What’s next for Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari after their impending F1 split?

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Sebastian Vettel might walk away from Ferrari after the 2020 season without delivering the Formula One title the proud Italian team so desperately wants.

The question now becomes where the four-time world champion will head next season and who will replace him at one of the series’ most legendary and successful teams?

McLaren driver Carlos Sainz Jr. and Renault driver Daniel Ricciardo are two of the names widely touted as possible replacements for Ferrari.

SURPRISE CAMEOVettel makes competitive sim racing debut in Legends Trophy

Sainz Jr., 25, is the son of two-time world rally champion Carlos Sainz. The Spanish driver finished a credible sixth last season, showing great consistency and good racecraft.

Ricciardo, 30, had a dismal first season with Renault, finishing in ninth. But the Australian driver proved his ability at Red Bull Racing, winning seven races and outperforming Vettel when they were paired together in 2014 (he had three wins while Vettel was winless).

Fernando Alonso returning to F1 and Ferrari would be an outside bet. The two-time F1 champion is 38 and had 11 victories with Ferrari from 2010-14.

Having raced the Indianapolis 500, the Dakar Rally and won the 24 Hours of LeMans and Rolex 24 sports car classics, Alonso still is considered among the world’s best drivers in pure ability. If Sainz. Jr. joins Ferrari, it would open the door for Alonso at McLaren.

The options seem less clear for Vettel, who is leaving at the end of year by mutual consent.

McLaren and Renault could be destinations for Vettel, who has 53 victories, 57 pole positions and 120 podium finishes in 240 starts from 2007-19. Even at 32, retirement would be an option for a driver who reportedly made $40 million last year.

The German driver joined Ferrari in 2015 to replace Fernando Alonso but was unable to add to his four consecutive world titles at Red Bull Racing from 2010-13.

Observers expected him to break Michael Schumacher’s record of seven F1 titles.

Now that is within reach of world champion Lewis Hamilton, who has six. Hamilton’s rise with Mercedes has been mirrored by Vettel’s gradual slide at Ferrari.

Vettel had ample chances to win Ferrari’s first world title since Kimi Raikkonen in 2007. He led the championship at the halfway stage in 2017 and 2018, but a series of clumsy mistakes – unbefitting a driver of his vast experience – proved costly.

At Singapore in 2017, he launched off pole position and tried to cut off Max Verstappen’s Red Bull, causing a multicar crash that Hamilton avoided to win the GP and reclaim the championship lead.

At the German GP in 2018, Vettel on course to a win at Hockenheim. Holding a comfortable lead and with Hamilton some distance behind, Vettel misjudged a routine turn and crashed into the barriers, again gifting Hamilton a win and the championship momentum.

Last year, the pressure appeared to affect Vettel’s judgment. Furious that he was stripped of victory at the Canadian GP because of a time penalty, he theatrically grabbed the big No. 1 sign and parked it in front of his car, while moving the No. 2 in front of Hamilton’s Mercedes.

Vettel was also not helped by erratic and sometimes conflicting team orders, although by the same token his win last year at Singapore was because orders went in his favor over Charles Leclerc.

Vettel could improve his stock with a strong 2020, but it’s unclear when he will have the chance. Because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Formula One has yet to race in 2020. The series hopes to start the season with a July 5 doubleheader in Austria.

It’s possible that 15 to 18 of the originally scheduled 22 races will happen.

Eli Tomac wins Houston Supercross: Hunter Lawrence takes early 250 East lead

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With his 47th career victory and third of the 2023 season in Houston, Eli Tomac closed to within one win of tying Ricky Carmichael for third on the all-time Monster Energy Supercross list.

Tomac rebounded from last week’s crash by earning the holeshot in both his heat and the Main. At the start of the big show, he couldn’t shake Aaron Plessinger in the first four minutes and actually was in the process of losing the lead as a red flag waved for a crash involving Tomac’s teammate Dylan Ferrandis when he overjumped an obstacle and landed on Ken Roczen’s back fender as they raced for eighth.

“That was a tough race,” Tomac told NBC Sports’ Will Christien, referencing his loss to Chase Sexton in the heat. “And honestly, I was just beat down after that heat race and was searching quite a bit and was basically losing speed everywhere. I just rode better, straight up in the Main. I felt better.”

