Ryan Hunter-Reay penalized for conduct at IndyCar practice

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EDMONTON, Alberta — Ryan Hunter-Reay’s bid to win a fourth consecutive IndyCar Series race got off to a rough start in Edmonton.

Ryan Hunter-Reay, of the United States, prepares for the second practice session for IndyCar's Edmonton Indy auto race in Edmonton.  JASON FRANSON/ASSOCIATED PRESS
JASON FRANSON/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Ryan Hunter-Reay, of the United States, prepares for the second practice session for IndyCar's Edmonton Indy auto race in Edmonton.

The series points leader was penalized in Friday’s first practice session – he was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct – for running James Jakes wide on the course. Later, IndyCar said he’ll be dropped 10 spots on the starting grid because his Andretti Autosport team changed his engine after the July 8 race at Toronto.

“It was a rough day,” Hunter-Reay said, adding Jakes “was off the pace on the racing line.”

Jakes had slowed going into Turn 12 in front of Hunter-Reay, and Hunter-Reay responded by moving his car over and forcing Jakes off track. IndyCar initially said Hunter-Reay flashed an obscene gesture at Jakes, but replays showed he just waved his hand at the driver.

“I talked to him since. No big deal. It’s all sorted out. No problem at all,” Hunter-Reay said.

Hunter-Reay goes into Sunday’s race with a 34-point lead over Will Power in the standings.

Meanwhile, IndyCar on Friday said Scott Dixon, who is fourth in the standings, and Simona de Silvestro will also be penalized 10 spots on the starting grid because both arrived in Edmonton with their sixth different engine. New rules this year permit teams to use just five engines all season, and engines can only be changed after 1,850 miles without incurring a penalty.

FORMULA ONE: In Hockenheim, Germany, Michael Schumacher crashed near the end of a wet second practice for the German Grand Prix and was unhurt as he walked from his damaged Mercedes on Friday.

Pastor Maldonado, winner of the Spanish GP, ended with the fastest time.

Schumacher has won the German GP a record four times and was the last German driver to win his home race, in 2006, his last season with Ferrari. Mercedes is seeking its first win on home soil since 1954.

“The way I ended the second session was obviously not part of the plan and I’m sorry that my mistake has given my guys even more work to do this evening. I think that qualifying will probably be wet tomorrow, so today’s weather was useful in that respect,” the 43-year-old veteran said.

Heavy showers drenched the afternoon session that produced times more than 10 seconds slower than the first morning practice that was hit by occasional rain.

Jenson Button drove the fastest lap in that session, ahead of McLaren teammate Lewis Hamilton.

With light rain hitting the circuit on and off, Button set the pace with a lap of 1 minute, 16.595 seconds, edging Hamilton by .498 seconds. Maldonado’s best lap, by comparison, was 1:27.476.

Hamilton will be driving his 100th grand prix on Sunday.

Championship leader Fernando Alonso of Ferrari was third in the morning, ahead of Schumacher.

In the afternoon, Schumacher was next-to last in 23rd, while Alonso was 20th.

Mark Webber of Australia, second in the drivers’ standings, was 20th in the morning and ninth in the afternoon in his Red Bull.

Two-time defending champion Sebastian Vettel, who has yet to win a home race, was third in the afternoon in the second Red Bull, after finishing 12th in the morning.

“We couldn’t learn too much today, so we just got used to the conditions, as there may be rain tomorrow and also on Sunday. The forecast isn’t looking great,” Vettel said. “It would have been good to have got some dry running in, especially this afternoon to test a couple of things and see how the car feels.”


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