Practice leader Vettel cites room for improvement

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Sebastian Vettel may have comfortably finished quickest in both Friday practice sessions ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix this weekend but the three-time world champion still believes that there is room for improvement.

Vettel headed up a Red Bull 1-2 in both sessions as Mark Webber proved to be his closest challenger, but he is sure that he can squeeze more time out of the RB9 at the Hungaroring.

“The car feels okay,” Vettel said in a statement, “but there’s always a lot of work to do and there’s some room for improvement. My long run wasn’t completely clean, as we had to abort it at the start due to the brakes being a bit hot, but you work to find the limit.”

This weekend’s race marks the introduction of the 2012 tire construction using the 2013 compounds in order to maintain the safety of the drivers. With the build of the tire being slightly different, it has caused teams to change their setup slightly but Vettel has not noticed a great difference.

“I don’t think the tires feel massively different, but they are a step in the right direction.”

Vettel is chasing his first win in Hungary this weekend with the race being just one of two grands prix on the current calendar that he is yet to win.

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. Time just published a brief piece by Wallace saluting Hamilton as a trailblazer.

The idea of Hamilton attending the NASCAR 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 would seem right for 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 — to spend 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).