In their heat, Sexton passed Tomac at the two-minute mark and then simply rode away from the field. At the end, he had an almost eight-second gap on Tomac.

“It wasn’t great by any means,” Sexton told Jason Thomas. “I feel like the strengths I had all day, I really lagged in the Main event between the whoop and the sand section. I think I could have walked through it faster. It was still a good ride; it wasn’t great. I expected after the heat race he would be fired up.”

RESULTS: How they finished for the 450 Main in Anaheim 2

Jason Anderson scored his second consecutive pole, but he was not happy to finish third behind the two points’ leaders.

“We should be thankful every time we get to be up here,” Anderson said. “They’re making it tough on me, but all I can do is give my best.”

Tomac had to withstand a red flag and the distant second place finish in his heat to win the Houston Supercross race. In the post-race conference, he indicated that he did not make any changes to the bike and simply rode better.

Aaron Plessinger and Cooper Webb rounded out the top five.

Ferrandis was fitted with a neck brace, but still able to walk to the medical cart. He was still being evaluated by the medical staff as the night came to a close.


In 250s Hunter Lawrence entered the 250 East opener as the consensus favorite to win the championship this year with Christian Craig making the move into 450s and his brother Jett Lawrence in the West division. He answered quickly with a huge lead in Heat 1, but it almost went awry in the Main.

Lawrence got a good start, but he was passed early in the race by two-time MXGP champion (2020, 2022) Tom Vialle, who was making his Supercross debut this week. Vialle passed Lawrence on the first lap. When Lawrence tried to pass him back, Vialle scrubbed speed off a jump and pushed Lawrence wide, over the Tuff Blox.

Championships are made out of Lawrence’s response. He kept his composure and did not overcorrect before methodically working his way to the front.

“We had a little off track excursion. I wasn’t sure how hard across Tom was coming so I thought I’ll just go left, but then saw that was the side of the track. Thankfully I didn’t hit the Tuff Blox and got back on track safely. … Good start; put myself in position.”

Click here for full 250 East Main Results

Making a move from the 450 class to 250s, Max Anstie had immediate success. He finished second in his heat behind Jordon Smith and lined up with a great gate pick. He had to overtake Vialle in the opening laps and lost ground on Lawrence, that cost enough time to keep him from pressing Lawrence. This is Anstie’s first podium in the United States

“Honestly, I’ve dreamed of this for a long time to come up on these steps and man it’s a great feeling. I’ve really enjoyed the day and being on this 250, I feel like an 18-year-old kid. Everyday I’m learning.”

Smith backed up his heat win with a podium finish.

“It feels good to be back up here again,” Smith said. “It’s been a long time; a lot of injuries.”

Haiden Deegan proved the hype surrounding his debut in the 250 class was not unfounded. He finished fourth in his heat to advance to directly into the Main. During the early laps, he was circling the track in a podium position until a minor mistake sent him off the box. In the closing laps, he narrowly made an aggressive pass on Jeremy Martin and narrowly missed the podium with a fourth-place finish.

Martin held on to round out the top five.

Vialle was running in a podium position when went down with a 1:30 left on the clock. He ended his night seventh.

Chance Hymas was also making his 250 debut and scored a top-10 in eighth.

2023 Race Recaps

Anaheim 2: Triple Crown produces new winners Chase Sexton, Levi Kitchen
San Diego: Eli Tomac, Jett Lawrence double down
Anaheim 1: Tomac wins opener for the first time

Houston coverage

Houston by the numbers
Supercross unveils 16th edition of a Ricky Carmichael designed Daytona track
Power Rankings after week 3
Malcom Stewart out for “extended duration” after knee surgery
Haiden Deegan makes Supercross debut in Houston, Justin Cooper to 450s
Talon Hawkins set to relieve injured Jalek Swoll in Houston
Jalek Swoll out for an indefinite period with broken arm
Ken Roczen urgently needed a change
Chris Blose joins Pro Circuit Kawasaki in 250 East opener
Seth Hammaker to miss Houston with wrist injury
Jo Shimoda joins Seth Hammaker, Austin Forkner on injured list