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Formula 1: Raikkonen laments missed pole in Azerbaijan

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Scuderia Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen looked destined to grab the pole for Sunday’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix, the Finn leading teammate Sebastian Vettel by two-tenths of a second heading into the final sector of his qualifying run on Saturday.

However, a big mistake in Turn 16 saw Raikkonen get the power down a little too hard on corner exit, kicking the back of his SF71H out and costing him over a second in lap time. All told, the error dropped him to sixth on the grid.

“I went sideways. That’s about it. It was really frustrating losing a pretty decent lap at that point,” said Raikkonen in a piece posted to Formula1.com.

He explained further that he attempted to go easy entering Turn 16, knowing it had also affected several other drivers, but it was to no avail.

“No excuse. I took it easier even on the entry because obviously it’s been a bit tricky all day,” Raikkonen said. “Went sideways, I got it back but at that point already, I knew it was all gone as it’s all flat out and long straights. It was a mistake and cost us quite a few places. Not the greatest ending.”

Raikkonen’s teammate Vettel will start on the pole, with Mercedes AMG Petronas’ Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas starting second and third. The Red Bull Racing duo of Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen will also start ahead of Raikkonen in fourth and fifth.

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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.