Mattiacci excited about American involvement in Formula 1

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Ferrari team principal Marco Mattiacci has stressed the importance of American involvement in Formula 1 as the Italian marque continues to negotiate supplying engines to Gene Haas’s new team.

Haas won the race to join the sport earlier this year, and plans for Haas Formula to enter F1 in 2016. At the Canadian Grand Prix, he spent a lot of time in the Ferrari garage talking to Mattiacci, and the Italian team boss revealed that a decision should be made soon regarding a possible engine supply.

“We are doing some progress, and naturally entering Formula 1 is a challenge,” he explained when asked about talks with Haas by this writer. “I think there is, again, work in progress, and probably a decision will be made in the coming weeks.”

However, Mattiacci is delighted that an American outfit is entering the sport, and says that he will welcome Haas Formula to the sport regardless of its engine supply, be it Ferrari or otherwise.

“The positive things I believe that to have Americans that start to look and invest in Formula 1,” Mattiacci said. “It’s really a very important topic to stress because this is, at the moment, the largest and most important economy in the world.

“It’s a good sign that Americans start to look and invest in Formula 1.

“Haas can go to us, or someone else, but we will welcome the United States to look in Formula 1.”

The sport has enjoyed a revival in the United States of late, with the grand prix at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, being a huge success. A second race is also being negotiated, and American driver Alexander Rossi is edging towards a full-time seat in the sport.

There is still a very long road for Haas and his team to negotiate, but the paddock certainly appears to be enthusiastic about adding an American team to the grid in the next two years.

Here’s who were picking to win the Indy 500 — who are YOU picking?

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Several members of the NBC Sports motorsports staff have made their predictions on who will win Sunday’s 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500.

Of the six voters, two are going with 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series champ Josef Newgarden, while two others are going with Helio Castroneves to win a fourth 500, which would tie him with A.J. Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears.

Here’s our picks. Who are YOU picking?

Leigh Diffey: Helio Castroneves — He drives the place better than anyone else. For me (for what its worth) he deserves a fourth 500 ring for the frustration he went through never getting the IndyCar title!

Townsend Bell: Josef Newgarden

Nate Ryan: Simon Pagenaud — All of his 2018 misfortune on the track has disappeared in May, and it culminates in the biggest victory of his career.

Jerry Bonkowski: Helio Castroneves – There’s no pressure as he pursues his fourth Indy 500 win. All Helio has to do, as late NFL owner Al Davis would say, is “Just win, baby!” (But if Helio falls short, watch for Marco Andretti)

Kyle Lavigne: Josef Newgarden — I think he has everything he needs to get it done this year.

Dan Beaver: Robert Wickens – Has driven like anything except a rookie and his second-place finish at Phoenix proves he’s just as good on an oval as the road courses.

Follow: Jerry Bonkowski