F1 2015 Driver Review: Will Stevens

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Will Stevens

Team: Manor Marussia F1 Team
Car No.: 28
Races: 17
Podiums: 0
Best Finish: 13th (Great Britain)
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 0
Laps Led: 0
Championship Position: 21st

Luke Smith (@LukeSmithF1)

Will Stevens first full season in Formula 1 is unlikely to go down as one of the all-time stand-out rookie performances, yet it certainly featured a lot of personal development for the Briton.

After struggling to match teammate Roberto Merhi, Stevens began to get the upper hand on the Spaniard before Alexander Rossi was drafted in. Stevens lost 4-1 to the American in spite of his additional running in the car, but in Abu Dhabi, we saw a real sign of how far he has come as he put in a stellar display.

Nothing outstanding, but nothing so appalling to say he doesn’t deserve a second full year in F1.

Tony DiZinno (@tonydizinno)

Like Manor teammate Roberto Merhi, there were little to no expectations for the Englishman in his first full season of F1 and so any notable performances would stand out. Problem was, like Merhi, there were few notable performances that stood out.

At the very least, Stevens brought the car home in one piece more often than not. He arguably bore the worst luck at the start of the season; the team failed to turn a wheel in Melbourne and Stevens failed to start in Malaysia.

He beat Merhi regularly, although Alexander Rossi outdid Stevens in four of five races. All told, he was one of a handful of drivers you knew was racing, but you’d have to have looked hard to find him at any point.

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

Benjamin Pedersen AJ Foyt
AJ Foyt Racing

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.”