Vettel: Fight for pole impossible after fall in temperature


Sebastian Vettel has explained how the fall in temperature ahead of qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix on Saturday cost Ferrari a chance to fight for pole position.

Vettel was the fastest driver in the final free practice session on Saturday morning in Monaco, suggesting that he was capable of getting in the fight with the two Mercedes drivers for pole position.

However, he faded in the final part of qualifying thanks to falling temperatures, finishing eight-tenths of a second down on pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton in third place.

“I’m generally happy with the result,” Vettel said. “I think it was a bit too cool for us today. I think everyone was struggling a bit with warming up the tires.

“It sounds surprising because it’s the super-softs, but I think it was a shame that the sun was hiding behind the clouds.

“Nevertheless, I think it was a good session for us, and P3 is a good place to start from tomorrow. Hopefully we can split the Mercedes and therefore have an exciting race tomorrow.”

Vettel admitted that he was slightly concerned in Q1 when Ferrari opted not to run him or teammate Kimi Raikkonen for a second time in the session, but believes that the team made the right decision.

“No, not completely calm!” Vettel said. “Obviously I knew roughly at the time that it should be fine, what we thought would be enough, but it was close.

“When you see yourself dropping down and the timer ticking away from you, you can’t really react and go out and have another run. it’s not nice but in the end it was okay for both of us.

“We did the right thing, targeted to prepare ourselves for the last part of qualifying. Unfortunately it was not enough to get really really close to them and put them under pressure, but tomorrow’s another day.”

F1 Countdown for the Monaco Grand Prix is live on NBCSN from 7am on Sunday, before switching over to NBC at 7:30am ET for the race.

SuperMotocross set to introduce Leader Lights beginning with the World Championship finals


In a continuing effort to help fans keep track of the on track action, SuperMotocross is in the process of developing and implementing leader lights for the unified series.

Currently Supercross (SMX) utilizes stanchions in the infield that are triggered manually by a race official. At least two stanchions are used in each race as a way to draw the eye to the leader, which is especially useful in the tight confines of the stadium series when lapping often begins before the halfway mark in the 22-bike field. This system has been in place for the past two decades.

Later this year, a fully automated system will move to the bike itself to replace the old system. At that point, fans will be able to identify the leader regardless of where he is on track.

The leader lights were tested in the second Anaheim round this year. An example can be seen at the 1:45 mark in the video above on the No. 69 bike.

“What we don’t want to do is move too fast, where it’s confusing to people,” said Mike Muye, senior director of operations for Supercross and SMX in a press release. “We’ve really just focused on the leader at this point with the thought that maybe down the road we’ll introduce others.”

Scheduled to debut with the first SuperMotocross World Championship race at zMax Dragway, located just outside the Charlotte Motor Speedway, a 3D carbon fiber-printed LED light will be affixed to each motorcycle. Ten timing loops positioned around the track will trigger the lights of the leader, which will turn green.

SMX’s partner LiveTime Scoring helped develop and implement the system that has been tested in some form or fashion since 2019.

When the leader lights are successfully deployed, SuperMotocross will explore expanding the system to identify the second- and third-place riders. Depending on need and fan acceptance, more positions could be added.

SuperMotocross is exploring future enhancements, including allowing for live fan interaction with the lights and ways to use the lighting system during the race’s opening ceremony.