Fernando Alonso

Alonso quiet in fourth, Raikkonen reprimanded


The Monaco Grand Prix was expected to be a difficult weekend for Ferrari given the pace of the F14 T car, but the team will be disappointed with just one points score after Kimi Raikkonen was denied a possible podium finish.

Raikkonen started alongside teammate Fernando Alonso on the third row of the grid, but made a great start to get ahead of the Spaniard and Daniel Ricciardo off the line. The Finn then moved into third place when Sebastian Vettel retired from the race, and he remained ahead of Ricciardo after pitting.

However, Raikkonen returned to the pits just a few laps later after making contact with a Marussia he was lapping, and dropped down to last place. He fought his way through the order and up into the points, but an opportunistic move on Kevin Magnussen saw both drivers go into the wall at the Loews hairpin.

Raikkonen managed to continue, but had to pit for repairs, and on a fresh set of tires set the fastest lap of the race en route to 12th place. However, the FIA stewards have given him a reprimand for causing the incident with the McLaren driver.

Fernando Alonso had an unusually quiet race, coming home in fourth place. Nevertheless, this result ensures that he remains in third place in the drivers’ championship, and he will be hoping that Ferrari can get on top of the problems with the F14 T in Canada so he can challenge the Red Bulls.

In fact, the result that would have raised the biggest smile on president Luca di Montezemolo’s face is that of Marussia’s Jules Bianchi. The Frenchman finished the race in ninth place, scoring both his own and Marussia’s first ever points in Formula 1.

Bianchi is a member of the Ferrari Driver Academy, and this result will undoubtedly put him in good stead for a seat with the team in the future.

At Maranello, though, changes need to be made. 2014 seems to be all about damage limitation, and it will take something out of the ordinary for either Alonso or Raikkonen to take to the top step of the podium this season.

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.