Ecclestone says more Ecclestone type controversial things

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Bernie Ecclestone has done a lot of good things for Formula 1 throughout his career.

But in the last several years, he hasn’t done himself many favors by talking about things not related to the business of the sport.

His latest gems have come courtesy of a conversation with WPP chief executive, Sir Martin Sorrell, at the Advertising Week Europe in London.

On Vladimir Putin? “He should be running Europe,” said Ecclestone, via The Guardian.

On a potential Donald Trump presidency? “I think he’d be fantastic.”

And lastly, his continued thoughts about women driving in F1: “I don’t know whether a woman would physically be able to drive an F1 car quickly, and they wouldn’t be taken seriously.”

He did say he thinks we could see more women executives in the future, calling them “more competent” and also without “massive egos.”

Here’s the problem, though: we know by now that when Ecclestone talks about matters such as these, it doesn’t end well.

One of Ecclestone’s more infamous quotes came when Danica Patrick first rose to national prominence following the 2005 Indianapolis 500, and Ecclestone said, “You know, I’ve got one of these wonderful ideas that women should all be dressed in white like all the other domestic appliances.”

Now, when he says such controversial and off-the-wall type things, there becomes a lot of blowback on social media, a lot of “why are you talking?” and “why are you saying these things in 2016?” type comments.

Ecclestone is entitled to his opinions, of course.

But when they enter the sphere in this regard, they open himself – and by nature, the sport of which he’s made a worldwide phenomenon in F1 – up to critiques and concerns that the guy who’s at the top of the heap is saying such controversial type things so openly.

F1’s got enough to deal with when Ecclestone isn’t going off like this.

Sometimes, silence is golden.

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.