Starting grid for the 2014 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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ABU DHABI – Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg enter their final battle for the 2014 Formula 1 world championship today in Abu Dhabi, with the Mercedes drivers both standing a chance of winning the drivers’ title.

Hamilton heads into the final race of the year with a 17-point lead at the top of the standings, but with double points on offer for the race in Abu Dhabi, there is still everything to play for.

A top two finish would be enough for Hamilton, and he had to settle for second place in qualifying yesterday as Rosberg produced a fine performance in the final part of Q3 to secure his eleventh pole position of the season.

For the race, Rosberg has said that he does not feel under pressure as he has nothing to lose, whereas Hamilton has plenty. The final battle does promise to be a thrilling one in Abu Dhabi, and after a season full of drama and intrigue, the decisive race is unlikely to be any different.

You can read our full qualifying report here, but here is the updated grid following a few penalties ahead of the race.

FROM THE STEWARDS’ OFFICE

  • The big news post-qualifying was the exclusion of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo from the final results after the FIA stewards deemed the front wing on the Red Bull cars to be illegal. Following changes overnight, both cars will start from the pit lane.
  • Romain Grosjean was handed a 20-place grid penalty for changing some engine elements ahead of the race. He was only able to serve four places after qualifying 16th, and will go into the race with a 10-second stop/go penalty to make up for the rest of the penalty.

STARTING GRID FOR THE 2014 ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX

1. Nico Rosberg Mercedes
2. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
3. Valtteri Bottas Williams
4. Felipe Massa Williams
5. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso
6. Jenson Button McLaren
7. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari
8. Fernando Alonso Ferrari
9. Kevin Magnussen McLaren
10. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso
11. Sergio Perez Force India
12. Nico Hulkenberg Force India
13. Adrian Sutil Sauber
14. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber
15. Pastor Maldonado Lotus
16. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham
17. Will Stevens Caterham
18. Romain Grosjean Lotus
PL. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull
PL. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull

You can watch the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 7a ET today.

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.”