Fernando Alonso denies rumors of leaving Ferrari

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Once again, Fernando Alonso has had to do all he can with a flawed car this season at Ferrari. The Spaniard currently sits fourth in the driver’s championship, and has become the subject of rumors involving a possible jump to McLaren in 2015.

But in an interview with Britain’s Sky Sports, Alonso denied those rumors. While indicating flattery at being talked about so much, he stated that “it’s not [his] intention to move at the moment.”

“I want to win here and finish the job that we started some years ago and we will see what the future [holds],” he said to Sky. “There has been a lot of talk since last summer, but from my mouth, there never came any interest to leave Ferrari or any words saying l would join another team.

“There was a lot of speculation, which is not disturbing but it created a little bit of tension and stress. Yet you also feel happy and proud that the best teams have an interest in you and say so in public.”

The first season of the V6 era has not been an easy one for the Scuderia, which hasn’t been able to hang with either Mercedes or Red Bull and is having to fend off Williams for third in the constructors’ championship.

Alonso has squeezed two podium finishes out of the F14 T, while teammate Kimi Raikkonen has earned none so far in his return season at Maranello (although he got close last time out at Belgium with a fourth-place finish).

Those frustrations were also acknowledged by Alonso in his interview with Sky.

“…We had high hopes with this year’s new regulations and starting from zero with all the other teams, we thought we could have an advantage with all our facilities and input from everybody,” he said. “But we have found ourselves not in the right position and not competitive.”

Last week, Ferrari team principal Marco Mattiacci said he was not worried about either Alonso or Raikkonen possibly leaving the squad at season’s end.

Marco Andretti confident that fewer tests won’t hurt Andretti Autosport

Photo: IndyCar
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A small point of debate around the 2018 aero kit has been the manufacturer test days that took place through the Fall of 2017 and into the beginning of 2018. Chiefly, the debate has centered around teams who hadn’t participated in those manufacturer test days and if they’re starting the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season at a disadvantage as a result.

Team Penske, Ed Carpenter Racing, and A.J. Foyt Racing completed test days for Chevrolet, with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and Chip Ganassi Racing doing so for Honda.

That left teams like Andretti Autosport out of the mix, with some voicing concerns as a result.

However, in a press conference during testing at ISM Raceway last weekend, Marco Andretti explained that he thinks Andretti Autosport should be able to catch up on development, citing the team’s resources – they’re the only IndyCar team with four full-time cars in their stable – and the fact that everyone is still adapting to the new kit.

“I feel like it’s early enough days that, yes, we can catch up,” Andretti said at ISM Raceway. “When there is anything new, a new car, new aero kit, at-track days are huge. We can sim all these things we want. To really get out there and confirm what we’re learning back at the shop is another thing.”

Ryan Hunter-Reay during testing at ISM Raceway. Photo: IndyCar

Andretti continued, “Yeah, I don’t think we should look at it like we’re behind the eight ball. With a four-car team, that’s where we can use it to our benefit. So far so good.”

Teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay, echoed Andretti’s sentiments, adding that while the situation is not perfect, they will need to adapt to it in order to remain competitive.

“Any time you have a new car, to put it into perspective, we’re on track three days on a road course before we get to (the season open in St. Petersburg). That’s a very short amount of time. It’s obviously not ideal, but we’re just going to lace up our boots and get on with it. That’s all you can do.”

Andretti Autosport will have one more team test, at Sebring International Raceway later on in February, before the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

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