Ferrari president unconcerned by driver line-up

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Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has said that he is not concerned about the seemingly volatile line-up of Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen in 2014, believing that both drivers will put the common team goal ahead of any personal grudges they may wish to settle.

Traditionally, the team has worked with an implied ‘number one’ driver who is supported by a ‘number two’. Both Alonso and Raikkonen have enjoyed number one status within the team over the past seven years with Felipe Massa serving as their understudies. However, Raikkonen will join the team in 2014 after a five-year absence, and many have questioned this move following Alonso’s dislike for a too rivalrous teammate, as proven by his one-year stint at McLaren when he and Lewis Hamilton locked horns. In di Montezemolo’s eyes though, there is no such problem.

“Whoever has the honour and responsibility of driving for Ferrari must think of the team first and foremost and not of himself,” he explained to RAI. “None of our drivers could ever hurt the other one.”

di Montezemolo went on to explain that the decision to re-hire Raikkonen was made simple by the lingering affection for the Finn following his first stint at Maranello.

“We have taken Raikkonen back for his experience, for what he has done over the past two years and because he is much loved inside and outside the team,” he explained. “I was very pleased to see the enthusiasm that greeted the news of his return, again both internally and externally. I am sure they will help one another.”

Of course, time will tell whether or not the two drivers will work together amicably, but paddock rumors continue to circulate suggesting that Alonso could be tempted by a move to McLaren in 2015 when Honda returns to the sport as an engine supplier. The Spaniard has been quick to deny this in the past, but the team will need to provide him with a better car in 2014 if he is to challenge for his first world championship since 2006 next season.

Gabby Chaves to sub for Joao Barbosa at Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen

Photo: IndyCar
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Gabby Chaves is set to return to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at Watkins Glen International later this month.

The Columbian-American driver, who last competed in IMSA in 2016 – with the DeltaWing outfit – will sub for the injured Joao Barbosa – he hurt his wrist in a cycling accident earlier in June – in the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen.

Chaves will partner Filipe Albuquerque and Christian Fittipaldi in the No. 5 Cadillac.

Chaves expressed gratitude for being asked to fill in, but kept his enthusiasm muted, noting that he is getting the opportunity ultimately because another driver got hurt.

“The first thing is of course that you never want to have an opportunity because someone got hurt, so this is an unfortunate circumstance with Joao having his injury,”said Chaves. “But I appreciate the opportunity to join the championship-leading team. Mustang Sampling Racing has had a strong start this year and hopefully I can help the team continue to have those kinds of results.”

Chaves added, “I love Watkins Glen, it is a great track and I am looking forward to racing the Cadillac Prototype there. I’m excited to be going back to endurance racing. With different classes all racing at the same time, there is a lot for the driver to deal with as you work through traffic. So I am looking forward to racing at the Glen again, and I really appreciate this opportunity with Mustang Sampling Racing.”

Chaves’ most recent IMSA event was the 2016 Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen, when he finished seventh in the Prototype class.

The No. 5 Action Express Cadillac currently sits tied with the sister No. 31 Whelen Engineer Racing Cadillac of Eric Curran and Felipe Nasr atop the IMSA standings, though Barbosa’s hopes of a driver’s championship are set to take an enormous hit with him missing Watkins Glen.

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