Nico Rosberg returns to visit testing, hails ‘monster’ 2017 cars

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The 2016 Formula 1 World Champion Nico Rosberg is back… sort of.

The recently retired Rosberg paid his first visit to the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona on Wednesday for the third day of this week’s first test of the offseason to catch up with his colleagues at Mercedes AMG Petronas, check out the new 2017 cars and offer his thoughts on the atmosphere and season ahead.

Rosberg posted a video to Twitter after he left the track this afternoon and immediately hailed the new cars as “proper monsters,” which he hopes will push drivers to their physical limits this season. Rosberg also thanked Liberty Media Corporation, F1’s new owners, for allowing pit lane activity and some track activity to be posted in short videos.

“It was a nice experience for me to see my racing family again. It was fun!” Rosberg said. “It’s great to see the new cars. It’s definitely looking good on that front, because they look like proper monsters. That’s how F1 should be – very extreme.”

Rosberg hopes this may push drivers over the limit to where some races could be won or lost on fatigue.

“With those cars, the drivers need to be gladiators out there. That’s how it should be. They’ll take them to the limit physically,” Rosberg said.

Even now, they’re hurting bad, all of them. That’s great to hear. It should take the drivers physically to their absolute limits. Maybe we’ll see a race where someone will lose a win because they’re just knackered. That would be exciting.”

A natural question you wonder is, would Rosberg want to be out there? After being back at a track, Rosberg felt content and solid with his decision to step back after his proverbial “mic drop” moment.

“For me there was not one single moment where I thought, ‘Damn, I should be sitting in that car,'” Rosberg said. “It was interesting and perfect to realize that.

“I think that’s it! It’s awesome … the vibe is so exciting. All the journalists are out of control with new cars, who’s gonna be fastest, it’s such hype at the moment. (There’s) big hope and big optimism the sport can become even better.”

Here’s what Rosberg posted on Twitter today:

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