Vettel: Small failure had a big consequence

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Sebastian Vettel has lamented a small failure on his Red Bull car during first practice that forced him to sit out of the second session on Friday in Spain.

The defending Formula 1 world champion completed just four laps during practice today after an electrical problem on his new chassis curtailed his running. The Red Bull team opted not to run his car during the second session so they could focus on fixing the problem.

For Vettel, the most frustrating part of the situation was that such a small problem had severe consequences.

“We had a simple failure in one of the looms this morning, which caused a short and meant the car stopped,” he explained. “We had to change the chassis loom, which is a big job so I wasn’t able to go out this afternoon.

“It’s a small failure, but a big consequence. There was nothing new on that part of the car, it was something new that happened in that area.”

Despite this setback, Vettel chose to look on the bright side, given that the problem could have occurred during qualifying or the race.

“Luckily it happened today, but unfortunately we lost the chance to prepare for Sunday with two cars, so I have to rely on what Daniel [Ricciardo] did today and get into the rhythm straight away tomorrow.”

With just four laps under his belt heading into the rest of the weekend, Vettel certainly faces an uphill struggle to reach the podium in Spain. However, Red Bull’s remarkable rate of development over the last few years suggests that the team is by no means out of the title race just yet.

Vettel should be ready to take part in the final practice session tomorrow morning ahead of qualifying in the afternoon.

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).