Alonso matches best 2014 qualifying result at Spa

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Fernando Alonso matched his best qualifying result of the 2014 F1 season today in Belgium, finishing fourth in the session on Saturday afternoon.

In wet conditions at Spa-Francorchamps, the Ferrari driver managed to qualify ahead of nearest-rivals Daniel Ricciardo and Valtteri Bottas, and made no secret of his happiness in a press conference on Saturday afternoon.

“I’m definitely happy with the result,” Alonso said. “Obviously starting in the first two rows is quite a difficult thing to do.

“We didn’t have any qualifying that we’ve performed at this level in the season so definitely the rain or the conditions, or the car with this level of downforce works a little bit better and we managed to do a good lap and be in the first two rows.

“As I said this is something we are quite pleased with.”

Now, he is hoping to get in the mix for a podium finish behind the dominant Mercedes cars on Sunday at Spa, but knows that he will face a tough fight against the Red Bull and Williams drivers.

“We’ll see, I think the possibility is there, no doubt,” Alonso said. “I think that we are in a good position, fourth, we have some people around us with great pace, like Ricciardo, like the Williams.

“We will need to fight hard to be on the podium but we know that Mercedes, even if they look very quick, they have some mechanical problems in the last races so we just need to be there ready to take any opportunity.”

Alonso came close to winning last month’s Hungarian Grand Prix, before eventually finishing in second place behind Daniel Ricciardo. However, he will know that beating the Australian in tomorrow’s race could go a long way to helping him secure third place in the drivers’ championship, which he admitted yesterday was “ambitious”, but remains his target nevertheless.

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.