Raikkonen: Ferrari a happier team in 2015

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Kimi Raikkonen believes that Ferrari is a now a happier place to work following a raft of personnel changes over the winter.

The Finnish driver endured a miserable 2014 campaign, scoring just 55 points en route to 12th place in the championship.

However, he has been retained for 2015 alongside four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel, who arrived as a replacement for the McLaren-bound Fernando Alonso.

The Ferrari that is racing this year is very different to the team of 12 months ago, with marque president Luca di Montezemolo, team principals Stefano Domenicali and Marco Mattiacci, and a number of other key personnel being ousted from Maranello.

With the internal divisions of 2014 patched up and repaired, Raikkonen believes that everyone at Ferrari is enjoying their work more this year.

“The team bosses have managed to put the right people in the right places,” the Finn said. “It’s still early days, but everybody seems to enjoy it more. For the next test we’ll try to put the right things into the car.”

Raikkonen finished second in both of his testing days in Barcelona this week, but his final run was hindered by some problems on the car. These aside, he is happy with the progress that is being made and the direction that the team is making.

“Today was not ideal,” Raikkonen said on Friday. “We had some small issues which prevented us from running as much as we wanted, but still we managed to do other stuff, try things and learn.

“We are going in the right direction in all areas and the team did a good job over the winter. Of course, racing is a different story from testing, but so far it has been good.”

IMSA’s 50th Anniversary Celebration: Why Sebring is so special to Bobby Rahal

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Bobby Rahal has driven in some of the biggest races in the world, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Rolex 24 Hours and, of course, winning the Indianapolis 500 as a driver in 1986 and in 2004 as a team owner.

But winning the 12 Hours of Sebring two years in a row (1987 and 1988), Rahal feels, is right up there in terms of his greatest accomplishments as a race car driver.

As IMSA celebrates its 50th anniversary, Rahal reflected on what racing at Sebring International Raceway has meant to him:

“To me, Sebring is the ultimate endurance race. Not as long as Daytona or Le Mans, but the demands put on a car and driver at Sebring are highly unusual.

“My father raced at Sebring in the late 60’s. To win that race two years in a row really meant something to me.

“While we’ve won a lot of other races, we’ve won just about everywhere, you name it. But for me personally, winning at Sebring those two years in a row was very special.”

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