Vettel pleased to have extended championship lead

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Sebastian Vettel may not have won for a second time around the streets of Monaco today, but the defending world champion is pleased to have extended his lead at the top of the championship after finishing P2 in the race.

“I think overall I’m very happy, pleased with the result,” Vettel said in the post-race press conference. “We know that it’s very difficult to overtake here.”

Vettel’s best chance to pass the Mercedes drivers came off the start, where he got away well and made a move down the inside of both Silver Arrows. However, he could not find a way past due to the lack of room, which he believes cost him dearly today.

“The start of the race, there was a fantastic start but no room. I think I could have gone past both Mercedes but I didn’t have the room and had to lift, and then Mark came. You expect two Silver Arrows in front of you; today they were silver buses going for a cruise!”

Mercedes did enter tire management mode early on, but this paid off as Rosberg waltzed to his first win in Monaco. However, Vettel did manage to get past Lewis Hamilton thanks to the safety car, and he was delighted with the team result that saw Mark Webber join him on the podium.

“I think we can be happy with the result. Great achievement for the team again. We seem to like this place in the last couple of years.”

Red Bull may have missed out on a fourth consecutive victory in Monaco, but Vettel is pleased to have extended his championship lead to 21 points after Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen could only finish 7th and 10th respectively.

IndyCar star Scott Dixon to test skills on ‘American Ninja Warrior’

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Scott Dixon will be the latest IndyCar driver to enter the realm of reality TV when he auditions in Indianapolis next week for “American Ninja Warrior.”

The four-time IndyCar champion, nicknamed “The Iceman,” thought it sounded fun when he was approached with the idea of trying out. As the competition has drawn near, Dixon is wondering what he got himself into.

“I feel a lot of pressure on this one,” Dixon told The Associated Press before heading to this weekend’s Honda Grand Prix of Alabama IndyCar race at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. “When it got to be about a month away, I figured I should start training for it, and it’s pretty hard stuff.”

IndyCar drivers Helio Castroneves, Josef Newgarden and Tony Kanaan all auditioned for the show, which follows competitors as they tackle a series of obstacle courses in qualifying rounds across the country. None of IndyCar’s contestants advanced out of the first round and neither did NASCAR driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Dixon’s appearance comes about the same time the Game Show Network has Sebastien Bourdais as a guest host for “Daily Draw” for the entire week leading into the month of May at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Most recently, Alexander Rossi and Conor Daly teamed to finish fourth on “The Amazing Race,” and James Hinchcliffe was a runner-up last year on “Dancing With The Stars.” Castroneves is a former “DWTS” winner.

Dixon, the 2008 winner of the Indianapolis 500 who ranks fourth on IndyCar’s all-time wins list, is accustomed to success. But the New Zealander not so sure he’s going to become the next great ninja. Most of his fitness work focuses on endurance training, and preparing for the obstacle course has taken Dixon out of his element.

“It’s not my wheelhouse,” he said. “This is agility kind of stuff and I’m looking forward to the process. I’m not looking forward so much to the failure, because it’s going to happen at some point, so I guess I just have to make the most of it and enjoy the experience.”

Dixon was famously robbed at gunpoint in the drive-thru of a Taco Bell last year hours after he won the pole for the Indy 500. Asked if his ninja training will have him better prepared should that happen again, he did not think so.

“I suppose if I run away it would help,” Dixon said. “But I don’t exactly have a ninja toolkit to get me through that situation.”