IndyCar drivers, figures react to Verizon title sponsorship

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After having been rumored for weeks, Verizon’s new title sponsorship of the IndyCar Series was finally confirmed this morning. The telecommunications giant will look to succeed where past series sponsors have failed over the last decade and a half, and that’s bringing the sport to a wider audience.

As you’d expect, reaction from within the sport has been very positive over the news. We’ve collected a smattering of social media posts from various drivers and team owners that have tweeted their two cents on the subject.

A few important figures have also released statements on the news…

Roger Penske, owner for Team Penske
Verizon Wireless has been a terrific partner for Team Penske and as a global leader in technology and communications the company is a perfect fit as a title sponsor for the Verizon IndyCar Series. We have seen how much Verizon cares about advancing technology in racing and how it can help bring the sport closer to the fans. Verizon has tremendous passion for IndyCar racing and their vision, dedication and commitment will be a great benefit to the Verizon IndyCar Series and its future.”
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Chip Ganassi, owner for Target Chip Ganassi Racing
“This is big news for the series. With Verizon’s global reach they should be able to do a lot to help us all grow this tremendous sport throughout the world.  They have always been an innovative company and ultimately I think their brand pairs well with the series. I am very pleased with the announcement.”

Ed Carpenter, driver/team owner
“We couldn’t ask for better a partner. Verizon has been an aggressive sponsor in the IndyCar Series for several years. The Verizon brand is one of the most well-known and established in North America. The new partnership is a great match for the high-tech world of IndyCar racing.”

Scott Dixon, defending Verizon IndyCar Series champion
“It’s obviously a huge announcement for our sport and the series. Verizon has been a very visible partner of the series the past several years. I’m really looking forward to seeing them activate their partnership and growing the sport we all love.”

Valtteri Bottas wins chaotic season-opening F1 Austrian Grand Prix

Mark Thompson/Getty Images
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SPIELBERG, Austria — Valtteri Bottas won a chaotic season-opening F1 Austrian Grand Prix while six-time series champion Lewis Hamilton finished fourth after getting a late time penalty Sunday.

The Formula One race was interrupted three times by a safety car, and nine of 20 drivers abandoned, including both Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Alexander Albon – who tried to overtake Hamilton on the outside with 10 laps left, touched wheels and flew off track.

Hamilton was given a 5-second time penalty for causing the collision, having earlier been hit with a three-place grid penalty after an incident in Saturday’s qualifying was reviewed by stewards.

SHOW OF SUPPORT: Drivers take knee before race

Bottas led all 71 laps in the eighth victory of his career. It was the second consecutive victory in the season opener for the Finn, though he won four months earlier in 2019 after this season’s start was delayed by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Lando Norris of McLaren F1 celebrates after his first podium finish (Mark Thompson/Getty Images).

Bottas started from pole position and Hamilton from fifth, but it looked like a straight fight between the two Mercedes drivers as has been the case so often in recent years.

But late drama in Spielberg ensured otherwise and Hamilton’s time penalty meant Charles Leclerc took second place for Ferrari, and Lando Norris sent McLaren’s garage into raptures – and threw all social distancing rules out of the window amid the euphoria – with third place.

It was the 20-year-old British driver’s first career podium, and his superb final lap was the fastest of a dramatic season opener.

Norris became the youngest British driver to secure a podium finish and the third-youngest ever in Formula One.

Valtteri Bottas leads Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton during the Formula One Grand Prix of Austria (Mark Thompson/Getty Images).