Stewart keen on permanent race stewards

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Three-time world champion Jackie Stewart has called on the FIA to instill a permanent Formula One race steward in order to ensure consistency when making decisions.

A proposal has been put forward to the World Motor Sport Council to introduce a penalty points system, and Stewart believes that this would only be a viable option relying the stewards making decisions are the same for every race.

“I think it’s wrong that the FIA have part-time stewards dealing with safety,” Stewart told Reuters. “It’s not correct to have part-time stewards who have just been brought in from any other country for one or two races.

“There’s got to be the same people all of the time so that there’s no risk that you are going to have peak and valley judgements that are different.”

Under the present system, drivers can be given reprimands, grid penalties and race bans (as received by Romain Grosjean following the 2012 Belgian Grand Prix), but Stewart believes that a penalty points system would only work with consistent decision making.

“It’s got to be unilateral, with authority, with expertise and that person should be appointed and paid for. If you are putting penalty points in, then you should be judged consistently.”

Currently, each race has a different set of stewards, with at least one being a former Formula One driver. The FIA is yet to confirm whether or not the new penalty system will be introduced to the sport in the near future.

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.