Raikkonen: Ferrari atmosphere better than ever

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Kimi Raikkonen believes that the atmosphere at Ferrari in 2015 is better than any he has experienced throughout his Formula 1 career, praising the changes that were made at Maranello over the winter.

The Finn endured a difficult return to Ferrari in 2014, finishing a lowly 12th in the drivers’ championship and with a best finish of fourth at the Belgian Grand Prix.

Raikkonen has made an improved start to the 2015 season though, finishing fourth in Malaysia and China as Ferrari’s revival begins to come to fruition.

Off track, a number of personnel changes were made at Maranello over the winter, and Raikkonen believes that the atmosphere is now better than ever for the team.

“I must say in the past when I was here in Ferrari there were good times and a good atmosphere, but this year is the best I’ve had in any team,” Raikkonen told reporters in Bahrain.

“How the team works together, how people work together, how the atmosphere is and how things have been going – that tells you a lot.”

Raikkonen’s contract with Ferrari expires at the end of the 2015 season, but the team does have an option to extend the deal by one more year and retain the Finn for 2016.

In a separate interview with the official F1 website, Raikkonen said that questions about his future could only really be answered by Ferrari.

“That is up to the team to decide,” Raikkonen said. “They have an option on my services, so go and ask them!”

Part of the improved atmosphere at Maranello appears to be a result of the arrival of four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel, who is good friends with Raikkonen.

The Finn admitted that having a teammate he could speak directly and frankly with was a big help, as is Vettel’s unpolitical nature.

“The good thing is that if there is something, we can talk to each other,” Raikkonen said. “We can talk to each other directly and not have to use mediators.

“But we don’t have any issues and I don’t expect us to have issues.”

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.”