Button: I overreacted to Hamilton’s overtake

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Jenson Button has admitted that he overreacted to Lewis Hamilton’s overtake during yesterday’s German Grand Prix, having initially called his approach to the race “strange”.

Fighting back from 20th position on the grid, Hamilton made light work of most of the field when charging through, but could not find a way past Button at first.

The two then made contact at the hairpin, with Hamilton losing his front wing endplate in the clash. He dropped back and appeared to wave his hand in apology to Button before passing one lap later. Lewis said after the race that he thought Jenson would let him through, but JB thought otherwise.

“Why would we let anyone through?” Button mused. “I don’t know if you’ve noticed but a lot of drivers take that line to get a good exit.

“I think the problem with Lewis is he expected me to let him past. I don’t think I’m the only person he drove into today.

“It’s strange, when the car is that much quicker you’d think you wouldn’t get into those kind of fights – but there you go.”

However, after looking at the incident properly, Button admitted that he overreacted.

“After watching the race back think I overreacted with my feelings about Lewis’s move,” he tweeted. “I can understand why he thought I was giving him room.

“Amazed we both got around the corner!! F1 put on a great show today and long may it continue!”

Hamilton eventually finished the race in third place, with Button being classified eighth at the flag.

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.”