Hamilton pleased to fend off Ferrari in Bahrain despite last lap brake scare

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Lewis Hamilton made no secret of his relief following his victory at the Bahrain Grand Prix after he managed to see off the threat from Ferrari and claim his third race win of the 2015 Formula 1 season.

The defending world champion controlled the race from start to finish, only losing the lead through the pit stops, and eventually crossed the line with a 3.3 second advantage of Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen.

Hamilton had admitted before the race that he was unsure how Ferrari would fare in Bahrain, but others within the Mercedes team were fearful that it would lose to Sebastian Vettel as it did in Malaysia at the end of March.

However, the Briton remained calm at the front of the field, and thanked his team after the race for helping him to extend his lead at the top of the drivers’ championship.

“I’m gunning for it,” Hamilton said when asked about his bid for a third world title in 2015. “Firstly just a huge thank you to my team, they did an amazing job this weekend.

“The Ferraris gave us a really good run for our money, and out there it was really difficult to look after the tires in these conditions behind backmarkers and all sorts. Fortunately I was able to keep the car together, keep the tires as healthy as possible.

“We need to keep pushing as a team, we’ll of course do, and just a massive thank you to everyone and all the people that came out to support me this weekend, I really appreciate it.”

On the last lap of the race, Hamilton reported a problem with the brake by wire system on his Mercedes W06 Hybrid, with the same issue costing Nico Rosberg second place on the penultimate lap. The Briton lost time on the final lap as a result, but had enough of a lead to stay in first place.

“I think my brakes just got a bit warm when I was behind a few backmarkers,” Hamilton said. “When you get behind them, there’s no cool air coming in the brakes so they got a bit warm, but there was no problem.”

Hamilton will now be hoping to continue his fine form at the beginning of the 2015 season when F1 hits Europe at the Spanish Grand Prix in three weeks’ time.

AJ Foyt Racing promotes Benjamin Pedersen from Indy Lights to IndyCar for 2023 season

Benjamin Pedersen AJ Foyt
AJ Foyt Racing

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.”