” he said. “So, I’ve sat every week and to be honest, I thought it was kind of crazy.

“I really didn’t expect this opportunity to come. When I got the phone call (Friday) it was about 10 minutes before all of you found out. I couldn’t ask for a better team.

“I’m excited in one aspect, but on the other side of this we’re thinking about Jimmie and his whole family. No matter what happens (Sunday) on the race track, we want to see Jimmie get healthy and see him back at the race track as soon as possible.”

Still, this could prove an unexpected bonus for Allgaier.

Johnson is retiring from fulltime competition in NASCAR at the conclusion of the 2020 season and HMS has yet to hire a replacement for Johnson.

A potential audition? 

Allgaier, 34, has 11 wins in the Xfinity Series and has finished has high as third in the series standings (three different times). He has also made 76 starts in the Cup series, virtually all with smaller, unfunded teams with a best finish of eighth at Bristol, Tenn., in 2015.

“I would say that the list for potential drivers for the No. 48 is long. I don’t know where I fit on that list, but I’ve been very lucky to have a great relationship with Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet, be a part of their program, driving in some of the wheel-force tests for them, Allgaier said.

“For me, this is 100 percent about what I can give. It’s going to be important to go and do what I can do. If an opportunity were to come out of that for me to go somewhere, I would love for that opportunity.

“On the other side of that, I have a great relationship with my team. There’s a lot of moving pieces on that puzzle that would have to be addressed.”

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