Ferrari “were keeping an eye” on Kubica

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Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali says the team did look into hiring Robert Kubica if the former Renault driver’s injuries had healed sufficiently for him to be able to race in F1.

Kubica hasn’t raced in F1 since suffering severe injuries in a crash during a rally in February 2011.

Domenicali said: “Yes, we were keeping an eye on him.”

“Unfortunately, I don’t think he will be back, because with his physical problem, he would struggle in certain limited situations which require reactivity. It’s a shame.”

He added the team were working to bring new Italian drivers into F1, as the country has not been represented since last year.

“With Antonio Fuoco and Raffaele Marciello, in whom we are investing, this year we have won two championships,” said Domenicali. “Will they drive a Ferrari one day? I hope so. But we need to find the right categories to get there.”

Domenicali also defended the decision to retain the under-performing Felipe Massa for the past four seasons, and denied his 2009 crash had been the cause of his struggles.

“From a medical point of view, there is no proof that the accident left any permanent damage, such as problems with his sight or reflexes. And then there’s the gentility which would demand that we give a driver who hasn’t had much luck, the chance to show he deserves to stay with us.

“If Felipe was unable to deliver the performance we hoped for, it was mainly down to a hyper-sensitivity to a car that was too nervous at the rear, but in 2008, he almost took the title and I consider him as a world champion.”

Red Bull Air Race: Yoshi Muroya joins Sato as Japanese champs at Indy

Photo: Joerg Mitter/Red Bull Content Pool
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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.

CHECKING OUT EACH OTHER’S RIDES

ASTLES BREAKS THOUGH AS WELL

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.

Photo: Joerg Mitter/Red Bull Content Pool