2021 Indy 500: Driver Achievements

You may know the names but can you remember what they have done? It can be hard to remember just what 33 drivers have accomplished.

I made some notes to refer to during the 2021 Indy 500, essentially summarising Wikipedia so I didn’t have to look them up during the race. Then I thought, why not tidy them up and post them here?

Apologies if the formatting is wonky. WordPress made a new editor and it is terrible.

Listings are team by team.

All cars are Dallara DW12 Mk.III plus Aeroscreen; Firestone tyres.

Chip Ganassi Racing

Fastest team all week through practice and qualifying, appear to be able to put their cars anywhere when others can’t, until the temperatures cooled on Friday and others found themselves able to join in. If it is hot it is Dixon’s to lose.

Scott Dixon
9 / Orange & Blue / PNC Bank
Chip Ganassi RacingHonda
Best 500:2008 Winner
IndyCar CV: 2003, 2008, 2013, 2015, 2018 & 2020 champion
(2nd most all-time);
51 wins (3rd all-time);
2000 Indy Lights champion;
Outside IndyCar2006, 2015 & 2020 Daytona 24 Hours overall win;
2018 Daytona 24 Hours GTLM class win;
2016 Le Mans 24 Hours GTE Pro podium;
Last Win:2021 Texas (race 1);
Alex Palou10 / Blue & White / NTT Data
Chip Ganassi RacingHonda
Best 500:28th, 2020
IndyCar CV: 2nd season;
Won opening round at Barber;
Outside IndyCar:3rd in 2019 Super Formula, winner at Fuji;
15th in 2019 Super GT GT300 class;
10th in 2017 World Series by Renault despite only doing half the season;
2 years in GP3;
Last Win:2021 GP of Alabama;
Marcus Ericsson8 / Red & White / Huski Chocolate
Chip Ganassi RacingHonda
Best 500:23rd, 2019
IndyCar CV: 3rd season;
1 podium, Detroit 2019;
12th in 2020 IndyCar;
Outside IndyCar:F1 with Caterham (2014) and Sauber (2015-2018), best year 17th in points, best race finish 8th;
GP2 Series race winner, 6th in points;
2009 All-Japan F3 champion;
2007 Formula BMW UK champion;
Last Win:2013 GP2 at Nurburgring;
Tony Kanaan48 / Blue & White / American Legion
Chip Ganassi RacingHonda
Best 500:2013 Winner
IndyCar CV: 2004 champion; 2nd in 2005, 3rd in 2007 & 2008;
17 wins;
1997 Indy Lights champion;
Completed 22 full seasons in CART/IndyCar competition until the end of 2019.
Outside IndyCar:2015 Daytona 24 Hours winner;
2007 Sebring 12 Hours 2nd overall, LMP2 class win;
Last Win:2015 Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona (DP, Ganassi Riley);

Team Penske

Strangely off the boil all week, especially in qualifying. In race trim they will be better and will work forwards, but on pace alone they won’t add to their 18 Indy 500 wins this year. McLaughlin is seriously impressing. Power on the back row will be looking to make early gains.

Josef Newgarden2 / White & Black / Shell
Team PenskeChevrolet
Best 500:3rd (2016, Carpenter Racing)
IndyCar CV:2017 & 2019 champion;
2011 Indy Lights champion;
Outside IndyCar:2nd in 2009 British Formula Ford;
2008 Formula Ford Festival win (Kent class)
Last Win:2020 St Pete (last round of season);
Will Power12 / Black / Verizon 5G
Team PenskeChevrolet
Best 500:2018 Winner
IndyCar CV: 2014 champion;
Runner-up 2010, 2011, 2012, 2016;
39 wins;
Outside IndyCar:7th in 2005 World Series by Renault, missed 4 races;
2002 Formula Holden champion;
18th in 2002 Bathurst 1000;
Last Win:2020 Harvest GP (race 2) at IMS;
Simon Pagenaud22 / Flourescent Yellow / Menard’s
Team PenskeChevrolet
Best 500:2019 Winner
IndyCar CV:2016 champion;
Runner-up 2017 & 2019;
15 wins;
Outside IndyCar:2010 American Le Mans LMP1 champion;
2nd at 2021 Daytona 24 Hours;
2nd in 2009 ALMS;
2nd overall 2009 Le Mans 24 with Peugeot;
Last Win:2020 Iowa 250 (race 1);
Scott McLaughlin3 / Canary Yellow / Pennzoil
Team PenskeChevrolet
Best 500:Rookie
IndyCar CV:Debut year;
2nd at Texas;
Outside IndyCar:2018, 2019, 2020 Supercars champion;
56 race wins;
2019 Bathurst 1000 winner;
Last Win:2020 Supercars at The Bend;

Paretta Autosport (with support from Team Penske)

75% ‘female forward’ has been respectable all month having been trained up by Penske. Being tied to a team having a bad Indy isn’t so good. Deserves better than just aiming for a finish.

Simona de Silvestro
“Swiss Missile”
16 / Red & White / Rocket Pro TPO
Paretta AutosportChevrolet
Best 500:14th, 2010
IndyCar CV:5x Indy 500 starter;
4 full seasons, best result 2nd in Houston 2013 to finish 13th in points;
Outside IndyCar:3 seasons in Supercars with Nissan, best result 7th to finish 19th in points;
13th at 2019 Bathurst 1000;
12th at 2019 Daytona 24 Hours GTD class;
Full season in 2015/16 Formula E with Amlin Andretti, best result 9th;
3rd in 2009 Champ Car Atlantic with 4 wins;
Last Win:2009 Formula Atlantic at Trois-Rivieres;

Ed Carpenter Racing

Fastest Chevy team all week, all three cars hooked up especially in race trim. The most serious threat to Ganassi. Could be Ed’s year if they can unseat Scott from the front.

