Lauda encourages Ferrari to sign Raikkonen

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Three-time world champion Niki Lauda has encouraged Ferrari to sign Kimi Raikkonen as a replacement for Felipe Massa in 2014.

Raikkonen is thought to be considering a move away from Lotus due to the financial situation at the team which, according to the Finn, is “not as it should be.” Although his previous spell with Ferrari ended on bad terms back in 2009, he is thought to be open to a move back to Maranello, and Lauda believes that it would do the Italian team a world of good.

“He could give the team a boost, as Lewis Hamilton has done at Mercedes,” the Austrian explained to Bild. “And he would be in a position to annoy Alonso.

“If I was [Ferrari president] Luca di Montezemolo, I would pick Kimi.”

Felipe Massa’s future with the team is – once again – under scrutiny following a disappointing run of results in 2013. The Brazilian has driven for Ferrari since 2006, making him their second-longest serving driver behind Michael Schumacher. However, it appears that his position could be under threat should Raikkonen desire a move to the Italian marque.

Raikkonen was in the running for the seat at Red Bull in 2014, but he confirmed in Belgium that talks had broken down. However, Ferrari have today stated that there will be no driver announcement at Monza, making a swift conclusion to this saga unlikely.

Toyota victorious in Bahrain on Porsche’s LMP1 swansong

Toyota Motorsport GmbH
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SAKHIR, Bahrain – Toyota denied Porsche a swansong victory in its final LMP1 appearance in the FIA World Endurance Championship by taking a commanding win in the 6 Hours of Bahrain on Saturday.

Porsche started from pole in the last competitive outing for the three-time Le Mans-winning 919 Hybrid car, only to lose out to Toyota’s Sebastien Buemi within the first half an hour of the race.

Porsche lost one of its cars from contention for victory after an errant bollard got stuck underneath Timo Bernhard’s No. 2 entry, leaving Nick Tandy to lead its charge in the No. 1 car.

Tandy moved into the lead just past half distance after a bold strategy call from Porsche to triple-stint the Briton after a fuel-only stop, vaulting him ahead of Anthony Davidson in the No. 8 Toyota.

Tandy’s win hopes were soon dashed when he tangled with a GTE-Am backmarker at Turn 1, sustaining damage that forced Porsche into an unplanned pit stop that put the car a lap down.

With the No. 7 Toyota losing two laps following a clash with a GTE-Pro car earlier on, Davidson, Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima went unchallenged en route to the car’s fifth victory of the season.

Porsche rounded out the podium with its cars, with the No. 2 leading home the No. 1, leaving Toyota’s No. 7 car to settle for P4 at the checkered flag.

Vaillante Rebellion clinched the title in LMP2 after a stunning fightback led by Bruno Senna, with the Brazilian securing his maiden motorsport championship win in the process.

GTE-Pro saw AF Corse complete a hat-trick of titles in 2017, with James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi wining the class’ first world championship recognized by the FIA, while Paul Dalla Lana, Pedro Lamy and Mathias Lauda sewed up the GTE-Am title.