Vet­tel and Raikko­nen set to stay at Fer­rari

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS - — AFP

BU­DAPEST:

Se­bas­tian Vet­tel and Kimi Raikko­nen will head off to en­joy For­mula One’s Euro­pean sum­mer break know­ing their Fer­rari fu­tures have been vir­tu­ally rub­ber­stamped fol­low­ing Sun­day’s Hun­gar­ian Grand Prix one-two. Cham­pi­onship leader Vet­tel, al­ready a four-time world ti­tlist, in­creased his ad­van­tage over three-time cham­pion Lewis Hamil­ton to 14 points, partly cour­tesy of the Bri­ton’s de­ci­sion to hand a podium fin­ish to his Mercedes team-mate Valt­teri Bot­tas in Hun­gary.

The Fer­rari duo’s easy re­la­tion­ship and shared sense of prag­ma­tism has made them a good fit for the im­proved Ital­ian out­fit this year-a qual­ity not missed at the week­end by Fer­rari pres­i­dent Ser­gio Mar­chionne. An­swer­ing ques­tions from re­porters Mar­chionne hinted that both were likely to stay, with an an­nounce­ment ex­pected at the Ital­ian Grand Prix at Monza in early Septem­ber.

“I think I have been pub­lic on the Se­bas­tian is­sue, if he wants to stay he is more than wel­come to stay,” said Mar­chionne. “And in the case of Kimi, we are pretty well sure... we know he wants to stay. Hope­fully, we will bring them on soon.” Asked about a likely state­ment at the team’s home GP, he added: “That’s what I’ve heard-I heard Mau­r­izio (Ar­riv­abene, team boss) was go­ing to do that.” The Fer­rari pres­i­dent was more coy an­swer­ing ques­tions about hir­ing Hamil­ton in fu­ture, though. “It would be a priv­i­lege if he ended his ca­reer at Fer­rari. “But for now, we have not gone far with Lewis... I will not talk about the fu­ture. We have two great driv­ers now and we don’t want to talk about al­ter­na­tives.”

The re­vived Vet­tel has won four races this year, in­clud­ing Sun­day’s vic­tory in his 50th out­ing with the team, and with his cham­pi­onship lead can af­ford to re­lax dur­ing the Au­gust break. “It’s a dream,” said Vet­tel af­ter Sun­day’s win. “I want to win, It’s where you want to be. Our mis­sion is to get back to the top and, ob­vi­ously, we have had a great year and we have a great car.” The Ger­man’s vic­tory was his first in five out­ings since the Monaco Grand Prix where, on a sim­i­larly slow, twist­ing and de­mand­ing cir­cuit, power was less ef­fec­tive than at such tracks as Sil­ver­stone or the up­com­ing venues in Bel­gium and Italy.

Hamil­ton, even in a Mercedes team where the driv­ers have equal sta­tus, will be favoured to shine at both of those and close the gap in the cham­pi­onship be­fore the end of the ‘Euro­pean’ sea­son. “This break has come at a good time for all of us,” he said. “Ev­ery­one needs to re-charge and come back fresh and I truly be­lieve we can win this cham­pi­onship, but it’s go­ing to need 100 per cent ef­fort.”

—AFP

BU­DAPEST: Fer­rari’s Ger­man driver Se­bas­tian Vet­tel cel­e­brates af­ter win­ning the For­mula One Hun­gar­ian Grand Prix at the Hun­garor­ing rac­ing cir­cuit in Bu­dapest on Sun­day.

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