Ed Carpenter20 / Red, White, Black / Sonax
Ed Carpenter RacingChevrolet
Best 500:2nd, 2018;
3-time pole sitter;
IndyCar CV:3 wins;
Usually competes on the ovals only;
Best full-season points finish 12th (2009);
Biggest achievement is being a successful owner/driver in the modern era;
Outside IndyCar:A couple of Daytona 24 Hours in the original DP era, best finish 12th in class (2008);
Raced various USAC series from 1998 to 2002;
Last Win:2014 Texas 600km;
Rinus ‘VeeKay’ van Kalmthout21 / Black & Orange / Bitcoin
Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet
Best 500:20th, 2020
IndyCar CV:Debut win at IMS GP in early May;
2nd season;
2nd in 2019 Indy Lights;
2018 Pro Mazda champion;
Outside IndyCar:Debut 24 Hour race at 2021 Daytona 24 Hours LMP2 class but DNF with misfire;
Last Win:2021 Indy GP;
Conor Daly47 / Silver, Yellow, Red / US Air Force
Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet
Best 500:10th, 2019
IndyCar CV:69 races. Nice.
Best race result 2nd at Detroit 2016.
Best season result 18th (twice, 2016 & 2017);
A lot of under-funded part-time seasons;
For 2020 and 2021 runs road courses & Indy 500 with ECR and other ovals with Carlin.
A driver needing more budget.
Outside IndyCar:8th in 2015 IMSA PC class;
26th in 2014 GP2 series with under-funded team and missing races;
3rd in 2013 GP3;
2010 Star Mazda champion;
Dabbled in NASCAR;
Last Win:2013 GP3 at Valencia Ricardo Tormo;

Rahal Letterman Lanigan

2-time winner Takuma Sato has to be considered the most serious contender even with Graham Rahal’s undoubted oval speed. As a team they are a threat and will be in the mix. Will be surprised if the other car finishes, he’s makes bold moves and it’ll bite him.

Graham Rahal15 / White & Blue / United Rentals
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda
Best 500:3rd, 2011 & 2020
IndyCar CV:6 wins, multiple podiums;
Best season 4th in 2015;
Outside IndyCar:3rd at 2020 Petit Le Mans with Penske Acura;
2x 4th at Daytona 24 Hours GTLM class with Rahal BMW;
Last Win:2017 Detroit Belle Isle (won both races of a double-header);
Takuma Sato
30 / Dark Blue & Orange / People Ready
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda
Best 500:2017 & 2020 Winner
IndyCar CV:4 other wins including Long Beach;
Best points finish 7th, 2020;
Seems to be driving better than ever.
Outside IndyCar:5 seasons in F1 (Jordan, BAR, Super Aguri), best points result of 8th
F1 podium at the USGP on the IMS road course;
2001 British F3 champion;
2001 Macau GP winner;
2001 Masters of F3;
Occasional races in Super Formula, WEC and 1 Formula E start.
Last Win:2020 Indianapolis 500;
Santino Ferrucci45 / Red and Green / HyVee
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda
Best 500:4th, 2020
IndyCar CV:Finished 4th four times including Indy;
Two full seasons and some one-off starts;
Outside IndyCar:Banned by the FIA for two F2 races after making deliberate contact with his team-mate, fired by Trident for allegedly making racist comments about same team-mate, failing to make sponsorship payments to the team, alleged (by Trident) to have used the money to pay Dale Coyne to race in IndyCar. An Italian court ordered him to pay Trident €502,000 plus costs.

Will enter 20 NASCAR races this year.
Last Win:2015 Toyota Racing Series at Manfield;

Andretti Autosport

Herta and Rossi looked quick and I think one or both will lead at some point. As for the rest I honestly think the armada is too big this year. Hinchcliffe and Andretti looked totally lost. Then again he has said this week they found a damaged floor, replaced it and the car was tranformed. Anyway, I think Marco should drive for Shank, an arms-length affiliated team.

Stefan Wilson25 / White & Blue / Lohla Sport
Andretti Autosport Honda
Best 500:15th, 2018
On a strategy hoping for a late yellow, had to pit with 4 laps to go
IndyCar CV:3 starts, twice at Indy;
3rd in 2011 Indy Lights;
Outside IndyCar:2007 McLaren Autosport BRDC Award;
2nd in 2007 Formula Palmer Audi;
Last Win:2011 Indy Lights at Kentucky;
Colton Herta26 / Black & Yellow / Gainbridge
Andretti Autosport Honda
Best 500:8th, 2020
IndyCar CV:4 wins including St Pete this year;
3rd in points last year;
2nd in 2018 Indy Lights;
Outside IndyCar:2019 Daytona 24 Hours GTLM class win (BMW);
3rd in 2016 Euroformula Open (F3);
Last Win:2021 St. Petersburg;
Alexander Rossi27 / Blue & Yellow / NAPA
Andretti Autosport Honda
Best 500:2016 Winner
IndyCar CV:7 wins including Indy, Long Beach, Road America;
Outside IndyCar:5 F1 starts and reserve for Manor Marussia;
Winner 2021 Daytona 24 Hours;
10th in LMP2 at 2013 Le Mans 24 Hours;
2nd in 2015 GP2 Series;
3rd in 2011 World Series by Renault;
2008 FBMW World Final champion;
2008 FBMW America champion;
Last Win:2021 IMSA Rolex 24 Hours (DPi, Taylor Acura);
Ryan Hunter-Reay28 / Yellow & Red / DHL
Andretti Autosport Honda
Best 500:2014 Winner
IndyCar CV:2012 Champion;
18 wins;
17th season;
Outside IndyCar:2018 Petit Le Mans winner;
2020 Sebring 12 Hours winner;
18th at 2019 Bathurst 1000 with Hinchcliffe;
Last Win:2020 IMSA 12 Hours of Sebring (DPi, Mazda);
James Hinchcliffe29 / Orange & White / Genesys
Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport Honda
Best 500:6th, 2012;
2016 pole sitter;
IndyCar CV:6 wins;
Best seasons 2012 & 2013, 8th in both, but still a podium contender always;
2nd in 2010 Indy Lights;
Outside IndyCar:A1GP podium finisher;
Occasional IMSA starts;
18th at 2019 Bathurst 1000 with Rossi;
Dancing With The Stars 2016 2nd place;
Last Win:2018 Iowa 300;
Marco Andretti98 / Red & Orange / Gleaners
Andretti Herta Autosport Honda
Best 500:2nd, 2006;
2020 pole sitter;
IndyCar CV:2 wins;
Best points year 5th in 2013;
Outside IndyCar:2008 A1GP podium finisher;
2008 occasional ALMS starts with Andretti Green, very fast at Sebring before a DNF;
2010 Le Mans 24 Hours with Rebellion (DNF);
1 Formula E start;
Last Win:2011 Iowa 250;

Meyer Shank Racing (with support from Andretti Autosport)

For a while it looked like these would be the fastest Andretti-affiliated cars. They still might be! Harvey has impressed all year and Helio seems to be loving being out of the pressure cooker, into the small family atmosphere here.

