Montezemolo pleased to beat “strongest rival” Vettel

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Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo drew satisfaction from beating the team he considers their “strongest rivals” in 2013.

“We raced a good race, particularly against Red Bull and Vettel, whom I consider our strongest rival,” he told the team’s website.

“Our goal was to make it to the podium and we did that. That’s definitely a positive start to the championship and will be good for the team psychologically: for the mechanics, the technicians and the drivers.”

“It was important to start the season well as that hadn’t happened in the last two years.” It was Ferrari’s best result at Melbourne since 2007, when Kimi Raikkonen won for the team and Felipe Massa finished sixth.

The Ferrari president praised Massa, who began his season as strongly as he ended the last one: “I’m satisfied with Felipe Massa’s performance – he was very fast in qualifying and delivered a brilliant race.”

“Fernando Alonso also did very well,” he added. “He looked motivated and happy to have seen the first good responses to the tests confirmed on the track. So now, it’s feet back on the ground because there’s still a lot of work to do.”

Ferrari have taken an early lead in the constructors’ championship, which they last won in 2008. Montezemolo has dubbed the team’s 2013 car “La Speranzosa”, which means “The Hopeful One” in Italian. But he admitted other teams have quicker cars:

“We have more development to do on the single-seater. We know we don’t have the fastest car but we have a lot of irons in the fire too. And obviously, developing an intrinsically good car is a much easier thing to do.”

Al Unser Jr. back in IndyCar after a decade away: ‘Life is very good’

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There’s been somewhat of a hole in Al Unser Jr.’s heart ever since he retired from racing in 2007.

It was a void, something was missing.

But now, after a decade away from racing, Unser has found the right medicine to fill that hole in his heart: he’s back in the racing game again.

No, he’s not driving again (although he does participate occasionally in vintage races), but the two-time Indianapolis 500 (1992 and 1994) winner is definitely back in the IndyCar world.

And he couldn’t be happier.

“For me, it’s a dream come true,” Unser told IndyCar.com. “Since I stepped out of the race car and retired from racing, there’s been something missing from my life, and it’s racing.”

Unser has hooked up with Harding Racing. The team competed in three races last season as a ramp-up for a full 17-race effort this season. While Unser’s official title with the team is “consultant,” he’s involved in so much more.

His main role is as a driving coach to 2015 IndyCar Rookie of the Year Gabby Chaves. But he’s also involved in so many other areas, including helping the team obtain sponsorships and much more.

He then added, “I’m involved in every sense of the word except actually driving the car. And I’m happy about that because I’m too old to drive the car.”

Unser, who won CART championships in 1990 and 1994, is now 55. He’s so involved with his new job that he even moved from his native New Mexico and has relocated to suburban Indianapolis.

Not only is it a new start for Unser, it also is for Chaves. After running all 16 races in 2015 for Bryan Herta Autosport with Curb-Agajanian, he competed in just seven races for Dale Coyne Racing in 2016 and only three races for Harding Racing last season.

But he definitely impressed the team, with a fifth- (Texas) and ninth-place (Indianapolis 500) finish in the first two races and 15th (Pocono) in the team’s final run of the season.

That’s why when Harding Racing decided to go fulltime in 2018, Chaves was their pick for behind the wheel. And Unser was their pick to help guide him to potential stardom in the series.

“(Team owner) Mike Harding is definitely a person that when he decides to do something, he does it right,” Unser told IndyCar.com. “The potential for this organization is through the sky. We’re all working really hard here and we see the potential.”

And as for Unser?

“Life is good, life is very good,” he told IndyCar.com. “We’re back full force, eager and better than ever.”

Click here for the full story about Unser from IndyCar.com.