Vettel relishing first Italian GP in Ferrari colors

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Sebastian Vettel is relishing the opportunity to race in the Italian Grand Prix as a Ferrari driver for the first time at Monza this weekend.

Vettel, a lifelong Ferrari fan, joined the Italian marque for 2015 after spending the entirety of his Formula 1 career racing under Red Bull’s umbrella.

The German driver has made a strong start to life at Maranello, winning two races so far this season en route to third place in the championship standings behind Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.

The Italian Grand Prix boasts one of the most unique atmospheres on the F1 calendar thanks to the tens of thousands of Ferrari fans – the Tifosi – that will make the trip to Monza.

Speaking ahead of this weekend’s race, Vettel spoke about his hopes of standing on the podium and giving the Ferrari fans plenty to smile about in his first outing for the team at Monza.

“Obviously I’ve heard lots of good things,” Vettel said. “I’ve been here before so obviously [I know] the passion for Ferrari, so obviously very much looking forward to becoming part of that.

“If we do well, which is our target, and we manage to be on the podium on Sunday I’m looking forward to not receiving booing for a long time.

“So, yeah, plenty of stuff to look forward to. So far we have had a great season.”

Vettel also explained how he is treating the Italian Grand Prix as his home race for 2015 given the absence of a race in Germany.

“This is our home grand prix as a team and since I didn’t have a home grand prix this year I adopt this one as well,” Vettel said.

“Hopefully we can make it a good one.”

The Italian Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and Live Extra this weekend. For more information, click here.

IMSA’s 50th Anniversary Celebration: Why Sebring is so special to Bobby Rahal

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Bobby Rahal has driven in some of the biggest races in the world, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Rolex 24 Hours and, of course, winning the Indianapolis 500 as a driver in 1986 and in 2004 as a team owner.

But winning the 12 Hours of Sebring two years in a row (1987 and 1988), Rahal feels, is right up there in terms of his greatest accomplishments as a race car driver.

As IMSA celebrates its 50th anniversary, Rahal reflected on what racing at Sebring International Raceway has meant to him:

“To me, Sebring is the ultimate endurance race. Not as long as Daytona or Le Mans, but the demands put on a car and driver at Sebring are highly unusual.

“My father raced at Sebring in the late 60’s. To win that race two years in a row really meant something to me.

“While we’ve won a lot of other races, we’ve won just about everywhere, you name it. But for me personally, winning at Sebring those two years in a row was very special.”

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