Luca di Montezemolo: “Now it’s time to win” for Ferrari (VIDEO)

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Having declared that 2013 was “a year to forget” and that he was “sick of coming second,” Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo is hoping the team’s new F14 T machine will help bring World Championship glory back to Maranello.

Kimi Raikkonen is the last man in Scuderia scarlet to have won the driver’s championship back in 2007, and Ferrari itself hasn’t claimed a constructors’ title since 2008.

They don’t seem like long droughts in actual number of years, but for the most successful team in Formula One history, they’ve been agonizing and frustrating.

But di Montezemolo is confident that his team – now led by the driver pairing of Fernando Alonso and the returning Raikkonen – can break through, overcome the dominant Red Bull Racing, and retake the throne.

“I’m confident because I think we have a strong team, and I think we have all the ingredients to be a success,” he said in a video statement issued by Ferrari this morning.

“[We have] two very strong drivers; I’m pleased to have Kimi back because Kimi has been the last driver to win the championship with us, and Fernando has made fantastic seasons achieving second in [three of the last] four years.”

But, again, he’s sick of coming second.

“Now, it’s time to win,” he continued. “I have a lot of confidence in new technical director James Allison and in the work that our people have made [with] the engine.”

For more of his thoughts on 2014, check out the clip above.

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

Sergio Perez Singapore
Clive Rose/Getty Images,
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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.