Ricciardo excited to start from seventh

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Daniel Ricciardo is looking forward to tomorrow’s Chinese Grand Prix following a strong showing in qualifying which saw the Australian driver finish in 7th place.

“It’s nice to be in Q3,” Ricciardo said in a team statement. “It’s the first time since Bahrain [where he qualified 6th] last year that I’ve made it to the top ten, so that’s nearly a whole year.

“I am definitely looking forward to having a strong race tomorrow and will give it all I’ve got to make the most of this seventh place on the grid.”

Ricciardo endured a nightmare at the 2012 Bahrain Grand Prix, dropping from 6th to 16th off the line, but he is relishing the chance of scoring points in tomorrow’s race.

“I think it will be an exciting race. This result will boost everyone’s spirits, and mine as well and I really can’t wait for the lights to go out tomorrow. The guys have been working so hard back at the factory and they’ve made the car quicker, so well done to everyone.”

The result does mark a big step forward for Scuderia Toro Rosso following a mediocre start to the season, and Ricciardo will be keen on impressing to put himself in the running for Mark Webber’s seat at Red Bull next season should his compatriot not renew his contract.

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.