Ricciardo felt helpless en route to P10 finish in Malaysia

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After enduring a miserable Malaysian Grand Prix that yielded just a single point for tenth place, Daniel Ricciardo has explained how he felt “helpless” in his Red Bull RB11 at the Sepang International Circuit today.

Ricciardo had qualified in an excellent fourth place for Red Bull in the wet qualifying session on Saturday, but quickly dropped back in the dry race.

The Australian driver was also dealing with a brake problem throughout the race, with black dust coming out of his wheels whenever he tried to slow the car down.

Although he was able to manage the issue and pick up a point for P10 behind teammate Daniil Kvyat, Ricciardo made no secret of his frustration after the race.

“I probably had high hopes coming into the race and I was ready for a fight to try to do something special, but the race was anything but special,” Ricciardo said.

“We knew we had a bit more pace in the wet than in the dry, but we still expected to run top five or top six today.

“We damaged the front wing a bit on the first lap, which I think hurt us somewhat, and there was quite a bit going on with the brakes. We couldn’t really look after the tires that well. I think with the other issues we had they were hurting our driving style.

“It wasn’t exciting. I just felt helpless, to be honest. I feel like I came in fired up and ready to go, but it was hard to put up a fight today.”

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner was equally disappointed, saying that the race turned into a game of damage limitation for the team.

“We were managing the situation with the brakes – there was quite a lot of brake dust coming out from early on – and we were concerned at one stage that we wouldn’t get to the end of the race,” Horner said.

“It was a question of damage limitation, of managing our way to the end of the race. To be honest, at no point did we have any real pace this afternoon.”

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.