Andretti encouraged by Haas F1 project, has doubts about Vegas race


American racing legend Mario Andretti feels that Gene Haas’ proposed entry to Formula 1 will do a great deal of good for raising the sport’s profile in the United States, but has doubts about a second temporary race in Las Vegas or New Jersey.

Haas F1 Team is set to debut in 2016, with a new facility being built for the project. As the sport continues to enjoy a boom in the United States, getting an American team on the grid will only prolong and encourage this.

“It’s great that you have someone that’s making the commitment that’s for real,” Andretti said when asked by MotorSportsTalk about the Haas project. “I think Gene Haas has a reputation in our sport, and if he’s making the financial commitment, then why not? That’s great. I wish him well.

“I hope that his formula and way about to do it is working. He’s certainly doing it a bit differently, but the fact that he’s doing it is positive. I mean, why not? More power to him.

“He’s certainly a credible force and reputable. I hope his pockets are deep enough!”

Andretti also spoke about the possibility of a second grand prix in the United States, feeling that a temporary race at a venue such as Las Vegas or New Jersey would not be successful.

“I’ll believe it when I see it,” he said referring to the mooted race in Las Vegas. “You hear all of this. We heard about New Jersey. New Jersey was announced with a 10-year deal with the governor there. They asked me to attend that event and I wouldn’t because I didn’t have a guarantee. When I talked to Bernie, I said: ‘Is this 10-year deal for sure?’ ‘Well, you know…’ ‘Okay, that’s all I need to know.’

“You have to be very careful about these things. The fact that we’re talking about it is good to some degree. Personally, I’d love to see another permanent facility somewhere – if it’s going to be on the west coast, which is what would make sense – a permanent facility and not another temporary event.

“When you have a permanent facility, this facility keeps earning and keeps working the day after Formula 1 leads. You have a chance to make that business model work. A temporary event? I’m not sure you can make financial sense. It’s too expensive to field a Formula 1 race for just one weekend.

“Unless they know something we don’t know, unless the hotels are chipping in and being part of it… I’m sure the hotels want to make money, they don’t want to lose money. It will be interesting to see what develops there, but I’m always skeptical until I see the real thing.”


IndyCar releases schedule for 2023 season

IndyCar schedule 2023
Douglas Stringer/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

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