Scuderia Ferrari has retained Davide Rigon and former Formula One race drivers Marc Gene and Pedro de la Rosa as its three test and development drivers for 2014.
Rigon, 27, will pair his F1 testing work with a full season in the FIA World Endurance Championship, racing for the AF Corse team in the GTE Pro class. Rigon has experience with a year-old spec Ferrari F458 Italia in the GTE Am division in the WEC a year ago, with Enzo Potolicchio’s 8Star Motorsports team; he’ll step up to the Pro class and a 2014 version of the F458 this year.
Gene and de la Rosa, meanwhile, provide the veteran support to the team. The Spaniards each began their F1 race careers as rookies in 1999; Gene with Minardi and de la Rosa at Arrows. Now, Gene enters his tenth season with Ferrari, while de la Rosa begins his second.
On the off chance either Fernando Alonso or Kimi Raikkonen can’t participate in a Grand Prix this year, Rigon would be unavailable on five occasions due to his WEC commitments. The official preseason WEC test ends March 30 at Paul Ricard, same date as the Malaysian Grand Prix weekend.
Meanwhile on April 20, F1 is at Shanghai and the WEC at Silverstone; on Sept. 20, the WEC is at Austin with F1 in Singapore a day later; on Oct. 12, the WEC is at Fuji and F1 in Russia; and on Nov. 2, the WEC is in Shanghai while F1 is in Austin.
UPDATE No. 2: The INDYCAR Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama was closing in on restarting on Lap 23 or 24 before officials threw the second red flag race stoppage because of lingering puddles on the 2.3-mile Barber Motorsports Park, particularly on the front stretch. We’ll keep you updated as situations warrant.
UPDATE No. 1: The INDYCAR Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama is under a red-flag race stoppage after 19 laps due to rain and puddling on the racing surface at Barber Motorsports Park.
Cleaners and dryers are on the track to try and get some of the water off the racing surface. The low spots on the track, as well as the front stretch, have been particularly troublesome and led to several spinouts and at least two wrecks (Charlie Kimball and outside front pole sitter Will Power).
Power’s day is done after suffering irreparable damage to the left side of his car after hydroplaning on the front straight and running into the inside retaining wall.
ORIGINAL STORY FOLLOWS:
Although rain has been falling for nearly an hour and the Barber Motorsports Park 2.3-mile permanent road course is drenched, the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama is underway on NBCSN.
The start of the race was moved up from 3:38 p.m. ET to take the green flag at 3:08 p.m. ET.
Josef Newgarden is the defending winner of this race and also will start from the pole for today’s race.
While the race is scheduled for 90 laps, there’s a possibility that if the weather worsens or if lightning appears, it could potentially be shortened to just two hours.
As can be expected, all cars are on rain tires to maximize grip.
Catch the race live on NBCSN.