“Yesterday’s home runs don’t win tomorrow’s games” – Mercedes

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Mercedes executive director Toto Wolff played down the team’s chances of repeating their victory in the last waste at this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix.

“We enjoyed a fantastic weekend in Monaco but, as I have said before, yesterday’s home runs don’t win tomorrow’s games,” said Wolff.

“We will be heading to Montreal this week with realistic expectations about what we can achieve.”

However Wolff believes the high-speed nature of the track will play to the strength of their engine. And Mercedes remain the team to beat in qualifying:

“Our car has been on pole position for the last four races, which shows our basic speed, so the focus in that time has been on improving our performance on Sunday afternoons.”

“We managed this in Monaco, partly thanks to the unique characteristics of the circuit. This weekend will give us a more representative indication of how much progress we have made.”

Nico Rosberg’s Monaco Grand Prix win has moved him up to sixth in the championship. Team mate Lewis Hamilton is 15 points ahead in fourth. Hamilton has won the Canadian Grand Prix on three previous occasions including last year and his maiden triumph in 2007.

“The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve has been a strong circuit for me,” he said. “The circuit itself is really special; it’s very high-speed, great fun to drive and it’s definitely a track where late braking helps.”

“It’s not too far off a Monaco-style circuit where you need a similar set-up to bounce off the curbs so we should be quite competitive, although looking after the tires will be our main challenge.”

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

Benjamin Pedersen AJ Foyt
AJ Foyt Racing
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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.”