Vettel: It could have gone wrong in Q3

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Sebastian Vettel has admitted that his decision not to run for a second time in the final stage of qualifying for the Singapore Grand Prix could easily have back-fired, but he is delighted to have secured his fifth pole position of the season today.

The German driver was six-tenths clear of the field after his first run in Q1, with the team believing that this gap could not be made up by Nico Rosberg. However, on his final run, the Mercedes driver came within just 0.091 seconds of beating Vettel’s time with Mark Webber and Romain Grosjean also coming close. All in all, this made for a nervy final few minutes in the Red Bull garage.

“You stand in the garage when there’s roughly two minutes to go in the session and you know that it’s too late,” Vettel said. “But then it’s much worse when you see the others at the final attempt and you know there’s nothing you can do.

“I was watching the sector times very closely with obviously Romain, Nico and Mark in particular. Mark started with a purple sector one, very close in sector two, then Nico had a purple sector two, then Romain had a purple sector two. Then fortunately my last sector was strong enough to just stay ahead.”

Vettel had explained yesterday that he expected Mercedes to pose a stiffer challenge on Saturday, confirming that today’s result was more representative of the gap between the German team and Red Bull.

“Yesterday I think the gap was a bit of a surprise. Today’s been more what we expected, especially with Mercedes being very close behind.”

Vettel will be hoping to convert today’s result into a win on Sunday that would see his championship lead surpass the sixty point mark.

Andretti United team names drivers for inaugural Extreme E season

Extreme E drivers Andretti
Extreme E
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The Extreme E team formed by Andretti Autosport and United Autosports named Catie Munnings and Timmy Hansen as its drivers Monday for the series’ inaugural 2021 season.

Munnings is a successful veteran of rally series. Hansen is a past winner and champion in the World Rallycross Championship.

They both will race in the environmentally conscious electric SUV series that will hold events in five areas around the world that are threatened by climate change. Chip Ganassi Racing and six-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton also are fielding cars in Extreme E, which will feature male and female co-drivers on every team.

Catie Munnings

“I’m so excited to join Andretti United Extreme E,” Munnings said in a release. ““I was really intrigued when I first heard about Extreme E, I just knew I had to be involved. The male / female racing partnership is a fantastic and exciting new concept. The season has incredible locations and the racing will be very exciting. It will be a new challenge for the teams and drivers, and I’m so thrilled to be working with such a strong team.

“The championship is a really innovative concept, it’s combining motorsport and science and will produce an important legacy in each race location. Bringing the platform that motorsport has in line with the awareness that the planet needs right now is awesome and a really important message.”

Timmy Hansen

Said Hansen: “Going into the Extreme E will be a new chapter in my career, one that I am extremely excited about. It is something brand new, not only for me, but the whole of motorsport. The format is something

we’ve never seen before. I’m also delighted to be able to carry the message of something bigger – talking about the environment and doing something good for the world – that’s something that really drives me. It’s going to be a big adventure in life to see these locations and I’m going to do my best in carrying this responsibility and hopefully making people aware of the challenges we have in the world, together with our passion for racing.”