Sebastian Vettel struggles to seventh in Hungary after spin

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Sebastian Vettel has come away from the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend with his tail between his legs after struggling to seventh place in a race that included an uncharacteristic spin.

The defending world champion has never won at the Hungaroring, and although he was never in contention to this weekend, he may have hoped for better than seventh place from the front row of the grid.

After dropping behind Valtteri Bottas off the line, Vettel was pitted one lap too late by Red Bull during the first safety car period. Upon the restart, his car was in the wrong mode, causing him to lose yet more time. A spin at the final corner very nearly brought his race to an early end, but he eventually struggled home to seventh place at the flag.

“It wasn’t a great race,” Vettel said. “I spun, which was my mistake, and before that I was unlucky with the safety car in the first stint. The timing meant the first four cars lost positions to those running behind. Unfortunately we were then in the wrong mode for the restart and I lost two positions.”

Vettel’s result contrasts heavily with that of Red Bull teammate Daniel Ricciardo, who clinched his second win of the season today after a superb display. The Australian driver now leads Vettel by 43 points in the drivers’ standings, and unless there is a dramatic change in fortunes for the German, that gap may remain until the end of the season.

Sage Karam, Tony Kanaan fastest in Monday’s practice for Indy 500

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In the second-to-last practice session of the week, Sage Karam paced the 33 drivers qualified for Sunday’s Indianapolis 500 on Monday.

Karam had a field-best speed of 226.461 mph, followed by Tony Kanan (225.123 mph), Ryan Hunter-Reay (224.820), Charlie Kimball (224.582) and Alexander Rossi (224.507).

Sixth through 10th fastest were Will Power (224.445), Helio Castroneves (224.368), Marco Andretti (224.148) and rookie Zachary Claman Demelo (224.91) and Scott Dixon (223.966).

Power and Castroneves ran the most laps of all drivers at 120 and 118, respectively.

Two other Team Penske drivers struggled to get speed out of their cars. Defending Verizon IndyCar Series champion Josef Newgarden was 28th-fastest (221.982 mph) and Simon Pagenaud, who was the slowest (220.902 mph) of the 33 cars on-track.

Pole sitter Ed Carpenter was 14th-fastest with a best speed of 223.573 mph in a 100-lap effort.

Most drivers were in race trim or were testing things for Sunday’s Greatest Spectacle In Racing such as fuel mileage, chassis setup and more.

Rookie Matheus Leist missed most of the session with an apparent electrical problem that kept him to just 19 laps.

There was one incident of note during the 3 ½ hour session: IndyCar rookie Robert Wickens crashed coming out of Turn 2 during the first hour of practice.

Wickens appeared to skim the outside SAFER Barrier, went left and then violently turned hard back into the outside retaining wall.

MORE: Wickens wrecks during Indy 500 practice

The Honda-powered machine for the Canadian driver suffered heavy damage to the right side, particularly the right front tire and the right side of the front end.

There will be no further on-track activity for the Indy cars until Friday’s final practice to fine tune things for Sunday’s 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500.

We’ll have the full practice speed chart, as well as What Drivers Said, shortly. Please check back soon.

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