Alonso: ‘Too easy’ for Hamilton in charge to 2017 F1 title

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McLaren’s Fernando Alonso says he wants to give Lewis Hamilton a “harder time” in Formula 1 next year, saying the Briton had it “too easy” in his charge to a fourth world championship in 2017.

Hamilton clinched his fourth drivers’ crown in Sunday’s Mexican Grand Prix by finishing ninth, having enjoyed a late battle with former teammate Alonso as he fought back from an early clash.

Alonso has not been able to battle with Hamilton very often in the last three years amid struggles for McLaren with its Honda power units, but the Spaniard showed few signs of backing down in their fight.

When asked by NBCSN after the race if the late battle with Hamilton was fun, Alonso said: “Not so much when you have different cars with different speed on straights!

“The car felt good balance all weekend and in the race. But we don’t have straight-line speed. Spent behind the Sauber, then [Kevin] Magnussen, then Hamilton. We tried to brake a bit later. It wasn’t possible.

“Starting last, finishing in the points, was fun… let’s see you in Brazil.”

By finishing P10, Alonso recorded his first points finish since the Hungarian Grand Prix at the end of July, having claimed for much of the Mexico weekend that McLaren had the strongest car in the field, only for its power unit to hold it back.

Alonso took heart from his display, and is hopeful of being able to fight with Hamilton on a more regular basis when McLaren switches to Renault power units for 2018.

“I think [Hamilton] knows. He knows how strong the McLaren is in the corners,” Alonso said.

“Next year hopefully we can give a harder time to him. This year was too easy.

“Hopefully McLaren-Renault can give him a battle next year.”

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