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Arrivabene: No reason to break-up Vettel, Raikkonen Ferrari F1 partnership

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Ferrari Formula 1 chief Maurizio Arrivabene says there was no reason to end Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen’s stint together as teammates for 2018, having confirmed towards the end of August that both drivers would be returning next year.

Both Vettel and Raikkonen were out of contract at the end of the season, only for them to sign extensions that will see Ferrari run with the same line-up for a fourth straight year in 2018.

The announcements came as a surprise to many, particularly in Raikkonen’s case, the Finn having not won a grand prix in over four years and struggled to match Vettel for pace so far this season.

Arrivabene defended the call when asked about the rationale behind it, saying there was no good reason for Ferrari to make a change.

“The reason why [we kept them] I think is quite clear. They went through the last three years with great co-operation within them,” Arrivabene said.

“They feel very good together, being part of the team and translating this spirit to the overall team.

“I think we don’t find any reason why not confirming them together.”

It had been suggested that Ferrari could turn to one of its junior drivers for 2017, with 2016 GP2 runner-up Antonio Giovinazzi and current runaway Formula 2 leader Charles Leclerc both on its books and eager to step up to F1 next year.

However, Arrivabene would like to see them both prove themselves in F1 first before getting a shot with Ferrari further down the line.

“Talking about the young drivers, they are growing,” Arrivabene said.

“Our objective is to of course to grow up young drivers and maybe to see them in the future with us. This is the final goal.

“But, before that, they need to demonstrate in Formula 1 that they deserve it.”

Carb Day: Tony Kanaan is fastest in final practice for Sunday’s Indy 500

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Tony Kanaan wants to put legendary driver and team owner A.J. Foyt back into Victory Lane at the Indianapolis 500.

Kanaan took a big step toward achieving that goal in Friday’s final practice for Sunday’s 102nd running of the Greatest Spectacle In Racing.

Kanaan was fastest of the 33-driver field, with a best lap around the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval at 227.791 mph, more than 2 mph faster than the second-fastest driver, Kanaan’s former teammate, Scott Dixon (225.684 mph).

Foyt won a record-tying four Indy 500’s as a driver. It’s been nearly 20 years since he also won as a team owner in 1999 with Kenny Brack behind the wheel.

Marco Andretti was third-fastest (225.200 mph), followed by Sebastien Bourdais (224.815), Charlie Kimball (224.712), 2017 Indy 500 winner Takuma Sato (224.083), Will Power (223.942), Danica Patrick (223.653), Spencer Pigot (223.584) and Ed Jones (223.556).

Other notable driver speeds included:

* Pole sitter Ed Carpenter was 14th fastest (223.219 mph).

* Reigning Verizon IndyCar Series champ Josef Newgarden was 15th (223.186 mph).

* Helio Castroneves, hoping to earn a record-tying fourth 500 win, was 17th (222.913 mph).

* Graham Rahal was 21st (222.526).

* Former 500 winner Ryan Hunter-Reay was 26th (221.916 mph), followed by rookie Robert Wickens (221.821 mph), carrying the mantle for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports with James Hinchcliffe having failed to qualify for the race.

* The biggest surprise was 2016 Indy 500 winner Alexander Rossi, who was 32nd fastest (221.374 mph).

We’ll have the full speed grid, as well as full driver quotes, shortly. Please check back soon.

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