Mark Webber “pretty happy” to qualify 4th (VIDEO)

0 Comments

Two-time Monaco Grand Prix winner Mark Webber is pleased to have qualified 4th for tomorrow’s race, putting himself in a position to complete his hat-trick of victories in the principality.

“Yeah I’m pretty happy with that,” the Australian driver said in a team statement. “It’s very easy to be towards the back when you have a disruptive session with those conditions, but we managed to survive all the tricky sections and put together a reasonably tidy effort.”

Unlike teammate Sebastian Vettel, Webber has no regrets over his qualifying performance, believing that he did all he could.

“You can always look at timings later and think you could have done things differently, but in the heat of the moment you make the decision as to what you think is right and overall it wasn’t too bad. The conditions are changing and the tires are tricky, so starting on the second row here is not bad. It’s a long race and a lot of strategy can unfold, so we’ll see what we can do from there.”

This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!

Webber’s record in Monaco is highly impressive, making him one of the favorites to win the race tomorrow. However, with Vettel alongside him on the second row, and with Mercedes looking strong at the front, the Australian driver will have a stiff challenge if he is to claim a third win around the streets of Monte-Carlo.

AJ Foyt Racing promotes Benjamin Pedersen from Indy Lights to IndyCar for 2023 season

Benjamin Pedersen AJ Foyt
AJ Foyt Racing
1 Comment

Benjamin Pedersen is the first driver to land a promotion from Indy Lights into IndyCar for next season as AJ Foyt Racing confirmed Wednesday he’ll be part of its 2023 lineup.

Pedersen, a 23-year-old dual citizen of Denmark and the United States, spent last season running the full Indy Lights schedule for HMD Motorsports. Linus Lundqvist, his teammate, won the Lights title, and Pedersen finished fifth in the final standings. Pedersen earned his only win earlier this month when he led every lap from the pole at Portland.

Pedersen also ran four races for HMD in 2021 with back-to-back runner-up finishes in his debut. Pedersen landed on AJ Foyt Racing team president Larry Foyt’s radar through a “trusted colleague” and Pedersen spent most of last season shadowing the IndyCar team.

His promotion to IndyCar comes ahead of all four drivers who finished ahead of him in the Indy Lights standings, including champion Lundqvist.

“We are really looking forward to having Benjamin as part of the team,” Larry Foyt said. “His enthusiasm is infectious, and he is 100 percent committed to IndyCar, AJ Foyt Racing, and doing the best he can to win races.

“It’s been great to have him embedded with the team this past season, and everyone is excited to hit the ground running when testing begins. It is also great to have a multi-year program in place, which will help him and the team grow together.”

Foyt did not announce a car number for Pedersen. Kyle Kirkwood spent his rookie season driving AJ Foyt’s flagship No. 14 but Kirkwood is moving to Andretti Autosport. The team has not yet announced if Dalton Kellett will return for a fourth season, and a third car for Tatiana Calderon was pulled from competition after seven races because of sponsorship non-payment. Shutting down Calderon’s team removed the only semi-regular female driver from the IndyCar field.

Pedersen, however, was signed to an agreement Foyt said “spans multiple seasons as the team plans to develop the young rookie and is aligned to a longer-term plan for AJ Foyt Racing.”

Pedersen was born in Copenhagen but raised in Seattle and currently lives in Indianapolis. He said his time shadowing the IndyCar team has given him a jump on his rookie preparations.

“I’ve spent a lot of time this season with AJ Foyt Racing learning the ins and outs of making the jump to IndyCar and it’s been really nice to do that in conjunction with my Indy Lights season,” Pedersen said. “IndyCar has been my target goal since I started open wheel racing in 2016. The racing, atmosphere, fans, events, tracks, etc. are all awesome.”