IndyCar Driver Preview: Ed Carpenter

Leave a comment

#20 Ed Carpenter

  • Team: Ed Carpenter Racing
  • Engine: Chevrolet
  • Sponsors: Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka
  • 2012: 18th, 1 Win, 1 Top Five

2012 WRAP: Carpenter’s oval prowess emerged once again in the season finale at Auto Club Speedway, as he managed to sneak past Dario Franchitti for the win just before Takuma Sato froze the field with his final-lap crash. He also collected top-10s on the short ovals at Milwaukee and Iowa, and was threatening a possible Indy 500 upset until a late spin and crash. As for the road/street circuits, however, Carpenter remained a work in progress (average finish on those tracks: 19.4).

2013 OUTLOOK: Carpenter’s bread-and-butter are the speedways; for IndyCar’s lone owner/driver, they always have been and always will be. His top priority will be improving his road/street performances and, of course, keeping his race team humming along in Season Two. Said Carpenter on Tuesday at Barber Motorsports Park: “What is good about our team now is that we know the direction we are headed. That wasn’t the case last year.”

F1 2017 driver review: Carlos Sainz Jr.

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Carlos Sainz Jr.

Teams: Scuderia Toro Rosso (1-16), Renault (17-20)
Car No.: 33
Races: 20
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Best Finish: P4 (Singapore)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 54
Championship Position: 9th

Carlos Sainz Jr. has always been compared to Max Verstappen given their relative rise and stint together at Toro Rosso, but the Spaniard began to forge his own impressive path through 2017, securing himself a works drive with Renault in the process.

Alongside the struggling Daniil Kvyat for much of the season, Sainz led Toro Rosso’s charge, scoring 48 of its 53 points with a string of impressive drives. His headline moment came in Singapore when he matched Verstappen’s best result in Toro Rosso colors by finishing fourth, capitalizing on the start-line crash and the wet weather with a strong display.

Sainz’s displays led to a call from Renault, who announced just two days before his star display in Singapore he would be joining up for 2018 on loan from Red Bull. However, the deal was accelerated after a deal was brokered to secure Jolyon Palmer’s departure, allowing Sainz to join up from the United States GP onwards.

Sainz made an immediate impression, completing a perfect race en route to seventh on debut for Renault to secure six points that would prove crucial in the final constructors’ championship standings as the French team beat Toro Rosso to P6 in the standings at the last race of the year.

Red Bull retains an option on Sainz’s future beyond 2018, making him a candidate for a seat with its senior team should Daniel Ricciardo opt to leave. Failing that, Renault could offer Sainz the platform he needs to continue his rapid rise in F1 and establish himself at the front of the pack for many years to come.

Season High: Finishing fourth in Singapore after dodging the start-line drama.

Season Low: Crashing out in his final Toro Rosso appearance on the first lap at Suzuka.