Montezemolo brushes off “unfounded gossip” about Alonso and Raikkonen

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Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has dismissed speculation surrounding the future of drivers Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen, calling it “unfounded gossip”.

After another difficult season at Maranello, paddock rumors have suggested that Alonso could be set to return to McLaren in the near future. Raikkonen has openly admitted that he is likely to retire from F1 at the end of next season, sparking speculation that he could be dropped at the end of the season to make way for a fresh line-up.

When speaking to Ferrari’s official website, Montezemolo dismissed the speculation and underlined his faith in both Alonso and Raikkonen.

“We are lucky to have two great champions, who are working with the whole team to get back to being competitive again,” the marque’s president said. “Of course, as is the case every summer, there is unfounded gossip about alleged problems with senseless rumours bandied about, such as the ones relating to Alonso’s contract or those of drivers’ salaries.”

According to a report in the German press, Alonso was looking to extend his Ferrari contract to 2019 if the team agreed to double his salary. However, Montezemolo believes that this story is typical of the summer break and ‘silly season’.

“We know that the summer heat always produces silly stories,” he said. “Our drivers must now relax in order to return in top form. The season is still long and we need Fernando and Kimi to be in great shape.

“And on the subject of Kimi, I wish him all the best as he is soon to become a dad.”

Red Bull Air Race: Yoshi Muroya joins Sato as Japanese champs at Indy

Photo: Joerg Mitter/Red Bull Content Pool
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Takuma Sato isn’t the only major Japanese athlete to take home top honors at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this year. Countryman Yoshihide Muroya joined him in that on Sunday after winning Red Bull Air Race at IMS, and the Red Bull Air Race World Championship in the process.

Fittingly, the 101st Indianapolis 500 champion was there on site to join him in the celebration.

Muroya flew with a track-record run in the final and erased the four-point deficit to points leader Martin Sonka. The record run came after a disappointing qualifying effort of 11th in the 14-pilot field in the Master Class.

A day after the win, Muroya joined Sato in heading to Sato’s new Verizon IndyCar Series team, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s, Indianapolis-based shop.

A few social posts from Muroya’s victory and the subsequent celebration are below.

CHECKING OUT EACH OTHER’S RIDES

ASTLES BREAKS THOUGH AS WELL

Muroya wasn’t alone among big winners at the Speedway. In the Challenger Class, Melanie Astles of France became the first woman to win a major race at IMS, and is the first female winner in the Red Bull Air Race World Championship.

Nine women have competed in the Indianapolis 500 (Janet Guthrie, Lyn St. James, Sarah Fisher, Danica Patrick, Milka Duno, Simona de Silvestro, Pippa Mann, Ana Beatriz, Katherine Legge) and Mann is the first woman to have been on the pole position at IMS, having done so for the Freedom 100 in 2010 in Indy Lights.

Photo: Joerg Mitter/Red Bull Content Pool