Ferrari’s Mattiacci not bothered by Niki Lauda’s comments

1 Comment

Ferrari team principal Marco Mattiacci has brushed off comments from Niki Lauda about the team’s 2014 car, saying that the Austrian’s comments were taken out of context.

Three-time world champion Lauda said in a recent interview that Ferrari’s F14 T car was “s***”, as the Italian marque struggles to keep up with Mercedes at the front of the field. So far this year, the team has scored just one podium finish, and currently ranks fourth in the constructors’ championship.

Lauda did apologize to Mattiacci in Hungary for making the comments, and the Ferrari team principal said in Friday’s FIA press conference that he was not bothered by what had been said.

“Everybody is free to make comments,” he said. “I’m happy that they have time to think about our cars because I don’t have enough time to think about other teams’ cars.

“I think it’s a statement taken out of context. He has a big title and, as I said, I have the utmost respect for Niki Lauda. For me, he is an iconic figure of my childhood and particularly for Ferrari.

“Today he came to our pit to apologize. I think it’s clear he is a friend of Ferrari and I have the utmost respect for Niki, so chapter closed.”

Mattiacci also praised lead driver Fernando Alonso for his efforts at the last two grands prix, where he has enjoyed some brilliant on-track battles with Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo.

“I think when you see your driver that is driving like that, that is very motivating for the team,” he said.

Josef Newgarden wins pole for Grand Prix of Alabama

Photo by Robert Reiners/Getty Images
Leave a comment

With time running off the clock, Josef Newgarden lapped Barber Motorsports Park with a speed of 122.773 mph to win his third career pole and first on this track in the Grand Prix of Alabama.

Newgarden has two previous wins at Barber. He won last year’s edition of this race after starting seventh and in 2015 from fifth.

Fast 12

Josef Newgarden topped this chart with a speed of 123.475 mph.

He brought Will Power, James Hinchcliffe, Scott Dixon, Ryan Hunter-Reay, and Sebastien Bourdais along with him to the Fast 6.

Marco Andretti (122.480 mph), Alexander Rossi (122.216), Simon Pagenaud (122.050), Robert Wickens (122.042), Zach Veach (121.784) and Ed Jones (120.984) failed to advance.

Round 1, Group 1

Newgarden posted the fastest single lap in round one, group one of qualification for the Grand Prix of Alabama with a speed of 122.550 mph.

Hunter-Reay, Hinchcliffe, Wickens, and Andretti also advance to the fast 12.

Taking the final slot was Jones with a speed of 119.835 after an off-course excursion in final practice.

This was Andretti’s first advancement to the fast 12 for the first time since 2014.

Round 1, Group 2

Power had the fastest lap of 121.570 mph

Bourdais, Veach (who is battling food poisoning-like symptoms), Rossi, and Pagenaud grabbed positions 2-4.

Scott Dixon had an uncharacteristically slow lap of 121.006, but managed to advance to the fast 12 when the session was red-flagged for an incident involving Tony Kanaan.

With three minutes remaining, Kanaan spun into the tire barriers while leaving pit road. Since he brought out the red flag, he lost his qualification time of 119.996 mph.

Takuma Sato had slipped off-course midway through the session and posted only the Ninth-fastest speed of 120.789 mph.