Vettel set to return to site of first win

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Sebastian Vettel is looking forward to returning to Monza – the site of his first grand prix victory – next weekend for the final round of the European season at the Italian Grand Prix.

Vettel claimed his maiden win at the historic circuit back in 2008 when driving for Scuderia Toro Rosso. His win was part of an incredible season for the Faenza-based team that saw them outperform ‘parent’ team Red Bull in the constructors’ championship. In 2009, Vettel moved to Red Bull and with them has claimed three consecutive titles since 2010.

“This track brings back great memories for me, mainly from my first win there in 2008 with Toro Rosso,” Vettel said. “I can’t describe the feeling of standing on the top of the podium for the first time, and Monza was one of the best places to experience it because of the thousands of passionate fans that stand beneath, it gives you goose bumps.”

The importance of Monza to Vettel was evident at the 2010 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the final round of the season. The German driver went into the race in third place, but still with a chance of taking the title. His engineer had instructed him to write “MONZA” on his balaclava as a reminder of his debut win, with the outsider eventually claiming the first of his championships come the checkered flag.

However, Monza has traditionally been a ‘bogey track’ for Red Bull, claiming just one win at the circuit in 2011. Vettel will be hoping to add to this figure next weekend, but his bumper championship lead will certainly make failing to do so less of a disappointment should he miss out on a third win at the circuit.

Racing world reacts to Danica Patrick’s Daytona, Indy double news

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Here’s a sampling of quotes and social media reaction to Danica Patrick’s news announced earlier Friday that this would be her last full-time season as a driver, and that she’ll race in the Daytona 500 and Indianapolis 500 only in 2018.

This ends a full-time stretch in the top flights of NASCAR and IndyCar. She was in NASCAR from 2012 through 2017, and IndyCar from 2005 through 2011.

Her’s her own post on Twitter and Instagram.

Well…. 2018 Daytona 500 and Indy 500 here I come. 🙌🏼

A post shared by Danica Patrick (@danicapatrick) on

IMS President J. Douglas Boles

“We’re glad Danica plans to return to the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil next May,” IMS President J. Douglas Boles said. “Her final career start will make what’s already shaping up to be a terrific Month of May even more interesting for our fans.

“It’s also fitting that Danica is wrapping up her career at the place and in the race where she became a household name and captured the world’s attention in 2005 – the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Indianapolis 500. We’re looking forward to seeing her back in an Indy car next May alongside all of the tremendous drivers of the Verizon IndyCar Series.”