Rosberg: Defeat to Hamilton is my greatest motivation


Following his ninth defeat to Lewis Hamilton in the last ten races, Nico Rosberg has explained to NBCSN how he hopes to turn his fortunes around and get back into the fight for the 2015 Formula 1 world championship.

Rosberg’s only victory over Hamilton since last August came at the Brazilian Grand Prix some six months ago. In the 2015 season, his record against his teammate currently reads 0-3.

This weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix is an important battleground for the two Mercedes drivers, given that it was the site of their titanic battle in 2014 that is regarded as one of the finest on-track battles in the last decade of the sport.

Hamilton won that day by just one second, and Rosberg explained that he has been studying the footage from last year’s race in a bid to give himself a better chance of winning this time around.

“That was very frustrating,” Rosberg told NBCSN. “I just looked at the pictures now, and I should have won it.

“Back here again now. I learned a lot definitely in the car to car battle, so I think I would do better if it happened again. Who knows, maybe again there will be such opportunities this weekend.”

Rosberg has traditionally run well in Bahrain, setting the fastest lap on his F1 debut back in 2006 when he was racing for Williams and starting on pole position for the past two years.

“Great memories here on this track, so many things,” Rosberg said. “Even going back ten years, I won the GP2 championship here which allowed me to get to F1, so a lot of things have happened on this track.”

Although he recognized that Hamilton’s recent form does give him the momentum, Rosberg believes that breaking this in Bahrain could spur him on to enjoy a similar run of success.

“Naturally that gives him a bit of riding the wave,” Rosberg said. “That’s the way it is, and I need to try and get out of that.

“Last year I managed that really well, because just after he won four times I had the best run of the season. That’s what I need to try and do again.

“It’s the biggest motivator, to want to beat Lewis.”

You can see more of the interview with Nico in the Bahrain GP edition of Paddock Pass.

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