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.

Alex Zanardi showing signs of interaction three months after crash

Alex Zanardi recovery
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images
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MILAN — Italian racing driver turned Paralympic gold medalist Alex Zanardi has started responding to treatment with signs of interaction, more than three months after he was seriously injured in a handbike crash.

Zanardi has spent most of that time in intensive care after crashing into an oncoming truck during a relay event near the Tuscan town of Pienza on June 19.

“For several days now. Alex Zanardi has undergone cognitive and motor rehabilitation sessions, with the administration of visual and acoustic stimuli, to which the patient responds with momentary and initial signs of interaction,” the San Raffaele hospital in Milan said in a statement Thursday.

The hospital said that is “significant progress” but added that his condition remains serious, and that it would be “absolutely premature” to make a long-term prognosis.

Zanardi, 53, suffered serious facial and cranial trauma in the crash and was put in a medically induced coma. Doctors have warned of possible brain damage.

He was operated on several times to stabilize him and reconstruct his severely damaged face and the Milan hospital added that he recently had undergone another surgery to reconstruct his skull and would have another one in the coming weeks.

Zanardi lost both of his legs in an auto racing crash nearly 20 years ago. He won four gold medals and two silvers at the 2012 and 2016 Paralympics. He also competed in the New York City Marathon and set an Ironman record in his class.