Vettel questioned ability after 2014 F1 struggles

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Four-time Formula 1 world champion Sebastian Vettel has admitted that he had doubts about his own ability after a tough 2014 season.

Vettel dominated the sport between 2010 and 2013, winning four consecutive drivers’ championships with Red Bull.

However, his form nose-dived in 2014 upon the change in technical regulations as he scored just four podium finishes en route to fifth place in the final standings.

Vettel subsequently moved to Ferrari for 2015, and has since rediscovered his form by leading the Italian marque to three victories so far this season, leaving him second in the championship behind Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton.

In an interview with the official F1 website, Vettel lifted the lid on his struggles with Red Bull in 2014 and admitted that he did question his own ability after such a tough year.

“Yes, I did – and I am not ashamed to admit it,” Vettel said. “Everybody doubts himself at one point or another.

“For sure, 2014 was not a nice season. I was not performing the way I wanted to perform, and if that happens it is more honest to show your feelings and not hide behind a fake smile.

“So about the same time last year I understood that it was time to move on, and the stage I am at now proved me right. I am very happy with how things worked out.

“Sure, when I joined Ferrari there was never any guarantee in terms of results, but now it is nice to know that we’ve exceeded all kinds of expectations, including mine – maybe.”

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.