Raikkonen’s engineer won’t follow Finn to Ferrari

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Reports in the Italian media have suggested that Kimi Raikkonen’s current engineer at Lotus, Mark Slade, will not follow the Finn to Ferrari at the end of the season despite the good working relationship they have forged over the years.

Slade and Raikkonen first worked together when the Finn joined McLaren in 2002, going on to win nine races with the British team before moving to Ferrari in 2007. However, the pair were re-united at Lotus where Slade worked alongside Simon Rennie as Raikkonen’s engineer in 2012 before Rennie left Enstone at the end of last season in favor of a move to world champions Red Bull.

It was confirmed last month that Raikkonen would be leaving Lotus to return to Ferrari for 2014, with many expecting Slade to follow suit. However, according to Gazzetta dello Sport in Italy, the team is instead looking to promote someone in-house.

According to the publciation: “Ferrari have no intention of hiring Mark Slade to bring him to Maranello. The Finn will be asked to work with another engineer, chosen by team principal Stefano Domenicali, as the Alonso-Stella partnership is unbreakable.”

Andrea Stella had worked with Raikkonen in 2009 before the Finn’s departure from the sport. Alonso directly replaced Raikkonen, working alongside Felipe Massa who himself has forged a popular partnership with his engineer, Rob Smedley. Quite whether Smedley will remain part of the Ferrari set-up remains to be seen, but it is unlikely that he would continue in his current role with Raikkonen arriving.

Takuma Sato’s likeness revealed on Borg-Warner Trophy (PHOTOS)

Photos; Walt Kuhn
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INDIANAPOLIS – Rather than the traditional December unveil, this year’s reveal newest likeness added to the Borg-Warner Trophy came Tuesday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum.

Takuma Sato got to see the result of the sculpting done by William Behrends and then turned from wax, clay and ceramic into sterling silver on Tuesday evening, as the winner of the 101st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil saw his face revealed on the trophy.

Sato took the No. 26 Ruoff Home Mortgage Honda for Andretti Autosport to the win in thrilling fashion this year over Helio Castroneves, denying the Brazilian his fourth Indianapolis 500 victory in the process. It atoned for his near-miss in 2012, driving for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, the team he’ll return to in 2018.

It’s been a whirlwind last week-plus for Sato, doing the podium interviews at the Japanese Grand Prix, reflecting on his Indianapolis 500 triumph, then sharing the victory spoils with another Japanese pilot in Yoshihide Muroya, who won the Red Bull Air Race World Championship at Indianapolis this weekend.

Photos of Sato’s face on the most unique trophy in sports are below. This post will be updated following tonight’s full unveil. (All photos: Walt Kuhn)