Hamilton delighted with first Bahrain pole, but fears Ferrari will be hard to beat

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Lewis Hamilton was delighted to claim his first pole position at the Bahrain Grand Prix during Saturday’s qualifying session, but feels that Ferrari will pose a very serious threat to Mercedes from second and fourth place on the grid in tomorrow’s race.

Hamilton secured his fourth pole position of the season on Saturday, but will start the race at the Bahrain International Circuit from P1 for the first time in his F1 career.

The Briton laid down an impressive pace during qualifying to beat Sebastian Vettel by four-tenths of a second in the final part of the session, and explained that he feels very comfortable with the Mercedes W06 Hybrid.

“I feel great, I feel very happy,” Hamilton said after the session. “Obviously coming into the weekend that was our target, to really kind and try and master this track and get the car into an area that I’m comfortable with.

“That’s generally how the weekend has gone. Really grateful to have this beast underneath me with which I can really attack these corners with.

“I think last year I wasn’t comfortable with the car to be able to do so, so it’s a great feeling.”

After displaying a strong race pace during practice on Friday, Vettel will be hoping to spring another surprise on Mercedes like he did in Malaysia to claim a second win of the season for Ferrari.

Hamilton explained that the team had been over its defeat to Ferrari a number of times, but still thinks that the Italian marque will be tricky to beat in the race on Sunday.

“We’ve gone over it tons of times already about what we have learned, but it doesn’t get us away from the fact that they are very quick this weekend and they are going to be very hard to beat tomorrow,” Hamilton said.

“They’ve got great race pace. Hopefully with our positioning, that does help, and we’ll be taking all measures that we can to make the tires go as long as they do.

“But I think we’re in a good position, so I’m looking forward to the fight.”

The Bahrain Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 10:30am ET on Sunday.

IndyCar releases schedule for 2023 season

IndyCar schedule 2023
Douglas Stringer/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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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