Vettel bounces back from Friday struggles to qualify third in Hungary

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Sebastian Vettel was pleased to bounce back from a rough Friday practice to qualify in third place for tomorrow’s Hungarian Grand Prix.

Vettel was sidelined for extended periods in Friday’s practice sessions due to an electrical issue on his Ferrari car.

Problems were not exclusive to his side of the garage, though, as teammate Kimi Raikkonen suffered a front wing failure in FP1 and a water leak in FP3.

This left Ferrari sweating on the reliability of its cars ahead of qualifying on Saturday afternoon, but Vettel was able to lead the team’s charge by qualifying third ahead of Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo and Raikkonen, who finished fifth.

“We had a difficult day yesterday with some things stopping us and slowing us down,” Vettel said. “It was difficult to get a feel for the car.

“So for today, I’m glad we found direction. We took it a little bit easier, trying to build it up in FP3 which worked. Throughout qualifying the car kept coming to us and kept improving.”

Vettel believes that he could not have qualified any higher than third on the grid for the race on Sunday given the pace of the Mercedes drivers ahead.

However, the Hungarian Grand Prix is notorious for drama, giving the German some hope of fighting with the Silver Arrows on Sunday.

“Third was the maximum we could do today, so we can be very very happy, especially with the rough start to the weekend,” Vettel said.

“Now obviously we’re hoping for a good race. Who knows on this track, there’s usually a lot of things happening on Sunday.

“Maybe we can do something with these [Mercedes] guys, but I expect a tight race also with people behind to Williams and Red Bull in particular.”

The Hungarian Grand Prix is live on CNBC and Live Extra from 7:30am ET on Sunday.

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.