Rosberg takes fifth straight pole position in Brazil

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Nico Rosberg will start the Brazilian Grand Prix from pole position after topping the timesheets in the final stage of qualifying at Interlagos on Saturday.

Rosberg recorded a fastest lap time of 1:11.282 to edge out Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton by just 0.078 seconds in the final stage of qualifying, extending his streak of pole positions to five races.

After setting the pace on the first set of runs in Q3, Rosberg went faster still with his second flying lap, and although Hamilton was able to recover a lot of time in the final sector, the Briton could not deny his teammate pole.

As a result, Hamilton will start the race from second on the grid ahead of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, who finished a further half a second back in Q3.

Williams’ charge was led by Valtteri Bottas on Saturday as he finished fourth ahead of Kimi Raikkonen in the second Ferrari, while teammate and home favorite Felipe Massa was left to settle for P8.

Former Interlagos pole-sitter Nico Hulkenberg continued his good form in Brazil by qualifying sixth ahead of Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat. Kvyat’s teammate, Daniel Ricciardo, finished ninth, while Max Verstappen rounded out the top ten for Toro Rosso.

Felipe Nasr will start his first home race from 11th on the grid after a strong qualifying session for Sauber that saw Marcus Ericsson finish 14th in the second car. They were split by Carlos Sainz Jr and Sergio Perez in 12th and 13th respectively.

Romain Grosjean’s hopes of making it through to the top ten were dashed when he spun towards the end of Q2, flat-spotting his tires. He had no choice but to complete a lap on them regardless, ailing to P15 just ahead of Lotus teammate Pastor Maldonado who had been eliminated in Q1.

It proved to be another qualifying to forget for McLaren as Fernando Alonso suffered a loss of power on his car for the second time in the weekend. The Spaniard was told to stop his car at the side of the track before posting a lap time in Q1, leaving him at the foot of the timesheets.

In the sister McLaren, Jenson Button also failed to make it through to Q2 after a slow final lap, leaving him 17th for the start of tomorrow’s race ahead only of Alexander Rossi, Will Stevens, and Alonso.

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