Like any good team principal would be in a victorious situation, Ferrari’s Stefano Domenicali was happy with Fernando Alonso’s triumph at the Chinese Grand Prix. But with just seven days until the next race in Bahrain, he’s also keen to get started on preparations.
“We need to be very proud of today,” Domenicali told NBC Sports Network’s Will Buxton after the race in Shanghai. “Winning in China is very important. But we need to be focused already, after tonight, on the next week’s race in Bahrain.”
Post-race comments from Alonso, fresh off a sterling performance that saw him take the checkered flag by a whopping 10 seconds over Kimi Raikkonen, seemed to indicate that he felt the same way as his boss.
“I expect a tough race again,” the Spaniard said of the challenge ahead in the desert. “In Bahrain, I think we will see different conditions and who knows how competitive anyone can be. But definitely…From the races that we finished this year, the car seems to be able to be on the podium, so we hope to be on the podium again in Bahrain.”
But surely Alonso would make some time to party a little after such a resounding statement following his disaster ending in Malaysia last time out, right? Well…Not really.
“The celebration tonight? Nothing special,” he admitted. “I have a flight very early for Bahrain, so tonight, I think some dinner. I think the guys will celebrate more than me.”
Red Bull Air Race: Yoshi Muroya joins Sato as Japanese champs at Indy
Takuma Sato isn’t the only major Japanese athlete to take home top honors at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this year. Countryman Yoshihide Muroya joined him in that on Sunday after winning Red Bull Air Race at IMS, and the Red Bull Air Race World Championship in the process.
Fittingly, the 101st Indianapolis 500 champion was there on site to join him in the celebration.
Muroya flew with a track-record run in the final and erased the four-point deficit to points leader Martin Sonka. The record run came after a disappointing qualifying effort of 11th in the 14-pilot field in the Master Class.
A day after the win, Muroya joined Sato in heading to Sato’s new Verizon IndyCar Series team, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s, Indianapolis-based shop.
A few social posts from Muroya’s victory and the subsequent celebration are below.
Muroya wasn’t alone among big winners at the Speedway. In the Challenger Class, Melanie Astles of France became the first woman to win a major race at IMS, and is the first female winner in the Red Bull Air Race World Championship.
Nine women have competed in the Indianapolis 500 (Janet Guthrie, Lyn St. James, Sarah Fisher, Danica Patrick, Milka Duno, Simona de Silvestro, Pippa Mann, Ana Beatriz, Katherine Legge) and Mann is the first woman to have been on the pole position at IMS, having done so for the Freedom 100 in 2010 in Indy Lights.