Hélio Castroneves
06 / Black & Pink / Sirius XM
Meyer Shank RacingHonda
Best 500:2001, 2002 & 2009 Winner;
4x pole sitter;
IndyCar CV:20 year full-time career 1998-2017, including 18 years with Team Penske;
30 wins;
2nd in points 4 times;
Outside IndyCar:3 further years with Penske in IMSA;
2020 IMSA champion;
2021 Daytona 24 Hours winner;
2008 Petit Le Mans winner;
2007 Dancing With The Stars winner;
Last Win:2021 IMSA Rolex Daytona 24 Hours (DPi Acura);
Jack Harvey60 / Pink & Black / Sirius XM
Meyer Shank Racing Honda
Best 500:9th, 2020
IndyCar CV:2nd full-time season after 2 part seasons;
4x Indy 500 starter;
Best race finish 3rd at 2019 Indy GP;
Runner-up in Indy Lights both years entered, Freedom 100 winner;
Outside IndyCar:5th in 2013 GP3;
2012 British F3 champion;
2010 F.BMW Europe runner-up;
Last Win:2015 Freedom 100 (Indy Lights);

Arrow McLaren SP

Just shy of ECR’s pace and better than a bunch of Andrettis. O’Ward was quick at Texas so will factor. Rosenqvist seems to have struggled more this year. JPM is JPM, strangely off the pace but putting the car in places only JPM could put a car, he’ll move forward have no doubt.

Patricio ‘Pato’ O’Ward5 / Orange & Black / Arrow
Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet
Best 500:6th, 2020
IndyCar CV:2nd full season with Arrow McLaren SP following a part season with Carlin;
1st win at Texas this year;
Multiple podiums in 2020;
2018 Indy Lights champion winning 9 of 17 races;
Outside IndyCar:2017 IMSA PC class champion winning 7 of 8 races;
3x Super Formula starts;
2x F2 starts;
Last Win:2021 Texas (race 2;
Felix Rosenqvist7 / Tiger Pattern / Vuse
Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet
Best 500:12th, 2020
IndyCar CV:3rd full season;
2 years with Ganassi including 1 win;
Best result this year is 12th at St Pete;
Outside IndyCar:Extremely versatile;
3x Formula E wins;
11th in 2018 Daytona 24 Hours P class;
10th in 2018 Super GT points;
3rd in 2017 Super Formula points;
12th in 2017 Le Mans 24Hr LMP2 class;
3rd in 2016/17 Formula E points;
7th in 2016 Blancpain GT Sprint (GT3);
Half-season in 2016 DTM;
2015 Formula 3 European champion;
2014 & 2015 Macau GP winner;
2011 & 2013 Masters of F3 winner;
Last Win:2020 Road America (race 2);
Juan Pablo Montoya86 / White & Orange / Arrow
Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet
Best 500:2000 & 2015 Winner;
IndyCar CV:1999 CART champion beat Dario Franchitti on tie-break;
2nd in 2015 IndyCar Series lost to Scott Dixon on tie-break;
15 wins;
Outside IndyCar:94 F1 starts with Williams & McLaren;
255 NASCAR Cup starts with Ganassi;
7 F1 wins including 2003 Monaco;
2 NASCAR Cup wins (Sonoma, Watkins Glen);
2007, 2008 & 2013 Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona winner and twice runner-up;
2018-2020 full IMSA seasons with Penske Acura, 3 wins;
3rd in 2018 Le Mans 24 Hour LMP2 class;
1998 Formula 3000 champion;
Record-holder fastest F1 top speed (231.5mph, Monza);
Last Win:2019 IMSA Laguna Seca (DPi, Acura);

AJ Foyt Enterprises

Hell of a struggle just to get their cars qualified and one of them, Kimball, didn’t get in. Kellett qualified on the first day against everyone’s predictions! Can’t doubt the quality of Hildebrand and Bourdais but it could be a long day for this team.

Sebastien Bourdais14 / Black & White / ROKit
AJ Foyt Enterprises Chevrolet
Best 500:7th, 2014
IndyCar CV:4x Champ Car World Series champion;
37 wins across CCWS & IndyCar;
Best post-merger standings 7th in 2018;
Outside IndyCar:2008 & 2009 F1 with Toro Rosso;
14 participations at Le Mans 24 Hours;
2016 GTE Pro class win (Ford);
2007, 2009, 2011 2nd place LMP1 (Peugeot);
13 participations at Sebring 12 Hours:
2021 overall winner (Cadillac DPi);
2015 overall winner (Corvette DP);
2009 & 2010 2nd place LMP1 (Peugeot);
2006 GT2 class winner (Panoz);
12 participations at Daytona 24 Hours;
2014 winner overall (Corvette DP);
2015 P class runner-up;
2017 GTLM class win;
2009 & 2010 part seasons Superleague Formula;
2002 Formula 3000 champion;
1999 French F3 champion;
Last Win:2021 IMSA Sebring 12 Hours (DPi, Cadillac);
Dalton Kellett4 / White & Cyan / K-Line
AJ Foyt Enterprises Chevrolet
Best 500:31st, 2020 (rookie)
IndyCar CV:Part season in 2020 became full season this year;
Best finish 18th at Barber and Texas 1;
7th in Indy Lights points in 2018 & 2019;
Outside IndyCar:Won 2 IMSA LMP2 races from two starts, although only two cars participated in the class;
Last win:2019 IMSA LMP2 Laguna Seca;
JR Hildebrand1 / White & Red / ABC Supply
AJ Foyt Enterprises Chevrolet
Best 500:2nd, 2011
Seems his role in life is to never better the most famous 2nd place in motorsports history, a tragedy;
IndyCar CV:10 Indy 500 starts;
65 IndyCar races;
Only 3 full seasons, always finds an Indy program, often under-funded;
Best finish is 2nd at Indy and Iowa;
2009 Indy Lights champion;
Outside IndyCar:2nd in LMPC class of 2010 Sebring 12 Hours;
2nd in class at 2018 Pikes Peak Hillclimb (Porsche GT4);
Last Win:2009 Indy Lights Sonoma;

Dale Coyne Racing

Jones should be able to get it well into the top 20. I think just scoring a finish would do for Fittipaldi’s Indy debut, he’s running the car of Grosjean on the ovals.

