Tires to create more unpredictability in 2013

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Formula One looks set for a repeat of last year’s start to the season as teams struggle to get to grips with the latest generation of F1 tires.

Pirelli, the official F1 tire supplier, has produced a softer range of compounds this year in a bid to increase the teams’ strategic options during the races.

After 12 days of testing, much of which was conducted in conditions that are far cooler than is typically seen in races, teams are still scratching their heads over the tires.

“All the teams, ourselves included, will still have a lot to learn about the tires in Melbourne,” said Ferrari technical director Pay Fry. “The performance and the degradation of the tires will be the determining factor in establishing how competitive everyone is.”

Toro Rosso’s head of vehicle performance Laurent Mekies added: “Getting a full understanding of how the new rubber works is something that will take longer than we had expected.”

Last year seven different drivers won the first seven races as teams found tire performance hard to predict. While drivers doubt a repeat of that situation is on the cards, the tires are expected to add some unpredictability to what looks like a very closely-matched field.

Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery said they expect to hit their target for increasing the number of pit stops at each race:

“As this was the final test session, it was useful for the teams to have the opportunity to run through every tire in the range as they complete their preparations.

“Now we’re looking forward to getting to Australia, where our tires will be able to function properly within their working range, and we hope to see an exciting race with between two and three pit stops per car.”

Keith Collantine is the editor of Formula One blog F1 Fanatic. Follow F1 Fanatic on Twitter.

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.