Vergne: Raikkonen and Alonso could be “a potential time bomb”

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Ferrari’s new driving tandem of Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso are two former World Champions that have been long used to being the top dogs on their team. In the mind of Jean-Eric Vergne, that could lead to trouble for the Scuderia.

The Toro Rosso racer, who is preparing for a battle against Russian rookie Daniil Kvyat next season, told Italian publication Corrierre dello Sport that while he expects Ferrari to be in the thick of the title race in 2014, he’s interested to see if Raikkonen and Alonso can really work together.

“I am convinced Fernando will be one of the championship candidates, but I’m very interested to see how it will work with Kimi as a team mate at Ferrari,” he told CdS. “Both Kimi and Fernando are very fast but the pair together could be a potential time bomb.”

Alonso recently noted to a Brazilian publication the “rumors” about Raikkonen being difficult to work with, although he also emphasized the importance of having a stronger car than he’s gotten in recent years – saying that should Ferrari deliver a championship-caliber ride, “the atmosphere in the team will be great.”

Vergne may be right in his belief that there may be some difficulty along the way. However, one wonders if his comments have another purpose: Namely, stirring the pot.

After all, those comments are aimed at one of the key rivals of Toro Rosso’s senior team, reigning champs Red Bull Racing – whom Vergne believes will continue their dominance of F1 even with the new technical regulations that are set to debut in the coming year.

“I don’t really expect to see any major changes in Formula 1, even though there will be a number of massive changes in F1’s rules,” he also said to CdS. “I expect to see Red Bull in front of Ferrari again next season to be honest.”

Verstappen doesn’t want F1 season to end after recent run of form

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Max Verstappen says he is not ready for the 2017 Formula 1 season to come to an end after enjoying a run of strong form through the closing stages of the campaign.

Verstappen endured a rocky run of form through to the end of the European season that saw him suffer a number of reliability issues and score just a single podium finish, taking third in China back in April.

However, the Dutchman has rallied to score more points than any other driver in the last five races, including victories in Malaysia and Mexico, as well as a podium finish in Japan.

Verstappen heads into next weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix chasing a third win of the year to sign off, but joked he does not want the season to end just as he’s got into a good groove.

“We will, of course, try and end the season with a strong result in Abu Dhabi,” Verstappen said. “Last year was actually quite a good race after skipping a pit stop following a spin at Turn 1, it was hard to manage the tires to the end of the race but we did it and finished fourth.

“I would say that my favorite part of the track is at Turns 2 and 3, the fast left, right. It’s also very cool driving underneath the hotel and racing in the darkness with all the lights.

“The final sector at Yas Marina is actually quite technical so you have to be really precise there, but it should also be our strongest part of the track.

“There are quite a few overtaking opportunities to make the race interesting, before the long straight at the hairpin and then at the end of the straight under braking for the next chicane section.

“Abu Dhabi is the last race on the calendar, but I don’t actually want the season to end. I’m really fired up at the moment and I just want to keep going.

“The nice thing will be to spend some time with friends and family over the winter break and then I will look ahead to January and get back into training before it all starts again.”