First Practice Session: 1:33.097, Position: 2, Laps: 22
Second Practice Session: 1:31.376, Position: 3, Laps: 28
“Today was good. FP1 is always a tricky one here in order to set the car up, because it’s so hot and the race is so cool so you have to be careful not to get carried away with what you learn during that first session. FP2 looked alright though. Normally the grip gets a lot better when the track cools down in the late afternoon, so that helped but the wind changed and the way the wind turned actually made the track slower. I think the low fuel pace looks competitive, but probably too competitive for now. I do like it but I expect Ferrari and Mercedes to sneak further ahead tomorrow. But in general it was a good day. We couldn’t really ask for more. The long runs looked like they had a bit more pace so that was probably a bit more representative. I think we did what we had to do today so I’m happy. Let’s make tomorrow a good one also.”
First Practice Session: 1:33.566, Position: 3, Laps: 23
Second Practice Session: 1:32.245, Position: 8, Laps: 18
“I was struggling a bit with the balance today and I didn’t quite have the grip I wanted from the rear of the car. The first practice you cannot really count or read into because of the high temperatures but now in FP2 I lost track time after hitting someone’s T-wing. It was unfortunate and to be honest I’m surprised how much damage it actually did to the floor. The team did a great job to change it so quickly and check the car over before I went back out on track. The other side of the garage looks quite competitive and now we need to review which configuration was better from the two cars and then apply that for tomorrow. My aim in FP3 will be to get as many laps in as possible to make up for the lost time today and then I will have a better idea of our target for the weekend.”
Headline: Crossing the Divide
Big news from another camp this weekend with the announcement that Fernando Alonso is to race the Indy 500 this year and we wish him the best of luck at the Brickyard. The two-time champ isn’t the first sports star to have a crack at a different discipline, however, and from football stars who went motor racing to legends of track and field there have been plenty of multi-disciplinarians whose sporting overachievements make the rest of us feel just a bit inadequate. From our own sport two that spring to mind are of course the legendary John Surtees and the hugely inspirational Alex Zanardi, but here are a handful more …
- Jim Thorpe – Olympian, American Football, Baseball and Basketball
Although he hailed from an age before sports stars were finely-tuned specialists targeted towards mastering a specific set of skills, Jim Thorpe is rightly classified as one of the world’s finest sportsmen. Indeed so exceptional was the Native American member of the Sac and Fox Nation that when Thorpe competed at the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm, King Gustav V of Sweden told him, “Sir, you are the greatest athlete in the world.” Thorpe qualified for four events at the 1912 Games and scored gold in the pentathlon and the decathlon (the latter with a number of points that stood as a record for many years). The achievement was all the more notable as just before competing his tracks shoes were stolen and he won his medals using a pair of shoes of different sizes salvaged from a rubbish bin.
In addition to his Olympic exploits Thorpe played American football, baseball and basketball at professional level. This led to the great sadness of his career as after the Olympics he was found to have contravened its strict amateur ethic by getting paid for playing semi-pro baseball two years prior to the games. He was stripped of his medals and they were only returned in 1983 more than 30 years after Thorpe had died a penniless alcoholic.
- Lottie Dod – Wimbledon winner, archer, golfer
Lottie Dod was a British athlete who excelled at tennis, golf, archery, and field hockey. She’s most renowned for her tennis career, during which she won the ladies’ singles championship at Wimbledon five times in seven years, the earliest coming in 1887 when she was just 15. So dominant was Dod that in her entire tennis career she was beaten just five times. After quitting tennis, she switched to the new sport of field hockey in 1897, becoming an England international in 1899. She was equally accomplished in golf and archery. In 1904, she won the English national championships at golf, and after taking up archery, she secured a silver medal in the 1908 Olympic Games.
- CB Fry – Good at just about everything
Another of the Victorian age’s annoyingly gifted overachievers, Charles Burgess Fry equalled the world long jump record with a jump of 23’ 6½” (7.17m) in 1893. The story goes that he prepared for the event by smoking a cigar. He might also have gone to the first Olympic Games in 1896 but was too busy playing cricket for England in South Africa. In cricket he captained Sussex and England and scored more than 30,000 first-class runs during his career. Not enough? Fry also made a mark on the football pitch, turning pro with Southampton FC. He played his debut match against Tottenham Hotspur in December 1900 and earned his first international cap a few months later. In 1901 he played for Southampton in the FA Cup final against Sheffield United. Fry’s talents weren’t confined to the sports field. He was also a director of a training ship, a journalist, a deputy of the Indian delegation at the League of Nations and the story goes that at one point he was even offered the vacant throne of Albania. Now if that doesn’t make you feel inadequate…
- Fabien Barthez – Goalkeeper, GT champion
We’ll leave the days of yore behind and update this list with French sporting hero Fabien Barthez, the goalkeeping legend who swapped a career between the sticks for a successful one behind the wheel. Barthez enjoyed a glorious footballing career beginning at Toulouse, before winning the Champions League with Marseille. He joined AS Monaco, winning two Ligue 1 titles, and then moved to Manchester United. While at Old Trafford he won two Premier League titles in 2001 and 2003. He also shone on the international stage for France, winning the 1998 FIFA World Cup and 2000 UEFA European Championships. Barthez was a huge a motorsport fan however and upon retirement in 2007 he got behind the wheel in the French edition of the Porsche Carerra Cup. He scored his biggest racing achievement in 2013 winning the French GT Championship driving a Ferrari 458 alongside team-mate Morgan Moullin-Traffort and beating one Sébastien Loeb. The following year Barthez made his Le Mans debut finishing ninth and then last year he teamed up with former F1 driver Olivier Panis to found Panis Barthez Competition to race in the ELMS and at Le Mans where he finished in P8 in the LMP2 class.
- Nigel Mansell – F1 champion, Indycar champion, Australian Open golfer
The on-track exploits of ‘Our Nige’ are familiar to all – the Briton scored 31 grand prix victories for Williams and Ferrari, 28 other podium positions, took 32 poles and won the 1992 world championship. The following year he went Stateside and won the CART Indycar World Series at the first time of asking. However, Nigel was a dab hand at another sporting discipline – golf – and in 1988 he found himself at the Royal Sydney Golf Club waiting to tee-off in the first round of the Australian Open. Thanks to old mate Greg Norman, Mansell, who played off a handicap of 1.9, had been granted a wild card entry to the pro tournament. Despite a dodgy start in which he nearly clattered two spectators with his first drive, Mansell carded a respectable five-over par 77. His second round of 86 was less successful but not unexpected due to a pulled muscle in his left arm and heavy winds that swept across the course. It wasn’t Mansell’s only pro-tournament outing, however. Il Leone also had a crack at the Balearic Open in 1989 and the South Australian Open at Adelaide in 1992. He also attempted unsuccessfully to ply his trade on the European Seniors Tour.
- Deion Sanders – American Football and Baseball
The only man to play in a Super Bowl and World Series, Deion ‘Primetime’ Sanders managed to excel at two sports simultaneously, sometimes on the same day. Sanders won two Super Bowls, collected eight Pro Bowl selections and was named in the ‘90s team of the decade. He even managed to have a top 100 song in America, entitled ‘Prime Time’.