Maldonado moving on from Grosjean clash in Spain

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Pastor Maldonado is refusing to dwell on his on-track clash with Lotus teammate Romain Grosjean at last weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix, saying that such incidents are “all part of racing”.

Maldonado’s torrid start to the 2015 Formula 1 season continued in Barcelona last Sunday as he was forced to retire from the race due to rear wing damage sustained during the run-in with Grosjean.

Heading into turn three, the two drivers made contact, taking away a chunk of Maldonado’s rear wing endplate. Despite pitting and having most of the debris removed before continuing in the race, the Venezuelan eventually retired after 45 laps.

“Our luck hasn’t been great but this is racing,” Maldonado said. “With the damaged rear wing endplate I suffered early in the race, we lost some downforce for sure.

“However, the pace was still there and I was pushing to try and recover. Unfortunately we had to retire the car on Lap 45. I didn’t get a chance to speak to Romain because we both left immediately after the race. It was a very little touch.

“It happened but we move on, it’s all a part of racing.”

Despite failing to record a single top ten finish so far this year, Maldonado enters next weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix with every hope of ending his run without points.

“We have a car that has a lot of potential and we are fighting ever higher in the field,” Maldonado said. “We have a good engine and the tires are lasting longer and that makes us confident that we can get some good results in the near future.

“We need to stay strong and as soon as the bad luck passes it will be very fun!”

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.