Vettel bounces back from Friday struggles to qualify third in Hungary

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Sebastian Vettel was pleased to bounce back from a rough Friday practice to qualify in third place for tomorrow’s Hungarian Grand Prix.

Vettel was sidelined for extended periods in Friday’s practice sessions due to an electrical issue on his Ferrari car.

Problems were not exclusive to his side of the garage, though, as teammate Kimi Raikkonen suffered a front wing failure in FP1 and a water leak in FP3.

This left Ferrari sweating on the reliability of its cars ahead of qualifying on Saturday afternoon, but Vettel was able to lead the team’s charge by qualifying third ahead of Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo and Raikkonen, who finished fifth.

“We had a difficult day yesterday with some things stopping us and slowing us down,” Vettel said. “It was difficult to get a feel for the car.

“So for today, I’m glad we found direction. We took it a little bit easier, trying to build it up in FP3 which worked. Throughout qualifying the car kept coming to us and kept improving.”

Vettel believes that he could not have qualified any higher than third on the grid for the race on Sunday given the pace of the Mercedes drivers ahead.

However, the Hungarian Grand Prix is notorious for drama, giving the German some hope of fighting with the Silver Arrows on Sunday.

“Third was the maximum we could do today, so we can be very very happy, especially with the rough start to the weekend,” Vettel said.

“Now obviously we’re hoping for a good race. Who knows on this track, there’s usually a lot of things happening on Sunday.

“Maybe we can do something with these [Mercedes] guys, but I expect a tight race also with people behind to Williams and Red Bull in particular.”

The Hungarian Grand Prix is live on CNBC and Live Extra from 7:30am ET on Sunday.

Steve Torrence takes NHRA points lead with Gatornationals victory

NHRA Gainesville Steve Torrence
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Two-time defending NHRA Top Fuel champion Steve Torrence took the points lead Sunday in the AMALIE Motor Oil Gatornationals, beating his father, Billy, in the final round at Gainesville Raceway.

Torrence had a 3.809-second run at 322.11 mph to win for the third time this year and 39th overall. He is now on track for another championship despite missing the season opener.

“We’ve got some good momentum and to be in the points lead, it’s a testament to how hard these guys work,” Steve Torrence said after the NHRA Gainesville victory. “We’ve just got to stay focused and concentrate on what the task at hand is, and that’s trying to win a championship. These guys give me an unbelievable race car and you just try not to screw it up.”

Ron Capps won in Funny Car, Alex Laughlin in Pro Stock and Matt Smith in Pro Stock Motorcycle.

Capps raced to his second win this year and 66th overall, beating Tim Wilkerson with a 3.937 at 323.12 in a Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat.

Laughlin topped Aaron Stanfield with a 7.068 at 204.76 in a Chevrolet Camaro for his first win this season and fourth in his career. Smith rode to his first victory in 2020 and 25th overall, topping Andrew Hines with a 6.843 at 196.99 on an EBR.