Force India expect remaining tracks to suit them better

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Force India say they expected to have a difficult race weekend at Suzuka but believe the remaining tracks on the calendar will suit their VJM06 better.

“We made no secret of the fact that Suzuka was going to be the most difficult track for us in the second part of the season,” said deputy team principal Robert Fernley. “So it was no surprise that points were hard to come by today.”

“It’s been an uphill struggle for us, but we remain upbeat as we head to India for the team’s home race,” he added. “The upcoming tracks should play more to our strengths and give us the opportunity to get back to scoring regular points.”

Paul di Resta took 11th place for the team after losing time behind Valtteri Bottas early in the race. “The car felt better for the final stint and it looked like we were on course for a point,” he said.

“In the end we were about five laps too short with the tyre life because I couldn’t defend from Jenson [Button].”

Force India have already lost their grip on fifth place in the constructors’ championship to McLaren and are now under threat from Sauber.

With four races to go Sauber having closed within 17 points of Force India, and have taken 26 points off them in the last two rounds.

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.