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.”

Supercross: Talon Hawkins to debut in Houston in relief of Jalek Swoll

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Talon Hawkins, 19, will make his Monster Energy Supercross debut on a 250 this week in Houston, Texas as a fill-in rider for Jalek Swoll.

During the Anaheim 2 weekend, the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna team announced Swoll underwent successful surgery to repair a broken arm suffered in a practice crash.

That same weekend, Hawkins made some noise. He took the lead from teammate Casey Cohran on Lap 2 of the 250 SX Futures Main and led for three laps before he was overtaken by eventual winner Daxton Bennick. Cochran also got around him to push Hawkins to third.

This will not be Hawkins SuperMotocross professional debut, however; he made three Lucas Oil Pro Motocross starts last year with results of 19th at Spring Creek in Millville, Minnesota, 27th at Ironman in Crawfordsville, Indiana and a best finish of 17th in the season finale at Fox Raceway in Pala, California.

Hawkins also has a top-10 finish in the 125 All-Star division at Pala in 2019 riding a Husqvarna.

Speaking with before the Loretta Lynn Amateur Nationals, Hawkins predicted his future with Husqvarna would come down to how he performed in that race.

“It all just comes down to how I perform at Loretta’s,” Hawkins said. “Say I do really well, I get a top three in both classes and do a pretty solid job, I would like to go pro and just kind of finish out the rest of the series. But there’s also the option of waiting a little bit longer, going back out to [Aldon] Baker’s [Factory] or going anywhere and training, and just being prepared. I’m also open to that too. Honestly, it’s whatever the team wants. Whatever we think is the best option is what we’re going to go with. So, I don’t really have a plan right now, just looking into the future.”

Hawkins finished third overall in the 125 B/C and Schoolboy divisions at the Loretta Lynn Amateur Nationals.