Ferrari not yet thinking about Vettel, Raikkonen 2018 F1 contracts

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Ferrari Formula 1 chief Maurizio Arrivabene says he is not yet thinking about Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen’s contracts for 2018 despite both drivers currently being free agents for 2018.

Ferrari has made its strongest start to a racing season in over a decade in 2017, led by Vettel with three race wins en route to a 25-point lead in the drivers’ championship.

Vettel and Raikkonen are out of contract at the end of the year, and while speculation about the future of both drivers continues to bubble in the paddock, Arrivabene is preferring to focus on Ferrari’s championship bid than plans for 2018.

“We are not thinking about contracts now, we are thinking about the championship,” Arrivabeen said.

“They are two separate issues. We are all concentrated.

“As I have said many, many times we are working all together, including the drivers, we are very focused on our job.

“I have to say the contract is not an issue.”

Vettel has been linked with a move to Mercedes for 2018 in place of Valtteri Bottas, although the team recently said that a deal, while not impossible, was “not on the table”.

Raikkonen’s future with Ferrari has become a yearly staple of ‘silly season’, the Finn being the oldest driver on the grid. While the 2007 world champion is yet to win a race this year, his charge to pole in Monaco showed that he still has a spark and ability to succeed at Ferrari.

Travis Pastrana leads flag-to-flag in Nitro Rallycross as the series returns to America

Pastrana Nitro Rallycross
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Travis Pastrana waited until the final trip around ERX Motor Park to take his Joker Lap – a longer way around the course that all drivers must do at least once in a race – and came out cleanly to win his first Nitro Rallycross race of 2022. With this win, Pastrana is the third driver to visit Victory Lane in the first three rounds of the 2022-23 season.

“This is the closest to a motocross track,” Pastrana told Katie Osborne on Peacock. “Thank you so much for a beautiful facility. It’s been a rough start to the season and I’m so thankful to be back out here. We had a good run in the side-by-side and now for this. This is much needed.”

Another thing needed was the sense of improvement. And Pastrana earned that affirmation each time he completed a lap around the course.

“I get my lap times read out and they said ‘fastest time of the week,’ ‘fastest time of the week’ (each time around) ” Pastrana said. “This is really special. We’re a long way behind in the championship, but welcome to America.”

In a pre-race press conference, Pastrana said that as Nitro Rallycross heads back to America, it was time for an American to win and he made good on his promise. Pastrana took the early lead over Robin Larsson and let the back of his Subaru hang out, taking risks he might not otherwise take if not for his need to win.

How to Watch Nitro Rallycross

Larsson’s second-place finish completed a perfect sweep of the podium in three rounds. In fact, he has not yet finished worse than second after winning the opening round at Lydden Hill in the United Kingdom and finishing second at Strangnas in Sweeden.

Fraser McConnel rounded out the podium for his best result of the season. He finished fourth in each of the first two rounds.

Last year, Pastrana finished second in this race to Scott Speed before narrowly edging his teammate for the championship.

Andreas Bakkerud crashed in prelims, but rebounded to finish just off the block in fourth. Bakkerud won the second round ahead of his teammate Larsson.

Oliver Bennett completed the top five.

Minneapolis is the first of three rounds scheduled in the United States. Next on the schedule is Glen Helen, Calif. on Octo 30 and then Phoenix at Wild Horse Pass on November 12th. Nitro Rallycross will then head to Saudi Arabia in December to continue their 2022-23 season.