Raikkonen: Not an easy day in Bahrain

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Kimi Raikkonen has called his final day of pre-season testing “not easy” after a minor problem with the Ferrari F14 T limited his running on Saturday morning.

The Finnish driver finished in third place on the timesheets with a fastest lap of 1:35.426 (over two seconds down on pace-setter Felipe Massa) as he focused on a race simulation in the afternoon. However, due to a problem with a connector, the team had to partially dismantle the car to resolve the issue after Raikkonen had completed only a handful of laps.

“I’d hoped to do more laps, but this wasn’t an easy day,” Raikkonen explained. “We lost some time this morning when we had to fix something on the car, but then we managed to make up for some of it in the afternoon.

“Running a race distance, we continued to get more data relating to fuel consumption strategies and tire degradation, even though the strong wind upset the driving a lot.

“I’d like to be able to say we did better, but there’s still one more day with Fernando to continue our preparation for Melbourne.”

Raikkonen’s next chance to get behind the wheel of the F14 T will come during practice for the Australian Grand Prix in twelve days’ time. The Finn will be hoping to repeat his feat of winning on debut for Ferrari at the 2007 race in Melbourne, but with Mercedes appearing to be the pace-setters so far this season, he may face more of a challenge than he did seven years ago.

Teammate Fernando Alonso will return to the car for the final day of winter testing tomorrow in Bahrain.

The problem with high gusts of wind and sand was noted by many drivers, with Nico Rosberg saying: “The only problem was the conditions, with a lot of wind and blowing sand at some corners meaning that suddenly you could have almost no grip which was a bit difficult to manage.”

Penske, DXC Technology continue on Pagenaud’s IndyCar

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Team Penske and DXC Technology will renew their partnership for the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season. DXC joined Penske in 2017, serving as a primary sponsor for six races on Simon Pagenaud’s No. 1 Team Penske Chevrolet.

In re-upping with Penske, DXC will again adorn Pagenaud’s entry – switching back to the No. 22 in 2018, with teammate Josef Newgarden carrying the champion’s No. 1 – for six races, the first being the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach in April.

“Team Penske is excited to grow the partnership with DXC Technology for 2018,” said team owner Roger Penske via a release. “This is a technology-dependent sport and we were able to integrate DXC into our INDYCAR program this season and we will be ready to take our performance, and hopefully our results, to the next level with them in 2018.”

Pagenaud echoed Penske’s sentiments, adding that team and sponsor share a common philosophy that drives them forward. ““I enjoyed working with DXC Technology and representing their brand this past season. DXC Technology shares a similar philosophy with us at Team Penske, which is to strive for excellence. We are very proud to work together relentlessly toward further limits in our respective industries. We were excited to get a win with them in Sonoma and everyone at Team Penske wants to build on that as we welcome them back for 2018.”

DXC president, chairman, and CEO Mike Lawrie also highlighted Penske’s reputation as a point of interest to continue their partnership.

“Our partnership with Team Penske provides a great opportunity for DXC Technology,” said Lawrie. “Performance and reputation make Team Penske the type of organization with which we want to align. Like us, they strive for excellence in everything they do and work diligently to provide value for both sides of the relationship.”

Photo: IndyCar

The DXC partnership extension is one of several Team Penske has announced in recent weeks, which are as follows on the IndyCar program:

  • REV Group, a leading manufacturer of specialty vehicle brands serving the commercial, fire and emergency and recreational markets, will continue as a full-season associate sponsor on the No. 1 of Josef Newgarden and the No. 3 of Helio Castroneves during the 102nd running of the Indianapolis 500 during the month of May.
  • Fitzgerald Glider Kits, North America’s leading truck glider kit assembler, will also continue as an associate sponsor with a presence on Newgarden’s No. 1 Chevrolet throughout next season.
  • Miller Lite, Discount Tire, Alliance Truck Parts, Wurth Group and Auto Club of Southern California and AAA have extended with Team Penske’s NASCAR programs.

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