Ecclestone confident Vettel will be champion with Ferrari

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Formula 1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone is confident that Sebastian Vettel will win a fifth world championship during his time with Scuderia Ferrari.

After winning four world titles with Red Bull between 2010 and 2013, Vettel left the team at the end of last season to join Ferrrari, a brand he has been a lifelong admirer of.

The German driver has since excelled with the Italian marque, claiming two race wins in the opening half of the 2015 season to rank third in the drivers’ championship.

In an interview with the official F1 website alongside Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene, Ecclestone said that although he thinks Vettel will not win the title in 2015, he is sure one will follow over the coming years with Ferrari.

“I think he will struggle this year,” Ecclestone said. “But, sure, he will win a world championship with Ferrari. No doubt about that.”

In the wide-ranging conversation, Ecclestone and Arrivabene also discussed Vettel’s decision to turn his back on Red Bull last fall and secure a move to Ferrari for 2015.

It was revealed that Vettel had called Ecclestone to discuss the possibility of moving away from Red Bull, asking for some advice.

“For sure one concern was leaving a team he had won four world championships with,” Ecclestone said.

“You have won so much – and now you want to move? Not easy.

“But I tried to explain to him that here you have one team that is struggling to maintain its level, and there you have another team that is going to improve. It can only be an upside.”

Ecclestone also backed Ferrari’s decision to retain Kimi Raikkonen for the 2016 season, believing the timing of the announcement to have been particularly good.

“It was a clever move from Ferrari to announce it when they did,” Ecclestone said.

“Others would have announced it on the race weekend – and it wouldn’t have given them half the attention that they got. [Arrivabene] understands the business.”

Coyne signs Ferrucci for final two IndyCar races of 2018

Photo: IndyCar
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Dale Coyne Racing will field a third entry at the Grand Prix of Portland and the INDYCAR Grand Prix of Sonoma for former Haas F1 test and reserve driver Santino Ferrucci, the team revealed earlier on Friday.

Ferrucci previously raced with Coyne at the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit, where he finished 22nd and 20th, and will drive alongside Sebastien Bourdais and Pietro Fittipaldi. The entry, the No. 39 Honda, will also feature sponsorship from Cly-Del, a Connecticut-based manufacturing company.

“I am extremely grateful to Dale (Coyne) and everyone at Dale Coyne Racing for giving me this opportunity to get back behind the wheel of an IndyCar in Portland and Sonoma,” said Ferrucci, who had been racing in FIA Formula 2 this year until it came to an unceremonious end in July.

Ferrucci continued, “I’m also excited to be bringing my long-time sponsor Cly-Del on board and introducing them to the world of IndyCar racing. I truly enjoyed my time with Dale Coyne Racing in Detroit earlier this season and I couldn’t be more excited to be back with them for a couple more races as I look to the future and enter the next chapter of my career.”

Team owner Dale Coyne highlighted the team’s experience with Ferrucci as a motivating factor in signing him up again for the final two races.

“We were very impressed with Santino at Detroit this year, and not just by his performance behind the wheel, but also by his professionalism and maturity outside of the race car,” said Coyne.

Coyne added, “We’ve had lengthy discussions with Santino in the past few months and we’re excited to have him back for the final two rounds of the season. We look forward to seeing what he will do with this opportunity as he gets back behind the wheel of an Indy Car. We’re also happy to welcome Cly-Del to our ever-growing family of sponsors.”

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