Chilton expects to extend stay at Marussia

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Max Chilton has his sights set on remaining at Marussia for a second season in 2014.

His team mate Jules Bianchi has already been confirmed at the squad for next year.

Chilton told the official Formula One website: “Next year it’s most likely that I will stay with Marussia – but of course I have to get the deal done first.”

“The team has good potential, but it’s crucial that we stay ahead of Caterham in the constructors’ championship as the price money we’d get can make up a big percentage of our yearly budget.

“If we have that we can put it towards a better car for next year. That would really help! It would mean that we have the chance to start 2014 really strong.”

Marussia will switch to Ferrari power next year, ending a four-year association with Cosworth. The new V6 turbo power units with sophisticated energy recovery systems will be considerably heavier than this year’s engines, putting pressure on drivers to keep their weights down.

“Of course, there’s a lot of focus on drivers’ weights for 2014,” Chilton acknowledged.

“I’ve got quite a sweet tooth so yes I have to remind myself during the day not to grab too much candy, but in some ways I am privileged as although I’m quite tall, I’m also quite light. Having said that, for next year I probably will try to lose one or two kilos.”

AJ Foyt Racing promotes Benjamin Pedersen from Indy Lights to IndyCar for 2023 season

Benjamin Pedersen AJ Foyt
AJ Foyt Racing
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Benjamin Pedersen is the first driver to land a promotion from Indy Lights into IndyCar for next season as AJ Foyt Racing confirmed Wednesday he’ll be part of its 2023 lineup.

Pedersen, a 23-year-old dual citizen of Denmark and the United States, spent last season running the full Indy Lights schedule for HMD Motorsports. Linus Lundqvist, his teammate, won the Lights title, and Pedersen finished fifth in the final standings. Pedersen earned his only win earlier this month when he led every lap from the pole at Portland.

Pedersen also ran four races for HMD in 2021 with back-to-back runner-up finishes in his debut. Pedersen landed on AJ Foyt Racing team president Larry Foyt’s radar through a “trusted colleague” and Pedersen spent most of last season shadowing the IndyCar team.

His promotion to IndyCar comes ahead of all four drivers who finished ahead of him in the Indy Lights standings, including champion Lundqvist.

“We are really looking forward to having Benjamin as part of the team,” Larry Foyt said. “His enthusiasm is infectious, and he is 100 percent committed to IndyCar, AJ Foyt Racing, and doing the best he can to win races.

“It’s been great to have him embedded with the team this past season, and everyone is excited to hit the ground running when testing begins. It is also great to have a multi-year program in place, which will help him and the team grow together.”

Foyt did not announce a car number for Pedersen. Kyle Kirkwood spent his rookie season driving AJ Foyt’s flagship No. 14 but Kirkwood is moving to Andretti Autosport. The team has not yet announced if Dalton Kellett will return for a fourth season, and a third car for Tatiana Calderon was pulled from competition after seven races because of sponsorship non-payment. Shutting down Calderon’s team removed the only semi-regular female driver from the IndyCar field.

Pedersen, however, was signed to an agreement Foyt said “spans multiple seasons as the team plans to develop the young rookie and is aligned to a longer-term plan for AJ Foyt Racing.”

Pedersen was born in Copenhagen but raised in Seattle and currently lives in Indianapolis. He said his time shadowing the IndyCar team has given him a jump on his rookie preparations.

“I’ve spent a lot of time this season with AJ Foyt Racing learning the ins and outs of making the jump to IndyCar and it’s been really nice to do that in conjunction with my Indy Lights season,” Pedersen said. “IndyCar has been my target goal since I started open wheel racing in 2016. The racing, atmosphere, fans, events, tracks, etc. are all awesome.”