Alonso heaps praise on Hulkenberg

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Fernando Alonso tipped his hat to Nico Hulkenberg after the Sauber driver claimed a season-best fourth place in the Korean Grand Prix.

Hulkenberg kept the Ferrari driver at bay in the opening stages of the race, then passed Lewis Hamilton after a Safety Car restart and held the Mercedes driver back as well.

Alonso praised Hulkenberg’s “superb” performance, saying: “He is driving very, very well and he deserved to be in front of us because he did a fantastic race.”

Sauber are enjoying a strong second half of the year, thanks in part to the change in tyre compounds at the Hungarian Grand Prix which coincided with the introduction of a revised aerodynamic package for the C32.

Hulkenberg put the car third on the grid in Italy and finished the race fifth. He went one better in Korea, where the team reintroduced an old rear wing which had previously been discarded, and found it was now giving much better performance.

Hulkenberg said his Korean Grand Prix drive was one of the best of his career.

He has scored all of Sauber’s points this year and his latest result means he has single-handedly moved them into seventh in the constructors’ championship, tied with Toro Rosso on 31 points, and ahead by dint of Hulkenberg’s fourth place finish.

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.