Bottas and Williams cast in Abu Dhabi spoiler role from second row


Williams’ Valtteri Bottas has qualified third once again to round out the season in Abu Dhabi (7 a.m. ET, NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra). The Finn has now done so in four of the final five Grands Prix, and thus been in the top three in nine races this season.

Either Bottas or Felipe Massa could play spoiler to the Mercedes’ teammates respective World Championship hopes if either was to get between Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton into second place.

“It was a nice quali. We got a really good lap in the end,” Bottas said. “It was not easy to beat them, so it’s good to be third and fourth again.”

Bottas, though, was doubtful that he or Massa will be able to get in-between the Mercedes, citing their pace advantage not just on one-lap pace, but long runs as well.

The Williams-Mercedes second row lockout is the team’s third straight and fourth in the last five races.

For Bottas, it’s about returning to the podium for the first time since Russia and moving back to fourth in the standings – a place he lost last race at Brazil due to belt issues affecting him during a pit stop.

He enters the weekend three points behind Sebastian Vettel in fourth and two behind Fernando Alonso in fifth. Provided Bottas finishes ahead of both of them in the points, he should return to that fourth place position in the championship.

Williams can’t catch Red Bull for second in the Constructor’s Championship and should hold onto third over Ferrari.

Williams holds a 44-point lead over Ferrari, and will retain third provided Ferrari doesn’t score at least 50 points via a third and fifth-place result, and Williams fails to score at all.  It’s unlikely to happen but thanks to double points, it’s possible.

Bottas has five podium finishes this season and looks for his sixth Sunday evening.

Formula E announces Portland, Oregon as US race in 2023

Formula E Portland 2023
Andrew Ferraro / LAT Images

The American date for the 2023 Formula E schedule will move from Brooklyn, New York to Portland, Oregon on June 24, 2023, filling the calendar at 16 rounds. This will be the first time in the nine-year history of the series that they have raced on the West Coast in only the third different city in the United States. Miami hosted one Formula E race in 2015. The series has visited the United States every season except 2020 due to the COVID-1+9 pandemic.

The 2023 race will be Round 12.

“We are excited to bring the premier electric motorsport world championship to Portland for the first time in June next year,” said Alberto Longo, Co-Founder & Chief Championship Officer, Formula E in a press release. “There is a big, passionate fanbase for professional sports in the city, together with strong ecological credentials which makes Portland a perfect host for the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship.

“The USA remains an important market for Formula E. We are delighted to maintain that critical presence and engage a new audience in the Pacific Northwest region in all-electric motorsport.”

MORE: McLaren Racing’s Ian James organization’s entry into Formula E

Last year’s American round in Brooklyn was made up of two races with Nick Cassidy from Envision Racing winning Race 1 and António da Costa from DS Techeetah taking the second race.

Portland will host only one Formula E race in 2023.

The 2023 season will be highlighted by the new Gen 3 car, which features a battery capable of generating 350 kilowatts with regeneration capability from both the front and rear axles. This contributes to a top speed of 200 miles per hour (m.p.h.), an increase of about 25 m.p.h. from last year.

The 2023 season also marks the entry of two new iconic teams, Maserati and McLaren, who completed their roster of drivers in late November with the addition of Jake Hughes.

Season 9 Calendar

Round 1:  January 3, Mexico City, Mexico
Rounds 2 & 3: January 27-28, Diriyah, Saudi Arabia
Round 4: February 11, Hyderabad, India*
Round 5: February 6, Cape Town, South Africa*
Round 6: March 8, São Paulo, Brazil*
Rounds 7 & 8: April 22-23, Berlin, Germany
Round 9: May 6, Monaco
Rounds 10 & 11: June 3-4, Jakarta, Indonesia
Round 12: June 24, Portland, Oregon*
Rounds 13 & 14: July 15-16, Rome, Italy
Rounds 15 & 16: July 29-30, London

*subject to final FIA Safety and Technical checks,