Raikkonen confident 2015 will hold better things for Ferrari

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Kimi Raikkonen is confident that 2015 will hold better things for Ferrari following a difficult season that saw the Scuderia score just two podium finishes.

After struggling to adapt to the new technical regulations for 2014, Ferrari suffered its worst season in 22 years that was marked by a number of changes across the course of the year.

Former team principal Stefano Domenicali resigned back in April, falling on his own sword to make way for Marco Mattiacci.

However, Mattiacci lasted just seven months, and was fired on Monday following the final race of the year in Abu Dhabi. He has been replaced by Maurizio Arrivabene.

Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo was arguably the highest-profile casualty of 2014, resigning in September. A close second is the departure of Fernando Alonso, who is poised to join McLaren after five disappointing years with Ferrari, making way for four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel.

Despite having an early Ferrari test blocked by Red Bull, Vettel did make an appearance in the team’s garage in Abu Dhabi earlier this week, getting to know his new engineers and teammates.

This came as little surprise to Raikkonen, who is looking forward to working with Vettel in 2015 as the race to catch Mercedes begins in earnest.

“It was nice that he joined us in the garage for the first day of testing, although I have to say that didn’t surprise me, because I know what he’s like and his approach to work,” Raikkonen said. “I think we can enjoy ourselves on track together, both of us fighting to be ahead of the other, while also working as a team to reach the common target of progressing in order to get the Scuderia back to the level it should be at.

“The components we tested in Abu Dhabi have produced a lot of useful data, which can now be analyzed along with that from Sunday’s grand prix. The team’s priorities are clear and we are well aware what are the areas that did not match up to our expectations.

“I am sure that thanks to the knowledge we acquired over the course of the season, we will be able to develop a more competitive car.

“Clearly, how much progress we make depends on the time available and the possibilities presented by the regulations, which for the moment, impose certain limits for everyone, but I have every confidence in the ability of the team.”

Conor Daly honors friend killed Saturday amid Indianapolis unrest

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IndyCar driver Conor Daly posted a poignant tribute to Chris Beaty, a former Indiana University football player and Indianapolis business owner who was killed Saturday amid protests and rioting in the city.

Daly said he got to know Beaty, who owned an event and marketing promotions company, five years ago when he was organizing Indianapolis 500 afterparties.

Daly annually had been involved in Beaty’s parties since then and said Beaty helped get him home earlier this year when Daly’s blood sugar crashed while at an event.

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“The world lost a tremendous person. RIP Chris Beaty,” wrote Daly, who also tweeted “The violence has to stop.”

According to the Indianapolis Star, Beaty died after suffering multiple gunshot wounds during Saturday night’s unrest in downtown Indianapolis. It’s unclear if the shooting was tied to the protests.

Graham Rahal also posted about his interaction with Beaty.

Daly, Rahal and the rest of the IndyCar Series will return to action Saturday night at Texas Motor Speedway (8 p.m. ET, NBC).