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.

Here’s who were picking to win the Indy 500 — who are YOU picking?

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Several members of the NBC Sports motorsports staff have made their predictions on who will win Sunday’s 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500.

Of the six voters, two are going with 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series champ Josef Newgarden, while two others are going with Helio Castroneves to win a fourth 500, which would tie him with A.J. Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears.

Here’s our picks. Who are YOU picking?

Leigh Diffey: Helio Castroneves — He drives the place better than anyone else. For me (for what its worth) he deserves a fourth 500 ring for the frustration he went through never getting the IndyCar title!

Townsend Bell: Josef Newgarden

Nate Ryan: Simon Pagenaud — All of his 2018 misfortune on the track has disappeared in May, and it culminates in the biggest victory of his career.

Jerry Bonkowski: Helio Castroneves – There’s no pressure as he pursues his fourth Indy 500 win. All Helio has to do, as late NFL owner Al Davis would say, is “Just win, baby!” (But if Helio falls short, watch for Marco Andretti)

Kyle Lavigne: Josef Newgarden — I think he has everything he needs to get it done this year.

Dan Beaver: Robert Wickens – Has driven like anything except a rookie and his second-place finish at Phoenix proves he’s just as good on an oval as the road courses.

Follow: Jerry Bonkowski