Vettel ‘not bothered’ by F1 title talk so early in season


Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel says he is “not bothered” by the fight for the Formula 1 drivers’ championship at such an early point in the season despite already forging at 25-point lead in the standings.

Four-time world champion Vettel took his third win in six races last time out in Monaco, allowing him to breakaway from Mercedes rival Lewis Hamilton at the top of the points table.

Vettel knows what it is like to fight for championships and be in the groove for a title success early in the season, yet the German said he could not compare the feeling he has now at Ferrari to his previous strong seasons at Red Bull.

“I don’t know, it’s been a while. I tend to forget things! That’s why usually I tend to write things down,” Vettel told NBCSN when asked about the feeling of being on a title roll.

“I didn’t write that specific one down years ago, so maybe I should have and then I could give you a proper answer! I don’t know.

“I think at this point of the year I’m not really bothered by the championship. Obviously it’s important to collect points, I know that. We want to win races, we have the chance, we have a great car.

“I don’t think you need to be a genius to know that if you win a lot of races you score also a lot of points. So that’s the approach now.

“Maybe later in the year we can be a bit more sophisticated.”

Travis Pastrana leads flag-to-flag in Nitro Rallycross as the series returns to America

Pastrana Nitro Rallycross
Barry Chin / Getty Images

Travis Pastrana waited until the final trip around ERX Motor Park to take his Joker Lap – a longer way around the course that all drivers must do at least once in a race – and came out cleanly to win his first Nitro Rallycross race of 2022. With this win, Pastrana is the third driver to visit Victory Lane in the first three rounds of the 2022-23 season.

“This is the closest to a motocross track,” Pastrana told Katie Osborne on Peacock. “Thank you so much for a beautiful facility. It’s been a rough start to the season and I’m so thankful to be back out here. We had a good run in the side-by-side and now for this. This is much needed.”

Another thing needed was the sense of improvement. And Pastrana earned that affirmation each time he completed a lap around the course.

“I get my lap times read out and they said ‘fastest time of the week,’ ‘fastest time of the week’ (each time around) ” Pastrana said. “This is really special. We’re a long way behind in the championship, but welcome to America.”

In a pre-race press conference, Pastrana said that as Nitro Rallycross heads back to America, it was time for an American to win and he made good on his promise. Pastrana took the early lead over Robin Larsson and let the back of his Subaru hang out, taking risks he might not otherwise take if not for his need to win.

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Larsson’s second-place finish completed a perfect sweep of the podium in three rounds. In fact, he has not yet finished worse than second after winning the opening round at Lydden Hill in the United Kingdom and finishing second at Strangnas in Sweeden.

Fraser McConnel rounded out the podium for his best result of the season. He finished fourth in each of the first two rounds.

Last year, Pastrana finished second in this race to Scott Speed before narrowly edging his teammate for the championship.

Andreas Bakkerud crashed in prelims, but rebounded to finish just off the block in fourth. Bakkerud won the second round ahead of his teammate Larsson.

Oliver Bennett completed the top five.

Minneapolis is the first of three rounds scheduled in the United States. Next on the schedule is Glen Helen, Calif. on Octo 30 and then Phoenix at Wild Horse Pass on November 12th. Nitro Rallycross will then head to Saudi Arabia in December to continue their 2022-23 season.