Formula E forms partnership with technology firm, changes series’ name

Formula E
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Formula E announced this morning a partnership with major technology company ABB that will also change the series’ name.

Going forward immediately, the series will now be known as the “ABB FIA Formula E Championship.”

The partnership makes plenty of sense. Switzerland-based ABB is a pioneer in electric vehicle technology, and Formula E cars are powered by electric batteries, not gas.

“Today, two pioneers are uniting,” ABB CEO Ulrich Spiesshofer said. “ABB and Formula E are a natural fit at the forefront of the latest electrification and digital technologies.

“Together, we will write the next phase of the development of this exciting racing partnership and foster high-performance teams. Together, we will write the future – one electrifying race at a time.”

ABBs Ulrich Spiesshofer and Formula E chief Alejandro Agag

Added Alejandro Agag, founder and CEO of Formula E: “This is a historic day for Formula E and I’m honored to welcome ABB as the title and technology partner of the series, with its background and expertise in the field of electrification and digital technologies.

“Our two companies are synonymous with pushing the boundaries of what is possible. Together, as partners, we will showcase breakthrough technology on a global scale to fans and consumers who follow the ABB FIA Formula E Championship.”

According to a report by The Associated Press, the deal between ABB and Formula One is seven years and reportedly worth $100 million over that term.

Formula E held its first race in Beijing, China in September 2014 and quickly became the No. 1 all-electric motor sport. The series has expanded to some of the biggest international markets in the world including New York, Hong Kong, Paris and Zurich.

There currently are 10 teams and 20 drivers competing in 11 cities across five continents, with the season championship scheduled for July.

The next Formula E race is this Saturday in Marrakesh, Morocco.

AJ Foyt Racing promotes Benjamin Pedersen from Indy Lights to IndyCar for 2023 season

Benjamin Pedersen AJ Foyt
AJ Foyt Racing
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Benjamin Pedersen is the first driver to land a promotion from Indy Lights into IndyCar for next season as AJ Foyt Racing confirmed Wednesday he’ll be part of its 2023 lineup.

Pedersen, a 23-year-old dual citizen of Denmark and the United States, spent last season running the full Indy Lights schedule for HMD Motorsports. Linus Lundqvist, his teammate, won the Lights title, and Pedersen finished fifth in the final standings. Pedersen earned his only win earlier this month when he led every lap from the pole at Portland.

Pedersen also ran four races for HMD in 2021 with back-to-back runner-up finishes in his debut. Pedersen landed on AJ Foyt Racing team president Larry Foyt’s radar through a “trusted colleague” and Pedersen spent most of last season shadowing the IndyCar team.

His promotion to IndyCar comes ahead of all four drivers who finished ahead of him in the Indy Lights standings, including champion Lundqvist.

“We are really looking forward to having Benjamin as part of the team,” Larry Foyt said. “His enthusiasm is infectious, and he is 100 percent committed to IndyCar, AJ Foyt Racing, and doing the best he can to win races.

“It’s been great to have him embedded with the team this past season, and everyone is excited to hit the ground running when testing begins. It is also great to have a multi-year program in place, which will help him and the team grow together.”

Foyt did not announce a car number for Pedersen. Kyle Kirkwood spent his rookie season driving AJ Foyt’s flagship No. 14 but Kirkwood is moving to Andretti Autosport. The team has not yet announced if Dalton Kellett will return for a fourth season, and a third car for Tatiana Calderon was pulled from competition after seven races because of sponsorship non-payment. Shutting down Calderon’s team removed the only semi-regular female driver from the IndyCar field.

Pedersen, however, was signed to an agreement Foyt said “spans multiple seasons as the team plans to develop the young rookie and is aligned to a longer-term plan for AJ Foyt Racing.”

Pedersen was born in Copenhagen but raised in Seattle and currently lives in Indianapolis. He said his time shadowing the IndyCar team has given him a jump on his rookie preparations.

“I’ve spent a lot of time this season with AJ Foyt Racing learning the ins and outs of making the jump to IndyCar and it’s been really nice to do that in conjunction with my Indy Lights season,” Pedersen said. “IndyCar has been my target goal since I started open wheel racing in 2016. The racing, atmosphere, fans, events, tracks, etc. are all awesome.”