Vettel: Mercedes drivers ‘in a world of their own’ in Monza qualifying

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Sebastian Vettel was content with third place in Formula 1 qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix, believing Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg to be “in a world of their own” on Saturday afternoon at Monza.

Vettel led Ferrari’s charge on Saturday, putting the team’s newly-upgraded power unit to good use by qualifying third ahead of teammate Kimi Raikkonen.

Despite locking out the second row for its home race, Ferrari was left some eight-tenths of a second adrift of pole-man Hamilton. Nevertheless, Vettel was pleased with his efforts.

“I wasn’t that happy with the first shot in Q3. I sort of lost the rhythm a bit, then was able to get it back,” Vettel explained.

“I had a good lap, then went on the limit on the last corner, I actually lost and was a bit late on throttle. I think the lap itself, after not a great start, not a great first sector, where we are still losing out compared to Q2, I brought it back in sectors two and three.”

Vettel admitted he felt disappointed by the gap to Mercedes, but conceded the Silver Arrows were unbeatable at Monza.

“Very happy for us to lock out the second row as a team,” Vettel said.

“Not entirely happy because the gap is quite big to those guys ahead. They were in a world of their own today.”

Vettel also paid tribute to the tens of thousands of Ferrari fans who filled the grandstands at Monza on Saturday.

“It is so great to see we have so much support. I think last year was already phenomenal and this year it seems so much better,” Vettel said.

“Every out lap you do, people stand up and wave, you see so many flags. The support we get around here is massive.

“Big thanks to everyone all around the track to the Tifosi. Hopefully we can give something back to them tomorrow.”

The Italian Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and the NBC Sports app from 7am ET on Sunday.

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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