Bottas disappointed with Williams’ 2015 results

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Valtteri Bottas believes that although Williams has failed to make a big enough step forwards compared to its closest Formula 1 rivals in 2015.

Bottas starts his 50th grand prix in Singapore this weekend having made his debut at the beginning of 2013, but is yet to break through and score a maiden grand prix victory.

After finishing fourth in last year’s Formula 1 drivers’ championship, Bottas had been hoping to build on this in 2015 and fight at the very front of the field.

However, he has scored just one podium finish so far this season, compared to four that he had by this point in 2014.

“I have to say I’m not really that pleased for the results,” Bottas admitted. “Of course we aim to make a step forward. I think we’ve improved from last year but, compared to others, not really.

“So, as a team, I think everyone in the team is expecting more and we are aiming to do better in the future and obviously I’m staying with the team so it’s very nice to start building from this because I still think we’re not yet at a peak and we can definitely do better.

“From my side also, it’s been a very mixed season. A lot of things have not been going to my side, so unlucky races, unlucky results. That’s how it is sometimes. Always need to look forward.”

Bottas called on Williams to work on ironing out some mistakes that have blighted its efforts in 2015, but is sure that these issues will quickly be resolved.

“I think as a team we really need to improve in all areas like we’ve seen we’ve had quite a few issues still with pitstops and some mistakes from us, as a team,” Bottas said.

“We’re still just getting stronger in all areas. Unfortunately, sometimes the way to improve is to do that mistake and then learn from it. I’m sure that soon there will be no more mistakes we can do.

“We can always just make sure we learn from those and improve. Like I said before, I think we definitely can be stronger than this year.”

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

Benjamin Pedersen AJ Foyt
AJ Foyt Racing
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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.”