Honda confirm UK base for F1 operations

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Honda have today confirmed that they will be basing their Formula One operations in the UK as they prepare to return to the sport in 2015.

The Japanese engine supplier announced that they would be returning after a six season break earlier this year, supplying McLaren with power units from 2015 onwards.

Today, it has been confirmed that Honda will use Milton Keynes – the same city in which Red Bull are based – as their primary European facility for the foreseeable future. This is around sixty minutes away from McLaren’s factory in Woking and also in close proximity of Silverstone, the circuit that has hosted the British Grand Prix since 1987. The area is popular for teams to base their operations in, with Force India and Mercedes also located near the historic circuit.

Talking to the official Formula One website, Honda’s chief officer of motorsports Yasuhisa Arai said: “With the confirmation of a new F1 operation base in UK, our preparation to join F1 has become more specific and concrete. To meet and exceed the expectations of our fans, we will accelerate our development to bring back the unique Honda engine sound onto the track.”

Honda’s entry to Formula One will come just one year after the new wave of regulations that introduce V6 turbocharged engines to the sport. The Japanese supplier has also expressed an interest in supplying other teams from 2015 onwards.

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.”