Vettel struggles in Russian GP qualifying, dropping out in Q2

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Sebastian Vettel’s Russian Grand Prix weekend has gone from bad to worse on Saturday after he qualified down in 11th place for tomorrow’s race in Sochi, dropping out in Q2.

The German driver could not hook up a quick lap in the second part of qualifying, resulting in elimination at the end of the session as he missed out on a place in the top ten shootout.

Red Bull teammate Daniel Ricciardo fared better, qualifying seventh, but Vettel felt that the changes made to the car following practice were to his detriment.

“I wasn’t comfortable in the car today,” Vettel explained. “It was very difficult, I think we took a step back from this morning and we expected the rear to be a lot stronger and the track to pick up more than it did.

“The car felt nervous, so I couldn’t take the speed into the corners, I lost the rear many times around the lap and therefore wasn’t quick enough.”

Both Vettel and Ricciardo will make up one position on the grid by virtue of Kevin Magnussen’s penalty, and team principal Christian Horner believes that the team’s race pace will put it in better stead tomorrow.

“A difficult session for both our divers, finishing what will become sixth and tenth,” he said. “We seem to have struggled to have one lap pace so far this weekend, hopefully our long runs have looked stronger and we can make some progress from those grid positions tomorrow.”

You can watch tomorrow’s Russian Grand Prix live from 6:30am ET on NBCSN and Live Extra.

Sports imitates art with Tyler Bereman’s Red Bull Imagination course

Red Bull Imagination Bereman
Chris Tedesco / Red Bull Content Pool
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This past weekend riders took on the Red Bull Imagination, a one-of-a-kind event conceived by Tyler Bereman – an event that blended art, imagination, and sports.

In its third year, Red Bull Imagination opened to the public for the first-time, inviting fans to experience a more personal and creative side of the riders up close and personal.

As the event elevates its stature, the course gets tougher. The jumps get higher and the competition stouter. This year’s course took inspiration from a skatepark, honoring other adrenaline-laced pastimes and competitions.

“There’s a ton of inspiration from other action sports,” Bereman said told Red Bull writer Eric Shirk as he geared up for the event.

MORE: Trystan Hart wins Red Bull Tennessee Knockout 

Bereman was the leading force in the creation of this event and the winner of its inaugural running. In 2022, Bereman had to settle for second with Axell Hodges claiming victory on the largest freeride course created uniquely for the Red Bull Imagination.

Unlike other courses, Bereman gave designer Jason Baker the liberty to create obstacles and jumps as he went. And this was one of the components that helped the course imitate art.

Baker’s background in track design comes from Supercross. In that sport, he had to follow strict guidelines and build the course to a specific length and distance. From the building of the course through the final event, Bereman’s philosophy was to give every person involved, from creators to riders, fans and beyond, the chance to express themselves.

He wanted the sport to bridge the valley between racing and art.

Tyler Bereman uses one of Red Bull Imagination’s unique jumps. Garth Milan / Red Bull Content Pool

Hodges scored a 98 on the course and edged Bereman by two points. Both riders used the vast variety of jumps to spend a maximum amount of time airborne. Hodges’s first run included nearly every available obstacle including a 180-foot jump before backflipping over the main road.

The riders were able to secure high point totals on their first runs. Then, the wind picked up ahead of Round 2. Christian Dresser and Guillem Navas were able to improve their scores on the second run by creating new lines on the course and displaying tricks that did not need the amount of hangtime as earlier runs. They were the only riders to improve from run one to run two.

With first and second secured with their early runs, Hodge and Bereman teamed up to use their time jointly to race parallel lines and create tandem hits. The two competitors met at the center of the course atop the Fasthouse feature and revved their engines in an embrace.

Julien Vanstippen rounded out the podium with a final score of 92; his run included a landing of a 130-foot super flip.