No concerns for Mattiacci about Raikkonen and Alonso

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Ferrari team principal Marco Mattiacci has no concerns about drivers Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen despite a difficult season at Maranello for the Italian team.

Alonso has led the team’s charge in spite of the problematic F14 T car, and currently sits fourth in the drivers’ championship. However, McLaren is known to be chasing the Spaniard for a 2015 seat, prompting speculation about his future with Ferrari.

However, in an interview with the official Formula 1 website, Mattiacci said that he has no concerns about either of his drivers, despite some accusing Alonso of practically running the team.

“We have to work very hard and will find many tough days along the way, but we will get back to the top,” Mattiacci said, reflecting on Ferrari’s six year title drought. “I like to deliver rather than overpromise.

“It’s true, everybody is a leader at Ferrari. Everybody is running the team, including Fernando, in the way that everybody has to bring ideas. Yes, we have a very clear organization structure – and at the moment I am at the top of that organisation.”

Raikkonen’s form has been patchy in 2014, making his much-fanfared return to Ferrari rather underwhelming. He has already said that he will be retiring from F1 upon the expiration of his contract with the team at the end of next season, leading to some suggestions that the team could cut its losses at the end of the year and force the Finn out.

However, Mattiacci had nothing but praise for the 2007 world champion.

“I love Kimi,” he said. “He is one of the most talented drivers. We have had a bit of an issue delivering an outstanding car, but the team is all behind him and we have seen from his races in Hungary and Belgium that he has arrived.”

The Finn certainly showed signs of his old self by finishing fourth at Spa for Ferrari, helping the team to stay ahead of Williams in the constructors’ championship.

Mattiacci has made clear that he plans to keep both drivers on for 2015, but if the paddock chatter about Alonso’s movements is indeed true, the Italian may be forced to switch to ‘Plan B’ for his line-up.

NEOM McLaren Formula E announces Jake Hughes will join Rene Rast for 2023 season

McLaren Formula E Hughes
McLaren Racing
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Doubling down on their commitment to electric auto sports, McLaren Racing announced Jake Hughes will join Rene Rast to compete in the 2023 Formula E Series (FE), which completes their driver lineup.

The NEOM McLaren FE team was formed by the acquisition of the Mercedes-EQ Formula E team that won the 2021 and 2022 championships with Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck de Vries behind the wheel.

“Today’s announcement feels like a long time coming,” said Ian James, managing director of NEOM McLaren Electric Racing in a release. “Since May this year, when we first announced McLaren Racing’s entry into Formula E, we have been working tirelessly to get in place the best possible team and structure for sustainable success.

“On the one hand, we have been working on the retention of the amazing talent that already was in place before going into the transitional phase. I’m proud to say I think we’ve done a great job on that front.

“On the other hand, we have been focusing on putting in place new processes and new talent – and the latter includes the drivers.”

The driver lineup clasps the two hands together.

Hughes brings 10 years racing experience in single seater cars, including a role with the acquired Mercedes-EQ team as a reserve and development driver for the past two seasons. He is the 2013 BRDC Formula 4 champion and has multiple wins in Formula 2, including two in 2020.

Announced in August, Rast joins the team after earning two podium finishes and six top-fives in 22 career Formula E starts for Audi Sport ABT before returning to the DTM Series last year. Rast’s best finish in Formula E came in the Puebla E Prix when he finished second to teammate Lucas di Grassi by less than a half second.

McLaren’s commitment to Formula E comes one year after they entered the Extreme E rally series in 2022 with Tanner Foust and Emma Gilmour in the driver lineup. After a modest start to the season, the McLaren XE drivers crossed the finish line first in Round 4 in Chile, but were assessed a time penalty that dropped them to fifth. Last week in the season finale in Uruguay, they held onto a hard-earned second place finish.