Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany steers his car during the Formula One Grand Prix at the Monaco racetrack in Monaco, Sunday, May 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)

The Latest: Vettel climbs into the lead at Monaco GP

May 28, 2017 - 9:03 am

The Latest on motorsport's busiest day (all times local):

3 p.m.

There has been a flurry of activity in the pit lane halfway through the Monaco Grand Prix.

Valtteri Bottas came in first to change the tires on his Mercedes, quickly followed by Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen. That left Sebastian Vettel in the lead from Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo, but Vettel also needed a new set of tires.

He timed his stop perfectly on lap 39 — exactly halfway — and came back out ahead of Raikkonen and into the race lead.

Ricciardo jumped ahead of Bottas, but Ricciardo's Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen felt far from happy to be back in fifth and used an expletive over race radio.

French driver Esteban Ocon also blasted his team over radio after having to come in for a puncture repair on his Force India car.

— Jerome Pugmire in Monaco


8:45 a.m. ET

The record-setting crowds that witnessed the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 last year haven't fallen off much this year, the roads surrounding the speedway turning to parking lots more than six hours before the signal to start the engines.

It's race day at Indianapolis. And as usual, hundreds of thousands will be on hand.

The wait to get into parking was already about 90 minutes shortly before 6 a.m., and the green flag is scheduled to drop shortly after noon. For now, a few puffy clouds dot the sky, but there is a chance for thunderstorms.

— Dave Skretta in Indianapolis


2:40 p.m.

Lewis Hamilton is making his way through the field and into the points at the Monaco Grand Prix.

The three-time F1 champion started back from 13th place on the grid after a surprisingly bad performance from his Mercedes in Saturday's qualifying.

But the British driver has picked up three places and is up to 10th place after 30 laps of the 78-lap race.

Up ahead, Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas was closing in on second-placed Sebastian Vettel's Ferrari. Kimi Raikkonen still leads as he chases his first win since the season-opening Australian GP in 2013.

— Jerome Pugmire in Monaco


2:20 p.m.

Kimi Raikkonen has made a solid start from pole position at the Monaco Grand Prix.

Championship leader Sebastian Vettel, his Ferrari teammate, also got away cleanly from second on the grid. Vettel held off Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas heading into the first corner.

Vettel's title rival, Lewis Hamilton, starting from way back in 13th place on the grid, overtook McLaren's Stoffel Vandoorne and jumped up one place to 12th.

Renault driver Nico Hulkenberg's race ended on lap 17 with a gear box problem.

— Jerome Pugmire in Monaco


2:05 p.m.

British driver Jenson Button got a surprise message on the radio just as he was preparing to start the Monaco Grand Prix.

It was from Fernando Alonso, who skipped this year's Formula One race to run in the Indianapolis 500.

Button came out of retirement for this race to fill in for Alonso. The exchange went like this.

Alonso: "I am sure you don't want to hear my voice before you start but I just want to say good luck and I will be watching you here."

"Thanks mate!" Button replied. "I am going to pee in your seat!"

Said Alonso: "Please don't do that!"

— Jerome Pugmire in Monaco


1:50 p.m.

It's a meeting of high-profile celebrities on the grid under sun-kissed skies at the Monaco Grand Prix.

From the world of sport, tennis star Serena Williams and record-breaking ski champion Lindsey Vonn mingled with drivers shortly before the race.

Vonn also had her photo taken with muscular Australian actor Chris Hemsworth, who played the role of daredevil F1 driver James Hunt in the 2013 film "Rush."

Film producer George Lucas of Star Wars fame was also spotted along with Canadian model Winnie Harlow.

— Jerome Pugmire in Monaco


1 p.m.

The Monaco Grand Prix has the beautiful weather to go with the glitz, glamor and yachts this time around.

Fans were hiding under umbrellas before last year's race, but shorts and sunglasses are the order of the day.

It promises to be an eventful race, with three-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton starting from way back on the grid.

The British driver won last year's race from third on the grid, but will do well to even get a podium position from 13th place.

Monaco's tight 3.4-kilometer (2.1-mile) course is the hardest to overtake on in F1, further limiting his chances.

His main title rival Sebastian Vettel starts second alongside Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen, who is in pole position.

— Jerome Pugmire in Monaco



One of the busiest days in motorsports has arrived.

The Formula One series kicks things off with the Monaco Grand Prix. Four-time F1 champion Sebastian Vettel holds a slender six-point lead on three-time champion Lewis Hamilton. They have two wins each, but Vettel's Ferrari looks much quicker than it did last year while Hamilton's Mercedes is not as dominant. Vettel starts the race on the front row alongside teammate Kimi Raikkonen.

The Indianapolis 500 is next, with a special guest this year. All eyes will be on two-time F1 champion Fernando Alonso as the Spaniard makes a one-off debut. He qualified in fifth place for the biggest race on the IndyCar calendar. Will Dixon is on the pole for the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing."

NASCAR wraps things up Sunday night with one of its biggest races of the year, the Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Kevin Harvick is on the pole.


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