Vettel takes blame for causing front wing damage

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Sebastian Vettel has confirmed to NBCSN that it was his own error that caused the damage to his front wing during the Bahrain Grand Prix and ultimately cost him a podium finish on Sunday.

The German driver had been fighting for second place with Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg after making his final pit stop, but ran wide at the final corner, allowing his compatriot past.

By running over the kerbs at high-speed, Vettel also sustained some damage to his front wing, forcing him to make a third pit stop.

He emerged back on track in fifth place, and crossed the line in the same position after failing to pass Valtteri Bottas in the final stages of the race.

Speaking to NBCSN, Vettel confirmed that he was to blame for causing the damage, but was pleased to see teammate Kimi Raikkonen finish on the podium.

“No, I think the running wide, so it’s my mistake,” Vettel said when asked how the damage occurred.

“I tried obviously to get a good exit but went in a little bit too deep. Defending my position against Nico today was not my strength.

“Both times he managed to get past after we jumped him at the stop, so no entirely happy, but yeah, it just didn’t come together today, but overall a very positive weekend for us as a team.

“Kimi drove a very good race, it’s good to see him on the podium.”

Vettel was unhappy with his performance in Bahrain, believing that he made too many mistakes throughout the race.

“Not a very good race form my side to be honest,” he said. “Too many mistakes and I think we spent too much time in traffic. I wasn’t able to do the pace that I should have done today.”

The result marks Vettel’s first finish off the podium in 2015, and sees him fall to third place in the drivers’ championship behind Rosberg.

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.

The idea of Hamilton attending the 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 only would be fitting if 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 — spent 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).