Alonso switches back to ‘Spec 2’ Honda F1 engine after problem

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Fernando Alonso will complete the remainder of the Austrian Grand Prix weekend using Honda’s ‘Spec 2’ Formula 1 engine after a problem was found on his updated power unit following Friday’s practice sessions.

After a difficult start to the season with Honda’s struggling power unit, McLaren was handed a boost heading into the Austria weekend when the Japanese manufacturer confirmed it would be introducing its ‘Spec 3’ engine after a successful practice run two weeks ago.

Both McLaren and Honda seemed happy with the updated power unit following practice as Alonso and teammate Stoffel Vandoorne finished inside the top 10.

However, Alonso will now move back to the ‘Spec 2’ power unit after Honda discovered a problem on his upgraded internal combustion engine (ICE) following FP2.

“Last night we detected an issue with Fernando’s MGU-H. We have changed his PU,” a spokesperson from Honda confirmed.

“All newly fitted components have been used during previous grands prix so there will be no penalties.

“The ICE will be Spec 2 from day two in Azerbaijan.”

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.