Strong performance by Ferrari on home soil

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Despite losing ground to Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull in both championships, Ferrari will be celebrating tonight following the team’s best performance since the Spanish Grand Prix back in May.

After qualifying fourth and fifth on Saturday, Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso made good starts to lie second and fourth respectively at the end of the first lap. Alonso pulled off a gutsy move on Mark Webber through the second chicane to move up to P3. Predictably, the Spaniard then passed Massa with relative ease, but he was unable to catch Vettel at the front. In fact, Alonso’s greatest challenge came from Webber who, after leapfrogging Massa in the pits, remained within a second of the two-time world champion for the rest of the race, only to be slowed down by a problematic gearbox.

Nevertheless, the result marks a return to form for Ferrari after a troublesome spell that has seen Red Bull pull away in the constructors’ championship and Alonso lose ground on Vettel. However, the Italian marque has now overtaken Mercedes to move up to second place in the constructors’, trailing Red Bull by 104 points.

Unsurprisingly, Alonso was welcomed onto the podium by a rapturous support of scarlet-clad fans who had made their way onto the track after the checkered flag. The Spanish driver even took a second to take a picture of himself and the fans, uploading it to Twitter soon after the race.

Recapping the 2018 Dakar Rally with “best of” video highlights

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EDITOR’S NOTE: NBCSN will air additional Dakar Rally highlights on Monday at 7 p.m. ET.

As it has done so for four decades, the 40th annual Dakar Rally – the most grueling test of man and machine anywhere – produced a number of surprise finishes and also several disappointments for drivers or riders who were expected to do well in the nearly 5,600-mile trek that began in Peru and continued through Bolivia and ending in Argentina.

NBCSN has aired highlights from all 14 stages (actually 13, because one stage was completely rained out) during the Rally’s two-week run, which concluded Saturday.

Here’s some of the “best of” highlights from the overall Rally highlights, followed by a quick guide that gives you wrapups to all 14 stages.

So, without further adieu, here’s NBCSN’s “best of” the 2018 Dakar Rally:

2018 Dakar Rally: Best of cars

2018 Dakar Rally: Best of bikes

2018 Dakar Rally: Best of trucks

2018 Dakar Rally: Best of quads

Lastly, here’s a day-by-day wrapup of how the Rally played out.

MORE: Dakar Rally daily stages schedule, NBCSN broadcast schedule, list of all competitors.

MORE: Stage 14 overall Rally wrapup

MORE: Stage 13 wrapup

MORE: Stage 12 wrapup

MORE: Stage 11 wrapup

MORE: Stage 10 wrapup

MORE: Stage 9 cancelled due to weather, impassible course conditions

MORE: Stage 8 wrapup

MORE: Stage 7 wrapup

MORE: Stage 6 wrapup

MORE: Stage 5 wrapup

MORE: Stage 4 wrapup

MORE: Stage 3 wrapup

MORE: Stage 2 wrapup

MORE: Stage 1 wrapup