Sebastian Vettel disappointed to miss out on podium

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Sebastian Vettel is disappointed to have finished off the podium in China following a strong run to 4th.

The defending world champion started 9th on the medium compound tire, but he closed on 3rd placed Hamilton in the dying stages of the race, eventually finishing just 0.2 seconds behind the Mercedes. However, Vettel did admit he was unsure whether or not he could catch Hamilton.

“When I came on to the long straight and saw Lewis at the other end turning into the hairpin I thought ‘well, that’s a bit too far’,” Vettel said in a team statement.

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“But obviously we had much more speed on the fresher tires. It was a little bit disappointing to lose out by such a tiny bit; a few corners more and we could have tried something.”

Vettel believes that he lost the chance to jump Hamilton during his first stint, getting stuck behind Sauber’s Nico Hulkenberg.

“We knew it would be difficult and that it was crucial to get clean laps, but we didn’t in the first stint. I was faster than Nico, but if you follow another car you lean on your front tires too much and it was hard to find the right compromise, but overall we can be happy.”

Red Bull had a mixed weekend, with Mark Webber failing to finish the race having started from the pit lane, but they still lead both championships and they will be working hard to improve their fortunes in Bahrain next weekend.

Travis Pastrana leads flag-to-flag in Nitro Rallycross as the series returns to America

Pastrana Nitro Rallycross
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Travis Pastrana waited until the final trip around ERX Motor Park to take his Joker Lap – a longer way around the course that all drivers must do at least once in a race – and came out cleanly to win his first Nitro Rallycross race of 2022. With this win, Pastrana is the third driver to visit Victory Lane in the first three rounds of the 2022-23 season.

“This is the closest to a motocross track,” Pastrana told Katie Osborne on Peacock. “Thank you so much for a beautiful facility. It’s been a rough start to the season and I’m so thankful to be back out here. We had a good run in the side-by-side and now for this. This is much needed.”

Another thing needed was the sense of improvement. And Pastrana earned that affirmation each time he completed a lap around the course.

“I get my lap times read out and they said ‘fastest time of the week,’ ‘fastest time of the week’ (each time around) ” Pastrana said. “This is really special. We’re a long way behind in the championship, but welcome to America.”

In a pre-race press conference, Pastrana said that as Nitro Rallycross heads back to America, it was time for an American to win and he made good on his promise. Pastrana took the early lead over Robin Larsson and let the back of his Subaru hang out, taking risks he might not otherwise take if not for his need to win.

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Larsson’s second-place finish completed a perfect sweep of the podium in three rounds. In fact, he has not yet finished worse than second after winning the opening round at Lydden Hill in the United Kingdom and finishing second at Strangnas in Sweeden.

Fraser McConnel rounded out the podium for his best result of the season. He finished fourth in each of the first two rounds.

Last year, Pastrana finished second in this race to Scott Speed before narrowly edging his teammate for the championship.

Andreas Bakkerud crashed in prelims, but rebounded to finish just off the block in fourth. Bakkerud won the second round ahead of his teammate Larsson.

Oliver Bennett completed the top five.

Minneapolis is the first of three rounds scheduled in the United States. Next on the schedule is Glen Helen, Calif. on Octo 30 and then Phoenix at Wild Horse Pass on November 12th. Nitro Rallycross will then head to Saudi Arabia in December to continue their 2022-23 season.