Fernando Alonso

Ferrari retains same three test, development drivers

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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.

Pippa Mann, breast cancer survivors paint IMS’ start/finish line pink

Photo: IndyCar
Photo: IndyCar
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We’ve written a fair bit on MotorSportsTalk about the efforts Pippa Mann has done in working with the Susan G. Komen Foundation for breast cancer awareness. Susan G. Komen has supported Mann’s last two runs at the Indianapolis 500, when she’s driven the No. 63 Honda for Dale Coyne Racing.

This being National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the awareness hit a new level with Mann working alongside breast cancer survivors to paint the start/finish line at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s iconic Yard of Bricks pink for the day.

IMS president Doug Boles also joined in the opportunity.

View a selection of photos and social posts below. More is linked here, via IndyCar.com.

Mercedes set to clinch F1 constructors’ championship in Russia

SOCHI, RUSSIA - OCTOBER 08:  Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP speaks with members of the media in the paddock during previews to the Formula One Grand Prix of Russia at Sochi Autodrom on October 8, 2015 in Sochi, Russia.  (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
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For the second year in a row, Mercedes is poised to wrap up the Formula 1 constructors’ championship in Sochi at this weekend’s Russian Grand Prix.

Mercedes won its first F1 teams’ title in Russia last year, having returned to the sport as a works constructor in 2010. When it last enjoyed such status in the 1950s, there was no championship for the teams.

Just as it did in 2014, Mercedes has dominated proceedings in F1 this season, winning all but three races and sweeping to eight one-two finishes to leave drivers Lewis Hamilton (pictured) and Nico Rosberg battling for the drivers’ title for the second straight year.

Now, Mercedes seeks the knock-out blow in the constructors’ title race by officially wrapping it up in Sochi this weekend.

To do so, the team must simply outscore rivals Ferrari by three points this weekend. The lead currently stands at 169 points, with 215 still on offer. After Sochi, there will be 172 remaining.

“We return to Russia with positive memories from last season, when the team sealed the first constructors’ title for Mercedes-Benz with a one-two finish,” team boss Toto Wolff said.

“A repeat performance in Sochi would be fantastic and this is absolutely the target – but we are under no illusions that it will come easy. The job is not done yet.”

The tire allocation for this weekend’s race could pose problems to Mercedes just as it did in Singapore, potentially allowing Ferrari to spoil the party and delay the victory celebrations at Brackley.

However, if the form book is to be trusted, Sochi could be playing host to another Mercedes party on Sunday night with a second world title in the bag for the Silver Arrows.