Rosberg hopes to emulate Leicester City in F1 this year

© Getty Images

Leicester City’s charge to the top of the Premier League has been one of biggest feel-good stories in world sport this year.

Despite facing competition from giants of English soccer such as Arsenal and Manchester City, the plucky minnows are now leading the charge to be crowned champions of England’s top division for the first time.

It is a story that has also caught the attention of Nico Rosberg, who entered the new Formula 1 season still chasing his first championship after losing out to Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton in 2014 and 2015.

Rosberg won the opening race of the season in Australia with relative ease, and now arrives in Bahrain seeking a fifth consecutive grand prix victory.

Despite not being the pre-season favorite, Rosberg hopes that he can take inspiration from Leicester and fight his way into the championship battle this year.

“Maybe I can be like Leicester City, not one of the main favourites, but win and then, well, just go!” Rosberg told Sky Sports.

Rosberg is known to be an avid follower of soccer, and can often be found kicking a ball around with his trainer to warm up ahead of on-track sessions.

The German remained cool about his championship chances when speaking in Thursday’s FIA press conference, saying that his victory in Australia means little with 20 races still to go in the season.

“It was a great start but it’s one race out of 21, so it’s really early days,” Rosberg said.

“But I’m really pleased with the car that we have. The team has done an incredible job to give us such a car again this year.

“It will be a great couple of races coming up for sure, but of course we are also looking closely at the battle with Ferrari.”

Santino Ferrucci will drive No. 14 for AJ Foyt Racing full time in 2023 IndyCar season

Santino Ferrucci AJ Foyt
James Gilbert/Getty Images

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.