Fernando Alonso talks return in Malaysian GP

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After being injured in a testing crash at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Spain in February, McLaren’s Fernando Alonso will make his 2015 Formula 1 debut Sunday in the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Alonso was concussed in the crash and was relieved by Kevin Magnussen at the Australian Grand Prix. However, Magnussen failed to even start the race due to engine problems.

A 13-year veteran, Alonso would be making his 14th start at Sepang, where he has three wins and five podiums. His last win came in 2012 with Ferrari.

“I watched the weekend in Australia very closely and I was in touch with the team from the moment they arrived. It’s clear we have a lot of work ahead of us but (teammate) Jenson (Button’s) result in Melbourne was encouraging from the point of view of reliability and data collection, which are extremely important,” Alonso said in a release.

Button rolled off 16th in Australia and finished 11th.

Alonso’s returns to action with McClaren in the midst of trying to snap a losing streak of more than 30 races, its worst streak in 17 years.

One of Alonso’s three wins in Sepang came with McLaren in 2007.

“This track has always been one of my favorites, it’s a really exciting circuit to drive and there’s the opportunity for good overtaking battles between the straights and the fast corners,” Alonso said. “Although we are a long way from the front, everyone in McLaren-Honda is working hard to develop the package and keep building momentum with each race.

“The weekend will be tough, but I’m looking forward to getting into the MP4-30 for the first time in a Grand Prix and getting back to racing,” Alonso continued. “I’ve spent some time in the simulator back at the factory with the team, and my focus will be on continuing the development of our package with my engineers.”

McLaren racing director Eric Boullieris is pleased to have Alonso back in the cockpit.

“He’s raring to go and I know he’s been working hard behind the scenes to prepare himself for this weekend,” Boullieris said. “I would also like to thank Kevin for his hard work in Melbourne; he provided extremely useful feedback and, despite not being able to race, has been a strong support in our development of the MP4-30 so far.”

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.