Wolff feeling ‘close but far away’ to F1 race seat


MONTMELO – Susie Wolff has explained how she feels both very close and very far away to a full-time seat in Formula 1 following her most recent run-out for Williams during practice for the Spanish Grand Prix on Friday.

In 2014, Wolff became the first female driver in 22 years to take part in a race weekend as she completed running for Williams in practice sessions at Silverstone and Hockenheim.

Despite being promoted to the role of test driver for 2015, Wolff was not in contention to replace Valtteri Bottas when he sustained a back injury in qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix earlier this year.

However, she put this disappointment behind her to focus on her first outing of the season in Spain on Friday, where she finished 14th out of 20 runners with a respectable lap time.

“It’s great, everytime you go out, you learn so much,” she said. “It’s frustrating a little bit that I messed up my quickest lap. I had a moment at turn three, and that ultimately cost me two-tenths, which was a bit frustrating, but ultimately I just had to focus on consistency then because it was a nine lap run and there was quite a bit of data to get for the team.

“So overall, it was positive. Could have done some things better, quickest lap could have been better, but it’s always about trying to find that middle ground because the car has to come back in one piece. You can’t take any unnecessary risks out there.”

Wolff has been the leading female driver working within F1 for some time now, but remains realistic about her chances of becoming the first woman since Lella Lombardi in 1976 to start a grand prix.

“It’s very difficult in this environment,” Wolff said. “Like we know, things can change very quickly, but I’m not somebody that lets my head get down.

“I’m completely realistic. Yes, I’m close, but I’m also very, very far away, I know that.

“But ultimately I was just so looking forward to being in a car this morning, because for me, that’s the best part of my job, out there and just driving. That’s the best part and that speaks more than a thousand words can.”

Wolff confirmed that she would be discussing her future with Williams following her next practice run-out at the British Grand Prix in July, and said that she would not continue if she did not think she was making progress or improving in the test role.

“For me, it’s about concentrating on the chances I have in the car, doing a good job first and foremost because that’s ultimately the main focus for me,” Wolff said.

“Then, let’s sit down and see what happens in the winter time. In the same respect, I’ve always said that if I cannot make progress and I cannot improve, I would be the first one to hang up my helmet.

“I’m not going to keep pushing hard if I don’t see any opportunities.”

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