FIA makes minor alteration to qualifying format in Abu Dhabi

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ABU DHABI – The FIA has confirmed that it has made a minor change to the qualifying format for this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix to account for the absence of Marussia and the return of Caterham.

When the full field of 22 cars was racing earlier this year, six cars dropped out in both Q1 and Q2 to leave ten cars to fight it out in the final Q3 session.

However, the grid dropped to 18 in Austin for the United States Grand Prix when Caterham and Marussia both withdrew due to financial problems, having entered administration.

As a result, the FIA tweaked the format so that four cars would be eliminated in the first two sessions to once again leave the normal top ten shootout for pole position. This was also used for the Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos.

For this weekend’s race in Abu Dhabi, Caterham has made a shock return after finding fresh investment, thus lifting the numbers back up to 20 again.

Predictably, the FIA has reacted by confirming that five drivers will drop out in Q1 and Q2, following the precedent set by the change for Austin.

The statement from the race stewards as follows:

“In view of the non-participation of one team in the 2014 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the stewards have been requested to clarify the format for qualifying practice.

“Accordingly, under the authority granted to the stewards in article 11.9 of the International Sporting Code, and having regard to the principles established in the F1 Sporting Regulations article 33.1, consistent with the decision at the 2014 United States Grand prix, the stewards decide that the slowest five cars in Q1 will be prohibited from taking any further part in the session, and the slowest five cars in Q2 will likewise be prohibited from taking any further part in the session.”

You can watch qualifying for the 2014 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix live on NBCSN from 8a ET on Saturday.

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