“You won’t hear someone speaking bad about Seb”

In the round-up: Formula 1 drivers have expressed their respect for Sebastian Vettel after the four-time champion announced his retirement from Formula 1 yesterday

In brief

Rivals pay tribute to Vettel after retirement announcement

Vettel’s announcement of his retirement prompted a wave of praise from his rivals past and present.

Reigning world champion Max Verstappen said Vettel “had an amazing career” and is “a great ambassador for the sport”, while long-time rival Lewis Hamilton said he was convinced that “whatever he does, it’s going to be great if he applies himself the way he has here.”

Lance Stroll, Vettel’s current team mate, said he was “a great team player and someone that that’s been really easy to work alongside”. Lando Norris praised how approachable the multiple champion had been, describing how Vettel was “always open for a chat, which is always something you admire and have a lot of respect for, when you are also such big competitors at the same time.”

Carlos Sainz Jnr, a former Red Bull junior driver, said Vettel had been “a great role model” before his debut in Formula 1. “Everyone in the paddock loves him,” Sainz said. “You will not hear someone speaking bad about Seb.”

Verstappen wants 16-race calendar on just “the good tracks”

Max Verstappen says he would like to have fewer races on the F1 calendar. Asked what one rule he would like to see changed in the sport, the world champion replied “less races.”

The 2022 season will feature a record-equalling 22 rounds after being originally planned to include 23 before the cancellation of the Russian Grand Prix.

Asked what the ideal number of rounds in the calendar would be, Verstappen said “I think, like, 16. Just pick all the good tracks. Leave all the others out.” The 2023 F1 calendar is tipped to feature a record-breaking 24 rounds with the addition of races in Las Vegas and Qatar.

Illott signs “long term” extension with Juncos Hollinger

Callum Ilott, Juncos Hollinger, Indianapolis 500 testing, 2022
Ilott is extending his stay in IndyCar

IndyCar rookie Callum Ilott has signed a “long term” contract extension that will see him remain in the series with the Juncos Hollinger team for the “foreseeable future”.

Ilott is competing in his first full IndyCar season with the team after racing at three rounds with the team at the end of 2021. Ilott currently sits 21st in the standings with 150 points with a best finish of eighth in the Indianapolis Grand Prix.

“The potential that we have shown as a one car team can only get better as we grow and expand this programme,” said Ilott. “I am super happy to continue working with all the team members at JHR, we have created a great foundation together this season.”

Newgarden cleared to take part in practice

Penske driver Josef Newgarden has been evaluated by IndyCar’s medical director Dr Geoffrey Billows and cleared to take part in Friday’s practice session at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course. A further evaluation will be conducted afterwards to determine whether the driver who lies third in the championship can continue to compete in its 13th round.

Santino Ferrucci is on standby if Penske require a replacement for Newgarden who spent a night in hospital after hitting his head in a fall at Iowa on Sunday, following the crash which put him out of the race.

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