Mercedes reserve Wehrlein leads final Abu Dhabi test day to end 2014

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Pascal Wehrlein, Mercedes’ new reserve driver, will end the year on top of the Formula One charts as the Abu Dhabi postseason test has come to a conclusion on Wednesday.

The 20-year-old German, who finished eighth in the DTM this season, maximized the pace as ever of the all-conquering Mercedes W05 chassis. Most times went down across the board within the last 30 minutes as teams went for runs on Pirelli’s supersoft tire compound.

Wehrlein’s best time today was a 1:42.624, more than seven-tenths quicker than Valtteri Bottas’ best time on Tuesday.

“The important thing was that I was able to improve a lot during the day and complete the full test program,” he said.

Meanwhile in the other story of note entering the test, the McLaren MP4-29X1/H1 Honda had electrical issues once again. Stoffel Vandoorne ran only two installation laps, down from three on Tuesday.

Three other drivers carried over from Tuesday (Marcus Ericsson at Sauber, Max Verstappen at Toro Rosso and Will Stevens at Caterham), while the rest of the cars had new drivers today.

Behind Wehrlein, it was a similarly impressive outing from Ferrari’s Raffaele Marciello to end second, an Italian taking up residence in the F14 T for the first time.

Elsewhere Spike Goddard took over at Force India, Felipe Nasr at Williams for the final time and Alex Lynn at Lotus for the first time. The latter’s chances of racing in 2015 took a step forward today with the news Jean-Eric Vergne will be leaving Toro Rosso next season.

Here’s the times, with other notes and quotes from the day to follow later on MotorSportsTalk.

WEDNESDAY TIMES FROM ABU DHABI:
1. Pascal Wehrlein, Mercedes, 1m 42.624s, 96 Laps
2. Raffaele Marciello, Ferrari, 1m 43.208s, 91
3. Max Verstappen, Toro Rosso-Renault, 1m 43.763s, 78
4. Marcus Ericsson, Sauber-Ferrari, 1m 44.551s, 112
5. Will Stevens, Caterham-Renault, 1m 44.888s, 76
6. Spike Goddard, Force India-Mercedes, 1m 44.944s, 89
7. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull-Renault, 1m 45.151s, 88
8. Felipe Nasr, Williams-Mercedes, 1m 45.937s, 83
9. Alex Lynn, Lotus-Renault, 1m 46.168s, 52
10. Esteban Ocon, Lotus-Renault, 1m 47.013s, 34
11. Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren-Honda, no time, 2

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.