F1 Testing in Barcelona - Day Two

Hamilton excited by Alonso challenge

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Lewis Hamilton has set his sights on beating Fernando Alonso this season, claiming that the rivalry between them excites him more than the prospect of beating ex-teammate Jenson Button.

“That [rivalry with Button] doesn’t really excite me. The rivalry between me and Fernando excites me more.

“‘He’s the guy I want to beat. You also want to beat Seb [Vettel], as they are the ones with most titles. But Alonso’s the fastest driver I can see. He’s also one of the most experienced. Anyone would struggle to beat him.”

Alonso finished second in last year’s drivers’ championship, just three points behind Sebastian Vettel despite struggling with his Ferrari throughout the season. Hamilton believes that the Italian team have made a big step forward for 2013.

“Trying to finish ahead of Alonso in a Ferrari that is actually really competitive, is a really nice challenge. And I do think the Ferrari is going to be quick this year.”

Hamilton and Alonso were teammates at McLaren during the former’s first season in the sport. The intense rivalry between the two caused Alonso to leave after just one season with the team, and many cite it as the reason for both drivers missing out on the world championship in 2007.

Although he has been criticized for moving to Mercedes, Hamilton believes that his decision could allow him to establish himself as a legend of the sport.

“I expect myself to excel. Ultimately, I want to achieve greatness. I want to prove my abilities year after year. Michael is seen as an all-time great, Seb is, too. I want to be seen as great as well.”

Pippa Mann, breast cancer survivors paint IMS’ start/finish line pink

Photo: IndyCar
Photo: IndyCar
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We’ve written a fair bit on MotorSportsTalk about the efforts Pippa Mann has done in working with the Susan G. Komen Foundation for breast cancer awareness. Susan G. Komen has supported Mann’s last two runs at the Indianapolis 500, when she’s driven the No. 63 Honda for Dale Coyne Racing.

This being National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the awareness hit a new level with Mann working alongside breast cancer survivors to paint the start/finish line at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s iconic Yard of Bricks pink for the day.

IMS president Doug Boles also joined in the opportunity.

View a selection of photos and social posts below. More is linked here, via IndyCar.com.

Mercedes set to clinch F1 constructors’ championship in Russia

SOCHI, RUSSIA - OCTOBER 08:  Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP speaks with members of the media in the paddock during previews to the Formula One Grand Prix of Russia at Sochi Autodrom on October 8, 2015 in Sochi, Russia.  (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
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For the second year in a row, Mercedes is poised to wrap up the Formula 1 constructors’ championship in Sochi at this weekend’s Russian Grand Prix.

Mercedes won its first F1 teams’ title in Russia last year, having returned to the sport as a works constructor in 2010. When it last enjoyed such status in the 1950s, there was no championship for the teams.

Just as it did in 2014, Mercedes has dominated proceedings in F1 this season, winning all but three races and sweeping to eight one-two finishes to leave drivers Lewis Hamilton (pictured) and Nico Rosberg battling for the drivers’ title for the second straight year.

Now, Mercedes seeks the knock-out blow in the constructors’ title race by officially wrapping it up in Sochi this weekend.

To do so, the team must simply outscore rivals Ferrari by three points this weekend. The lead currently stands at 169 points, with 215 still on offer. After Sochi, there will be 172 remaining.

“We return to Russia with positive memories from last season, when the team sealed the first constructors’ title for Mercedes-Benz with a one-two finish,” team boss Toto Wolff said.

“A repeat performance in Sochi would be fantastic and this is absolutely the target – but we are under no illusions that it will come easy. The job is not done yet.”

The tire allocation for this weekend’s race could pose problems to Mercedes just as it did in Singapore, potentially allowing Ferrari to spoil the party and delay the victory celebrations at Brackley.

However, if the form book is to be trusted, Sochi could be playing host to another Mercedes party on Sunday night with a second world title in the bag for the Silver Arrows.