Vettel admits that pole position was “a surprise”

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Sebastian Vettel may have dominated proceedings at Monza so far this weekend, but the Red Bull driver has said that pole position came as something of a surprise considering Red Bull’s track record at Monza.

The team has traditionally struggled at high-speed circuits in the past, with both Vettel and teammate Mark Webber retiring from the Italian Grand Prix last season. However, Red Bull have bounced back this season by winning at other high-speed tracks such as Montreal and Spa, but Vettel was still not convinced they would carry this form over to Monza.

“It’s a special track, it’s always nice to come back here,” Vettel said, reflecting on his first win at the circuit in 2008.

“The car was fantastic so far, I think better than what we could expect. In the end, it’s a bit of a surprise to have both cars on the front row at a place where historically we’ve had bad years.”

As surprised as Vettel may have been, he finished quickest in all three qualifying sessions today, posting a fastest time of 1:23.755 late on to secure his fourth pole position.

This result also marks the fortieth pole position of Vettel’s career, with just two drivers having more starts from P1 than the German driver. Further to that, this is Red Bull’s fiftieth pole position since joining the sport in 2005.

Judging by his practice form, it is difficult to see Vettel not winning the race on Sunday, yet he will be all too aware of the pace of his teammate, Mark Webber, who joins the three-time world champion on the front row at Monza.

‘No desire’ for Lewis Hamilton to race in Indianapolis 500

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Lewis Hamilton has ruled out a future appearance in the Indianapolis 500, saying he has “no real plans” to do any serious racing once his time in Formula 1 is over.

Former teammate and current McLaren driver Fernando Alonso took part in the 101st running of the Indy 500 in May, qualifying fifth and running high up the order before retiring late on with an engine issue.

The F1-to-IndyCar crossover proved to be one of the biggest motorsport stories of the year, and has stirred the imagination of other drivers to make a similar step into other events in the future, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans which is known to be on Alonso’s radar as well as that of Haas racer Romain Grosjean.

Three-time F1 world champion Hamilton admired 2017 Indy 500 winner Takuma Sato’s victory ring when on the podium at the Japanese Grand Prix earlier this month, trying it on and joking it may spur him to enter the race to try and win the jewelry.

Speaking ahead of this weekend’s United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas, Hamilton stressed he made the comment in jest, saying he holds not interest in entering the ‘500.

“Honestly it hasn’t inspired me to do the Indy 500,” Hamilton said.

“I’ve always respected it and appreciated it. I got to watch part of it when Fernando did it which I thought was super exciting. I love the idea of drivers being able to do more than one series.

“Just the other day I got to drive an F1 car on an oval circuit which was interesting. I have a huge amount of respect for those drivers as it is quite scary approaching those banks at the speeds that they do.

“I personally don’t have a desire to drive it. Maybe one day I will go out and have some fun.

“I have a lot of opportunities to do those kinds of things, but no real plans to do anything serious.”

Hamilton has previously said he would like to try a NASCAR race for fun one day, but has made clear his plan after his F1 career is over is to distance himself from racing in order to pursue other interests.