After suffering heartbreak in Australia when he was disqualified for exceeding the fuel flow limit, Daniel Ricciardo has finally secured his first podium in Formula 1 with a brilliant third place finish today in Spain.
The Australian driver started the race in P3, but dropped behind Valtteri Bottas off the start. However, when Williams went too far into the race before pitting the Finn, Ricciardo got the advantage back and moved into third place once again. He then had quite a lonely race from then on, but eased home to finish in third ahead of teammate Sebastian Vettel.
He came home almost 50 seconds behind the Mercedes drivers, but he knew that third was the best he could wish for today.
“They were a long way ahead,” Ricciardo said on the podium after the race. “I think coming into the race today, we knew a boring race would have been a pretty good one for us.
“We knew we didn’t really have the pace for Mercedes, and we looked like a third placed car. In the end that’s what it was.”
Ricciardo acknowledged that it was a relatively trouble-free race, and merely about managing his pace and his tires to secure a podium finish.
“We had a pretty comfortable third place, and we just had to focus on getting the tires to two stops,” he said. “Really nice to be on the podium, and I’m sure I’ll get to keep it this time.”
Ricciardo has made a superb start to his career with Red Bull, and with third place is now just six points behind esteemed teammate Sebastian Vettel. The team will now be hoping to make up some ground on Mercedes at the Monaco Grand Prix in two weeks’ time, but for Ricciardo, finally getting this monkey off his back will mean a lot.
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.