Bottas disappointed by uncompetitive Williams

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Formula One rookie Valtteri Bottas admits he is disappointed by Williams’ lapse in form over the off-season.

Bottas made his F1 debut in Australia for the team that won the Spanish Grand Prix last year and had the sixth-fastest car of 2012.

But the new FW35 has given the team a lot of trouble and is yet to score a point.

“Of course I was hoping to fight for better positions,” he told Autosport.

“The goal is to get higher and be consistently in the points. It’s what the team was hoping for and what I’m hoping for so of course it’s a bit disappointing.”

Williams’ struggle comes as a surprise after a competitive 2012 and a promising off-season. Bottas and team mate Pastor Maldonado sang the praises of the FW32 after driving it for the first time.

But the new exhaust package the team ran at the final test has failed to work as expected and technical director Mike Coughlan admitted they are considering reverting to last year’s design. Bottas added “some things were better in the car” the team ran last year.

The team’s 2013 campaign has also been struck by personal loss. Team founder Frank Williams’ wife Virginia passed away from cancer shortly before the start of the season.

Daughter Claire Williams was set to take over as deputy team principal but the personnel change was postponed following the team’s bereavement. The next round in China will be her first race in the new role which Coughlan filled in the interim.

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.