Vettel: One step at at time in championship chase

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Following his win in Korea today, Sebastian Vettel has refused to get ahead of himself despite having the chance to seal his fourth world championship at next weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix.

The German driver controlled the race from start to finish, only losing the lead momentarily at his first pit stop. With closest rival Fernando Alonso languishing down in sixth, Vettel can seal the championship in Japan if he wins the race and Alonso finishes no higher than ninth. However, he is refusing to get ahead of himself, instead basking in the glory of his fourth consecutive win.

“It was a very strong performance from the whole team and I’m happy,” Vettel said. “We’re just focusing on continuing to take one step at a time and trying to get the best out of the car at every single race.”

He identified the start as being crucial to his win that also marked the first time in the history of the Korean Grand Prix that the pole-sitter has claimed the victory.

“The start was crucial, it’s always tricky here as you’re nervous about the long straight when you start from pole,” he said. “Fortunately we had good traction off the line and I had a strong exit out of the first corner. We kept the lead and tried to control the race from there.”

Heading to Japan, Vettel will be full of confidence as Suzuka is one of his favorite circuits, winning three times at the venue as well as clinching his second title there in 2011.

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.