Gutierrez calls Monza “crucial weekend”

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Esteban Gutierrez has highlighted next weekend’s Italian Grand Prix as being crucial to Sauber as the team looks to have a strong second half of the season.

The Mexican driver made his Formula One debut at the beginning of the year and has since failed to score any points, largely thanks to the pace of the Sauber C32 car. His teammate, Nico Hulkenberg, has also struggled to impress despite – at one point – being thought to be the natural successor to either Mark Webber at Red Bull or Felipe Massa at Ferrari. However, Gutierrez is hopeful of the team bouncing back to form at Monza next weekend.

“Coming from a track like Spa, we need to adapt to Monza in terms of driving style, strategy and set-up,” he explained. “It will be a crucial weekend, because stability in slow corners is important and, unfortunately, this is where we’ve been struggling.

“We have to focus on that and try to improve. Our pace is good, but now we need to complement that with the right decisions.”

Gutierrez currently holds a best result of eleventh at the Spanish Grand Prix, where he ran strongly on the hard tire early on to lead for a few laps. Eventually, he could not quite score his first point, although he did set the fastest lap of the race.

Sauber’s future has also come under close scrutiny in recent weeks after the team was supposedly saved thanks to Russian investment. With the deal came a driver, Sergey Sirotkin, who is poised to become the youngest driver in the history of Formula One next season relying he gains his superlicense.

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.