RaceFans Round-up: Ferrari should be protagonists, not extras

In the round-up: Former Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo is disappointed the team are no longer championship contenders.

In brief

Ferrari shouldn’t be ‘extras’ – di Montezemolo

Di Montezemolo joined Ferrari in 1973 and ran the team during its championship-winning years with Niki Lauda. When he returned as president in 1991 he appointed Jead Todt to his former role which led to the team’s dominant success with Michael Schumacher in the early 2000s.

But having left his position nine years ago, Di Montezemolo is disappointed the team has not come close to winning a championship since. “As a fan I dream of a Ferrari not that always wins, but that fights for the title until the last race,” he told Quotidiano Nazionale. “As in 1997, 1998, 1999, 2008, 2010, 2012. You can lose, but as protagonists, not as extras.”

he said the team should retain the services of Charles Leclerc, whose contract is due to expire at the Hend of next year. “He’s good and I don’t think there are free riders stronger than him. But in the present who drives the red is the least of the problems. As president I had built a dream team, from Schumi to Todt, from Brawn to Byrne.”

Legal row ‘must have been hard’ for Palou – McLaughlin

IndyCar driver Scott McLaughlin, who lies 142 points behind championship leader Alex Palou with four races remaining, says fortune has been on his rival’s side this year.

“I would just like to have some of the luck he’s had,” said McLaughlin. “If he can drop some of that off here, that’d be fantastic.

“But he’s doing a phenomenal job. He gets the opportunity and he takes it. You can’t be angry about that or whatever is what it is. We’ve seen Dixie do it over the years, we’ve seen Josef [Newgarden] have it, Will [Power] had it last year. When things are going right, you’ve got to take control of it and he’s done that and you can’t be upset about that, you’ve just got to work harder and be better.

“I really enjoy trying to be better and try to make my team to be better. I think he’s making us do that. It’s a good thing.”

Palou is on course to regain the title he first won in 2021 but lost last year, during a season dogged by a dispute between Ganassi and McLaren over his services.

“We always knew he was going to be strong after he got through all this sort of legal drama and whatever was going on last year,” said McLaughlin. “That must’ve been pretty hard on the head. We always knew he’s going to be really strong.”

Ex-Raikkonen McLaren up for sale

Ex-Kimi Raikkonen McLaren-Mercedes MP4-21

A McLaren MP4/21 driven by Kimi Raikkonen during the 2006 season will be offered at auction by Bonhams during the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend. The chassis Raikkonen used to score three podium finishes during his final season at McLaren is expected to fetch up to $3.5 million (£2.75m).

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