Timing leaves Webber frustrated in P5

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Mark Webber has been left feeling frustrated after qualifying in 5th for the Malaysian Grand Prix. His teammate Sebastian Vettel managed to secure pole position, and the Australian driver has cited his timing as being the reason why he lost out.

“It’s disappointing to finish fifth,” he explained. “We didn’t get the timing quite right in the last part of Q3. I thought I had more laps.”

Webber was certain that he had the pace to challenge Vettel and the Ferrari duo of Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso, who will start P2 and P3 respectively.

“We were quick enough, but we went too slow on the lap when we should have been going quick and it meant we didn’t get a last timed lap in.

“It’s frustrating when you put so much work in and know you could have done better.”

Despite his frustration, Webber was looking forward to the race tomorrow as he bids for his first Grand Prix victory since last year’s British Grand Prix.

“I’m looking forward to the race tomorrow. It should be interesting with the weather.”

Webber has shown signs of good pace in Malaysia this weekend, finishing as the quickest driver in FP1 on Friday. However, he could not match his teammate for raw pace towards the end of the session. Vettel was pleased with the result, but he refused to make any predictions for the race tomorrow.

“It was a good session in Q3 and it was clear what we had to do,” said Vettel.

“I’m pleased with the result. It’s a long race tomorrow and whoever wins will have done the best job. We managed to save some tires today which will help if the race is dry, but we will see.”

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.