Alonso in better frame of mind for 2013

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Double Formula One world champion Fernando Alonso has revealed he is in a better state of mind for the season ahead compared to this time last year.

“If I think back to last year, my state of mind was very different: we knew we were two seconds off the pace, we were all pessimistic and worried, because we felt it would be difficult to get into Q3 in Australia and that turned out to be the case.

“This year however, we are working on closing a gap of between seven and eight tenths, which is where we were at the final round in Brazil last year and I think we are on the right road to being closer to the quickest, which will be our aim in Melbourne.”

Despite the problems with the F2012 car last year, Alonso managed to finish second in the drivers’ championship, just three points behind Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel. Although the Spanish driver is happy with the pace of the F138, he did not jump to any conclusions from the pre-season tests.

“I still don’t have a clear idea of the general order of competitiveness.

“For me, this is just testing and you can’t tell how the others are doing. Sometimes you find yourself overtaking a car in a couple of corners and sometimes you see yourself passed and the car ahead going away from you quickly, because they are on a completely different programme.”

Ferrari will be hoping to secure their first title since 2008 this season, and although they are in a better position than 2012, the team will be working hard to reduce the seven to eight tenths Alonso identified as being the gap.

Santino Ferrucci will drive No. 14 for AJ Foyt Racing full time in 2023 IndyCar season

Santino Ferrucci AJ Foyt
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Santino Ferrucci will return to full-time racing in the NTT IndyCar Series next season, joining AJ Foyt Racing.

Ferrucci had made eight IndyCar starts with three teams since his last full-time season in 2020 while also racing part time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series this year.

He will drive the storied No. 14 Dallara-Chevrolet for four-time Indy 500 winner A.J. Foyt’s team, which will field the car from its Waller, Texas headquarters.

“It’s incredibly exciting to be back in the INDYCAR Series full time,” Ferrucci said in a team release. “Being a part-time driver over the last two years has been hard for me, personally. I’m a race car driver, and I want to compete. Working with different teams has been exciting, and I’m proud that no matter which car I’ve raced, I’ve always shown speed and consistency. I couldn’t be more excited to join AJ Foyt Racing in the 14 Chevy. I can’t wait to make the best of it.”

Ferrucci, 24, had finished a career-best fourth in IndyCar four times, including the 104th Indy 500 in 2020. He was the 2019 Indy 500 rookie of the year with a sixth.

In nine Xfinity starts since 2021, Ferrucci has a career-best finish of 13th at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

“I am thrilled to welcome Santino to the team,” Larry Foyt said in a release. “He’s shown a knack for getting toward the front of the field, and I think he is a racer who moves forward on race day. A.J. sees the fire in him and has enjoyed their meetings together. I think Santino’s experience will help his rookie teammate as well, so he is a great addition to our roster.”

Ferrucci will be teamed at AJ Foyt Racing with Benjamin Pedersen, who finished fifth in the 2022 Indy Lights standings. The team has yet to specify the number for Pedersen’s entry, which will be fielded out of its Indianapolis race shop.

Foyt’s two full-time drivers last season were Dalton Kellett and Kyle Kirkwood, who is moving to Andretti Autosport.