F1: Enzo Ferrari’s only living son OK with changes in Maranello

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Piero Ferrari, the only living son of the iconic Enzo Ferrari, has given his blessing to the wholesale changes that have occurred in the manufacturer’s quest to reclaim glory in Formula One.

In an interview with Italy’s La Gazzetta dello Sport, Piero Ferrari also asserted that new Ferrari chairman Sergio Marchionne is the right man to revive the Scuderia’s fortunes – calling him a person who “hates delays” and “[recognizes and solves] problems instantly.”

“I saw him speaking clearly and honestly, without subterfuge or like a politician,” he said to the Italian publication. “I am excited by the generational change that is underway. Companies evolve, but Formula One forces you to renew yourself.”

Piero Ferrari added that his famous father would have recognized Marchionne’s way of doing things.

“Do not forget that at the end of 1961, my father fired the seven top executives and started again, putting the young Mauro Forghieri at the head of everything,” he said. “My father would have understood him at a glance.”

A disastrous 2014 season has led to, among other things, a partly revised driver lineup for 2015 with Sebastian Vettel joining holdover Kimi Raikkonen and a new team principal in Maurizio Arrivabene (who recently said his squad was aiming for at least two wins next season).

Like Marchionne and Arrivabene, Piero Ferrari is hopeful that Vettel, the four-time World Champion who’s coming off a decisive defeat in his final year at Red Bull against Daniel Ricciardo, can help turn the tide.

He also said he thinks that Raikkonen, a former World Champ himself, has not lost any of his talent and would be “able to express himself with the right machine.”

But also like Marchionne, Piero Ferrari seems to have tempered expectations about how Ferrari will fare in 2015. On the subject, he conceded that “there are no miracles in F1.”

Andretti Autosport picks James Hinchcliffe for last 3 races of season

Andretti Autosport James Hinchcliffe
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James Hinchcliffe will finish the NTT IndyCar Series season for Andretti Autosport, replacing Zach Veach in the No. 26 Dallara-Honda.

The team made the announcement Friday afternoon that Hinchcliffe will return after racing for Andretti at Texas Motor Speedway, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course and the Indianapolis 500.

Hinchcliffe, who also has worked as an IndyCar on NBC analyst and pit reporter, will race in the Oct. 2-3 doubleheader race weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course and the Oct. 25 season finale at St. Petersburg, Florida.

“It’s always unfortunate to have to change drivers this far into a season, but we have to look at finishing the year the best we can for the 26 team and start evaluating and looking at options for 2021,” team owner Michael Andretti said in a release. “James has an existing relationship with our team that we’d love to build on and it makes the most sense for him to step in for these last three races. We are looking forward to seeing what he can do.”

Hinchcliffe has a season-best finish of seventh in the Indy 500. He had been working on trying to put together a deal for next season after scrambling to secure a partial schedule this year when he lost his ride at Arrow McLaren SP after 2020 with a year left on his deal.

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“I know, probably better than most, what Zach is feeling right now, and I have to say that he has handled everything about as class act as you can,” Hinchcliffe said. “I’ve known Zach as a teammate, before that as a colleague and even before that as a friend, and he is a guy that I respect in every way. I know he is a fighter and will fight back to where he wants to be.

“For me now, my focus is 100% on racing the Harvest GP and getting the best possible results for Gainbridge, for Honda, for Michael and for the team. I obviously haven’t been on a road course in a while, but at least the last time I was, it was here at IMS! Hopefully that puts us in a good position to go out there and have a strong weekend.”