Korea F1 GP Auto Racing

Vettel: Room for improvement following practice

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Sebastian Vettel has conceded that there is room for improvement after finishing second in both practice sessions ahead of the Korean Grand Prix this weekend.

Vettel has dominated the past three grands prix, winning the last race in Singapore by over half a minute. Therefore, finishing second to Lewis Hamilton in both FP1 and FP2 came as something of a surprise, and the German driver admitted that there was still some time to be found.

“There is some room for improvement,” Vettel said. “It will be close with Mercedes; of course we’re not sure what others were doing with their fuel loads today, but it seems close ahead of tomorrow’s qualifying.”

Red Bull and Mercedes locked out the top four positions in both sessions on Friday as Ferrari and Lotus struggled to put up any sort of challenge. In the second practice session, less than two-tenths covered Hamilton, Vettel, Nico Rosberg and Mark Webber. For Webber, his challenge will be even greater thanks to a ten-place grid penalty he received in Singapore for picking up three reprimands for the stewards.

“We need to work on the balance,” Webber said. “It’s more about understanding the tires again and getting those working as well as possible. We need to work on both the short and long run balance, as obviously I’m going to be out of position after qualifying.”

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 IndyCar.com.

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.