McLaren likely to keep Vandoorne in GP2 next year

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ABU DHABI – McLaren racing director Eric Boullier has said that the team is likely to keep junior driver Stoffel Vandoorne in GP2 next season despite the Belgian enjoying a sensational rookie year in the series.

Vandoorne, 22, currently ranks second in the GP2 standings with one race remaining, claiming four wins in 2014 and enjoying a run of four straight pole positions to the end of the season – a feat that has never been achieved before.

Few rookie drivers have enjoyed such a successful maiden campaign in GP2, leading some to question whether Vandoorne could be moved up into Formula 1 next season.

However, when asked by MotorSportsTalk whether Vandoorne could be found a seat elsewhere in F1 or perhaps even move straight into a full-time drive at McLaren for 2015, Boullier said that it is unlikely he will be making the step up next season.

“I think to be honest Stoffel has had a very interesting year,” Boullier said. “He has developed massively this year, and is still only unfortunately vice-champion today, or could be still vice-champion.

“I think to have the right slot at the right time in Formula 1, it’s difficult, but I don’t think it’s going to happen next year. So it’s very likely he’s going to have to challenge and stay in GP2 to win the championship as a boss.”

However, the team did confirm that Vandoorne would be driving for McLaren on both days of the final F1 test of 2014 in Abu Dhabi next week, using the Honda-powered MP4-29H/1X1 interim car.

“Stoffel will be driving the car both days,” Boullier said. “We’re going to use the development car to check all of the systems.”

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.