Renault to debut updated front wing in Bahrain

© Renault Sport
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Renault Formula 1 technical boss Bob Bell has confirmed that the team will race with a new front wing at next weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix.

Renault made its first appearance in F1 as a constructor since the end of 2010 at last Sunday’s Australian Grand Prix following its takeover of Lotus over the winter.

Given the late nature of the deal, Renault is pushing hard to update the R.S.16 car and recover from the financial difficulties that Lotus faced towards the end of its existence.

Bell confirmed that after a successful test with a prototype front wing in Australia, drivers Kevin Magnussen and Jolyon Palmer will both be racing with the updated design next weekend.

“We brought a prototype front wing to Melbourne that Kevin used and it appears to have lived up to expectations. It will be on both cars in Bahrain,” Bell confirmed, before elaborating on the planned development of the R.S.16 car.

“We will obviously be approaching development on two fronts: engine and chassis,” he said.

“In the first half of the year we will concentrate on the engine and have a normal development programme for the chassis.

“We will have the standard aero developments from race to race, as everyone will do, then have the complex mechanical items that will come through when we get into the European testing programme.

“I think we have a credible plan to advance the car but obviously we have to balance what we want to do next year versus our aspirations for this year.”

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

Benjamin Pedersen AJ Foyt
AJ Foyt Racing
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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.”