© Getty Images

Vettel: Ferrari fired up, hungry for success in new F1 season

Leave a comment

Sebastian Vettel says that the entire Ferrari team is fired up and hungry for success in the new Formula 1 season as it looks to end its title drought.

Ferrari last won a championship back in 2008, prompting marque president Sergio Marchionne to say earlier this month that it would be a “tragedy” if it went more than 10 years without a title.

Vettel is expected to spearhead Ferrari’s charge in 2016 after a successful maiden season with the team last year, and has high expectations for his second campaign at Maranello.

“We’ll try to raise [expectations] naturally,” Vettel said. “Obviously you don’t want to do worse than the year before, that’s clear.

“I think you can feel it going around in the factory. I think everybody is fired up and want to win. The target is clear, the expectation is there. But I think that’s also where we want to be. We’ll see how close we are and how much there is to do during the season.”

Vettel believes that the added cohesion of the team will be clear in 2016, with the new SF16-H car being the first to have been developed since the personnel overhaul at the end of 2014.

“I think last year was very good for us, very positive. Obviously the success we had early on helped to stabilize the team,” Vettel said.

“Nevertheless, it’s still a young team, a lot of new people. Now they’ve been in the job for one year, and I think it really starts only now that we see the results so obviously in this regard the new car this year is really the first for this team, and therefore I’m very excited to get on track and see how it feels.

“Obviously from the outside you see that the car looks lsihgly different. There’s a bit of a new car design going on which I like a lot, it looks very nice. My helmet suits the white topping on the car.

“And then I think more exciting is on the inside, a lot of new stuff, new things. It’s always fun to watch the process very closely over winter with the team, and then especially in the past few days when things start to come together.”

Bill Elliott joins Tony Stewart/Ray Evernham SRX series for 2021

Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Leave a comment

NASCAR Hall of Famer Bill Elliott became the eighth driver to join the Superstar Racing Experience, the short-track series being started by Ray Evernham and Tony Stewart.

The two-time Daytona 500 winner and 1988 NASCAR Cup Series champion was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2015 and was voted NASCAR’s most popular driver 16 times (his son, Chase, has received the honor the past two years). Elliott also closed his full-time Cup career driving for Evernham’s Dodge team from 2001-03, winning the 2002 Brickyard 400.

“I am excited to reunite with Ray Evernham and some of the great legends of our sport,” Elliott, who joins Stewart and Bobby Labonte as NASCAR Hall of Famers in the SRX, said in a release. “I look forward to racing at some of the most historic American racing destinations and putting on an awesome show for the fans. We have a special driver field and it will be fun competing with some of the greatest drivers of all time.”

The series, which is expecting to have a dozen drivers, also has Tony Stewart, Helio Castroneves, Bobby Labonte, Paul Tracy, Tony Kanaan, Willy T. Ribbs and Mark Webber in its lineup.

SRX was co-founded by NASCAR Hall of Famers Stewart and Evernham and was unveiled July 13.

Several drivers have expressed interest in the new circuit, which is modeled on the International Race of Champions (IROC) series that matched drivers from various auto racing disciplines in equally prepared cars for an annual four-race series for 30 years.

With the addition of Bill Elliott, Superstar Racing Experience has yet to reveal a schedule or tracks, but it’s expected that Stewart’s Eldora Speedway will be on the slate.