Vettel feeling ‘honored’ ahead of Ferrari debut

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Four-time Formula 1 world champion Sebastian Vettel believes that Ferrari has made significant improvements over the winter, but is unwilling to make any firm predictions for his debut season with the team until after this weekend’s Australian Grand Prix.

Vettel joins Ferrari for 2015 after spending six seasons with Red Bull Racing, having claimed all four of his drivers’ championships under the energy drink’s racing umbrella.

However, the German driver has had a lifetime ambition to drive for Ferrari and emulate his hero, Michael Schumacher. He will make his debut for the Scuderia in Melbourne this weekend, and spoke of his excitement during Thursday’s FIA press conference.

“Well, I think there’s a lot of history in the team and obviously, for me, it’s an honor to race for Ferrari,” Vettel said.

“I’m very happy at this stage and I can’t wait to get in the car and finally start racing with the team but equally we know that we have to work hard because our ambition is very high and we want to make sure that Ferrari gets back to the top.”

Bouncing back from its worst season in over 20 years in 2014, Ferrari enjoyed a productive winter testing programme that saw Vettel and teammate Kimi Raikkonen top the timesheets in Jerez.

However, Vettel is reserving judgement on Ferrari’s chances in 2015 until the pecking order becomes clearer in Australia this weekend.

“I think generally the atmosphere is very positive,” he said. “Obviously there has been a lot of change over the winter but people have been working very hard and I think we have definitely improved as a team.

“So now we’ll see when we get the chance to put the car on the track. We can see where the others are, see what the others run, especially on Saturday. Finally you know a little bit more. Winter [is] always a bit tricky to understand everything.”

You can watch comprehensive coverage of the Australian Grand Prix live on NBCSN and Live Extra this weekend. Click here for TV times and broadcasting details.

Andretti United team names drivers for inaugural Extreme E season

Extreme E drivers Andretti
Extreme E
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The Extreme E team formed by Andretti Autosport and United Autosports named Catie Munnings and Timmy Hansen as its drivers Monday for the series’ inaugural 2021 season.

Munnings is a successful veteran of rally series. Hansen is a past winner and champion in the World Rallycross Championship.

They both will race in the environmentally conscious electric SUV series that will hold events in five areas around the world that are threatened by climate change. Chip Ganassi Racing and six-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton also are fielding cars in Extreme E, which will feature male and female co-drivers on every team.

Catie Munnings

“I’m so excited to join Andretti United Extreme E,” Munnings said in a release. ““I was really intrigued when I first heard about Extreme E, I just knew I had to be involved. The male / female racing partnership is a fantastic and exciting new concept. The season has incredible locations and the racing will be very exciting. It will be a new challenge for the teams and drivers, and I’m so thrilled to be working with such a strong team.

“The championship is a really innovative concept, it’s combining motorsport and science and will produce an important legacy in each race location. Bringing the platform that motorsport has in line with the awareness that the planet needs right now is awesome and a really important message.”

Timmy Hansen

Said Hansen: “Going into the Extreme E will be a new chapter in my career, one that I am extremely excited about. It is something brand new, not only for me, but the whole of motorsport. The format is something

we’ve never seen before. I’m also delighted to be able to carry the message of something bigger – talking about the environment and doing something good for the world – that’s something that really drives me. It’s going to be a big adventure in life to see these locations and I’m going to do my best in carrying this responsibility and hopefully making people aware of the challenges we have in the world, together with our passion for racing.”