IndyCar points shift after new structure of Month of May

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The Verizon IndyCar Series points standings have shifted a bit after the Indianapolis 500, and all the extra points that came with it.

Here’s a table breakdown of points after the Grand Prix of Indianapolis, then after the Indianapolis 500. The GP of Indy breakdown is on the left, the post-Indy 500 breakdown is on the right.

P # Driver Pts P # Driver PRE-INDY INDY TOTAL
1 12 Power 149 1 28 Hunter-Reay 148 126 274
2 28 Hunter-Reay 148 2 12 Power 149 85 234
3 77 Pagenaud 143 3 3 Castroneves 102 118 220
4 3 Castroneves 102 4 77 Pagenaud 143 68 211
5 9 Dixon 102 5 25 Andretti 89 103 192
6 20 Conway 93 6 34 Munoz 61 99 160
7 25 Andretti 89 7 2 Montoya 70 82 152
8 19 J.Wilson 87 8 11 Bourdais 81 62 143
9 10 Kanaan 82 9 9 Dixon 102 30 132
10 11 Bourdais 81 10 19 J.Wilson 87 36 123
11 8 Briscoe 80 11 8 Briscoe 80 41 121
12 14 Sato 75 12 14 Sato 75 38 113
13 67 Newgarden 71 13 98 Hawksworth 71 42 113
14 98 Hawksworth 71 14 67 Newgarden 71 38 109
15 2 Montoya 70 15 27 Hinchcliffe 56 49 105
16 83 Kimball 67 16 10 Kanaan 82 22 104
17 17 Saavedra 63 17 17 Saavedra 63 38 101
18 18 Huertas 63 18 7 Aleshin 59 37 96
19 34 Munoz 61 19 20 Conway 93 93
20 7 Aleshin 59 20 18 Huertas 63 30 93
21 27 Hinchcliffe 56 21 83 Kimball 67 25 92
22 15 Rahal 55 22 16 Servia 55 33 88
23 16 Servia 55 23 26 Busch 80 80
24 41 Plowman 12 24 15 Rahal 55 24 79
25 26 Montagny 8 25 21 Hildebrand 66 66
  26 22 Karam 57 57
  27 20 Carpenter 53 53
  28 33 Davison 34 34
  29 5 Villeneuve 29 29
  30 68 Tagliani 28 28
  31 6 Bell 22 22
  32 63 Mann 21 21
  33 41 Plowman 12 6 18
  34 91 B.Lazier 11 11
  35 26 Montagny 8 8

With that established, here’s how everyone got the points they did at the Indianapolis 500. Indianapolis points were determined in two ways: Saturday qualifying Positions 1-33 were awarded points in decreasing order from 33 for first down to 1 for 33rd, plus a run of 9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 for the Fast Nine on Sunday. Then in Sunday’s race, double points were awarded per finishing position, with 1 bonus point on offer for leading one lap and 2 for leading the most laps. 

P # Driver INDY QUAL INDY RACE INDY TOTAL
1 28 Hunter-Reay 23 103 126
2 3 Castroneves 37 81 118
3 25 Andretti 32 71 103
4 34 Munoz 35 64 99
5 12 Power 36 49 85
6 2 Montoya 21 61 82
7 26 Ku.Busch 24 56 80
8 77 Pagenaud 32 36 68
9 21 Hildebrand 26 40 66
10 11 Bourdais 10 52 62
11 22 Karam 13 44 57
12 20 Carpenter 42 11 53
13 27 Hinchcliffe 38 11 49
14 98 Hawksworth 22 20 42
15 8 Briscoe 17 24 41
16 17 Saavedra 8 30 38
17 14 Sato 16 22 38
18 67 Newgarden 28 10 38
19 7 Aleshin 18 19 37
20 19 J.Wilson 20 16 36
21 33 Davison 6 28 34
22 16 Servia 5 28 33
23 9 Dixon 19 11 30
24 18 Huertas 4 26 30
25 5 Villeneuve 7 22 29
26 68 Tagliani 3 25 28
27 83 Kimball 15 10 25
28 15 Rahal 14 10 24
29 10 Kanaan 11 11 22
30 6 Bell 12 10 22
31 63 Mann 9 12 21
32 91 B.Lazier 1 10 11
33 41 Plowman 2 4 6

Note the biggest movers in the standings from pre-Indy 500 to post-Indy 500:

  • Carlos Munoz, +13, P19 to P6
  • Juan Pablo Montoya, +8, P15 to P7
  • James Hinchcliffe, +6, P21 to P15
  • Scott Dixon, -4, P5 to P9
  • Charlie Kimball, -5, P16 to P21
  • Mike Conway, -13, P6 to P19 (did not race)

Note also four drivers, Oriol Servia, Martin Plowman, Alex Tagliani and Jacques Villeneuve, incurred 10 driver and entrant point penalties for unapproved engine changes. Those 10 points were taken out of their Indianapolis 500 points totals.

