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F1: Mexico Confirmed; Ricciardo Takes Alonso Praise, Ignores Ferrari Dream Photo:
 
 
Mike Stevens | Jul, 25 2014 | 0 Comments

Mexico has secured its return to the formula one calendar in 2015.

The Mexico City-based events company CIE said in a filing with the country's stock exchange that it has signed a five-year contract with the sport.

The race, masterminded by former Austin F1 chief Tavo Hellmund and also involving Carlos Slim Domit, will take place at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City, which last hosted a grand prix in 1992.

Bernie Ecclestone confirmed to Forbes: "We have got Mexico past the post."

F1 business journalist Christian Sylt said the news will be made official in a press briefing in Mexico on Wednesday morning.

(GMM)

 

Alonso hails Vettel's 'amazing' teammate

Fernando Alonso has hailed the "amazing" job being done this year by Daniel Ricciardo.

At Silverstone, Spaniard Alonso's wheel-to-wheel duel with world champion Sebastian Vettel was littered with radio complaints about one another's driving.

But after Hockenheim, where the Ferrari driver had a similarly thrilling battle with Vettel's new teammate Ricciardo, Alonso had nothing but praise for the Australian.

Alonso hailed Ricciardo's driving, always with "great respect to the rules and to others".

"He is a surprise and doing amazing," the double world champion is quoted by the Spanish sports daily Marca.

"I believe he is 7:3 in the first ten races against Sebastian, which is something none of us expected.

"He is doing a great job, driving fantastically and, yes, fighting with intelligence," added Alonso.

(GMM)

 

Ferrari F1 dream 'just a cliche' - Ricciardo

Daniel Ricciardo insists he does not feel the famous lure of Maranello.

Although born and raised in Australia, the impressive 25-year-old's father is from Sicily.

But when asked by the Italian sports daily La Gazzetta dello Sport if driving for Ferrari is the ultimate 'dream', Ricciardo - who rose through the ranks of the energy drink Red Bull's junior programme - gave a surprising answer.

"To be honest I think this is just a cliche," said Ricciardo, whose family has always pronounced its Italian-sounding surname as 'Ric-ardo'.

"For sure some drivers have this dream," he admitted, "but I think it's related to the fact that their parents loved Ferrari for its great history and cultural heritage.

"My Italian DNA definitely comes out in my eating," Ricciardo grinned his customary grin. "I love Italian food, especially when I am training hard and can eat properly."

So rather than dreaming of Ferrari, Ricciardo told the Italian news agency Adnkronos that he is more than enjoying his first year with Red Bull's premier team.

"I was hoping for a year like this," he said. "I knew that if I did everything right, it was possible to fight on equal terms with Sebastian (Vettel).

"I think I've started the year very well, so the goal is just to keep doing what I'm doing."

As for the ever-controversial format of today's formula one, Ricciardo said that while some have been highly critical, he is enjoying 2014.

"You can't please everyone," he said. "If someone thinks it's boring you have to understand that.

"But I think it's a sport and really nice and exciting and I love to see the enthusiasm of the fans at the grands prix," Ricciardo insisted.

(GMM)

 

Alonso could be free to leave Ferrari - sources

Fernando Alonso could be contractually free to walk away from Ferrari.

Technically, the Spaniard remains under contract to the struggling Maranello team until the end of 2016.

"I'm sure he is very frustrated," Niki Lauda told the Spanish newspaper El Pais earlier this week.

But "he can't just go to McLaren because he has a contract that he can't get out of unless he's sacked. Sometimes you choose a car and you're wrong."

Mercedes team chairman Lauda, however, may not be right. There are at least two recent examples of drivers with solid Ferrari contracts who did not wear red the next year.

Ferrari said in 2004 that Rubens Barrichello would drive for the team in the "2005 and 2006 seasons", but the Brazilian actually raced a Honda in 2006.

And Kimi Raikkonen famously took a sabbatical in 2010, after Ferrari bought out his contract to make way for Fernando Alonso and Santander.

Now, Italian media sources say Alonso might not necessarily drive a red car in 2015, even though Ferrari reportedly wants to extend the deal even further.

The sources, including Autosprint, say Alonso could be free to go at the end of this season due to a contractual performance clause, requiring Ferrari to finish at least third in the constructors' championship.

In Hockenheim, Ferrari fell behind Williams for that position.

Autosprint cited German sources in saying Alonso, 32, has already made contact with Mercedes.

Meanwhile, in the wake of speculation Ferrari might oust the struggling Raikkonen ahead of 2015, boss Marco Mattiacci insisted the Finn is a "driver that Ferrari needs for next year".

That also ties in with the information of the respected Ferrari insider Leo Turrini.

"Maranello has not the slightest intention of questioning Raikkonen's contract," he said in his Quotidiano blog.

On the other hand, Turrini claims Alonso "has not yet responded to the proposal for the extension of his contract".

And not only that, "Ross Brawn will accept a role only as an external consultant", he added.

(GMM)

 

Red Bull rivals 'target' Vettel - Marko

McLaren and Mercedes have targeted Sebastian Vettel, the German magazine Sport Bild reported on Wednesday.

The sport said Mercedes sees the reigning world champion as a potential new teammate for fellow German Nico Rosberg beyond 2015, after Lewis Hamilton's current contract expires.

And Red Bull's Dr Helmut Marko, who has Vettel under contract until the end of next year, said McLaren has made the four-time title winner an "outrageously" high offer.

"Of course they target him," Marko added.

Fascinatingly, Mercedes' Toto Wolff did not deny the German marque might be interested in Vettel.

"This world is too competitive to want to go into our plans in the public," he said.

"We are talking about a handful of top drivers. All the best teams fight over them.

"We try to build a picture of how the market moves until we come to our decisions," Wolff added.

(GMM)

 
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