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Raikkonen disappointed after Malaysia F1 pole position near-miss

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Kimi Raikkonen admitted to feeling disappointed after narrowly missing out on his second Formula 1 pole position of the season in Malaysia, falling 0.045 seconds short of Lewis Hamilton in the final stage of qualifying.

Ferrari entered Saturday’s qualifying running as the favorite for pole following a strong showing in practice, only for an engine issue to sideline Sebastian Vettel from the session entirely.

Left to lead Ferrari’s charge, Raikkonen worked up a quick final lap in Q3 to run Hamilton close for pole, with a lock-up at the final corner appearing to prove costly as he was left to settle for P2 on the grid.

“It’s OK, but obviously when you get that close it’s disappointing,” Raikkonen admitted after the session.

“I made the most out of it. Yes, there are always places you can improve, but you are never going to get it 100 per cent perfect anywhere.

“You always find some things you can improve, but I must say the car has been behaving nicely all weekend and it’s been a pleasure so far.

“We’ll try to get further than 100 meters tomorrow, and let’s see what we can do.”

Raikkonen’s 100 meters reference harked back to the collision with Vettel and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen off the start in Singapore, with the latter set to start third tomorrow.

“I don’t want to be sandwiched – that’s the only thing,” Verstappen said when asked about his hopes for the race.

Raikkonen added: “I don’t want to be hit.”

The Malaysian Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and the NBC Sports app from 2am on Sunday.

Red Bull Air Race: Yoshi Muroya joins Sato as Japanese champs at Indy

Photo: Joerg Mitter/Red Bull Content Pool
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Takuma Sato isn’t the only major Japanese athlete to take home top honors at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this year. Countryman Yoshihide Muroya joined him in that on Sunday after winning Red Bull Air Race at IMS, and the Red Bull Air Race World Championship in the process.

Fittingly, the 101st Indianapolis 500 champion was there on site to join him in the celebration.

Muroya flew with a track-record run in the final and erased the four-point deficit to points leader Martin Sonka. The record run came after a disappointing qualifying effort of 11th in the 14-pilot field in the Master Class.

A day after the win, Muroya joined Sato in heading to Sato’s new Verizon IndyCar Series team, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s, Indianapolis-based shop.

A few social posts from Muroya’s victory and the subsequent celebration are below.

CHECKING OUT EACH OTHER’S RIDES

ASTLES BREAKS THOUGH AS WELL

Muroya wasn’t alone among big winners at the Speedway. In the Challenger Class, Melanie Astles of France became the first woman to win a major race at IMS, and is the first female winner in the Red Bull Air Race World Championship.

Nine women have competed in the Indianapolis 500 (Janet Guthrie, Lyn St. James, Sarah Fisher, Danica Patrick, Milka Duno, Simona de Silvestro, Pippa Mann, Ana Beatriz, Katherine Legge) and Mann is the first woman to have been on the pole position at IMS, having done so for the Freedom 100 in 2010 in Indy Lights.

Photo: Joerg Mitter/Red Bull Content Pool