Lauda encourages Ferrari to sign Raikkonen

Leave a comment

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.

NHRA Gatornationals: John Force has another spectacular motor explosion

Photo courtesy NHRA
Leave a comment

Legendary NHRA Funny Car driver John Force endured yet another spectacular motor explosion – his third in the NHRA’s first three national event races – during Friday’s qualifying at the Amalie Motor Oil Gatornationals in Gainesville, Florida.

It’s the kind of consistency the 16-time NHRA Funny Car champ could do without.

The 68-year-old Force came to Gainesville hoping to break the jinx that saw him endure explosions in both the season-opening Winternationals and the second race of the season in Phoenix.

Both motor explosions sent Force to the hospital for examination before he returned to the race track.

Friday, even though the motor in his Chevrolet Camaro blew up again (in the second round of qualifying), at least this time, Force didn’t wind up in the hospital.

He did have his right hand bandaged from a cut suffered in the explosion, but did not have to go to the hospital this time.

He even joked about not having to add yet another ambulance bill to the nearest Gainesville hospital.

But the explosion still proved costly.

“That was another body and that hurts the financial (bottomline),” Force said. “I was out $500,000 to $600,000, and now we are probably out $800,000, going on a million. In drag racing, you have to be tough.”

He ended the day qualifying 14th, not a very comfortable position with two more rounds of qualifying set for Saturday.

Force continues to be mystified why the motors keep exploding.

“I really thought we had it, I thought we were there,” Force said. “In the first round we drove it 500 feet and shut it off. It looked great. We ran it again that run and I was only going to drive it 800 feet even if we didn’t make The Show.”

Force will attempt to improve his qualifying spot during Saturday’s final two rounds to make Sunday’s eliminations.

Follow @JerryBonkowski