Sebastian Vettel may have claimed many records and accolades across the course of his Formula One career, but today was a first. His win at the Circuit of the Americas was in fact his first in the United States, meaning that he has now won at all but one of the circuits on the current calendar.
The German driver led all but two laps in Austin after starting from pole position, and he also set the fastest lap of the race late on to chalk up his 38th career victory, leaving him just three behind Ayrton Senna’s tally of wins.
After crossing the line to claim his eighth straight victory, Vettel did not hide his emotions over the radio.
“Speechless. I’m speechless,” he said. “We have to remember these days… We have to remember these days, because there’s no guarantee they will last forever… Enjoy them as long as they last. I love you guys. We have an incredible team spirit – incredible. I’m so proud of you. I love you.”
NBC analyst Steve Matchett was full of praise for the quadruple world champion, saying: “He is metronomically perfect. Lap after lap… in a way, Sebastian Vettel is a part of the machine – the Red Bull machine, and it’s a fantastic thing to behold.” F1 pit reporter Will Buxton echoed his sentiments, calling Vettel “the best of his generation.”
Vettel enters the final round of the season looking to equal Alberto Ascari’s record of nine consecutive wins and Michael Schumacher’s feat of winning thirteen races in one year.
Lewis Hamilton and Sebastien Vettel are the two most decorated drivers currently on the Formula 1 grid, with seven World Championships between them (four for Vettel, and three for Hamilton).
However, their paths have rarely crossed on the track, and only in 2010 did both drivers battle each for a World Championship in the same year. They also battled Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber that year, with Vettel emerging on top to claim his first World Championship.
However, the 2017 season sees Hamilton and Vettel in the two best cars on the grid, and they have gone head-to-head multiple times already this year, with each claiming two victories through the first five races. Currently, Vettel leads Hamilton 104-98 in the world championship, and the two men are developing a strong on-track rivalry.
Monaco Grand Prix coverage continues with FP3 and qualifying on Saturday. Full times are linked here.
In Friday’s NASCAR AMERICA Motorsports Special on NBCSN, we take you behind the scenes during F1 superstar Fernando Alonso’s qualifying runs for the Indy 500, including when he was on the pole for a brief period. He’ll eventually start fifth.
On Friday’s NASCAR AMERICA Motorsports Special on NBCSN, Parker Kligerman and his backseat driver, Kyle Petty, took to the iRacing simulator to make a mock run around Indianapolis Motor Speedway in preparation for Sunday’s Indianapolis 500.
They look at the challenges of IMS, as well as the challenges two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso will face in the first oval track race in his illustrious career. Alonso is among the favorites in the race and will take the green flag from the middle of Row 2 (fifth position).
Check out the above video.
Sunday is the biggest day of the year in motorsports, starting in the morning with Formula 1’s legendary Monaco Grand Prix.
Then, at Noon ET, it’s the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The final part of the tripleheader of racing is NASCAR’s longest race of the season, the 400-lap, 600-mile Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Newly-named NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2018 inductee Ken Squier gives you a great primer for what promises to be a memorable day around the world (see video above).