Posted September 18, 2013 on AP on Fox
(Eds: With AP Photos.) By CHRIS LINES AP Sports Writer Formula One arrives in Singapore this week for its annual night race with Sebastian Vettel racing toward a fourth-straight championship and attention turning toward the combustible situation at Ferrari. Vettel's win in the previous two races at Belgium and Italy has put the Red Bull driver 53 points clear atop the standings. It only appears a matter of when, rather than if, the German will wrap up the 2013 title. The biggest news since the race in Monza has been Ferrari's signing of Lotus' Kimi Raikkonen to a two-year contract, starting next season. The return of the Finn to Maranello, where he was ousted after 2009 to make way for the arrival of Fernando Alonso, has set up a potentially fractious rivalry with the Spaniard and pushed Felipe Massa toward the exit. Raikkonen will not accept the secondary role that Massa played to Alonso for the past four years, and many are already predicting trouble as Alonso is not accustomed to having a genuinely challenging teammate, aside from his one year at McLaren. The man in the best position to make a judgment is Massa, who has been a teammate to both at Ferrari, and he is expecting friction. ''I know Fernando and Kimi well, both on and off the track. They are excellent drivers but I fear, as a team, there will be conflict,'' Massa said in an interview in Brazil this week. ''I have told (Ferrari's management) to breathe deeply now, because breathing will be much more difficult next season.'' Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo dismissed such forecasts of doom, saying Alonso was kept in the loop about the team's desire to sign Raikkonen and was happy with the choice. ''We are not masochistic enough to take on a driver without informing Alonso,'' di Montezemolo said in an interview with Gazzetta dello Sport. ''Fernando was always in the picture regarding the choice of Raikkonen, taken partly because the alternative, that of employing a youngster in what will be a complex 2014 season, did not inspire confidence. Today, Raikkonen is one of the best, along with Alonso, Vettel and Hamilton, and Alonso is the first to be happy that he is coming here.'' The Ferrari president likened Raikkonen to former great Niki Lauda, who left F1 for two years and then returned to win his third drivers' championship. Raikkonen also had two years away from the sport before returning in 2012. ''The break has been good for him, he has returned to greatness, he's won races, he's finished lots of races,'' di Montezemolo said. ''I wanted a driver who wouldn't make me look back on Massa with regret and I've got one. I want more victories, consistency, podiums from Raikkonen. Alonso will be the first to benefit.'' The Ferrari chief also dismissed concerns that Massa will be unmotivated or selfish in the remaining races of his Ferrari career, despite the Brazilian being quoted as saying: ''Starting on Friday in Singapore, I work only for myself.'' Di Montezemolo described Massa as a ''wonderful person'' who will finish the season well. ''Supposedly he doesn't want to help Fernando?'' he said. ''Nonsense -- he definitely will do it.'' On the track, Ferrari's chances look slim in Singapore. If the team could not beat Red Bull on the high-speed tracks of Spa-Francorchamps and Monza, it stands little chance on the twisty street circuit of Marina Bay, where Vettel has won the past two races and where the Red Bull thrives in high-downforce settings. Vettel is a strong favorite for Sunday's race, with the only potential wild card being Pirelli's selection of super-soft and medium compounds as its two tire choices this weekend, creating intriguing strategy options. ''It's one of the toughest races of the year, to be honest,'' Vettel said. ''It's a very long race, the full two hours, so the race just seems to go on forever. The circuit itself is a killer because there are so many bumps, there's no room for mistakes.'' The `Singapore Sling' chicane, where cars were regularly launched into the air by aggressive curbs, has been removed for this year, taking away one of the trademarks of the race but producing a faster lap.

Vettel looks for third straight win

Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel says he has a "love-hate relationship" with the Singapore Grand Prix, as he aims for a third straight victory at the Marina Bay circuit this weekend. The love comes easily for a circuit which has played a key role in the past two of his three championship victories, while the hate stems from the challenge of a two-hour race in tropical...

Vettel leads second F1 practice

Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel set the fastest time in Friday's practice for the Singapore Grand Prix. Vettel finished in 1 minute, 44.249 seconds on the Marina Bay circuit; six-tenths of a second ahead of teammate Mark Webber. He's chasing his third straight win in Formula One's annual night race. He's also aiming for a fourth consecutive drivers' championship...

McLaren interested in Alonso

McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh is interested in luring Fernando Alonso away from Ferrari and bringing him back to McLaren. While Whitmarsh believes the current driver pairing of Jenson Button and Sergio Perez is likely to remain next season, neither has signed a contract for 2014, and Kimi Raikkonen's move to Ferrari has created speculation of Alonso being unsettled...

Alonso, Raikkonen insist they'll get along

(Eds: New approach, with added quotes from Alonso, Raikkonen. With AP Photos.) By CHRIS LINES AP Sports Writer Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso insist they will be able to cooperate as Ferrari teammates next season despite many predicting friction between two former world champions who are accustomed to being the No. 1 driver in their team. The two drivers spoke for the first...

Ferrari boss dismisses lineup fear

Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali dismissed predictions of infighting when Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen combine as teammates next year, saying such talk is being waged by jealous rivals. Many leading figures of F1, both past and present, have predicted friction between the two leading drivers, but Domenicali said he thinks they are simply worried about Ferrari'...

What now for Felipe Baby?

Felipe Massa has made a couple of comments in the past week about his future.  The first is that he will no longer drive for Alonso, stating in a story in AUTOSPORT: “I will not race for Alonso from now on,” he said.  “Right from Friday at Singapore I’ll be working for myself.  I will attack all the time, every lap. It’s come the time to look after myself.” While this...

Ferrari facing the wrath of Massa?

Let’s be honest, Felipe Massa needed to go but that doesn’t mean he’s going to go quietly. The Brazilian “nice guy” is facing down the barrel of a dying career and if he has any chances of wooing potential suitors, he’d better pull a second-half comeback like he did in 2012. To that point, Massa told Globo TV that he’s driving for himself from here on out and his teammate...

Driver Quotes: Singapore Practice

SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX MARINA BAY STREET CIRCUIT FRIDAY DRIVER QUOTES 20 SEPTEMBER 2013 Infiniti Red Bull Racing Sebastian Vettel “It was quite busy; it’s pretty hot out there, good fun and a nice place, but for all of us it’s quite hard work. The time we set was a surprise today, I got a good lap in, but I don’t think it’s completely representative. We seem to be quick...

Grand Prix Preview: Singapore GP

Formula 1 will replace the history and speed of Monza for the bright lights of Singapore this weekend, as the only night race on the calendar takes place. Racing under 1,600 specially made flood-lights, the twenty-two best drivers in the world will tackle the tight and tricky Marina Bay Street Circuit. With no margin for error, the circuit is a true test of both driver and machine...

What is McLaren doing about 2014?

With Silly Season in full effect, it makes you wonder just what McLaren are doing for the 2014 season. Sure, they will have Mercedes power with Honda not scheduled to come until 2015 but who will be driving the cars and what will the title sponsor be? McLaren are notoriously curt with their public commentary on drivers and while Jenson Button and Sergio Perez have not been announced...
Formula One News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.