Second place “like a victory” for Alonso

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Fernando Alonso has said that finishing second to Sebastian Vettel in today’s Singapore Grand Prix felt “like a victory” given that the Ferrari F138 car had been off the pace all weekend, with the result minimizing the number of points lost to the defending world champion in the title race.

Having qualified seventh, Alonso made a great start to lie P3 before the safety car came out that allowed Daniel Ricciardo’s stricken Toro Rosso to be recovered. The team took the decision to pit and then try and go to the end of the race on the same set of primes, with the strategy working for Alonso despite it being difficult to manage his tires.

“It was not easy obviously,” Alonso said after the race. “We had a strategy when we pitted under the safety car and we were controlling the pace all through the last stint thanks to the gap that we manage to build.”

Under the safety car, Ferrari opted to pit Alonso whilst Mark Webber, Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton all chose not to stop, with the trio all missing out on podium positions as a result. The Spaniard explained how the decision was taken in order to try and secure a place in the top three given the car’s lack of pace.

“We were third which was already a good result for us but when we didn’t see Rosberg pitting in under the safety car we decided to pit and to try something different. We were too slow this weekend, we were not in a level that we should be so we try a little bit different things and it paid off at the end with a fantastic second place.

“Today is like a victory.”

Despite finishing in second place in each of the last three races, Alonso has trailed championship rival Vettel every single time thus allowing the German driver to open up a sixty point lead at the top of the the drivers’ championship. With six races remaining in the 2013 season, it is becoming all-the-more likely that Vettel will be celebrating a fourth successive title come the end of the year.

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.