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Vettel splits Mercedes in Spa qualifying, thanks Raikkonen for tow

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Sebastian Vettel was pleased to split Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas during Formula 1 qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix on Saturday, making use of a tow from Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen to secure second place on the grid.

As title rival Hamilton charged to pole with a new lap record at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, Vettel was able to finish just two-tenths of a second shy of the Mercedes driver after making significant gains on his final flying lap.

Vettel was aided at the end of Q3 by Raikkonen, who after making a mistake further ahead on-track opted to drop back and give his teammate a tow by running ahead in dirty air.

“I think I had a little bit of help from a friend. Kimi here obviously had to abort his lap and he was very generous in giving me a nice tow in the last sector which I think got me like two-tenths,” Vettel said.

“That helped and made it a little bit comfortable with Valtteri, looking at the result. In Q1 I was really happy, the car was amazing. In Q2, the main job was to get through and then Q3, first lap, I was missing a little bit the feel for the front.

“The second run in Q3 was better in that regard, so I was very happy with the last lap and as I said obviously a bit of a help.

“The pace has been good this weekend I think less for one lap but more so for long runs so let’s see what we can do tomorrow.”

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

Ka-boom! NHRA Funny Car driver Cruz Pedregon blows up brand new car body

Photo and video courtesy NHRA
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Former NHRA Funny Car champ Cruz Pedregon was a happy man coming into Friday’s qualifying for this weekend’s Dodge NHRA Mile-High Nationals in Morrison, Colorado (a suburb of Denver).

The reason Pedregon was feeling good was he had a brand new Toyota Camry body atop his Funny Car chassis. It was state of the art, it looked fast and it was prepared to run fast.

And everything really looked good as soon as Pedregon hit the gas in his qualifying run vs. Tim Wilkerson.

Well, for a few seconds, that is.

As the two drivers hurtled down the 1,000-foot drag strip, Pedregon’s brand new body was destroyed in a massive explosion.

Fortunately, Pedregon was uninjured.

Check out the big ka-boom: