F1 notes and quotes: Abu Dhabi Test Day 2

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The final day of two at Formula One’s last day of running at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi is in the books. This also draws the curtain, officially, on 2014’s on-track running.

Here’s a quick round-up of more notes and quotes from the team releases after Wednesday’s session:

  • McLaren (see Tuesday report here): A second straight day of issues plagued McLaren’s running with its interim MP4-29X1/H1 chassis and Honda engine. An electrical issue from the off cost them the morning, and while Stoffel Vandoorne began a four-lap run in the afternoon, the car shut down. Nevertheless, Eric Boullier said better now than later. “It’s useful to discover these issues pre-Christmas, as it allows us to deepen our understanding of the complex integration between power-unit, ancillaries and the car,” he said. “And, to be honest, I’d rather be ironing out these problems here in Abu Dhabi, than discovering them in Jerez, next February.”
  • Mercedes (Tuesday report): Beyond the aero and tire work, Mercedes was also able to try some new parts good for the 2015 regulations. Reserve driver Pascal Wehrlein acquitted himself nicely in his first on-track day after simulator work prior to that.
  • Ferrari: Raffaele Marciello took over from Kimi Raikkonen and like the Finn on Tuesday, ended second. But more than the result, or the 91 laps, the simple fact of being an Italian in a Ferrari made his day.
  • Red Bull (Tuesday report): Daniel Ricciardo took over from Carlos Sainz Jr. The Australian banked 87 laps before stopping early due to a mechanical failure, bringing back memories – or nightmares – of the team’s troubled preseason testing earlier this year. It was still a productive day for the smiling Australian, who also worked on starting procedures.
  • Toro Rosso: After a troubled Tuesday where a suspension failure in the morning cost Max Verstappen half the day, today was much busier for the Faenza-based Toro Rosso crew.  Explained chief race engineer Phil Charles, “We had a very productive day, especially in the morning, when we ran continuously, even squeezing in an extra run before lunch. However, at the start of the afternoon, a technical problem kept the car in the garage for around three hours. The mechanics worked really well to get the car back out on track and we even woke up some of our nightshift guys to come and help! Thanks to their efforts we managed to give Max a further three runs.”
  • Lotus: The only team to run two drivers on the same day, and three for the week, brought out Esteban Ocon for the morning for 34 laps, and Alex Lynn in the afternoon for 52. A fluid leak scuppered Ocon’s program early. Having had an FP1 under his belt though, Ocon was more comfortable for his second run. Lynn expressed thanks for the opportunity and was pleased with the car’s reactions.
  • Force India (Tuesday report): Spike Goddard completed 89 trouble-free laps in his testing debut. “The VJM07 is a massive step up from my Formula 3 car so the first part of the day was devoted to adjusting to the new machinery,” he said. “The power and downforce of these cars is something on a completely different level; it was a massive shock to the system, but I got used to it fairly soon.”
  • Williams: The Tuesday leaders swapped Valtteri Bottas out and brought reserve driver Felipe Nasr in for one final day for the Brazilian leaves for Sauber. Aero and tire testing was the focus over his 83 laps. Said Nasr after his last day with the team: “It’s always nice to drive the FW36 and to have the chance to drive it on the final day of 2014 was very enjoyable.”
  • Sauber (Tuesday report): Marcus Ericsson led all runners with 112 laps completed on Wednesday, and like others was focused on aero and tire work. The test for him was more about integrating into a new team. “I had a good time getting to know the people within the team, and starting to work with everyone,” said the Swede. “Starting to drive the C33, building my feeling for the car, and giving my input for next year’s car was important.”
  • Caterham (Tuesday report): Another 76 laps for Will Stevens capped off his and the team’s running for 2014, and did himself good work over the last few days. “We cannot complain about the reliability here in Abu Dhabi, it’s been a trouble-free week. I’ve learned so much over the weekend and the past two days, I’ve got to the point where I now feel very comfortable in the car. Ot’s been a great week and I want to thank both the team and the fans for giving me this opportunity. Now let’s wait and see what the future brings.”

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