Marchionne expecting Ferrari to win again soon after unlucky spell

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Ferrari CEO Sergio Marchionne is hopeful that the Italian marque’s Formula 1 team can return to winning ways at this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix after an unlucky start to the new season.

Reliability issues have marred the first four races of the 2016 campaign for Ferrari, causing lead driver Sebastian Vettel not to finish twice and denying Kimi Raikkonen a possible podium in Australia.

Ferrari entered 2016 looking to challenge Mercedes for both championships, but after just four races its hopes appear to be in tatters.

Speaking at the launch of the new Alfa Romeo road car, Marchionne expressed his expectancy that Ferrari begins to win races again soon after a tough spell.

“I am confident,” Marchionne said. “Sunday will be an important day. So far, much of it was down to bad luck, but the season has just begun.

“I expect us to win shortly, starting with Spain.

“I’m very satisfied with both Vettel and Raikkonen. The only thing that hasn’t worked well is luck.”

Marchionne also spoke about rumors linking Alfa Romeo with an entry to F1, having said back in December that he would like to bring the name back to grand prix racing.

“It will depend on the success of the Giulia. To finance the races you have to sell the cars. Today is only the beginning of a long road,” Marchionne said.

“Our participation will be limited to F1. We are not, however, available to run only as engine suppliers, but we would focus on a complete package like Ferrari.

“Red Bull was interested in Alfa Romeo last year, but they needed only an engine and that didn’t make sense for us. We are not Honda.”

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.