F1 2015 team preview: Red Bull Racing

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Red Bull Racing

Drivers
No. 3 Daniel Ricciardo
No. 26 Daniil Kvyat

First Race: 2005 Australian Grand Prix
Grands Prix: 184
Pole Positions: 
57
Fastest Laps: 
44
Race Wins: 
50
Constructors’ Championships: 
4
2014 Championship Result: 
2nd (405 points)

2014 was a shock to Red Bull’s system. The ‘party team’ of the mid-2000s had gotten tough and mean as of 2009, with four straight championship doubles coming with Sebastian Vettel from 2010 through 2013. However, as the Renault power unit left much to be desired last season, it could only limp home in a distant second behind Mercedes in the constructors’ championship, almost 300 points adrift.

Nevertheless, Red Bull was still clearly the best of the rest. Daniel Ricciardo’s breakthrough year yielded three superb wins as he left Vettel in his tracks, prompting the German – among other reasons, of course – to switch to Ferrari for 2015. Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat is his replacement, with 2015 being the Russian’s sophomore year in F1. The team may lack experience in the driver department, and the loss of Adrian Newey upstairs is a big hit for the team as he turns his attention away from  racing. However, don’t go thinking that Red Bull will lose its mojo this year: the team knows what it takes to be the best.

DANIEL RICCIARDO No. 3

Ricciardo enters his second season with Red Bull, and fourth full season overall, as outright team leader for the first time. He proved tenacious when he needed to be last year and seized the best possible result at almost every opportunity last year, with the three wins the standout but other podium or top-five runs also turning heads. Now faced with a new teammate in Daniil Kvyat who’s poised to emulate what Ricciardo did last year, will Ricciardo rise to the challenge or lose his ubiquitous smile if Daniil Kvyat outperforms expectations?

DANIIL KVYAT No. 26

As debut seasons go, Kvyat’s can be described as “solid but unspectacular”. The young Russian certainly made an impact by scoring points on his debut, and although he was ultimately beaten by Toro Rosso teammate Jean-Eric Vergne in the final standings, Kvyat was arguably the better driver. One of the biggest highlights came in qualifying for his home race in Russia where he qualified fifth, only for the STR9 to chew up its tires and leave him out of the points on Sunday. The step up to Red Bull is a big one, but Kvyat doesn’t feel under pressure. If anything, he could thrive under it in 2015 alongside Ricciardo.

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.”