Kobayashi takes gearbox penalty, Maldonado reprimanded

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Kamui Kobayashi will take a five place grid penalty for tomorrow’s Canadian Grand Prix after changing his gearbox ahead of qualifying today.

The Caterham driver was forced to pull over at the side of the track during the final free practice session in Montreal due to a problem on his car. Changing the gearbox did remedy this, but it means that he will start tomorrow’s race from the back of the grid after qualifying down in 20th position.

“In qualifying we did two runs on the super-softs, but the red flag at the end of the session meant I couldn’t improve my time,” Kobayashi explained. “We’d made a bit more progress since FP3 and the balance was better, so on my last quick lap I made up a tenth in the first two corners, but then had to abort that run so finished in 20th.

“With the grid penalty we have to take for the gearbox change over lunch I’ll start at the back of the grid and all I can do is fight.

“Everyone in the team keeps doing that, even in a tough weekend like we’re having here, and as we saw at the last race, anything can happen and we need to be there if and when it counts tomorrow.”

Kobayashi’s penalty only adds to a miserable weekend for Caterham, who saw Marcus Ericsson spin off during the final part of Q1 today and qualify down in 21st place.

Pastor Maldonado has also been handed a reprimand by the stewards for failing to correctly put his steering wheel back in his car. The Lotus driver parked up at the end of Q1, but did not put his steering wheel back in. The offence may seem to be relative minor, but the stewards do not look too kindly on it.

Interestingly, this is only Maldonado’s first reprimand of the 2014 season.

IndyCar releases schedule for 2023 season

IndyCar schedule 2023
Douglas Stringer/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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The NTT IndyCar Series’ 2023 schedule will feature the same number of races and tracks as this season with some minor reshuffling of dates.

IndyCar will open the 2023 season March 5 on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida, and will conclude Sept. 10 at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California. The 107th Indy 500 will take place May 28 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The 17-race schedule will conclude with a stretch of eight races in the final nine weeks.

“The NTT IndyCar Series is on an impactful upward trajectory, making progress at a pace that befits our thrilling style of competition,” Penske Entertainment Corp. president and CEO Mark Miles said in a release. “The 2023 season provides an opportunity to further build on this trend, bringing our sport and its stars to more markets and households and reaching new consumers across the globe.”

There will be 15 events on NBC: 13 races (including six of the final seven) plus Indy 500 qualifying May 20-21. There also are three races on USA Network and the Toronto race exclusively on Peacock. All races on NBC and USA also will have live simulstreams on Peacock.

In partnership with NBC Sports, the 2022 IndyCar season was the most-watched in six years and the most-watched across NBC Sports on record. The 2022 season also was the most streamed season on record.

“We’re very excited for our 2023 NTT IndyCar Series schedule and to build on this past season’s viewership milestones,” NBC Sports vice president of programming Mike Perman said in a release. “In providing comprehensive coverage across NBC, Peacock and USA Network, NBC Sports is once again looking forward to telling the stories of these world-class drivers and this compelling series.”

Notable elements on the 2023 schedule:

–There will be the same balance of seven road course races, five street courses and five ovals.

–St. Pete will be the season opener for the 13th time.

–The Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix will move from Belle Isle to the streets of downtown.

–The NASCAR doubleheader weekend at the IMS road course will shift to mid-August.

–The World Wide Technology Raceway event will move from Saturday to Sunday.

Start times for the 2023 events will be announced at a later date.

Here’s the 2023 IndyCar schedule:


Date Race/Track Network/Platform
Sun., March 5 Streets of St. Petersburg NBC, Peacock
Sun., April 2 Texas Motor Speedway NBC, Peacock
Sun., April 16 Streets of Long Beach NBC, Peacock
Sun., April 30 Barber Motorsports Park NBC, Peacock
Sat., May 13 Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Road Course) NBC, Peacock
Sun., May 28 The 107th Indianapolis 500 NBC, Peacock
Sun., June 4 Streets of Detroit NBC, Peacock
Sun., June 18 Road America USA Network, Peacock
Sun., July 2 Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course USA Network, Peacock
Sun., July 16 Streets of Toronto Peacock
Sat., July 22 Iowa Speedway – Race 1 NBC, Peacock
Sun., July 23 Iowa Speedway – Race 2 NBC, Peacock
Sun., Aug. 6 Streets of Nashville NBC, Peacock
Sat., Aug. 12 Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Road Course) USA Network, Peacock
Sun., Aug. 27 World Wide Technology Raceway NBC, Peacock
Sun., Sept. 3 Portland International Raceway NBC, Peacock
Sun., Sept. 10 WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca NBC, Peacock

*dates and networks/platforms are subject to change