Vettel: Singapore already a classic race

2 Comments

Defending world champion Sebastian Vettel has called the Singapore Grand Prix a “classic” race due to its unique place in Formula One as the sport’s only night race.

The German driver has won the the last two races at Spa and Monza, extending his lead over closest rival Fernando Alonso as we enter the final seven races of the season. However, he is not thinking about title number four just yet despite his fifty-three point lead.

“I’m not trying to get carried away with a gap or with a certain number or trying to make out what we have to achieve here or what is fine or where other people should finish or what’s good for us or what’s bad for us and how many points we should score on average,” Vettel said.

“Obviously in the end you can make a million theories but it will probably be different to the results.”

For Vettel, winning for a third time in Singapore will be special given that it is the only night race on the calendar, starting at 8pm local time.

“I want to win here. I want to focus on the race, and want to enjoy the fact that it’s the only night race we have, really – Abu Dhabi we finish in the night. It’s different here.

“Even though Formula One hasn’t been here for a long time, it seems like a classic already.”

Despite only joining the calendar in 2008, the race has become a firm favorite among drivers and fans alike. However, Vettel will be hoping that his affinity for Singapore will be reflected by the local fans if he does win the race on Sunday, having been booed in Italy and Canada upon taking to the top step of the podium.

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

Benjamin Pedersen AJ Foyt
AJ Foyt Racing
4 Comments

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.”