Pietro Fittipaldi51 / White & Red
Dale Coyne Racing
with Rick Ware Racing
Best 500:Rookie
IndyCar CV:8 starts. Best finish 9th at Portland 2018;
Outside IndyCar:2 F1 starts in 2020 with Haas;
15th in 2019 DTM, best finish 5th (Audi);
2017 World Series by Renault champion;
2011 NASCAR All-American Series champion;
Scheduled to compete at Le Mans & IndyCar in 2017 but broke his legs at Spa;
Last Win:2017 WSbR FR3.5 at Mexico City;
Ed Jones18 / Black & Yellow / Sealmaster
Dale Coyne Racing
with Vasser-Sullivan
Best 500:3rd, 2017
IndyCar CV:4th season;
Best points result 13th (2018) with Ganassi;
Best race finish 3rd (x3);
2016 Indy Lights champion;
Outside IndyCar:14th at 2021 Daytona 24 Hours GTD class;
2013 European F3 Open champion;
Last Win:2016 Indy Lights at IMS road course;


Chilton has big aims after leading in the past but I don’t think he’ll reach such heights this time, perhaps mid-pack, he got 17th with the team last year.

Max Chilton59 / Blue / Gallagher
Best 500:4th, 2017
IndyCar CV:68 starts;
Best finish 4th at 2017 Indy 500;
Has led the 500 on pace;
Failed to qualify for 2019 Indy 500;
5th in 2015 Indy Lights, missed some races to do LM24;
Outside IndyCar:2013 & 2014 F1 seasons with Marussia;
4th in 2012 GP2 Series (2 wins);
2015 Le Mans 24 with the ill-fated Nissan GTR-LM;
Last Win:2015 Iowa Indy Lights;

Dreyer & Reinbold Racing

Karam qualified last row and I think he’ll move forward to the mid-pack.

Sage Karam24 / Blue & White / AES Indiana
Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Chevrolet
Best 500:9th, 2014
IndyCar CV:7 Indy 500 starts, usually one of only a few ICS races he does each year;
Best race finish is 3rd at Iowa 2015, the only year he ran most of the season;
2013 Indy Lights champion;
Outside IndyCar:6th at 2014 Sebring 12 Hours P class (Ford Ganassi); 2nd at IMS the same year;
2017 with Lexus in IMSA GTD class, best result 5th;
6th in Americas Rallycross 2019 only competing in 5 of 9 rounds, finishing 1st or 2nd in those attended;
Last Win:2019 Americas Rallycross Mid-Ohio;


Races Watched (2019 Week 15): F1 Shanghai, IndyCar Long Beach, FE Rome

Week 15:  8-14 April 2019

In what was a busy weekend both in racing and personally, I found time to watch two live races and one recorded race (OK, so this was after the weekend). I also got one done before the weekend started.

It was annoying that my live picks were the most boring races I’ve seen in ages. I hope you fared better.

Formula 1 – R4 – Chinese Grand Prix
Shanghai International Circuit, Jiading, Shanghai, China
Seen live, 14th April

Bottas pole, Hamilton, Vettel, Leclerc, Verstappen, Gasly, Ricciardo, Hulkenberg.

This race sums up the worst tropes of F1:  lots of hype, not a lot of action.

The PR machine has been in overdrive about “the 1000th race” for a year. Yet when it came to it there seemed little happening at the track, a small handful of old F1 cars and very few dignitaries. They didn’t even get Bernie. What a waste.

The 1000th? Add the “World Championship for Drivers” since 1950, including those championship-counting Indy 500s and those races run to F2 rules, to the successor “Formula 1 World Championship” from 1981 onwards, then it is the 1000th race. This is not the same as the “1000th F1 race”, which doesn’t include Indy or those F2 races but does include all the non-championship F1 races back to 1948.

The Chinese GP is actually pretty good on a regular basis, Tilkedromes have this reputation of being terrible but Shanghai has been a great track over the years with overtaking and strategy. But not this year. This year was tedious.

Very little happened after lap one. I’ve seen many F1 GPs like this and I thought its type had been banished.

Hamilton passed Bottas at the first corner and ran off to win. To his credit, Bottas stayed within 7 or 8 seconds, the Mercedes pair basically cruising in team formation for the entire race. They even pitted together at the 2nd stops, choreographed beautifully, Bottas arrived just after Hamilton left and didn’t have to wait. This was done to protect against a Safety Car, with Ferrari and Verstappen having stopped already.

Ferrari played the strategy call. Vettel and Leclerc were switched but Leclerc was no faster, so he was put on the long game strategy and Vettel mirrored Mercedes. Running Leclerc long had put him behind Verstappen, he was able to close down the gap but not overtake, so this strategy was a net loss of 1 place. Gasly had a better day, close to Leclerc, the results sheet shows he was miles behind but he pitted near the end to successfully go for the fastest lap bonus point.

Renault won ‘best of the rest’ with Ricciardo. Alexander Albon had a fantastic run from a pitlane start to finish 10th. Kvyat and the two McLarens collided on lap one, two of the three retiring 40 laps later from the damage. I’ve no idea what happened elsewhere. TV direction seemed off par.

The Mercedes pair already have a significant points advantage over the field having finished 1st & 2nd in the first 3 GPs, the first time this has happened since Williams in 1992. This is starting to look a lot less close than pre-season testing suggested.

Next up is the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in a couple of weeks.

  1. Hamilton (Mercedes)
  2. Bottas (Mercedes)
  3. Vettel (Ferrari)
  4. Verstappen (Red Bull)
  5. Leclerc (Ferrari)
Driver Team CHI TOTAL
Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 25 68
Valterri Bottas Mercedes 18 62
Max Verstappen Red Bull 12 39
Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 15 37
Charles Leclerc Ferrari 10 36
Pierre Gasly Red Bull 9 13
Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo 2 12
Kevin Magnussen Haas 8
Lando Norris McLaren 8
Nico Hulkenberg Renault 6
Constructor PU CHI TOTAL
Mercedes Mercedes 43 130
Ferrari Ferrari 25 73
Red Bull Honda 21 52
Alfa Romeo Ferrari 2 12
Renault Renault 6 12
Haas Ferrari 8
McLaren Renault 8
Racing Point Mercedes 4 7
Toro Rosso Honda 1 4

NTT IndyCar – R4 – Grand Prix of Long Beach
Long Beach, California, USA
Seen live, 14th April

Rossi, Dixon, Power, Newgarden, Pagenaud, Rahal, Hunter-Reay, Sato.

This one promised a lot. I thought the hard-to-handle aero package would create a lot of sideways moments and overtakes, maybe some sliding into walls. Didn’t happen.

We don’t have any idiots at the back these days, the ones at street tracks who used to cause a bit of chaos that perhaps wasn’t always welcome, gave the series a bad name for weird accidents, but made it all fun. Those days are mostly gone.

Nobody told the back of the field. Lap 2 Pigot slowed, as everyone braked Ericsson ran into Harvey. We finally saw a car in the flowers at the fountain!

