Sebastian Vettel: Front three too fast for us

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Sebastian Vettel has admitted that the drivers who finished on the podium today were too fast for Red Bull, lamenting the Pirelli tires for his own lack of pace.

Vettel had qualified in P2 and held position until the first round of stops, but he eventually lost out to Fernando Alonso, Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa to finish 4th. Despite trying to make a three-stop strategy work, the defending world champion was forced into pitting one further time due to the tires.

“I think we can be happy with fourth today,” Vettel said in a team statement. “The first three cars were a little bit too fast for us and regarding looking after the tyres, they did a better job.”

After missing out on the podium today, Vettel encouraged his team to work on improving the tire wear of the RB9 car, suggesting that its pace was beyond what the Pirellis would allow.

“We need to catch up; we’re not going the pace of the car, we’re going the pace of the tires and obviously we do something to make the tires wear more.”

He did, however, admit that the team’s 22 point haul was good, and it has ensured that Red Bull remain at the top of the constructors’ championship.

“We got some good points today, although of course we wanted more. The start was good, we then tried to hold on with a three-stop strategy, but had to change to four stops.”

Vettel will be disappointed to have failed to challenge for the win in Spain, finishing 38 seconds behind Alonso. Red Bull will be working to return to winning ways in Monaco, where they have won for the last three years.

IndyCar Grand Prix of Alabama final practice report

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Will Power posted the fastest lap in the third practice session for the Grand Prix of Alabama with a speed of 122.953 mph.

Rookie Robert Wickens (122.552 mph) was second fast, foretelling a continuation of his incredible rookie season.

Scott Dixon (122.237), Ryan Hunter-Reay (122.231) and Alexander Rossi (122.106) rounded out the top five.

The practice was interrupted several times for incidents. 

Ed Jones spun off track in turn five after locking up his brakes with 30 minutes remaining in practice three. He was able to drive back to the pits under his own power.

With 20 minutes still on the clock, Jordan King took a trip into the fence after posting a fastest lap of 121.753 mph. He sustained substantial left side damage to his car and came back to the pits on the hook.

“I’m annoyed really,” King said afterward on the live stream at IndyCar.com. “I slightly locked the inside front, then just stayed off onto the grass and that was it. But I wasn’t really even pushing that hard.”

With two minutes remaining, Charlie Kimball lost power and pulled off the track, bringing an end to the practice session.

Dixon also had an off-road excursion.