Maldonado hoping to reboot season at Spa and Monza

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Lotus driver Pastor Maldonado has set his sights on rebooting and reinvigorating his 2015 Formula 1 season at the next two races in Belgium and Italy.

Following a month-long summer break, F1 returns next weekend with the Belgian Grand Prix at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, which ranks as one of the most unique tracks on the calendar thanks to its long straights and fast, sweeping corners.

This race is followed two weeks later by the Italian Grand Prix at Monza, the fastest track on the current calendar.

Both circuits will reward teams that perfect a low downforce setup and have plenty of power in their engines, which Maldonado believes Lotus has.

“I think we have some tracks coming up which suit our car so that’s a good positive,” Maldonado said.

“Certainly, Spa and Monza should be strong for us so good results there will be a great way to reboot our season before we head to all the flyaway races when anything is possible.”

Maldonado has failed to match teammate Romain Grosjean for pace in the first half of the 2015 season, and currently trails the Frenchman in the drivers’ championship by 11 points.

The Venezuelan is relishing the opportunity to get back into the Lotus E23 Hybrid following the summer break, but has been thankful for the chance to relax and unwind over the past few weeks.

“It’s good to not have any pressure, events or factory visits for a couple of weeks so you can clear your head and prepare for the next nine races,” Maldonado said.

“I’ve been training and enjoying the good weather whilst preparing mentally and physically for the rest of the season. Whilst it’s great to have a bit of a break, I can’t wait to jump back into the car.”

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.