Ferrari quiet again in Brazil, finishing sixth and seventh

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Scuderia Ferrari’s subdued end to the 2014 Formula 1 season continued in Brazil yesterday as Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen finished in an unspectacular sixth and seventh place respectively.

The Italian marque has scored just two podium finishes all year long, and has slipped well behind Williams in the race for third place in the constructors’ championship, meaning that it could yet come under threat from McLaren in fifth place.

After qualifying in P8 and P10 on Saturday, Alonso and Raikkonen made up a few positions across the course of the race, but were largely anonymous at Interlagos.

There was an interesting on-track battle between the two Ferrari teammates though, with Alonso not being waved through by Ferrari despite being on a far quicker strategy. Eventually, he managed to pass Raikkonen, but would rise no higher than sixth before the end of the race.

“After a far from easy weekend, I am reasonably pleased with the outcome of the race, because even if we weren’t very competitive, we managed to score a good number of points,” Alonso said. “Today, degradation was particularly high, especially in the first stint on the softs, which lasted less time than expected because of graining.

“When I passed Kimi, my tires were newer than his, as he was on a two stop, but I was having to save fuel and after that overtaking move, there was nothing more I could do. Now there’s just one race to go this season and in terms of the constructors’ championship, we hope to manage to keep McLaren behind us in the final race in Abu Dhabi.

“As for myself, I reckon I’m in the position I deserve, because others have done better.”

Despite a front jack failure in the pits denying him a shot at a top five finish, Raikkonen was pleased with the weekend as a whole, believing that progress had been made.

“Overall, this has been a positive weekend and even today in the race, I felt very good in the car,” the Finn said. “During the second stint, we realised that if we went for a two stop strategy, we could make up ground, but then, at my second pit stop, I lost valuable time and that cost me some places.

“In the final part of the race, I had to fight off Button for a few laps and when Fernando caught me, tire degradation meant I couldn’t fend him off. We leave Interlagos with a good feeling and even if we still have a lot of work ahead of us, this continued progress makes me confident for the future.”

X44 Racing win 2022 Extreme E championship as Abt Cupra score first race victory

2022 Extreme E Uruguay
Extreme E
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Abt Cupra Racing’s Nasser Al-Attiyah and Klara Andersson scored their first win in the Extreme E Energy X Prix in the 2022 finale in Uruguay as Lewis Hamilton’s X44 Vida Carbon Racing drivers Sebastien Loeb and Cristina Gutierrez survived a chaotic finale to edge the 2021 champion Rosberg X Prix team of Johan Kristoffersson and Mikhaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky, by two points.

“There are so many emotions,” Andersson said in Extreme E’s coverage. “I’ve been waiting for this for so long. In my second race, first full weekend to be at the top of the podium: it’s big.”

Andersson was behind the wheel at the finish.

Rosberg Racing entered the event with a 17-point advantage over X44, but the standings were close enough that four teams remained in contention in Round 5.

“It’s a crucial weekend for us,” Loeb said in Extreme E’s coverage prior to the race. “We are not in the best position to win the championship, but the only thing we can do is try to win the race and score as many points as possible.”

The top two title contenders each crashed in qualification and were relegated to the Crazy Race, Extreme E’s version of the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ). For the moment, they had the steepest hill to climb, but then the other two championship contending teams, Chip Ganassi Racing and Acciona Sainz Racing failed to advance from their heats.

Only one team advances from the Crazy Race, so the X44 drivers were in a must-win situation to simply keep hope alive.

More: Extreme E 2023 schedule

Ahlin-Kottulinsky and Gutierrez ran wheel to wheel into the first turn at the start of the LCQ.

The Rosberg racer experienced crash damage in that turn that damaged her front steering, but managed to limp back to the pits at the end of her two-lap stint. The team attempted to fix the steering, but incurred a penalty for having too many mechanics in the pit area.

Meanwhile, Gutierrez took the early lead, but knew she would need to sit through a five-second penalty for an incident earlier in the weekend. The female half of the gender equal pair erased the penalty by entering the Switch Zone with a five-second lead before turning the car over to Loeb.

That was all the nine-time World Rally Championship titlist needed to give him the advantage needed to win the Crazy Race.

But the championship was not over yet. X44 Racing needed to finish third or better in the five-car finale to earn enough points for the title and after advancing from the LCQ, they were forced to take the worst grid position.

A chaotic start to the Finale saw Loeb run as high the lead and low as fourth after getting pushed off course during his first lap. And that is how he entered to Switch Zone.

On her first lap, Gutierrez slammed into Molly Taylor. With one lap remaining, X44 and Gutierrez were still in fourth and the title hope was quickly evaporating, but it was announced halfway through the lap that the third-running Andretti United team would suffer a penalty for a Switch Zone infraction. The seven-second deduction for Timmy Hansen braking too late in the zone made the difference in the title.

Coming off a disappointing Copper X Prix when Tanner Foust and Emma Gilmour crossed under the checkers first, but were relegated to fifth by penalty, the McLaren pair scored their first podium of the season in second.