Defiant Ricciardo still confident of Singapore F1 victory

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Daniel Ricciardo remained defiant following Formula 1 qualifying for the Singapore Grand Prix on Saturday, maintaining he can still win the race from third place on the grid.

Ricciardo led both practice sessions on Friday in Singapore for Red Bull, with teammate Max Verstappen topping the final running on Saturday morning to make the team the favorite heading into qualifying.

However, it was Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel who managed to snatch pole away, producing a stunning final lap in Q3 to beat Verstappen and Ricciardo.

“I’m a little envious today. I will accept a little bit of defeat,” Ricciardo told NBCSN pit reporter Will Buxton after qualifying.

“But I’m still confident we will get victory. I think we’ve got a good package.

“Seb turned it on in qualifying, but I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”

With overtaking being notoriously difficult around the tight confines of the Marina Bay Street Circuit, Ricciardo acknowledged he would need to weigh up risk and reward at the start in a bid to pass both Verstappen and Vettel.

“For sure my intention is to try and go forward. I think here it’s hard to pass,” Ricciardo said.

“Obviously the start is a big opportunity so the intention is to go for it, and see what happens. We’ll see what happens after Turn 1.”

The Singapore Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and the NBC Sports app from 7am ET.

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.