Andretti: Vettel and Alonso moves good for both drivers

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American racing legend Mario Andretti believes that the expected moves for both Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso at the end of the 2014 Formula 1 season will be good for the drivers and for the sport as a whole.

Vettel confirmed over the Japanese Grand Prix weekend that he would be leaving Red Bull at the end of the season, with his current team boss Christian Horner saying that he would be heading to Ferrari for 2015.

The outgoing world champion is poised to replace Alonso at Maranello after the Spaniard’s relationship with the team soured over the past few months. After five difficult seasons with Ferrari, he is thought to be angling for a move back to McLaren upon its renewed partnership with Honda.

For Andretti, Vettel’s departure from Red Bull will give him a chance to breathe new life into his career away of the marque’s influence.

“I think movements are good as far as for the sport,” Andretti said. “It’s great storylines.

“But honestly, I feel personally that this will help Sebastian to expand and experience new things. He’s been basically groomed at Toro Rosso and Red Bull under the same umbrella. He needs to expand just to experience different things.

“Maybe some of this will help him, to deal with different people and different approaches. I think it’ll be a great career help for him.

Andretti believes that Ferrari will have to up its game if it is to win races with Vettel at the wheel of its car, but he does feel that a new environment will be positive for Alonso too.

“I think some new blood stimulates everyone,” he said. “Maybe Ferrari needs some of that too. I don’t see anybody who can do any better than Fernando Alonso, but at the same time Ferrari needs to provide a step up in their performance level for any driver so they can win some races.

“But even Fernando needs some fresh air as well. I think all these movements are great, but honestly, you’ve got to believe that it creates a lot of curiosity for all of us just to see how these guys are going to fare.

“If any of you know where Fernando is going, please let us know! I was trying to get something out of Ron Dennis yesterday, he kept changing the subject!”

However, he feels that taking a sabbatical would only damage the sport and Alonso’s career.

“Gosh, yes, a big loss,” he said. “I think it would be a big loss for him as well.”

NBC/NBCSN SCHEDULE FROM UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX

Peacock to stream all Supercross and Motocross races in 2023, plus inaugural SuperMotocross Championship

Peacock Supercross Motocross 2023
Feld Entertainment, Inc.
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NBC Sports and Feld Motor Sports announced that Peacock and the NBC family of networks will stream all 31 races of the combined Monster Energy Supercross, Lucas Oil Pro Motocross and the newly created SuperMotocross World Championship beginning January 7, 2023 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California and ending October 14 in the place where Supercross was born: the Los Angeles Coliseum.

The combined series will create a 10-month calendar of events, making it one of the longest professional sports’ seasons in the United States.

The agreement is for multiple years. The season finale will air live on Peacock and the USA Network.

Peacock will present live coverage of all races, qualifying and heats across both series. The 31 total races will mark a record for the combined number of Supercross and Pro Motocross events that NBC Sports will present in a single season.

NBC, USA Network and CNBC will provide coverage of all races, including the SuperMotocross World Championship Playoffs and Final, through 2023 and beyond. For more information about the Peacock streaming service, click here.

“With our wide array of live and original motorsports offerings, Peacock is a natural home for Supercross and Pro Motocross races,” said Rick Cordella, Chief Commercial Officer, Peacock. “We’re looking forward to providing fans with an easily-accessible destination to find every race all season long, including the exciting finish with the newly formed SuperMotocross World Championship.”

MORE: A conversation about media rights created the new SuperMotocross World Championship Series

The NBC family of networks has been home to Supercross for the past several seasons and this is a continuation of that relationship. The media rights for both series expired at the end of 2022, which allowed Supercross and Motocross to combine their efforts.

In fact, it was that conversation that led to the formation of the SuperMotocross World Championship (SMX).

The SMX series will begin on September 9, 2023 after the conclusion of the Pro Motocross season. Points will accumulate from both series to seed the SMX championship, which creates a record number of unified races.

“The SuperMotocross World Championship adds a new dimension to the annual Supercross and Pro Motocross seasons that will result in crowning the ultimate World Champion,” said Stephen C. Yaros, SVP Global Media and Supercross for Feld Motor Sports. “We are thrilled to be extending our relationship with NBC Sports so our fans can watch all the racing action streaming live on Peacock and the option to also watch select rounds on NBC, USA Network and CNBC.”

Complete 2023 coverage schedules for Supercross, Pro Motocross and the SuperMotocross World Championship on Peacock, NBC, USA Network and CNBC will be announced in the near future.