In the round-up: Mercedes did not expect engine customers McLaren to disrupt involved in their race plan at the weekend after comfortably beating the team the week before.
Mercedes surprised by McLaren paceLando Norris hounding his driver Valtteri Bottas in the second half of the Austrian Grand Prix after Bottas jumped him as they took their pit stops.
Norris had to serve a five-second penalty during his stop, which cost him a position, but he had the pace to stay within a few seconds of Bottas all the way to the end. He also out-qualified the Mercedes drivers on Saturday and came just short of taking pole.
“I think it was a surprise to see Lando in the shoot-out for pole,” said Shovlin. “He was awfully close to getting pole.”
Shovlin was convinced that the pace of the McLaren, which uses an engine supplied by Mercedes, was down to the team making progress between the two races at the Red Bull Ring.
“We know that any deficit there isn’t on the power unit side. So I think it was a bit of a surprise to see them as strong as they were, and even in the race today, we were racing them. Whereas last week they were doing their own thing and we got through them rather quickly and there was a big gap.”
More penalties handed out in FIA F3
The results of the support races in Austria were decided long after the chequered flag on Saturday, and the same happened on Sunday as a raft of post-race penalties came in.
Jenzer’s Johnathan Hoggard had 30 seconds added to his race time for repeated track limits violations, his team mate Filip Ugran, Trident’s Jack Doohan and HWA’s Oliver Rasmussen all got docked 10s, and Charouz’s Enzo Fittipaldi was penalised 5s for the same offence.
This shuffled up the order at the bottom of the field, as did a 10s penalty to Hitech’s Jak Crawford for colliding with Doohan and a 5s penalty for MP’s Timen van der Helm after he spun around HWA’s Rafael Villagomez.
Ferrari junior Arthur Leclerc crashed out in the middle of the race, collecting Trident’s Clement Novalak in the process. After assessing video footage of the crash, the stewards determined Leclerc was wholly to blame for the incident and handed him a three-place grid penalty for the next race he contests.
Newgarden relieved to end win drought
Josef Newgarden took fastest lap for the first IndyCar race in Detroit, was on pole for the second and led the most laps, then repeated that feat at Road America but came away without winning. That changed at Mid-Ohio as once again he was fastest in qualifying and led for longer than anyone else, but this time converted it into a landmark victory.
It came exactly 50 years on from his Penske team’s first win in America’s leading open-wheel series, and was the outfit’s long overdue first victory of the season.
“I’d start each stint and feel like we had everything under control,” a relieved Newgarden said.
“You get to the back end of it, and I felt like I was starting to fall apart, so it was really hard to hang on. I had my wing man, Tim [Cindric, Penske president] coaching me all the way, just making sure I knew what was up.
“This team has been doing the job. Everyone has been giving me a hard time, asking what’s up with us not winning a race. But I don’t think these people at Penske could have done anything different. We’ve been in the game almost every race, had great performance. It’s great to seal a win here finally.”
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Notable posts from Twitter, Instagram and more:
Cars spinning sideways and more ending up in the grass.
— NTT INDYCAR SERIES (@IndyCar) July 5, 2021
— McLaren (@McLarenF1) July 5, 2021
Lightning strikes twice! ⚡⚡
— Formula 3 (@FIAFormula3) July 5, 2021
New tyre guy in town, he looks familiar. 👀 pic.twitter.com/A62UQCBnxU
— Aston Martin Cognizant F1 Team (@AstonMartinF1) July 5, 2021
— matt crews (@MattMusicCityGP) July 5, 2021
- Find more official F1 accounts to follow in the F1 Twitter Directory
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Happy birthday to John H, Mitz1111, Sebsronnie, Elliot Horwood and Isaac Mwale!