Vettel, Ferrari spoil Mercedes’ party: 9 moments you missed in motorsport this weekend

Vettel

In a weekend jam-packed with motorsport action, we cover the latest and greatest clash in Formula 1 (and we promise that you definitely didn’t see this one coming), NASCAR’s chaotic event at Martinsville Speedway (which isn’t really a speedway at all, mind) and the opening of the MotoGP season, which was one of the best races we’ve seen in a long, long time.

1. Formula 1: Vettel claims first win for Ferrari, revives F1

Here’s a turn for the books — Sebastian Vettel claimed his first win for Ferrari, his 40th overall and his first since, well, I actually can’t quite remember, at Sepang this weekend.

It’s exactly what Formula 1 needed and was a brilliant drive to deny the Mercedes duo another top step of the podium. They did, however, bring up the rear of the podium.

2. Formula 1: Female F1 World Championship on the cards?

Bernie Ecclestone has suggested that Formula 1 should be split into two gendered championships, with one exclusively for male competitors, and another for female.

“I thought it would be a good idea to give them a showcase. For some reason, women are not coming through – and not because we don’t want them,” he told Sky Sports this weekend.

Perhaps his intentions are good, but the implementation is highly flawed. In American series, females are allowed to take part in events so why should Formula 1 be any different?

3. IndyCar Series: Montoya still has it, claims St. Pete victory

In the IndyCar Series season opener in St. Petersburg, Florida, Juan Pablo Montoya has claimed victory, showing the world that he really is one of the most versatile single seater drivers ever. It’s his first road-course win since 1999 when he was racing in the now defunct CART series.

With the cars sporting new aero kits reminiscent of the early 2000s in Formula 1, the cars are much quicker around corners than they were in years prior. Needless to say, as a result, there were a few more bumps and scrapes in downtown St. Pete

4. NASCAR Sprint Cup: Denny Hamlin wins messy race at the Paperclip

It’s what you’d expect at Martinsville, but this NASCAR Sprint Cup event was rather stop start, with 16 full course yellows, but Denny Hamlin came through to win the event, ahead of Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano, who recovered from an early spin.

Kevin Harvick finished outside the top three for the first time this season, occupying eighth place.

5. GT3 cars banned from the Nurburgring Nordschliefe after horrific crash

A spectator was killed and others injured this weekend in a GT3 accident on Nurburgring Nordschliefe.

Jann Mardenborough driving a Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 in a VLN Endurance race, lost control of his car at the Flugplatz corner just before the rise, hit the barrier and flipped over the debris catchment fence.

“Today’s events have been a tragedy. We are all deeply shocked and saddened by these events and our immediate thoughts go to the deceased, those injured and their families and friends,” remarked Nissan in a statement.

GT3 cars have been banned indefinitely from the circuit.

6. MotoGP: Rossi rolls back the years, Italy locks out the podium

In a classic Rossi performance, the Italian came back from being tenth on the first lap to win the MotoGP season opener, ahead of a monstrously fast Ducati podium pair at Losail. It’s the first time that Rossi has led the MotoGP Championship since 2010, but that doesn’t quite do the Doctor any justice.

In 20 season and 313 starts, he now has 83 wins, nine Championships and a hell of a lot of respect from the likes of Marc Marquez, who himself had a stellar race to finish fifth after falling to the back of the field on lap one.

Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone joined Rossi on the podium — an Italian lockout.

8. TCR: new touring car series debuts in Malaysia

This week saw a new series on the world stage — TCR. The touring car series consisting of SEAT, Audi, Ford, Honda and Opel machinery took to the hot Sepang sun, with Stefano Comini and Jordi Gene taking the race wins respectively.

The series will remain as a Formula 1 support event in China.

9. V8 Supercars: Whincup wins, Lowndes misses out on 100th win

Not everyone’s mind was fixed on motorsport in Australia this weekend, so Craig Lowndes second-corner faux pas was at least explainable from that point of view. It did allow his teammate, Jamie Whincup to challenge Chaz Mostert for the win in Tasmania, and the former duly took advantage.

Shane van Ginsbergen took third.

Feature image: Scott Cresswell via Flickr

Andy Walker
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