Ricciardo calls link to Ferrari “a bit of a laugh”

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Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo has dismissed rumors linking him with a move to Ferrari for the 2016 Formula 1 season, calling the story “a bit of a laugh”.

Ricciardo has been tipped as a possible replacement for Kimi Raikkonen at Ferrari upon the expiration of the Finn’s contract at the end of the current season.

Although Ferrari does have an option on Raikkonen’s services for 2016, it is unclear whether the team will take this up following a string of underwhelming performances in recent races.

However, Ricciardo was quick to brush off rumors of a move to Ferrari, saying that he is unsure where the speculation arose from.

“I don’t even know where the rumours started actually,” Ricciardo told the official F1 website. “It’s really exploded.

“Ferrari is probably the only top team potentially with a seat open, which is why I guess my name and a few others have been linked to that.”

Williams driver Valtteri Bottas and Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg have also been linked with a move to Maranello for 2016 to work alongside four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel.

Ricciardo spent a year as Vettel’s teammate at Red Bull in 2014, and although he was flattered by the link to Ferrari, he laughed off the idea of a move away.

“It’s a bit of a laugh,” Ricciardo said. “You know what, it’s fun. We talk about these things now, so it creates some variety in our conversations!

“Obviously it is nice to be regarded by a top team like that – it’s nice to know there is interest from other teams as well.

“But I am with a top team too.”

Further to Ricciardo’s comments, it is unlikely that Vettel would entertain working alongside Ricciardo once again in case of another defeat like the one he suffered in 2014.

The German driver’s reputation was dealt a blow as he finished 71 points behind Ricciardo in the drivers’ championship and with just four podium finishes to his name before he left for Ferrari at the end of the year.

Final 2023 Rolex 24 at Daytona results, points

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — The 2023 Rolex 24 at Daytona overall results were all streaks: two consecutive victories in the endurance classic for Meyer Shank Racing and three in a row for Acura.

And Helio Castroneves became the second driver to win three consecutive Rolex 24s and the first to win in three straight years (Peter Gregg won in 1973, ’75 and ’76; the race wasn’t held in ’74 because of a global oil crisis).

Starting from the pole position, Tom Blomqvist took the checkered flag in the No. 60 ARX-06 that led a race-high 365 of 783 laps with co-drivers Castroneves, Simon Pagenaud and Colin Braun.

RESULTS: Click here for the finishing order in the 61st Rolex 24 at Daytona l By class

POINTS: Standings after Rolex 24 at Daytona l Michelin Endurance Cup standings l Daytona endurance points

Meyer Shank Racing now has two Rolex 24 victories and the 2022 championship since entering the premier prototype category of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in 2021.

“I think what’s so special about this team is we are a small team compared to some of our opponents, but the atmosphere, the way we work, enables people to get the best out of themselves, and I think that’s why we’re such high achievers,” Blomqvist said. “I think there’s no egos. It’s a very open book, and that just enables each and every one of us to reach our potential. I think that’s why we’ve achieved so much success in really a short time at this level of competition.”

It’s the 16th IMSA victory for MSR.

The 61st running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona marked the debut of the Grand Touring Prototype category that brought hybrid engine technology to IMSA’s top level.

In other categories:

LMP2: James Allen passed Ben Hanley on the final lap and delivered a victory in the No. 55 ORECA by 0.016 seconds. It’s the second IMSA victory for Proton Competition, which last won at Sebring in 2012. It was the first Rolex 24 victory for Allen and co-drivers Gianmaria Bruni, Fred Poordad and Francesco Pizzi.

GTD Pro: Cooper MacNeil won in the last start of his IMSA career as the No. 79 Mercedes-AMG GT3 scored the first Rolex 24 at Daytona for WeatherTech Racing and the team’s fourth career victory.

MacNeil, who co-drove with Maro Engel, Jules Gounon and Daniel Juncadella, earned his 12th career victory and first at the Rolex 24.

“Winning by last IMSA race is tremendous,” MacNeil said.

GTD: The No. 27 Heart of Racing Team delivered the first Rolex 24 at Daytona for Aston Martin, which has been competing in endurance races at Daytona International Speedway since 1964. Drivers Marco Sorensen, Roman De Angelis, Darren Turner and Ian James (also the team principal) earned the victory in the English brand’s 13th attempt.

It’s also the first Rolex 24 at Daytona win for Heart of Racing, which has seven IMSA wins.

LMP3: Anthony Mantella, Wayne Boyd, Nico Varrone and Thomas Merrill drove the No. 17 AWA Duqueine D08 to victory by 12 laps for the team’s first class win in IMSA.


STATS PACKAGE FOR ROLEX 24 HOURS OF DAYTONA:

Fastest laps by driver

Fastest laps by driver after race (over the weekend)

Fastest laps by driver and class after race

Fastest lap sequence

Lap chart

Leader sequence

Race analysis by lap

Stint analysis

Time cards

Pit stop time cards

Best sector times

Race distance and speed average

Flag analysis

Weather report

NEXT: The 2023 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season will resume with the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring March 18 with coverage across NBC, USA and Peacock.