Force India “edging closer to podium” – Mallya

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Force India co-owner Vijay Mallya believes his team are “edging ever closer to the podium” having scored in all bar one of the races so far this year.

“We celebrated our 100th race in Canada and continued picking up points with both cars. That’s what we need to do if we are to hold on to fifth place in the championship,” said Mallya.

“While I still believe that we are edging ever closer to the podium, we must also focus on consistency and play the long game in the championship, which means scoring points at every race.”

Paul di Resta gave the team its best result of the season so far with fourth in Bahrain. But he has had poor luck in his previous two appearances at home.

He was running seventh in his first F1 race at Silverstone in 2011 when he had the misfortune to enter the pits just as his team mate had gone in with a puncture. He later tangled with Sebastien Buemi.

Last year he didn’t even get as far as the pit stops, going out at the start following a collision with Romain Grosjean.

However he was pleased to bounce back from qualifying a disappointing seventeenth in Canada by finishing seventh:

“I think we can be pretty happy with that,” he said. “All things considered we’ve managed to get some good results and kept up our momentum.”

“The last two results, in particular, felt very satisfying, especially because we managed to get the strategy spot on to come through the field. These results set us up nicely for this weekend, which is a massive one for everyone in the team.”

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.