Hamilton: Second F1 title takes career another step forward

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2014 Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton has said that his second title will take his racing career another step forward as well as aiding his upcoming contract negotiations with Mercedes.

Hamilton clinched his second title in Abu Dhabi last weekend, defeating teammate Nico Rosberg by 67 points in the final standings.

However, in an interview with BBC Radio 1 back in the UK, the Briton revealed that the morning before the race was far from comfortable after a restless night ahead of the championship showdown.

“It was the worst,” Hamilton said. “Generally through the season it’s very intense. It’s very hard to keep your mind focused. Most of the time, particularly throughout the weekend, you’re getting more and more nervous. You’re getting butterflies on Sunday before you get in the car.

“This time, I woke up, I couldn’t sleep, I slept for four hours. I just couldn’t get it out of my mind in the morning, all the different things that could happen. Then I went for a run, which I’ve never done on the Sunday before a race. I came back, had a massage, had breakfast, then my family surprised me which was amazing.

“Then I went to the track, and for the first Sunday of the whole year, I felt the most relaxed for some reason. I was thinking: ‘Something’s not right. I’m gonna make a mistake today.’ I got in the car and drove one of the best races I had done all year.”

Hamilton said that having a second title to his name will take his career another step forward, and will only help talks with Mercedes about extending his contract beyond 2015.

“It changes things in the sense that if I came from the last race and hadn’t won, I’ll always be a one-time champion which is good, so you always ride that wave, and there were good wins,” Hamilton said.

“But having that second championship, it’s like you take another step forward. It’s a positive thing. There’s talks and negotiations, all those things that come forward, so it only means well for those. I love racing, so I can see myself going for some time.”

However, it wasn’t all plain sailing for Hamilton on the radio show. Host Nick Grimshaw played the F1 champion a series of snippets from music tracks that he had to name, but he failed to recognize girlfriend Nicole Scherzinger’s record “Scream”.

“I’m gonna kill you man!” Hamilton said, laughing. “I can’t believe you did that to me! When I get home… I don’t know what I’m gonna get when I get home…”

His music knowledge may need a bit of work, but there is no denying that Lewis Hamilton is on top of the racing world at the moment.

IndyCar releases schedule for 2023 season

IndyCar schedule 2023
Douglas Stringer/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

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