MotorSportsTalk’s Predictions: Malaysian GP


The first round of the 2015 Formula 1 season ended up being rather anti-climatic. After being hyped up throughout the winter, the end result was more of the same from 2014: Mercedes dominance and political disarray.

Lewis Hamilton sent out an early statement of intent in his bid for a third world championship by outclassing Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg in Australia, making his victory – which was only by 1.3 seconds at the flag – look rather easy.

However, the two drivers are set to battle for supremacy once again in Malaysia this weekend, with the stage set for a thrilling battle in the heat of Kuala Lumpur.

With rain forecast across the three days of running, the pecking order could be set for another shake-up this weekend, making our task of predicting the results all the more difficult.

Nevertheless, here are the MST picks for the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Luke Smith (@LukeSmithF1)

Race WinnerLewis Hamilton. Again, you can’t really bet against Lewis Hamilton when he is in this kind of form. Rosberg was soundly beaten once again in Australia, and it is difficult to see anything changing without some divine intervention in Malaysia. Expect Lewis to bag his second Sepang win on Sunday.

Surprising FinishFelipe Nasr. After scoring the best debut result for a Brazilian driver in F1 history last time out, Felipe Nasr heads to Malaysia looking to continue his strong start to life in the sport. The pace of the Sauber took me by surprise, and if he can pick up another strong score in Malaysia, it would go a long way to helping the team.

Most to ProveManor. After failing to reach the grid in Australia, Manor really does need to get out on track this weekend. Even just taking part in practice would be a good step, but another ‘did not participate’ would not go down well.

Additional Storyline to WatchMarciello’s Malaysia bow. A bit of a different one, but keep an eye out for Sauber reserve driver and Ferrari junior Raffaele Marciello during practice on Friday. He’s a star in the making and has a very bright future ahead of him. A solid display in Felipe Nasr’s place in FP1 would certainly further these credentials.

Predict the Podium

1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
2. Nico Rosberg Mercedes
3. Sebastian Vettel Ferrari

Tony DiZinno (@tonydizinno)

Race WinnerLewis Hamilton. Ride the hot hand at a hot track. Hamilton and Mercedes are showing no signs of slowing down and a two-for-two start early in 2015 will already leave Nico Rosberg feeling vulnerable as the season progresses.

Surprising FinishKimi Raikkonen. At a track where he has traditionally gone well, I’d look for Kimi to get on par with Vettel from a results standpoint early on. A top-five finish is possible.

Most to ProveRenault. In the wake of the Australian Grand Prix fiasco, subsequent Red Bull pullout threats and the pair of mechanical failures that took Daniil Kvyat and Max Verstappen out of the race, is Renault set to withstand the heat and offer up a challenge to Ferrari for second best engine on the grid? Or will they fall further behind? It’s early in the season, but Renault-powered teams can’t afford to lose too much further ground.

Additional Storyline to WatchFernando Alonso’s return. All eyes will be on the Spaniard this weekend from both a health and performance standpoint, and whether he can bring his traditional exceed-the-car flare to the thus far down on pace McLaren Honda. It’s rare that the heat gets overshadowed in Malaysia, but Alonso is more than worthy of doing so.

Predict the Podium

1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
2. Nico Rosberg Mercedes
3. Felipe Massa Williams


For full broadcasting details for the Malaysian Grand Prix, click here.

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