Hinchcliffe’s Indy woes continue with quals crash

INDIANAPOLIS — James Hinchcliffe spent 12 months plotting his Indianapolis 500 comeback, but the final chapter has been put on hold for at least one more day — and possibly another year. Hinchcliffe crashed during his first qualifying attempt Saturday and then couldn’t find enough speed in his backup to bump his way into the protected top 30 starting positions for “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.” His final shot to make the 33-driver field is Sunday when six drivers, including two-time Formula One world champion Fernando Alonso, will go for…

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Alonso fails to qualify for Indy, down to Shootout

INDIANAPOLIS — McLaren’s return to the Indianapolis 500 neared a total collapse after Fernando Alonso failed to lock himself into the field on the first day of qualifying. The two-day qualifying process guaranteed a spot in the May 26 race for the fastest 30 cars in Saturday qualifying. It took Alonso four attempts to crack the benchmark, but he was knocked out by Graham Rahal, the final driver to make his run as the pistol was fired to signal the end of the session. The two-time Formula One world champion…

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Daly paces ‘Fast Friday’ as others seek speed

INDIANAPOLIS — The pressure of making the Indianapolis 500 amped up considerably on “Fast Friday” as teams desperately searched for the speed needed to book a spot in the biggest race of the year. The two-day qualifying process for the 33 spots in the field begins Saturday, and the final day of preparation permitted a boost in horsepower and teams trimmed their cars to the razor’s edge for every tenth of a second on the clock. Conor Daly posted the biggest number of the week — 231.704 mph in the…

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Can Mercedes keep its super-team together?

Since the start of 2014, Mercedes has won 75 percent of the grands prix it has entered. It has secured five constructors’ championships, five drivers’ championships and, since the start of the 2019 season, five one-two victories from five races. If it isn’t the greatest F1 team of all time, it’s quickly becoming the starting point of the conversation. Quick links: Nothing left to prove | Wolff as F1 CEO? | The Lewis-Ferrari rumours | The biggest challenge facing Mercedes Only Ferrari has dominated the sport for a similar length…

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Damon, Bale named honorary Indy 500 starters

On May 26, the Greatest Spectacle in Racing will take the green flag — actually, two of them — as they are waved by a pair of Hollywood’s biggest stars. Matt Damon and Christian Bale will serve as the honorary starters for the 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500, Indianapolis Motor Speedway announced Thursday. How do you like them apples, Batman? This fall the Academy Award winners will co-star in the auto racing film “Ford v. Ferrari,” the story of the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race, when…

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Penske expects Castroneves back at Indy in 2020

INDIANAPOLIS — Roger Penske expects Helio Castroneves to race in next year’s Indianapolis 500. The most successful IndyCar team owner in history told The Associated Press on Wednesday that when the three-time race winner made the full-time switch to sports cars last year, Penske made a three-year commitment to bring the Brazilian back to Indianapolis for a chance at a record-tying fourth win. Castroneves won the 500 in 2001, 2002 and 2009. He also finished second in 2003, 2014 and 2017 and was third in 2007. The 44-year-old Castroneves has…

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Is Mercedes’ dominance damaging F1?

The Spanish Grand Prix saw Mercedes take its fifth one-two victory in as many races this year while Ferrari failed to perform despite bringing a raft of updates to its car. With the championship looking increasingly one-sided, we assembled our panel of F1 journalists — Maurice Hamilton, Laurence Edmondson, Kate Walker and Nate Saunders — to chew the fat over the main talking points from Barcelona. Is Mercedes’ current level of dominance causing long-term damage to Formula One? Lewis Hamilton took his third victory of the season at the Spanish…

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Mercedes fastest as Callum Ilott crashes hard on F1 debut

BARCELONA, Spain — Mercedes’ domination of the Circuit de Catalunya continued into the first day of this week’s in-season test in Spain as Valtteri Bottas topped the timesheets by 1.711s. The two-day test, taking place at the scene of Mercedes’ one-two victory at Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix, is the last chance for the teams to take part in unrestricted testing this season. All ten teams are present and the focus was split between gathering data on test parts and preparation for the next round in Monaco. Bottas’ fastest time appeared…

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WWE star Cesaro pushes F1 car dimensions to the limit

BARCELONA, Spain — It’s not often you see a 6-5, 230lb athlete trying to squeeze into the tight confines of a Formula One car. A note to any trying it in future: it can be done, you just have to rip the entire seat and headrest out first. Swiss-born WWE star Cesaro, a six-time tag team champion, managed to get into the cockpit of a Toro Rosso — albeit, slightly modified — ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix, where he was a guest of Formula One throughout the weekend. What…

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Haas held ‘clear the air’ talks between drivers after Spanish Grand Prix clash

BARCELONA, Spain — Guenther Steiner is confident Haas’ drivers have no ill feelings towards each other after clashing in the closing stages of the Spanish Grand Prix. Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean were fighting for seventh position after a late Safety Car period. After the race restart, Grosjean was forced wide at Turn 1 when Magnussen passed him on the inside. A couple of laps later, Magnussen and Grosjean made contact at the same corner, again prompting the Frenchman to drive across the run-off area. Grosjean eventually lost pace and…

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