Rosberg quickest in first practice for Brazilian GP


Nico Rosberg has made the best possible start to his Brazilian Grand Prix race weekend by finishing fastest in the first free practice session at Interlagos on Friday morning.

The German currently trails Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton by 24 points at the top of the drivers’ championship, but managed to edge out the Briton in FP1 today by two-tenths of a second.

However, the real stand-out performance came from 17-year-old Max Verstappen, who finished the session in sixth place during his practice run-out for Toro Rosso today.

As part of the redevelopment work completed at Interlagos over the past few months, new tarmac has been laid meaning that grip levels were very low. As a result, the track continued to improve and come towards the drivers as more laps were completed, resulting in Rosberg and Hamilton exchanging blows at the top of the timesheets.

Ultimately, it was Rosberg who won out, posting a fastest lap time of 1:12.764 to edge out Hamilton and finish almost one second clear of the non-Mercedes drivers.

The slippery conditions caught out a number of drivers on Friday morning, including Verstappen who went off the track on more than one occasion. The biggest loser was Dani Juncadella, Force India’s reserve driver, who crashed into the wall at turn eight with 30 minutes remaining, bringing out the red flag.

Daniil Kvyat also had a few off-track excursions during the session, but managed to hook up a quick lap in the end to finish the session in an excellent third place ahead of Fernando Alonso. In the sister Toro Rosso, Verstappen finished the session in sixth behind Williams’ Felipe Massa.

Jenson Button’s session lasted barely one lap as his car ground to a halt on the entry to the pit lane, while Esteban Gutierrez also failed to post a lap time due to a problem on his Sauber.

Having topped FP1 though, Rosberg will be hoping to continue this form throughout the rest of the weekend, starting in FP2 on Friday afternoon in Brazil. You can watch the second session live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 11a ET.

Winner Josef Newgarden earns $3.666 million from a record Indy 500 purse of $17 million


INDIANAPOLIS — The first Indy 500 victory for Josef Newgarden also was the richest in race history from a record 2023 purse of just more than $17 million.

The two-time NTT IndyCar Series champion, who continued his celebration Monday morning at Indianapolis Motor Speedway earned $3.666 million for winning the 107th running of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing.

The purse and winner’s share both are the largest in the history of the Indianapolis 500.

It’s the second consecutive year that the Indy 500 purse set a record after the 2022 Indy 500 became the first to crack the $16 million mark (nearly doubling the 2021 purse that offered a purse of $8,854,565 after a crowd limited to 135,000 because of the COVID-19 pandemic).

The average payout for IndyCar drivers was $500,600 (exceeding last year’s average of $485,000).

Indianapolis Motor Speedway owner Roger Penske, whose team also fields Newgarden’s No. 2 Dallara-Chevrolet, had made raising purses a priority since buying the track in 2020. But Penske but was unable to post big money purses until the race returned to full capacity grandstands last year.

The largest Indy 500 purse before this year was $14.4 million for the 2008 Indy 500 won by Scott Dixon (whose share was $2,988,065). Ericsson’s haul made him the second Indy 500 winner to top $3 million (2009 winner Helio Castroneves won $3,048,005.

Runner-up Marcus Ericsson won $1.043 million after falling short by 0.0974 seconds in the fourth-closest finish in Indy 500 history.

The 107th Indy 500 drew a crowd of at least 330,000 that was the largest since the sellout for the 100th running in 2016, and the second-largest in more than two decades, according to track officials.

“This is the greatest race in the world, and it was an especially monumental Month of May featuring packed grandstands and intense on-track action,” Penske Entertainment president and CEO Mark Miles said in a release. “Now, we have the best end card possible for the 107th Running of the Indianapolis 500: a record-breaking purse for the history books.”

Benjamin Pedersen was named the Indy 500 rookie of the year, earning a $50,000 bonus.

The race’s purse is determined through contingency and special awards from IMS and IndyCar. The awards were presented Monday night in the annual Indy 500 Victory Celebration at the JW Marriott in downtown Indianapolis.

The payouts for the 107th Indy 500:

1. Josef Newgarden, $3,666,000
2. Marcus Ericsson, $1,043,000
3. Santino Ferrucci, $481,800
4. Alex Palou, $801,500
5. Alexander Rossi, $574,000
6. Scott Dixon, $582,000
7. Takuma Sato, $217,300
8. Conor Daly, $512,000
9. Colton Herta, $506,500
10. Rinus VeeKay, $556,500
11. Ryan Hunter‐Reay, $145,500
12. Callum Ilott, $495,500
13. Devlin DeFrancesco, $482,000
14. Scott McLaughlin, $485,000
15. Helio Castroneves, $481,500
16. Tony Kanaan, $105,000
17. Marco Andretti, $102,000
18. Jack Harvey, $472,000
19. Christian Lundgaard, $467,500
20. Ed Carpenter, $102,000
21. Benjamin Pedersen (R), $215,300
22. Graham Rahal, $565,500*
23. Will Power, $488,000
24. Pato O’Ward, $516,500
25. Simon Pagenaud, $465,500
26. Agustín Canapino (R), $156,300
27. Felix Rosenqvist, $278,300
28. Kyle Kirkwood, $465,500
29. David Malukas, $462,000
30. Romain Grosjean, $462,000
31. Sting Ray Robb (R), $463,000
32. RC Enerson (R), $103,000
33.  Katherine Legge, $102,000

*–Broken down between two teams, $460,000 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, $105,500 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing/Cusick Motorsports