Report: Franchitti wants role with Ganassi next season

0 Comments

After retiring last month due to injuries sustained in an October accident at the Shell/Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston, four-time IndyCar champion and three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti has expressed his wishes to return to the paddock in some role with Chip Ganassi Racing.

“Chip and I have talked about something next year, I’d love to work with the team in IndyCar – I just won’t be behind the wheel anymore,” Franchitti said during last night’s Autosport Awards in London, which marked his first public appearance since the last-lap crash at Reliant Park.

The Scotsman – who sustained spinal injuries, a fractured ankle, and a concussion in the Houston crash – also touched upon how tough it’s been to truly come to terms with the fact that his career is over, noting that he still thinks about driving a car and that “the passion is still there to do something.”

Nonetheless, he also mentioned how proud he was of the career he had.

“I’ve had a wonderful time, a great career – I wouldn’t call it a career, it was what I loved to do,” he said. “I never called it a job. It’s been an absolute privilege.”

“In a lot of ways, I’m lucky to be here to take that decision. It’s a kick in the b—s, but I’ll move on to the next stage.”

A well-stated sentiment, altogether. While we’ll miss seeing Franchitti in the cockpit next year, it’s good to hear that he’s not planning on staying away from the track and that he wants to help the team that helped him enjoy so much success in his driving tenure.

Sergio Perez wins rain-delayed race in Singapore over Leclerc; Verstappen seventh

Sergio Perez Singapore
Clive Rose/Getty Images,
0 Comments

SINGAPORE — Max Verstappen’s Formula One title celebrations were put on hold after the Red Bull driver placed seventh at a chaotic Singapore Grand Prix, won by his teammate Sergio Perez on Sunday.

Perez’s second win of the season saw him finish 7.6 seconds ahead of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, with Leclerc’s teammate Carlos Sainz Jr. in third place.

Perez was investigated for a potential safety car infringement but still kept the win after a 5-second time penalty for dropping too far back after being warned.

Verstappen had won the past five races but needed to win here and finish 22 points ahead of Leclerc to be crowned champion for a second straight season. That could happen next weekend at the Japanese GP.

Verstappen made a mistake after the second safety car restart, following AlphaTauri driver Yuki Tsunoda’s crash on Lap 36. When Verstappen tried to overtake Lando Norris’ McLaren, he locked his tires and needed to pit again.

Leclerc started from pole position with Verstappen going from eighth after a team blunder in qualifying.

The race start was delayed by more than an hour to clear water off the Marina Bay Circuit track following heavy rainfall. Drivers had to finish the 61-lap race within a two-hour window; 59 laps were completed.

Tricky conditions saw the virtual safety car deployed three times and DRS was allowed with about 30 minutes remaining.

Perez made a good start and jumped past Leclerc while Verstappen dropped several places. The first safety car was on Lap 8 when Zhou Guanyu’s Alfa Romeo was cut off by Nicholas Latifi’s Williams.

Perez got away cleanly at the restart, while Verstappen climbed into seventh behind Fernando Alonso – whose 350th F1 race ended disappointingly when his engine failed on Lap 21, bringing out the first VSC.

With the track still damp, drivers decided against changing to quicker tires – apart from Mercedes’ George Russell, who struggled for grip.

Hamilton made a rare mistake on Lap 33 and thudded into the crash barrier. Soon after, the leading drivers changed tires in a flurry of stops. They did so just before the safety car was deployed again following Tsunoda’s error.

Verstappen overtook Sebastian Vettel’s Aston Martin right at the end for seventh place.