Nico Rosberg reflects on “good day” at Nurburgring

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Nico Rosberg is pleased with his showing and work completed during the Friday practice sessions, although he has reserved judgement on the new Pirelli tires for the time being.

The German driver, who is coming off the back of his third career victory at Silverstone last weekend, finished P2 in both sessions, suggesting that Mercedes have lost none of their performance despite the changes made to the compounds.

“Good day in general, yeah, interesting because the tires are different and we have to adapt, some setup changes and things like that,” Rosberg said after FP2. “So it’s an opportunity also for us if we can understand it quicker than others to take another step compared to everybody else.”

Rosberg believes that Mercedes are still set to fight at the front, although he did suggest that a shake-up in the field could occur.

“It looks like it’s still on one lap we’re quite quick and also on the longer runs, still a similar situation but it might still shuffle things around a little bit, and it’s enough. A few tenths here or there and you might see a different grid and different race result again. But other than that, it’s a great track to drive on. A good day, good preparation for us.”

The changes were made to the tires after five failures at the British Grand Prix, sparking Pirelli to make alterations to the construction of the tire and introduce their prototype compound for this weekend’s race in order to ensure the safety of the drivers. Rosberg refused to give a secure opinion on the new tires, instead affirming his confidence in the changes made.

“I’m not sure yet but I’m confident that they’ve gone in the right direction, yeah, and that we won’t have tires exploding left right and center, that’s important.”

Rosberg is bidding to become the first German driver to win his home grand prix since Michael Schumacher in 2006.

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.