Vettel unhappy with fourth in Russian GP qualifying

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Sebastian Vettel felt disappointed to have only qualified fourth for the Russian Grand Prix, believing that he should have made the top three in Saturday’s Q3 session.

Vettel arrived in Sochi hoping to challenge the leading Mercedes drivers as he did in Singapore last month, but finished eight-tenths of a second adrift of pole-sitter Nico Rosberg in the final stage of qualifying.

As a result, Vettel will start tomorrow’s race at the Sochi Autodrom from fourth place behind Williams’ Valtteri Bottas.

“I’m not entirely happy. I think that qualifying was close and third place was possible,” Vettel said. “We started very well in qualifying, needing only one lap in Q1.

“Then… I don’t know, as qualifying progressed I lost a little bit of feeling and didn’t manage to put the lap together in the end. Maybe there’s some ideas why this happened, we’ll have to have a look at that.

“But to be honest it’s irrelevant because tomorrow it’s a different format, a race with many laps, so we have to see what the day brings.”

A lack of practice running left most of the drivers in the dark ahead of qualifying, and Vettel believes it will be much the same for the race on Sunday.

“We didn’t have the opportunity to really change much on the car, but I think everybody is in the same situation,” Vettel said. “Strategy is a bit unknown at that point, but we’ll try to do our best. I think it is possible to fight with Williams, I believe we have a very good car so it should be a good race: I’m actually very confident for tomorrow.

“As for Mercedes, I think they have been more or less one second away but I also think tomorrow it will be a lot closer, I expect that the gap will be smaller, but we’ll see what we can do. If we have the chance, of course we must take it.

“Obviously it would have been a bit easier if we had been a bit closer to pole position. Let’s see what happens tomorrow.”

The Russian Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 6:30am ET on Sunday.

IndyCar releases schedule for 2023 season

IndyCar schedule 2023
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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