There were not giant fluctuations in the positions, evidenced by the fact the top four in the standings entering the Indy 500 are still the top four leaving it. The points gaps themselves though, have increased, between drivers who either did or did not have a good month of May.

As we head to Detroit this weekend, the championship could swing yet again, as we head to our first double-header weekend of 2014.

In 2013, Scott Dixon thoroughly dominated the doubleheaders as he scored 83 more points than any other driver in the six races, on the three doubleheader weekends.

Chances are the points will swing once more through this weekend.

Hamilton and Vettel already focused on 2018 F1 title battle

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ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) Championship rivals Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel are already looking forward to fighting each other for a fifth Formula One title next year.

With Hamilton wrapping up this year’s title two races ago, the pressure is off this week at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Both are projecting to 2018, where the four-time champions get back to the serious business of trying to catch Argentine great Juan Manuel Fangio on five titles.

“Certainly we will never match him in how successful he was in such a short space of time,” Vettel said on Thursday at a news conference. “Back then racing was different. The cars were not that reliable and he still managed to be successful. (He was) the best we’ve ever had in terms of putting it all together and skill.”

Only Michael Schumacher with seven titles has won more than Fangio, who drove in F1 from 1950-58.

“It was the most dangerous period of time in motorsport. I feel honored to be so close to such a great sporting icon,” Hamilton said of Fangio. “He should be celebrated more for his success. He’s not mentioned a huge amount. He’s kind of the godfather of the sport for the drivers.”

Some may come to revere Hamilton like that in time.

He has won 62 races – second only to Schumacher’s 91 – and holds the record for pole positions with 72. The 32-year-old British driver has won three of the past four titles – losing to Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg in 2016 – and was at the peak of his powers this season.

After trailing Vettel at the halfway point, he pulled away after the summer break and leads the German driver by 43 points.

Hamilton is arguably the fiercest competitor around and is already thinking about how Vettel plans to turn the tables.

“Whatever weakness Sebastian had, he’ll work on those over the winter. No one’s perfect, even I have things to work on,” Hamilton said, without a trace of irony. “He’s going to raise the bar next year and I’ll have to as well, otherwise things won’t be the same.

“Ferrari had a very, very good season. Half the season they were in the lead and that wasn’t down to luck,” Hamilton added. “Red Bull is also going to be (competing for the title) next year.”

Considering how poor Ferrari was in 2016, this year can still be viewed as a success with Vettel winning five races compared to none last year.

Vettel joked that winning the title in 2018 will be “a walk in the park” if Ferrari improves by the same amount, then took a more serious view of the situation.

“That final step is always the hardest. But the team is ready and fired up,” said Vettel, who won four titles with Red Bull from 2010-13. “We made the biggest step of all. We lost out as the season progressed. In the end we weren’t good enough to take it to the last race, but there’s so much potential still.”

He accepted that he ultimately fell short because “Lewis made less mistakes” than he did.

Poised to regain the championship lead, he crashed out of the Singapore GP from pole position back in September – turning the tide in Hamilton’s favor. Reliability issues plagued Ferrari at the next two races. He started last and finished fourth at the Malaysian GP and then qualified third before retiring from the Japanese GP.

In June, the rivals were embroiled in their most heated clash at the Azerbaijan GP in Baku.

Vettel drove alongside Hamilton’s Mercedes as they waited behind the safety car for the restart, and was adjudged to have deliberately nudged the side of him. Tempers frayed and barbs were exchanged. Vettel initially denied it was deliberate but subsequently apologized for dangerous driving.

That incident genuinely threatened to spoil their healthy rivalry, but they joke about it now.

Asked on Thursday what their highlight of the season was, both drivers – sitting next to each other – laughed easily when Baku was suggested.

Referring to the upcoming end-of-season F1 awards, Vettel put himself forward for three.

“I should get (overtaking) move of the year, personality of the year, and fair play … maybe not.”