Pirelli confirms tire choices for Bahrain, China

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Following its early announcement of the tire allocation for the first race of the 2016 Formula 1 season in Australia, Pirelli has now confirmed its choices for the second and third rounds in Bahrain and China.

For 2016, teams will now have a choice of three compounds per race as opposed to two in 2015 following the addition of the ‘ultra-soft’ tire, taking Pirelli’s range of dry compounds up to five.

The softest of the three compounds must be used in Q3, making it a defacto ‘qualifying tire’, while the two harder choices must be used at some point during the race.

In a statement issued on Thursday, Pirelli confirmed that it would be taking the super-soft, soft and medium tires to both the races in Bahrain and China, mirroring the selection for the Australian Grand Prix.

Teams will be required to use the medium and soft compounds during the race, while the super-soft must be used during Q3. Those who qualify inside the top ten will give this qualifying set back to Pirelli after the session on Saturday.

Super-soft tires will be available in both Bahrain and China for the first time ever in 2016, giving drivers a chance to try out one of Pirelli’s quickest tires on two tough tracks.

The Bahrain Grand Prix will be held slightly earlier than normal this year on April 3 following the decision to move the Malaysian Grand Prix into a fall slot, partnering the Singapore Grand Prix.

The Chinese Grand Prix’s place as round three remains unchanged, though, and takes place five days later than it did in 2015.

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.