Red Bull confirms TAG deal, hints at engine rebrand

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Red Bull has confirmed that TAG Heuer will make the move across from McLaren to become its official timing partner for the 2016 Formula One season.

Earlier this month, TAG Heuer CEO Jean-Claude Biver revealed in an interview that the Swiss watch brand would be ending its 30-year relationship with McLaren at the end of the season.

In a tweet sent from Red Bull Racing’s official Twitter account on Thursday, it confirmed that TAG Heuer would not only be making the switch across, but also hinted that a bigger relationship between the two parties may be on the cards.

Red Bull’s engine crisis looks to be over, with indications from the paddock being that the team will run a rebranded Renault engine in 2016 after a tumultuous season.

“Wait and see what it is called,” team principal Christian Horner said in Abu Dhabi.

“It will be something quite good. I don’t think [McLaren CEO] Ron Dennis will be very happy, but he hasn’t been very happy recently.”

In light of these comments and the tweet sent with the TAG Heuer workers looking at the engine, it is feasible that Red Bull may be set to rebrand the Renault engines as ‘TAG’ for 2016.

This was first done by Dennis back in 1983 when he rebranded McLaren’s Porsche engine as TAG before tying it in with the TAG Heuer deal two years later.

The move would most certainly irk those at McLaren given not only the team’s long-running relationship with TAG Heuer, but also the success enjoyed in the McLaren-TAG years.

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.