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Horner: Alfa Romeo return proof of Ferrari’s commitment to F1

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Red Bull chief Christian Horner believes the return of the Alfa Romeo name to Formula 1 for 2018 proves Ferrari’s long-term commitment to the sport despite its recent quit threat.

The Alfa Romeo and Ferrari brands are both part of the Fiat-Chrysler Alliance, and will be in F1 together next year for the first time since 1985.

Alfa Romeo will become the title sponsor of Sauber – which will be known as Alfa Romeo Sauber – as part of an expanded technical partnership with Ferrari.

FCA chairman Sergio Marchionne said recently that Ferrari would have to consider its future in F1 depending on Liberty Media’s vision for the sport, but Horner feels the arrival of Alfa Romeo proves its commitment to the series.

“[Alfa] come under the same management as Sergio, so I can’t believe he’d have brought Alfa Romeo in for Ferrari to be leaving in a couple of years,” Horner told Reuters.

“I think it demonstrates that Formula 1 is obviously working and creating the recognition, otherwise the group wouldn’t have brought the Alfa brand into Formula 1.

“Formula 1 needs Ferrari and Ferrari needs Formula 1. It’s a marriage of convenience in many respects but both entities ultimately need each other.

“And we certainly want Ferrari in Formula 1. A Formula 1 with Ferrari in, it’s one of the biggest brands in the world, and they are a great team to compete against.”

MRTI: Keith Donegan earns Mazda Shootout Scholarship

Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography
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Dublin, Ireland’s Keith Donegan claimed a $200K scholarship from Mazda after emerging victorious at the second annual Mazda Road to Indy Shootout. The 20-year-old Donegan earned an at-large nomination for the scholarship based on his performance at this year’s Formula Ford Festival, in which he finished second in the final, and emerged from a pack of 17 drivers from across the globe to claim the scholarship.

“It really hasn’t hit me yet,” said an emotional Donegan, who earlier in his career actually spent two years away from racing as he focused on academics. “The weekend was really good and I enjoyed it. I have to say a huge thanks to Mazda and Cooper Tires and everyone at the Mazda Road to Indy. I enjoyed every moment. Throughout the weekend we were consistent and I kept the small things in check. I didn’t make any stupid mistakes and kept my head cool and that really paid off in the end.”

The two-day shootout was held at the Bondurant Racing School in Arizona and saw the nominated drivers tackle the school’s 1.6-mile circuit in Formula Mazda race cars before facing on and off-track assessments. Donegan was selected by a panel of judges that included former driver and current Verizon IndyCar Series TV analyst Scott Goodyear, Mazda drivers Tom Long, Andrew Carbonell, and Jonathan Bomarito, as well as Victor Franzoni – the current champion of the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires – and Oliver Askew, the current champion of the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda.

Donegan was humbled to be in the presence of drivers who have won scholarships and championships previously, and added that he is grateful to have the opportunity to continue his racing career.

“You see all these champions here today that will go on to great things in the future and I’m sure the names you see here today aren’t going to disappear,” Donegan added. “They will be back up there and I’m sure I will be racing them again some day. It is an unbelievable opportunity to be given and for Mazda to provide that for any young driver. It just gives that bit of motivation that you need because the [U.S.] is where you need to go to become a professional these days. It is such a boost to my career.”

Donegan is now slated to join the 2018 USF2000 championship, with further announcements regarding the team with whom he’ll be racing to come in the future.

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