It was then a long green flag run at a race where strategy choices aren’t available. Unlike Barber you don’t get the mix of 2-stoppers versus 3-stoppers. The difference here was between those starting on red soft tyres and black hard tyres, and vice versa later, but it turned out not to make a lot of difference anyway. The reds were durable on the streets.

Rossi and Dixon raced hard into turn one on the original start and again on the restart. Each time the pair pulled a gap on the field.

At about lap 34 of 85, Power overshot turn 1 with dust pouring out of his left front brake duct. He spun it around and continued only losing a few places. Ferrucci had previously stalled in a runoff and the series recovered him under local yellow.

After pit stops, Newgarden was 2nd ahead of Dixon, but Rossi had him covered as well. Looked like he extended his lead in every stint. The battle for second was on between Newgarden, Dixon, Rahal, Hunter-Reay.

On the last lap Dixon made the move on Rahal, who defended stoutly and got a penalty for it. Dixon was awarded 3rd. This caused half of Twitter to erupt in anger at Rahal blocking Dixon and half of Twitter to erupt in anger at the stewards for penalising racing!

Watching live it looked like Rahal made a harsh move but a fair one, he left space for Dixon. I was against the penalty. But on review it became clear Rahal made a second move right and then returned to his racing line. I’m okay with picking one of two lines and sticking to it into the corner, I’m not so okay with weaving. And I also remembered if it had been Michael Schumacher I’d have been all over it, clamouring for a penalty, so I can’t argue otherwise for someone else!

Rossi wins by over 20 seconds, the highest for something like 25 years. With this he moves to 2nd in the points standings.

Newgarden extends his points lead as Dixon drops to 3rd. Hunter-Reay gains a few spots. Rahal is a big points mover into the top ten. Colton Herta the big loser, just 7 points after sliding into the wall and out with steering damage.

Next up is the GP of Indianapolis in a couple of weeks.

  1. Rossi (Andretti)
  2. Newgarden (Penske)
  3. Dixon (Ganassi)
  4. Rahal (Rahal)
  5. Hunter-Reay (Andretti)
Driver Team Eng LB TOTAL
Josef Newgarden Penske Chevy 41 166
Alexander Rossi Andretti Honda 54 138
Scott Dixon Ganassi Honda 35 133
Takuma Sato Rahal Honda 25 116
Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Honda 30 96
James Hinchcliffe Schmidt Honda 22 93
Will Power Penske Chevy 27 93
Sebastien Bourdais Coyne Honda 19 91
Graham Rahal Rahal Honda 32 90
Colton Herta Harding Honda 7 88

ABB Formula E – R7 – Rome E-Prix
Rome, Italy
13th April, watched 16th April

Lotterer, Evans, Lopez, Vandoorne, Gunther, Buemi, Mortara, Frijns.

Halfway in the season. 6 races done before this one, 6 races to go after this one.

As clean a start as you can manage here and on a damp track, a bit of bumping but okay. Guenther had a huge slide and loses parts of his front wing. At the end of the lap Bird gets hit, car damaged, apparently out for the second race in a row.

Chaos on lap two!

Red Flag. Lopez broadside across the track and Paffett under his car. Lopez hit the kerb and spun by himself and caused a complete track blockage. Luckily for those caught in the melee it was just in front of pit entry, so everyone once released was recovered and the race order restored. Replays showed Sims in the wall as well. And Sam Bird managed to get his car to the pits so it was repaired under the red and restarted last.

On the restart half the field activated Attack Mode, although it didn’t seem to achieve anything. Frijns got alongside Buemi for 4th but couldn’t make the move.

Lopez got a penalty for contact with Bird on lap one. Reliability trouble for Mortara and Massa so we had FCY in which JEV overtook Da Costa as they braked.

Evans passes Lotterer for the lead! Tense move! Very forceful into a chicane, elbowed his way through, got a warning from the race director but only a wag of the finger. Lotterer was fine with it, good hard racing.

Fairly strung out field but the pace was hot, unlike Rome 2018. Everyone pushed all the way, not a lot of energy saving except in the last lap or so, this is what we want to see. I don’t mind a lack of passing when the cars are visibly flat out.

Bird got up to 11th at the end, excellent recovery, great work by team and driver.

  1. Evans (Jaguar)
  2. Lotterer (Techeetah)
  3. Vandoorne (HWA)
  4. Frijns (Envision Virgin)
  5. Buemi (Nissan e.Dams)
Name Team Rome Points
Jerome d’Ambrosio Mahindra 4 65
Ant Felix da Costa BMW Andretti 2 64
Andre Lotterer DS Techeetah 21 62
Mitch Evans Jaguar 25 61
Lucas di Grassi Audi Sport 6 58
Robin Frijns Envision Virgin 12 55
Jean-Eric Vergne DS Techeetah 54
Sam Bird Envision Virgin 54
Eduardo Mortara Venturi 52
Daniel Abt Audi Sport 44
Team PU Rome Points
DS Techeetah DS 21 116
Envision Virgin Audi 12 109
Mahindra Mahindra 5 102
Audi Sport Abt Audi 6 102
BMW Andretti BMW 2 82
Venturi Venturi 67
Nissan e.dams Nissan 19 65
Jaguar Jaguar 25 62
HWA Racelab Venturi 15 22

European Le Mans Series – 2017 R4 – Le Castellet
Circuit Paul Ricard, Le Castellet, France
26th August 2017, watched 10th April 2019

18 months behind! This one felt like ticking an item off a list. A shame, I really like the ELMS as a good way to while away an afternoon or evening

This time they used the chicane on the Mistral Straight so the only interesting thing about the track, the super-fast balls-out run into Signes, was lost

ELMS catches you out because when you think things are settled with huge gaps after the first hour – it changes. After three hours the order can be completely different. This catches me out because I tend to put endurance races on in the background while I get other stuff done.

Teams put their rated drivers in at different times. Early you see a Platinum or Gold driver racing away to a healthy lead while a Silver or Bronze driver loses loads of time. At the driver change it switches, the lead teams put in their Bronze driver and the distant cars suddenly get a Platinum at the wheel chasing them down. It converges.

In LMP2 Ben Hanley gave Dragonspeed a huge lead which was lost when Bronze driver Henrik Hedman faced the likes of Nic Minassian and Felipe Albuquerque chasing him. And the same principle applies in LMP3 and GTE. Niki Thiim brought the TF Sport Aston up from last to 2nd. You have to pay attention throughout.

Unfortunately this featureless track is a hard watch, I lost the thread in the middle as my mind drifted and got hold of it again in the last hour.

