sebastian vettel

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 20:  Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Ferrari drives ahead of Nico Rosberg of Germany and Mercedes GP during the Australian Formula One Grand Prix at Albert Park on March 20, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
© Getty Images

Rosberg: Mercedes should consider Vettel for 2018 F1 seat

4 Comments

Nico Rosberg believes that Mercedes should consider signing Sebastian Vettel to its Formula 1 team for the 2018 season once the German’s contract with Ferrari is up.

Vettel won four world championships with Red Bull between 2010 and 2013, but is yet to find the same kind of form with Ferrari, having won just three races since joining in 2015.

Vettel enters the final year of his contract with the Scuderia in 2017, and is set to be part of the ‘silly season’ speculation surrounding the driver market through the coming year.

Rosberg walked away from F1 after winning the world championship with Mercedes for the first time last year, making way for Valtteri Bottas to join the team from Williams.

Bottas is on an initial one-year contract, with his seat set to come under scrutiny once again this year given the available drivers elsewhere.

Speaking at the Laureus World Sports Awards, Rosberg said that he thinks Mercedes should consider signing Vettel for 2018 should he become available.

“It would definitely make sense for Sebastian to have a look at that Mercedes seat for 2018 and for Mercedes to have a look at him and to consider him,” Rosberg said.

“For 2018, that’s obvious. He’s one of the best drivers out there and he doesn’t have a contract for 2018, so they should explore the possibility and who knows, let’s see what happens. It could be a good thing.”

Besides Vettel, the other big-name driver out of contract for 2018 is McLaren’s Fernando Alonso, with the Spaniard also entering the final year of his deal.

Rosberg previously said that Alonso was never a consideration for his seat for 2017 due to the “fireworks” it would cause with Lewis Hamilton, but thinks he should be kept in mind for next year.

“Of course, Alonso, they need to keep him in mind even though he’s not the youngest out there anymore,” Alonso said.

“He’s still driving at his best, I think, it looks like from what we have seen, so he should be considered as well and I’m sure he will.”

Pirelli’s Fiorano wet-weather tire test postponed after Vettel crash

HOCKENHEIM, GERMANY - JULY 29: Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Ferrari sits in his car in the garage during practice for the Formula One Grand Prix of Germany at Hockenheimring on July 29, 2016 in Hockenheim, Germany.  (Photo by Charles Coates/Getty Images)
© Getty Images
1 Comment

Formula 1 tire supplier Pirelli has been forced to postpone its planned wet-weather test with Ferrari at Fiorano in Italy following Sebastian Vettel’s crash on Thursday.

Pirelli was granted an additional two days of wet-tire running ahead of the 2017 season, with a modified version of Ferrari’s 2015 car, the SF15-T, being used to conduct running at Fiorano and mimic the additional downforce levels of downforce in play for 2017.

Vettel crashed while testing on Thursday, going off-track in wet conditions and hitting the barrier, causing damage to the mule car that forced the day’s running to end earlier.

Ferrari had been due to continue testing on Friday, but a Pirelli spokesmen confirmed to NBC Sports that the running had been postponed as a result of the crash that Vettel sustained.

2017 will see Pirelli supply greatly modified tires to F1, with both the front and rear compounds increasing in width by 25 per cent in a bid to improve lap times.

Pirelli has come under fire in recent years over its wet weather compound, prompting the Italian company to place a greater focus on these tires during the development phase.

As well as the to-be-rescheduled test, Pirelli is guaranteed to get at least one day of wet weather running during pre-season testing in Barcelona, Spain.

Sebastian Vettel crashes during wet-weather Pirelli test at Fiorano

MEXICO CITY, MEXICO - OCTOBER 29:  Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Ferrari in the garage during final practice for the Formula One Grand Prix of Mexico at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez on October 29, 2016 in Mexico City, Mexico.  (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)
© Getty Images
Leave a comment

Sebastian Vettel’s wet-weather running was cut short on Thursday at Fiorano after the German crashed out while testing Pirelli’s prototype tires.

Pirelli was granted two days of wet running to help prepare for the 2017 season when its tires have changed size dramatically, becoming 25 per cent wider at both the front and the rear of the car. The test was also designed to begin developments for 2018.

Vettel was testing a modified version of Ferrari’s 2015 car, the SF15-T, at its private test track on Thursday when he lost control in the wet conditions and crashed into the barrier.

Images posted on Twitter showed Vettel’s car going straight on at a downhill left-hand corner and proceeding to hit the barrier head-first.

Vettel was unharmed in the accident, but it remains unclear whether Ferrari will be able to continue its testing program on Friday at Fiorano.

Vettel rides solo en route to ROC Nations Cup win for Team Germany

ROC Nations Cup finalists Team USA NASCAR, Kurt Busch (USA) and Kyle Busch (USA) with ROC Nations Cup winner Team Germany Sebastian Vettel (GER) during the ROC Nations Cup on Sunday 22 January 2017 at Marlins Park, Miami, Florida, USA
© Race of Champions
Leave a comment

Four-time Formula 1 world champion Sebastian Vettel led Team Germany to its seventh Nations Cup victory at the Race of Champions on Sunday in Miami, picking up his first major honor of the 2017 racing season.

Vettel saw his individual Race of Champions title defence end in the group stage on Saturday as IndyCar star Juan Pablo Montoya took a shock victory on debut.

Vettel had never previously appeared at the Race of Champions without winning one of the two titles on offer, having claimed six straight Nations Cup wins alongside Michael Schumacher between 2007 and 2012.

