Magnussen frustrated by top 10 near-misses in Australia, Bahrain

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Kevin Magnussen feels frustrated after narrowly missing out on a top 10 finish in the opening two races of the 2016 Formula 1 season.

Magnussen returned to the grid in 2016 after spending the previous year in reserve at McLaren, signing for Renault when Pastor Maldonado’s backing fell through.

Magnussen recovered from a first lap puncture in Australia to finish 12th, and crossed the line P11 in Bahrain last weekend despite being forced to start from the pit lane.

“It is pretty frustrating!” Magnussen admitted. “That’s how it is in racing sometimes, but we are very close so that does give motivation.

“The car feels really good. Of course, we want more downforce and more power, but show me a race driver who doesn’t ask for that!

“Naturally I’m enjoying being back behind the wheel, pushing hard and overtaking, but you have so much work to do from the back that you can have a very strong race yet still finish in 11th.

“If we start further up the order and don’t have a first lap incident good things can happen.”

Magnussen heads to next weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix hopeful of picking up Renault’s first points of the season, but conceded that the high-power nature of the Shanghai International Circuit may work against the French team.

“We know our weaknesses and perhaps Shanghai’s not going to be the friendliest track for us in terms of these,” Magnussen said.

“But I still think that if we have a good race we can challenge for points. I’m really pumped and excited.”

The Chinese Grand Prix is live on NBCSN from 1:30am ET on April 17.

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.