Alonso keen on dry qualifying in China

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Fernando Alonso is refusing to get ahead of himself despite an impressive performance in practice for the Chinese Grand Prix today, as a wet qualifying could leave Ferrari in the dark for the rest of the weekend.

The Spanish driver finished fastest in FP1 and in second place in FP2, and was the one driver who put up some kind of resistance to the all-dominant Mercedes cars. However, he is not willing to make any predictions with a wet qualifying forecast tomorrow.

“All Fridays are the same, a day when you especially need to test the tyres to adapt to the circuit and on this front, maybe it was less useful than usual, because the forecast for tomorrow suggests rain is on the way,” Alonso explained. “We have brought some small updates here, which we already tried at the Bahrain test. Everything worked well and that’s good news.”

Alonso issued a rally cry to the Ferrari team earlier this week following the departure of team principal Stefano Domenicali, and he once again underlined the importance of bringing upgrades to every race.

“Leaving aside the performance of the others, I am happy with what we have done today,” he said. “At every race, all the teams bring something new and we must try and make an additional step forward if we want to be competitive. This track is particularly tough on tyres, with the softs especially suffering from graining over a long run, so it will be important to work out the tire plan for Sunday.

“If it rains tomorrow, we will definitely have less information for the race and we will have to rely on guesswork. Let’s hope we make the right choices.”

Having won the race in 2013, Alonso is looking to become the first driver to successfully defend the Chinese Grand Prix, and with Mercedes’ advantage appearing to have shrunk, he might have more of a chance than we gave him credit for earlier this week.

MRTI: Telitz gets creative to help racing career

Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography
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To say that Belardi Auto Racing’s Aaron Telitz has endured a difficult start to the 2018 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires season would be an understatement. The Wisconsin native only completed four corners through the first three races – Races 1 and 2 at St. Petersburg, and Race 1 at Barber Motorsports Park – with St. Pete being especially problematic.

He took the pole for Race 1, but a crash during qualifying for Race 2 prevented him from actually starting. What’s more, the damage was so severe that the Belardi team needed a brand new chassis, with Telitz’s Dallara IL-15 damaged beyond repair.

They also had to borrow a car from Carlin for Race 2, but Telitz’s race ended after he got tangled up with Victor Franzoni in Turn 2 on Lap 1.

With the damage bill well into the six figures as a result, Telitz has taken to some unique, or rather, creative ways to raise money in the aftermath to help cover the costs. “Creative,” in this case, meaning Telitz is using his art skills.

An artist in his spare time, Telitz has begun selling his own original paintings to help raise money.

 “I’ve been to a lot of art shows and I see stuff and I go, ‘Holy cow, someone’s going to pay a thousand dollars for that thing?’” Telitz quipped in a story posted on the Milwaukee Journal.

In discussing his artistic abilities, Telitz added, “I’m working at getting better. I’d like to be able to paint some animals, those types of things. I got a request from Alexander Rossi to see if I could paint his dog. Unfortunately I can’t do that yet.”

Further, in a partnership with The Styled Garage, Telitz is selling his own merchandise, and accepting donations, to help his cause.

Telitz finished fourth in Race 2 at Barber on Sunday, and sits seventh in the Indy Lights championship, 59 points behind leader Pato O’Ward.

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