Bianchi called up for Ferrari to replace Raikkonen in Silverstone test

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Ferrari will have usual test driver Pedro de la Rosa and, more interestingly, Jules Bianchi aboard the F14 T for this weekend’s post-British Grand Prix test at Silverstone.

Bianchi, the Marussia-Ferrari driver and Ferrari Driver Academy member since 2010, will fill in for Kimi Raikkonen on the second day of testing this Wednesday. He takes over from de la Rosa, who will test on Tuesday.

In a statement, Ferrari team principal Marco Mattiacci said Raikkonen is still on course to recover from his accident Sunday. Raikkonen, too, took a moment to reflect.

“The most important news right now is that Kimi is alright, even though the impact with the barriers was a heavy one,” Mattiacci said, via the official Formula One website. “He has some bruising and will now be resting to be in shape for the next race.”

As for Bianchi, his star remains on the rise in the sport and it’s a sign of Ferrari looking down the road a bit that he’s being installed for the second day of testing.

The Frenchman ran 10th early in Sunday’s British Grand Prix following his and teammate Max Chilton’s mastery of the conditions during Saturday’s wet qualifying session. Results of 14th and 16th for the pair were ultimately unfulfilling.

Ferrari’s test drivers are 43 (de la Rosa) and 40 (Marc Gene), so chances are neither of the Spanish veterans would ever race again in Formula One unless in a fill-in role.

Bianchi, who turns 25 next month, seems to be an obvious candidate for the Scuderia down the road. It’s going to be good for him to get the additional seat time, and perhaps more intriguingly, sample a different 2014-spec chassis compared to the one he’s racing full-time with the Anglo-Russian Marussia squad.

Video highlights from Stage 12 of Dakar Rally, 2 stages remain

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Thursday’s Stage 12 of the 40th Dakar Rally not only closed the overall standings gap in at least two classes (cars and trucks), two other classes (bikes and quads) failed to get going due to weather conditions.

The full video highlights of Stage 12 will air on NBCSN on Friday at 7 pm ET, but here are some of the highlights from Thursday’s action:


2018 Dakar Rally: Nasser Al-Attiyah wins Stage 12 of cars


 Stage 12 cancelled due to weather conditions



Ton van Genugten edged out Martin Kolomy in Stage of, while Federico Villagra and Eduard Nikolaev both faced an uphill battle to finish fourth and third respectively.


Even though the Quads were also impacted by weather issues on Thursday, Ignacio Casale, the 2014 Dakar winner, continues to make his case for a second overall victory in the quads.