Alonso: McLaren, Red Bull, Force India are “beatable”

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If Fernando Alonso had even the faintest hope of claiming a third successive German Grand Prix victory at Hockenheim this weekend, he may as well forget it.

Ferrari once again produced an underwhelming performance on Saturday to qualify P7 and P12 as Alonso outqualified teammate Kimi Raikkonen for the seventh time this season.

Alonso’s record at Hockenheim is enviable. He has won a grand prix there on three occasions, including the last two runnings of the German Grand Prix at the track in 2010 and 2012. However, with the F14 T proving to be a very difficult car to work with, he was left to settle for seventh on the grid for tomorrow’s race.

However, Alonso is not resigning himself to a lacklustre Sunday, saying that he believes the other teams in contention for a podium finish are beatable.

“I think we need to see,” the Spaniard said. “There are always some surprises at the races. Some races we expect to be competitive and we are not; some races we find ourselves quite competitive.

“I think in front of us, we understand that Mercedes probably are too quick, it’s difficult to fight with them. But Red Bull, Force India, McLaren, they are beatable, so we can fight with them.”

Given that the raw pace of the F14 T leaves much to be desired, Alonso will be looking at other factors such as tire strategy and weather patterns to see if Ferrari can recover some positions at the front.

“It’s a race we need to manage in the best way possible with a good start, and a good understanding of the tires with these temperatures,” he said. “Try to anticipate what is the best strategy, and looking at the weather, threats of storms coming in the afternoon.

“We’ll see tomorrow. We’ll be ready for anything.”

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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