Lewis Hamilton admires, tries on Sato’s Indy 500 winner’s ring (VIDEO)

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Lewis Hamilton may have put one hand on his fourth Formula 1 drivers’ title by winning Sunday’s Japanese Grand Prix, but that did not stop the Mercedes driver from taking a moment to admire a rather special piece of jewelry that appeared on the podium at Suzuka.

Hamilton stormed to his eighth win of the season with a commanding display in Japan, extending his championship lead to 59 points over Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel with just 100 left to play for this season.

Having completed a memorable IndyCar season that saw him win the Indianapolis 500 with Andretti Autosport, Sato was on hand in Japan as an ambassador for Honda at its home grand prix.

Sato got the chance to take a run-out in Honda RA300 car that won the 1967 Italian Grand Prix on both Saturday and Sunday at Suzuka before conducting the podium interviews with the top three finishers.

Hamilton immediately was interested in Sato’s Indy 500 ring, saying: “Wow, you got some bling! Where’s this from? I love that! I need that ring!”

Sato let Hamilton try it on later in the podium ceremony, with the Briton wanting to see “if it’s worth me going and doing” the ‘500.

As impressed as he was by the ring, do not expect Hamilton to appear at the Brickyard in the future, as he has long-stated his desire to only race in F1 and quit motorsport once his time in the series is over.

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.