Vettel ‘lucky there was no wall’ after late mistake

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Sebastian Vettel admitted he was fortunate to avoid retirement after going off the track late in the Canadian Grand Prix.

The Red Bull driver ran wide at the first corner during his final stint and had to cut across the tarmac run-off on the inside of turn two to keep going.

“I was a little bit too late into the first corner, lost the rear on the way in,” Vettel explained. “I could have stayed on the track but I wasn’t sure.”

“It was quite tight, obviously you have the right-hander following immediately and I didn’t want to risk a spin so I decided to cut and make sure. I lost four or five seconds in that corner compared to normal, so I think it was fine.”

“It just seemed to be the safer option to avoid the spin and carry on that way. I was just a little bit too fast. That’s what happens. Fortunately there was no wall so I was lucky.”

Vettel did touch a wall at turn four earlier the race, but was able to continue without damage. He later admitted he hadn’t realized he’d hit it:

“I was pushing very hard, especially at the beginning of the race – I had a moment when I hit the wall, but I didn’t feel it, I was trying to get away from the field, as you don’t know what will happen towards the end.

“It turned out that we could control things in the later stages, but you don’t know that, so I was just trying to push all the time and stay in the rhythm.”

Gabby Chaves to sub for Joao Barbosa at Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen

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Gabby Chaves is set to return to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at Watkins Glen International later this month.

The Columbian-American driver, who last competed in IMSA in 2016 – with the DeltaWing outfit – will sub for the injured Joao Barbosa – he hurt his wrist in a cycling accident earlier in June – in the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen.

Chaves will partner Filipe Albuquerque and Christian Fittipaldi in the No. 5 Cadillac.

Chaves expressed gratitude for being asked to fill in, but kept his enthusiasm muted, noting that he is getting the opportunity ultimately because another driver got hurt.

“The first thing is of course that you never want to have an opportunity because someone got hurt, so this is an unfortunate circumstance with Joao having his injury,”said Chaves. “But I appreciate the opportunity to join the championship-leading team. Mustang Sampling Racing has had a strong start this year and hopefully I can help the team continue to have those kinds of results.”

Chaves added, “I love Watkins Glen, it is a great track and I am looking forward to racing the Cadillac Prototype there. I’m excited to be going back to endurance racing. With different classes all racing at the same time, there is a lot for the driver to deal with as you work through traffic. So I am looking forward to racing at the Glen again, and I really appreciate this opportunity with Mustang Sampling Racing.”

Chaves’ most recent IMSA event was the 2016 Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen, when he finished seventh in the Prototype class.

The No. 5 Action Express Cadillac currently sits tied with the sister No. 31 Whelen Engineer Racing Cadillac of Eric Curran and Felipe Nasr atop the IMSA standings, though Barbosa’s hopes of a driver’s championship are set to take an enormous hit with him missing Watkins Glen.

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