At least the mountains in the distance look nice.

But will I get the 2017 and 2018 seasons done before the 2019 Le Mans 24 Hours?


  1. SMP Racing (Dallara P217) – Isaakyan / Orudzhev;
  2. G-Drive Racing (Oreca 07) – Rojas / Roussel / Minassian;
  3. Graff (Oreca 07) – Guibbert / Petit / Trouillet;

First ELMS win for the SMP Dallara and their young driver pairing. A 4th straight podium for G-Drive.


  1. United Autosports (Ligier JS P3) – Falb / Rayhall;
  2. Inter Europol (Ligier JS P3) – Hippe / Smiechowski;
  3. M.Racing YMR (Ligier JS P3) – Cougnard / Jung / Ricci;

A second win in LMP3 for United.


  1. Spirit Of Race (Ferrari 488) – Cameron / Griffin / Scott;
  2. TF Sport (Aston Martin Vantage) – Hankey / Thiim / Yoluc;
  3. JMW Motorsport (Ferrari 488) – Fannin / Smith / Cocker;

Second straight win for SOR, 4th straight podium for TF.

Next Week

15th to 21st April, Easter Weekend so much quieter than usual.

  • British GT at Oulton Park on Holiday Monday.
  • 24H Series at Spa.
  • Super Formula at Suzuka.
  • British Superbikes at Silverstone (on the National layout).

It might be a good time to catch up on past races but I’ll be using it to start, yes, start, watching Game of Thrones! Now I’ve got Sky I can watch it On Demand so I’ve already downloaded them to the box.

And if it is wet weekend and I can’t get outside I’ll see if I can squeeze in a WEC race or something.

Races Watched (2019 Week 14): IndyCar Catchup – St Pete, COTA, Barber

Week 14:  1-7 April 2019

Over the weekend I watched the first three NTT IndyCar Series rounds:

Friday night:  St. Petersburg, Florida (airport/street circuit)
Sunday morning:  Circuit of the Americas, Texas (road course)
Sunday night (live!):  Barber Motorsports Park, Alabama (road course)

NTT IndyCar – R1 – GP of St Petersburg
St Petersburg, Florida
10th March

Power on pole from Newgarden, Rosenqvist, Dixon, Hunter-Reay, Rossi.

Rosenqvist got by Newgarden at turn 1. Ed Jones got up four places in four laps. After a yellow for Hunter-Reay’s engine failure Rosenqvist took the lead from Power! Outstanding move for a series rookie. Highly rated from Formula E, Super Formula, Super GT, Blancpain GT, Formula 3…. the list goes on. He was showing why.

Jones hit the wall hard, seemed to misjudge it but might’ve been a car problem, Leist then clipped him and hit the wall too.

Newgarden got the lead through the pit stops by staying out and gapping the field, Power and Dixon similarly emerged ahead of Rosenqvist, Dixon much later passing Power. Good strategy call well executed.

Decent race but not much more to say. Glad it wasn’t the wreck-fest St Pete can sometimes be. And we already see we have a fantastic rookie field. Rosenqvist lived up to his billing, Herta impressed finishing 8th, Ericsson did well until mechanical problems at halfway.

I really appreciate NBC moving the scoring graphics to a tower on the left of the screen, in line with a lot of other series, but this time with the full driver name. Much better and easier to follow than the horizontal crawl across the top!

I didn’t like their obsession with the 2-seater passenger, interviews before, during and after the ride. Overkill coverage of a gimmick. Just speak to them after.

  1. Newgarden
  2. Dixon
  3. Power
  4. Rosenqvist
  5. Rossi

NTT IndyCar – R2 – IndyCar Classic
Circuit of the Americas
24th March

Power again on pole, from Rossi, Hunter-Reay, Herta, Rosenqvist, Dixon.

IndyCar’s first visit to COTA. They took the IMSA approach of ignoring track limits but it seemed to go into overdrive, the penultimate corner apparently was only advisory. Seemed to make a mockery of the designed length of the run-off. It seemed to work until the major race-changing incident.

Outstanding weekend from Colton Herta, son of Bryan, running for the Harding Steinbrunner team. He passed Hunter-Reay early then ran in the top three all race long. He had earned his 3rd place, before the Safety Car

Hinchcliffe qualified in the back half and made up several places to 12th in the first laps. Rosenqvist went down to 8th.

I felt the race had passing early but was largely uneventful in the second half with some field spread. It always happens at COTA. That tempted leader Power and 2nd-pace Rossi, who were running with Herta, into staying out a lot longer than the others. They needed to get to 17 laps to go, or less, to ensure their soft red tyres would last the final stint. At 16 laps to go the Safety Car came out. They hadn’t stopped yet.

Hinchcliffe and Rosenqvist hit each other in that Turn 19 runoff area, the IndyCar racing line, sending Rosenqvist into pit entry. Safety Car, pits closed.

Yes it sucks that IndyCar closes the pits and prevents the leader coming in when the SC is called, as the leader is entitled to in F1, but equally that’s the risk you take when you stay out and everyone else has pitted. They had equal opportunity to come in beforehand, it was a gamble worth taking and they lost, simple as that.

It got worse for Power. At the pit stop under this Safety Car he couldn’t engage gear. He was out on the spot. Disaster after leading every lap to that point. Rossi was also in and restarted something like 18th.

And that promoted Colton Herta to the lead with 10 laps to go! And he controlled it like a veteran, driving away and holding a gap despite Newgarden and Hunter-Reay slamming the push-to-pass button every lap. He is now IndyCar’s youngest ever winner!

Awful to see a dominant win punished through cruel luck, but that doesn’t detract from Herta’s fantastic performance. He was often fastest at COTA in winter testing, fast all through practice, ran with the leaders all day long. This was no fluke yellow-assist from 10th, he had the speed.

Shoutout to Jack Harvey, 10th in his part-season Meyer Shank Schmidt Peterson entry.

  1. Herta
  2. Newgarden
  3. Hunter-Reay
  4. Rahal
  5. Bourdais

NTT IndyCar – R3 – Grand Prix of Alabama
Barber Motorsports Park
7th April

Sato on pole from Rahal, Dixon, Hinchcliffe, Bourdais, Pigot.

A late green flag at the start held the field, but not Ed Jones who got the mother of all jump starts and cleared half the field! A penalty would see to that.

Ericsson took an early stop, just lap 7 or so. By lap 10 they were trickling in, more and more, right through to lap 19. This was becoming a strategy race, 3 stops versus 2 stops.

