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.”

Steve Torrence takes NHRA points lead with Gatornationals victory

NHRA Gainesville Steve Torrence
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Two-time defending NHRA Top Fuel champion Steve Torrence took the points lead Sunday in the AMALIE Motor Oil Gatornationals, beating his father, Billy, in the final round at Gainesville Raceway.

Torrence had a 3.809-second run at 322.11 mph to win for the third time this year and 39th overall. He is now on track for another championship despite missing the season opener.

“We’ve got some good momentum and to be in the points lead, it’s a testament to how hard these guys work,” Steve Torrence said after the NHRA Gainesville victory. “We’ve just got to stay focused and concentrate on what the task at hand is, and that’s trying to win a championship. These guys give me an unbelievable race car and you just try not to screw it up.”

Ron Capps won in Funny Car, Alex Laughlin in Pro Stock and Matt Smith in Pro Stock Motorcycle.

Capps raced to his second win this year and 66th overall, beating Tim Wilkerson with a 3.937 at 323.12 in a Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat.

Laughlin topped Aaron Stanfield with a 7.068 at 204.76 in a Chevrolet Camaro for his first win this season and fourth in his career. Smith rode to his first victory in 2020 and 25th overall, topping Andrew Hines with a 6.843 at 196.99 on an EBR.