Vergne: Canada result provides “shot of confidence” to Toro Rosso

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Jean-Eric Vergne believes that his charge to P6 at the Canadian Grand Prix has given Scuderia Toro Rosso a “shot of confidence” heading into the second half of the European season.

The French driver secured his best qualifying result (7th) before having a somewhat lonely race en route to 6th place, his best finish so far in the sport.

“This is an important result,” Vergne wrote in his blog. “It shows we are doing a good job, especially at the factory. It gives everybody in the team a shot of confidence and that includes me. So much so that on Sunday evening I was having a long chat with my engineer about the next race, in Silverstone. We have to keep the momentum and I’m looking forward to racing there again.”

Vergne is refusing to become complacent, encouraging the team to keep pushing forwards and aim for an even better result at the British Grand Prix.

“I was very pleased with the result in Canada. It’s my best F1 finish and it is nice to put more points on the board. Ultimately though, the points are not that important, it’s the fact that the performance was good that is important.

“Sixth place is a good result but we need to forget it now and look forward.”

An added incentive for Vergne will be the possibility of joining Sebastian Vettel at Red Bull next season, with Mark Webber poised to leave the team in the wake of the multi 21 fiasco.

Lewis Hamilton receives Daytona 500 invitation from Bubba Wallace

Lewis Hamilton Bubba Wallace
Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images
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Lewis Hamilton is a fan of the new NASCAR Cup Series team formed by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan to field a car for Bubba Wallace.

Will the six-time Formula One champion also be a fan in person at a NASCAR race in the near future?

Wallace is hoping so.

After Hamilton tweeted his support Tuesday morning about the news of a Hamlin-Jordan-Wallace team making its debut with the 2021 season, Wallace responded with a sly invitation to the Daytona 500.

Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

But it would seem fitting given that Hamilton and Wallace have been two of the world’s most outspoken Black athletes about the quest for diversity and racial justice. Hamilton recently reaffirmed his commitment to activism after his donning a Breonna Taylor shirt sparked an FIA inquiry.

The idea of Hamilton attending the season opener already had legs, too. The Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 driver has expressed a desire to race the Daytona 500 after he has retired from Formula One.

He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.

Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it only would be fitting if Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — spent some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.

Jeff Gordon was flanked by Mario Andretti and Lewis Hamilton before the 2015 Cup season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images).