Bottas thanks Hamilton for late position swap, honoring in-race deal

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Valtteri Bottas thanked Mercedes Formula 1 teammate Lewis Hamilton for honoring an in-race deal and letting him pass for the final podium position in Hungary at the checkered flag.

Hamilton was waved past Bottas during Sunday’s race in order to try and attack the Ferrari pair of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen at the head of the pack, believing to have better pace.

Hamilton was unable to overtake either Ferrari driver, but looked set to stay third as Bottas came under significant pressure from Max Verstappen in the closing laps.

Hamilton kept his word and backed off at the final corner to let Bottas back through, the Finn finishing four-tenths of a second clear in P3, with Verstappen just 0.3 seconds further back in fifth.

“I was trying to get close enough to Kimi at some point to attack, but there were no opportunities,” Bottas said.

“Then we swapped as a team and Lewis tried it as well, and when he was trying, at the same time, I really struggled with the backmarkers. I thought I was unlucky with a few of the guys being behind them for laps and losing time, losing the rhythm.

“The team promised me that once we did swap and I let him go and try that, we would swap again back if he couldn’t make it, and he couldn’t make it.

“The team kept the promise, which I’m really happy about and really thankful for the team that we swapped again in the end.

“A big thanks to Lewis as well. I don’t think every teammate would have done the swap back if you’re running for a podium place. I think that was nice from the team and from Lewis.”

The position change cost Hamilton three extra points in the drivers’ championship race against Vettel, though, leaving him 14 points behind heading into F1’s summer break.

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.