Vergne equals best-ever F1 result with late charge

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Jean-Eric Vergne will be leaving Marina Bay with his head held high today after equalling his best-ever finish in Formula 1 in the Singapore Grand Prix.

The Toro Rosso driver is currently without a seat for 2015 after being told last month that he would be replaced by 16-year-old Max Verstappen at the team, but he did his chances of securing a drive a world of good by finishing sixth under the lights in Singapore.

Starting 11th, Vergne did well to fight his way up into the top ten at the start of the race, and looked set for points until a lengthy safety car period allowed the cars around him to stop for fresh tires. Vergne was left on super-softs, and unlike his rivals, had to make one more pit stop once the race restarted.

He eventually pitted with 14 laps to go, dropping down to 14th place behind the Caterham of Marcus Ericsson. However, with fresh tires, and with the cars ahead struggling for grip in the dying stages of the race, Vergne managed to move back up into the points.

The stewards soon gave him another setback, handing the Frenchman a five-second stop/go penalty for exceeding track limits. He made his feelings clear over the radio, crying: “What the f***!” before getting his head down and focusing on the race.

In a great final scrap for position in the last few laps, Vergne passed Nico Hulkenberg, Kimi Raikkonen and Valtteri Bottas to move up to sixth place. On the final lap of the race, he then created enough of a gap to make his five-second stop/go penalty redundant, thus equalling his best ever finish in F1 from the 2013 Canadian Grand Prix.

Given his position for 2015, this result could not have come at a better time for Jean-Eric Vergne. If he can continue to impress and pick up some more hauls of points, the Frenchman could be in line for a place on the grid in Australia next March.

In the sister Toro Rosso, Daniil Kvyat limped home in 14th position after becoming severely dehydrated towards the end of the race.

Seattle Supercross by the numbers: Three riders separated by 17 points


Three riders remain locked in a tight battle with 17 points separating the leader Cooper Webb from third-place Chase Sexton and these are only a few Supercross numbers to consider entering Seattle.

Seattle Supercross numbers
Chase Sexton made a statement in Detroit with his second win of 2023. – Feld Motor Sports

For the fifth time in 10 rounds. Sexton, Webb, and Eli Tomac shared the podium in Detroit. Between them, the trio has taken 23 podiums, leaving only seven for the remainder of the field. Jason Anderson, Ken Roczen and Justin Barcia have two each with Aaron Plessinger scoring the other.

Webb and Tomac won the last four championships with two apiece in alternating years, but they were not one another’s primary rival for most of those seasons. On the average, however, the past four years show an incredible similarity with average points earned of 21.0 for Webb and 21.3 for Tomac. With five wins so far this season, Tomac (23 wins) leads Webb (19) in victories but Webb (43) edges Tomac (41) in podium finishes during this span.

Tomac has won two of the last three Seattle races and those two wins in this stadium are topped only by James Stewart. Fittingly, if Tomac gets a third win this week, he will tie Stewart for second on the all-time wins’ list. Tomac tied Ricky Carmichael for third with 48 wins at Oakland and took sole possession of that spot with his Daytona win.

Sexton still has a lot to say and after winning last week in Detroit, he is speaking up. The Supercross numbers are against him entering Seattle, however, because a points’ deficit this large after Round 10 has been erased only once. In 1983 David Bailey was 47 points behind Bob Hannah, and like Sexton he was also in third place. Bailey took the points’ lead with one race remaining.

The seven points Sexton was penalized last week for jumping in a red cross flag section in Detroit could prove extremely costly.

In fact, it has been a series of mistakes that has cost Sexton the most. In the last two weeks, he lost 10 points with a 10th-place finish to go with his penalty. Erase those, and all three riders hold their fate in their hands.

Plessinger’s heartbreak in Detroit is still fresh, but the upside of his run is that was his best of the season and could turn his fortunes around. Prior to that race, he led only seven laps in three mains. He was up front for 20 laps in Detroit with five of those being the fastest on the track.

Last week’s win by Hunter Lawrence tied him with his brother Jett Lawrence for 17th on the all-time wins’ list. With the focus shifting to 250 West for the next two rounds, Jett has a great opportunity to pull back ahead. The real test will be at the first East / West Showdown in East Rutherford, New Jersey on April 22.

Last Five Seattle Winners

2022: Eli Tomac
2019: Marvin Musquin
2018: Eli Tomac
2017: Marvin Musquin
2014: Ryan Villopoto

2022: Hunter Lawrence
2019: Dylan Ferrandis
2018: Aaron Plessinger
2017: Aaron Plessinger
2014: Cole Seely

By the Numbers

Anaheim 2
San Diego

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