Lotus hoping to re-find momentum at Silverstone

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After a difficult two-race run, Lotus deputy team principal Federico Gastaldi is hoping that the nature of the circuit at the British Grand Prix will allow the team to bounce back next weekend.

Lotus has struggled at the beginning of the 2014 season after a financially-troublesome winter. The team was downsized by 20%, and the arrival of Pastor Maldonado and his backers, PDVSA, has aided matters. However, the on-track displays in testing and the first few races were still very poor.

In Spain though, the team seemed to have found its feet as Romain Grosjean scored points. He did once again in Monaco, albeit thanks to a race of attrition, and Gastaldi hopes that the form from this period can be re-found in Britain.

“The momentum we got from the Spanish Grand Prix and the test afterwards was forgotten slightly after the tough three races since then,” he said. “But we know that at a track like Silverstone we should be able to see similar performance and exploit the capabilities of the E22 and the powertrain package with the help of Renault Sport F1.

“It is always nice to come to Silverstone, first and foremost because it is the home event for the factory and we get so much support. It is also good to race at iconic venues like Silverstone which has been hosting world championship grands prix since the start in 1950.

“It is very important to keep the heritage and history of circuits like Silverstone, Monza and Monaco going. It is part of the fabric and lifeblood of the sport.

The team was hit hard in Austria by Renault’s lack of engine power compared to its rivals, meaning that Lotus was never in the running to score some points. At Silverstone, it could harm the team once again, but the track should suit the E22 car better, meaning that points could be in the offing for Grosjean and Maldonado.

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.