It later turned out many had planned for 2 stops but switched when the pace of the 3-stopper became viable. Only Bourdais (lap 29), Pigot and Harvey appeared to be the only ones sticking to a 2-stopper. But Power had made his second stop by then after spinning and flatspotting his tyres, he’d be forced to a 4-stopper.

Herta’s engine was stuttering, some fuel pickup problem which couldn’t be solved.

Reports from Twitter followers at the track were of overtakes everywhere, but TV spent most of their time looking at cars pitting. They had to, they couldn’t miss what might be a crucial stop. I’d have liked to have seen more passes on screen.

There were some great ones! O’Ward and Pagenaud had a great battle for 9th, passing, repassing. O’Ward was on fire all day. And a shout out to Ericsson who got 7th after starting 20th, largely through overtaking although I don’t remember seeing it.

A train of quality drivers running 9th to 15th covered by 3.5 seconds, very close racing.

For a while it looked like Bourdais and Sato were racing each other virtually, Sato had it covered though, he was pushing all the way. Bourdais had really good pace despite saving fuel and tyres which Pigot and Harvey couldn’t maintain.

Eventually the Safety Car came out on lap 56 of 90. Rahal’s car stopped on course with drive problems, he’d already suffered a problem earlier. As everyone rushed to the pits Kanaan nerfed Chilton into the wall. Race Control kept it green until everyone had a chance to come in, a good officiating call.

Strategy was out the window, now it was a flat out run to the flag for the last 25 laps. (It was a long yellow.) And Newgarden made the most of it, restarting 9th and was 4th at the flag!

Sato even cut the chicane, he was pushing so hard to stay ahead of Dixon, but held on for a classy and mostly clean win.

  1. Sato
  2. Dixon
  3. Bourdais
  4. Newgarden (from 16th!)
  5. Rossi

Points Table

50, 40, 35, 32, 30, 28, 26, 24, 22, 20 then subtract 1 for every position.
Bonuses:  +1 Pole Position, +1 Led A Lap, +2 Most Laps Led.

Josef Newgarden Penske Chevy 53 40 32 125
Scott Dixon Ganassi Honda 40 17 41 98
Takuma Sato Rahal Honda 11 26 54 91
Alexander Rossi Andretti Honda 31 22 31 84
Colton Herta Harding Honda 24 51 6 81
Sebastien Bourdais Coyne Honda 6 30 36 72
James Hinchcliffe Schmidt Honda 28 14 29 71
Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Honda 7 35 24 66
Will Power Penske Chevy 37 10 19 66
Marco Andretti Andretti Herta Honda 17 28 16 61

Look how competitive it is! Everyone’s had at least one mediocre race – except Newgarden hence an early lead.

Dixon had that poor race at COTA but otherwise is up there. Sato may prove a surprise contender. Rossi is threatening. Penske drivers Power and Pagenaud are not having a good early season.

Herta is seriously impressive! The easy favourite rookies were Rosenqvist and Ericsson, but Herta is going to give them a run all year.

There’s no teams championship but there is one for engine manufacturers.

Honda 72 90 96 258
Chevrolet 91 65 54 210

The next race is Long Beach this coming weekend.


Formula 1 – 2000 German Grand Prix

I’ve discovered by accident that Sky Sports F1 shows classic F1 races on a Wednesday night. The famous race at the old Hockenheim required dropping everything else and watching.

It might’ve been a combination of damp track and skinny wings for the straights but it struck me how much the cars moved around, Coulthard was on opposite lock through the top chicane, just like IndyCars are now. That again proves to me low downforce and high power is the way to go. And oh man I miss those V10s.

I love this race. Schumacher out early. Dry first half, a heavy rain shower over the pits at halfway but it only covered half the track. Do you take wets or stay on dry weather tyres? Usually you’d go wets but Barrichello stayed out and made it work. It was an amazing drive from a great wet weather driver, who had started 18th and passed most of the field before any rain fell. Coulthard tried dries too and couldn’t do it. Hakkinen tried wets and couldn’t do it, despite the pair leading when the rain came. Rubens’ first win, too.

Memorable. One of the best races ever.

Next Week

8th to 14th April

Your viewing options include:

  • F1 in Shanghai
  • IndyCar in Long Beach
  • IMSA in Long Beach
  • Formula E in Rome
  • MotoGP at COTA
  • World Superbike at Assen
  • ELMS at Paul Ricard
  • Blancpain GT at Monza
  • VLN at the Nordschleife
  • Supercars at Phillip Island
  • Super GT at Okayama

The first truly busy weekend of 2019 and it won’t be the last!

I’m planning F1 and IndyCar live to bookend Sunday. Hopefully also IMSA Saturday night, but I haven’t seen Sebring yet and won’t get the chance before the weekend. And Formula E is calling but I have things to do so that might be a DVR job. MotoGP will be Quest’s Monday highlights for me.

Secondly, what genius put the ELMS and Blancpain GT season openers and round 2 of VLN all on the same weekend? IMSA at Long Beach is slightly different on another continent, but these three European series, there must be drivers, teams and media who would be paid to work both?

IndyCar On Sky Sports For 2019

The NTT IndyCar Series will air in the UK exclusively on Sky Sports F1 for 2019 and beyond, in a deal announced just over a week before the first race.

This is exciting news if you get Sky Sports F1. And possibly good news for the series to get in front of more eyeballs. This is not so good if you were watching on BT TV.

I’ll get on to the future in a little while. First some context.

History With Sky

The old IRL had long been aired on Sky Sports. Eurosport aired the rival CART / Champ Car. When the series merged, Sky aired the unified IndyCar Series as a continuation of the IRL deal.

At the time Sky gave IndyCar little promotion and audiences were tiny. But they gave it some attention by providing a London studio which filled in the gaps.

US TV is allowed to take far more advert breaks per hour than British TV. This causes a headache for UK channels when they take live American sport. How do you fill the gaps? This is trickier if the host doesn’t show the action while US TV is away.

Sky Sports provided a studio for Keith Heuwen and a regular guest. Keith, the former 500cc Grand Prix motorbike racer and now MotoGP lead commentator for BT Sport. The guests were often former Indy Lights racer and long-time sportscar driver Johnny Mowlem, or British IndyCar engineer Andy Brown who had worked for teams in F1, CART and IRL with success.

Pre-race would be a discussion in London which joined the US broadcast just before the green flag. We rarely saw the packages from the host broadcast. Mid-race, when they didn’t go to break themselves they’d talk through the action we’d seen and show replays again, always a benefit. It was a good compromise.

