F1 to consider reversing the grid to promote better races

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BARCELONA, Spain (AP) Formula One could force its fastest cars to start from the middle of the grid to improve racing.

The reverse-grid proposal is expected to be made by F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone in a meeting between series stakeholders in Geneva on Tuesday, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said on Monday.

The top qualifiers would be dropped on the grid to keep them from pulling away early, in a bid to try to make F1 more attractive to fans and television audiences. The changes could be in effect as early as 2017 if an agreement is reached.

“There’s an opportunity to do it properly and come up with a great set of regulations for 2017,” Horner said on the first day of preseason testing in Barcelona. “Tomorrow is really a great opportunity to do something fantastic for the fans, to come up with a car that is absolutely spectacular. And I think that’s what we should be aiming to do.”

Ecclestone said this week in an interview with the Daily Mail in England that F1 “is the worst it has ever been,” and he “wouldn’t spend money to take (his) family to watch a race.”

The meeting will involve teams, promoters, and FIA, motorsport’s governing body. It could be the last chance for an agreement in time for the 2017 season. Changes made before a March 1 deadline can be approved by a majority of the stakeholders, but after that a unanimous decision would be needed, making it virtually impossible, as the top teams usually prefer to keep things unchanged.

The rule changes that will be put on the negotiating table were first discussed a few months ago, Horner said.

The Red Bull boss said Ecclestone was “quite keen on” the reverse-grid proposal.

To push drivers in qualifying, points would be awarded to the top qualifiers, and the pole winner would keep the honor statistically. The rule is used in many other series, including the GP2, considered F1’s second-tier series.

Horner said double points for the final race and other chances would also likely be discussed in Geneva.

“Let’s see what happens,” he said. “(Ecclestone) wants to shake things up a bit. He is a promoter, he’s got to sell Formula One around the world, and he wants it to be the most exciting and spectacular that it can possibly be.”

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Peacock to stream all Supercross and Motocross races in 2023, plus inaugural SuperMotocross Championship

Peacock Supercross Motocross 2023
Feld Entertainment, Inc.

NBC Sports and Feld Motor Sports announced that Peacock and the NBC family of networks will stream all 31 races of the combined Monster Energy Supercross, Lucas Oil Pro Motocross and the newly created SuperMotocross World Championship beginning January 7, 2023 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California and ending October 14 in the place where Supercross was born: the Los Angeles Coliseum.

The combined series will create a 10-month calendar of events, making it one of the longest professional sports’ seasons in the United States.

The agreement is for multiple years. The season finale will air live on Peacock and the USA Network.

Peacock will present live coverage of all races, qualifying and heats across both series. The 31 total races will mark a record for the combined number of Supercross and Pro Motocross events that NBC Sports will present in a single season.

NBC, USA Network and CNBC will provide coverage of all races, including the SuperMotocross World Championship Playoffs and Final, through 2023 and beyond. For more information about the Peacock streaming service, click here.

“With our wide array of live and original motorsports offerings, Peacock is a natural home for Supercross and Pro Motocross races,” said Rick Cordella, Chief Commercial Officer, Peacock. “We’re looking forward to providing fans with an easily-accessible destination to find every race all season long, including the exciting finish with the newly formed SuperMotocross World Championship.”

MORE: A conversation about media rights created the new SuperMotocross World Championship Series

The NBC family of networks has been home to Supercross for the past several seasons and this is a continuation of that relationship. The media rights for both series expired at the end of 2022, which allowed Supercross and Motocross to combine their efforts.

In fact, it was that conversation that led to the formation of the SuperMotocross World Championship (SMX).

The SMX series will begin on September 9, 2023 after the conclusion of the Pro Motocross season. Points will accumulate from both series to seed the SMX championship, which creates a record number of unified races.

“The SuperMotocross World Championship adds a new dimension to the annual Supercross and Pro Motocross seasons that will result in crowning the ultimate World Champion,” said Stephen C. Yaros, SVP Global Media and Supercross for Feld Motor Sports. “We are thrilled to be extending our relationship with NBC Sports so our fans can watch all the racing action streaming live on Peacock and the option to also watch select rounds on NBC, USA Network and CNBC.”

Complete 2023 coverage schedules for Supercross, Pro Motocross and the SuperMotocross World Championship on Peacock, NBC, USA Network and CNBC will be announced in the near future.