Vettel to meet with FIA president over engine comments

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Defending Formula 1 world champion Sebastian Vettel is set to meet with FIA president Jean Todt to discuss his comments about the new sound of the sport.

Following the downsize from V8 to turbocharged V6 engines in Formula 1, the sound of the sport has changed dramatically. Without their recognizable screeching noise, many have criticised the new cars and the formula being used, whilst others have praised it. Four-time champion Vettel is firmly in the ‘against’ camp, and did not mince his words when interviewed in Malaysia last week.

However, Todt has not taken kindly to the language that Vettel used when talking about the new engines, and is now set to meet with the German driver to discuss the comments that were made according to a report by Autosport.

1997 world champion Jacques Villeneuve was a very outspoken character throughout his F1 career, and was threatened with severe sanctions after making comments that appeared to bring the sport into disrepute. Although Todt is unlikely to be as heavy-handed with Vettel as predecessor Max Mosley was with Villeneuve, he will seek to clear the air and ensure that he refrains from using such language in the future.

Interestingly, British newspaper The Sunday Times reported last week that Todt could threaten to sanction Red Bull over these comments as an incentive to withdraw its appeal against Daniel Ricciardo’s exclusion from the Australian Grand Prix.

When asked about meeting with Todt, Vettel insisted that it was merely routine. “It’s fairly normal to have a meeting after a couple of races,” he explained in Bahrain. “Mr. Todt is coming here, so it makes sense to use the opportunity to talk about many things.”

Although Vettel is not alone in disliking the new sound, it is best for such a global icon and ambassador of Formula 1 to consider the way in which he airs his opinion, and refrain from using profanities when speaking on the record.

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.