Reports: Kevin Magnussen set to replace Pastor Maldonado at Renault

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Kevin Magnussen is all but set to replace Pastor Maldonado at Renault for the 2016 Formula 1 season after a breakdown in talks with the Venezuelan driver’s backers, according to reports.

Earlier this month, it was reported that Magnussen had been given a tour of the Renault F1 factory at Enstone after a delay in payments from Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA, Maldonado’s primary backer.

Renault is set to confirm plans for its return to F1 in 2016 on February 3 after taking over the Lotus operation.

It now looks increasingly likely that Maldonado will not be on the grid with the team, with a number of outlets reporting on Thursday that Magnussen is set to replace the Venezuelan.

First broken by Autosport before being reported more widely, talks between Renault and PDVSA broke down after officials from the French manufacturer ventured to South America for negotiations earlier this month.

As a result, Maldonado’s stint at Enstone appears to be all but over, with Magnussen poised to take the seat and return to the F1 grid after a year away.

Magnussen made his debut with McLaren at the beginning of 2014, but was dropped after just one season to make way for two-time world champion Fernando Alonso.

The Dane spent a year with McLaren in a reserve role before being released at the end of 2015, and has since tested LMP1 and DTM cars with Porsche and Mercedes respectively.

Magnussen looks poised to race alongside British driver Jolyon Palmer, who steps up to make his F1 debut in 2016 after spending a year in a reserve role at Lotus.

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.