Vettel: Webber’s retirement a loss for all at Red Bull

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Sebastian Vettel has said that the retirement of Mark Webber at the end of the season will be a loss to him and Red Bull despite their relationship as teammates being frosty at the best of times.

The two have come together in a number of incidents dating back to Vettel’s Toro Rosso days back in 2007, and the final straw came at this year’s Malaysian Grand Prix when the German driver ignored team orders to pass Webber and take the win. Although he admitted that on a personal level he was not close with Webber, Vettel said that he would miss the Australian driver as a teammate.

“Obviously we didn’t have the best relationship on a personal level but I think in terms of working professionally together for the team it has been very strong,” Vettel said. “Both of us have tried very hard to improve the car and surely the fact that he will not be around next year will be a loss for the team, a loss for myself because it has been always a huge challenge.

“I’ve learned a lot from him and I can stand up straight and say that there were many times and many places where I benefited from him.”

As teammates, Vettel and Webber have claimed four of a possible five constructors’ championships and revelled in a dominance that has only been witnessed a handful of times in the history of the sport. Although the Australian driver has failed to match his younger and now quadruple-champion teammate, his retirement after this weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix will leave Red Bull requiring some adjustment in 2014 upon the arrival of Daniel Ricciardo from Toro Rosso.

Josef Newgarden wins pole for Grand Prix of Alabama

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With time running off the clock, Josef Newgarden lapped Barber Motorsports Park with a speed of 122.773 mph to win his third career pole and first on this track in the Grand Prix of Alabama.

Newgarden was .0128 seconds faster than teammate Scott Dixon in second.

Newgarden has two previous wins at Barber. He won last year’s edition of this race after starting seventh and in 2015 from fifth.

“I didn’t know if that was going to be enough,” Newgarden said after winning the pole.

“Team Chevy has done a good job,” Newgarden said. “They’ve really given us good power this weekend – good driveability. We’re going to need some fuel mileage tomorrow, which I think we’ll have. But it’s going to get mixed up with the rain.”

Dixon’s lap of 122.750 mph was not quite enough.

“I’m sure you could pick out a number of different things on a lap when it’s that close,” Power said about what made the slight difference between him and Newgarden. “A little mistake out of 9; a little lift here or there.”

Sebastien Bourdais (122.605 mph) qualified third, with Ryan Hunter-Reay (122.159) and James Hinchliffe (121.859) rounding out the top five.

Scott Dixon was the last driver in the top six.

Fast 12

Newgarden topped this chart with a speed of 123.475 mph.

He brought Power, James Hinchcliffe, Scott Dixon, Ryan Hunter-Reay, and Sebastien Bourdais along with him to the Fast 6.

Marco Andretti (122.480), Alexander Rossi (122.216), Simon Pagenaud (122.050), Robert Wickens (122.042), Zach Veach (121.784) and Ed Jones (120.984) failed to advance.

Round 1, Group 1

Newgarden posted the fastest single lap in round one, group one of qualification for the Grand Prix of Alabama with a speed of 122.550 mph.

Hunter-Reay, Hinchcliffe, Wickens, and Andretti also advance to the fast 12.

Taking the final slot was Jones with a speed of 119.835 mph after an off-course excursion in final practice.

This was Andretti’s first advancement to the fast 12 for the first time since 2014.

Round 1, Group 2

Power had the fastest lap of 121.570 mph.

Bourdais, Veach (who is battling food poisoning-like symptoms), Rossi, and Pagenaud grabbed positions 2-4.

Scott Dixon had an uncharacteristically slow lap of 121.006, but managed to advance to the fast 12 when the session was red-flagged for an incident involving Tony Kanaan.

With three minutes remaining, Kanaan spun into the tire barriers while leaving pit road. Since he brought out the red flag, he lost his qualification time of 119.996 mph.

Takuma Sato had slipped off-course midway through the session and posted only the Ninth-fastest speed of 120.789 mph.

Results are below. The Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama rolls off at 3:00 p.m. ET.