Ferrari technical director believes title talk is “not realistic”

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Scuderia Ferrari technical director James Allison believes that talk of the Italian marque mounting a challenge for the constructors’ championship is “not realistic” in spite of Sebastian Vettel’s victory at the Malaysian Grand Prix two weeks ago.

Vettel clinched Ferrari’s first win in almost two years at the end of last month, beating the Mercedes duo of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg firmly and fairly on track.

The result came as a shock to the F1 community, which had previously deemed Mercedes to be unbeatable without some kind of divine intervention such as reliability woes or rain.

In practice for the Chinese Grand Prix on Friday, Ferrari continued to impress by producing a long-run pace that was within a few tenths of Mercedes’ efforts whilst enjoying greater durability with its tires.

However, Allison believes that those hoping for a Ferrari championship bid in 2015 are likely to be disappointed as the team sticks to its pre-season target of two wins.

“I think that we’re up against a car, in Mercedes, and others too, that are strong competition,” Allison said. “But Mercedes in particular, they have a bit more horsepower than us and a bit more downforce than us and until we’ve closed those two gaps it’s not realistic to talk about title challenges.

“Our objectives were set out at the beginning of the year, we thought it was realistic to score a couple of wins and of course we’ll take whatever comes our way and we’ll do our best to make our car close up as much as we can.

“Who knows what after that during the course of the year, but I think that sticking with the objectives we stated at the beginning of this year is still realistic.”

You can see how Ferrari get on in qualifying for the Chinese Grand Prix on NBCSN and Live Extra from 3a ET on Saturday.

IndyCar entry lists for Harvest GP at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

IndyCar entry lists Indianapolis
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There are 25 drivers on the NTT IndyCar Series entry lists at Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course with a few new yet familiar faces for the Oct. 2-3 race weekend.

Four-time champion Sebastien Bourdais will make his season debut in the No. 14 Dallara-Chevrolet (shifting Dalton Kellett to the No. 41) with AJ Foyt Racing, which he is joining full time next season. James Hinchcliffe, who had run three races with Andretti Autosport, will return in place of Zach Veach in the No. 26 Dallara-Honda. Helio Castroneves will drive Arrow McLaren SP’s No. 7 Dallara-Chevy for Oliver Askew, who is out with concussion-like symptoms.

Sage Karam, who has two IndyCar starts this year at IMS (the road course on July 4 and the Indy 500 on Aug. 23), also will return to the series in Dreyer & Reinbold’s No. 24 Dallara-Chevrolet.

HARVEST GP ENTRY LISTS: Friday l Saturday

Friday and Saturday of the Harvest GP presented by GMR will mark the second and third races this season on Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. While the July 4 race on the circuit was 80 laps, Friday’s distance is 85 laps, and Saturday will be a 75-lap event.

Championship leader Scott Dixon led 26 of 80 laps to win the July 4 race at the IMS road course. With three races remaining in the series, the five-time series champion enters with a 72-point lead on Josef Newgarden.

Click here to see who’s on the IndyCar entry lists in Race 1 and in Race 2 for the Harvest GP presented by GMR at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.


START TIMES AND TV INFO FOR INDYCAR AT INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY ROAD COURSE (all times ET):

Thursday

IndyCar NTT Series practice: 2:25-3:40 p.m., NBC Sports Gold

IndyCar qualifying, Race 1: 6:20 p.m. (two groups/12 minutes apiece), NBC Sports Gold

Friday

—IndyCar Harvest Grand Prix, Race 1: 3:30 p.m. (green flag, 5 p.m.), USA Network, NBC Sports Gold

Saturday

—IndyCar qualifying: 10:20 a.m. (two groups/12 minutes apiece), NBC Sports Gold

—IndyCar Harvest Grand Prix, Race 2: 2:30 p.m (green flag, 2:31 p.m.)., NBC, NBC Sports Gold