Red Bull Formula One driver Vettel celebrates taking the pole position in the qualifying session of the Italian F1 Grand Prix at the Monza circuit

Vettel admits that pole position was “a surprise”


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.

Pippa Mann, breast cancer survivors paint IMS’ start/finish line pink

Photo: IndyCar
Photo: IndyCar
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We’ve written a fair bit on MotorSportsTalk about the efforts Pippa Mann has done in working with the Susan G. Komen Foundation for breast cancer awareness. Susan G. Komen has supported Mann’s last two runs at the Indianapolis 500, when she’s driven the No. 63 Honda for Dale Coyne Racing.

This being National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the awareness hit a new level with Mann working alongside breast cancer survivors to paint the start/finish line at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s iconic Yard of Bricks pink for the day.

IMS president Doug Boles also joined in the opportunity.

View a selection of photos and social posts below. More is linked here, via

Mercedes set to clinch F1 constructors’ championship in Russia

SOCHI, RUSSIA - OCTOBER 08:  Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP speaks with members of the media in the paddock during previews to the Formula One Grand Prix of Russia at Sochi Autodrom on October 8, 2015 in Sochi, Russia.  (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
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For the second year in a row, Mercedes is poised to wrap up the Formula 1 constructors’ championship in Sochi at this weekend’s Russian Grand Prix.

Mercedes won its first F1 teams’ title in Russia last year, having returned to the sport as a works constructor in 2010. When it last enjoyed such status in the 1950s, there was no championship for the teams.

Just as it did in 2014, Mercedes has dominated proceedings in F1 this season, winning all but three races and sweeping to eight one-two finishes to leave drivers Lewis Hamilton (pictured) and Nico Rosberg battling for the drivers’ title for the second straight year.

Now, Mercedes seeks the knock-out blow in the constructors’ title race by officially wrapping it up in Sochi this weekend.

To do so, the team must simply outscore rivals Ferrari by three points this weekend. The lead currently stands at 169 points, with 215 still on offer. After Sochi, there will be 172 remaining.

“We return to Russia with positive memories from last season, when the team sealed the first constructors’ title for Mercedes-Benz with a one-two finish,” team boss Toto Wolff said.

“A repeat performance in Sochi would be fantastic and this is absolutely the target – but we are under no illusions that it will come easy. The job is not done yet.”

The tire allocation for this weekend’s race could pose problems to Mercedes just as it did in Singapore, potentially allowing Ferrari to spoil the party and delay the victory celebrations at Brackley.

However, if the form book is to be trusted, Sochi could be playing host to another Mercedes party on Sunday night with a second world title in the bag for the Silver Arrows.