Vettel: It felt like I was flying at the front

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Sebastian Vettel has said that his pace at the front during today’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix came as something of a surprise, explaining that he felt like he was “flying” at times as he waltzed to his seventh consecutive victory.

Vettel’s success sees him tie with Michael Schumacher for the most number of consecutive wins during a single season, but he admitted that he did not expect to be so far ahead of the rest of the field. Eventually, the German driver crossed the line over half a minute ahead of second-placed Mark Webber.

“The car was absolutely brilliant,” Vettel said. “Absolutely brilliant. Not much more to say. I was flying at some stages, at least it felt like it. Massive gaps, big surprise.”

The four-time world champion went on to thank his team and engine suppliers Renault, who scored their fiftieth win with their current configuration of engine, the RS27.

“Thanks to the team, thanks to Renault as well,” Vettel said. “A lot of our success is also down to them. They’re doing a very, very good job and I hope that next year we’ll have an engine that’s as powerful and as reliable as this year’s.”

For all of his records, Vettel will head to the United States Grand Prix in two weeks looking to win the event for the first time. It stands as one of just two events on the 2013 calendar that he is yet to win, with the other being the Hungarian Grand Prix. Given his current vein of form, it is difficult to see the German driver easing off any time soon.

Watch Vettel and Andretti: One on One.

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.