Ferrari has announced that Antonio Spagnolo will serve as the race engineer for incoming former World Champion Kimi Raikkonen next year. Prior to his promotion, Spagnolo has worked as a chassis engineer on the car of Fernando Alonso.
The team confirmed the news as part of a release detailing Raikkonen’s visit to Maranello this afternoon.
About the visit, Ferrari stated: “It was an opportunity to go over the current state of play on the design of the 2014 car, as well as a chance for Kimi to meet up with many old friends who, in a few weeks time, will once again be his team.”
Raikkonen’s last race engineer at Ferrari, Andrea Stella, is still around but now works with Alonso in that same capacity. In 2007, the Finnish driver won the World Championship while guided by Chris Dyer, who left F1 a few years ago.
With today’s news, that means Scuderia stalwart Rob Smedley is set to find a new home in 2014. He served as the long-time engineer for Felipe Massa, and with the Brazilian driver now at Williams, Smedley could be on his way to re-uniting with him following the departure of Xevi Pujolar from Williams last month.
Juncos Racing continued to bolster its entries in the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires by signing Carlos Cunha to pilot a third Juncos Pro Mazda entry for 2018. Cunha, who finished third in the 2017 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda season on the back of seven podium finishes, joins Rinus VeeKay and Robert Megennis in Juncos’ Pro Mazda lineup for 2018.
Cunha previously tested with the team at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in October and joined Juncos for the Chris Griffis Memorial test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in November, testing cars for both the Pro Mazda and Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires teams.
“It’s great to become a part of Juncos Racing,” said the 18-year-old Cunha. “I am really excited to start the 2018 season with Juncos Racing. This fall we did some testing together and from there I was able to see how focused everyone on the team is and I even felt like I became a part of their family in no time. I am confident we will get great results together next year and I look forward to learning and growing more with the team. It will be a huge pleasure and also a great responsibility to carry the number one on my car, thanks to (2017 Pro Mazda champion Victor Franzoni) and I hope to deliver it back to the team at the end of the year!”
Team owner Ricardo Juncos added, “We are excited to add Carlos to our Pro Mazda lineup. From the moment we started testing with him in early October, we knew he would be a great fit for our team. Carlos has been very quick in testing and even had an impressive showing in the Indy Lights car at the Chris Griffis test back in October. He had a great run this past season in the Pro Mazda series and we are confident he will carry that momentum into the 2018 season.”