Alonso hails Ferrari tactics after second (VIDEO)

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Fernando Alonso praised his Ferrari team for a tactical call that helped him to second place in the Australian Grand Prix.

Alonso was running fourth when race engineer Andrea Stella called him in for an early second pit stop on lap 19 of the 58-lap race.

After returning to the track on fresh tires, Alonso pumped in a quick lap which allowed him to jump ahead of Sebastian Vettel and Felipe Massa, and set him up to pass Adrian Sutil on the track.

“It was a very good decision,” said Alonso after the race.

“There is always the flexibility to anticipate the stop, delay the stop,” he added. “How the race goes is the tire degradation that you are facing through that particular race or the traffic you are facing through that race. In my case we felt we were a lot faster than the cars in front.”

However Alonso admitted that starting his third stint early meant he had to run longer in his final stints which cost him the chance to pass Kimi Raikkonen for the win:

“For that we could not maybe fight with Kimi because it was too early also for three stops, I think lap 21. It was enough to jump three places though, Sebastian, Felipe and Sutil.

“So it was a very good decision at the time but what we didn’t know at the time was the pace of the Lotus. So they did a better job than us and maybe we did a better job than the others in the front.”

Hear more from Alonso in the video above.

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.