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Vettel revels in Hungary F1 pole, Ferrari’s continued progress

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Sebastian Vettel reveled in Ferrari’s “incredible” charge to a front row lock-out for the Hungarian Grand Prix, believing it to act as further proof of the progress the Italian marque has made in the past 12 months.

F1 championship leader Vettel stormed to his second pole of the year with the fastest ever lap of the Hungaroring on Saturday, leading home teammate Kimi Raikkonen.

The result marked Ferrari’s third pole of the year, a total it has not reached through a season since 2008, with Vettel praising the performance of the SF70H car.

“The car to be honest all day today has been incredible. I think we did a good step forward, really enjoyable,” Vettel said.

“I like this track a lot. A front row for us which is incredible, and now we’re looking forward to tomorrow.

“Obviously the last race wasn’t great for us, but it doesn’t matter now. We are here and try to do our best. That’s what matters. Really step by step, very happy with where we are as a team.

“Again, we need to remember where we were 12 months ago and where we are now. Also thanks for the support and people believing in us. It’s great to get the result also on Saturday.

“As I said, the main task comes tomorrow. Nothing won today, but we’re very happy and we’ll take it to move forward.”

Vettel currently leads the drivers’ championship by one point, and is well-poised to extend his advantage and gain momentum ahead of the F1 summer break, but the German is giving that little thought right now.

“To be honest, numbers… I was decent I would say at maths at school, but it’s way too early,” Vettel said.

“I think we go racing, we go flat out. That’s what we’ve been doing in the first races and that’s what we keep doing. It’s the only way to succeed.

“Certainly we have a lot of boost from people here at home and in Italy. It can’t be any better than that. The main thing is to enjoy it.”

The Hungarian Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and the NBC Sports app from 7am ET on Sunday.

Al Unser Jr. back in IndyCar after a decade away: ‘Life is very good’

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There’s been somewhat of a hole in Al Unser Jr.’s heart ever since he retired from racing in 2007.

It was a void, something was missing.

But now, after a decade away from racing, Unser has found the right medicine to fill that hole in his heart: he’s back in the racing game again.

No, he’s not driving again (although he does participate occasionally in vintage races), but the two-time Indianapolis 500 (1992 and 1994) winner is definitely back in the IndyCar world.

And he couldn’t be happier.

“For me, it’s a dream come true,” Unser told IndyCar.com. “Since I stepped out of the race car and retired from racing, there’s been something missing from my life, and it’s racing.”

Unser has hooked up with Harding Racing. The team competed in three races last season as a ramp-up for a full 17-race effort this season. While Unser’s official title with the team is “consultant,” he’s involved in so much more.

His main role is as a driving coach to 2015 IndyCar Rookie of the Year Gabby Chaves. But he’s also involved in so many other areas, including helping the team obtain sponsorships and much more.

He then added, “I’m involved in every sense of the word except actually driving the car. And I’m happy about that because I’m too old to drive the car.”

Unser, who won CART championships in 1990 and 1994, is now 55. He’s so involved with his new job that he even moved from his native New Mexico and has relocated to suburban Indianapolis.

Not only is it a new start for Unser, it also is for Chaves. After running all 16 races in 2015 for Bryan Herta Autosport with Curb-Agajanian, he competed in just seven races for Dale Coyne Racing in 2016 and only three races for Harding Racing last season.

But he definitely impressed the team, with a fifth- (Texas) and ninth-place (Indianapolis 500) finish in the first two races and 15th (Pocono) in the team’s final run of the season.

That’s why when Harding Racing decided to go fulltime in 2018, Chaves was their pick for behind the wheel. And Unser was their pick to help guide him to potential stardom in the series.

“(Team owner) Mike Harding is definitely a person that when he decides to do something, he does it right,” Unser told IndyCar.com. “The potential for this organization is through the sky. We’re all working really hard here and we see the potential.”

And as for Unser?

“Life is good, life is very good,” he told IndyCar.com. “We’re back full force, eager and better than ever.”

Click here for the full story about Unser from IndyCar.com.