Following a frightening crash in Saturday’s event, Sauber F1 racer Pascal Wehrlein was forced to withdraw from the event, leaving Vettel to represent Team Germany alone on Sunday.

However, the Ferrari driver made the most of the opportunity, winning all eight of his match-ups en route to an unlikely victory.

Vettel topped Group B after beating Tom Kristensen, Petter Solberg, Jenson Button and David Coulthard, sending Team Nordic and Team GB – the latter out to defend its teams’ title – home in the group stage.

Vettel faced off against Team Colombia in the semi-finals, facing Saturday winner Montoya and coming out on top. The German completed a 2-0 victory after easing past Gabby Chaves in the second heat.

The nature of the draw guaranteed either Team USA or Team Canada would reach the final, with three American teams featuring in Group A. Team USA IndyCar and Team USA NASCAR both made it through, the former courtesy of a last-ditch victory for Indy 500 winner Alexander Rossi.

Rossi and Ryan Hunter-Reay faced off against NASCAR brothers Kurt and Kyle Busch, with the match tied at 1-1 ahead of the decider. Kurt Busch appeared to jump the start, moving into a lead that remained to the checkered flag, securing Team USA NASCAR a place in the final in a controversial manner.

Vettel managed to see off Kurt Busch in the first heat of the final, but a loss in revs gave Kyle Busch an advantage off the line in the second match-up. However, Vettel was able to claw it back and cross the line ahead, wrapping up a 2-0 victory and Germany’s seventh Nations Cup win.

“I had a better day than yesterday,” Vettel said. “It’s a bit of a shame that Pascal is missing, but I did my best.

“In the last round against Kyle I was really nervous. The car nearly stalled. But then I came back so really, really happy.”

Race Of Champions has stellar field looking for home run in Miami

Sebastian Vettel is the defending champion of the Race of Champions, having won the last ROC in 2015.
Getty Images
2 Comments

Contestants in this weekend’s Race Of Champions will be going for both a win and home run.

The win is understandable, but the home run aspect of it is due to the host location: Miami Marlins Park, home of the Major League Baseball team of the same name.

The entire infield and outfield will be turned into a challenging circuit of numerous turns and side-by-side racing. The course layout is below.

“This is all about having a good time,” IndyCar driver Helio Castroneves said. “I respect all of the drivers and every one of them competing has some amazing qualities, plus switching cars throughout the event means the advantage will constantly be shifting. That’s why this is such a great event.”

Added fellow IndyCar driver Ryan Hunter-Reay, “To see a race track taking shape here in Marlins Park – where I bring my family for games – is incredible. And I also think it’s the best layout yet. I’m a home-town guy so hopefully the crowd will be cheering me on against two former ROC champions in my group.”

The two-day ROC will be divided between one-on-one races on Saturday, with team racing on Sunday.

Among Saturday’s marquee matchups:

* NASCAR’s Kyle Busch vs. F1’s Jenson Button.

* NASCAR’s Kurt Busch vs. Tom “Mr. Le Mans” Kristensen.

* Two-time Indy 500 winner Juan Pablo Montoya vs. World Rallycross’s Petter Solberg, action sports’ Travis Pastrana vs. four-time F1 champ and reigning ROC champ Sebastian Vettel.

* IndyCar’s James Hinchcliffe vs. fellow IndyCar driver Tony Kanaan.

* IndyCar’s Ryan Hunter-Reay vs. former ROC Champion of Champions David Coulthard.

* 2-time Indy 500 winner Juan Pablo Montoya vs. World Rallycross Champion Petter Solberg, F1’s Pascal Wehrlein vs. fellow F1 pilot Felipe Massa.

* Three-time Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves vs. the winner of a play-off between Global Rallycross Champion Scott Speed and 2016 Indianapolis 500 winner Alexander Rossi.

* Other drivers in the field include Gabby Chaves (IndyCar), Stefan Rzadzinski and Gabriel Glusman, the latter two having won ROC Factor North America fan votes to get into the competition.

The top two drivers in each group will advance to the quarterfinals, and then a knockout tournament from there leads to crowning the Champion of Champions.

The top two drivers in each group progress to the quarter-finals. Then it’s a knockout tournament all the way to the Grand Final, when this year’s Champion of Champions will be crowned.

In Sunday’s Nations Cup competition, it’ll be America vs. The World in a Ryder Cup-style team battle:

Group A: Team USA NASCAR (Kyle and Kurt Busch), Team USA IndyCar (Alexander Rossi and Ryan Hunter-Reay) and Team USA Rally X (Travis Pastrana and Scott Speed) will all have to battle Team ROC Factor Canada (James Hinchcliffe and Stefan Rzadzinski).

Group B: Team Germany (Sebastian Vettel and Pascal Wehrlein), Team Great Britain (Jenson Button and David Coulthard) and Team Nordic (Tom Kristensen and Petter Solberg).

Group C: Team Brazil (Felipe Massa and Tony Kanaan), Team Colombia (Juan-Pablo Montoya and Gabby Chaves) and Team ROC Factor Latin America (Helio Castroneves and Gabriel Glusman).

Miami Marlins Park becomes the eighth different host site – and first in the United States – in recent years for the ROC, which returns after a one-year hiatus in 2016: Stade de France in Paris (2004-2006), London’s Wembley Stadium (2007-2008), Olympic Stadium in Beijing (2009), Düsseldorf’s Esprit Arena (2010-2011), Rajamangala Stadium in Bangkok (2012), Bushy Park Barbados (2014) and London’s former Olympic Stadium (2015).

Follow @JerryBonkowski