Unfortunately it could also be dry which is just a function of the format. I’m never a fan of going to a studio during a live event. It doesn’t matter what it is, it could be racing, football, athletics, whatever. I find it detaches you from the event and sucks the life and atmosphere away. I’d rather see the event I’m tuning in to see and have the remote analysts talk over it. I get the sense I’m missing something when they cut away. Unfortunately it is common practice in UK sports broadcasting.

Sky Sports F1 launched in 2012. There was a bit of cross-pollination with 2 or 3 IndyCar races on the channel, but mostly IndyCar was on Sky Sports 4 and the two didn’t interact very much.

History With BT Sport

IndyCar TV rights outside America were held by ESPN International. ESPN had been trying to get into the UK market for a while and set up their own channel in 2009. IndyCar moved to ESPN UK in 2013. But by Summer 2013, BT, the telecoms giant, set up BT Sport as a big-money rival to Sky Sports with the intention of poaching some of the Premier League rights. They succeeded. BT Sport also purchased ESPN UK and repositioned and rebranded it to focus on American sport.


IndyCar on BT was basic to start with, just taking the raw feed from the US and I’m sure they even showed UK commercials for every US break.

After a while the US broadcaster provided a continuous feed during US ad breaks. This allowed BT Sport to employ their own team in London, again filling in the gaps, but this time with no formal studio. It would be audio only, over the pictures from the US. Perfect! The team included Keith Collantine of RaceFans.net (formerly F1 Fanatic), Ben Evans who commentates for BT on other series such as GT Open, and freelance Tom Gaymor who you will have heard at Eurosport on basically any racing they show. Usually it would be a pair from this three.

It was the best of both worlds. You never lost sight of the action. It settled into a routine whereby if US TV took a break while the race was green BT would stay with it with British commentary, but if the race was under Safety Car BT Sport would take a commercial break. This worked well – especially when the number of yellows decreased significantly in the last couple of years!

Occasionally this too could be dry, especially when they exchanged statistics rather than talked about the racing – the lone race where the BT team covered Road America in its entirety was particularly bad for this. But in general the team illuminated the coverage from a British perspective and kept it moving, even including fans’ comments via Twitter and running Q&As for people new to IndyCar. It was a very positive step.

There was moment when a different production team on the UK side covered Indy. The theory was good, big fanfare and explainers for newbies, but they made the same mistake as Sky with a UK studio. It meant UK fans watching for the first time were denied the pomp and ceremony preceding the race, which are as much part of the Indy 500 as the race itself. Instead we watched an incredibly dry discussion about how Fernando Alonso might do. The usual knowledgeable UK team were sidelined which was very unhelpful in explaining to potential new fans.

That race in 2017 the viewership hit 200,000, some 10 times higher than usual! Again generally IndyCar viewing numbers were terrible, just like with Sky, barely making 30,000 some weeks. There’s no way it should be that low in a country so mad on F1.

Future With Sky Sports F1

Sky Sports F1 has matured since 2012. It found its place and has built a loyal audience of motorsport die-hards willing to pay money to watch racing. So this is a good deal, yes?

Sky Sports F1

Well, I have three concerns. One is promotion. How often do Sky promote the non-F1 series they already have, Formula 2 and GP3 (which will be FIA Formula 3 this year)?

Last year they failed to show a live F2 race, choosing instead to show F1 drivers playing giant Jenga, even though three British F2 drivers would sign to race in F1 this year (Russell, Albon, Norris) and two of them fought for the F2 title. For me this is not forgivable. The future of British talent in F1 was handed to them on a plate and they didn’t take it. Will IndyCar races get pre-empted by a magazine show about F1?

The other concern is those loyal die-hard Formula 1 fans. Judging by internet comments and comments I’ve overheard at racetracks and at Goodwood FoS, many have proven over many years to have a real problem with IndyCar. They jump to conclusions about “just turning left” or being “F1 rejects”, though a lot of IndyCar fans in the US make the second point as well.

It makes no sense to me. IndyCar races are mostly on road and street courses. They are open wheel single seater cars that race at high speed. Oval races often are tactically brilliant while being insanely fast.

Will F1 fans give IndyCar a fair shot? I hope so. It’s a fantastically competitive series. And the depth of talent is higher than ever. The top 5 were always as good as anyone in F1, but now you could extend that to the top 10 or 15. Drop Josef Newgarden or Scott Dixon into a Mercedes with 8 days of testing and they’d run Lewis Hamilton close.

The positives?

If even a portion of these fans can be convinced, there is a ready and waiting audience. 600,000 fans regularly watch Grands Prix on SSF1. Convert even 10% of the audience and you’re already ahead of what BT achieved.

And the Indy 500? Lots of potential there. Could we see 400k? 500k? That would be a record for a UK audience. Will the channel see an uplift in subscriber numbers now F1 is exclusively live?


This is my third concern and it’s a big one. Sky is very expensive. Even with the deals on offer.

For a full cost analysis of Sky Sports please see Motorsport Broadcasting (the blog is also the source of the viewing figures quoted in this piece). The comparison includes Now TV streaming and the Sky Sports Mobile TV app which is by far the cheapest option.

If you already subscribe to SSF1 this is a win for you.

If you don’t you’ll either have to miss IndyCar – and live F1 – or you’ll have to switch. You will at least have delayed highlights of F1 on Channel 4.

YouTube was another option. Races have been uploaded in full to YouTube within days. I have a smart TV with a YouTube app and this was a great way to catch up on those 2am night races if I forgot to record them on BT.
However in the US there’s a new agreement with streaming and on demand catch up on NBC Sports Gold. It remains to be seen whether the series will continue to upload races to their YouTube channel. I suppose we will find out next week.

Speaking Personally

I have BT fibre broadband and BT TV and will lose IndyCar and F1 in the same year.

I had been resigned to watching F1 with Channel 4’s evening highlights.

To be honest I’d assumed IndyCar would stay on BT Sport and was happy with that because they have MotoGP. Two of the best series in the world justified keeping BT Sport and I got to see some Champions League and Premiership Rugby as well.

Yes I know they have other racing, DTM, GT Open, and so on. But I don’t watch those.

I’ve been an IndyCar fan since 2000 and this year’s series promises so much. SSF1 having live F1 and live IndyCar has me seriously looking at subscribing.

There are deals around which drop the price of Sky significantly, though it is still expensive. I’m trying to justify it to myself. It might mean changing broadband.

I won’t be able to get Sky installed before Round 1 at St. Pete next weekend and probably not before the Australian GP the week after. But to guarantee two of my favourite series for two years… is it worth it?

Is it worth it?