Alonso rates time with Ferrari as 9/10, finishes P9 in final race for the Scuderia


ABU DHABI – Fernando Alonso’s time with Ferrari came to an end in Abu Dhabi on Sunday evening as the Spaniard finished a lowly ninth at the Yas Marina Circuit.

Alonso endured a difficult race, finishing two seconds behind Sebastian Vettel despite the German driver starting the race from the pit lane after being excluded from qualifying. However, he did manage to beat Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen once again, picking up four points for P9.

On Thursday, it was confirmed that Alonso would be leaving Ferrari at the end of the season, making way for four-time world champion Vettel at Maranello. He is expected to join McLaren for 2015.

In his final press session as a Ferrari driver, Alonso was asked to reflect on his time with the Scuderia, scoring the five-year spell at nine out of ten.

“From one to ten, I think those five years, I would put nine,” Alonso said. “I know it seems high, but for me, it’s my opinion. Anyone can have their own opinion. I enjoyed it so much. I grew up as a driver and as a person. I worked with amazing people here, and I raced with heart and at the best level of my career.

“I never imagined to have such a beautiful performance over these five years, fighting for the championship, racing with everything that I have inside, never give up. I am proud of the team and the things we did together.

“We missed the title, but we raced in a very dominant era of Formula 1 with Red Bull and this year with Mercedes. No one can come closer to them. This is what I missed to put a ten over these five years.

“Any driver should drive for Ferrari at least for one year, because it’s a unique experience.”

Alonso issued a number of special Ferrari shirts for the race to the team, celebrating his five-year stint at Maranello. Although they did not win a title, the partnership will be remembered as one of the most unique in F1 history, even if it was not the most successful.

Todd LeDuc advances two positions in Monster Jam Power Rankings

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Neil Elliott held onto the top spot in the Monster Jam Power Rankings, but he has a new driver sniffing his exhaust as Todd Leduc advanced two positions to second this week.

The Stadium Series Green continues to hold the advantage in the Power Rankings with Elliott topping the chart, Morgan Kane in fourth, and Ryan Anderson eighth, but there is an equitable distribution among the other series throughout the field.

Notably, Leduc and his Monster Energy truck in the Stadium Series Red closed the gap with a 38-point overall victory at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, MN. Leduc achieved his win through consistency, pocketing the overall without winning a single individual event. Leduc’s best session was a second-place finish to Mike Vaters II in Overkill Evolution by .001 points.

Meanwhile on the West Coast, Elliott rambled on. Elliott won his sixth skills challenge in seven contests so far. That contributed to his 35 points for the event at PETCO Park in San Diego and allowed him to hold onto the No. 1 slot in the Monster Jam Power Rankings.

Colton Eichelberger also held station. Third last week, he entered the Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse on a mission in the Triple Threat Series Central. He topped the event points in all four events with timed race wins in each session, ATV race wins in three of the four, three wins in the speedster obstacle course, two freestyle wins and one win in the donut competitions.

MORE: Ryan Anderson and the anatomy of a Monster Jam freestyle run

Morgan Kane and Grave Digger had a rough night. He was ousted from the racing event in Round 2 by Max-D and Elliott. He failed to win either of the other two competitions of the night and ended with 29 points, which was a distant third to Ryan Anderson’s Son-Uva Digger (37) and Max-D (35).

Brandon Vinson moved up to the fifth position with three wins in the Triple Threat Series West. During the weekend he earned seven session wins, including a sweep of the speedster obstacle course and two victories in the two-wheel skills challenge.

Tom Meents debuted on the Monster Jam Power Rankings in 10th by winning the overall in back to back nights of the Stadium Series Yellow. The Saturday show can be seen Feb. 22 at 11:30 p.m. on NBCSN (click here for streaming). The highlight of Meents’ weekend were race wins on Saturday and Sunday, defeating Coty Saucier in a Monster Energy truck on Night 1 and Eric Swanson in Obsessed on Night 2.

Power Rankings

1. Neil Elliott–same
2. Todd LeDuc–up 2
3. Colton Eichelberger-same
4. Morgan Kane–down 2
5. Brandon Vinson–up 1
6. Tyler Menninga–up 1
7. Coty Saucier–down 2
8. Ryan Anderson–same
9. Linsey Read–up 1
10. Tom Meents-new for 2020

Upcoming TV Schedule (All showings on Eastern time on NBCSN)

Oakland: February 22 (Saturday); 11:30 p.m.
Miami: March 1 (Sunday); 12 a.m.
Jacksonville: March 9 (Monday); 6 p.m.
Detroit: March 21 (Saturday); 11 p.m.
Las Vegas: March 28 (Saturday); 7 p.m.
Santa Clara: April 11 (Saturday); 7 p.m.
Philadelphia: April 17 (Friday); 2:30 p.m.
Denver: April 25 (Saturday); 6:30 p.m.
Monster Jam World Finals Racing: May 9 (Saturday); 5 p.m.
Monster Jam World Finals: May 19 (Tuesday); 4 p.m.
Monster Jam World Freestyle: May 20 (Wednesday); 12 a.m.
Monster Jam World Finals: June 20 (Saturday); 2:30 p.m.